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Saltwood Ghosts

 from "Haunted Places of Kent"


Rupert Matthews



The apparently inoffensive little village of Saltwood is a veritable magnet for the supernatural. If it cannot rival the more famous Pluckley for sheer numbers of ghosts, it certainly has the edge when it comes to oddness. More than one witness has used the word “bizarre” when talking about Saltwood. 

The road from Saltwood village to the railway station at Sanding is haunted by a nocturnal ghost which, at first sight, seems to be nothing at all unusual. To begin with the phantom appears as a small light which bobs about. Those who have seen it say it looks like a torch or old-style lantern being carried along. This is not at all an unlikely occurrence given the lack of street lighting along this rural road. When the light gets closer it resolves itself into a lantern being carried by a tall, rather elderly man. The man walks forward hesitantly as if using the lantern to search for something in the roadway. He is the ghost of a local farmer who lived here in the 19th century and was famed for his eccentric behaviour. Nightly rambles to search the roads and paths were typical, though he never told anyone what he was looking for and would hurry off if he saw anyone watching him. 

He has not changed on becoming a ghost. Once the phantom gets close to a living person he hurriedly shuffles off and the light is quickly extinguished. 

The road near Brockhill School has a pair of  phantoms, though some suspect that they might be one and the same. The most often seen spectre is that of a woman taking her dog for a walk. The lady is dressed in sensible tweeds of around the 1930s and the dog scampers along quite happily. Apart from the slightly old-fashioned looks of the lady’s clothes there is nothing to mark the pair out from a living lady and dog. There is, however, something indefinably odd about the pair. It is not entirely certain what it is that is unusual, but those who have seen them all agree that they are strange. It is said to be like looking at a painting in which the perspective is slightly askew. everything is there and in its right place, but somehow the picture is just ‘wrong’. 

The second ghost of the Brockhill area is another lady, though this one does not seem to be accompanied by a pet. She appears quite suddenly standing beside the road, then steps out into the carriageway as if to cross the road. Barely halfway across the road she suddenly vanishes. The lady is not in view long enough for anyone to give a good description of her, but again there is agreement that there is something odd about the lady - in addition to her sudden appearance and disappearance of course.

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