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Sir Roger Moore was shaken (but not stirred) by ghostly visitations
Pictured at a photographer’s Belgravia studio in London, 1973 (Photo: Allan Warren)

ON CINEMA and television screens, when playing the roles of action heroes James Bond and Simon Templar, Sir Roger Moore displayed no fear.

But off screen the popular actor, who passed on in May at the age of 89, admitted to an encounter that scared him. Two ghostly visitations at a hotel in Guildford, Surrey, just south of London, had freaked him out, he confessed.

One of his first movies was shot in the town and he returned on a number of occasions for book signings and talks.

Roger Moore as James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me (Photo: United Artists)   
Roger Moore as James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me
(Photo: United Artists)

The paranormal encounter that spooked him occurred in 1973, when he was staying at The Angel Inn, reputedly one of the town’s most haunted buildings, parts of which date back to the 13th century. Among the ghosts reported are nuns seen walking down staircases and a 19th century Eastern European soldier who is said to have stared at a couple out of their room’s mirror for so long that the husband was able to sketch the face.

Describing his experience to the county’s online news website Get Surrey in 2015, Sir Roger revealed that his experience happened in 1973, the year he first played secret agent Bond in Live And Let Die. His debonair style and mellifluous voice fitted the part of secret agent 007 perfectly, particularly when he ordered his Martini cocktails “shaken, not stirred”.

Sir Roger appeared in seven Bond films – more than any other actor – from 1973 to 1985. He subsequently became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, being knighted in 2003 for “services to charity”.

Get Surrey located Sir Roger’s original newspaper interview and republished it when announcing his death.

“I was frozen. I wanted to call out and scream, but couldn’t speak,” he explained, describing his initial reaction. “I was numb – paralysed from head to toe.

“I was sitting bolt upright in my bed and watching a white ghostly figure moving towards me. It was the apparition of a man. The shape of the body was clearly defined. There was a head, body and legs – but it was mist-like.

I was frozen. I wanted to call out and scream, but couldn’t speak   

“I pulled myself together, somehow calmed myself and then tried to communicate with the ghost. I said softly: ‘What do you want? Are you troubled?’

“As I went to move from the bed the ghost disappeared – just vanished!”

The apparition appeared again the following night.

“It returned at the exact same time – about 2am,” Sir Roger said. “I was petrified. I thought, ‘It’s after me. What does it want with me?’

“I tried to make contact once again, but to no avail. It vanished again.”

Roger Moore as James Bond in Moonraker (Photo: MGM/United Artists)
   Roger Moore as James Bond in Moonraker
(Photo: MGM/United Artists)

When the actor went up to the room on the third night, he found a Bible beside his bed – opened at the 23rd Psalm.

“I hadn’t put the Bible there or opened it,” he told his interviewer. “But that night the ghost did not appear.

“In the morning, the room maid asked me, ‘Did you see the ghost last night, sir?’

“I replied, ‘Good heavens! How do you know about it? No – I didn’t see it last night.’

“She said: ‘I didn’t think you would.’

“I left the hotel – but often think about the incident. I never found out what it was all about.”

A former maid at the hotel, Mavis Dunkley, was quoted in the original article, saying several staff knew of the ghost and that leaving the Bible open at the 23rd Psalm warded it off.

She added: “The maid in Mr Moore’s room probably put the Bible there because the ghost was on the prowl.”

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