Monday, 13 October 2008

Kent Resources

I am a very proud Man of Kent, and just wanted to point out some of the excellent paranormal, weird and interesting resources and stories out there devoted to my favourite county.

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Historic Kent has a really good section on some of the outlandish stories from around the Garden of England... including an excellent article on a story from Folkestone, the town I consider home. It's all about a case of Spontaneous Human Combustion, and it's very in depth for such a small story.

Then there is Haunted Kent whose title is pretty self explanatory! Then there's the Essex and Kent Paranormal Research Society. All very interesting. We have plenty of ghost of ghost stories but none quite as famous as the Blue Bell Hill ghost.

Kent Big Cat Research is our source for news and information on the hunt for the big cats in Kent and around the country.

Neil Arnold writes about other mystery Kentish creatures here. The infamous Mothman may have put in an appearance not more than a couple of miles from my parents house and of course there are stories of Black Dogs haunting the county...

Kent has plenty of other curious tales such as that of Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst who were conjoined twins from Biddenden. A great many of my ancestors hail from that small village and I can remember my Mum mentioning the story whenever we happened to pass through on one of her shopping trips to Tunbridge Wells. They were conjoined at the hip but even though they were born in the 12th Century managed to live until the age of 34. Legend says that Mary was taken ill in 1134 and when she passed away mention was made of attempting to separate Eliza. Eliza was having none of it and said:

"As we came together we will also go together"

She passed away 6 hours later. There are a few ghosts story associated with the Maids of Biddenden but I think their story is interesting even without a ghostly connection.

Then we have the Countless Stones and Kit's Coty House. I remember visiting the Countless Stones when I was very young and sadly am unable to verify exactly how many are there... that's the point I suppose. Got to love living in a country that has megaliths...

Then we have the giants... no not members of my rather tall family (I myself am 6'8")... but the East Kent Giants of which you can find out more on this web page.

Many tales have been told in Europe of Englishmen having tails... but I love the following quote taken from History of British Folklore (originally from A Collection of English Proverbs published in 1670) about the Kentish long-tails:

Those are mistaken who found this Proverb on a miracle of Austin the Monk; who preached in an English village, and being himself and his associates beat and abused by the Pagans there, who opprobriously tied Fish-tails to their backsides; in revenge thereof such appendants grew to the hind-parts of all that generation. For the scene of this lying wonder was not laid in any part of Kent, but pretended many miles off, nigh Cerne in Dorsetshire. I conceive it first of outlandish extraction, and cast by forreigners as a note of disgrace on all English men, though it chanceth to stick onely on the Kentish at this day.

I have no doubt this was a popular idea among our French friends, whose proximity to Kent has meant a close, if sometimes sarcastic, relationship. They say we have tails and we say they are frogs. It all works out in the end. Although nowadays they like to call us Ros Bofs. Hilarious. NOT.

So that's just a taste of Kent for you, and I'll probably expand upon some of these stories and others in the future.

Further Reading

Ghosts of Kent - Peter Underwood


Gee said...

Mothman? In Kent? Please do a follow up on that sometime in the future. That would be very interesting.

Is there such a thing as a "Weird Kent" tour? If there isn't it sounds like there really should be one.

Moonlight said...

Oh don't worry most of these stories will be looked into in more depth... I apologise for my Kent-o-centric outlook... I'm just a Kentish boy and proud.

A Weird Kent tour??? Sounds like a good business idea! $$$$