The Golden Ball is a pub on the bank of the Lune and is known as Snatchems by locals. The pub has enjoyed a notorious past. It was frequently visited by press gangs – violent men who would ‘recruit’ or kidnap citizens in Lancaster and forcibly conscript them into the merchant navy and the cotton trade.
It is also said that Snatchems has been something of a smuggers pub as well. Boats would make their way from smuggling ships along the Lune in the darkness and attempt to land goods without paying the appropriate customs.
It is said that Snatchems does have a mystery room – a small area behind the bar. Could this have been used for smuggling?
Such trips were not without risk. In addition to the risk of being caught by the law (and perhaps a trip in front of one of Lancaster’s infamous hanging judges any would-be smuggler would have to make it across the dangerous sandbanks.
Is Snatchems haunted? Paranormal commentators have suggested that possible ghosts for The Golden Ball would be either that of a smugger or perhaps someone who died in a press gang gone wrong.
There have been reports of cold spots in the kitchen and of pans flying off the table. The pub’s attic is a foreboding place in which some sensitive people feel they’re not welcome.