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The Vampire Dr Martin Boots

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 7

Many years ago in a strange and dark time when evil was about the land; this was an infamous pub known to be the haunt of a sinister cult. The time was the 1970s and the cult was known as the Punk Rockers. This was where the Rancid Rats played every Thursday night, the loudest, noisiest and most fearsome punk band in all the land. Their loyal followers would come every Thursday to pay homage by pogoing up and down, gobbing on them, then offering them sacrifices of virgin punk rockers (who usually weren’t) and pints of snakebite and black.

But most of all they worshipped their lead singer, the fearsome King Rat. 7 foot tall in his black 36 holed Doctor Martin Boots, his face covered by an epic greasy fringe that hung all the way down to the buckle on his belt. As for those Doctor Martin Boots, they were black, polished and yet if you looked at them too often in the right light they could be red….blood red. It was said King Rat never signed to a record company as his soul already belonged to the devil.

Before the more quiet and contemplative days of the Sex Pistols and the Damned, The Rancid Rats would play their hits; “Vodka lobotomy,” “I’ve had your mum” and “I want to eat Maggie Thatcher’s brain!”, all from their one and only album “Rat Crap.”

But the Rancid Rats unlike actual Rats were swimming against the tide, the pub was in the centre of a valuable piece of property that a local conspiracy of developers had long had their eye on. Councillor Hopkins, Councillor Jones and Mr Bingwall the local building magnate didn’t see a pub with character, history and some rather dodgy toilets. They saw the missing jigsaw piece in a valuable piece of real-estate where flats, not beats should be going up.

And so one Thursday night, when it was most packed the place caught fire. A dodgy fuse box given expert surgery by Mr Bingwall who had experience in such thing, but the story didn’t end quite end how the plotters thought it might. King Rat seeing the smoke rising from the end of the bar and knowing there was no time for his beloved fans to flee propelled himself from the stage like a daddy long legs on a mission. Hurtling to the back of the pub as tattooed faces and pierced noses got out of his way and confronting the flaming fuse box, an unknown fan handed him a pint of his favoured snakebite and black.

You might think King Rat would have slung the pint upon the fiery box, but this was a night for precision and sacrifice. King Rat downed the pint one go, then unzipped his fly and quenched the fire. Punks, heads, rockers and metallers came from across the land to his funeral; even some hippies were tolerated though they made sure to leave soon afterwards.

After the night that King Rat gave his life for his fans and for the pub, strange things happened; Councillor Hopkins, Councillor Jones and Mr Bingwall were all found dead in different locations. The rumour being that each was found face down in the puddle and upon their personage in a most uncomfortable place was a single Doctor Martin boot, 36 holed and blood red. A boot that maybe once had been black and all the blood was drained from their bodies.

To this day the pub still stands, oh the toilets are cleaner, the electrics safer and maybe it’s not quite as wild as when it was the palace of King Rat and his Rotten Rodents. But if you talk about property developments or voting Tory or heaven forbid put a Bucks Fizz song on the Juke Box then perhaps you’ll hear a faint punk beat on the wind and listen to the crunch of a 36 holed Doctor Martin Boot on the floor.

A boot coloured black, but perhaps thirsting to be coloured red….

Ghost, Spiritual Or Historic Stories For Pubs And Restaurants