The Smugglers Haunt Hotel, Brixham, Devon

The Smugglers Haunt Hotel provided me with a delightful conundrum as I set about researching its ghostly occupants.

Chris Hudson, the manager, told me that I might like to contact the Torquay police who, apparently, had its ghostly happenings on file.

Intrigued, I duly phoned the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and asked if it might be possible to view the file.

The operator patiently explained that in order to see a file I must go through Data Protection, and connected me with a lady who was most interested in my "unusual request.".

My query, however, posed a little problem since "technically Data Protection only protects the living, "and so, officially, ghosts do not come under its remit.

Since the resources of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are more directed to the activities of the living, I was left to piece together the hauntings of The Smugglers Haunt from local folklore.

Despite its name, neither of its two ghosts is that of a smuggler.

The first and most persistent is that of a young girl who fell to her death from an upstairs window at a time generally agreed to have been 'around the 1920s'.

She is known simply as 'Aggie' (or sometimes 'our Aggie' ), and her mischievous sprite often disturbs those sleeping in the room from which she took her tumble, by tugging the bedclothes off them in the middle of the night.

There is also a ghostly man, said to be aged about 40, who wears an ankle-length raincoat, sports a flat cap and always appears sitting at a particular table in the bar.

Evidently he enjoys the hospitality, and since he bothers no one, the management are more than happy to simply let him be.