Over many centuries there have been several rumoured ghost sightings in and around the Southend area. With Halloween on our doorstep, I decided that there would be no better time than now to do a bit of research in to these stories and see what I could find (while scaring Southend a bit in process of course!)

After reading ghost stories across many forums and websites, there were 2 particular stories which stood out to me the most. Whether or not you believe these stories is completely up to you, but I personally wouldn’t just overlook them.

The first story which I came across took place in The Palace Theatre, which is located in Westcliff. The Palace Theatre dates back to 1912, when it first opened as the ‘Palace of Varieties’. Upon opening in the 19th century, the theatre was run by a manager who worked there named George. After the theatre began to suffer from financial difficulties, George sadly hung himself from the fly floor of the theatre, resulting in his death. There have been many sightings of George since, usually from other staff members who work there, but also from theatre goers; many of whom have been startled by a ghostly figure on an empty seat near them during a performance. Witnesses of George’s apparition also claim to smell a strong scent of Old Holborn tobacco coming from an empty theatre seat behind them. Regardless of whether there was a person sitting there or not, smoking isn’t permitted at any time inside the building. There have also been actors who have worked at the theatre that claim that they have felt what they thought was a hand touching their shoulder, when they were alone. Sounds spooky huh? I wonder how many people have actually had a George encounter…

The second story took place in a house located in Gordon Road, Southend. The story was posted on a ghost story forum, and explained a series of strange events which took place in the house. There has always been an alarming coldness towards the back of the house, particularly on the landing and by the back bedroom. The man, his partner and her daughter Charlotte moved into the house after the previous owner agreed to let them following his retirement abroad. Both the current and previous owners of the house claim that they had frequently heard movement coming from upstairs when they were situated in the downstairs of the house. The writer of the forum post says he had also heard strange noises in the house, but hadn’t spoken out in fear of scaring his partner and her daughter. One day after attending a funeral, the man was sitting alone in his front room. He heard footsteps come down the stairs, up the hallway and into the room behind him. He felt a tap on the shoulder and turned around, expecting his partners daughter to be standing there, yet to his surprise, there was nobody there. When he turned back around again moments later, his partner was standing in the doorway looking ‘as pale as a ghost’, shortly before asking “Who was that? I heard someone come into the room behind you.” He called out to Charlotte and asked if she had just came downstairs. Charlotte responded no, but said it may have been the little girl from the hallway. Charlotte told him the little girl has blonde hair and likes to play about. She has seen the little girl herself, and was scared at first, but soon realised she was young and happy and just liked to run up and down the hallway, occasionally poking her head around the door. After finding this out, he carried out some further research and contacted previous owners of the house to find that they had also often seen the girl, and that she had always done the same thing. He also discovered a family from a house in Ashburnham Road, just yards from his house in Gordon Road, who frequently see a blonde girl around the age of 10 laughing as she runs down their hall. Creepy! Would you feel spooked out by what appears to be an innocent little girl?

So, have you had any frightening experiences? Please let us know your story in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below!

Forum where story was found- http://www.sarfend.co.uk/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1251655332

Palace theatre info source- https://www.essexghosthunters.co.uk/haunted-places/palace-theatre/