The Royal Forest Hotel is haunted by Mary's ghost, who manifests herself in various ways. Common occurrences include the lights and cookers being on without any electricity supply, or dogs barking for no reason at something unseen.
The Royal Forest Hotel was built and opened in 1890 to take advantage of the many Londoners who had started to come to Chingford to enjoy Epping Forest after it was fully opened to the public in 1882. The then Forest Hotel, by far the largest inn in the district, it had its own coach house with stabling, and 60 bedrooms, some with en-suite sitting rooms.
In 1912, disaster struck. A huge fire swept through the building, destroying many parts of the hotel. The owner's Brewers Fayre says that the fire burned for two days and trapped and killed two guests and a fireman on the top floor. When the building was restored, the top floor of the previously four-storey structure was not replaced.
The landlord of the Royal Forest Hotel, Mr. McCormack and his staff believe that one of the victims of the fire Mary (surname unknown), decided to take up permanent residence at the Hotel. Mary's ghost manifests herself in various ways, common occurrences include the lights and cookers being on without any electricity supply, or dogs barking for no reason at something unseen. One member of staff, who used to live upstairs, moved out because he had the uneasy feeling of being watched all the time by an unseen entity, on more than one occasion he awoke to feel the pressure of someone sat on his bed.
Several months ago two members of staff had gone down to the cellar to change the barrels over, as they carried out the task they were chatting about the ghost. On the mention of the name Mary a bottle of wine from across the cellar flew from its packaging 10 feet into the air then dropped with a crash on to the floor. After this incident very few members of staff will go down to the cellar on their own.