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Unsolved Mysteries In Essex

Monday 25th June 2018

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Looking into unsolved mysteries is always a fun thing to do. Weird, strange or unexplained events are fascinating to read about and we all love a good mystery.

With that being said, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the mysterious and esoteric occurrences that have happened throughout Essex over the years.

Mary Seward Disappearance

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Mary Seward was a 14-year old girl who was living with her parents at 98 West Road, Plaistow.

After a local boy (the younger brother of a neighbourhood friend of Mary’s) went missing one evening, Mary’s mother instructed her to go out and look for the young boy. Mary left the house at around 6pm to go and search for the lost child, but she was gone for many hours and never returned home.

Mary was last seen at around 6pm as neighbours saw her knocking on people’s doors, asking them if they had seen the child, which all turned up unsuccessful. This led to Mary expanding her search.

Strangely, after Mary left the neighbourhood, a group of young children arrived with the missing young boy, returning him to his home after they had found him. However, Mary was nowhere to be seen.

There has been much speculation as to what happened to her, with some believing she was kidnapped and taken out of the country, never to be seen again. The local police officers came to the conclusion that Mary had fallen victim to a local gang who were operating in the local area at that time.

However, this mystery was never solved and nobody knows what truly happened to Mary, and no one probably ever will.

The Red Lion Hotel

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The Red Lion in Colchester is easily one of the oldest inns around, which in turn has made infamous for hauntings.

There are none more infamous than the ghost of Alice Catherine Miller who is rumoured to stalk the hotel during the night hours. Alice was a chambermaid at the hotel in the 17th Century until she was murdered by her lover in 1638.

She has been known to roam the rooms of 5, 6 and 10, including her room, which was likely the room she was murdered in. The hotel manager found the spirit so terrifying that he had the door to her room bricked up, but this only made the hauntings worse.

Most creepy of all, the hotel assistant manager was awoken from his sleep one night to find a chair rocking back and forth in his room. Then to his surprise, he saw the figure of a woman sitting in the chair.

The spirit asked him “Are you alright?”, he replied yes and she disappeared. There has also reports of phantoms of a hooded monk and also a child who walk the floors of the hotel, but we guess you’ll have to go there and find out for yourselves.

Paddington Train Crash Death Fake Out

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Karl Hackett, 38 was a computer graphics worker from Barking, Essex.

Karl had gained a record for indecent assault and decided to assume a new identity to call up the Scotland Yard Casualty Bureau. He reported himself missing and was believed to be on the Ladbroke Grove train, which crashed and killed 31 people.

This led to Scotland Yard to believe that Karl was killed in the train accident, but Karl eventually was arrested and pleaded guilty for wasting 31 hours of police time.

He was sentenced to 5 months and a 2-month suspension. The two convictions of indecent assault resulted in a 12-month sentence, and led to him getting the new identity of Lee Simm.

Voodoo Rave & Bizarre Items

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A Hatton Garden Security Guard was told to stay away from a traveller site in Blackmore, Essex.

A man named Michael Porter drove through the site at around 2:30 in the morning while driving a small, grey people carrier, blasting out what could only be described as “Voodoo Rave” music.

If that wasn’t weird enough, the driver was wearing a mask that resembled the mask from the ‘V For Vendetta’ film.

There was also a black holdall left which inside contained a bible verse, a pair of trainers (that had been stabbed), and also a live shotgun shell. In the morning there was more strange items, such as a Scaletrix Set, two bibles, a single lit candle and photographs of a Russian boxer who had been murdered.

Adding to the eeriness, the police went down to the site later in the day and found Michael Porter making gestures in public while carrying a cross. Porter was ultimately fined £300 and was instructed to not go to the Oak Tree Travellers Set. Why did he do it though?

The John Palmer Murder Mystery

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John Palmer was a gangland boss who was “executed” in his £800,000 home in Brentwood.

Going by the name of “Goldfinger”, he seemed to have been the target of a professional hit. This would have had to have been an operation that would have taken potentially months to prepare, as his home was broken into and he was fatally shot 6 times. Mr. Palmer died at the age of 65.

The police have not been able to track down the killers who delivered the hit and it has left this as one of the most mysterious murders in Essex in the past decade.


As you can see, Essex has seen its fair share of creepy and strange mysteries.

There are a lot of mysteries that are still to be solved, ranging from murders to creepy happenings and hauntings to people faking their own deaths.

Know of any other unsolved mysteries? Be sure to let us know and we might even make a part 2!


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