The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Essex Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Dark Feline

Location: Abberton - Abberton reservoir, south of Colchester
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: A large black cat was seen at the reservoir.

Grey Greyhound

Location: Alphamstone - Sycamore Farm
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: One night during the late 1940s
Further Comments: After seeing a creature in his chicken coop, a farmer fired a shotgun at the creature - it ran through the wire netting and escaped. Examining the scene in the morning, the farmer could find no holes in the netting or footprints of the dog.

Fighting Soldiers

Location: Ashdon - Fields in the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Moonlit nights
Further Comments: Perhaps connected to nearby Linton's Royalist stronghold, the fields in this area were said to be haunted by fighting phantom soldiers from the Civil War.

Drowned Lady

Location: Ashdon - Pond known as Lady Well (no longer present) in private residence along Dorvis Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local myth says that a pond which was once in a garden at this village was haunted by a phantom woman. She drowned in the pond after a storm caused her horse to bolt, throwing her into the water.


Location: Ashingdon - Hill on which Saint Andrews Church stands
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The hill is said to be the home of ghostly moans which belong to dying soldiers.

Great Cry

Location: Ashingdon - Lane winding past church
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The story goes that two men walking past the church had a heated argument which resulted in the murder of one of them. The killer, in turn, killed himself in an asylum; the haunting scream in the area is said to be his, rather than his victims.

Bloodstained Hill on which No Grass Grows

Location: Ashingdon - Saint Andrews Church, Hill on which it stands
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is said that an incredibly vicious battle was fought on this site, the blood running so thick that no grass could ever grow here again. The hill is currently grassy...

Phantom Coach

Location: Audley End - Audley End Road & Chestnut Avenue.
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The coach departs the Lions Gate and is driven along the local streets until it reaches the B1383. As normal, the coach driver is said to be headless.


Location: Aveley - Old Ship Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Campaign for Real Ale website mentions this site is haunted, although the finer points are not stated.

Hairy Creatures with Large Pointed Ears

Location: Aveley - Road in the area, exact location not known
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 27 October 1974
Further Comments: While driving home, a family of four were abducted by a blue UFO; the occupants described as four foot high hairy beings, with large eyes and pointed ears. After 3 hours, the family were returned to their car.

Opening Doors

Location: Barking - Eastbury House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A door in one of the rooms would open and close by itself.

Man in Checked Coat

Location: Barking - Thames View (Council Estate)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: The ghost's history unknown, he caused poltergeist activity in a council home, throwing toys around and slamming doors open at night. When visible, the spirit was often seen heading towards a bedroom of a four year old boy.

Blue Workman

Location: Basildon - Ambassador Bowling Club, Alley 17 (now a bingo hall)
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: The figure of a man dressed in blue overalls has been observed on lane 17, standing by a bench. The machinery along the lane has a history of behaving erratically, and there have been reported drops in temperature.

Hit by a Cart

Location: Basildon - Church Road, coming in from Clay Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century
Further Comments: Either one or two ghosts haunt this road - a spirit was blamed for throwing men over a bush as they returned home from the local pub, and the shade of a little girl has been reported, killed by a cart.

Raining Straw

Location: Basildon - General area
Type: Other
Date / Time: 28 July 1992, early afternoon
Further Comments: Large piles of straw fell from the sky over the town one summer's afternoon. This may have been connected to the straw fall in South Wonston (Hampshire) on the same day.

Crimson Monk Floating without Legs

Location: Basildon - Vicinity of Holy Cross Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: Workers at a nearby factory complained that this figure was appearing as they travelled to work early in the mornings, moving across the road on which they travelled into the grounds of Holy Cross church. Footsteps have also been heard into the church after hours, and the same figure has also been seen crossing the highway heading towards Laindon church. One report sent to the Paranormal Database alleges that the haunting was faked by a couple of friends who used a projector on the mist in the area to create the illusion of the red monk.

Moving Stone

Location: Beauchamp Roding - Church on top of hill
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: When the church was being constructed in the village, building materials were in short supply, so a large stone from the top of the hill was dragged down ready to be used. The following day, the stone had moved itself back to the top of the hill. The stone was brought down, only to relocate itself again the following day. The villages took this as a sign the church should be built at the top of the hill, and that is why the church is not in the village itself.

Lady Hamilton

Location: Benfleet - Conservative Club, High Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: This ghost, still waiting for Lord Horatio Nelson, reportedly patrols the corridors and rooms to ensure that he has not turned up.

A woman wearing a veil, illustrated by Wayne Lowden.

Veiled Woman

Location: Billericay - Burghstead Lodge (currently Registry Office & Library Archives), south-west room on first floor
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: A nurse was attending to an ill man in this lodge. On two consecutive nights she spotted, standing over the man, a veiled woman in a green gown who mysteriously vanished. On the third night, the nurse approached the woman and removed her veil. What she saw is unknown, as the following morning she was found insane and her patient was dead. The nurse herself died a few months later.

Lady in Green

Location: Billericay - Burghstead Lodge, High Street
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Appearing to a nurse on three consecutive nights, this ghost took the soul of an elderly owner of the house and drove the nurse to suicide.

Little Girl

Location: Billericay - Cheyne Library, 118 High Street
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ghost of a little girl has been seen on the stairs of the building.


Location: Billericay - Exact location unknown
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 29 May 1982 (Lion), 2008 (black cat)
Further Comments: Seen by the same woman twice in one day, the lion-like cat was described as 'champagne coloured'. A photograph taken in 2008 shows what appears to be a large black cat, though without a scale reference, it may just be a small cat.


Location: Billericay - Police Station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1976 onwards
Further Comments: The phantom Inspector was blamed for minor haunting occurrences, including a stapler which was thrown as an officer worked alone one night. The haunting ceased after a memorial was collated and displayed.

Dragging and Footsteps

Location: Billericay - St Audyns House, Chapel Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s
Further Comments: A haunting that has been reported since 1920s/30s, various people have reported footsteps, dragging sounds and the feeling of dread in this building.

Fifty Pence

Location: Blackmore - Skies over
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 18 March 1985, 19:05h
Further Comments: A nightclub manager reported watching a heptagon shaped object hovering before moving away at speed. The ufo projected two beams of light from the front and two weaker beams from the rear, and had clusters of red, yellow and green lights on the underside.

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