Colchester Ghosts and other Paranormal Reports

Headless Nun

Location: Colchester - Area close to Birch Brook, no longer accessible
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Estimated mid-to-late-twentieth century
Further Comments: A witness reported that, while taking a short cut across the area at night, he spotted a figure dressed as a nun, but with the head missing. The figure stopped and vanished in front of the witness. The witness later told a friend who said that his brother has also encountered the entity.

Invisible Assailant

Location: Colchester - Barracks
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: April 1911 (unknown force), 1975 (banging)
Further Comments: On different occasions, three soldiers were struck unconscious by an unknown force at night. Many years later, a corporal witnessed a door being banged so hard it shook - he flung the door open moments after hearing the bang, but no one stood behind it. This happened several times in quick succession.

Penny Farthing

Location: Colchester - Boundary Road
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Circa 1990s, spring
Further Comments: A child travelling in a car with her grandmother spotted, cycling alongside them, a man cycling on a penny farthing. The cyclist wore a light brown shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and dark brown trousers. The cyclist's hair was also brown. The grandmother appeared not to have seen the figure.

Charlotte in White Robe

Location: Colchester - Charlotte's Well, Berechurch Hall (demolished 1952)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1977, winter
Further Comments: Located in a hidden part of the grounds, Charlotte's Well was built for a woman after which it took its name. Charlotte is said to have loved the well so much that she could never leave and is said to have been seen since her death around the bathing pool. She may have last been seen walking around a wooded area in a white dress during the winter of 1977, although there are stories that a phantom woman still appears in the area. A phantom coach is also said to ride around the area.

James Parnell, Quaker Martyr

Location: Colchester - Colchester Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1653 onwards
Further Comments: James Parnell, Quaker was arrested in 1652 for the heinous crime of being 'idle and disorderly' after upsetting a local priest. Parnell was imprisoned in Colchester Castle, where folklore says he was placed in a small room and forced to climb a rope each time he wished to eat. After a few months of this punishing routine, Parnell eventually slipped during his daily climb and suffered injuries which killed him. Parnell's ghost was said to haunt the dungeon (although it is worth noting that he was imprisoned in a crevice in the castle wall). There is a story that a foolhardy man once stayed the night in the dungeon as a wager, only to emerge the following morning a gibbering wreck. Another tale states that the castle is haunted by a headless nun, although her story is not known.

Living Old Woman

Location: Colchester - Colchester Hospital, Ward Eight
Type: Manifestation of the Living
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The doppelganger of an old woman in bed was spotted within the hospital.

Figures Pass Through Bedroom Walls

Location: Colchester - Defoe Crescent
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: A few residents living in the crescent were reported as having seen figures in their homes, described as dark shadows with no faces. Sounds of children playing were also reported.

Woman in White

Location: Colchester - Dolcis shoe shop (since closed)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1991
Further Comments: A former member of staff reported seeing a woman in a long white dress in the stockroom, hearing footsteps, and witnessing boxes of shoes jump off shelves. The worker eventually refused to work in the room.

Faceless White Lady wearing Perfume

Location: Colchester - East Lodge
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Possibly twentieth century
Further Comments: There is little to suggest who this white lady is, but those who have witnessed her standing on the staircase have been in shock for some time afterwards. The accompanying smell of perfume is said to be very strong.


Location: Colchester - East Street around Siege House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Cavalier 1990s, horse heard September 2017
Further Comments: The ghostly cavalier has been seen walking down East Street, disappearing when reaching Siege House. One of the rooms in the building is said to be so haunted that staff will only work there in pairs. A phantom puritan was also seen in the area, while in 2017 a witness heard a horse and cart pass through the area.

Nun Handing Out Toffee

Location: Colchester - Essex Country Hospital, Children's Ward
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An interesting story, one gentleman has recalled as a child he was visited by a nun one evening, who offered him a toffee. Taking and eating the sweet, he watched as she faded from view a few seconds later.

Grey Man

Location: Colchester - Friday Woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom grey man is said to leave a nearby church and enter this woodland.

Tall Stalking Man

Location: Colchester - Greenstead woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1983
Further Comments: A witness stated that when she was a child with a friend in the woods, they both had seen a tall man with a wide brimmed hat, but he lacked facial features - even when they ran away the entity stayed behind them for a while.


Location: Colchester - Hippodrome (no longer operating)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: Cleaners would say hello to George, a former worker at the site who was said to have fallen to his death many years previous. He would appear to one of the cleaners, while others would hear voices and knocking.

Anne Lisle's Footsteps

Location: Colchester - Hollytrees Museum, Gun Room, near portrait of Anne Lisle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Quite familiar to the staff, Anne Lisie is often heard running past the Gun Room, though she has manifested before - usually seen by young children. Faces looking out of the windows in the rear of the building have also been reported late at night.

Mysterious Noises

Location: Colchester - Hostel of the Good Shepherd, East Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s onwards
Further Comments: Footsteps and shuffling sounds have been heard coming from empty rooms in the hostel, and although an exorcism has been carried out at the sight, the sounds are still heard.


Location: Colchester - Mermaid public house (no longer operational, Mersea Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This man was executed, shot in the back garden of the pub, and was since seen standing at the top of the stairs in the building.

Teenage Boy

Location: Colchester - Mersea Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A driver spotted a teenage boy sitting in the backseat of her car, through the rear view mirror. She turned her head to see who was sitting there, but the seat was empty. Turning back to face the road, the figure was once more visible in the mirror.

Black ABC

Location: Colchester - Mersea Road
Type: ABC
Date / Time: January 1996 to 1999
Further Comments: A large black cat was spotted along this Colchester road at different times by multiple witnesses.

Nurse in Old Fashioned Uniform

Location: Colchester - Military Hospital
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Second World War
Further Comments: A nurse wearing a Victorian uniform was seen by several people walking down a corridor, vanishing once she had reached the end. One of the patients was convinced that she had helped change his dirty bandages.


Location: Colchester - Mill Street
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 19 February 1888
Further Comments: The body of a soldier was discovered in a hay loft, much of his corpse charred by fire, but the surrounding area untouched by the flames. His legs and boots were also undamaged.


Location: Colchester - O'Neill's public house (was the Waggon & Horses)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wearing a peaked cap, this old man is said to occasionally walk through walls and turn taps off in the cellar.

Strange Reflections

Location: Colchester - Private house along Maldon Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1994-2000
Further Comments: A family were eventually forced to move from the property after enduring four years of paranormal activity which included the sounds of footsteps running through the house, strange reflections glimpsed in windows and mirrors, a door held shut by a shadowy figure, and one particular night when all the electrical appliances in the building were unplugged.

Shadowy Figure

Location: Colchester - Private residence, Duffield Drive
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 2008
Further Comments: One witness in this home reported seeing a black shadowy figure standing in a bedroom - it subsequently vanished through a wall. Other events on the site include strange smells, tapping on peoples' shoulders, items being moved around, and the sound of a woman's voice.

Alice Mellor

Location: Colchester - Red Lion Hotel, Lion Walk Shopping Precinct
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-1972
Further Comments: Killed in 1633, Mellor's ghost is said to have been so terrifying that her old room was sealed up and forgotten about. Now part of the hotel, no sightings have recently occurred, though the building is also home to a monk who died in a fire.

Records 1 - 25 of 30


view the Essex listing page or the paranormal hotspots page

Next Last