Darker Than Reason – A Haunted Warehouse at Enfield Wharf

Haunted Warehouse Enfield Dock

 

A PARTICULARLY MALEVOLENT ghost haunts an old  wharf in Enfield, North London.

This formidable building, recently closed but still extant, looms menacingly at the edge of an old canal that in days gone by was used to transport its wares; lino which was pre­pared in great bulk on the premises.  From here, many inci­dents concerning ghostly occurrences have been forthcoming, although many of these may never be known, witnesses hav­ing been ‘lost’ with the passing of time, yet others unable or unwilling to relate their experiences.

Yet in more recent years these can be more precisely defined.  And some of them present a chilling picture of a sinister – if not ‘evil’ phenomenon.

One witness, a former employee  who worked at the warehouse from 1977 for eleven years, is in little doubt about the existence of this sinister entity and relates that it did not only unnerve himself but also several of his workmates.

Eddie Wooll from Enfield, became aware of ghostly stories soon after he started work at the warehouse, and con­firms that in view of what he later witnessed himself,  he was left in little doubt about their authenticity.

In later years, before its actual closure, the warehouse was used to pack and distribute machinery parts and building materials; the heavier boxes – after having been conveyed by lift – being stored on metal racks on the top floor.  Here, running around the upper-most walls of the building was a small inaccessible ledge – or ‘catwalk’ – one of many features no longer in use but used in the days when the warehouse was a lino factory.  Then, the building contained no floors and workers had to walk around the narrow walkway to hang huge lengths of lino out to dry on metal rollers suspended just below the roof.  This procedure was followed until 1936, when the warehouse was converted into a ‘modern’ building and new floors and a lift were installed.

But in more recent times,  there would appear to have been many strange occurrences in the building – particularly on its top floor -all events which can be confirmed by Eddie Wooll and occurred during the period that he worked there.  One of these anomalies concerned the heating – or lack of it –  that managed to reach the top floor.

In fact, although the building was heated by a large electric boiler that distributed hot air through large fans on each floor, none of this heat ever managed to reach the top floor, despite the fact that there was no blockage in the pipes to obstruct the  main heating system. Outside contractors were regularly called in but none could explain what was causing the prob­lem. On one occasion, two professional engineers attempted to completely overhaul the heating system  but under no cir­cumstances could they get hot air to reach the top floor.  In fact, as they worked there, they actually felt the air getting colder and colder, so much so that it was a relief for them to leave that floor and return to the comparatively normal tem­perature of the rest of the building.

Whatever efforts the company employed to resolve this problem, the less they succeeded, and in the winter months men working on the top floor were forced to wrap up in coats and wear gloves  and have electric fires on their benches in an effort to keep warm.

But an equally inexplicable occurrence seems to have in­volved the mysterious dislodging of boxes containing packed materials that were stored on the top floor.  It was a common occurrence, for example, for Eddie Wooll and his workmates to finish work on a Friday evening only to return on Monday to find boxes that had been previously neatly packed and stacked up having ‘fallen’ from their metal shelves lying open, their contents scattered across the floor.  On other occasions objects were found moved from their origi­nal positions; invariably, these events occurring overnight  when the building was locked up and unoccupied.

Then one day, an incident occurred which seemed to take on more sinister overtones …

One Saturday morning, one of the company’s drivers named Bill, brought his small dog into work, mainly for com­pany and to give it some exercise (the only thing drivers did on Saturday mornings was to wash down their vans).

It was a friendly creature and the subject of much fuss from the few people present.  In passing, Bill remarked that the dog was very intelligent and one thing that it was capable of doing  was quickly finding him if he tried to hide anywhere.  Of course, a natural place to try this out was the silent ware­house and, sure enough, wherever Bill went to hide – and no matter how well concealed he was – the dog quickly located  him.

Eventually, to give it one final test, Bill went to hide on the top floor, but this time, after racing around the downstairs floors and deciding he wasn’t there, when the dog reached the stairway leading to the top floor, it stopped dead in its tracks and backed away whining.

By this time, Eddie Wooll and two of his workmates had reached the landing and they watched uneasily as the dog tried to brave the stairs  but retreated each time as if stopped by some invisible barrier.

Hearing all the commotion, Bill appeared at the top of the stairs, but no amount of shouting or encouragement would entice the dog to go any further.  Then, prompted by the others to test the animal’s resolve, Bill attempted to carry the dog up the stairs, but it barred its teeth and growled and less than half way up jumped frantically from his arms.

Deciding that ‘something’ of a most unpleasant disposition was present – their fears enhanced by the fact that the area had turned icy cold – the group quickly retreated downstairs.

Whatever it was that had caused the dog to react in such a manner, this will certainly remain a mystery.  But from a psychic point of view, the dog’s behaviour on this occasion could be a relevant factor.  For it is commonly realised in psychic circles (indeed, elsewhere) that many psychic entities can have a direct effect upon animals.

But soon after this, another incident took place that seemed to give further credence to the possibility that some active force or ‘presence’ lurked upstairs.

It was Friday evening and Eddie Wooll was working late in a small office on the first floor.  He was foreman by now and much of his time was spent in this office, sometimes working late to catch up on his book work.  All of a sudden, he distinctly heard the sound of a heavy metal barrow being pushed around on the top floor.  He paid little attention to this at the time as another worker called David was also with him working late, except he noticed that the barrow had a ‘dodgy wheel’ as there was an intermittent banging sound whilst it clanked to and fro across the floor.  He thought this slightly odd, wondering why David had not chosen one of the better  barrows which were stored on the top floor.  This occurred around 6. 45 but a minute or two later when he left the office to check some stock, Eddie Wooll was more than a little sur­prised to meet David at the bottom of the stairs.  His surprise, however, soon turned to disbelief when he learned that David had been downstairs for sometime.  He had been working on the top floor some time earlier but for the previous 15 minutes he had been brewing some tea.

Needless to say, when the realisation dawned upon the two men that they were ‘not alone’ in the otherwise empty building they left soon afterwards, neither feeling inclined to venture back and turn out the lights on the top floor.

But the next morning, anxious to discover the cause of the previous evening’s disturbances, Eddie Wooll and a small team of drivers ventured cautiously to the top floor.

Astonishingly, in view of the havoc discovered on past occasions and the noises heard the previous evening, they found nothing untoward.  Indeed, everything was as it had been left at the close of work on the Friday and the metal bar­rows so frequently used to move heavy machinery were all in place.

While events such as these continued with added persis­tency at the warehouse, many of the current workforce (them­selves having shared other personal experiences there) had become convinced that some sinister force was operative within the building.

Of course, whilst there existed no material explanation to account for many of these happenings, the ‘material effects’ were all too apparent; and it was perhaps as a result of this, that a decision was taken to ‘hold a séance’ in the building in an attempt to make contact with the entity, or whatever it was that seemingly ‘lurked there’.

The séance itself  (perhaps initially an ill-advised decision) essentially involved a make-shift  ‘ouija-board  session’ and eight people, including Eddie Wooll, were present.  Card­board  letters of the alphabet were laid out in a circle on a polished table in an office, with two extra words reading ‘yes’ and ‘no’ inside.  Everybody put their index fingers firmly on a wine glass in the middle and Don, the person mainly respon­sible for organising the séance, asked out loud if … “anybody was there?”  Almost immediately, the glass began to move purposefully across the table,  going first to ‘A’, then to ‘N’ and on to ‘D’, stopping briefly  each time – almost deter­minedly – beside each letter.

At this point, another person present called Andy ex­claimed … “Its spelling out my name”; a comment that seemingly interrupted the proceedings as the glass abruptly returned to the middle of the table and stopped – the ‘spell’ presumably broken.

Needless to say, any further attempts to community with the entity – or ‘unearthly  presence’ – were abandoned for the night, and, although the possibility of conducting another séance was discussed at a later date, morale never again seemed quite right and the idea never materialised.

Yet although another séance was never attempted, still in­explicable events and mysterious happenings continued to be regular occurrences. Not least, was the mysterious movement and falling of boxes, and some workers would also be startled by a distinct shadow that appeared without warning and dis­appeared just as quickly amidst the cold and gloom of the top floor.  On other occasions – again on the top floor – lights would mysteriously turn themselves on and off and, usually after dark, a strange ‘sighing sound’ would echo around the building.  But it was later on during his time at the warehouse that Eddie Wooll witnessed an event that convinced him that some ‘ominous presence’ indeed haunted the old warehouse.

It was one October, a month that saw the annual stocktake, and by this time several new staff had been employed there although significantly, perhaps  (although more precisely on the directions of management who were anxious to avoid any possible lack of work performance), none were told that the premises were reputedly haunted.

On the occasion in question, Eddie Wooll and a new Indian worker called Me Mann were both counting the con­tents of some boxes stored on their racks on the top floor.  It was a tedious job.  Mr Mann was at the top of an eight foot ladder leaning against the metal racks calling out the contents of the boxes to Eddie Wooll who was logging them from his position on the floor.

Then all of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, Mr Mann fell headlong from the ladder.  His fall was cushioned by Eddie Wooll but the force was sufficient to send both men crashing to the floor.  Unhurt, but quite badly shaken, they were both at pains to understand what had happened, although some of the older workforce were not surprised when Mr Mann insisted that ‘something invisible’ had pushed him off the ladder.

In conclusion, and perhaps as a fitting epitaph to these ghostly events, before he eventually left the warehouse I 1988, Eddie Wooll decided to put some effort into discovering some facts about the warehouse’s history; facts which he hoped  might have a potential bearing on the strange events that he had witnessed there.

One discovery came to light:  The incident occurred in the early 1930’s when the warehouse was still a lino factory.  Appar­ently, one day, one of the drying rollers on the top floor (it may be recalled that in those days the warehouse had no floors as such, only steps leading to the narrow catwalk at the top of the building) where lino was hung out in huge lengths to dry, got stuck and two workers attempted to clear the mechanism.  In fact, one of them leant over the catwalk with the other holding him around the waist for support but unfortunately, during the course of this exer­cise, the first man lost balance and fell taking the other with him to imminent death on the ground floor some eighty feet below.

Of course, to suggest that this incident had any connection with the warehouse haunting would be far too nebulous a statement, but it could be relevant to note that some psychic occurrences seem to be connected to events of great tragedy.

But whether providing a clue to this sinister haunting, or merely throwing speculation upon events that appear to defy the explainable, is perhaps academic.

The old warehouse now deserted and securely bolted, standing formidably as some Victorian relic, would appear to show no sign of giving up its grim secrets. END

(c) David Farrant

The above case was first published in David Farrant’s book : ‘Dark Journey – True cases of ghostly phenomena from the files of the British Psychic and Occult Society’

 

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