The Ghost of The White Hart, Bristol

August 28, 2018

The Reasons Why so Many British Pubs are Haunted 





Across the UK older public houses often boast about having a resident ghost and stories of flying glasses and disgruntled old landlords are retold, exaggerated and with imagination perhaps loosened by liquor, locals swap stories across the fireplace on a cold winters night. Part of the olde worlde charm of a historic building has to be its bygone tales of famous travellers that once frequented there. With creaking wooden doors, beams adorned with horse brasses that tell of a time forgotten is it any wonder that so many of our locals herald these stories and even host popular paranormal investigations after dark, once guests have of course consumed a delicious supper and swapped ghost stories?


But could there be more to the phenomenon of a haunted public house than mere folklore? What if there were a plausible reason behind the hauntings of so many buildings of similar history than just merely it being “old”?


I was once the landlady of one such pub. In Bristol city centre, on Lower Maudlin Street stands The White Hart. Built in 1672, this boozer positions itself by the cities central bus station, it is a buzzing and lively place. Think of welcoming hearty pub lunches with homemade pie and hand cut chips, Greene King ale, and karaoke in the evenings and you'd be close. Regulars frequent the bar, travellers stop for refreshments between bus journeys and students liven up the weekends. But take away its colourful customers and vibrant young culture the building is reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Bristol.


Legend states that two brothers in the 1600’s once owned the pub had a dispute over some land and during a furious fight one murdered the other there. “George,” as the locals affectionately call his ghost, now roams the buildings still angry at his untimely violent death and seeks revenge. Bar staff regularly place a vase of flowers on the bar to keep him happy. On my first evening as landlady of The White Hart, indeed George did make himself known to us! As apparently was expected for all new landlords, all the lights in the bar cut out with no apparent cause. Forced to serve the beer by candlelight that night, we listened with a mixture of horror and amusement to stories told to us by the delighte