Poltergeists at the Plough Inn, Clifton Hampden
3 March 2021 (Updated 1 February 2023)
The picturesque thatch-roofed Plough Inn is now a bed & breakfast, but the building is that of a public house dating back to the 17th century.
A number of supernatural experiences have been reported, including doors opening by themselves, inexplicable sounds and 'a sort of bluish light' that fills the bar.
According to Roger Long's Curious Oxford, the poltergeist activity may be motivated by dislike of alcohol! On a number of occasions glasses of drink have been upended and smashed by an invisible hand, including the landladies own glass in 1966.
The Plough Inn is also said to be home to be the spirit of a dog, but unlike the sinister 'black dog' varieties said to haunt other parts of the county, this canine just wants some attention! It is said to be the ghost of a former pet who is never seen but politely demands attention by nudging pub patrons in the legs or back.
It is worth noting that both the above spectres provide a convenient excuse for having dropped your pint!
The ghost of John Hampden
The final ghost said to haunt the Plough Inn is that of politician John Hampden (1595 - 1643), who, alongside the likes of John Pym and Oliver Cromwell, was one of the main drivers for the overthrowing of Charles I at the start of the Civil War. Hampden died after bullet wounds he sustained at the Battle of Chalgrove Field became infected, but, according to Roger Long, in life he was a regular at the Plough Inn.
It is possible that the tales of John Hampden at the Plough Inn may have been confused with (or borrowed from) another similarly-named location. John Hampden lived 25 miles away at Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire and after his death his wake took place at the nearby Plough Inn at Cadsden, surely making the latter a shoe-in for a haunting!
- 'Haunted Inns and Taverns' by Andrew Green (ISBN: 0747802947)
- 'Curious Oxfordshire' by Roger Long (Sutton Publishing, 2008, ISBN: 9780750949576)