The Wellington Hotel, Boscastle's famous old
coaching inn, has more than it's fair share of ghostly inhabitants. Some
years ago the Hotel's owner, Victor Tobutt, was working at the reception
desk when the figure of a man drifted silently past him. Looking up, he
was surprised to see that the man wore leather gaiters and boots, a frock
coat and a frilled shirt, such as might have been worn by an 18th century
coachman, and his hair tied back in the old fashioned style. "There was
nothing insubstantial about him", Victor told, "he looked remarkably
solid. "To his shock, the apparition disappeared through the wall, but
when he began to describe what he had seen to one of his employees, the
man completed the description for him. Apparently he too had seen the
ghostly visitor on more than one occasion.
Another employee at "The Welly", retired policeman Bill Searle has twice
witnessed a misty shape wearing what appears to be a cloak drift across
the landing and disappear through the wall of a guest room. It is thought
to be the spirit of a young girl who, crossed in love, flung herself in
despair from the ramparts of the hotel's tower. Victor also believes that
another part of the building is haunted by a murdered man, and there is
also an " animal friendly " spirit, which was eagerly pursued by the small
dog belonging to the writer of ghost stories who stayed in the hotel.
Ironically, the writer himself didn't see it, but his wife witnessed a
shape move across the room, followed by the dog excitedly wagging his
Several of the staff and customers have also witnessed a dark shape float
down the stairs and disappear into the cellar late at night. Curiously,
the two oldest hostelries in Boscastle bear the names of two of history's
most famous adversaries. At the top of Boscastle's steep " corkscrew "
hill, high above The Wellington Hotel stands The Napoleon Inn. It is said
that the inn served as a recruiting office in the Napoleonic Wars, but the
sympathies and interests of many Cornish smugglers lay more with their
French suppliers than with King and Country. Legend has it that The
Napoleon Inn was so named because it was actually used to recruit
volunteers for the enemy!