The Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge, is reputedly one of the most haunted houses in Britain. The Bishops room is considered to be the main focus of the haunting, with several different ghosts being sighted in this room over the years.
The former Inn dates back to the 12th century, built on an ancient pagan burial site. The Ram Inn stands on a ley line running between Ley farm and Hetty Peglar's Tump, a stone age burial mound, could this be the reason for the paranormal activity at the Inn.
The Inn s first recorded use was housing, for masons who worked on the construction of the nearby St Marys Church. The Property then fell into the hands of the Church and housed the local Bishop hence the famous 'Bishops Room' where at least nine different entities have been seen. The Original property is believed to have been up to three times the size of the building that stands today.
In the Bar area of the Ram Inn there are the the remains of a tunnel system, it is believed to link the Inn with St Marys Church and Lacock Abbey. The tunnels may have been used by Highwayman to escape the local judiciary. Wottons last two highwaymen are known to have frequented the Inn. The property became an Inn during the late 19th century, before John Humphries the present owner bought it in 1968, the inn is now a private residence.
John's bedroom a converted loft is located directly above the kitchen, this room until recently was the focus of poltergeist activity, John would be kept awake by tapping and banging on the window. Possessions would disappear and later be found in other rooms of the Inn. The paranormal activity came to a stop when a cross was placed on the wall.
Next to the kitchen is a former stable, the owner John uses this as a main living area. In this living area John has seen dancing lights by the door. A teenager who attended a paranormal tour at the property was thrown to the floor in this room in front of several witnesses. A large drape that was used to separate the room during the winter months was torn apart. John believes the malevolent spirit which haunts this room is an Incubus, he describes it as a 7 ft tall dark shadow. An Incubus is a spirit or demon that prays on women, its presence caused by witchcraft or black magic rituals.
In the former bar room ghosts have been seen, cold spots felt, clawing sounds, like that of a large dog have been heard where the door used to be. John has witnessed the apparition of an old Inn keeper on many occasions and his daughters have frequently encountered the spirit of a lady by the name of Elizabeth, who is believed to have been murdered in the the inn and buried beneath the bar.
John has furnished The Ram Inn with genuine antiques and period furniture in a style befitting its age and history. He once bought a painting of Rev. John Wesley to hang on the staircase, but as soon as he got it through the front door he describes it as all hell breaking loose, with a large increase in paranormal activity. His daughters dogs refused to go up the stairs once the picture had been hung. Door's that had been secured and locked slammed shut at night and there were knocks on all the windows of the Inn. John found puddles of water in several of the Inn s rooms and some visitors complained of strange smells.
During 1997 John allowed a paranormal group from Swindon to excavate near the stairwell in search of a rumoured cellar. The attempt was unsuccessful, but the next evening John heard a babies screams and cries coming from the area of the excavation.
The Bishops room is considered to be the main focus of the haunting, with several different ghosts being sighted in this room. The ghost of a cavalier often appears in the corner of the room, before walking through the wall. The ghost of a young lady has been seen hanging from the ceiling. The ghost of a shepherd and his dog have been reported by visitors. Tow monks and two nuns have been sensed by mediums in the room.
In the double bed an Incubus and a succubus have appeared depending on the gender of the sleeper. A succubus is a female demon that carries out sexual attacks on males feeding on a persons life force, like the Incubus their presence is thought to come from witchcraft or black magic rituals. When the chimney in the room was opened up black magic and satanic artefacts were found. Two men who spent the night in the room were so disturbed that they had to go to a vicar to be exorcised.
The former Bishop of Gloucester the Rt Rev John Yates, is reported to have tried and failed to exorcise it and was quoted in the Western Daily Press as saying it was "the most evil place I have ever had the misfortune to visit".
In the Kitchen three independent diviners/dowsers have reported a well being previously located in the centre of the room. All three also felt the presence of two bodies and a malevolent force in the well. This room is known to especially effect woman, with visitors often reporting cold spot and the feeling of dizziness.
In the Witches room the spirit of a woman and a black cat have been seen and felt in this room. Paranormal investigators have caught a large amount of orbs in this room on camera and video.
In the Beaufort room a large black cat is often seen and mysterious glowing white mist has been captured on camera, bright dancing lights have also been seen and caught on camera.
In the Weavers Attic the ghost of a highwayman resides his spirit is often sensed by mediums rather than being seen, the presence of a previous land lady has also been felt in this room.
There is anecdotal evidence of devil worship having taken place at the premises and the ritual sacrifice of children. In the Men's Kitchen area a grave was excavated and the remains of a woman and child were found. Along with there bodies knives were found, the Bristol Museum who studied the bodies and artefacts believed that they had been killed in ritual sacrifice. A man and his son who visited the Ram ran from this room screaming, after they had calmed down they reported seeing the ghostly apparition of a woman rise up out of the floor.