|Royal Oak Hotel - Haunted|
Both the Anna Davies countrywear store and neighbouring Royal Oak Hotel in Betws-y-Coed are being haunted by a cloaked lady, a nun and a ghostly shadow, say spooked staff.
Reports of strange goings-on date back to the 1960s, but just before Christmas, Pete Ward, who runs the store on Holyhead Road with his wife Sara, claims he had a shoe thrown at him on the first floor launched from a display stand.
“It was about 8.30pm, I was working late by myself and came upstairs to the first floor,” he said.
“I got to the top step and saw a shoe come towards me from the stand. It landed right in front of me.
“I just picked the shoe up, I tried to have a conversation [with the ghost] and said ‘there is no need for that’.”
Pete added: “I’ve always felt something up here, I’ve often felt something behind me by the till.”
Pete’s mother in law Anna Evans, who first opened the original Anna Davies store in 1956, claimed she had a boot thrown at her in the more recently built area of the shop 10 years ago. She also said a member of her staff saw a woman wearing a cape in the stock room during the 1980s.
Whilst living above the oldest part of the shop in the 1960s she also witnessed doors slamming by themselves, objects moving and things going missing.
Anna, who is now retired, explained: “One night I was sitting watching TV and the door slammed by itself. We had a really thick carpet and all the windows were closed. I didn’t know what had caused it at the time.
“Another member of staff also heard footsteps behind them and the noise of what they described as a crinoline dress against the floor, but there was no one there when they turned around.
“Then our secretary felt somebody tap her on the shoulder, but there was nobody there. And we’ve had files go missing and turn up.”
Shop assistant Bridget Ferrell has worked at the shop for the past four years and explained she never felt at ease in the shop, particularly after dark.
“I always leave one light on at night otherwise I feel a bit unsure, I think most of the staff have felt it. Nobody feels threatened but we feel as if there is something here and it goes really cold, even in the summer,” she said.
Sara doesn’t believe the ghost is malicious.
“The shop is a different place in the dark with all the reflections and the mannequins, but I do feel safe here.”
Staff at the neighbouring Royal Oak Hotel, which is also part of the family business, report TVs switching themselves on and off, strange whispering in the corridors and a ghostly shadow walking around the bar area.
Lesley Barry, 45, has worked at the Victorian hotel for the past eight years and says a dark shadow is often seen walking between the toilets and the grill bar.
“We often see somebody walking past in the grill bar, but when you turn around there is nobody there,” she said.
“Just the other night one of our barmen saw it. He went white and was nearly physically sick. When you are walking in the back corridor you can hear somebody whispering, as if they are saying ‘where’ or ‘why’.
“And I’ve been in room 207 and the TV has switched on by itself and a nun has been seen sitting outside room 208.”
Margaret Willies is head of housekeeping and has worked at the hotel for the past 16 years. Margaret has worked at the hotel for 24 years in all and is convinced the hotel is haunted.
“I’ve seen things in the corner of eye while I’ve been in the annex area,” she said. “Things move around, it goes icy cold for no reason when it is such a hot hotel and you get the feeling someone is stood behind you.
“It is definitely haunted, people have heard a man’s voice in the grill bar just by the toilets. Things happen on a daily basis, you get funny smells, especially in the old part of the hotel.”
Secretary and administration worker Barbara Lynch added: “A medium came here and saw a nun praying sitting on a chair outside room 208. I do believe in spirits, but I’m not scared.”