The landlords of a Merseyside pub which was almost destroyed by a fire believe a mysterious curse is to blame.
The blaze at the 250-year-old Magazine Hotel in Wallasey caused £200,000 worth of damage and left managers Linda and Les Baxendale living in a caravan for three months.
A small fabric witch figure which hung from the ceiling of the main bar was stolen two nights before the fire.
And with a history of accidents befalling those who dared to touch it, the couple are convinced the two are connected.
The official cause was a power surge which blew up the pub’s fuse box, starting a fire.
Linda, 59, said: “Part of the history of the pub is the two witches and a little devil, all made from brown felt, which were hanging by the bar.
“No-one knows exactly how long they were there and we don’t know who gave them to the pub but we think they were there for at least 100 years.
“They were covered in cobwebs and dust because we were told that if anyone touched them bad things would happen to them.”
Read more: Liverpool Echo