I thought I’d tell you of a local legend in Southend-on-Sea that I heard growing up and thought you’d enjoy. In our town, there is a pretty grim underpass that’s been there for years, and has developed a reputation for being crime-ridden and basically a no-go-area after dark. However, more interesting is the ghost said to haunt it.
The story I heard growing up was that an old tramp, having been shuffled from place to place, kind of took to sleeping there at night, because it gave him some protection from the cold night air. He was an elderly chap, his legs didn’t quite work anymore, and he needed what little comfort he could get. Unfortunately, some of the town’s drunks came wandering by after a night at the pubs and clubs. They saw him, and thought they’d have a little fun at his expense. So they gave him a beating, took his blanket and ran off laughing. Because of the cold, and his blood loss, the old man went into shock and died. But not before the rats gathered, and began to nibble at his face.
It’s said he can still be found there in the dark, but he’s not an old man anymore and not quite a ghost, either. He’s a rat, standing on two legs and the size of a grown man, squealing in the dark and scuttling about every corner, still looking for the people who killed him.