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Is this bistro haunted? After ‘mischievous’ goings on and ghost sightings, the owner thinks so

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 October 2012

Waitress Hannah Anderson working in The Bay Tree Bistro, Halesworth, where there have been reported ghost sightings. This creative picture is brought to you by Nick Butcher.

Waitress Hannah Anderson working in The Bay Tree Bistro, Halesworth, where there have been reported ghost sightings. This creative picture is brought to you by Nick Butcher.

© Archant 2012

After hearing mystery voices, seeing two ghosts and witnessing items swaying, three fifths of a family are in no doubt that their bistro is haunted.

The Bay Tree Bistro, Halesworth, was formerly the Ancient House.The Bay Tree Bistro, Halesworth, was formerly the Ancient House.

Although the other two members are a bit more sceptical, café bar owner Kim Hart is sure paranormal activity is afoot.

And now she is appealing for others with similar experiences or history surrounding the former Ancient House, in the Thoroughfare, Halesworth, to come forward.

Mrs Hart was told of the building’s haunted past when she took it on as The Bay Tree Bistro, Cafe and Bar in February 2010, and in more than two and half years she has seen a number of strange goings on herself.

“It made me a little bit nervous, but I’ve lived in other haunted places, so it’s not big issue,” she said.

“I did not expect it to be quite so playful. Only two times it has been scary, the rest of the time it is just mischievous.”

Mrs Hart, of Holton, said that her family have seen electrical items mysteriously turn themselves off, voices in the bar area and she saw two ghosts. Customers have also experienced strange events.

“Things in the window were swaying the other day and when we went to stop them they almost fought back,” she said.

“I’ve seen two ghosts in the kitchen. One was clearly a man, the other was when I thought my daughter was over my shoulder but when I looked around she wasn’t there, and we were the only two in the building.”

Mrs Hart, 48, said her daughters Becky, 25, Sammy, 22, and Sacha, 20, all agreed something has been happening, but her son Tom, 24, and husband Stuart, 37, were not so sure.

“My husband doesn’t believe it, but it is not just us, there is definitely something going on as lots of people say it is haunted,” she said.

“I’ve always been told, if people are scared of ghosts they would not see it.”

As well as wanting to hear similar stories of those who have stayed there before, the family are also looking for more information about the building, which is believed to be the second oldest in the town.

Mrs Hart said that people regularly take photos of the bressumer beam at the front of the café and ask about its history, so they wanted to compile a leaflet about it.

It is believed there is a link with Margaret de Argentein in the late 14th and 15th century, and that it could have been a manor or toll house.

It is also thought the bressumer beam used to carry either a Royal coat of arms, or that of the de Argentein family.

If you have any historical information or tales of the paranormal relating to the building, call the bistro on 01986 874119.


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