The Kings Head
Headcorn Road, Grafty Green, Maidstone, Kent
A classic tale of haunting occurs around this large roadside pub. Many years ago, a coach overturned, killing the driver and all the passengers. The bodies were carried to the King’s Head. They have taken up their ghostly residence here. The coach driver was beheaded when he fell between the driving seat and the horses. Tales abound of this phantom coach appearing on misty nights, driven by a headless coachman. The King’s Head people used as a safe house by Dover Bill, the smuggler. Oddly, he was held responsible for this terrible accident. The authorities had been advised he had planned to attack that coach and rob the passengers. There was some evidence that he had indeed carried out this scheme, forcing the driver to drive dangerously and crash. Dover Bill was almost captured at the King’s Head when it was surrounded by Revenue men, as outlaws held a drinking session. He escaped during the gunfight that followed. However, several of his men were arrested and hanged at Maidstone. Dover Bill was among the thousands who watched the hangings. It was subsequently ostracised for this by all who knew him. He was then barred from this inn, with died in poverty. His ghost regularly appears outside the pub, with appears to be consumed with hatred. There is a large mural on one external pub wall portraying ‘Dover Bill’ and a coach running by moonlight.