BOLTON’S oldest pub could be big in Japan — after a film crew from the country flew to the UK to document ghostly sightings at the historic boozer.
Regulars at Ye Olde Man and Scythe have seen many strange sights over the years — including, some say, ghosts at the haunted public house — but none so strange as the team from Fuji TV who travelled 6,000 miles to try to catch a glimpse of a ghoul.
Fuji TV — one of Japan’s largest television stations — selected the pub in Churchgate as one of its stops in filming a show on paranormal activity in the UK.
And producers were baffled as to why the pub still remained popular with locals — despite its spooky reputation.
The pub’s owner Richard Greenwood said: “They just could not understand why we were not bothered about the sightings. They said in Japan nobody would go near the place.
“It was funny watching their faces as I told the stories, but they were really nice guys and it all seemed to go well.
“They seemed happy with what they filmed and the regulars enjoyed it. It’s all a bit of fun.”
The pub hit the headlines after three ghostly sightings were caught on film, with a CCTV clip of a strange figure appearing at the end of the bar while the pub was closed, becoming an internet sensation.
After a tour of the pub, which included the spots of the recent sightings, the crew asked questions about its history and chatted to regulars.
Mr Greenwood said Fuji did not say when the footage would be aired, but promised to send him some footage, once it has been broadcast. In February, two reporters from The Bolton News spent the night at the pub — which dates back to 1251 — on the hunt for any spooky presences.
Earlier this month, a picture taken from an upper floor of a nearby building appeared to show a mysterious figure in one of the pub’s upstairs windows, while the landlord was working downstairs.
The pub is the fourth oldest in Britain and is said to be haunted by James Stanley, the Seventh Earl of Derby, with his execution chair still on display next to the bar.
The Royalist, whose family originally owned the inn, spent the last hours of his life there before being beheaded in 1651, during the Civil War.