The Crumbles Ghosts and Murders

Eastbourne, East Sussex

The Crumbles Fishermen  by Towner

I first came across the reports of ghostly figures being seen on a practically deserted shingle beach area in Eastbourne, to which the reporter remarked that these figures were that of a teenage female who was murdered in that vicinity. I took a more in-depth look at this area and the murder, only to find yet another murder had also taken place in a nearby bungalow too.

The first apparition was witnessed by a fisherman, Richard Prodger. It was in the early hours of the morning in December 1921. He said “The ghostly thing was dressed in a long black gown. It suddenly rose from the ground, right in front of me and as I moved forward, it went ahead and when I stopped, it also stopped.”

He added “ Its gown was an Ulster like cape (these were rather long and double breasted, with two vertical, parallel rows of buttons) and it reached right onto the ground. On its head it wore a large round hat. It did not walk but just glided along. Then as it got nearer to the huts on the beach, it just sunk into the ground and disappeared.”

The second witness to an apparition on the beach was Mrs. Goldsmith, who was the caretaker of the Fisherman’s Institute but she saw something different. She said “ It appeared between 2 of the fisherman huts and looked like a white cloud.” She then added “It disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.” The report does not state as to whether Mrs Goldsmith had seen this during daylight hours or when it was dark.

Irene Munro

The first young lady who was murdered in The Crumbles was Irene Munro, who was just 17 years of age and worked as a typist in Oxford Street, London. This was the first time she had gone on holiday on her own. She lived with her mother in London and her mother had gone up to Scotland, to visit some friends. Irene and her mother were very close as Irene’s father had passed away a few years previously. By all accounts, Irene was an independent young woman. She had told the landlady of her holiday lodgings that she was off out for the day. She wore a smart jacket, skirt and large hat for her day's outing. It appears she was accosted by 2 ex-servicemen, who had form for robbing the tourists in Eastbourne. One of these men was 19 years of age and the other was in his late 20’s. They were finally caught and arrested as a witness, who was a sailor, saw them walking alongside Irene and other witnesses saw 2 men, fitting their descriptions, running away from The Crumbles around 9pm.

Irene’s body was found the next day by a young boy, running down towards the sea. She had died from blunt force trauma to the left side of her head and had been hastily covered up by the shingles on the beach. Both of these men blamed the other for the murder of Irene. Both men were found guilty and were hanged for their crime in Wandsworth prison in 1921. Neither confessed.

Another thing to mention, a small beige coloured cat was also found at the scene by Irene’s body. It had been shot in its left leg but went on to fully recover.

The Bungalow

The Bungalow

Emily Kaye

Emily Kaye

There was another murder in this quiet area and this time, it was in a bungalow. It was in 1923 when 37 year old Emily Kaye was savagely murdered by her then partner, Mahon. He found out that Emily had substantial savings and went about to dissolve her of her money. He had lied again and again to her, giving her a false name and didn’t tell her he was already married. He had also served a prison sentence for battering a woman around the head during a failed burglary several years before he met Emily. His wife had taken him back after he had served his prison time.

Emily was told more lies by Mahon and it was when Emily became pregnant, that Mahon became violent and murdered her. He chopped her body into small pieces and threw some of them around the local area whilst keeping other parts around the bungalow. Mahon carried on with his deceitful ways. He had other women come stay with him at the bungalow, whilst he spent Emily’s savings on his lifestyle. He had kept Emily’s bloodstained clothes with the murder weapon in a suitcase, which he had stored in a lock up at Waterloo rail station.

His wife was becoming more suspicious of Mahoon’s behaviour and hired a private detective to follow him. Mahoon was caught red-handed with the suitcase at Waterloo station and he was then arrested for Emily’s murder. He said that he and Emily had fought and she had thrown an axe at him (no evidence of an axe was ever found) then he said he had struck her and had tried to revive her but she had died so he panicked so that’s why he had chopped her body up. When the case went to court, there was lots of evidence of him being guilty that the jury took less than 45 minutes to find him guilty. He was hanged in Wandsworth prison.

The Crumbles

The Crumbles

Supernatural Paranormal investigator and experiencer Elliot O'Donnell

Elliot O'Donnell

Elliot O'Donnell's connection with the Crumbles Ghosts

It was in 1924 that the supernatural/paranormal investigator and author Elliot O’Donell published a book called ‘Ghosts- Helpful and Harmful, in which he visits the Crumbles bungalow and the area where Irene was murdered. O’Donnell, who had plenty of paranormal and psychic experiences said he had an experience whilst in both the bungalow and the beach area. He stated he felt that the Crumbles area itself was haunted by several different ghosts and that there was an evil influence in this area, which for those who are easily manipulated, would cause them to bring harm to others. There could be something in what he said and the energy of an area could have a negative effect on someone or, could it be that some people are just led by their greed and will commit heinous acts upon others to make financial gains for themselves?