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Dering Woods

The Dering Woods, also known as Screaming Woods are situated in Kent. Between the villages of Smarden and Pluckley. They are reputed to be the most haunted woods in Britain and they were given their name because of the many reports of people hearing terrifying screams coming from the forest at night or footsteps and whispers during days of fog. The forest is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the people who get lost in them, in particular the locals mention a suicidal army colonel of the 18th century and a highwayman who was captured by the villagers, pinned to a tree and beheaded. Many from the nearby villages swear to have seen black shadows following them while they were traveling across the forest. The wood is also famous for presenting one of the oldest Neolithic sites in the world.  

Scientific Research

British physicist B. Josephson has studied the phenomenon for years during his research at Cavendish Laboratory for the Mind-Matter Unification Project, documenting everything in the peer-reviewed paper Quantitative Measurement of Decoherence:  a link between consciousness and group-theoretic characterization of hyperplanes of existence. In a recent interview he criticized the skeptic approach of many scientists:

"The trouble is that the scientific community is not aware of these results because very little of this work is published in journals like Nature and Science, And the work is often ridiculed when it is published in respectable physics journals."

He cites the example of a paper on quantum mechanics by Henry Stapp of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that contained a reference to parapsychology.

"Physicists have an emotional response when they hear anything connected with parapsychology," he says. "Their opinion of parapsychology research is not based on evaluation of the evidence but on a dogmatic belief that all research in this field is false." 

The Dering Wood Massacre

Article on the local newspaper after the facts of 31 October 1948.

The woodland has been the center of attention for this phenomena for many years. On the morning of November 1st, 1948, twenty people from the Maltman's area were found dead, eleven of whom were children. The bodies were forming a massive pile of human flesh and they didn't present any wound. Many reported seeing strange lights coming from the forest on the night of Halloween, when the massacre took place. The autopsies couldn't determine the cause of death and after a few weeks the local authorities quickly ended the investigation, stating that the cause was carbon monoxide poisoning. This behavior raised questions about a possible involvement of the police in the matter at the time.  

In 1964, private investigator Robert Collins conducted in-depth witness interviews designed to uncover hints about the alleged activity  of an unknown religious cult in the village of Smarden. His research stopped after he died in a tragic car accident the following year.

Cover of the Kent Messenger, Friday November 6th, 1998.

The Dering Wood was home for another mystery when on October 1998, on the same night of fifty years before, four college students who were visiting the forest went missing after people from Pluckley reported seeing "figures of light similar to spider webs" in the sky. Their bodies were never found and after three weeks, the police investigation stopped.