Spooky goings on in Essex!

With Halloween upon us at the end of the month, we thought it would be fun to find out about local ghost stories – and we found some stuff that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up!

It may be a relatively small town, but there is no shortage of hauntings, spooks and paranormal phenomena in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. In fact, the Paranormal Database records no fewer than 13 different locations in and around the town – and the number 13, of course, is itself an especially significant number in the darker arts.

Royal Terrace

  • the Royal Terrace which overlooks the Thames Estuary is one of the oldest streets in Southend dating back to the 1700s;
  • called the Grand Terrace when it was first built, it was subsequently renamed the Royal Terrace in honour of Princess Caroline, the Prince Regent’s wife, who visited in 1803;
  • it may come as no surprise, therefore, that a number of the town’s spookiest places are to be found in and around the old buildings of this thoroughfare;
  • one of these is a house in which one George Martin stayed in 1870, and witnessed a ghostly apparition which challenged him about who he was and what he wanted;
  • more recently, in 1966, a young couple moved into one of the old buildings on the Terrace called Clifton Court – they were soon driven out of their home by an unearthly apparition whose ghostly visits left a rotten smell in their house;
  • according to the appropriately named website Eerie Places, more alarming still was a discovery made in 1988 when renovations were being made to a mews cottage on the Terrace – the skeleton of a man was discovered in a secret, walled up room and his ghost is said to continue to haunt the place;
  • before moving on from Royal Terrace, it may be worth recalling that every Christmas Eve a phantom coach and horses is said to be heard heading down the Mews towards the High Street – listen out for it if you are in that vicinity at the time;

Porters Mansion

  • you might want to give this place a miss if you are out late at night, however – at least one person felt a tap on his shoulder, turned around and found no one there;

Hartington Road

  • then again there is a reported haunting along the normally entirely peaceful Hartington Road, where a ghost dressed in a Victorian woman’s clothes frightened the witness out of her skin;

Ashburnham Road

  • in another normal residential street lived a couple who found their doors would be mysteriously unlocked, they felt they were being watched and the house would suddenly plunge into an ice cold temperature – one of their visitors even saw the apparition of a young girl who vanished before his eyes;

Gordon Road

  • it seems that some ghosts in Southend may be moving from house to house – two separate properties along Gordon Road have been visited by what appears to be a the ghost of a young child, running across their landings.

All in all it is surprising how such an apparently quiet, peaceful and some might say sleepy place such as Southend has reputedly so many spooky things going on. You never know what ghosts or apparitions you might discover – or might creep up on you – in the town.

Further reading ….




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