Ghosts & Hauntings
Ghost hunters accused of damaging woodland
By T.K. Randall
October 8, 2017 · 16 comments
Dering Wood is also known as the 'Screaming Wood'. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Robin Webster
Paranormal enthusiasts have been inadvertently damaging an area of allegedly haunted forest.
Dering Wood, a 400-acre area of woodland situated between the villages of Smarden and Pluckley, has become so synonymous with stories of ghosts over the years that it is often referred to as the 'Screaming Wood' or 'the most haunted wood in England'.
Several witnesses claim to have seen the ghost of a gypsy woman who accidentally burnt herself to death there or a schoolmaster who allegedly hanged himself from one of the trees.
Most recently, a spate of TV shows covering the forest's haunted reputation have resulted in an influx of visitors ranging from paranormal investigators to documentary film crews.
Sadly though, this has ended up having a negative impact on the forest and on the area in general.
"People have always been drawn to Dering Wood because of its haunted reputation," said a spokesman for the Woodland Trust.
"But a number of recent TV programmes has led to a significant increase in overnight visitors."
"A lot of damage is being done to the local habitat, with flowers and bushes being trampled and nocturnal wildlife being disturbed. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the woods responsibly, but these people are not only causing a nuisance, they are also abandoning all their equipment."
A security firm has since been employed to escort people out of the woods after dark.
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