An historic pub turned upmarket restaurant is living up to its reputation for being haunted.
The former Three Nuns pub in Leeds Road, Mirfield, shut down for a two-month revamp and will re-open as a Miller & Carter Steakhouse next week.
The pub building dates back to the 1900s but there has been an inn on the site since the 15th century.
Ghostly happenings have been reported down the years and when the pub underwent a major refurbishment in 1985 workmen were so spooked they vowed never to return.
First look at new Miller & Carter restaurant in Mirfield
And now, the Examiner can reveal, the hauntings continue with staff and contractors reporting strange goings-on over the last few weeks.
From a box of screws being tipped over and left weirdly stacked up to a bell being hidden in a cupboard many have a spine-tingling story to tell.
General manager Helen Willis said while some of the odd happenings may have a rational explanantion others were simply mystifying.
“If we have ghosts they are friendly ghosts who just want to play tricks on us,” she said.
Much of the spooky fascination centres on the dark and creepy painting of three nuns praying by candlelight.
The painting set in wooden panelling over a old fireplace has been in place for decades. It now has centre stage in the new bar area – and staff insist they have no intention of disturbing it.
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The pub is near the site of the old Kirklees Priory and the last three nuns from the priory – Katherine Grice, Joan Leverthorpe and Cecilia Topcliffe – were reputedly given refuge at the inn following the Dissolution of the Monastries in 1536.
Tradition has it that Sister Katherine was seduced by one of Henry VIII’s commissioners. When she later fell pregnant she drowned herself in a nearby stream.
Helen said the ghosly goings-on were the talk of the staff.
One member of staff had taken a picture of the three nuns painting and had 15% charge left on his mobile phone. Immediately afterwards the phone went dead and the following day wouldn’t charge.
A contractor who had been living in a camper van on site nipped inside after dark for a look round. Engineers were testing the new heating and the place was roasting hot – yet there was a strange icy cold spot.
The man fled back to his van vowing not to go back inside on his own.
Helen also told of a bell placed near the open kitchen to ring out praise for the chef. The bell had been left in situ but was missing the following morning. It was found in a cupboard which three members of staff swore was empty when they last checked it.
Helen added: “Lots of our contractors say they will be happy when the job’s finished and they don’t have to come back. As for the staff we’re all very excited and just want to open and start serving customers.”
The Three Nuns name is being dropped in favour of Miller & Carter Mirfield. The new restaurant employs 45 staff and its speciality is a 30oz long bone Tomahawk ribeye steak for sharing at £49.95.
The restaurant opens at 12noon on Friday, April 1 but there are two ‘dry runs’ on Tuesday and Wednesday where the diners can book tables and receive 50% off food.