The Ram Inn is a 13th century building. The Ram Inn closed as a pub c.1968. It is now a private residence and has gained fame because of its ghostly apparitions, poltergeists and hooded monks. It is believed that the Ram Inn was built on a site of pagan sacrifice. John Humphries, the Ram’s owner, described when he moved to the old inn to a Dursley Gazette journalist: “On my very first night in the Ram, I was in a room over a grave where three children had been buried. In the middle of the night I was grabbed by the hand and thrown out of bed.”
Haunted holiday at The Ram
by H G Barstow of Chandlers Ford, Hampshire.
Mr Barstow’s Story:
In 1975, my wife and I, on a tour of the West Country, came across the Ram Inn by chance, a 13th century building that offered bed and breakfast. Having decided to try it as it was getting late, we entered the car park and found a rope with a message saying ‘Please Pull’. After a short while we heard a voice, but could not see where it came from, until we looked up and a man was looking out of a window in the roof. He said he would be down in a minute. Afterwards we found he slept on a mattress on a small platform in the roof space and presumably he had been resting. He told us all three rooms, were full but there was a bed in the old stable that we could have temporarily as a guest was leaving the next day. We agreed.
Afterwards we went to a local pub nearby for a meal, when the landlord asked us where we were staying. When we told him “The Ram Inn”, a customer came over and said, “Did you say you are at the Ram Inn?” After answering in the affirmative, he said. “I’m a traveller. I once stayed there and like you I came here for a meal and a glass of ale- but I was not drunk when I left. I would never stay there again.”
I was in the Berkeley Room! Now it seems called The Bishop’s Room. I undressed to get into bed and went towards the hand basin in the corner for a wash, when what I can only describe as a cavalier walked through the wall towards me. I stopped in amazement and it turned around and walked back through the wall. I jumped back into bed and awaited daylight. Thanking him, we returned to the stable bed and during the night, my wife awoke me.
She was in a panic and asked me if I had heard the large high-pitched whistle that seemed to go round and round the room just over her head. At the same time all the lights in the car park were flickering on and off. It took her some time to get back to sleep, so next morning at breakfast we told the owner John Humphries.
There were 3 other couples staying there, including an American twosome. John apologised, explaining that he could not cook breakfast as there was no electricity and showed us the broken wire hanging down outside in the car park. The strange thing was the electricity meter was still turning.
We all gathered round and started to discuss our own experience that night. John was very forthcoming and told us all that he never mentions any strange happenings beforehand, but asks anybody who does, to write to him afterwards after reflection.
He then showed us a pile of letters from previous guests and here I quote a couple.
A Doctor, wife and young daughter were in the Berkeley Room in 3 separate single beds. The Doctor awoke at 2 am with his feet absolutely freezing. He turned on the bed lamp thinking his feet were uncovered.
He discovered they were not. His wife woke up and asked if his feet were also cold as hers were freezing. With this, a large green disk about the size of a plate appeared near the washbasin, which then expanded with a black interior until the green was like a ribbon around it.
It then detached itself and waved right round the bedroom and then surrounded the black centre again, shrank and disappeared.
With this, suddenly a monk stood in front of the fireplace at the foot of the Doctor’s bed and walked up and down, eventually sitting down on the child’s bed. With this the girl who had woken up, crying, “Daddy, Daddy, I don’t like that man sitting on my bed, he did it last night.” The monk then suddenly disappeared.
We spent the rest of the morning discussing other letters and tales from John. The second bedroom was called ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had been partitioned off from the Berkeley Room.
Several letters referred to the ‘Blue Lady’ who haunted that abode. She must have been a maid, as she could not abide untidy bedclothes.
It was said on numerous occasions that people had been pulled off the bed and the bedstead turned right over.
The next night we were allocated Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had two single beds. After a while, I asked my wife Pat if she was too hot. She said no, she was quite cold. I was sweltering and pushed the bedclothes down to my waist and went to sleep. The next morning they were neatly up to my neck and firmly tucked in. Neither my wife nor I did this.
We stayed a few more days and heard other tales. One I remember was a clairvoyant from up north, who came down on a recommendation.
In one session a voice said he was Tom the hostler and there were still some in the town who could remember him.
We were intrigued by our stay and decided to come again next year for our Silver Wedding holiday and wanted the Berkeley Room. We had previously had an experience soon after our marriage.
This we did and our first night, we were in separate beds in that room and I was just dosing off when I opened my eyes and saw a pair of infants forearms glowing in a golden colour with its fingers wriggling about coming towards me in the dark.
I was extremely scared but was unable to move. Suddenly my body jerked and I could move. I called my wife and told her I’m coming in with her, which I did for the next four nights with the lights on. There was a feeling of something there all the time, watching.
The next morning we told John and also about the man in the pub’s story. He showed us a letter written since we came the previous year by a man who, while in bed, had seen a man with a hat, something like an ancient night cap hanging down the side of his head at the other end of the Berkeley Room by the window in the dim light.
He said to himself “I don’t believe in ghosts” and got out of bed and went towards it. He stopped a yard or two from it and stopped. He then took another step forward, and the apparition took one towards him.
The man leaped back into bed and pulled the bedclothes over his head, where they remained the rest of the night.
Owner in 1903: Trustees of Wotton Under Edge charities (leased to Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd.)
We asked John next morning if there were any strange happenings since last year. He said a previous tenant of the former public house had asked to see the old bedroom. She entered and suddenly asked to get out of there as the whole place felt evil. She had had a tale of two child’s skeletons found walled up during renovations.
Another occurrence concerned two American couples who shared the Berkeley and Uncle Tom’s Cabin one night.
The couple in the Berkeley complained to John the next morning for being inconsiderate in dragging furniture over the floor in the room above in the roof space all night so they could not sleep. Those in the adjoining room heard nothing.
“Will you come with me?” said John, and took them up a narrow stairway into the roof area.
Apart from a mattress on the floor in an area about 15 feet square there was no furniture and no flooring to the rest of the area, including the Berkeley ceiling at the far end.
To end this saga on a more enlightened note. On our final day, we came back to change for before dinner. My wife went to the bathroom and when she came back she was rather cross and blamed me for frightening her by knocking the walls there. I told her I had not moved from the bedroom.
Suddenly the bedroom door-handles slowly turned and the door slowly pushed open. A face appeared. No, not an apparition, but dear old John Humphries with apologies, saying he thought he heard somebody in the house and came to look.
He had been doing some work in another roof space in the wing part of the Inn and said the knocking was he.
One last item regards John’s late brother.
John went on holiday and asked his brother who lived locally, to occasionally come round to check up for vandals. One night he sat in his car in the car park and noticed in the wing side of the house, that the three rooms downstairs were full of people with old-fashioned clothes, one man with a tall hat.
This man stood watching his brother and along with several other people, appeared in the windows of all the three rooms on occasions.
The ground floor windows on the left where John’s brother claimed to have seen apparitions.
He brought John and his wife back after the holiday and told him about this. “Come with me,” said John. “Is this the rooms?”
“Yes,” said his brother. John took some keys from his pocket and told his brother, “All the connecting rooms are locked.”
I once asked John if he had seen anything. “Yes,” he said, “once whilst cooking breakfast I looked up and saw a lady in a long blue dress, walk past into what is a solid outside wall.
“Another time I was repairing my motorcycle in the Car Park with my tools spread around. Several of my tools simply disappeared never to be seen again.”
It is a great shame that a man who has saved a historic house from demolition by using the income from B & B struggles buy material to renovate it.
Whilst we were there some 28 years ago, he wanted £2000 to purchase stone Cotswold tiles when stones from an old barn or such like was available to purchase. These would only cover the front of the building. In the accompanying photograph taken in July 1976 the roof was covered in modern pantiles. It is clear that John achieved his aim as is it is now covered in the local stone. Surely some benefactors could come forward to help in these crippling legal costs, so that he could remain there.
Owner in 1891: Trustees of Wotton Under Edge charities (leased to Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd.)
Rateable Value in 1891: £11.5s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Rateable Value in 1903: £11.5s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
1820,1823 Joseph Pinnell
1842,1849 Henry Dauncey
1863 James Goscomb
1867,1875 Thomas Mizen
1885,1891,1899 Elizabeth Mizen (Mrs)
1902,1903,1906 William Frederick Vooght
1916,1927 Rufus Morley
1939 Lewis Raymond Allen