It’s widely known that the village of Pluckley in Kent is Britain’s most haunted village. It is perhaps not as well known that Faversham is reported to be Britain’s most haunted town.
Ask any child that has grown up in Faversham about ghosts, and the chances are they will mention Diana. Daughter of the owner of Syndale Manor (now known as Judd’s Folly). Legend has it, she was engaged to the son of the vicar at Davington Church.
After evensong, each evening the couple would walk from Davington, through Bysingwood to Diana’s home at Syndale. It was on such a stroll that the couple were attacked which resulted in Diana being killed and decapitated. Her lover survived with minor injuries but was devastated with grief. Shortly afterwards he was found hanged, close to the place where the lovers were attacked.
Today Diana’s restless soul is believed to wander the route the lovers took that fateful night with her head head tucked under her arm.
Ghost in the machine
If you are visiting Faversham, we would recommend a visit to the Faversham Museum in the Fleur des Lis Heritage Centre. The building was formerly a pub, and is home to at least one very long-term resident, who is keen to make contact.
“The White Lady” she is frequently seen by staff and visitors at the top of the stairs. But more curiously, she is believed to “haunt” the telephone exchange exhibit. Staff have reported the phones on the exchange ringing, despite not being connected to any external phone lines.
Britain’s Oldest Brewery Shepherd Neame has been brewing on the same site in Faversham for at least 300 years. The Court Street buildings which house the brewery offices today, are of a similar age to the brewery, but would have had many uses before the brewery expanded into them.
Staff at the brewery could tell you a number of ghosts that are supposed to reside within the brewery buildings. From Annie, a possible servant, who lives in a storeroom, know as Annie’s attic. To former directors who are often caught smoking cigars in the boardroom.
The brewery has so many unearthly spirits that In Derek Acorah visited in 2005 with his television “Ghost Town”
The Ship Wrights Inn
Located at Hollowshore, on the banks of The Swale. This remote old pub and the setting lends itself to tales of pirates and smugglers. Drinkers and staff have reported a noticeable drop in temperature, and strong smell of tobacco and rum. Occasionally they have also seen a “thick set bearded sailor” wearing a thick coat, a peaked hat and red eyes.
The story goes that a Dutch captain boat ran into difficulty along the Swale on a bleak winters night. The captain hauled himself along the mud flats to the door of the Inn. With, last orders already called, the Landlord would not open the door for fear of vagrants. The sailor passed away from exposure overnight.
Haunted Railway Line
A level crossing in Sittingbourne is said to be haunted by ghosts. Should you be on a train, passing this location around midnight. You may well see a ghostly apparition walking across the track.
The crossing is no longer in use, replaced by a footbridge as the crossing was an accident hotspot. The ghostly pedestrian is claimed to be one of the victims who haunts the crossing, warning travellers of the danger.
A goods train was passing the location recently at 2am. The driver believed he saw someone on the line and believed he hit them. The train was brought to a standstill, and the emergency services called. Despite a thorough search, nothing was found. The driver is credited with the belief that the apparition foretells impending danger.
Smile, you are on camera
Many cynics wonder, if ghosts exist, why are they not caught more often on camera given the amount of technology we have at our disposal?
Local photographer, Laura Dickson believes that she has captured a series of apparitions in her photographs, including a faceless monk at St Peter and St Paul Church in Borden. After an afternoon photographing the church, she spotted the figure in the window of the church, which appeared to show a faceless monk in a habit.