Readers of the Leader love a pub story and a spooky tale, so what better than a combination of the two?!

Pamela Cartlidge, who grew up in Gwersyllt, and now lives in Cardiff, has taken the supposed haunting of a Wrexham pub as inspiration for her latest book.

In Waltzing With Ghosts, the 69-year-old author, takes the experience of friends at the Golden Grove Inn, in Burton, Rossett, and turns it into a new spine-chilling but amusing mystery.

Here Pamela explains...


Author Pamela Cartlidge.

Author Pamela Cartlidge.


There were always rumours of the old coaching house, the Golden Grove Inn, being haunted, though I never met anyone who had actually seen anything.

Then last year three of my friends told me of a paranormal experience they had had whilst having a drink at the old inn.

They’d just sat down to share a bottle of wine when the bottle lifted itself up off the table and began to move to the right.

My friend Kirsty grabbed it, thinking she’d accidentally knocked the table. She poured the drinks and then put the bottle down.

Once again the bottle lifted and tried to move to the right. Each friend accused the other of ‘messing’ about, so they all pushed their chairs back and put their hands up in the air, but again the bottle rose and would have (or would it?) crashed to the floor, if Joy hadn’t reached out to grab it.

Quickly, they shared the rest of the wine and Joy held onto the bottle. Knowing their husbands were coming to pick them up, so they didn’t have to worry about drinking and driving, Jess went to the bar and asked for another bottle of wine.

Pub with a ghost? Tell all in our Pub of the Week feature

Casually she told the bartender what she’d seen. "Oh, old James up to his tricks again eh?" he replied and laughed.

When pressed for more information he couldn’t give, the bartender moved away to serve another customer, so Jess returned to her seat with the second bottle. The same charade happened again.

Each friend kept hold of the wine bottle to stop it moving. They never knew who 'James' was, and it was some time after the incident, and when the pub had sadly been demolished, that they told me their story.

I’d moved from Wrexham at that time, so didn’t see my friends so often.

Jess recalled that a grave stone with the name 'James' on it had been put up against the old fireplace near where they had been sitting and sipping their wine.


Did the Golden Grove Inn serve up spirits of the haunted kind?

Did the Golden Grove Inn serve up spirits of the haunted kind?


This tale inspired me to write a humorous ghost story and turn it into a novel, which includes my three friends (their names have been changed, but they know who they are.)

Waltzing with Ghosts centres on a group of friends who campaign to save on old coaching inn from demolition.

In the end they decide to buy it themselves as a co-operative and live in it together. Being of a certain age, the appeal of growing old with their friends in a 13th century coaching inn is irresistible.

However, as soon as they move in, the anticipated peace and quiet is soon pierced, as the ghosts make their presence known.

The new residents find themselves spending a lot of their time doing research on the old pubs in the area to try to find a connection with their phantoms.

Their research unearths some unusual stories about Rossett and its inns, and despite some of the odd paranormal disturbances, they have a good time solving the mystery!

• Waltzing with Ghosts is available at, in paperback and Kindle format.