Oct 31 2006 Gareth Rogers, South Wales Echo
Echo reporter braves ghosts of old inn's haunted cellar With Halloween looming, we sent reporter Gareth Rogers reports on his experiences in a haunted hostelry Ghosts have always been something that happen to other people.
But just stepping through the creaky door of the Maltsters Arms in Pontypridd, I knew it was time to finally confront my ignorance.
The spooky building, built in the early 1800s, shows its age and has all the features of a great ghostly den.
I was encouraged to visit the Maltsters by Clare White of the South Wales Paranormal Research team.
She told me: 'That place is spooky. We spent a whole night in the cellar because we had heard that a white lady paces around there at night.'
Manager Sarah Gleeve was very eager to introduce me to her cellar-dwelling lodger.
She said: 'I have never seen the ghost, but I have heard all about it and a lot of staff have been scared to go down the cellar on their own in the past.
'The previous managers had the pub for 30 years and the wife would never go down there alone.'
Slightly concerned that this mystical being was lurking in a dark corner of the pub's cellar, I sought re-assurance from some of the locals.
Kim Jenkins, 21, used to work in the pub and is still a regular.
She said: 'I have heard that the pub used to be a hotel and the cellar is actually where the maid's chamber used to be.
'Many people believe that the white lady might be a maid from the hotel.
'While I was working here, I remember seeing something that creeped me out.
'I could feel something following me down the stairs and I looked back and saw a hand on the rail.
'It faded away but it was very scary.'
As I was about to run back out of the door, Sarah grabbed me and marched me down the creaky staircase to the cellar.
Stood in near darkness, I shook every time a passing car caused the rickety window to vibrate.
Sarah pointed to the fire escape and said: 'That is where she goes, she walks across the floor from left to right.'
Intrigued, I watched each flicker of light shine through the window for as long as I could - until I can honestly say I was too spooked to stay there.
I could smell the damp in the ancient brick and feel a cold draught running through the middle of the bar.
Every time the pub's main doors closed, the vibration reverberated through the whole building.
As I took refuge upstairs, every door slamming and floorboard creaking reminded me that something - or someone - could be watching me.
I finally started to doubt my own scepticism when the barman crept up behind me to take my glass, sending a shiver through my spine.
And before you ask, that was not a fear of having to buy another round.
If there was a real ghoul, she did not make herself known to me - but I've never been quite so glad to leave after an evening in the pub.