This week we’ll be discussing what has been lauded as the most haunted village in Britain – a little town called Pluckley. It was officially awarded that title by Guinness World Records in 1989. Most sources state that the village is a livewire of paranormal energy – from the Screaming Woods to “Fright Corner” to the 13 or 14 individual ghosts reportedly residing there. Let’s examine some of the most notable spirits and areas of activity in the village.
There are three notable spirits of women in Pluckley Village – the Red Lady, the White Lady, and the Lady of Rose Court. The Red and White Ladies are both said to be members of the Dering family. There is very little information on the Red Lady, but apparently she was buried in seven lead coffins within an oak coffin. Her nickname comes from the fact that a single red rose was placed on her coffin at the time of burial. I haven’t been able to find why she was so…securely interred – possibly to prevent or slow decomposition. Rumors say she’s stuck on our plane to search for her stillborn child.
The White Lady also haunts the same church. The White Lady was allegedly the wife of the man who owned most of the land around Pluckley. Her husband had her buried in three lead coffins encased in an oak one. Like the Red Lady. It’s likely these stories have merged over the years, and it is not known which thread is the true one. Unlike the Red Lady, however, the White Lady has also been spotted outside of the Church – she is also said to roam the Dering family library.
The Lady of Rose Court was allegedly a mistress of a member of the Dering family and may have been involved with a monk (love triangle, anyone?). She allegedly committed suicide by intentionally eating poison berries. She is seen in the Rose Court garden in the late afternoon. It seems like she is stuck reenacting her time on earth, rather than being an intelligent spirit, unaware of her fate.
(Warning: This paragraph discusses suicide.) There were also a few hanging victims in Pluckley. The first is an unidentified man who completed suicide by hanging in the woods near Pluckley. His spirit is seen walking into the woods in some sort of military uniform, which is how he received his nickname: The Colonel. His spirit does not appear to be under duress. The second spirit is known to be Henry Tuff. Tuff was a superintendent of a nearby school. He often travelled to Pluckley to visit a friend. On one such visit, however, Tuff did not arrive as expected. After a search, he was found hanged from a tree on the route he took to Pluckley, apparently having completed suicide. His spirit is often seen still hanging from the same tree.
The Pinnocks (which may be a bridge or building…sources are conflicting on what it actually is – most just call it the Pinnocks) is also a notable hotspot of energy. There are two spirits that apparently hang out around it – a Romani woman and a Highwayman. The Romani woman supposedly lit herself on fire by accident – the blaze was caused by a wayward spark landing in her whiskey. I have no information on whether her spirit appears on fire or not, but if so, I would say that she’s the scariest ghost in Pluckley.
The second spirit at the Pinnocks is a Highwayman. This man was a prankster in life – apparently he liked to hide behind trees at what is now known as the “Fright Corner.” He’d then jump out and scare people. His antics were so tiresome that someone (stories conflict on whether it was a guard or rogues) threw a spear through the tree he was hiding behind. He was left pinned to the trunk and died. His ghost is said to still try to jump out and scare people on occasion, though his spirit is most often seen still pinned to the (ghost) tree.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about the screams in Pluckley. There are two sources of it. The first screamer is the spirit of a man in the brick factory. The legend goes that a man was waiting for a clay wall to dry when it fell on him. While his ghost is not typically seen, his screams are often heard from the building in which he died. The second source of screaming is the woods. The legend of the woods states that it lures people in – the screams are from the individuals that got lost and died within them.
There are several other reports coming out of Pluckley, but they are not included in this post due to lack of detail. I’m by no means saying that the contents of this post should constitute a comprehensive catalog of Pluckley’s ghosts – as Britain’s most haunted village, I don’t know that there ever can be a definitive listing. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading about this insane level of activity.