Acaster Malbis is a village less than ten miles away from the historic city of York. It is thought that the village’s name may come from a Roman settlement. The word ‘castra’ means ‘camp’ in Latin and perhaps Malbis relates to the land-owning Malbis family who lived there.
The Ship Inn
The new owners of The Shop Inn by the River Ouse have reported a number of ghostly incidents. It is thought that the pub is haunted by Bob the Stoker, a regular of the inn until his death. The fire in the pub has been reported as lighting itself – despite having four pints of water poured on it. The nickname “Bob the Stocker” was given to Bob, who died 50 years ago because he would sit and constantly stoke the same fire.
The new pub manager, Alan Deans, told local press that a lamp has also been known to fly off its shelf in the bar.
The Ship Inn’s owner, Carol Temple, has also admitted to the press that she has had her own ghostly encounter, “I had bent down to get something out of a cupboard and I felt a cold shiver, so I stood up and turned around and I saw a grey figure coming past me – it was only about a foot away from me.
“I was terrified. It was a dark grey figure. I wouldn’t describe it as mist, it was more like smoke in the form of a tall male.”
The story was covered by York’s The Press newspaper but received a strong degree of negativity from readers. One reader, known as yorkred, wrote; “Message to Owners of Ship Inn, Be warned your managers are liars. Never good for business”
The Ghost of Sister Hylda and Friar John
The most widely known haunting at Acaster Malbis is that of Sister Hylda. In the thirteenth century, Acaster Malbis was the location of a monastery and a Convent of Nuns of the Cistercian. Legend suggests there were underground passages that connected the two buildings.
It is said that Lady Abbess of Nun Appleton called upon the Archbishop from Cawood, and the nuns of St. Mary’s Abbey to conduct high mass on the eve of Saint Mark‘s day in order to put to rest the wandering spirit of Sister Hylda. Sister Hylda’s ghost had been haunting the convent and monastery as well as the adjacent areas for seven years.
The story tells of how the monks and nuns chanted at the altar and the arrival of a mysterious grey palmer.
At the end of the encounter, the ghost of Sister Hylda appears before the nuns and the Archbishop. She explains;
“In me behold Sister Hylda, dishonoured, ruined, murdered by Friar John, in the deep penance vault. He stands by my side, and bends his head lower and lower in confession of his guilt. I died unconfessed, and for seven years has my troubled, my suffering spirit walked the earth, when all were hushed in peaceful sleep but such as the lost Hylda. Your masses have earned grace for me. Seek the middle pavement-stone of the vault for the mortal relics of a soul purified and pardoned by the blood of the Redeemer. Laud and blessing to his gracious name for ever!”
In Pure Spirit
What do you think of the story from The Ship Inn? Is this a fabrication designed simply to lure in tourists or this is the latest haunting at Acaster Malbis?