Black Bull, Haworth, West Yorkshire
Description: This is an old-world pub, which has stood on this spot for more than 300 years
Little is known about the history of the pub. It’s always been a pub and a hotel. The attic used to be a dormitory and the upstairs bedrooms were B&B rooms until last year.
This was the pub in which Branwell Bronte drank his health away (he bought his Opium in the Apothecary across the cobbled street) whilst his sisters were writing their novels in the Parsonage behind the pub (Both Charlotte and Emily also died in the parsonage). Their father, Patrick, was the vicar at the church next door (the church that stands there now was built by Patrick Bronte’s successor but it’s in exactly the same location).
Branwell Bronte was born on June 26th 1817 and died of chronic bronchitis and consumption on 24th September 1848 – He was laid to rest in the family vault at Haworth Church.
In February 1836 at the age of 19 Branwell was proposed a freemason and later became secretary of the lodge. Meetings were originally held at the Black Bull but then moved to Lodge Street (The chair on the stairway at the pub is a Mason’s Chair and is thought to be Branwell’s chair).
In the pub there’s a print of a picture of Branwell and his famous sisters which he painted himself out of after a family falling out – the story is that he was the actual author of Wuthering Heights and Emily took the manuscript and made slight changes and sold it as her own work.
There is a big graveyard behind the church and it’s thought to contain 40,000 bodies, it’s also thought that due to subsidence over the years some of these bodies have slipped down the hill and now lie under the pub.
It is known that the landlord at the time Branwell drank there was a man called Dan Sugden.
– In the main bar, a man dressed in beige has been seen sitting at one of the tables
– On the road outside people are seen, you look back and they have disappeared.
– Outside, a girl is heard crying outside in the car park and allotments.
– People often see figures flitting around – usually out of the corner of their eye and a has medium picked up on a man looking for a little girl (his daughter).
– A man in a top hat is often seen sitting at one of the tables (Dan Sugden, the landlord at the time the Bronte’s lived in Haworth was a small man who always wore a Top Hat, he was nicknamed ‘Little Nosey’).
– In the main bar, a child has been seen offering sweets to someone no-one else can see.
– In Room 2, people have woken up to see the dark figure of a man watching them sleep.
– Room 3 is thought to be haunted by a maid. When it was still being used as B+B rooms and one of the owners would clean it she would come back to find everything put back the way it was before – she thinks that the maid doesn’t want her taking her job.
– Glasses and ashtrays fly to the floor when there is no-one around.
– The bell by the fireplace in the corner by the Bronte picture rings of its own accord. Also every morning the light above the Bronte picture is turned round.
– People often feel that someone is brushing past them on the main staircase
– In the main bar, when standing near the front door people often feel as though they are being tapped on the head. A light has also been seen by the front door.
– Very strong fresh cigar smoke is often smelt (it’s known that Branwell Bronte loved cigars).
– All over the building things are regularly moved – even if you just look away for a split second.
– In the kitchen pates smash, items move around and footsteps are heard.
– There is a strong smell of sulphur smelt around the house.
– Talking/Muttering has been heard – very distinct but you can’t make out the words.
First Broadcast: 5th July 2005