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Last year a lady got in touch with me to tell me the story of a haunted house somewhere in the middle of Wiltshire. It was a really interesting story, (you can read it here). She asked me if I would be interested in a story about a haunting in Southend on Sea, based in her childhood home. A place that sparked her belief and interest in the paranormal. I, off course, said yes!

By coincidence it is a story set in another council house in Essex. Probably rather like the one featuring in this blog post. Are there more council houses in Essex with resident ghosts I wonder?

I’m not going to write any commentary or give my opinion on this story. I simply want to relay this interesting tale and you can mull it over for yourselves!

Here’s the story, in the lady’s own words:

A Haunting in Southend on Sea

“My parents, my elder brother and I (eight years old at the time), had moved to Southend on Sea in Essex via a council house swap.  So, we were living in, what I think was probably a 1940s/50s semi, on the edge of a residential square, built around a park.  I can’t remember the exact order of events, but will relay them as best I can.

My Dad was at work at his new job and was chatting about where we had moved to.  His co-worker said, “Oh, I think there was something about your house on the news…”  When questioned further, the man became very vague and claimed he couldn’t remember why.

I was sat on the bottom of the stairs talking on ye olde landline when I felt the hairs go up on the bottom of my neck and felt 100% sure someone was stood at the top of the stairs, looking down watching me. I remember this feeling so clearly, 42 years later!

My brother (a pretty tough young lad) was home alone, feeling ill and my Mum had had to nip to work for a couple of hours.  He phoned her at work, panicked and crying reporting that he felt so strongly as though he wasn’t alone in the house. He was absolutely terrified.

We were all sat in the front lounge one early evening.  We had a small garden, and then a public path. No fencing or hedging to separate the two.  Suddenly, what looked like a massive black dog just leapt up at our front bay window, breaking a pane of glass and then ran off. Why a dog would jump up at a window…I couldn’t make sense out of it.  There was no cat or bird on the window ledge prior to this happening.

We were all sat in one corner of the front lounge, we had shell wall lamps and the bulb was set well up in the shade.  Suddenly we could hear the bulb unscrewing, before it shot across the room at a 45-degree angle, narrowly missing one of our dogs as it smashed.  The bulb would have had to travel straight down to get out of the shade and then TURN before shooting across the room.

One day when we had all been out at work and school, we all seemed to arrive home at the same time.  One of our two dogs had a chunk of hair cut from her back. Cut straight across, with scissors, not pulled out randomly.

A letter I had received from a friend, which Mum had put on a shelf, disappeared never to be seen again.

When in bed on my top bunk I could sometimes feel as if someone was stroking the back of my head.

So, unbeknownst, to me my parents were beginning to get a little freaked out and so, after speaking to some friends were introduced to a medium, who came round to have a look and see what was going on.  I was told that he was coming around to measure up for wardrobes upstairs so as not to scare me (a wise move), so I was glued to “Hart to Hart” in the lounge! I will say that NONE of this was told to me until we moved house.

So, the upshot of this medium’s visit was this:  in my parent’s bedroom, there were two teenage spirits causing issues.  A young boy (who, according to the neighbour, looked the spit of my brother) – this boy had hung himself from the attic opening on the landing (just outside my bedroom).  I’m not sure if accidental or intended.  The other spirit was of a teenage girl, who had died in a car crash.  She was the daughter of the family who lived there prior to us.  The medium said that they were basically being mischievous and did actually like us, but just wanted to be acknowledged. The really interesting thing was that the medium said that, stood between these two teenagers, was my Nan. He felt intense warmth and love coming from her and that she was basically there to keep them in check, otherwise the activity would have been through the roof! 

How my parents went to bed that night I’ll never know!

When we decided, after two years, to move again and we left to look at another house, there was a hideous smell of blocked drains as we walked out of the front door.  Upon returning to the house, with no success, there was an intense smell of flowers.

So, we did eventually do another house swap after a couple of years living there and came back up to the Midlands, not because of the activity, but to be nearer family.  However, and this is like something out of a horror film, not too long after we had moved, we had a letter from our lovely old next door neighbour. Apparently, the lady we had swapped with had had a heart attack at the top of the stairs and fallen down the stairs and broken her neck. Our neighbour wrote, “…that house should be burnt to the ground.”

I actually do look at the house sometimes on Google Street Maps and wonder if I could ever go in it again and if anything has happened to families who have lived there since.  It definitely left it’s mark on all of our family though.

So, the only thing that I can remember really happening in our next house was finding a, previously lost, pair of shoelaces, neatly rolled up under an armchair…?!”

That concludes the story of a haunting in Southend on Sea. What do you think?

Have you got a spooky story of your own from Wiltshire or beyond? If you are willing to share it, please contact me!

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