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Haunted Southend by Dee Gordon
Discover the darker side of Southend-on-Sea in the latest book in the Haunted series. If you've had enough of the beach and pier then be prepared to see the spine-chilling side of the town. You won't be disappointed.
Dee Gordon gives an open and honest account of the various hauntings in and around Southend. Split into easy to read chapters which cover everything from haunted houses such as the Royal Mews where an old man is said to haunt the staircase to busy offices and commercial buildings where an old B&Q store where a figure of an old Coalman has been sighted.
Dee's introduction makes it quite clear that this book is to help generate interest in the history and mysteries surrounding Southend-on-Sea and the local area, giving those readers who believe in the afterlife a sense of connection in the town, and perhaps giving the sceptical something to think about. Dee certainly presents the facts well and it's an enjoyable book to read depending on either point of view.
I particularly enjoyed reading about the Royal Terrace, one of the oldest residential streets in Southend-on-Sea and once home to Princess Caroline, wife of the Prince Regent in 1803. During the 1870s a series of apparitions were seen by a man staying in one of the houses and then later on in the 1690s further apparitions were seen in another house on the terrace. Of note, Rochford Hall is featured, once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Her sister Mary is reputed to haunt the location however accounts also detail a male apparition also within the house. Prittlewell Priory is another close location that has a long history of ghostly sightings and hauntings although you'd expect that from a priory founded in 1110. It is now a museum and one supervisor has had a number of encounters which were reported in the local paper.
Back in Southend though, Dee reports on the historic pier that has had a number of sightings, including a figure seen numerous times beneath it. A woman in black was reported to have tried climbing an old staircase that was demolished during renovations back in the early 1990s. Dee continues with a chapter on various haunted pubs and inns, along with an interesting small chapter at the end on phantom dogs seen in the area.
Having never visited Southend I would recommend the book as a good guide for tourists as well as locals who might not know what secrets the town has to show.
Now, anyone for an ice-cream?
Author: Dee Gordon
Publication Date: 01/01/2012