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The Catherine Wheel, Sandford-on-Thames

The Catherine Wheel, Sandford-on-Thames

Ghost of the Sandyman at the Catherine Wheel

28 April 2022

The Catherine Wheel pub in Sandford-on-Thames is reported to be haunted by the ghost of a former landlord, referred to by locals as the Sandyman.

A ghost behind the bar

In Supernatural Stories, Ghost Stories and Strange Tales from Oxford & Shire, John Richardson tells of meeting a landlady of the Catherine Wheel named Mrs. Harris who encountered the ghost shortly after taking over the pub.

While alone in the pub she was surprised to see the figure of a man leaning against the bar where no man had stood a moment before. The figure stared at her intently while she stood transfixed, before vanishing into thin air.

A map showing Sandford-on-Thames circa 1910

A map circa 1910, showing the Catherine Wheel.

She described the ghost as wearing dark trousers, a dark waistcoat and a white shirt, and being about 5 foot 9 inches tall. The identity of the man remained a mystery until Mrs. Harris described the man to another woman who had worked at the pub much longer than she had.

The woman recognised the description as matching the appearance of a previous landlord who had owned the pub some 30 years previously.

Despite the shock of his sudden appearance and disappearance, Mrs. Harris said that she did not feel the ghost was malevolent, more that he simply enjoyed being in a place where he had been happy during life.


  1. 'Supernatural Stories, Ghost Stories and Strange Tales from Oxford & Shire' By John Richardson (Lulu.com, 2018, ISBN: 9780244202972)