3 Haunted Places in Southend-on-Sea
Stewart | On 13, Mar 2017
The Kursaal, Southend-on-Sea
The Grade II listed Kursaal is an iconic building in Southend.
It was opened in 1901 as one of the world’s first purpose-built amusement parks.
At one time it became the largest fairground in the south of England.
Well with such a long history you probably won’t be too surprised if I told you that it’s rumoured to be haunted.
In 1990s the cleaners at the Kursaal reported seeing a ghostly apparition of a lady in a green coat and matching scarf.
The ground-floor bowling area is believed to be haunted…
Maybe by the lady in green!
The lights and sound system mysteriously switched on all by themselves.
This was often witnessed by one of the Kursaal’s security guards.
On one occasion in the foyer area one of the cleaners was spooked when she heard a voice shout repeatedly at her… LEAVE ME ALONE!
Another cleaner whilst in the area of the twenty-lane bowling alley saw a solid figure of a uniformed woman in her 50s totally disappear in front of her very eyes…
She had previously heard on many occasions a phantom woman’s voice and music which was popular during the Second World War!
Vacuum cleaners being turned off, objects being moved around and dramatic temperature drops have all been reported by the poor cleaners at the Kursaal.
After its heydays visitor numbers dropped and the Kursaal went into decline.
New housing has been constructed on some of the old Kursaal complex.
In 1998 the iconic Kursaal building was redeveloped and it’s now open to the public once again.
The Royal Terrace and Mews, Southend-on-Sea
The 18th century Royal Terrace is one of the oldest streets in Southend.
It’s situated overlooking the Thames Estuary.
Originally it was called Grand Terrace but changed to Royal Terrace after the Prince Regent’s wife, Princess Caroline stayed there in 1803.
In 1870, George Martin was staying at one of the houses in Royal Terrace…
One dark night, he heard a loud bang and the temperature in his room dropped dramatically.
In the dim light of his room he saw a pair of eyes staring at him, he called out… WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT?
But the ghostly eyes just simply vanished into thin air.
The next night the exact thing happened again.
But, this time an unhealthy looking face appeared before quickly vanishing into the night again.
It’s believed that the apparition George’s witnessed was the ghost of a person who had died in the room some twenty years earlier of a strange disease… probably leprosy!
On the corner of Royal Terrace and Royal Mews is a red-brick building called Clifton Court…
In 1966, a young couple witnessed some paranormal activity whilst living in the building.
One night they saw a grey shape appear at the end of their bed only to quickly disappear leaving the room freezing cold.
About a couple of months later, in the early morning, the ghostly grey shape once again visited them.
This time they could make out some facial features but the ghostly apparition quickly vanished into thin air when they challenged it leaving an unearthly smell in the room.
Feeling spooked, the frightened couple called a priest in to exorcise the room but they never really felt at ease within their home…
Shortly afterwards they left Clifton Court for good!
Around 1770, stables were built for the large mansions of the Royal Terrace.
These stables were later developed into mews cottages.
In 1988, a new owner moved into one of these mews cottages.
It needed a lot of renovation work to make it habitable.
During the renovation work, one of the internal walls was knocked down revealing a small hidden room…
To everybody’s horror, a partly clothed skeleton of a man draped over a cart wheel was discovered!
The police were called to investigate but could not shine a light on the identity of the mysterious skeleton.
Some people assumed it was the old man who once lived at the property.
Well, having a bricked up skeleton in your home, you probably can guess what I’m going to tell you next…
Yes, it’s said the mews cottage was haunted by an old man with a walking stick!
One day the owner’s wife saw his ghostly old apparition on the stairs.
There’s also talk of another ghosts which is said to haunt the cottage.
It’s been reported that the temperature in the building drops dramatically and a dark black shadow appears from nowhere!
One more paranormal activity which has been witnessed to takes place outside the mews cottage every Christmas Eve is that of the phantom coach and horses.
More than one terrified witness has experienced the sounds and smells of a phantom coach and horses clip-clopping on the cobbles and heading off in the direction of Southend High Street!
Southend Pier, Southend-on-Sea
Southend’s historic pier is famous for being the longest in the world but locally it’s also infamous for being haunted.
One dark autumn night in 1992, at the end of the pier, a stunned policeman chased a shadowy figure of a tall man in a long coat until he totally disappeared into thin air.
The only way off the pier was a sheer long drop into the icy cold water of the Thames Estuary!
Horrified witnesses have also reported seeing an apparition of a man amongst the structure underneath the pier…
Sometimes he’s even seen hanging there!
In its long history a lot of people have sadly ended their lives by jumping off the end of the pier.
Another ghostly apparition reported at the pier appears at the Pier Hill end of the leisure pier.
Just where the shops and little restaurants are located there was once a flight of stairs.
In 2004 the Victorian entrance to the pier was being updated and the stairs had to be removed.
During the building work witnesses reported seeing a ghostly apparition of a woman dressed in black.
She was said to be hovering in mid-air…
Just where the old Victorian stairs used to be!
If you ask any of the owners of the nearby late night opening food restaurants they will tell you about the many stories told to them by late-night revellers who have come across a dark figure floating near to where the stairs used to be.
The infamous encounter with this ghostly apparition lead to a worker downing his tools and fleeing the site at great speed…
You see, he was engrossed in his work near the site of the old stairs when he clearly heard a woman’s voice say to him you shouldn’t be doing this.
He turn to see who was talking to him and saw the ghostly apparition of the woman dressed in black.
That’s when he quickly fled the scene, never to return!
Dee Gordon (2012) Haunted Southend. The History Press