Pub Landlady ‘Inn-keeping with the Spirits'
Most books have a back story, or at least some of the sub-plots do. For me, my paranormal novel Fly Back and Purify is no exception. Pub landlady. Carol Baker, (pictured) formerly of the Royal Oak in Knaphill, Surrey is also a psychic medium and assisted me greatly with my research. The following is from a piece I did when working for the Woking News & Mail in 2016...
When most people walk into a public house and think of spirits, they are probably looking at the choice of whiskeys, rums or vodkas from the optics behind the bar. At the Royal Oak at the bottom of Anchor Hill in Knaphill, the term spirit can take on a whole new meaning as the pub’s landlady Carol Baker is also a psychic medium. Carol and her partner Mark McDermott have been running the pub since March 2015.
Carol told the News & Mail, “Many psychic mediums use a spirit guide to describe an entity that may be attempting to make contact with the living. With the help of a guide I can use my ‘third eye’ to see spirits, the images can then become full apparitions; they are vivid and appear very real.”
She describes clearly seeing a couple who were previous landlords at the pub, a priest, an old man who sits in the corner at the front by the window and two children in Victorian dress who play upstairs.
It is known that in 1851 the landlord was William Collyer who ran it with his wife Sarah. By 1891 the pub was being run by Alfred and Phoebe Brighton. From 1900 to 1935 the landlords were Joseph and Minnie Searle
and Minnie took sole responsibility for the establishment’s liquor licence following Joseph’s death in December 1935. Joseph who was born in 1869 had also been a local dairyman. Could one of these couples still be living there in spirit?
Indeed, the Royal Oak has a very rich history and dates back to the 17th Century. In the mid 19th Century Wesleyan Ministers formed a Sunday school which met there until the completion of the original Methodist church in Knaphill in 1867.
Carol says that she picked up her spirit guide, a young child called Emily when she worked at the White Horse pub in Steyning in West Sussex. Emily has stayed with her ever since. She believes that the girl had been murdered by a seven-foot tall poltergeist after hiding a wallet at the White Horse.
Carol added, “Whilst many people sense or feel the presence of a spirit, most will never see them. Communicating with the spirit world is a gift that I am blessed with and very happy to talk about. My ‘third eye’ is really my mind’s eye. Behind my physical eyes there is an intuitive eye and I am able to use this for soul to soul seeing and that’s how I can interact with my friendly spirits right here in the pub.”
Carol admits that most customers at the Royal Oak are totally oblivious to its ghostly occupants, however if anyone should ever sense or see something or are perhaps even sceptical about their existence, she will always be on hand to happily talk and explain the phenomenon from her point of view.
Note: Carol has since left the Royal Oak and now runs a pub in Hampshire