Thursday, 21 March 2013

KENT URBAN LEGENDS - A new book by Neil Arnold

What happens if you dance naked around the Devil's Bush in Pluckley, Kent's most haunted village? Do 'big cats' roam the local woods? Does the Devil appear if you manage to count the 'countless stones' at Aylesford? Is Bloody Mary more than just a childhood rumour? Does a phantom hitchhiker haunt the dark lanes of Blue Bell Hill? KENT URBAN LEGENDS is a new book by full-time monster hunter and folklorist Neil Arnold, a strange, quirky and downright weird collection of tales reputedly true yet never proven, passed down through generations and best told around a flickering campfire.

Chinese whispers, playground murmurs, internet rumours, and friend of a friend tales are the most potent in that they can embed themselves into a local community despite the fact such yarns are not true. Stories can spread like wildfire despite lacking any detail, causing a snowball effect that can affect an entire village, town or city. KENT URBAN LEGENDS looks at a number of stories not just related to the county of Kent, but legends which have spread across the world, varying depending on the storyteller. Have you heard the one about the famous footballer who paid the mortgage of a couple who had booked their wedding on the same day as his? Have you heard about the girl whose hair was so dirty that all manner of creepy crawlies took up residence and eventually burrowed into her brain? And what about the woman who chomped down on her Chinese takeaway only to find the remains of some animal? These type of stories are known the world over, and you can guarantee that there's always someone you know who knows someone else this has happened to.

Urban legends come in all shapes and sizes, but for the most part they are tales of horror - confined to mist-enshrouded lanes and eerie woods, but with KENT URBAN LEGENDS you'll also find out what happens if you play a heavy metal record backwards, or if some horror movies are cursed. You'll also find out if the Chelsea Smilers really did slash the mouths of school children in the 1980s, and what really happened to the woman who had a Killer In The Backseat of her car. Whilst tales of the Bunnyman, The Hook, and The Babysitter & The Man Upstairs may seem to have their origins in the USA, Neil proves that there's more to these scare stories than meets the eye, and delves into similar tales from Kent often involving lone female motorists and cavorting couples brave enough to venture into the night. From video nasties, to phantom viruses, from chain letters, to tales of monstrous bogeymen and out of place animals, KENT URBAN LEGENDS is one book you won't want to read before camping, driving, babysitting, or eating a meal! Be warned...the bogeyman is real after all!

KENT URBAN LEGENDS is published by The History Press, with a foreword by Janet Bord (Alien Animals), is an essential book to be read by candlelight!
Available from Amazon and all good bookshops, priced £9.99

Sunday, 17 March 2013

London Cryptozoology Conference

For those of you interested, the London Cryptozoology Club will be holding a mini conference on Saturday 13th April 2013 (11-00am - 7:00pm). Entitled 'There Be Beasts...' the mini-conference is being held at the Function Room at The Old Kings Head, 47-49 Borough High St , London, SE1 1NA, and the line-up as follows: * “On the Track of Unknown Animals Worldwide” Richard Freeman, Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology * “Mermaids: A Natural and Unnatural History” Paolo Viscardi, Natural History Curator and Mermaid Anatomist * “Current Developments in Bigfoot Research” James Newton, self-confessed Armchair Cryptozoologist * “Does the Pink-Headed Duck Still Survive in Burma?” Richard Thorns, Writer, Ornithologist and Explorer * 'The Legendary Parakeets of London and Friends' Scott Wood, Co-organiser of The London Fortean Society Other details: Getting here: Nearest train: London Bridge (5 minutes walk) Nearest tube: London Bridge (5 minutes walk) Buses: 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 343, 381, 521, RV1 Tickets £5 (£2 for students, OAP’s, people in receipt of benefits) To register and purchase tickets please email or call James Newton on 07805 356461

Monday, 11 March 2013

London 'big cat' scares and the 'lion of Essex'

Several UK-related 'big cat' scares have been covered in Neil Arnold's article featured in the 2013 Centre For Fortean Zoology Yearbook. The book is available on Amazon, and features several articles by noted researchers. For more information on the contents click HERE