Ghost Story of the Day: Ripon's friendly ghost

Visitors to the Unicorn Hotel have still spotted Tom today
Visitors to the Unicorn Hotel have still spotted Tom today

One of the oldest and most historic inns in the cathedral city has a freaky friend that still gives the guests a chilling reception...

Poll tax returns suggest that the Unicorn Hotel has stood in the Market Place in the city of Ripon since 1379.

For several decades from the 1760's, the Unicorn Hotel was famous for a character called Tom Crudd, also known as Thomas Spence or "Old Boots".

This extraordinary man was well-known for his peculiar features which included an enormous nose and chin which enabled him to hold a coin between them.

As a servant of the Unicorn, Tom would wait on travellers who arrived at the inn, and assist them in taking off their boots.

Guests were so absorbed with his odd appearance that they would frequently give him a coin on the condition that he held it between his abnormally large facial features.

Although he is said to have died in 1762 many visitors to the Unicorn Hotel which still stands today say that he hasn't really left and the inn is still his favourite place to be.

Spooked guests have also reported seeing a ghostly apparition of young boy peering through a window on the top floor of the hotel.

No reports of any evil entity here but for more spooktastic tales head over to the Haunted Harrogate Facebook page