1982. Southend, England.
A young motorcyclist was charged with maliciously wasting Police time. In his defence, he said he’d become lost late one night and had stopped, trying to get his bearings, when a beautiful girl in bike leathers approached him, introduced herself as Susie and asked for a lift. She said she was in trouble and needed to get home immediately. She gave him a street number and promised to show him how to get there. On the way to Southend they talked for a long time. He asked her out for the following Saturday and she accepted. At the Cheltenham roundabout, he felt a bump and she wasn’t with him any more. After a quick frantic search, he ran to a nearby telephone box and called Police.They all searched until sunrise and then went to the address he had been given. A middleaged woman answered the door. When the authorities enquired about Susie getting home safely, she broke down and accused all and sundry of playing a sadistic joke on her. This woman then declared that her daughter Susie had died in a motorcycle smash 12 years before – at the Cheltenham roundabout.
During the court trial for this young man charged with malicious mischief, the magistrate was completely taken with the defendant’s story and the fact that he was adamant that this girl was as ‘real’ as either of them in court that day! In the end, he was let off for the charge, but many people still recount the story. In fact, this turned out to be one of many stories given by locals about the area that indeed there was a haunting of sorts by a mysterious girl, clad in leather, lost on her way home. Finally, I must tell you that the reason this story made such headlines was not just that it turned into a court case, but that a certain someone started having dreams about all of this. The dreams were so real that the young musician decided to compose a song about it and entitled the song, ‘She was real’. It is currently one of his most requested performances. The singer’s name?........Jon English, a former resident of the area before emigrating to his new found home….Australia.