The Paranormal Database

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

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Essex Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Young Girl

Location: Buckhurst Hill - Property along Bradwell Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: The family living here found themselves troubled by the phantom of a young girl, whose presence created the smell of perfume and the disappearance of small objects. This haunting appeared to centre around the wardrobe; the phantom little girl was seen to climb out from it, and she accompanied the family when they moved to a new property. Once the wardrobe was removed and destroyed, the family were troubled no more.

Muffled Voice

Location: Buckhurst Hill - Three Colts public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2013 onwards
Further Comments: A muffled woman's voice was heard in the cellar, even though no one other than the witness was nearby. Cold spots have also been felt on the site.

Flying Remotes

Location: Canewdon - Anchor public house
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Circa 2004
Further Comments: This pub was said to be subjected to flying remote controls and kitchen knives, a baby crying, and the smell of perfume.

Witch in Poke Bonnet

Location: Canewdon - Between church and river
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Moonless nights
Further Comments: A faceless witch wearing a poke bonnet is reported to appear on moonless nights and travels through the west gate heading towards the river. Once there, the entity walks across the water. A stone is said to fall from the church tower every time a local witch dies.

Woman in Blue

Location: Canewdon - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 31 October (reoccurring), blue woman seen 1987
Further Comments: A woman in a blue dress was briefly glimpsed in 1987, though quickly vanished when the witness jumped up from her seat. Legend also says if you round run the church three times anti clockwise on 31 October, you travel through time.

Witch Centre

Location: Canewdon - Entire area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Ongoing
Further Comments: Known as the 'Village of Witches', thirteen (or nine, depending on the storyteller) witches were believed to live in the village at any one time.

Black Mist

Location: Canewdon - Gardeners Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer or Autumn 2008
Further Comments: A small patch of black mist is said to dart out in front of cars along this lane.

White Figure with Red Band on Chest

Location: Canewdon - Larkhill Road, near Puelsey Hall Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1969, 1970
Further Comments: This area is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a Crusader, seen several times by local people.

A fierce little imp with red eyes and big teeth, by Wayne Lowden.


Location: Canewdon - Unspecified country lane
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: Locals say that a man on a motorbike was chased by a small demonic entity that was just as fast as the bike.

Young Girl

Location: Canewdon - Vicarage
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen by the wife of a previous vicar at the end of the driveway, little more is known about this shade.


Location: Canvey Island - Area around former Canvey Anglican Convent
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September 2019
Further Comments: A cyclist returning home after a nightshift reported seeing an apparition of a nun before it vanished at the site of a former convent.

Norse Raider Looking for a Ship

Location: Canvey Island - Canvey Point, mudflats
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1920s
Further Comments: On the occasional late night, a misty figure has been observed walking along the mudflats. Legend says it is a Viking waiting for a boat to take him home.

Red Sea Monster

Location: Canvey Island - Exact location unknown
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: November 1953 and 11 August 1954
Further Comments: Two unidentified sea creatures were found dead on the island within a year of each other. Both were less than a metre in size, brown-red in colour, possessing sharp teeth, large eyes, gills, and what appeared to be two legs and feet.

An old postcard of Hadleigh Castle on Canvey Island.

The White Lady & The Black Man

Location: Canvey Island - Hadleigh Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1840s onwards
Further Comments: No recent sightings of these figures have been reported, and locals accept them as being little more than smuggler's stories told to inspire fear. The white lady is said to offer to dance with anyone she came upon during her walks, while the black man offered to buy souls in return for a song. The White Lady was seen around 1917 by a group of men out partying - one of them chased after the figure with a large stick, but the apparition disappeared before he reached it.

James Murrell Gathering Herbs

Location: Canvey Island - Hadleigh Castle, Little Norman Church area?
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: 'Cunning' Murrell, the local wise man/warlock, died in 1860 and was buried at the church. His ghost has been reported in this area, picking herbs and placing them in a basket.

Descending Nun

Location: Canvey Island - Knightswick Farm (no longer standing)
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A woman at the farm watched as a nun walked across the land, only to stop and slowly sink into the ground.

A lakeside ghost.


Location: Canvey Island - Lake
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A female form is said to lurk around the area of the lake. The woman is said to have drowned after losing control of her coach and horses.

Old Dutchman in Buckled Shoes with Bundle

Location: Canvey Island - Quieter parts of island
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The quieter areas of the island are home to a Dutchman, who walks around carrying a sack over his shoulder containing an unknown content.

Three Knights

Location: Castle Hedingham - Road through the village
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: June 2015, approximately 09.30h on a Sunday morning
Further Comments: A witness driving through the village spotted three men dressed in medieval armour standing outside a row of cottages. The witness initially thought the knights were reenactors, although the figures and the surrounding environment were blurry, as if seen through frosted glass. No reenactment had been advertised for the day of the encounter.

Angry Nun

Location: Chelmsford - All Saints Church
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local legend persists that if someone is brave enough to quickly circumambulate the church thirteen times at midnight, an angry phantom nun appears.

Tech Support

Location: Chelmsford - Civic Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: All year, but especially in December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: This building is haunted by the spirit of a technician killed on Duke Street. Visitors would sometimes ask about the helpful man who had guided them around, only to be told that it was the ghost. There are also reports of footsteps on stage and of an overwhelming uncomfortable feeling on the Balcony and the stairs to the Wardrobe/FOH Office. In December, the spirit takes the form of a white butterfly, seen (traditionally) on one show during Christmas week.


Location: Chelmsford - Essex Regiment Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2013?
Further Comments: One witness claimed to have heard the laugh of a child and the slamming of several doors, one after another, in the early hours of the morning.

Richard and Little Girl

Location: Chelmsford - Hyde Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: Once owned by the singer Suzi Quatro, she claimed that Richard de Foe haunted the guest room, while the little girl walked other parts of the house. Both are believed to be benevolent.

Tall Man in Cloak

Location: Chelmsford - Patching Hall Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: This tall pallid figure, wearing a top hat and cloak, was seen by a teenage witness out with a couple of friends - the figure disturbed them to such an extent, they ran off. The witness looked back to see if he was following, only to see the ghost vanish before their eyes.

Older Woman with Trolley

Location: Chelmsford - Pedestrian crossing over Parkway
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 2013
Further Comments: A witness waiting at the crossing spotted a 'normal' older woman with a trolley or bag on the other side of the road waiting to also cross. The witness looked away for a few seconds, and when she looked back, the older woman had vanished, with no discernible place where she could have moved to.

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