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9 Haunted Places in Kent

| On 05, Apr 2017

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

Just to the south-east of Lamberhurst you’ll find the country house of Scotney Castle.

The Tudor Revival style Scotney Castle dates back to 1843 when it was built by Edward Hussey.

Before the Husseys the estate was owned by the Darrell family for over 350 years.

Arthur Darrell was said to have faked his own death after being associated with the murder of a revenue man.

Legend says that he appeared at his own funeral saying to mourners ‘That is me they think they are burying!’

In 1924 his coffin was dug up and opened to reveal it only contained stones.

It’s claimed that he was a smuggler and had actually killed the revenue officer dumping his the body in the castle’s moat!

Shocked visitors to Scotney have reported seeing an apparition of a ghostly man climb out of the moat dripping wet and covered in weed.

He then proceeds down the castle’s pathway to the front door and bangs on it.

Local legend says he’s in search of Arthur Darrell!

The castle itself is said to be haunted by another ghost who’s been blamed for eerie whispering sounds and phantom footsteps walking about the building.

Some say the ghost is the spirit of Walter de Scoteni who was hanged in 1259 for trying to poison the Earl of Gloucester.


The Dering Arms, Pluckley

Close to the railway station in the infamous haunted Kent village of Pluckley you’ll find the Dering Arms.

The historic building dates back to the 1840s when it was first used as a hunting lodge for the Dering Estate.

Today the Dering Arms is run as a restaurant and a B&B.

The restaurant has a reputation for being haunted by an old lady who sits at a table by one of the windows.

Witnesses have described her as wearing a period style dress with a bonnet and looking very lifelike…

In fact, she looks so lifelike that they only realise that she’s actually a ghost when they see her vanish into thin air right in front of them!


Reculver Fort, Reculver

You’ll find the Kent coastal village of Reculver about three miles to the east of Herne Bay.

During the conquest of Britain the Romans built a small fort in the area which they later extended to a much larger full-size fort in the 3rd century.

The fort was called Regulbium and it guarded the northern entrance to the Wantsum Channel from Saxon raiders.

Today, the eastern gateway, a guard post and the eastern wall are all that remains of the Roman fort.

In 669 an Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded on the site and the church of St Mary was constructed.

In the 12th century the church was remodelled and two towers were added.

The medieval church was partly demolished in 1805 but the twin towers were left.

Today, both the remains of the Roman fort and the twin towers have a reputation for being haunted…

Ancient babies’ remains have been unearthed by archaeologists in the grounds of the Roman fort and in the foundations of it’s walls.

It’s believed that the babies were buried in the buildings as ritual sacrifices!

Spooked witnesses have reported hearing phantom babies crying when they’ve visited the Roman fort area.

The ghostly apparitions of Roman soldiers have also been witnessed patrolling and standing duty at the Roman fort site.

There’ve been reports of spooky hooded figures which float above the ground being spotted between the twin towers.

And on the cliff’s edge next to the twin towers witnesses have reported seeing a ghostly sword fight taking place between a smuggler and a custom’s officer.

The ghosts of a monk, a middle aged woman and the sounds of phantom horses galloping away have been reported at the site too.

Local residents say that the dykes in the area are also haunted by ghosts!

One dark night a couple was driving along Reculver Lane which leads up to the twin towers when the driver had to brake suddenly because a semi-translucent man crossed in front of his car and disappeared into a nearby hedgerow.

The ghostly man was described as wearing a dark overcoat with a pointed hat!


The Theatre Royal Margate, Margate

Along Margate’s Addington Street you’ll find the Grade II listed Theatre Royal Margate.

The Georgian theatre dates back to 1787.

In its time the building has been used as a furniture store, a cinema and a bingo hall.

Today it’s been reverted to its intended use and is used as a theatre.

Like a lot of old theatres up and down the country, the Theatre Royal Margate has a reputation for being haunted.

It’s said to be haunted by the ghost of Sarah Thorne who was a Victorian actress and former manager of the theatre.

Her ghost tends to appear when the building in going through change.

She was very active during the time the theatre was used as a furniture store.

Her ghostly apparition was seen on many occassions in the stage area and in one of the boxes.

Witnesses described her as wearing a beautiful Victorian crinoline dress and bonnet.

The theatre is also said to be haunted by another ghost of an actor.

It’s said that an actor from another theatre was fired from his acting role.

Apparently he then bought a box at the Royal and during a performance leaped from it killing himself in the process!

From then on his ghost haunted the box making it impossible to hire out to theatre goers.

Eventually the box was bricked up and never used again.

During the 1960s a local painter and decorator was hired to paint the interior of the theatre.

In order not to disrupt the bingo sessions he opted to work at night.

During the night he was terrified by ghostly goings-on…

He reported feeling like he was being watched all the time although he was totally alone.

He also heard an eerie whispering, the creaking of floorboards as though somebody was approaching him and the box office door banging shut on its own accord.

He even witnessed a semi-transparent object with two dark eye shape patches float across the stage!


The Chatham Dockyard, Chatham

A headless ghost of a young boy has been seen by terrified witnesses wandering near to the Ropery building during the night.

Apparently he’s the ghost of a drummer boy called George Stock who was brutally murdered and nearly decapitated by a Royal Marine called James Toothe!

The Ropery building is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of children known as Bobbin Boys.

The Joiner’s Shop at the dockyard dates back to 1790.

It’s said to be haunted by a dark shadowy figure which has been known to rush at visitors.

The sound of phantom horses outside the Joiner’s Shop has also been reported by witnesses visiting the building.

The Sail and Colour Loft dates back to 1723.

The building is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Grey Lady who’s often seen hovering a foot above the floor of the loft.

She’s described as a well-dressed lady in a long flowing garment who’s often accompanied by the smell of lavender.

She’s believed to be a former supervisor who once worked in the loft.

Former machinists often reported being touched on their shoulder by something unseen whist they were making sails and flags.

Many members of staff refused to be in that room alone!

The Grade I listed early 18th century Commissioner’s House is said to be very haunted indeed…

Witnesses have reported seeing the ghostly apparition of another Grey Lady wandering along the landing and standing on the staircase.

Visitors to the house have also reported seeing the ghostly apparition of three young boys and two girls on the staircase of the house.

Peter Pett was Master Shipwright and Second Resident Commissioner of Chatham Dockyard during the 17th century.

He was blamed and humiliated for not protecting the English Fleet during the Dutch Raid on the Medway in 1667.

His ghost is said to haunt the Commissioner’s House!

A ghostly woman in a long dress was witnessed in the 1990s crossing the Sunne Room heading for the servants’ stairs.

Legend says that a young pregnant girl tragically hung herself on the servants’ stairs of the house after she discovered that her sweetheart was lost at sea!

Her ghost is now said to haunt the upper floor of the house.

Many terrified witnesses have reported hearing the phantom screams of a young woman in that part of the building.

Other witnesses have also reported seeing a ghostly woman peering out off one of the Revenge Room windows!

Guests visiting the Commissioner’s House garden reported seeing the ghostly apparition of a young teenage girl standing on the lawn.

She walked through the gate of the garden and disappeared into thin air!

One night in 1957 a member of staff at the house saw the ghosts of two cavaliers from the English Civil War era having an argument on the garden lawn…

As he approached them they vanished into the night’s air!

The Nursery Room in the attic is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl…

She’s been described as having blonde hair, wearing a white dress and is aged between seven and nine years old.

The ghost of an old lady in black is also said to haunt the attic!

In 2004 a couple saw the apparitions of a man in a double button jacket and a woman sitting in a chair eeriely staring at them from one of the Commissioner’s House’s windows.

The early 19th century Smithery which was used for the production of anchors and chains is said to be haunted by a ghost that was blamed for pushing a poor cleaner whilst she was working.

She was so terrified by the scary event that she never returned to work at the dockyards again!


The Dover Castle, Dover

The impressive 12th century Dover castle is the largest castle in England.

It’s believed that there’s been a fortified structure at the castle’s location since the Iron Age.

The castle is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Monument.

It’s run by English Heritage, so you can pay it a visit if you fancy having a look around.

The medieval castle was built by King Henry II between 1180 and 1185.

During the Napoleonic Wars at the end of the 18th century, the castle was strengthened with barrack tunnels being built underneath it.

Not only were the tunnels used in the Napoleonic Wars but they were used during the Second World War as a communication centre, air raid shelter and underground hospital.

With such a long and eventful history it’s no wonder that the castle is said to have the odd ghost or two knocking about the place…

In fact, the TV show Most Haunted conducted a live investigation from Dover Castle in December 2002!

The castle’s battlements are said to be haunted by the ghost of a drummer boy who was robbed and murdered there…

His murders were said to have actually decapitated him!

His ghost is often seen and heard drumming away throughout the castle.

The ghostly apparitions of a cavalier and also a woman in a red dress are often seen by terrified witnesses in the castle’s keep.

The secret underground tunnels are also said to be awash with ghostly servicemen from the Second World War still carrying out their war time duties.


The Drop Redoubt, Dover

The Drop Redoubt is one of two 19th century forts located on Dover’s Western Heights.

The fort was first constructed in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars to protect Dover from an attack from the rear.

The original Drop Redoubt was a simple pentagon shape fort which could house two hundred troops.

Later in 1859 the fort’s defences were further improved following the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

During the Second World War the Redoubt housed a secret squad of commandos whose sole job was to destroy Dover Harbour if it fell into the enemy’s hands!

Like a lot of old 19th century forts up and down the country the Drop Redoubt has a reputation for being haunted…

One of the jobs of a young drummer boy who was stationed at the Western Heights garrison was to help the Quartermaster in his duties.

One day the Quartermaster asked the drummer boy to help him carry the troops pay from the bank to the garrison.

To get the money back from the bank they had to take the segregated staircase of the Grand Shaft.

The Quartermaster gave the lighter bag of notes to the drummer boy to carry whilst he himself took the heavier bags of silver and gold coins.

The drummer boy took the Grand Shaft’s staircase designated for privates whilst the Quartermaster took the sergeant’s staircase.

The boy being younger and having a lighter load to carry reached the top of the staircase first and the Quartermaster shouted out to him to wait for him.

When the Quartermaster reached the top of the staircase the boy had totally disappeared.

The drummer boy couldn’t found anywhere and the Quartermaster eventually raised the alarm thinking that the boy had stolen the money.

The next morning a search party found the headless body of the boy under the Drop Redoubt’s ramparts.

He had been murdered and the garrison pay was stolen!

Today the ghost of the drummer boy is said to haunt both the Drop Redoubt fort and the nearby Dover Castle.

The sound of his phantom drumming has been heard by spooked visitors in both locations.

And terrified witnesses have reported seeing his ghostly apparition patrolling the battlements of both buildings.

The murderer of the drummer boy was never found!


Sir John Boys House, Canterbury

On the corner of Palace Street and King Street you’ll find an old crooked house called Sir John Boys House.

The attractive half-timbered building dates back to the 17th century.

It’s named after Sir John Boys who was an MP and the first recorder of Canterbury.

The house has a ghostly tale associated with it…

In the winter of 1987 it was being used as a shop.

One late afternoon staff members heard phantom footsteps walking around an upstairs stock room.

This was strange because it would’ve been difficult for a person to move around the room as it was jammed packed full of clothes.

One of the staff members went to investigate but only found that the room was freezing cold.

Feeling rather unnerved she left the room but returned to investigated it the next morning.

This time when she entered the room she felt the suddenly temperature drop and feeling unnerved again decided to leave.

As she turned around to leave she was shocked to see an apparition of a woman standing a couple of feet away from her.

Apparently the woman was wearing a rather fine period style red silk dress with a wide collar and fur cuffs!

The ghostly woman stood staring at her for a while then she turned around and descended the stairs disappearing into thin air as she reached halfway down them.


The Hever Castle, Hever

The 13th century Hever Castle is located in the Kent village of Hever.

It’s famous for being the family home to the Boleyns from 1462 to 1539.

After the Boleyns, the castle passed through many owners including Anne of Cleves, the Waldegraves, the Meade Waldos and in 1903 it was restored by the American millionaire William Waldorf Astor.

Today it’s owned by a private company who run it as a conference centre.

But the good news is… it’s also opened to the public if you fancy having a look around the place!

With such a rich history it’s no wonder that Hever Castle has a reputation for being haunted…

The ghost of Anne Boleyn is said to wander the grounds of Hever Castle, it’s said that her ghostly apparition is most likely to be seen on Christmas Eve.

An apparition of a man is often seen in one of the castle’s bedroom…

Some say that the figure is King Henry VIII himself whilst others say it’s an angry old man.

The long Gallery is said to be haunted by a poltergeist who likes to throw objects about and a man on horseback which is weird because the room is on the second floor of the castle!

Janet Cameron (2012) Haunted Kent. The History Press
John Hippisley (2013) Haunted Canterbury. The History Press
Lorraine Sencicle (2015) Haunted Dover. The History Press
Neil Arnold (2012) Haunted Chatham. The History Press