Haunted: Treasure Holt, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
Stewart | On 19, Jun 2017
The Hauntings of Treasure Holt
Treasure Holt is located on the edge of the Holland Marshes.
Today it’s easy to get to but in bygone days it was quite an isolated location only accessible by horse and cart or on foot!
If you turned up at Treasure Holt today, you’ll find a small garden centre and a private home.
For a majority of its life the house was actually a coaching inn.
The building is very old… it dates back to 1138 when it was first called Perles or the Pearls Farm.
Between 1645 and 1832, the area of Clacton-on-Sea was notorious for smugglers.
Treasure Holt, with its isolated location, became the number one hang-out for the local smugglers and with them its history becomes a little darker!
At the beginning of the 1600s, Treasure Holt was used by the smugglers to hide themselves and their contraband.
The unscrupulous couple who owned the inn at this time were more than happy to help the smugglers.
In fact they were more than hospitable… they even gave permission for escape tunnels to be dug from the inn!
The smugglers, as a thank you present for their hospitality, gave them a percentage of their loot.
The innkeeper and his wife got up to some terrible acts during their residency at Treasure Holt.
A traveller staying the night at the inn was extremely lucky if he left in the morning with just a fewer amount of his possessions.
You see, a weary traveller was most welcomed at the old inn.
A big meal and a free pint of the pub’s very strong homebrew were waiting for him.
After the meal, the guest was plied with even more pints of the strong stuff until he succumbed and become drowsy.
The innkeeper would then kindly offer him a room for the night to rest his head.
Once asleep, the wife would rummage through his items and steal some of his belongings.
In the morning, if the hung-over guest asked the Innkeeper about his missing stuff, he would tell him that whilst drunk he had paid for the company of his wife.
Now, if the poor traveller was unlucky enough to wake up and catch the wife red handed, then the probability of him leaving Treasure Holt alive quickly diminished!
It’s believed that the innkeeper killed many an unlucky man and dumped their bodies in the forty foot deep well which is still beneath the inn today.
Luckily, a trapdoor and a concrete slab are now covering the opening to the well.
Thank God for health and safety!
Many years ago, the deep well was drained and dozens of human skeletons were discovered heaped in the bottom.
Furthermore, in 1928, builders found a skeleton of a man under the inn’s floorboards… it had an old buckle, a pipe and some old coins with it!
No one really knows who the skeleton of the man was but more intriguing is why he wasn’t dumped in the well together with the other murder victims.
With Treasure Holts murderous past, you probably won’t be surprised if I told you that the old inn has the odd ghost or two knocking about the place.
But what’s surprising, is that most of the ghosts witnessed at Treasure Holt seem to be harmless.
One of the more common apparitions to be seen at the inn is that of a monk!
It’s said that the innkeeper and his wife coerced the monk to steal from his priory and do other unlawful deeds for them.
He’s repeatedly seen in the grounds of Treasure Holt but funnily enough he’s often seen hovering about a foot in the air.
A common spectral sight in the old inn is that of a lady in a long crinoline dress that silently glides through the lounge and simple vanishes into thin air.
Another ghostly lady seen at the property is that of a blonde woman.
She’s mainly been witnessed sitting in front of the fireplace, but sometimes she’s seen outside riding a white phantom horse along the narrow lane.
It’s believed that she’s an unhappy former owner of the inn!
Some witnesses have even reported seeing the ghost of a cavalier inside Treasure Holt.
It’s not only the house which is said to be haunted…
The grounds and surrounding woodland are said to be just as spooky.
In the front yard, eerie gunshots are often heard in the dead of night.
It’s said that a ghostly skirmish takes place between warring phantom soldiers.
Another apparition that’s been seen is that of a ghostly mob chasing a scared man away from the house.
And finally, there’s the horrific apparition of a highwayman seen swinging from a nearby tree!
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press