The Myths and Legends of Kent
Kent is a region with a rich history that has led to many myths and legends. Some of them are genuinely scary, others simply evoke a bygone age that comes alive again when we hear these tales of lost villages, ghost ships and other strange happenings.
In many cases, the exact details have been lost over the passing of the centuries. Yet, these myths and legends remain powerful and intriguing to anyone who hears them.
Kent’s strategic coastal location and famous sea-going heritage have helped to give us some amazing legends. For example, the Goodwin Sands ghost ship. A vessel called The Lady Luvibond is believed to have sunk here in 1748. It is said to appear on the 13th of February every 50 years and take another ship down with it, although it failed to make an appearance for the 250th anniversary in 1998.
Another myth that comes from the water is that of the Thanet sea monster. Several sightings of this serpent-like creature have been made, dating back to 1935. The mythical beast has mainly been spotted by people in Margate, although no photos or videos of it have ever been released. Other Kent sea legends include the drowned Victorian tea party whose clinking cups can sometimes be heard even now.
Things That Have Disappeared
Among the most interesting legends in Kent are those of things that have disappeared. Perhaps the most spectacular is the story of how an entire village vanished off the map. Dode was located near Luddesdown, but its entire population is said to have died in the 14th century due to the Black Death. The last survivor was a seven-year-old child who sought refuge in the church and is said to now haunt the area, returning to the churchyard every seven years.
Then there is the tale of the disappearing hitchhiker. The A229 south of Chatham is where a hitchhiker is said to run out directly in front of cars before mysteriously disappearing. Blue Bell Hill is also where the ghost of a bride-to-be who died in 1965 is believed to appear from time to time. In addition, an old-fashioned shop is said to have appeared and then disappeared in Tunbridge Wells in the 1960s. Finally, a Spitfire and airmen are reported to appear and then vanish around Biggin Hill Airport too, in what was once part of Kent.
How Popular Culture Helps Keep Myths Alive
These are all terrific stories, but how did they stay alive for so long? In the past, they were passed on by word of mouth. Now, popular culture helps to keep this kind of myth alive. From TV shows about ghosts to internet discussions and movies about famous legends, these fascinating tales can reach far more people more easily.
Myths like these are also considered apt inspiration for numerous video games. Some good examples come from the slot developer Microgaming, who produce some of the best online slots based on myths and legends from around the world, like Thunderstruck, Lucky Leprechaun and Avalon. Surely it won’t be long before, as we peruse the review sites, we find one based on a Kent legend.
When all is said and done, the main reason these tales remain so widely known and shared is simply that so many people enjoy them. Whether they are true or not, these are stories that let us escape from our everyday reality, imagining the weird and wonderful things that may have happened in places that are familiar to us.