Salisbury pub is one the UK's most haunted

Salisbury pub is one the UK's most haunted

Published by Jack Deery at 6:16am 23rd October 2019. (Updated at 7:39am 23rd October 2019)

Many spooky sightings have been made by guests over the years.

The Haunch of Venison, on Minster Street, is in a building that dates back to 1320 and is said to have been visited by different ghosts over the years. 


According to legend, the most active ghoul is that of the 'Demented Whist Player', an unnamed man who won a great sum of money playing cards with locals one night in the 1820s.

The locals thought he was cheating and they cut off his hand, showing their suspicions were true as cards fell from his sleeve. 

The severed hand was cast into the fireplace and rediscovered many years later during renovation work. 

The smoke-mummified hand was then placed in a display case in the pub.

The gruesome body part has proved so popular it's even been stolen twice.

Haunch of Venison
The severed hand of the card cheater was put on display in the pub

Ilia Klekovkin, the pub's owner, said: 

"The previous landlady of the pub said she woke up one night to see a man standing in her room watching her with his arms crossed in front of him. 

She said she had a box on a shelf in the room that contained an angel and when she woke up the next day the box was on the floor and the angel's head had been snapped off."

Other staff and customers have heard footsteps when they have been alone in the pub and some have seen the same ghostly figure, always with his arms crossed in front of him, hiding his hands."

Haunch of Venison Salisbury 1 (Faye Marsh)
The pub is in a building that is around 700 years old


Reports have also been made of people seeing two female ghosts on the premises. 

Folklore stories suggest one is a woman looking for her son who she sent to the Haunch to buy a couple of bottled beers, but he never returned.

Another female apparition in dark clothing is thought to be an old Madam from a time when the house was supposedly turned into a brothel.


For halloween, they are going to be opening the pub's 'Secret Bar', which is usually not accessible by the public. 

It's only entrance is through a staircase from a private area next to the upstairs room.

Ilia added

"The Haunch of Venison has a fascinating history and several separate small bars with features from the 15th and 18th centuries. 

There's a rare wooden carved elevated arch with seven gravity-fed spirit taps that were fitted in 1909. According to CAMRA there are only five of these in the whole of the UK.

The 'Horsebox' is said to have been used by Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower during the planning of the D-Day landings back in 1944."

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One of our regulars 🥃

A post shared by The Haunch Of Venison (@haunch_pub) on

The pub was chosen by 'Ei Publican Partnerships' from more than 4,000 watering holes as one of the most haunted in the country.

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