Seven Kings pub ghost of drowned girl ‘warned’ family before they boarded doomed Titanic

10:55 18 April 2012

Ben Hart drowned on the ship. His daughter Eva and wife Esther survived

Ben Hart drowned on the ship. His daughter Eva and wife Esther survived

Archant

An eerie warning by a Seven Kings pub ghost was ignored by a man who just 12 days later drowned on the Titanic.

The Cauliflower Hotel, High Road, hosted a leaving party for seven-year-old Eva Hart and her family a week before they were due to set sail on the ill-fated vessel.

It was on the night of April 2, 1912, that the ghost of Kathy, an eight-year-old orphan who was drowned in a sluice near the hotel in the late 1890s, made an appearance, according to a new book.

Haunted English Pubs by Donald Stuart claims her ghost appeared in the dining room wringing wet and waving frantically to builder Ben Hart, 47 - Eva's father. He later told his family: "It seemed like a very bad omen."

Eva and her mother survived the sinking but Ben died along with 1,513 others after the Titanic hit an iceberg.

The Ilford Graphic reported five days after the ship sank that: "On April 2, Mr and Mrs Ben Hart were present at The Cauliflower in their honour prior to their departure for Canada. They were the recipients of a beautiful illuminated address."

The article added: "We see from the papers that Mrs Esther Hart and Miss Eva Hart are among the saved, but there is no mention made of Mr Hart, and we fear the worst."

Mr Stuart uncovered the chilling story while he was researching his latest book, which contains more than 170 "haunted" English pubs.

He said: "I have travelled 8,000 miles gathering information on supernatural goings-on in pubs. The British Library, old magazines, local history and previous works has helped me to accumulate a lot of ghost stories that were 10 years in the making."

Employees at the Cauliflower, now a pub, which was first opened in 1900, told the Recorder they had heard rumours of the story before but had never witnessed any paranormal activity.

To order a copy of the book contact Donaldstuart10@yahoo.co.uk.

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