The Screaming Woods

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Dering Woods (c)Stewart Weir 2016

Otherwise known as the Screaming Woods, on the morning of November 1, 1948, twenty people from the Maltman’s area were found dead, eleven of whom were children. 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. 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. In October 1998, on the same night as 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.

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