Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kent’s Blue Bell Hill Ghost

This story has received a lot of press attention since the mid 1960s. It involves Kent’s most famous road haunting. * A female ghost is seen along the A229 in England on Blue Bell Hill --a stretch of road between Maidstone and Chatham. Motorists have seen a woman running or jumping out in front of their cars for the past 48 years.

Witnesses to this scary event state that this ghost locked eyes with them just before their vehicles hit her. These motorists were literally in a panic feeling they must have injured or even killed her. But what is odd none of them were able to find her, her body or any evidence of these collisions afterwards.

This woman just disappears or vanishes after these accidents. This is why many feel she is a ghost.

In 1965 a tragic car accident involving a Mark 1 Ford Cortina and Jaguar occurred near a bridge that crosses Old Chatham Road. The accident happened along a dangerous bend in this road. Tragically 3 of the 4 females in the Ford died. The driver of the Jaguar walked away unscathed his passenger was injured but survived.

One of the three females that died was taken to a local hospital were surgeons couldn’t save her. She was a bride-to-be, her marriage was scheduled for the day after the accident. Her fiancé was at her bedside when she passed.

This tragic accident happened so near the wedding not all the wedding guests were informed. Many showed up at the church in Gillingham the day after the accident only to be turned away.

How this tragic accident was reported.
Judith Lingham was the bride-to-be.

Many feel this bride is the ghost that haunts Blue Bell Hill. As well as reports of a woman jumping out in front of cars there have also been reports from people who pick up a female hitch-hiker by Blue Bell Hill that just vanishes after entering their car. But this ghost has been seen since the 1930s.

As mentioned this haunting is famous so there are many stories that surround this ghost. ** Here are just a few that have been written about in newspaper articles etc.

Four years after the accident, in 1969 a man from Rochester was driving along the A229 near Blue Bell Hill late at night when he spotted two pedestrians walking toward him. He was shocked to see both just vanish. Later that same year as he passed Blue Bell Hill he spotted these same two pedestrians but this time he watched as a car drove right through them as they crossed the road.

In July of 1974 Maurice Goodenough, a brick-layer from Rochester was driving past Blue Bell Hill when he saw what he later stated was a “young girl.” He recounted:

“The girl just walked out in front of me from the edge of the road. My car hit her with a hell of a bang.”

When Goodenough jumped out of his car he found her lying on the road. She had a cut on her forehead and scraped knees. He covered her up with a blanket and then tried to flag down another car--but no one stopped. Afraid to move her he went to the Rochester Police Station to tell them what happened.

They quickly returned to the scene with him but only his blanket was found. A search was arranged but nothing turned up. No one of her description had been admitted to a hospital etc.

Soon after, Goodenough told a newspaper reporter he was still shaken up about the incident. He was adamant he had seen this girl. He stated, “I’m not mad.”

Many felt that Goodenough saw the Blue Bell Hill ghost. The facts seem to concur.  He saw a girl-- and where he hit her was near where the accident occurred in 1965. Also the fact his car was not damaged gave credence to this belief.

Yet another encounter happened in November of 1992. Late one Saturday evening, Ian Sharpe a coach driver was on his way home to Maidstone when a young woman appeared directly in front of his vehicle. He was near the Aylesford southbound turn-off of the A229 at Blue Bell Hill.

Aylesford recounted that this woman stared directly at him just before he hit her. He saw her body go under the bonnet--hood of his vehicle. Mortified he jumped out to help her. He stated:

“You can’t imagine how it felt. I was so scared to look underneath, but I knelt down and straight through--there was nothing there.”

He then searched the area around his car and along the road but he found no one. He also went to the Rochester Police Station to report this accident. The police now familiar with the legend told Sharpe the story.

They then went back with him to where this incident occurred. But their search was fruitless. This 54 year-old man later stated that this experience was the most terrifying of his life.

Later that same month, another motorist and his passenger reported hitting a woman wearing a red-scarf near the Robin Hood Lane junction at Blue Bell Hill. They had searched the area but yet again they told police no body was found.

* This ghost story has been featured in hundreds of newspaper articles, books, magazines and TV shows. 

** These stories have been circulated so often that they have reached mythical proportions--hence some state the real story behind this haunting has been overshadowed by local folklore.

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