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The ghost of Blue Bell Hill - the tragedy that may have inspired tales of phantom hitchhiker

Fifty years after a car crash killed a bride-to-be on the eve of her wedding day, a group of paranormal enthusiasts gathered near the spot.

Today marks half a century since the tragic death of Susan Browne and her two friends at Blue Bell Hill.

On November 19, 1965, the 22-year-old was returning from her hen night when her Ford Cortina spun out of control on the A229, colliding with a Jaguar heading the other way.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Paranormal filmmaker reveals frightening experience

The accident at Blue Bell Hill on November 19, 1965, killed three young women and is said to be the incident that sparked 'the phantom hitchhiker'. Picture S.B Publications

The accident at Blue Bell Hill on November 19, 1965, killed three young women and is said to be the incident that sparked 'the phantom hitchhiker'. Picture: S.B Publications

Susan was due to marry RAF technician Brian Wetton the following day.

One of the group - Patricia Ferguson - was killed at the scene, but Miss Browne and Judith Lingham died a few days later in a Maidstone hospital.

The tragic fatality led to a mysterious legacy where spooky happenings were reported throughout the 1960s and 70s, although ghostly sightings are said to date back to the 1930s.

How the tragic story of the bride-to be was reported in 1965

The tragic 1965 report of the crash

Judith Lingham died after a crash on the A229

Judith Lingham died after a crash on the A229

A number of spiritual believers will gather at the Lower Bell pub this evening, a pub near the crash site. 

Sonya Roseman, a film maker, who released The Ghost of Blue Bell Hill in 2014, will be among those taking part.

The 36-year-old, from Rochester, said: “I feel a kinship to those girls in that car. I wanted to tell their story, not to cash in on tragedy, just to make a film about it.

“It’s an evil road – but that goes back way before the crash.”

Sonya Roseman

Sonya Roseman

In 1962 Bob Vandepeer said he gave a lift to a girl on the hill only to later turn around and discover the hitchhiker had vanished in the back of the car.

In 1971 James Skene was driving home from work when a girl in her early 20s suddenly appeared in front of his car. He gave her a lift to Chatham, but when she got out she disappeared.

Susan Vousden, a cleaner from Essex, organised a walk where around 10 ghost hunters explored the hill for any ghostly experiences.

Mrs Vousden, 57, said: “I’ve always been interested in spirits, I had an experience where I saw a woman in my bedroom when I was 11-years-old.

“I’ve done the walk at Blue Bell Hill before but thought I’d come down for the anniversary.”

 

 

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