No matter where you are in the world, there’s probably a haunted house, hotel, or old historical site that’s waiting for you to visit. Some of these places are shrouded in mystery, with legends passed down for centuries. And ghost hunters everywhere are always trying to catch a glimpse of a ghost wandering a haunted hallway, hear mysterious voices in an empty room, or even feel a chill as their investigating a dark corridor. Then how would it be to investigate a living village which had its streets and almost all the houses were haunted?? Yes, such a place does really exist even in this 21st-century world!
|Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia|
Pluckley, a traditional English village, just outside of Ashford, is said to be the most haunted place in England. References to Pluckley of Kent county can be found in the Domesday Book, at which time it was a more significant thriving-settlement than the now considerably larger town of Ashford.
This quiet historic-place boasts a phantom headmaster, a dying highwayman, a dead Watercress Woman, an old church with a number of haunting phenomena, a coach and horse that dashes through the village, and the Screaming Woods, in which it is said blood-curdling shrieks and wails are commonly heard.
Most of these haunted spots are connected to the Dering family, Lords of the manor from the 15th century until World War I. During the Civil War, Lord Dering escaped capture by Cromwell’s forces when he dived head-first through such a window. When he later came to rebuild his manor house he commemorated the feat by having every window built in the same style, and this, in turn, was copied throughout the village.
Sadly, the house itself burnt down in 1951, but many houses on the streets still feature this reminder of his great escape.
In 1989, the Guinness World Records named Pluckley as the most haunted village in the country, with 12 apparitions. This pretty, picturesque village earns its ghoulish moniker for its high ghosts to residents ratio, being a settlement of just 1,069 people. That’s one ghost for every 89 people. However, you can discover more spooky stories about 12 to 16 apparitional residents there, depending on who you believe.
The haunting legends that are often recited by the people about the village are, respectively:
At Rose Court, a Tudor Lady, believed to be the mistress to a member of the renowned Dering family who took her own life after eating poisonous berries is apparently heard calling her for her dogs between 4pm and 5pm.
Residents, however, are far less concerned with the ghost per capita ratio and more irked by the number of ghost-hunters who skulk around the village at Halloween in search of the supernatural and scaring themselves witless. They even declared that Halloween in the village would be cancelled and asked for help from police to chase off the scores of fiend-friendly tourists. So before you consider a trip, be warned: if the ghosts don’t get you, the locals might.
However, you could casually go and visit this hauntingly beautiful place to feel the excellency of a traditional site. The village, approximately 8 km from the nearest junction of the M20 motorway, is served by Pluckley railway station, about 2 km to the south. It lies on the Greensand Way long-distance walking route and is close to the Stour Valley Walk.
Few years ago in 2008, a courageous young reporter at The Telegraph, named Francesca Hoyles set out to assess this reputedly haunted village, daring to spend a full, spooky day and night there. Yes, she really did it. However, she found the village “far too pretty to be spooked” and saw neither hide nor hair of the paranormal. Remaining alive and well after her investigation in the Garden of England, she said: “Pluckley is the epitome of a traditional English village: pretty cottages, a small post-office, a butchers’ and a pub (also haunted, apparently) cluster around the main street. There is a timelessness about the place that must have made it appeal as the location for The Darling Buds of May which was set in the 1950s.”