England's most haunted pubs

by Katie Rowe

Category: History & heritage
October 7 2014

Order a pint, pull up a pew and make friends with all manner of ghosts and ghouls in one of these haunted pubs...

Haunch of Venison in Salisbury. Credit: shrinkin'violet on Flickr.

Haunch of Venison, Wiltshire

Have a bevvy with the Grey Lady and a one-handed demented whist player who had his hand chopped off after cheating in a card game. Held up by enormous, age-old oak beams thought to come from early sailing vessels, this inn dates back to around 1320 when the building housed craftsmen working on Salisbury Cathedral’s spire. 

The White Hart, Kent

You’ll definitely need a stiff drink after exploring this watering hole. The pub was built in the 1800s on the ruins of St Mary's church. The small park it sits next to was once a graveyard and you can still see the faded tombstones leaning against a wall, along with few loitering ghosts. And if that wasn’t enough to get you quivering with fear and spilling your pint all over the place, the pub's cellar was once a mortuary and there is still a body chute down there amongst the beer barrels. 

The Lord Crewe Arms Hotel, County Durham

Nestled in one of England’s six ancient listed villages, The Lord Crewe Arms with its old stone-flagged floors is said to be the hangout of the ghost of Dorothy Forster, sister to Tom Forster, who served as general of the Jacobite army in the 1715 uprising. Once upon a time a 12th century Abbot's Priory, experience the pub's history for yourself by grabbing a drink and perching yourself next to giant fireplace in the Hilyard room. Once used for smoking and curing meat, it was also a hiding place for Tom Forster during the rebellion; take a peek inside the chimney and you’ll see the hiding hole.

The Hatchet Inn, Bristol

The Hatchet Inn dates back to 1606 and is a now a grade II-listed building. Pretty impressive but the real draw of this pub is actually its creepy door. Local legend has it that the front door of pub, beneath the paint and tar, is covered with human skin and as you’d expect, full of ghouls and nowadays, tattooed Goths. Once an old inn for rural folk, it’s now one of Bristol’s leading rock and alternative venues. 

The Well House, Devon

Pop by for a pint and a peek at the collection of bones on display in this tavern’s cellar. Rumour has it they belong to John the monk and Martha the nun, who threw themselves down the well in a union of death – how romantic! Apparently, lights turn on by themselves, burglar alarms go off for no reason, black-gowned women drift around and the scent of strong perfume lingers in the air. 

Find more eerie holiday ideas, including ghost tours and haunted attractions.

Katie Rowe

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