Blue Bell Hill in Kent is a notorious haunting, with many weary drivers coming face to face with its phantom hitchhiker, says CALLUM CAMPBELL
A textbook ghost story is that of the phantom hitchhiker. Someone picks up a hitchhiker, usually a young woman, and starts ferrying them to their location. Halfway into the journey, they glance back at their passenger and are startled and shocked to see that no one else is in the car with them.
The story often extends to account that the driver continued to their ghostly passenger’s destination out of curiosity and are greeted by the spectre’s family members, who tearfully state that their child was killed in a car accident on the very same stretch of road the driver was traversing when he was greeted by the tragic spirit and that they have had people misled by their child’s shadow for decades.
What happened at Blue Bell Hill?
Blue Bell Hill in Kent in South-East England, more specifically the A229 road that runs through it, is the site of one of the most notorious versions of this common motif in paranormal occurrences.
This 30 mile long road is a main route from Rochester to Hawk Hurst and is home to Britain’s most famous “phantom hitchhiker” form of haunting.
This haunting can be attributed to the dreadful accident that befell three young women, Susan Browne, Judith Lingham and Patricia Fergeuson, on the night of 19 November 1965.
The group suddenly lost control of their Ford Focus, which swerved and was rammed into by an incoming Jaguar. The wreck was a mess of mangled metal and the group of young lady’s severely battered bodies.
It is believed that one was immediately killed on impact and two slipped away at the hospital within a week. This devastating event which swept away the lives of promising young women left a bigger mark on the road than the pools of blood, at least one of these trapped spirits remains at the location of their traumatic death.
Since this dreadful accident the stretch of the road around Blue Bell Hill has been haunted. Drivers see a young woman appear right in front of their speeding car and when they get out fearing they have run over someone, there is no trace of a body. Screams, screeching of tires, sirens and twisting of metal often assaults the ear of unsuspecting travellers on the road. The area has an immense feeling of tragedy and pain and there is obviously the numerous occurrences of drivers picking up a young woman only for them to disappear in the car.
Appearances of the Blue Bell Hill ghost
The two main instances of this piece of phenomena occurred in 1972 to Mr Bob Vandepeer and in 1971 to a Mr James Skeen. Both men reported to have given a young lady a ride however she vanished in the car or when she left the vehicle.
Mr Ian Sharpe unfortunately fell victim to a disturbing occurrence that involved the spirit of one of the victims that perished in that violent wreck running in front of his bus. Mr Sharpe careened into the woman and was left in a state of shock as he skeltered out of the bus to be utterly shocked when he could find no body, no blood or any indication that he had rammed into someone.
After his brush with ghosts and ghouls at Blue Bell Hill he gave an interview on the TV show Out of This World in which he told the tale of his chilling experience.
To date there have been more than 50 recorded incidents of travellers on the A229 seeing a phantom woman on the road since the origin of this unnerving haunting in 1965.
Blue Bell Hill will remain one of the most notorious and frequent paranormal occurrences that haunt the roads of the UK.