In a northern town, famous for witches and whale-backed hills, there were,
at the time of this story, fourteen pubs in the main street. At least two of them
were haunted. The Dog Inn, at the top of town, had a grey lady.
She sometimes showed up in the bar and scared guests who’d hired a room for the night.
The Bull Inn had a severed hand that crawled across the bar after closing time.
People in the town spread this rumour so often that the truth of the matter
became absorbed into the town’s psyche.
I loved the place.
I never saw any ghosts but I did see a giant with a rucksack on his back.
It was dusk and hazy and my friend saw him too.
I haven’t been back in over a quarter of a century. But this evening,
as she draws the curtain on a new moon the notion of truth, substance
in a rumour sinks in, takes hold of the mind like a glass of good ale.