The Ratman of Southend
Region of origin: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England
The sound of nails scraping along the walls of an underpass in Southend may be a sign the Ratman is near. The urban legend tells of a homeless man who retreated to the underpass for the night, only to be accosted by a group of drunken teens who beat him and left him to a slow and painful death, still calling for help as a hungry pack of rats descended upon him and ate his face. His spirit remained to haunt the underpasses, access-ways and sewers, assuming a grotesque, rat-like form and attacking any who enter his domain. An alternate version of the tale tells of a previous mayor of Southend having an affair resulting in a child, and as a cosmic punishment for his infidelity the son was born with the appearance of a half-man, half-rat monster, who was then abandoned to the sewers and grew up into a dangerous feral man-beast.