Volunteer Baker Street: Profile of a haunted London pub


The Volunteer Baker Street in London comes with a centuries old ghost that haunts the pub with spooky footsteps, says RICK HALE

The Volunteer, Haunted London Pub
The Volunteer Pub in Baker Street is one of London’s most haunted pubs

The Volunteer Baker Street

245-247 Baker Street
Marylebone, NW1 6XE

Baker Street in the London area of Marylebone – the City of Westminster – was made immortal in the late 19th century, when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put pen to paper and gave the world, Sherlock Holmes.

Besides the world’s greatest consulting detective aside, Baker Street is home to another mystery, The Volunteer, a popular local pub that is known for being haunted by a former owner who met a tragic end centuries ago.

History Of The Volunteer Baker Street

Many centuries before the Volunteer occupied the land, a large mansion sat there.

The mansion was owned and occupied by the fabulously wealthy and powerful, the Nevilles, a family that enjoyed a great deal of influence in 17th century London.

Unfortunately, their power and influence came to an end in 1645, when a fire broke out, possibly due to a faulty fireplace.

The locals did everything they could to put the fire out, but all their efforts were for nought.

The raging inferno burned the mansion to the ground taking the entire Neville family with it.

The land sat vacant until the 1800s when a new building was constructed in its place.

The Volunteer got its unique name during World War II, when the building was used as a recruiting station for all the eager young men who wanted to fight Hitler and his Nazi regime.

The Haunting Of The Volunteer pub

The building that houses the popular pub has long been believed to be haunted.

Even when it was used as a recruiting station, the soldiers who staffed it reported hearing eerie noises and strange sightings when they were alone in the building at night.

However, it wouldn’t be until the pub opened that reports of ghostly phenomena believed to be caused by a singular ghost became evident.

The Ghost Of Rupert Neville

According to the staff and owners of the Volunteer, the pub appears to be haunted by the ghost of Rupert Neville, the powerful owner of the mansion that burned to the ground centuries ago.

And he is by no means shy in making his presence abundantly known.

A Cultured Gentleman

The spirit of Rupert Neville has been described as a cultured, well-dressed gentleman in a surcoat and breeches.

Although his spirit is most active in the cellar where it was believed Neville died, he is seen throughout the building.

Unexplained Footsteps

Neville has been known to manifest in the bar area, startling unwitting patrons and staff alike.

The sound of heavy boots, believed to be Neville’s, has been heard on the hardwood floors.

Many patrons have heard the footsteps walk up to their table and stop, giving them the impression someone was watching them while they enjoyed their meal and drinks.

Fascination With Electricity

Rupert Neville also appears to have an obsession with the modern convenience of electricity.

Neville has been blamed for flicking the lights on and off. Especially, when the Volunteer is having a good night.

The Volunteer Baker Street is next door to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. And it’s just a short walk from the well-manicured gardens of Regent’s Park.

The Volunteer is well known for offering a fun atmosphere and great hospitality, an attribute most London pubs are famous for.

The Christmas season is particularly special as the pub offers an extensive Christmas menu and a variety of holiday ales, craft beers and wines.

If you should visit The Volunteer On Baker Street, be sure to ask the staff about their resident ghost. They enjoy telling their personal stories of the ghost of Rupert Neville.

Have you experienced anything supernatural in the Volunteer? Tell us in the comment section below!


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