Haunted History – The Ostrich Inn

Ok, so now I have a crazy creepy story to tell you about a haunted Inn in Colnbrook, England! The Ostrich Inn is thought to be one of the three oldest structures in this area. Originally constructed around 1106, builder Milo Crispin, would then donate “the hospice of Colbrook” to Abingdon Abbey under the stipulation that the hospice should be held in trust “for the good travelers in this world and the salvation of their souls in the next”. You see, a hospice was basically a Inn that was run by a religious sect. As far as how a “hospice” became known as the Ostrich Inn, well, the legends are unclear.

So, this little Inn has been host to quite a few notable folks through history. In its earlier days King John and Queen Elizabeth were have said to taken refuge here, and of course there’s a laundry list of other well known names to add to these two, one of the most interesting is Dick Turpin who was in hiding at the ostrich upon his capture.

Turpin was a known thief and murderer that made a good living off of hijacking travelers along the same route where the Ostrich was. After having barely escaped capture a few times, Turpin changed his name, cleaned up and went to stay at the Inn. A few days after his arrival some authorities were passing through. After having observed Turpin for the afternoon, they became curious as to how he funded his lifestyle and immediately suspected him as a horse thief, which he was! So the authorities decide to question him, when they start knocking at his door he jumps out of the second floor window and hauls ass. So they catch him and lock his ass up but are still confused as to his identity because he keeps giving them his new, fake, name. Then the dumb-ass writes a letter home to his brother that clearly identifies him. When the letter gets into the hands of the authorities they charge him with two counts of horse theft and then executed him.

Now, the Inn that stands today is a renovation and addition of the original structure that was built in the 1500’s. The addition of two storefronts and a long gallery across the rear of the structure hardly made a change in the appearance, but times were good during the 1500’s and additional amenities were needed to attract patrons.

So whether or not the Ostrich Inn was haunted before its renovation is unknown, this sucker started earning the most atrocious of its badges in the 1700’s. So the bulk of the credit for the haunted history associated with the Ostrich Inn goes to a man named Jarman who served as the landlord.

So apparently wages as a landlord sucked back in the day cause Jarman and his wife quickly devised a plan on how to supplement their income. The Inn was strategically constructed on the main stagecoach path between London and Bath, a lot of its patrons were traveling to or from Windsor castle, which meant they were loaded and were usually carrying large sums of currency or valuables. Many of these folks would stop in to rest, clean up and change clothes before making their appearance at the castle, many of them had brought along vast sums of money in order to pay off the courts, otherwise, bribe somebody right?!

So Jarman and his wife paid close attention to those guests, they got fantastic service! They would be wined and dined and of course drugged, all while Jarman is buddying up to them. At the end of the night, after having made the guest feel that there was a kinship between them, Jarman would offer them the best room in the house.

Uh-huh, let me tell you about this room ya’ll. So the guest would be led upstairs to a beautiful room where there was a massive four poster bed with canopy all dressed up in the best of linens. When the guest crawled in to the inviting bed and passed out, Jarman and his wife would go to the kitchen. Yeah, the kitchen was directly under the best room in the house. So Jarman would remove two bolts from a joist in the kitchen ceiling, which caused the bed above them to tilt downward, depositing the inebriated guest into a massive vat of boiling water. The poor bastards never knew what hit them.

Jarman would then take the guests horse and carriage and clothes to the local gypsies and sell them at a discounted rate. The gypsies didn’t give a damn where it came from, they were getting a hell of a deal on some high class stuff, so they kept their mouths shut, why spoil a good thing right!? So then Jarman would take whatever was left of their boiled corpse down to the river and throw it in. Now, I need to stop a minute here folks. If Jarman and his old lady were frugal enough to kill their guests and sell their personal items to the gypsies to make more money, why didn’t they use the meat to feed their guest? I’m just saying.

So anyway, Jarman gets away with this shit for years. It’s estimated that they boiled over 60 guests just to rob them. It was all gravy until this one guest though. So this dude wakes up shortly after he passes out, he rolls out of bed and starts stumbling around the room looking for the chamber pot. When he finishes his business he turns around to go get back into the bed and sees it tilted down through the floor. The dude’s curious so he walks over to the edge of the floor and looks down. So he freaks the hell out when he sees the boiling cauldren just inches beneath the foot of the bed. Even in his drunken stupor he knows what the hell is up so he starts screaming at the top of his lungs, waking up all of the other guests.

So the guests run in to see what the hell is going on and when they gather at the edge of the floor to see the boiling cauldren below, they apprehend Jarman and send for the authorities. Jarman is arrested and starts bragging about how many folks he had murdered before ever being caught. Kind of an idiot dick move right?! So, he was tried and hanged for his crimes, but at least he wasn’t boiled!

So at the Inn today there is still a working model of the tilt a boil bed, in fact there are many of the original facets of the Ostrich still intact right now. For example, there is a flap that can be let down from a window on the first level floor that when lowered it creates a walk way for the carriage drivers so that they could enter the building without having to climb down from their carriages.

So, you bet this bad boy is haunted! There are of course the typical signs such as voices, footsteps, closing doors and appliances that turn off and on, but there are a ton of pissed off ghosts that reside at the Inn. Now there are others that were not among Jarman’s victims, such as a woman that appears in Victorian dress and a young girl that is rumored to have hanged herself from a beam on the upper level of the house. There have also been several encounters near the bar with a gentleman that identifies himself as John. He is quite vocal and has known to carry on somewhat lengthy conversations. John has stated than when he was alive it was Queen Elizabeth that held the throne.

The bar is very active, there is a suit of armor and a fireplace that have a lot of orb activity around them, Besides the bar is the Jacobean room which is mostly used for functions now days. Many folk report that they feel like they’re in a crowded room. Several spirits have made themselves visible, appearing in garments that look to be from the mid to late 16th century. Though there is a lot of activity here, the room seems to hold a a pleasant feeling.

The Elizabethean room is home to a dark and daunting force that looms over you while you’re there, there is also something that seems to hover just outside of the window, leering angrily at anyone that dares to enter the room. He may be the same dark shadowy figure that has often been photographed in or around this room.

The stairs and women’s rest room, that are in close proximity to each other, have tons of activity. The restroom is where the pantry used to be. Jarman stored the boiled bodies here until the opportune time came for him to discard them in the river without being seen. This area has a orb activity, shadowy figures, putrid smells and a sickening oppressive sensation. Wonder why, right?! Many visitors have complained with their ears ringing in this area.

And then there’s the attic where whispers and cold spots are frequently recorded, there are even accounts of something freezing cold that comes bolting down the steps, pushing aside anyone that may be climbing up or just standing at the bottom, contemplating the climb.

From the attic to the cellar, where staff all but refuses to go to restock the bar. Way too many times folks have gone down there only to have the door close behind them and the lights go out. In the darkness there are the forms of shadowy creatures that swirl around, some giggling at you until you find your way back out.

Then there’s the Blue room, there is some mad crazy shit going on in here ya’ll. There’s a bunch of documentation on this room, many accounts that were filmed. So, it’s said that if you go down into this room that you begin to look like someone or something else. So there was this one team of paranormal investigators that decided to test it out, yeah it happened ya’ll. They sit this one dude on a stool and aim a camera at him them turn off the lights. The guys eyes start darting all over the place like he’s watching something bounce back and forth. This goes on for a little while and then it’s like he all of the sudden is sitting in a mist. The observers lean in closer to see that his eyes are closed, he hadn’t been looking all around the room. At the point when they realized that, his skin appeared wrinkled and his hands and arms twisted as if he had severe arthritis, a quick glance back to his face, he had morphed into a haggard old man with long crazy hair.

After having had these results they tried to experiment with another member of the team. This time things were different nothing changed with this dude’s appearance, but something crazy did happen. This gentleman became despondent and was talking out of his head. He acted as if he didn’t know who the other members of the team were. As he spoke with the other team members the muscles in his face contorted, his voice influctions and mannerisms changed drastically. When he started getting confrontational, one of the other team members repeatedly called his name until he snapped out of the trance like state. After the event was over, the guy said that he was comfortable the whole time and that he had been communicating with them. The problem was that the conversation he thought he was having with the other team members was not what the one that had been recorded.

Then they tried one last time. Another team member took the stool, this guy supposedly has a long dark beard. After sitting in the chair for a few moments the guy appears to be bare faced, not nearly as eerie as the first two experiments but certainly freaky enough to mention, if you ask me.


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