Friday, 1 December 2006

Haunted Kent by Janet Cameron

Anne Boleyn Haunting in Kent, Drawing: Copyright Janet Cameron

Tempus Publishing, (2005) £8.99
ISBN 0-7524-3605-8

Haunted Kent
heart-stopping accounts of apparitions, manifestions and related supernatural phenomena which range over many years and span the county of Kent. Why do some people attract ghosts, spirits and poltergeists? Why can only certain individuals detect their vibration frequencies? (Perhaps you are one of these spirit-sensitive people.)

Haunted Kent
celebrates new and well-known spooky stories from around the county. Contained in this selection are stories of the hunchback monk at Boughton Malherbe, the black dog of Leeds, Canterbury's faithless friar and Dungeness' mysterious lady, as well as the famous tale of Lady Blanche of Rochester Castle. This fascinating collection of strange sightings and happenings
in the county's streets, churches, public houses and country lanes is sure to appeal to anyone wondering why Kent is known as the most haunted county in England. Ghostly experiences can be weird, terrifying, intriguing and sometimes touching. The boundaries of what we believe possible are exceeded; our imagination is stretched to its limits.

With an accessible format of stories arranged alphabetically under Kent place names and around 50 stunning photographs of spooky places (and two line drawings by the author) you will be inspired to go exploring for yourself. Since it was published at Hallowe'en, 2005 Haunted Kent has sold more than 5,000 copies and is still going strong. Read this book then ask yourself: WHAT DO I BELIEVE?

The book is available from good Kent bookshops, or go to the Tempus website address listed above. If you would prefer a signed copy direct from the author, please email her on

Frequently Asked Questions:
What are ghosts?
The generally accepted theory is that they are souls trapped on our plane reluctant to leave it because of unfinished business or simply because they don't know they are dead. Sometimes, it's thought they are so disturbed by their manner of death they are unable to 'move on'. Perhaps they need to draw attention to their plight before they can leave the earthly plane.
Some people feel they are simply a superficial manifestation of energy which keeps repeating itself after an intensely-felt event, a sort of spiritual 'afterglow'. Although they can be frightening, simply because we don't understand their presence, it doesn't follow that they necessarily have evil intent. But sometimes they do! Read about the ghost with the horrible laugh in Haunted Kent.

What is a poltergeist?
The word 'poltergeist' describes another distinct ghostly manifestation and derives from two German words, 'poltern' - to knock, and 'geist' - spirit; in other words, noisy spirit. These spirits cause major physical disturbance. They appear to come in two varieties - either that of a traditional haunting activity, where items are moved around or light bulbs flash, or they may attach themselves to a particular place or person, and, in the latter case, even follow them around. They can commit arson, cause human levitation, throw stones and move large furniture. They can shriek, slam doors and turn lights on and off. Read about the terrifying Bromley Allotment Poltergeist in Haunted Kent.

Reviews for Haunted Kent:
This spine-chiller must not be read when you're alone... Author Janet Cameron has hand-picked classic ghostly Kentish tales as well as researched traditional folk stories for her book Haunted Kent.

Emily Hall, Kent Messenger, 28 October, 2005.

Mysterious sightings in Pub. Tale of lady in grey published... As the wind whistles across the bleak landscape and the waves crash on the deserted shore, Dungeness certainly seems like the perfect setting for an eerie tale.

Kathryn Tyre, Romney Marsh Herald, Early November,2005.

Beautifully timed with Hallowe'en, I took my children along to a nearby Ottakar's to hear Janet read from her book. I was surprised at how many of the audience were willing to share their own spooky experiences but if the recent plethora of supernatural shows on television is anything to go by, it would appear that the popularity of ghosts is far from dead.
The author offers the reader something different to the compendiums that have gone before. She chooses to take her lead from Kention and its Celtic meaning 'on the edge' remaining less concerned with the usual paraphernalia surrounding such detective work in favour of good old-fashioned research to unearth a story.
We're offered a whistle-stop tour where we're free to step down at any point and wander the lanes or passageways. Rather like Henry James, we may stop and wonder if such tales are really intrusions from an uncanny and unseen world. Or we may turn a handle of a door with de la Mare and see an internal vision, where death still has a significant part to play.
As we wander, we'll be sure to find a tale that lingers on. Even Daniel Defoe found himself haunted by something he heard on his travels through the county. Along with an all-star cast from Pluckley, otherwise known as 'the most haunted village in England', feel set to resonate: 'the things which are seen as temporal. But things which are not seen are eternal.

Melanie Waterfield, The Woman Writer, February, 2006

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