Monday, January 24, 2011

Most Ghostly Village in England

(Photograph: Ruins in Pluckley)

The Guinness Book of World Records (1998) has Pluckley as being “the most haunted village in the country". The following excerpt is from my first book, Extraordinary Places...Close to London, IBSN 0-8038-2031-3 wherein I provide interesting and unusual places to visit in the Home Counties around London. Also included are stories of kings and queen, vikings, mysterious manor homes and castles.

Extraordinary Places...Close to London
Pluckley, Kent
Page 128

There are said to be at least 12-16 ghosts in and around the village of Pluckley. Two of the ghosts are Dering women, one who searches the gravestones looking for her child and another, a beautiful woman who wears an exquisite gown with a red rose pinned to her bosom. Legend has it her husband placed the rose in the coffin just before it was sealed. He loved his wife deeply and tried to preserve her beauty even in death. He had three lead coffins made each placed inside the other to insure an airtight seal and therefore insulating her beauty forever. However, the story goes that she was as wicked and cruel as she was beautiful.

Other ghosts of the village are the Gypsy Woman who fell asleep while smoking a pipe and died; the poltergeist who moves furniture at The Black Horse Inn and the White Lady of Surrenden Manor. The manor was burned to the ground in 1952, but the previous owner, an American big game hunter, sat up all night waiting for her to appear. Apparently she never did but the game hunter fired a blast of gunshot into the library ceiling for some reason he never explained.