Is The George and Pilgrims Haunted?
As one of the oldest towns in England, Glastonbury is no stranger to ghost stories. The George and Pilgrims Inn is one of the most popular haunted locations in town. The inn is said to be home to several ghosts, including that of a former owner, a monk, and a lady in white. Let’s take a closer look at each of these spooky spirits…
The George and Pilgrims Inn: A Brief History
The George and Pilgrims Inn was built in 1498 and has been host to many famous guests over the years, including Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I.
The hotel is one of the oldest and finest buildings still standing in Glastonbury. Pilgrims coming to Glastonbury Abbey used the Inn as an overspill accommodation spot. It was originally called The George OR The Pilgrims – now it is the George & Pilgrims. People also call it the George and Pilgrim, but what’s in a name?
The front of the building is highly decorative with mullioned windows and a strikingly embattled parapet. The hotel is linked to the abbey by a tunnel which is now blocked up about twenty feet in. The remains of it can be seen in the cellar on the southern side.
In 1918, a lady called Mrs Bilborough walked a quarter of a mile down the tunnel, which was only three feet high.
The inn is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who committed suicide by throwing herself from one of the upper floors. Another ghostly inhabitant is said to be a man who was hanged for murder. His body is said to have been left hanging from the rafters of one of the inn’s rooms before it was finally removed.
The most tragic ghost said to haunt the inn is that of a young child who died of a fever. It is said that her ghost can still be heard crying in one of the rooms on the upper floors.
The Ghost of Elias Keyte
Elias Keyte was the innkeeper at the George and Pilgrims Inn during the late 17th century. He was known for being a kind and generous man, always quick with a smile and a helping hand. Elias passed away in 1696, but it is said that his spirit still roams the halls of the inn. Guests have reported seeing Elias’s ghostly figure walking through the lobby or sitting in one of the dining room chairs. Others have claimed to feel an unexplained presence in their rooms late at night. Could Elias be trying to keep an eye on his beloved inn even from beyond the grave?
The Ghost of the White Lady
One of the most frequently seen ghosts at the George and Pilgrims Inn is that of a woman dressed all in white. She is believed to be the wife of a former owner of the inn who died tragically young. Her ghost has been spotted in several places around the property, including in guest rooms, in front of the fireplace in the lobby, and even outside on the street. Some say she is seeking revenge for her husband’s death, while others believe she is simply lost and looking for her way back home. Either way, she certainly seems to be determined to make her presence known!
The Ghost of Brother Ambrose
Brother Ambrose was a monk who lived at Glastonbury Abbey during the 12th century. The Abbey was located just down the street from where the George and Pilgrims Inn stands today. Brother Ambrose was known for his work caring for sick and injured pilgrims who came to Glastonbury seeking forgiveness for their sins. It is said that he continued his good work even after death, and his ghost has been spotted tending to guests at the inn who have fallen ill. He has also been heard chanting prayers in Latin late at night when everyone else is asleep. Could Brother Ambrose be trying to ward off evil spirits from harming any guests staying at the inn?
The George & Pilgrims is also haunted apparently by a ball of blue light.
My Own Experiences
In March 2001, we stayed in the George & Pilgrims. The rooms are old and full of dark wood. The floors are stone and uneven and there are enormous log fires. It was cold, and the hotel was mostly empty. I had a few pints of the local ale, and fell asleep with no trouble. My small children, who were sharing the room with us, tossed and turned all night and my wife didn’t sleep a wink. In the morning my then wife said the room had been full of comings and goings – an argument between a gentleman and a maid, the smell of cigar smoke, the constant chatter of conversations echoing down the centuries.
In 2009, I stayed again. This night I slept well, apart from a weird dream, but was woken by the fire alarm at 7 am, scaring me out of my wits. I ran out, and it turned out that some toast had burned in the breakfast room downstairs. At least we know the fire alarm works.
I have visited in 2015 and 2022 but not been able to get a room as it was too busy. Even so, I managed to have a drink of the potent Somerset cider in the atmospheric bar with its old stone walls.
Is the George and Pilgrims Haunted? I kind of think it is.
If you’re looking for a truly haunting experience, then a visit to the George and Pilgrims Inn in Glastonbury, England is sure to give you what you’re looking for. With its long history and its many ghosts, this inn is one of the most haunted places in the world. So if you’re brave enough to spend a night here, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Be sure to Visit Glastonbury Tor while you’re in town
1 High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DP, Somerset, England