10:30 - 02 February 2006
'GHOSTLY' goings-on at O'Keef's restaurant in King Street, Tamworth, have caused such a stir among staff they're delving deep into the site's secrets to uncover its history.
With a spring-hinged door mysteriously opening and closing and a 'human-like' shadow regularly appearing on a wall, manager Declan Cook thinks the place could be haunted.
"We had a refurbishment in October and it's started since then," he told the Herald.
"Staff started saying they were catching a glimpse of a shadow out of the corner of their eye. But when they looked again, it was gone.
"The weirdest thing is that a heavy door - one that swings shut automatically - keeps opening and shutting on its own.
"There's no breeze that could do that, and there's no-one near the door when it happens."
The door leads down a corridor to the toilet area, and while the restaurant is busy with people, keeping track when it's opening and closing isn't possible.
"There have been times in the late afternoon or early evening when we know there's no-one down there and the door still opens about a foot wide on its own and then closes again."
On Saturday night, a customer apparently emerged from the corridor in a bit of a state after seeing 'something black' in the corridor.
"I just wonder if during the refurbishment we didn't disturb something," Declan added.
"I've heard there might be a tunnel leading from St Editha's Church to the castle which could run under this area - meaning people could have been using this underground passage for centuries.
"If anyone can help us uncover the history of this place, what was here before, we want to know about it."
Resident Herald historian, John Harper, says as far as he is aware, the site on which O'Keef's now stands used to be out-houses.
"Rumours of a tunnel surface every so often, but there's no evidence for one. I doubt you'd be able to tunnel through the Norman Keep the castle stands on," he added.