Monday, December 2, 2013

Pluckley’s Legends

Haunted St. Nicolas Church
Photo: Stephen Nunnery

Pluckley is a picturesque English village located in Kent. For years, stories have circulated about the ghosts that reside in and around this village. 

With time, these ghost stories have taken on a life of their own and the village today is literally seeped in stories about ghosts. As a result in1989 the Guinness Book of World Records listed Pluckley as the “Most haunted Village in England.”

Most of the ghost stories told in Pluckley today are legends. Many children in the area grew up hearing these legends--which have taken on folklore status. On the other hand, a few stories told are based in real sightings.

Frederick Sanders in 1955 wrote a book entitled Pluckley Was My Playground. His book told the ghostly tale of an 18th century highwayman and a colorful local gypsy lady. 

A one-time resident of the village, Desmond Carrington admitted to stirring the pot further when he “concocted a whole string of stories” that were featured in a television article written by journalist Bill Evans in the 1950s.

Frith Corner, now known fittingly as “Fright Corner”, is where Sanders’ highwayman ghost is seen. It is said this unfortunate highwayman was ambushed. Some say by the law others say by other criminals. In the ensuing fight this highwayman was killed by a sword thrust through him. This sword not only went through him, it then lodged in a hollow tree behind where he stood--pinning him. This tree no longer stands.

At this spot this ghost can be seen re-enacting the fight that took his life.

Haunted Pluckley Wood

Sanders’ female gypsy apparition also known as “Watercress Woman” is seen at the crossroads bridge. She smokes a pipe and stands or sits on the bridge selling watercress from the nearby stream. Her figure is described as "misty" in appearance. 

She has haunted this area since she “burned to death.” Sparks from her pipe lit alcohol she was drinking --which caught her on fire. This bridge is often shrouded in nature's mists.

Another Pluckley ghost story has multiple witness accounts to back it up--one sighting happened recently. A phantom horse drawn coach is seen throughout the village. A couple driving home at midnight from babysitting their grandchildren spotted this coach being pulled by horses. Lights illuminated the coaches’ windows.

Another local resident driving a back road to return home saw this coach pass right in front of his car. A visitor to the village in November of 1977 heard wheels and horse hooves striking against cobblestones right outside his car window--the road he drove was a modern paved street--at one time it was cobbled.

Haunted Black Horse Inn
Think of any historical ghost stereotype and Pluckley has one. Besides the stories above the village has a ghostly schoolmaster and Colonel both said to have committed suicide. Pluckley also has two white ladies, a red lady, a miller who is seen as a black shadow and a ghostly monk. 

The village also has a haunted church and grounds, a haunted house, a haunted inn, a haunted hunting lodge, a haunted forest known as the “Screaming Woods” and a haunted bush known as the "Devil’s Bush."

Both thrill-seekers and serious ghost hunters visit this village. 

The following short Strange But True? clip highlights several recent witness accounts about Pluckley’s ghosts--including the phantom coach.

1 comment:

Leona Joan said...

Pluckley sounds like my kind of town! I would love to visit there. The photos sure look like ghostly mist to me! I especially like the phantom coach. Thanks for sharing. Happy Fall! 🎃