Old Bull And Bush: A Traditional London Pub Full of Ghosts!


The Old Bull and Bush is one of the best and most haunted pubs in London, says RICK HALE

The Old Bull and Bush is a much loved pub in Hampstead, London, not only for its friendly atmosphere but it's history of hauntings!
The Old Bull and Bush is a much loved pub in Hampstead, London, not only for its friendly atmosphere but it’s history of hauntings!

The Old Bull And Bush

North End Way, Hampstead
London NW3 7HE

“Come, come, come and make eyes at me down at The Old Bull And Bush. Come, come have some port wine with me down at The Old Bull and Bush.”

These lyrics were sung by the wildly popular music hall singer, Florrie Forde about the Old Bull And Bush.

A Grade II listed public house in Hampstead, it is a London pub known for its cheerful atmosphere, good times and very active ghosts.

And a grisly discovery which some believe may be connected to fiendish 19th century serial killer, Jack the ripper.

History Of The Old Bull And Bush

According to historical records, the earliest known building was a farmhouse built in 1645.

Some time around 1721, the owner of the farm wanted to start his own business and obtained a license to sell ale.

William Hogarth, the painter and social critic, was a regular customer of the pub and had a hand in planning the pub’s garden.

In order to add a little entertainment for his patrons, landlord, Henry Humphries, obtained a license to play music in 1867.

The pub soon became a popular hangout, who fancied Florrie Forde, and her song, “Down at the Old Bull And Bush” – a song that’s played to this day in the pub.

The Haunting Of The Old Bull And Bush

The much loved Hampstead pub underwent several major renovations, the first in 1924 when it was owned by Coope Brewery.

Another in 1987, and lastly in 2006, when it was reopened to the public as a trendy gastropub.

It was following this 2006 renovation when folks began to notice something strange was going on in the pub.

Unexplained Noises

Over the years several staff have reported loud knocks and bangs issuing from the walls and ceiling.

Others have reported hearing the unmistakable sound of footsteps before opening the pub to the public and after closing.

Several have even reported the unnerving feeling that the footsteps appeared to be following them as they go about their daily duties.

The Sinister Victorian

The ghostly figure of a Victorian era man has been witnessed by both staff and patrons lurking about the pub.

Eyewitnesses have even gone so far as saying the spectre has an almost sinister feel to him when he appears and abruptly vanishes.

No one has ever been able to put a name to the ghost. But, some have a theory and it’s connected to a grisly discovery made in the 1980s.

The Skeleton

While completing the 1987 renovations, the owners of the pub were pulling down a wall in the cellar and made a disquieting discovery.

They found the skeletal remains of a man in Victorian era clothing behind the wall. What made the skeleton so strange, it was surrounded by surgical tools.

Somehow, someone offered the theory that the remains belonged to notorious serial killer, Jack the ripper and it was his ghost that haunted the pub.

Of course no one can really say for sure who the skeleton was in life. And, although the skeleton was given a proper burial the hauntings continue to this day.

What does The Old Bull and Bush offer?

The Old Bull And Bush, a North London institution, is well known for its intimate setting and hospitality.

The pub has a well stocked bar and well planned menu sure to please anyone who stops in for a drink and bite to eat.

And as with most haunted London pubs, the staff have no problem telling the curious patron of their experiences with the paranormal in their pub.

If you’ve ever visited the Old Bull And Bush, and had an experience, we invite you to tell us about it in the comment section.


  1. I was a carpenter working on the renovations 2006 or 07
    There was only 2 or 3 tradesman working on this particular day
    I remember I went to our metal toolbox situated in the corridor between the lounge and public bar by the double doors and all of a sudden I got a push in the back with so much force ,I turned back and there was nobody there , the two other carpenters were at the other end of the pub and the site agent was still in his office so It couldn’t of been them.
    There was no one else around that could of done it , I moved to another job a few weeks later renovating another pub when I met a carpenter who had done some snagging at the old bull and bush after I left there , he showed me footage on his phone of the double doors to the public bar and private bar by the corridor swinging open all four doors back and forth no other doors or windows, I then told him what happened to me.
    We’re open

  2. i lived in the pub for a short while, my Uncle was the tenant, i cant say anything about ghosts, the only noises i did hear was me shagging Adrianna the Italian Aupair.

  3. I go to OBB pub very often. The food is also great. I became aware of paranormal activities in the pub from the far side seating area. It’s a slightly elevated. There is a spot where any drink left on the table there will end up on the floor. The staff knows about this because at that spot there is always broken glass. I have witnessed more than ounce the glasses sliding off the table. It is indeed a very active place.

  4. My farther one day around the mid 80’s came home with a large old wooden framed painting of of the blue boy the frame was very old and it wasn’t until he passed away I found behind the boards on the reverse of the frame was a page from the day mail referring to the ongoing murders of Jack the Ripper. My farther was the Tennant of the Royal Oak Pub at temple fortune. He had a friend who was the Tennant at the old bull and bush. This is where the picture came from.

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