A LONG-dead stable lad who claimed to have been a victim of Jethart Justice is alleged to be haunting a pub on the Isle of Wight, writes Mark Entwistle.
Local legend says that it was in the 18th century that the young man hanged himself in the stables adjoining the Castle Inn at Newport after a turbulent love affair.
Like their landlord predecessors before them, Stuart Luke and his wife Sarah have often found themselves woken in the middle of the night by the sound of whistling. But the subsequent check for intruders in the pub always reveals the premises to be peaceful, although five pence pieces are left strewn about the place.
According to local ghost walk guide and 17-year veteran of paranormal investigations on the island, Marc Tuckey, the whistling comes from the stable lad whistling at his horses.
Mr Tuckey and a team of paranormal investigators and mediums spent a night in the pub earlier this year in an effort to make contact with any spirits haunting the ancient inn – the oldest on the Isle of Wight, dating from the mid-16th century.
He said: “The medium who claimed to have made contact with the dead stable lad during the investigative sessions told the group the long-dead groom was keen to let everyone know he had not taken his own life, but had been murdered by a woman and three men. He is said to have told her he was hoisted onto one of the stable beams where he had died of asphyxiation.”
The lad allegedly owed the woman money and when he could not pay his debts she had him strung up, according to Mr Tuckey. Then the medium told the team the spirit had used the words ‘Jethart Justice’ and ‘lichwake’.
“Neither myself or anyone on the team had ever the term Jethart Justice and, to be honest, it sounded just like gobbledegook to me,” Mr Tuckey told The Southern this week. “It was only when we did some research on the internet that we discovered it meant hanging someone first, then holding a trial afterwards. As for the term ‘lichwake’, it appears to refer to the wake or watch kept over a corpse prior to its burial.”
With Newport more than 300 miles from Jedburgh, the intrepid investigators were unable to unearth any proof that the tragic stable boy had links to the Borders town or even Scotland.
“We have not been able to uncover any connections between the stable lad and Scotland at all, but that doesn’t mean to say he didn’t have any,” added Mr Tuckey.
As for the five pence pieces, investigators believe the coins are similar to some of those used in the 18th century – and the long-departed stable lad is still attempting to pay off his debt.
Mr Tuckey said the Isle of Wight is now believed to be one of the most haunted places in the world, adding: “We get a great many visitors from the mainland and the Castle Inn is a very popular visit for those interested in the paranormal.”