Over the weekend it has been reported that a ghostly wine connoisseur has been making its feelings known about the wine list at the Court Oak in Harborne, Birmingham. The pub is part of the Sizzling chain and was built in 1932. However it is thought that the pub was built on the site of a 17th century town gallows.
The Guardian quoted Pub manager Anne Tyler as saying the ghost had given its opinion about the wine on offer every Halloween for the last few years. She said smashed bottles of red and white house wine were discovered in the cellar until the selection was upgraded. Due to the ghost’s penchant for wine he has been nicknamed Corky.
Nuala Gallagher, of Sizzling Pubs, said: “It isn’t so much things that go bump in the night as things going smash in the night at the Court Oak
People have spotted the figure of a man, aged about 60, behind the bar and the staff have felt his presence numerous times over the years.
But it is Corky’s insistence on certain wines that set him apart as a spirit.
“It only ever happens at this time of year when Halloween is in sight. If the pub has a house wine that is not to his liking, he makes his feelings known by smashing bottle after bottle of it in the cellar until it is changed for a wine he approves of.”
A quick check of the Court Oak’s wine list shows a selection from Lindeman’s, Blossom Hill, Gallo and Barefoot wines. If the ghost is smashing these wines then he is a gentleman with a discerning palate!. I wonder if the landlord has ever thought about the ghost liking claret as he clearly has taste?
Corky is not the only spectre that frequents the pub, an apparition of a woman dressed in black and white also haunts the Court Inn. Local legend has it that the woman was tried and executed on a charge of ‘infanticide’ – a crime that she didn’t actually commit.
There have been several paranormal investigations at the pub which have recorded ghostly activity but ghost hunters have checked the history of the Harborne area and failed to turn up any leads regarding the site of the town gallows, or any reference to the murder and /or execution.