Ghosts in Eastern Essex

Bradwell on Sea is the ghost capital of Eastern Essex

The Roman Soldier and the ghostly hoof beats
The Romans built a fort called Othona which was garrisoned to prevent raids by Norsemen. A road connected Othona to Roman settlements at Danbury, Chelmsford and Colchester.
Today this road is still in use to connect Othona with the village.

The Roman Road still exists although covered in tarmac

Rumours abound of a hoof beats being heard with no sign of a horse passing and a roman soldier marching along the old road.

The stories go back many generations and are authenticated by many people including visitors to the Othona Community who were not previously aware of the legend.

St Peter's Chapel

St Peter's Chapel normally has a tranquil and calming air and is a place that feels good in a way that cannot be explained.

Occasionally usually late at nigh the atmosphere seems to change and it suddenly becomes unsettling.

Local people have reported seeing lights inside but on arrival the chapel is deserted and dark and even seeing dim figures inside.

The origin of the stories about St Peter's and Othona are unclear but they may be connected to the popularity of Othona and the adjoining St Peters Chapel for use by smuggling gangs from 1700 to about 1850 .

Shadowy figures seen in the distance, lights that are extinguished quickly when someone is heard and muffled hoof beats would all have been practiced associated with smugglers.

The rumour of ghosts may have helped to keep the Revenue men and nosy locals away.


In the early 1800's the butler of the Rector of Bradwell committed suicide in his small room on the upper floor.
Occupants since then have heard footsteps pass when no one is visible. A maid, unaware of the legend, who was to sleeping the room refused to do so after just one night for reasons that she could not explain.
The ghost of a young child has also occasionally been seen at Bradwell Lodge.

Walter Linnett lived in a tiny cottage close to Othona. At the turn of the century Linnet was the finest punt gunner in the area making his living from killing hundreds of ducks each day that congregated in the waters of Bradwell in their thousands.
Although in modern times the numbers are fewer the estuary still attracts both rare birds and bird watchers.
The RSPB now own Linnetts Cottage and use it as a base and overnight accommodation for some of their members.
On many occasions sleeping residents have woken in the cottage to find a figure standing over them or seen a face peering through the windows.

In most cases the description fits Walter Linnett who in his lifetime hated people who came to his quiet outpost and upset 'his birds'.

Linnett's cottage is now used by the RSPB

to visit a page with more information on Linnett's Cottage

BRANDY HOLE - Ghostly happenings on the Crouch

Brandy Hole is a location in the Crouch opposite to Bridgemarsh Island which received its name from it's popularity with smugglers.

So it is not surprising that a number of ghost stories are associated with the area.


One October day in the early 1970's a yachtsman was on his way home in the twilight when his car broke down.

He opened the bonnet and tried to find out what was wrong.

After a few minutes he saw a man alongside him watching.

At first he thought it was his passenger but then realised that the man was dressed in a blue seaman's sweater.

As he took a better look he saw that the man did not exist below the waist.

He called to the passenger in the car and when he looked back the man had gone.

The passenger saw nothing of this man. 

Sheldrakes Farm, Latchingdon

In his book Essex Folk , Edward S Knights tells the tale of the haunting of Sheldrake Farm

Mr Sheldrake, an eccentric gentleman died.

After his death mysterious happenings, with banging and rattling's in one of his rooms caused much disturbance.

The ghost of an old man was seen and was evidentially concerned over the hearthstone of the particular room in which he was seen.

The headstone was raised and underneath was found the will of Mr Sheldrake , a number of valuable le papers and  most of his savings which were handed to his heir.

The good work accomplished, the ghost trouble the inhabitants no more.