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The Royal Victoria & Bull Hotel, Dartford

The Royal Victoria & Bull Hotel on High Street in Dartford is Grade II Listed and dates from 1703.  Originally it was a large coaching inn on the London to Canterbury and Dover road. This amazing old building has a reputation of being haunted and according to Anna Dubuis in her article ‘The ghosts and legends of north Kent’ which appeared in the Gravesend Reporter on 31 October 2012. ‘In the Victoria and Bull Hotel in Dartford, their in-house guest makes no secret of her presence.

Her picture hangs in the 500-year-old hotel as a memory of a little girl called Winifred who died there of tuberculosis centuries ago.

Frozen in time as an eight-year-old, she is as petulant as any other child.

Deputy manager Kerry Bishop said: “If she can’t get her own way, she smashes glasses.

When we had our refurbishment she broke so many. She did it the other day.

“She doesn’t like noise and change. You can see her in the corner of your eye running across the balcony.”

The hotel has other ghostly residents including the cavalier – whose presence is smelt from the cigar he smokes – and a dog that warms the feet of guests.

Seven years working there and Kerry hasn’t been given the creeps.

“They can’t hurt you, so I don’t mind. Some guests get scared but some don’t,” she said.

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: The Royal Victoria & Bull Hotel, Dartford

I found the following witness account on the World of Ghosts website:

Many years ago I worked at the above mentioned establishment. It was an old coaching inn, and therefore full of history and, not surprisingly, stories of ghosts. Many of which one hears so often on starting somewhere that one tends to ignore them.

Now, the main bar of this place was the old courtyard, which had since been glassed over. The older rooms still lined the balcony around this courtyard whilst the newer ones were in a separate block.

Anyway, every night around 11:30 ish I used to catch a glimpse of someone walking along this balcony. Of course, when I looked nobody was there. I always assumed it was the ghost, but never had the proof I needed.

Then one night......

Instead of running the bar, I was cashing up in the reception/office area (located on the same level as some of the rooms, and the balconys). It'd been quiet, and I'd done all I could before closing, so i was taking a breather, and leaning over the desk. This is when I noticed what looked like a part of a figure moving up the stairs. Best way to describe it is to say imagine looking at dust falling through light as it comes in through a window. Now, imagine that, only without the light, and without the window. Then imagine that in the form of a body from around the waist up to the top of the shoulders, after which it faded, and moving up the stairs at walking pace. It then disappeared, and reappeared further up the stairs, before disappearing once again.

For some strange reason i wasn't scared, just fascinated by this, and was able to look around for possible explanations (lighting etc) but could find nothing.

That, ladies and gents, was my first, and to date only, experience that I cannot find any possible explanation for other than ghost!



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