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A Maidenhead Pub Ghost
'Bob' the friendly Hobgoblin

If drinkers at the Hobgoblin in Maidenhead High St start seeing things just before closing time, it might not be the spirits they've knocked back playing tricks on them. For landlords, Paul and Dee Dealt, claim to run a haunted public house with a resident ghost called Bob.

Since December, when the Deans took over the Hobgoblin, there have been a series of spooky incidents, noises and things that go bump in the light ale. Coats are moved, money goes missing and mysteriously returns, the beer taps are turned on and off and footsteps come and go. All the pub's nine staff and the Deans' three children, Denise (14), Liana (12) and Michael (6), claim they have experienced a "presence" in the building.

They started hearing the sound of bottles and glasses clinking, when no-one was in the bar, just before Christmas. It was on Boxing Day that the ghost became particularly active. Dee (34) said, "We were sitting upstairs playing Trivial Pursuit and the counter started moving on its own. Nobody was touching it." The plastic counter slid two places, the number on the dice. That night Liana went to bed and placed her new silver necklace by her bed. The next day she woke up and could not find it. When her mother went into the cellar, through two locked doors, to turn on the beer taps, she discovered the necklace in the middle of the floor.  Liana has also found herself locked in the bathroom several times, although the door has no lock or key. "It hasn't only happened to her," explained Dee. "I was locked in and pulled with all my might, but I still couldn't get it open. I had to call Paul to come and open the door from the outside."

On one occasion, barman, Brian Curran (20), was working alone behind the bar after hours when a pen lid flew out of nowhere and struck the back of his head. Another time, he was hit by paper clips. "I was looking in the mirror, but there was no-one there," he told the Advertiser. "It feels terrible in here when you are on your own. There is a really uneasy feeling."

None of the staff knows why they started calling the ghost Bob, it "just happened," but all believe he is friendly. Dee said: "Although some of the bar staff are frightened they don't see it is anything bad. Everyone just accepts it as Bob. Sometimes, when you come down here and it's dark and you know the room's empty and you hear glasses moving it does freak you out a little bit." One night, while staff were sitting talking about the ghost, the light went out suddenly, but the bulb was working the next morning. "It's as if he knows it's him we are talking about," said Dee.

Barman, Phil Cox (24), admitted he was spooked by the spectre and will not go into the cellar alone. "I have been here bottling up and the lights have gone on and off," he said. "I've got the biggest hang-up about being in the cellar on my own. It feels like there's someone else in there with you, someone you can't see." It's not just the humans who have noticed. Radar, the Deans' German Shepherd dog, has also felt the presence. Dee said he spent one night growling, with hackles raised at thin air. The previous landlord claimed to have seen a spectral figure sitting by the fire, said Dee. "Anyone is sceptical until something happens to them," she said. "I'm sceptical myself, but I know things happen. I don't know whether I actually believe it's a ghost. I want to look at things scientifically."

Maidenhead Advertiser 10th February 1995


    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.