Sept 2002 - Scream Team
News of Blue Bell Hill's appearance on the re-launched American series In Search Of is well timed, since the case will also feature on cable channel Living TV's new series Scream Team, which begins on Friday 13 September, at 9pm (30 mins), with a preview - 'Meet the Team'.
Scream Team - described by its makers as "The Blair Witch Project meets Scooby Doo" - follows six young investigators as they travel to spooky and mysterious locations across the UK, where they will have just 24 hours to investigate and present their findings.
The series proper kicks off on 24 September at 9pm (60 mins; repeated 29 Sept) when the team visit Clapham Woods, Sussex - believed by some to be a focus for Satanic rituals, and where evidence of witchcraft is to be found amongst the trees.
Blue Bell Hill will feature on the show on Tuesday 1 October at 9pm.
Visit the Scream Team website for more information about the show, team members & diaries, locations, and more.
Sept 2002 - In Search Of...finally!
The new series of In Search Of... will begin to air on the SCI-FI Channel from Friday 4 October 2002*. So declared makers KAOS Entertainment on behalf of the producers of the series (personal communication). Viewers are advised to check local listings for times.
In Search Of... resumes its exploration of mysteries, legends, and bizarre phenomena 26 years after the original series debuted in 1976 with Leonard Nimoy as the host. Now, with the X-Files' Mitch Pileggi at the helm, the new series, from USA Cable Entertainment, aims to make up for lost time with eight one-hour episodes, which will include a segment on Blue Bell Hill.
Update 2017: See Season 7, episode 2 for the feature on Blue Bell Hill, viewable HERE
Source(s): Personal communication; http:www.scifi.com/scifiwire/print.cgi?2002-08/15/09.50.sfc (*This source confusingly gives 11 October as the start date).
May 2002 - In Search of...road ghosts...soon?
Last May, a production team for the one-time hit American TV series In Search Of... arrived at Blue Bell Hill to film a segment on road ghosts. I kept in touch with the production team at the KAOS offices in Santa Monica for the few months afterward - long enough to establish that the piece had been completed - before a researcher for the show informed me (in Sept. 2001) that the project had been shelved by FOX TV for its 2001/02 season, and the show's offices at KAOS had been closed.
Originally scheduled for a Fall 2001 release, the first eight shows would be unlikely to appear before 2003, if at all. Thereafter, enquiries made directly to FOX regarding the show's status met an ominous wall of silence.
But there are small signs that the wall is beginning to crack. AskFOX has replied, albeit cursorily, to a few recent email enquiries. One correspondent received the hopeful, if noncommittal "perhaps this summer", whereas my own feedback consisted of "The show has not been scheduled yet."
Anyone who has an interest in the show's revival is invited to write to FOX TV at AskFOX@fox.com. Let us know what you get back, if anything.
May 2002 - Recent appearance of the Blue Bell Hill ghost?
An as yet unconfirmed sighting of the ghost has reached the ears of Kent Big Cat researcher Neil Arnold. Neil, who maintains his own research pages on this site, told me that the ghost is said to have been encountered as recently as March or April 2002.
Details are inevitably sketchy, but Neil is following up the lead, which currently has 'Friend of a Friend' status. Reason to be suspicious, I believe, but time, and Neil, will tell in due course.
Meanwhile, an older, previously unreported named-witness account has reached me privately, involving a single male witness and the collision variety of encounter. More soon.
May 2002 - Roadghosts.com - featured site on Kentonline WebWATCH
Roadghosts.com was the featured site in Pauline Green's weekly WebWATCH column for the Kent Messenger newspaper (Maidstone) for Friday 10 May.
THE road ghost website is exactly what it says it is - stories about ghostly appearances on our roads.
The home page is invitingly spooky. Click on the spectral image and enter for some stories about phantom hitchhikers, or spectral jaywalkers. We've all heard about them, now you can read their stories.
The first apparition to feature is the Blue Bell Hill ghost. Most stories recount the tragic accident of November 1965 when three young women, one a bride-to-be, were killed in a car crash.
There have been over 20 witnessed sightings of a young woman stepping, or running, in front of car [sic] and being hit, and then disappearing.
Kent Today's front page of November 1992 is featured on the website giving a graphic description of one of these incidents.
There are several other highly descriptive accounts. But the website also gives a challenging view of these spectral images, pushing the reader to understand the phenomena [sic] and our own perception of ghosts. It's extremely interesting, and good fun too!
The Kentonline website, for events, features (which includes Neil Arnold's Kent Big Cat Research) and contacts for Kent, can be visited at www.kentonline.co.uk
January 2002 - 'The Ton-Up Run'
Over the years, coverage of the Ghost of Blue Bell Hill has spilled over from the printed medium to all the media channels of modern times, from radio and television, to audio cassette dramatization, CD-ROM, and the Internet. Along the way, the case has also inspired one or two fictional offshoots - most recently, in 1997, The Seeker, by Josephine Cox (writing as Jane Brindle; Headline Book Publishing), which is described as 'an unforgettable tale of haunting suspense'.
Recently, another has come to light. In 1976, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) broadcast, as part of its Short Stories: Near & Far series, The Ton Up Run, by Peter J. Hedge - a radio drama based on Blue Bell Hill's legendary Phantom Hitch-Hiker.
Originally from the Medway Towns in Kent, Peter (who now resides in Canada) was aware of the ghostly rumours surrounding the Hill, but knew nothing at all about the details when he wrote the story in Teheran in 1972. In Peter’s tale the girl was a 15-year-old Rochester girl called Jacintha Alexander, who died whilst riding pillion on her boyfriend's motorbike.
In a spooky twist, Peter later found out that the ghost was rumoured to be JL, from Rochester - a girl with whom he had shared a classroom for several years!
Click HERE or on the banner for the full transcript of The Ton-Up Run, which appears on this site courtesy of Peter Hedge.
Peter J. Hedge is a freelance author and engineering instructor in Victoria, British Columbia. Legacy of a Hanged Man can be reviewed or is available online here
For a profile and contact information for Peter, click HERE
[26 October 2001 - 'A scarier side to All Hallows Eve']
Blue Bell Hill found its almost obligatory mention in the Hallowe'en lists as the new Medway version of the Kent Messenger newspaper - the Medway Messenger - ran an article focusing on the Hill's cast of ghosts and black cats. Kent Big Cat researcher Neil Arnold gives an outline of the ghostly legend and history of Alien Big Cat sightings (which were joined in July 2001 by a crop circle formation [see below]) that have earned the location renown for its concentration of anomalous events.
'A scarier side to All Hallows Eve', by Neil Arnold, Medway Messenger, Friday 26 October 2001, p.20.
[6-7 May 2001 - In Search Of...]
On the Bank Holiday weekend of 5-7 May, a camera crew for the revived and once-popular American TV series on the paranormal came to Blue Bell Hill to explore the subject of Road Ghosts. Following interviews with 1992 witness Ian Sharpe, PC Roger Ginn, and myself on the Sunday, the crew travelled to Blue Bell Hill the next evening for a night-shoot reconstruction of Ian's vivid encounter of 8 November 1992, and the 'hag' encounters of January 1993.
The show was originally commissioned by the FOX network for an initial run of eight 1-hour episodes, and was due to be hosted by X-Files star Mitch Pileggi (Skinner), and see first broadcast in a prime-time slot in the USA in the autumn of 2001.
The latest, however, suggests the show has been pulled from Fox's remaining schedule for 2001 (and looks unlikely even for 2002), but will be retained as a 'filler'. As it stands, it is uncertain as to whether the show will air at all.
Updates will appear on this site when available.
The show's website can be found at In Search Of...
[4 May 2001]
'Weird accolade for local haunt'
Blue Bell Hill has been named the weirdest village in Kent by Bizarre Magazine, which selected BBH as the only place in Kent to earn a place in its Weird Britannia League. Bizarre's editor, Joe Gardiner, said: "Blue Bell Hill rates as particularly weird because of its connection with the phantom hitch-hiker, a woman who hitched lifts with passing motorists, only to vanish form the side of the road as they approached."
The Hill was also acknowledged as the home to the 'mysterious panther-like animal' known as the Beast of Blue Bell Hill, which has been regularly spotted across North Kent (see Beast of Blue Bell Hill on this website).
‘Weird accolade for local haunt’, Medway Today, Friday 4 May 2001, p.4; ‘SUPER NATURAL - GHOSTS: Blue Bell Hill, Kent’, Bizarre 46 (Summer 2001), pp.88-89.
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