HAUNTED HOTEL: The Criterion turns 100 this year
HAUNTED HOTEL: The Criterion turns 100 this year Sophie Lester

Ghosts show up for pub party

IF YOU have ever wanted to get up close and personal with ghosts, this is the year to meet guests at Warwick's Criterion Hotel who checked ... but never checked out.

From a floating old lady who walks through the pub's walls to phantom children staring out of the upstairs windows, you may find yourself joined by a creepy guest or two at the hotel's big birthday bash.

The building turns 150 in October and the hotel, which was rebuilt in 1917, will celebrate its centenary. Manager Kylie Jenner said ghosts have already settled in for celebrations that kick off in April.

"Most of the ghosts associated with the hotel are young children and there have been more sighting of them lately, as well as the original owner Mrs Allman who has been watching closely over the hotel from the verandah, Ms Jenner said without a hint of irony.

"They have known for a few months that celebrations will start soon and are making their presence felt. It sounds weird but it's true.”

There will be plenty of opportunities to meet these friends of the pub who checked in to the Criterion Hotel ... and never checked out. The six months of birthday celebrations will include high teas, themed banquets and regular ghost tours.

Hotel chef Rosina Oliver is working on a menu from the 1860s for the celebrations to include food that some of the hotel's first guests would have supped on.

"We have found a wonderful historic recipe book from the era that includes recipes for prickly pear jam, ginger beer, raspberry pudding and timbale of turkey,” Ms Jenner said.

"The hotel was very much a hotel for sheep graziers so we will mark that with a mutton and damper dinner. There will also be other themed meals each week such as corned beef and white sauce.”

A plaque will be unveiled to mark the anniversary and a priest will bless the hotel, Ms Jenner said.



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