Tales from the Archive: The Seal Road bungalow poltergeist

[This story was published on February 7 in the Observer series. Read the original story at https://www.chichester.co.uk/news/nostalgia-the-seal-road-bungalow-poltergeist-1-8369726.]

The Ghost in Seal Road

There were ‘queer things’ happening in Seal Road in February, 1958, reported the Observer.

A Selsey bungalow to be let that summer had one extra amenity which was not advertised – a ghost. It had been haunting The Fairings, the home of Mr and Mrs Charles Quick, in Seal Road for the previous four years.

Next door neighbour Mrs Branson said that a poltergesit moved from her house at about that time. “It is not a frightening spirit,” Mr and Mrs Quick said. “It’s antics are really only mischievous.”

But they moved out of the bungalow a few months ago because the hauntings made them uneasy.

“With my husband away, I was often left alone with the children at night,” said Mrs Quick. “Under the circumstances it made me nervous.”

So what sort of thing went on there?

“We used to sit round the fire in the living room and watch the clock hands creeping round to 9.15pm,” said Mrs Quick. “At that time there would be a series of sharp rapping sounds on an antique sideboard in the corner, and then things would start to happen.”

Articles would disappear for days at a time, only to return again, she said, and cupboards locked at night would be open in the morning.

“I have often felt a push in the back and turned round to find nobody there,” said Mrs Quick. “When we first moved here I thought I was going mad, then we realized there were other influences at work.”

Said a friend, Mr Paddy Ryan (an Irishman, the Observer stressed, who did NOT believe in leprechauns) – “I was playing cards with the Quicks one night when a firmly secured mirror crashed to the floor. It could not possibly have been natural.”

One night when they had gone to bed, said Mr Quick, he was awakened by the sound of pebbles crashing on tho the bedroom floor as if thrown through the window – but there was nothing there at all.

But the biggest mystery, they said, was to be found in a cupboard in the kitchen. Firmly locked and bolted, it contained a selection of old glasses. ]“We have looked into the cupboard last thing at night and found everything in order,” said Mrs Quick. “When we have unlocked it in the morning the glasses have been moved forward, and cobwebs we left there on purpose have been broken.”

Mr Jack Lucas, a painter and decorator who was currently working on the bungalow (on the left in the photograph), said: “I would not like to say anything about ghosts.”

Mrs Branson next door, however, commented: “I am absolutely certain that we had a poltergeist here. I was never frightened; it was just exasperating.”

Often the electric light would be switched on and off, she said, and articles would be moved or disappear.

An attempt to exorcise the spirit had been made in 1944, clearly without success.

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