Kooky Kent

Yithian

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#1
Strange Neighbourhood?

I've lived in Kent since the age of four and have always had an interest in the outre and unexplained but i never seem to find many cases 'close to home' as it were. Can anyone enlighten me as to any local Forteana without reference to either Pluckley or the Bluebell Hill mysteries (interesting but familiar cases).
 

hallybods

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#2
Let me see. I'm in Dartford and there are some really strange stuff going on.

In Swanscombe woods there's a monolith that's only seen on ancient maps and not on any new ones. It's supposed to be a public right of way, but every now and again people get chased away from it by security guards.

I was told a story some years back about Ingress Abbey in Greenhithe. It was in some disrepair for quite a number of years and the then owners where being forced to do it up. They invited a carpenter to price up some restoration. He wanted to take some photos and decided to take his girlfriend along too. They walked around until they came to the big mirror that, until fairly recently was still standing in the hallway. He took a picture of her standing infront of the said mirror. When the film was developed all the pictures except that one was ok, the last one showed loads of faces staring from behind the girlfriend.

I actually approached the caretaker, who was a local historian, about that story and he went really quiet and changed the subject. I could not draw him any further on it.

There are loads of other stories about the area, but I'm a bit knackered and can't remember them off the top of my head. When I'm a bit more with it I'll post them.
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
hallybods said:
I was told a story some years back about Ingress Abbey in Greenhithe.
Something else of interest about Ingress Abbey:

From http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/history/story/0,6000,792164,00.html

"Sinclair develops an outrageous and resilient metaphor in his book - via William Harvey and Harefield hospital - of the London ringroad pulsing blood. Purfleet links that to the vampire myth. 'The count had his base just down here,' he says, pointing across the river at the sunlit façade of Ingress Abbey opposite. 'This place had a park landscaped by Capability Brown: grottoes and follies in the woods. Now it's all been swamped by Barratt and Fairview estate boxes. I believe Ingress is the mirror image of Dracula's abbey, though. I think Stoker transposed it to the opposite side of the river, made it this little church we are coming to.' "
 

akaWiintermoon

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#4
hallybods said:
He took a picture of her standing infront of the said mirror. When the film was developed all the pictures except that one was ok, the last one showed loads of faces staring from behind the girlfriend.
:eek!!!!: I practicly cr*ped myself just reading that! I'd love to see the 'photo if anyone has any information on where it could be viewed, if available?

As to the origonal question, isn't Kent supposed to be the most haunted place in England as regards to X amounts of spooks per square yard etc?
 

James_H

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#5
it depends who you listne to. devon is a good candidate.
 

Yithian

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#6
Wintermoon said:
As to the origonal question, isn't Kent supposed to be the most haunted place in England as regards to X amounts of spooks per square yard etc?
I'm not sure about spooks per square yard (supernatural density?), but such a claim probably stems from the fact that Pluckley (a small village near Ashford in Kent) is supposedly the most haunted village in Britain. Googling should turn up quite a lot of info on the place if anyone is interested.
 

akaWiintermoon

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#7
Yeah, I actually heard the info I quoted on a supernatural TV programme. I don't recall which one in particular ( :rolleyes: Oops. :D ) but I do remember it showing a pub that had at least 2 - 3 spooks in it. I particually recall one in the pub kitchen who used to mess about with the lights, taps, and knives! :eek!!!!: I'm sure it was also the same place where someone claimed to have seen a pair of huge blood red eyes starring at them from the darkness of the fire place too. *shudders*
 

hallybods

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#8
Wintermoon said:
:eek!!!!: I practicly cr*ped myself just reading that! I'd love to see the 'photo if anyone has any information on where it could be viewed, if available?

As to the origonal question, isn't Kent supposed to be the most haunted place in England as regards to X amounts of spooks per square yard etc?
I have to admit that I've never looked for it as I put it down to being just an UL. But the reactions of the caretaker made me wonder if it wasn't true.

I found this about the restoration of the Abbey:

Ingress

I've also got some photos taken of the place about 5 years ago. When I've got time I'll scan them in.

It reminded me of things that happened to myself, hubby and friend. Well before they even thought about building on the site we went to have a poke around. The Grange folly is really eerie. To set the scene, it was a really hot day, the hottest of the year. As I walked towards the Grange it became increasingly cold until when I got to the folly when it became uncomfortably freezing. It was like standing in a freezer. I got a nasty feeling that I was being watched. Also a few months later we went looking in the woods behind the Abbey for remains of old buildings etc. There were dead spots, you could stand in one part of the woods and hear birds singing and traffic, you'd then take one step and all noise would stop. The dead spot would be about 10 feet wide and you could step in and out of it. There may be a natural explination but it was so bizarre.
 

hallybods

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#10
rynner said:
I certainly looks like an intriguing place.

But what's thestory behind The Cave of the Seven Heads? :eek!!!!:
I believe they came from the old London Bridge. It's the first time I've seen it called by that name.

I've scanned a couple of images of the cave, but couldn't get very close. I think you can just about make them out.

My photos (click on Ingress folder)
 

Jerry_B

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#11
Here's something for you:

1927 - Witness sleeping in tent awoke during gale and saw 'round globules of fire' bouncing in tops of apple trees (Upstreet, Kent).
 

Yithian

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#12
JerryB said:
Here's something for you:

1927 - Witness sleeping in tent awoke during gale and saw 'round globules of fire' bouncing in tops of apple trees (Upstreet, Kent).
I'm not sure where upstreet is offhand but have you got the source for that quote - it sounds interesting.
 

James_H

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#15
I remember one of my cousins telling about someone dying on the rollercoaster in dreamland and leaving a ghost, but it was a lot of nothing made up to scare me, as revealed eventually.

We (myself, sister & cousin) did do a ouija board thing in Ramsgate and a sequence of events scared us all shitless for a day. Everyone else was downstairs but we were upstairs, trying to get a glass to move without human agent, which it didn't. Then we percieved taht we heard breathing outsdie the door so we called it all off and switched the light on - whereupon the aerial fell off the TV, causing us to all run downstairs. Then, when we downstairs, the CD player in the room we had been in turned on automagically. (My cousin could likely have put it on alarm clock to scare us all - in the fact the whole incident looks like several percieved things and coincidences taken the wrong way by psyched-up kids)
 

JamesWhitehead

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#16
In their Gazetteer of Strange Events, county by county at the end of
Modern Mysteries of Britain, the Bords list over twenty weird events
in Kent:
1: Bilsington, abominable snowman, May 1961;
2: Blue Bell Hill, phantom hitch-hiker, 13th July 1974;
3: Chatham: 4-year old girl disappears then reappears in bed, July 1966;
4: Cheriton, Folkestone: Poltergeist, Oct & Nov 1917;
5: Chilham: Big black cat or dog by ancient mound, Jan 1947;
6: Cliftonville: Sea Monster, Summer 1950;
7: Dartford: SHC death of author J. Temple Thurston? 6.4.1919;
8: Eastry: Ghost photograph interior of church, 1956;
9: Faversham: Big sandy cat, 30.8.1985;
10:Faversham area: Big black cat, January 1979;
11: Goodwin Sands: Abandoned schooner found, 1919;
12: Isle of Sheppey: Silver suited & helmeted alien, 22.3.1979;
13: Lamberhurst: Missing horse discovered in adjoining room. Door too narrow to release it, 1905;
14: Paddock Wood: Old lady road ghost, May 1912;
15: Ramsgate: Fall of pennies, some 40 or 50 in 15 minutes, November 1968;
16: Sandling Park, Hythe: Headless Cryptid with bat's wings, 16.11.1963;
17: Sandwich: Crocodile on River Stour, 29.7.1975;
18: Sevenoaks: Ice fall dents car, 18.8.1968;
19: Sevenoaks: Road ghost run over but no body found, 14.6.1979;
20: Sevenoaks Bypass: "Phantom road" may be cause of several fatal crashes, 1977 - 79;
21: Between Tonbridge & Sevenoaks: Jackal killed after several animal deaths, 1.3.1905;
22: Whitstable: Black cloud with glowing crucifix seen for twenty minutes, 25.12.1977.

Some of these stories are recounted in detail in the book. Others are just tantalizing
outlines but maybe Google will turn up something. :)
 
A

Anonymous

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#17
Bilsington must be a hotbed of paranormal activity, as I have heard reports of phantom feet being seen at the old monastery there. I tried to find the old monastery a few years ago, but to no avail... but happened on the strange memorial to Sir Cloudsley Shovel instead... since then I seem to see his name everywhere in Kent and South London.

Also :

'16: Sandling Park, Hythe: Headless Cryptid with bat's wings, 16.11.1963;'

Could this have been Mothman ??
 

Cider

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#19
Upstreet is about 15 mins from Canterbury. It's pretty small and situated on the edge of Stodmarsh Nature Reserve. Now I know that I slept through most of chemistry and biology, but don't marshes give off gases? If a set of exceptional conditions occured could this lead to something that looked like balls of fire happening naturally? Or am I just talking pants?
( I spend most of my spare time staying there- I don't want to start looking for flame balls in the middle of the night, not after just finding out about T.V. ghosts!*shiver* )

As to fortean places, The White Lion in Tenterden has a ghost in the restaurant (that rarely appears, twice in the 2 years that I was there and one of those times I think that it may have been my fault.) and one on the third floor corridor specifically outside room 16. This one happens all the time although you don't notice it if the hotel has residents.

Also The Wool Pack in Chilham is known within the company that owns it (Shepherd Neame) to be haunted.
 
A

Anonymous

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#20
hallybods said:
There are loads of other stories about the area, but I'm a bit knackered and can't remember them off the top of my head. When I'm a bit more with it I'll post them.
Hallybods, it's funny you should mention this as me, Halib & Mini Haarp went for an aimless drive around Greenhithe the other day...
I love the story about the strange monolith and about Ingress Abbey... Can you tell us anymore today ?

Haarp
 

hallybods

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#21
Ingress Abbey

Letmesee. The present Ingress Abbey was built by James Harmer a famous Georgian/Victorian Newspaper publisher. He had the poet Eliza Cook stay for long periods of time. A rumour started that she'd had a child by Harmer, and killed the baby shortly after birth. Harmer actually sued the newspaper that printed this story, but the rumours still persisted. It wasn't until many years after her death that it was found that she was a lesbian.

It has also been said that a female servant committed suicide at the Abbey and her spirit is said to wander around the house and grounds behind.

My hubby just reminded me of another event that happened on the same day as I visited the Grange. He was walking around the grounds when I noticed that he had caught the sun and his skin was really red. The thing was that when I looked carefully he had a white patch on the outer part of his arm. The patch looked like the fingers and part of the palm of a slender woman’s hand.

I’ve a friend who is also interested in Ingress. He used to live quite near and would regularly visit the grounds. Knowing that the security guards wouldn’t let him into the main house he snuck inside late one night. When he got to the cellars he discovered that there are three layers. Now the building isn’t really that big so it seems a bit odd that it would have that amount of cellars. He also found that one part of the cellar had been bricked up, and had airbricks at the top.
 

rynner2

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#22
The name itself is interesting.

Ingress n. Entrance; power of entrance; means of entering.

It suggests a portal - to what? :eek!!!!:

Then again, taking 'entrance' as a verb, we have another take on the paranormal. Was someone playing mind games when the place was named?

And when exactly was it named? What was there before Mr. Harmer built his 'Abbey'?
 
A

Anonymous

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#23
Must've been built on land that was taken from the church by Henry VIII at the Disolution of the Monasteries.. and
later either sold on to earn him a bit of cash or handed out to one of his associates as a gift.

Think of all the tales of woe and bad vibes that would give to a place; homeless monks, sick and dying people turfed out in to the streets, starving people with no where to turn etc.

There are other 'Abbeys' like this .... Woburn, Beaulieu, and more I can't bring to mid at the moment..
 

hallybods

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#24
Ingress Abbey

Small potted history.

Supposed to have been a landing place for the Romans, and it has also been rumoured that they kept local slaves there before shipping them off.

Later the land was owned the crown and then given to Dartford Priory by Richard II. Several nuns farmed there until 1450. It was then leased out. In 1464 chalk from the estate was used to repair the London city walls.

After the dissolution the land went to the crown and then was sold off by Elizabeth I.

In 1633 a new manor house was built. It then passed through different owners until 1748 when it was sold to William Ponsonby the Earl of Bessborough and Viscount Duncannon. During his stay the house and grounds were improved. Unfortunately his wife and 7 of his kids all died there within a short time.

It was then sold to John Calcraft who was the father of Granby Calcraft (who was born there), a famous soldier in the Napolionic Wars.

The site was then brought by William Havelock who had the site pulled down to make way for a dockyard. The sceme fell through and again was sold on. It was brought by James Harmer and the new mansion was built between 1832 and 1834.

Portland Cement used it as a research station. During WWI it was a hospital for Canadian soldiers. Between the wars it turned into a Nautical college and in WWII it was nurses accomodation. Turned into a Merchant Navy college in 1976. Closed in 1989.

The site is supposed to be cursed, it will never pass through more than two generations. It is true that there are no records of the estate passing from any further than father to son.
 

Yithian

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#26
Incidently, I noticed an appeal for local ghost hunters in a Maidstone newsagent's window yesterday. I believe the name was Michael. Mentioned Skeptics and wanted over 18s only.

Anyone from the board involved?
Just a thought.
 

Yithian

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#29
Thanks for the link Pixiebelle.

Apparently i started this thread - and indeed my post is first - but i'd never call anything 'kooky' - least of all an English county! :?

At what price alliteration, i ask you?
 

Heckler

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#30
No-one has mentioned Dover Castle (my old home town) so I thought I would:

There have been sightings of a Roman soldier near the old Roman Lighthouse on the castle grounds. The headless ghost of a drummer boy from the Napoleonic Era also roams the grounds as well as ghosts of British Royalists, a lady in red and a hooded monk.

The most often spotted ghosts are those of World War II soldiers in the tunnels beneath the castle that were used to mastermind the evacuation of Dunkirk.
Source: http://www.great-castles.com/doverghost.html
 
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