The Ostrich Inn has seen it's fair share of murders over the years, with over 60 committed here. Most famous of all were those committed in the 13th century by the landlord, Mr Jarman, who made a very profitable sideline by murdering his guests.
The foundations of The Ostrich Inn were laid in 1106, when Henry I was on the thron,e by Milo Crispen. The Ostrich Inn claims the title of the fourth oldest Inn in England. It stands opposite the 17 mile stone from London. It was originally named The Hospice but over the centuries it has been corrupted to it's current name, The Ostrich Inn.
There were many highwaymen operating in this area including the infamous Dick Turpin and Claude Duval. It is alleged that a toll house keeper was shot in the face by a highwayman (alleged to have been Dick Turpin) just a short distance from the Ostrich inn. Dick Turpin was known to have stayed at the Ostrich Inn, it is recorded that he had to jump out his room's window to escape capture from the local authorities.
The village of Colnbrook and was once an important stopover, on the main stagecoach route that ran from London to Bath. Travellers and Merchants would often stop off at the Inn to get ready for there appearance at the courts of Windsor Castle. Many of these guests would often be carrying large amounts of money.
Jarman the Landlord would select lone travellers and ply them with large amounts of strong ale, then offer them his best room. Once the landlord was sure the patron was asleep he would undo two bolts on the ceiling in the room beneath. This caused the bed to tilt downwards at a 45 degree angle the inspecting guest would then slide down the bed into a vat of boiling fat. Jarman would then steal the victims belongings and sell his horse to local gypsies. The victims remains were thrown in to the nearby river.
The landlord was said to have profited immensely from his activities and had escaped suspicion for several years. The Inn is said to be haunted by the ghost of his final victim, Thomas Cole. Thomas Cole's horse escaped, leading to Mr Jarman's discovery and execution. Jarman was charged with fifteen murders, although he told the jailer's that he had killed close to sixty people.
The Ostrich Inn itself is built of timber and plaster with a tiled roof and has a projecting upper story with gables at either end, and a gateway in the middle to the yard behind, the doors to which still remain. Inside there is a good deal of 17th-century panelling and a staircase of the same date. In a room on the first floor are the remains of an arrangement whereby a flap could be let down from the window to enable passengers to enter the room directly from the top of a coach. Dick Turpin once stayed at the ostrich and had to jump out his room s window to escape capture from the local authorities.
Many members of staff over the years have had experiences with the ghosts which tend to locate themselves in the restaurant in the upstairs of the Inn next to where the original murders took place. Mark Bourne was a self-confessed cynic before he started working at the Ostrich Inn in Colnbrook. The manager has often been known to scoff at tales of the paranormal but all that changed when he started his job at the 900-year-old High Street pub. "Strange noises, ghostly figures and objects moving by themselves are all in a days work if you re employed at the Ostrich Inn".
A women in Victorian dress been seen, and other shadow figures have been seen in the upstairs corridors. Noises have been heard and staff have opened locked rooms to find lights and electrical equipment switched on. There have been reports of feelings of despair and cold spots in the downstairs ladies toilet. This used to be the pantry, and the spot were Jarman would have stored the bodies of the victims he murdered.