The Eerie Rodent Hybrids of Essex

With its witchy past, vast population of displaced West Ham fans, and big orange lasses who totter about dim streets like ungainly Lovecraftian fish-beasts, there are few places in the world scarier than Essex. This is especially true for the coastal resort town of Southend-on-Sea, which harbours a particularly gruesome duology of urban legends based around its very own resident monster:

The Ratman of Southend.


“Squeak?”

This X-Files-esque creature has two reported origins, both centred on the same spooky underpass on the outskirts of town. The first take on the story is perhaps the most common, and it’s something of a playground favourite amongst the local schoolkids.

Many years ago, the mayor of Southend was a notorious womaniser who couldn’t keep his rat in its cage, so to speak. In an admittedly odd form of divine punishment for his many affairs, his son was born with a hideous, rodent-like face and a thin pink tail, as well as an insatiable craving for raw flesh. Horrified, the mayor and his long-suffering wife locked the boy away in a hidden cell inside an underpass. He has since escaped, however, and continues to frighten (and occasionally feast on) unsuspecting passers-by to this very day.



The second, perhaps even more disturbing version of the Ratman legend tells of an elderly homeless fella who used to shelter in the underpass during bad weather. One grim, storm-ravaged eve, a nice bunch of teenagers came along and proceeded to kick the living shit out of him, before stealing his blanket for good measure and running off home for a traditional Essex supper of chicken dippers and WKD.


Bone apple teeth.

Badly injured and with no protection from the cold, the poor bloke soon perished. Ever since that night, nearby residents have reported hearing tortured, rat-like squeals echoing out from the darkness of the underpass, as well as the piercing scratch of large claws scraping along the walls…

Of course, anyone who’s actually been to Southend will tell you that vengeful spirits and gruesome ratboys are far from the worst things you’ll find in the local pedestrian walkways, but it’s a pretty creepy pair of tales nonetheless.


Ahh, pictures you can smell…

Besides, it’s fun to post a more modern entry on this blog every now and again. Breaks up the endless procession of crumbling castles haunted by the ghosts of whining, insufferable aristocrats, eh?

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