Chance to explore ghostly goings-on at Cleethorpes pub (Videos)
Ghostly goings on are a everyday occurrence at The Imperial Hotel, in Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes: from gas taps being switched on and off, to a little boy who can be seen playing on the stairs. Reporter Laura Stuart-Cook finds out how you can meet the hotel's ghostly residents – if you dare...
VENTURING up to the top floor of The Imperial Hotel is like stepping back in time.
An ornate wooden staircase leads past a stained-glass window that is undeniably beautiful, despite being covered by decades of grime.
The original wallpaper is peeling off the walls at the corners thanks to damp, but it doesn't really matter, as few living souls have been up here for years.
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What really strikes you more than anything is the bitter cold.
There is no heating or electricity, in fact, if you were blindfolded and led here, you would never guess that a bustling pub lies just a few metres below.
This floor, with its 11 abandoned hotel rooms, might not be frequented by human punters anymore, but visitors from beyond the grave regularly check in.
Landlady Amy Wallace, 35, who took over the venue six months ago, explained: "When we first came here in June, we had no idea that the building was supposed to be haunted.
"The brewery didn't even mention the top floor to us so it was a bit of a surprise to find out what was up here.
"It's just about OK during the day, but it's pitch black up there at night and none of us dare go up there.
"Customers soon started telling us all the ghostly tales but it wasn't until strange things started happening that I realised there might be some truth in them."
Legend has it that The Imperial – which opened in 1903 – is home to more than one ghost. A maid who is believed to have hanged herself in one of the bedrooms is said to dust the banister to the second floor – and Amy says it is always gleaming, despite her never cleaning it.
Then there is the cellar, where the gas supply to the beer pumps is regularly switched on and off, and the ghost of an angry former landlord is alleged to frequent.
"One of our members of staff is so afraid of the cellar that she won't go down there after a certain time at night," said Amy.
"I've never actually seen anything myself but the staff and my children have."
Amy's pet dog often sits at the bottom of the stairs to the top floor and her eldest child, Georgia, 16, joked that he was playing with a little boy called Thomas.
They thought nothing of it until a team of ghost hunters from Tetney Paranormal visited the pub to assess its suitability for their first major event.
Amy explained: "The group walked around the whole pub to see what they could find and they all sensed a strong presence here.
"The thing that struck me the most was when they told me a little boy called Thomas was playing on the stairs."
Now Amy is opening up the pub so that others can explore the abandoned top floor, the chilling cellar and meet the resident spooks.
On Saturday, March 9, visitors will be able to spend the night exploring the hotel with Tetney Paranormal, led by medium of 29 years Adrian Fuller.
Amy added: "I'm a little bit apprehensive about encouraging the spirits, but I don't think any of them mean us harm.
"A lot of people are really interested in spooky things like ghost hunting, so I hope it will be really popular."
Adrian, 51, from Tetney, founded the ghost hunting group in January after spending time with other paranormal societies across the country.
He explained: "The last ghost hunt at The Imperial was about five years ago and the medium who organised that suggested that I check it out.
"There are lots of great stories about the place and people who come on the tour will be able to find out more.
"I will start by giving a medium tour for the whole group, where spirits can contact me. They could be spirits from the hotel or spirits who want to contact a relative or loved one in the group.
"Then we'll split up into teams and tour the different rooms again in the dark. We will have equipment, such as motion sensors and cameras, to make it scientific as well as entertaining."
And although Adrian has not felt a negative presence at The Imperial yet, he has experienced some rather frightening occurrences in the past.
"We were in a prison cell at a museum in Lincoln a few years ago and I felt overwhelmed by an angry presence, which is very unlike me," he said.
"I ended up screaming out 'Get out' and one of the other people in the group got knocked to the ground and was left with scratches on his back.
"It turned out the cell had been occupied by a criminal who was known for slitting people's throats and I believe he was trying to contact us.
"For me, ghost hunting is a real passion and it is usually a very positive experience.
"If we can show people that there is life after death then they will go away with much more than they could ever imagine."
Join in, if you dare!
Tetney Paranormal will meet at The Imperial at 9pm on March 9 and the tour will last until 4am. Tickets are priced at £25 per person, including a buffet, and are available at the pub or call by calling Adrian on 07944 142108 or Anita on 07534 362593. To find out more, e-mail email@example.com or visit paranormaltetneyghosthunts.weelby.com