A pub where punters travel for a tipple and a glance at a severed hand has been named as one of the "greatest pubs" in England.

The Haunch of Venison's pub has been listed in an upcoming book, Great Pubs of England, where the unique establishment managed to make the cut despite its paranormal oddities.

The Salisbury-based pub has an odd collection of attractions beyond the severed hand, including freaky anecdotes and memories of pints smashing to the floor and knives standing on end.

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That severed hand gives the pub its most intense and haunting moments of history, with the establishment dating back to the 1300s.

Established more than 700 years ago, the Haunch of Venison has allegedly been plagued by the severed hand and the spirit of its owner, who haunts the pub.

Many have reported first-hand counts of paranormal activity within the three-storey pub, including the owners themselves.

Once a church house and then a brothel, the now-pub is home to three small bars known as the Horsebox, Death Row and the House of Lords.

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The Haunch though is said to be haunted by the ghost of a gambling card player who was caught cheating in the 18th century.

Because locals thought the man's streak of luck was actually a sign he was cheating, the bloke who won a large sum of cash found his hand severed by a butcher.

Since then, the "Demented Whist Player's" mummified hand has been in the establishment, with more than a handful of paranormal events occurring since.

The hand was rediscovered in 1911 due to renovations and stuck into a display case, where both in 2004 and 2010, it was stolen, but both times returned.

Gambling man's hand is now locked away but still attracts more than a handful of people wanting to get a look at a ghoulish, mummified hand.

Writing of the Haunch of Venison in his upcoming book, Ruby Vitorino Moody said the establishment had a "wealth of paranormal activity" including a "secret" bar for Halloween.

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The establishment, Moody says, has "reports of skittering chairs and shattering candleholders (all, frustratingly, occurring just out of CCTV reach)."

That eerie, mummified hand though is still there "in a former bread oven by the inglenook, said to be forcibly excised from as punter after he was caught cheating," Daily Mail reported.

The hand currently on the premises, Moody revealed, is actually a replica, with the real hand of the unnamed gambler stuffed away in Salisbury museum.

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