Weird Norfolk: Can you spot the creepy caravan which is hiding a spooky seaside secret?
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 12 May 2018
A family hoping for a holiday packed with sun, sea and sandcastles in Great Yarmouth were surprised to find a guest had already taken up residence in the caravan they had been renting for four days – an invisible entity which made it perfectly clear it wanted them to leave.
The Dunford family travelled from Cambridgeshire to Seashore Holiday Park in June 1971: Reg Dunford, 34, a farm worker, his wife Juliana, 31, their three children and Reg’s brother David arrived at the cream-coloured caravan B77 on a Saturday evening and enjoyed four happy days by the seaside until late on Wednesday night.
The family returned at 11.30pm and David climbed into his bunk in the five-berth caravan: “Suddenly, I was prodded hard in the ribs, but no one was standing anywhere near me. I thought I must be imagining things and laid down again. But the same thing happened. And then slowly the air around the bunk became chilly and cold and it was difficult to breathe,” he said.
“My brother sat on the bunk, but jumped up straight away saying he couldn’t breathe and had also been hit in the ribs.” The phantom proddings so scared the family that soon after midnight they drove two and a half hours back to Kimbolton in Cambridgeshire for a good night’s sleep.
When it came to the next morning, however, the family’s eight-year-old daughter Angela refused point blank to drive back to the haunted caravan to see if the spirit was still in residence or if the holiday could continue in peace. She stayed at home with her grandfather and the rest of the family returned.
Her mother spoke to the Eastern Daily Press on following Friday: “Just after midnight yesterday exactly the same thing started to happen,” she explained, “the whole caravan went cold and anyone who went near the bunk was prodded in the ribs. Even Sally, our retriever dog, rufused to enter the caravan.”
Mrs Dunford was found trembling and crying outside the caravan at midnight by a night watchman who immediately rehoused the family in another van. As the shaken Dunfords settled down to enjoy the rest of their fortnight’s holiday on the 1400-caravan site, a puzzled Mr Bob Whitworth, the site manager, said: “Nobody else will stay in B77 and the caravan will be exported to Holland - where many of our vans are sent - at the earliest opportunity. We have investigated the caravan and found nothing.” Mr Whitworth then offered a free night’s lodging to anyone who was prepared to stay in a haunted caravan: “This apparition - or whatever it is - seems to have mystified so many people that
I am receiving letters and telephone calls from ghost hunters who want to spend a night in the van,” he said.
“Anyone who wants to sleep by the sea is perfectly welcome to do so as far as I am concerned. I am certainly not going to charge them any money to be scared out of their wits.” The Borderline Science Investigation Group from Lowestoft investigated the caravan on June 11 – at around 7.30pm, the group settled in for the night and decided to direct their attention towards a bed in the north-east corner of the van which had gained the reputation of being the ‘haunted bunk’. The group found nothing, despite an earlier ghost hunter claiming “there is certainly an apparition present near one of the bunks…”
According to the owner and the BSIG, the creepy caravan was sold, but in 1977, there was another incident on the park – in the same area, in a caravan that shared the same number – a report claimed: “Another family were staying in the same caravan and were also rudely awoken one night. This time, they could hear eerie voices speaking in a foreign language underneath the caravan. One brave soul actually looked under the caravan with the aid of a torch but found absolutely nothing.” The Seashore Holiday Park at North Denes is now owned by Haven. Whether the ghost was part of the sale is a matter for debate.
For more Weird Norfolk click here.