On the Kent Ghost Hunt

The ruins of Bayham Abbey

The ruins of Bayham Abbey - Credit: Archant

With Hallowe’en fast approaching, find out about Kent’s mischievous poltergeists, haunted castles, spooky houses and other weird phenomena

The Halloween we celebrate on 31 October has origins going back 2,000 years to the Samhain Festival with which the Celts marked the end of the harvest period.

The pagan Celts believed that on the night before their New Year (1 November), the wall between the living and the dead opened, allowing good spirits and bad to mingle with the living.

All sorts of beliefs were attached to this event: spirits were said to take possession of living people and cause all manner of trouble. Fairies, dressed as beggars, would wander the land and people who gave them food were rewarded while punishments were meted out to those who did not. Many believe this was the origin of the modern-day trick-or-treat.

Genuine stories mingle with those of the imagination-running-away variety, scams – and imbibing too much alcohol.

Strange fables have been passed on by word of mouth and the chroniclers of the times and the many variations often make it difficult to see the normal from the paranormal.

A considerable percentage of sightings relate to violent incidents, associations with war, battle, conflict and cruelty.

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