The Ghosts Of Bluebell Hill

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Post by kentpara » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:43 am

The Ghosts Of Bluebell Hill

Blue Bell Hill (sometimes, incorrectly, Bluebell Hill) is a chalk hill between Maidstone and Rochester in the English county of Kent. It overlooks the River Medway and is part of the North Downs. Settlements on the hill include Walderslade; and Blue Bell Hill and Kit's Coty villages. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries much of the hill was quarried for chalk.

The recent history of the haunting of the Maidstone - Rochester Road (A229) over Blue Bell Hill probably begins with the terrible crash of 19 November 1965, but recent reports may have provided us with some earlier reports which we are still investigating. On a Friday evening a Ford Cortina was heading towards Maidstone with four young women on board. S, an Australian-born shorthand typist was to be married the next day and was driving the other girls to the Running Horse pub, Maidstone, in the hope of meeting some of their boyfriends. J was in the front passenger seat and P and G were in the back. It was never decided what caused the accident, no blame was ever attributed to anyone, but as the Cortina rounded a bend on what is now the Old Road it collided with a Jaguar that was coming up the hill.

J died almost at once, followed by P an hour later in Maidstone and S the following Wednesday. G was hospitalised for over four months but survived. A photographer from the Maidstone Gazette, Mike Pollard, was on his way home when he encountered the carnage and he took some harrowing pictures of the crash scene.

It was only one year before reports of a ghost, hitching a lift from the hill into Maidstone, became widely known. Blind switchboard operator Tom Harber (now deceased) was reported in September 1968 to be a collector of information about these reports, but he was frustrated when nothing substantial could be obtained. I have managed to speak with members of J's family, who confirm that drivers had turned up at the Maidstone home of one of the girls enquiring after a female passenger they had just given a lift to. Reports of this are sketchy, as some featured Maidstone while others reportedly occurred in Rochester.

There were only odd mentions of the Ghost of Blue Bell Hill (GBBH) over the next few years, with nothing significant until 1974, when events were to mark a change in the phenomenon. A Rochester man, MG, was driving home in the early hours of Saturday morning when he knocked down a young girl who he thought may have been about ten years old. Distraught, he ran back and picked up the girl who was bruised and crying for her mother. Laying the girl by the side of the road, he tried to flag down passing motorists. When no one would stop, he covered her in his car blanket and dashed to the nearest police station for help. When the police arrived at the scene a few minutes later the girl had gone, though the blanket remained. At first light a search was conducted in the area with dogs, but nothing was ever found.

The Kent Messenger marked the occasion by putting together all the ghost stories to date in an article by Nigel Nelson called 'Drivers beware the Phantom on the Hill'. The next encounter was reported in an article in the Evening Post on Tuesday, 30 August 1977, when two men reported seeing a blond woman in a white evening dress in a slightly dishevelled state waiting as if for a lift. They were from Welling and reportedly had no knowledge of the hill's unusual history.

All was fairly quiet in the period between 1977 and November 1992, when the encounter by Mr S on 10 November marked another turn in the history of the GBBH. Mr S was driving home down Blue Bell Hill when he suddenly saw a young girl run out from the central reservation in front of him. The amazing thing was that the girl looked Mr S 'right in the eye' before disappearing beneath the bonnet of his car. Mr S skidded to a halt just by the Aylesford turn-off and searched for the body. He became frantic when he could not find it. He went to Maidstone Police Station to report what had happened and was told of the GBBH. No body was ever found. This incident was almost duplicated a few weeks later.

Yet another event was reported in Kent Today on 8 January 1993 and involved the M family. While they were driving home at about 12.45am up the Old Chatham Road, they saw what they believed to be a haggard old woman walking very slowly across the road in front of them. As it was a foggy night they were not going fast, and as they approached the figure it turned and hissed at them and they felt an overwhelming sense of evil. As Mr M finally regained control of himself to speed away, the whole family noticed that the figure was waving a bundle of sticks after them. I found this story particularly incredible, but it was later to be confirmed by the policeman they contacted and who spent the whole of that night trying to calm the family down. This was not the only sighting of this same apparition, as my source confirmed that similar reports had been made by other motorists. A recent report involved a sighting of a 'puma-like' creature walking down the bridleway by the side of Kits Coty House.

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