TRACY MONGER heads to ghostly Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England, to explore its haunted places…
New Palace Theatre, Southend
The New Palace Theatre has reports of tobacco smell by the fly door, the public feeling a hand on their shoulder, a ghostly figure in an empty seat and actors also feeling a hand touching their shoulders. It is thought to be George who was a manager at the theatre. He hung himself in the theatre by the fly door, when the theatre ran into financial difficulties. It is also reported that a piano is heard from the empty pit and a woman in white has been seen.
Employees have witnessed a closed door shaking when on the top floor, in the first dressing. As the door was opened, their body became hot. A light was turned off in the old offices and was later on with no explanation. Various figures have been seen in different areas. Visitors to the Theatre have reported a figure of a woman coming out of the toilets, moving quickly, dressed in a long sleeved blouse and a long skirt.
The pier has a figure of a tall man in a long coat, which has been chased to the end of the pier and then disappeared. A figure of a male underneath the pier has been reported more than once and sometimes a male is seen hung in the same area. By the site of the old Victoria stairs in 2004, a figure of a woman in has been seen, she is seen floating. During building work, a worker heard a female voice saying, you shouldn’t be doing this, the worker turned around and saw a female figure dressed in black, he left never to return.
Gordon Road residence, Southend
A private house on Gordon Road is known locally as being haunted. Temperature drops have been felt in the upstairs back room and on the landing, movement heard from upstairs. Footsteps have been heard upstairs, which then went down the stairs and the occupier was touched on the shoulder in a living area. The daughter of the family had seen an apparition of a blonde girl, aged about 10 years old and she saw here as a happy girl and said she runs up and down the hallway. She has been seen by previous residents.
Ashburnham Road residence, Southend
The same child has been seen at a private house on Ashburnham Road, which are yards away from Gordon Road. She has been seen laughing and playing in the hallways. A drop of temperatures has been felt along with cold spots. The feeling of someone walking pass in the hall is felt and the feeling of being watched. The girl has showed herself to a male visitor and faded in front of his eyes. The occupiers have named the girl, Frances. It is not known who this girl is.
Queensway Underpass, Southend
Queensway Underpass is home to an urban legend of a ghostly figure of an oversized rat being seen, known as Ratman. High pitch squealing, scraping noises of claws across the walls, snarls and hissing sounds have been heard with a feeling of being watched and a brush of whiskers felt.
There are two tales of who is haunting the underpass. The first is thought to be an old homeless man, who was using the underpass as shelter. A group of youths beat the man. He died from the cold, loss of blood and rats started to eat his flesh.
The second tale is thought to be handed down between school children. A town major had an affair and a child was born with a rat like tail, hairy and a snout. The child was hidden in tunnels behind hidden doors and only came out at night.