The Ye Olde Man & Scythe, a 765-year-old pub in in Bolton, England, has been haunted by the ghost of James Stanley, the seventh earl of Derby, since he was beheaded outside the pub in 1651. That is until recently, when a Chinese artist named Lu Pingyuan caught the ghost in “a symbolic act in reaction to the UK’s colonialist past, which saw great losses of both tangible and intangible cultural assets by other nations.”
Pub owner Richard Greenwood told the Bolton News that he has asked the artist for the ghost’s return:
“I feel very strongly that James Stanley’s ghost should remain in Bolton and at Ye Olde Man and Scythe to preserve the natural order of things. That said I do believe that your exhibition should travel and be seen by many people around the world and I would like to contribute to this as long as at the end of your exhibition it returns home.”
Lu claims the ghost agreed to be captured and used as part of a traveling art exhibit. And afterwards, the ghost may or may not return to the pub, it’s up to him.
“My original thought is that after the world tour of exhibitions, I will discuss with him and ask him whether he would prefer to stay like this, as a piece of art, or go back to the Ye Olde Man and Scythe,” the artist was quoted as saying.
So, I guess it’s up to the ghost whether he prefers life at the pub or hobnobbing with the international glitterati.
Below, ACTUAL FOOTAGE of the ghost, haunting the pub after hours. (via HuffPo)