'Ghosts' of Wickford

Tales of the supernatural.

When I first came to Wickford in 1975, I was told that a white witch  had a coven somewhere in the town. I’ve never found them if they ever did exist, but, as Wickford was once a small agricultural village in Essex, where stories of ghosts and other supernatural happenings would have been passed round, I searched and found some of the ghostly tales.

A lady who had been born in Wickford during the latter part of the nineteenth century reported that the site of an old cottage at the junction of Southend Road and Wick Lane was haunted by a poor woman who had been refused food at the nearby Rectory.

In Runwell Road, near the site of the burial ground of the Congregational Chapel which existed in the nineteenth century, children thought that a Black Dog might be seen. He had to be avoided, so children ran quickly past the area.

Another ghost is said to roam round Nevendon Road, but little is known about this one. However if one takes a footpath from Cranfield Park Road across the fields towards Rawreth something extraordinary is said to be experienced. On the route of a possible ancient highway people have encountered a coach and horses….. or so they say.

At Barnhall field in Runwell, many witnesses have reported seeing moving shadows, but always out the corner of their eye. A tractor driver was said to be terrified after a shadow encounter one evening which left his vehicle covered in scratches. The legend says that the Devil waits for the soul of a knight here, after the mortal promised it ‘whether he was buried inside a church or out’. The Devil agreed, only to lose face when the knight was buried in the wall of a church.

At the site of old Runwell Hall, now demolished, in the 19th century, it is said on 31st December each year a spectral horse and carriage pulls up the driveway, a woman climbs out, walking up to the door to be met by a long dead butler. A similar story says that Anne Boleyn travels in a coach along the roads in the area of the Hall.

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  • Hi! I know quite a lot about ghosts, I’m not an expert but I was wondering if anyone suspects the sight of a ghost animal? Thank you! By the way your article is very spooky! I would love if you wrote more.

    By millie (20/11/2023)
  • My friend and I were on the Halls Corner bus stop when we heard a bang and then a really loud man scream as we ran back inside to our house, we was curious to what had just happened as we walked down sceptical of the event we looked into the currently being built old peoples home and saw a dark figure darting up the halls of the building. This happened around 2:30 am when no workers would be in the building. We have heard about the Nevendon Ghost, we are wondering if this is it.

    By Jay (03/09/2022)
  • I heard the main entrance door to Runwell Church had an imprint of a hand on it which supposedly was made by a devil who was chasing a parishioner and the door was slammed shut to keep it out.

    By Alan Wood (21/07/2022)
  • We had a lovely life schooled in the area and miss Mrs Bone and her team of teachers.
    I remember seeing lots of crows and ravens in the school fields near the river there.
    There was a rumour that a little girl had been abducted somewhere between Wickford and Romford. Has anyone heard of this rumour?

    By Wendy Joy Osben nee Offord (08/05/2022)
  • I remember going to St Mary’s church, Ramsden Bellhouse, to put flowers on my Mum’s stone in front of church doors and as I looked up there was a girl all dressed in black kneeling down facing the hedge, my friend was with me but as I said “Look at that girl” as seemed strange she vanished. Been many times since and never any more sightings.

    By Linda elmy (27/01/2021)
  • These tales are interesting, as my sister, Karen, and I grew up there. We have links to Canon John de Offord and Edward III, and also to Admiral Luce on our parents and grandparents side.
    We were regular church people there too.
    Best wishes to cousins Lesley and brother Davies, and to our mid wife Nurse Michelle, who was French, and a good friend of our late mother, Mrs Joan Offord, (a relative of Cicely Mary Barker and Barkers of Kensington fame).

    And, the Brandons who were Mormons.

    Much love, we hope to hear one day.

    By Wendy Osben Miss Wendy Offord (15/11/2019)
  • Bridge over the Wick.
    Saw a person in black.

    By Jan (29/04/2018)

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