Chester has its fair share of haunted pubs, and the Ye Olde King’s Head on Lower Bridge Street is no different.
There are quite a few eerie tales associated with this Chester ale house, so much so, it was featured on TV’s Most Haunted programme only two years ago.
In fact when the team were filming the show at the pub, odd knocking noises could be heard throughout the process.
But what’s the story behind Ye Olde King’s Head?
Ghost investigation website Parascience states that the main story associated with the pub involves a woman who delivered a car to a Chester car dealer on New Years Eve 1982. Because of the date, she decided to book into a room at the pub and was housed in room 6 for the night.
Bear in mind, there are two different ways of getting to room 6 - one by using an old and little stairway or via a longer route by the more modern and wider staircase.
At around 2am, the woman woke suddenly, with an intense feeling that something was not quite right. She heard a clock strike 2, and felt a sensation of cold, with a feeling that her hair was standing on end.
As she turned her head she saw a man dressed in black silently watching her and she felt confused as to how a stranger had managed to enter a locked bedroom. But when she challenged the man, he just carried on gazing at her.
Yet, according to Parascience, the woman no longer felt alarmed, but rather felt a sensation of peace and tranquillity. The apparition remained for about 15 minutes before vanishing and the woman was so in awe of the soothing and comforting atmosphere that she booked to stay another night.
Later, the pub’s landlady professed to be unaware of the ghost, but recalled being very reluctant to use the small staircase adjacent to rooms 4,5 and 6, favouring the the more modern staircase.
Mary Ann Cameron, who wrote the book Chester City of Ghosts, learned a bit more about the pub when researching her work.
One man told her he’d booked a relative and her son in there and when the woman went to bed, the son went out exploring the town. She had told him to let her know when he retutned safe and was reassured when he tried her locked door later that night.
The next morning she thanked him for coming to her room the previous night to tell her he had got back safe. But he hadn’t - he’d gone straight to bed.
Mary Ann says: “There are so many instances of ghost activity that the current landlord keeps a file of all the accounts written by overnight guests. It makes very interesting reading - they all tell of being scared by drawers opening, wardrobe doors banging, children running up and down the corridors. But although they are scared, they all want to return!”
Chester City of Ghosts is on sale at The Victoria pub, Beatons Tea Rooms, Tea on the Wall and Sally’s Secret Garden. All profits go to St John’s church.