Halloween: Take a terrifying tour of some of Redbridge’s most haunted houses

Claybury Hopsital before it was converted into flats.

Claybury Hopsital before it was converted into flats. - Credit: Archant

In the mood for a spooky Halloween walk across Redbridge? Here’s a terrifying tour of the borough - walk it if you dare...

Valentines Mansion

Valentines Mansion - Credit: Archant

The Cauliflower, 553 High Road, Seven Kings

Nobody knows when the once-famous pub was built, but the now uninhabited building has always had a reputation for being haunted.

Supernatural experiences include taps being turned on and off, holes appearing in beer lines and gas cylinders being moved in the pub’s cellar.

A spiritualist medium contacted a ghost called Kathy and ever since the strange happenings are said to have stopped.

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Kathy, who died nearby in the 1890s, is said to have warned a family not to board the ill-fated Titanic days before one member died in the sinking.

Even today, Ilford Recorder staff have noticed, when walking to work, the front window being left wide open and dirty white lace curtains billowing in the autumnal wind.

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Built: unknown Current use: vacant Sightings: A ghost called Kathy, who was part of a gang on the run from the police. All died in a sluice.

Valentines Mansion, Emerson Road, Ilford

A team of four ghost experts spent an evening alone in the 17th century mansion to gauge the true extent of supernatural activity there.

During the investigation a loud unexplained bang was heard in the dining room, also one of the team felt a force “pulling on her hair”. Neither incident could be explained.

The team felt that stormy conditions could have played a part – but could not confirm this with absolute certainty.

Over the years Valentines Mansion has assumed a number of roles as a home for wartime refugees, a hospital, a public health centre and a council housing department.

Built: 1696 Current use: Tourist attraction Sightings: a loud unexplained bang and other forces.

Former Wanstead Mansion, Wanstead Park, Wanstead

A cheating husband, disease and a banished ghost all lie behind the supernatural experiences at Wanstead Mansion.

Catherine Tylney-Long, the original homeowner, died suddenly in 1825 after complaining of stomach spasms but not before her philandering husband had driven the estate into the ground.

Nothing now remains of Wanstead Mansion as it was demolished and sold off as component pieces.

The ghost of Catherine is still said to drift through the park where the great house once stood, devastated with the way in which her cheating husband treated her.

Built: Converted from houses to one building in 1715. Current Use: House demolished. Sightings: The ghost of Catherine – the former owner – is said to glide across the park.

Former Claybury Hospital, Woodford Green

Now converted into flats, the strange history of the former Victorian asylum for the mentally ill has not gone unnoticed by residents.

Past inmates have appeared as ghosts on their former wards and people have reported hearing scratching at their front doors and voices when there is no one there.

Built: Late 19th century, converted in 2000s. Current Use: Flats Sightings: Past inmates appear on their former wards.

St Mary’s Church, Overton Drive, Wanstead

Our walk ends at St Mary’s Church where no actual witness accounts exist but local folklore says an apparition of a skeleton wanders the churchyard pushing a cart that bears a coffin.

The ghost is said to be looking for his wife’s body, which has either been dug up by grave robbers or was buried in a separate plot to his.

There are two other apparitions which supposedly exist: one is of a grey lady who is also looking for her spouse and Dick Turpin is also said to walk the graveyard.

Built: 1787 Current use: Active church used by the Wanstead parish. Sightings: Skeleton wanders the churchyard. Dick Turpin’s ghost is said to frequent the graveyard. A grey lady looking for her husband is said to appear too.

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