The Strangest Myths and Legends around Kent
The UK is famous for its history, not least because of the strange and whimsical legends which that history holds. Kent is no exception to this, being home to several mysterious stories and creatures. Let’s take a look:
The Vanishing Hitchhiker
A modern legend told on the website of folklorist Brian Haughton, the story goes that on Blue Bell Hill, south of Chatham, there is a woman who stands on the side of the road, trying to flag down cars, only to disappear in the back seat after motorists have offered her a way home. She is believed to be the ghost of a bride-to-be, who was supposed to wed the day after she died in a car accident in 1965. There are also reports of women running in front of cars late at night, being hit and then vanishing from sight. This is one of the most famous ghost stories to come out of Kent, with it being reported in a number of national newspapers and being featured on Haunted Rooms as part of Kent’s ghost hunt.
The Beast of Tunbridge Wells
Moving onto monsters now, the Beast of Tunbridge Wells has been around for a long time. First sighted in 1942, this Bigfoot-esque creature is said to be over 8ft tall and roams the streets and forests, terrifying residents with its glowing red eyes. In 2012, The Daily Mail interviewed a hiker who claimed that the creature ‘roared’ at him before approaching him slowly. Our obsession with cryptids and legendary creatures is one that is popular around the world and across time; we can see Minotaurs in television, the story of Medusa in our music, and even creatures like Pegasus in online games at William Hill, showing that the Internet age still has a space for these historical tales.
The Black Dog at Leeds Castle
This legend serves as an omen of accident or misfortune to anyone who spots it. The story goes that, in 1431 King Henry VI’s aunt was accused and found guilty of necromancy, witchcraft, and treason – she was locked in the castle until her death, and it is believed that she cast a spell on the tower that still lingers today. Visitors have reported seeing a ghostly black dog wandering around on its own, and experienced bad luck after their sightings. It’s one that adds to the attraction of the historic site, with Leeds-Castle.com citing the legend, and tourists almost eager to see the animal, in spite of what may happen to them.