Charles Dickens was not only famous for his classic books, but also his ghost stories, ‘A Christmas Carol’ being the most popular, ‘The Signalman’ the eeriest. Dickens, who spent much of his time wandering through the streets of historic Rochester, was inspired by the cobbled streets, crooked alleyways, ancient ruins, and twisted gravestones which litter the town.
In fact, Rochester, and more so at Christmas, is the perfect setting for a ghost story, and not all of these tales are fictional – even the spectre of Mr Dickens is said to haunt the High Street. On the last Sunday of every month, beginning at 7:30 pm the Haunted Rochester Ghost Walk takes place. This unique tour begins outside the Medway Little Theatre, opposite Rochester’s haunted railway station and runs for almost two hours and explores the darkest corners of this beautiful place. Conducted by Count Von Dickens, the tour looks at many haunted shops, bars, pubs, and old buildings such as Eastgate House, and winds its way past the looming castle – said to be haunted by a white lady and black monk – and also the cathedral, which has a handful of spooks. As the night draws in and the suspense heightens, the walk descends into the shadows of The Vines, heads towards Restoration House and then back to St Margaret’s Street and the old, haunted Coopers Arms public house.
The tour proves that there are so many ghost stories in historic Rochester and that the town could well be the most haunted, not just in Kent, but in England.
So, if you want to be chilled by tales of haunted cellars, evil old hags, elementals, vampires, ghostly soldiers, spectral children, phantom monks, and even ghostly sheep, then the Haunted Rochester Ghost Walk is for you but not for the squeamish – the walk is suitable for children over eight years of age although some stories may be too scary for some.