A pint in hand and a cold shiver running up the spine...

Huddersfield has a great selection of alehouses and, as Halloween approaches, why not visit one that is known for spirits of a different kind?

Here is our selection of the scariest stories from boozers where things go bump in the night.

The Royal and Ancient

Royal and Ancient, Colne Bridge
Royal and Ancient, Colne Bridge

The building, which dates from the 1930s, replaced an earlier pub, the Spinners Arms, which on February 14 1818 witnessed a mill fire that claimed the lives of 17 girls, aged from nine to 18.

At the time, a cotton mill owned by Thomas and Law Atkinson stood opposite the Spinners Arms.

During night-shifts the workforce, many of them children, were locked in overnight.

Writer Kai Roberts, author of Haunted Huddersfield, takes up the story: “On one such occasion, a boy named James Thornton was sent to the carding room to fetch roving, equipped with the naked flame of a candle rather than the glass lantern expressly provided for this purpose.

“Tragically, the boy dropped the candle, which ignited a pile of nearby cotton and due to the great quantity of combustible material at the factory, the blaze quickly developed into an inferno.

“Finding all the doors locked, some of those inside managed to escape by means of ladders but others succumbed to the smoke and confusion. Out of 26 people working that night, only nine survived.”

The bodies of the 17 victims were taken to an impromptu mortuary in the cellar of the Spinners Arms.

The Spinners Arms, which was demolished in the 1930s. This painting lay undiscovered for over 50 years in the attic of the rebuilt pub. It was found in the mid 80s by the then landlord and landlady Clive and Christine Hoare.

A newspaper said the corpses were “in so mutilated a state as to render it impossible for their nearest friends to recognise them”.

In recent times, the Royal and Ancient has been “bedevilled by poltergeist-type activity,” says Kai.

Glasses have been thrown across the bar without any apparent cause and there have been plagues of blowing light-bulbs.

A staff member previously told the Examiner: “There’s something about the cellar. It’s nothing good or bad but I always get the feeling that there’s somebody there watching me.

"The old landlord told us about a spot in the hallway where his dog would just sit and bark when nothing was there. In the store things have moved to a different place and I was talking to a member of staff one night after the pub closed and she froze and said she could see a lady.”

  • Dalton Bank Road, HD5 0RE.

The Bull’s Head

The Bull's Head, Blackmoorfoot, Huddersfield.

Mystery footprints in the snow prompted a ghost story reported by the Examiner in 2013.

Drinkers at the Blackmoorfoot pub thought there was something strange about the young man who wandered in late at night.

But they realised there was something even stranger when he left – and his footprints in the snow stopped at a door boarded up many years ago.

The-then landlord David Dobson said: “I know what we saw and it was certainly strange.

“But it’s not the first funny thing to happen. Every member of staff who has worked here has got a story, about footsteps in the upstairs rooms when no-one is there, or sightings of a man in a flat cap sitting in a corner, or impressions that someone else is in a room.

“I believe there is some truth in all of it.”

The incident happened on a Thursday night as Mr Dobson was in the bar with friends.

He said: “This chap, who looked a little odd, wandered in and bought a Coca Cola. He sat down in a corner but then left.

“One of my friends said: `There is something odd, I’m going to check’ and followed him to the door.

“He called us all and all we could see in the snow were a line of footprints from the pub door, down the side and ending at a blocked-up door. There were no more prints going away from it.

“He was a man in his 20s or 30s but it was so strange. No-one could see how he left without making prints in the snow.”

  • Blackmoorfoot Road, Linthwaite, HD7 5TR.

Shoulder of Mutton

Shoulder of Mutton, Holmfirth
Shoulder of Mutton, Holmfirth

In 1984 supernatural phenomena was reported at this Holmfirth pub.

A lodger complained of sleepless nights due to door handles rattling and the sound of footsteps in empty rooms.

Two years later, a family living at the pub experienced poltergeist activity and saw a “phantom”.

The landlord reported being woken at 4.30am by a glow in his bedroom. Looking over to the dressing table, he saw the figure of a woman.

Several nights later, the apparition was seen again by a relative who was babysitting.

A clairvoyant later detected the presence of uniformed men in the main bar, and an old lady, “dressed in pure black in a high-collared dress...with a lace cap and smoking a clay joss”.

The medium detected the ghost of a former landlady, while the uniformed men were thought to be an impression of the Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir, eight of whom had been killed in a coach crash outside the pub on October 19 1947.

Other spirits said to be present included Amelia Fearns, 23, and an unknown boy who both drowned in the Great Holmfirth Flood of 1852. Victims of the flood had been brought to the pub which had been used as a temporary mortuary.

  • 2 Dunford Road, HD9 2DP.

The Three Nuns (now Miller and Carter Steakhouse)

Miller and Carter steakhouse, Mirfield
Miller and Carter steakhouse, Mirfield

In 1985, “supernatural disturbances” were reported by workmen during renovation work. These included doors mysteriously opening and closing and the appearance of a shadowy figure resembling a woman with a veiled face.

It was later reported that an exorcism was carried out in 1991.

Paranormal investigation at the Three Nuns

Video thumbnail, Paranormal investigation at the Three Nuns pub, Mirfield
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The strange activity has been attributed to Katherine Grice, a nun who is said to have taken her own life, or the Prioress of Kirklees, reputed to have bled Robin Hood to death on the nearby Kirklees Estate.

  • Leeds Road, Cooper Bridge, WF14 0BY.

The Fleece Inn

The Fleece Inn, Elland
The Fleece Inn, Elland

There are some grisly stories associated with this Elland pub, according to family history resource Ancestry.

A fight between a traveller and a local conman in the late 19th century saw one of the men bleed to death on the pub’s staircase.

Despite numerous attempts, nothing could remove the bloody stain and it became a prominent feature in the pub.

The grounds are also said to be home to Old Leathery Coit — a headless ghost in a battered leather coat that, according to legend, take up a seat on a carriage pulled by equally headless horses.

According to Greater Elland Historical Society, the carriage was driven furiously down Westgate, Church Street, Dog Loin (Eastgate), to Old Earth and then it returned to the barn near the back door of the pub.

This spectre created a sudden rush of wind and upon hearing this people would say “There goes Leathery Coit”.

  • Westgate, HX5 0BB.

The Silent Woman

Silent Woman pub in Slaithwaite
Silent Woman pub in Slaithwaite

Many have pondered the oddly-named The Silent Woman in Slaithwaite, which has a headless woman on its sign.

The inn opened in 1782 and local legend claims one of the earliest landlords cut off his wife’s head whereupon her decapitated body ran outside just as a horse and cart drove past.

The animal reared and bolted and ever since horses have refused to pass that fateful spot.

  • Nabbs Lane, HD7 5AY.

Haunted Huddersfield is published by The History Press.