No 16 Waterdales, Northfleet, Kent
This little known haunting of a 1930's council house involved three separate families for a brief period during the 1960's. The case took place in 1962 in the town of Northfleet, near Gravesend twenty miles southeast of London.
Twenty eight year old Sidney Maxted and his wife and three children moved into a small semi-detached house a short walk from Northfleet Cemetery. Waterdales is an extremely long thoroughfare with most of housing dating from the 1930's. Prior to the family taking up residence the house had no history of paranormal disturbance with its previous occupants.
After a short time in the house Mrs Maxted gradually became concerned about the noises she heard coming from the first floor front bedroom, which was located above the front living room.The noises sounded like footsteps as if a person was walking back and forwards across the floor.
Sidney Maxted also heard the sounds and like his wife found them difficult to explain but to set his wife's mind at rest he offered the explanation that the footsteps must be those of their next door neighbour at No 14. Mrs Maxted was not convinced.
Sometime later the Maxted children began complaining of scratching noises which came from under their beds and the bed covers being pulled off onto the floor by unseen forces. They also claimed they were being pulled or struck by invisible hands. The children became more distressed and eventually ended up sleeping in their parents bedroom during the night.
In February 1965 matters came to ahead when one night around 2am while attending to the baby she saw a figure of a child advancing towards her but as it got nearer it grew in height to become a menacing figure which bent menacingly over the bed. Mrs Maxted screamed and at which point the apparition vanished. The next day the family gave notice and left the house.
The property did not stay vacant for long and Northfleet Council allocated the property to Eric Essex and his wife Margaret and their baby. Again it was not long before strange things began to take place.
One afternoon Mrs Essex was sitting in the living room when they both heard what sounded like footsteps and the dragging of furniture coming from the bedroom above. They called Eric who was in the garden and all three of them rushed upstairs only to find no one there.
More footsteps were heard other the following weeks and musty and mouldy unexplained smells which came a went mysteriously through the house.
Mr and Mrs Essex tolerated these strange events until one night in August 1996 when Eric was awakened by the sound of footsteps on the stairs and in the hallway of which he got up and went to investigate but found nothing. On returning to bed he became aware of a whistling sound in his ears at which point the bed started shaking and vibrating. He looked to one side and to his horror saw a woman whose long dress trailed down to the floor and was glowing with an luminance but what made Eric recoil in terror was the fact that the woman was headless from the shoulders upwards. The next day as before with the Maxted's the Essex family quickly vacated the property vowing never to return.
The house now remained empty until another tenant could be found but despite it's vacant state strange sounds were still heard coming from within. Mrs Margaret Harrison who had been resident at No 14 for three months regularly heard the sound of heavy footsteps ascending the stairs at all hours of the day and night. One night while alone in the house scratching was heard from under the bed and a large booming sound which proved too frightening for Mrs Harrison and like her neighbours she and her husband eventually quit the house.
It is strange that a place that had no history of paranormal activity suddenly becomes active for a period of about four years which caused three seperate families to witness such frightening events to leave their homes.