My eleventh horror novel, ‘White Hill,’ sees a return to my home county of Kent. It features a tale spun around actual hauntings attributed to a real life location and its surrounding woods.
We’ve several road ghosts in this part of the world. Bluebell Hill is by far the most famous, but White Hill comes in a close second. It was well known to colleagues during my police career, who periodically dealt with distraught motorists there. Panicked souls labouring under the honest assumption they’d killed somebody at night on that quiet, winding, wooded country lane. And yes, they collided with a smiling woman in white! For several years I had to drive up the hill after 11PM on a weekly basis. You can bet I kept my eyes peeled and a ready foot close to the brake pedal…
Nearby King’s Wood is home to countless tales of disembodied screaming women and pursued walkers. It’s a site known for ritual practice (the place described in the book actually exists). As a child I sledded there during winter snow and have walked the woods in all seasons throughout my life. Carpets of springtime bluebells along the ridge overlooking The Great Stour Valley are a joy and source of annual pilgrimage for me.
White Hill sits along The Pilgrims’ Way from Winchester to Canterbury. The section mentioned in my latest novel from Boughton Aluph to the eastern side of Chilham, marks a point where the North Downs Way runs in tandem with it.
I grew up in the area and attended school nearby. Chilham, Old Wives Lees, Chartham and Mystole have been part of my life, going on half a century. I took great pleasure in spinning a yarn linking White Hill with the atmospheric wonder of Julliberrie Down and its long barrow. Chuck some local history and folklore into the mix, add a visiting bereaved father who’s split from his wife, teenage friends attempting to contact a departed peer, and a rag-tag occult group seduced by entities drawn to White Hill, then bake well for 355 pages. Et Voila!
‘White Hill,’ will be released on 26th March in paperback and Kindle formats, including Kindle Unlimited for Amazon subscribers. The Kindle version is currently available for pre-order at a knockdown discount. This price will remain until the end of March.
I’ll include a few of my snaps below, relevant to readers of the book.