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Steeles Lane, Meopham
Anna Dubuis gave the following account of a haunting on Steele Lane in her 31 October 2012 article ‘The ghosts and legends of north Kent’ which appeared in the Gravesend Reporter.
‘Kent is renowned for its countryside and landscapes, but underneath the rose tint lies a world of ghost tales and unexplained happenings.
The village of Meopham is reputedly one of the most haunted villages in Kent with tales of ghouls and ghosts trawling the streets.
The best known is that of a young woman dressed in orange silk who is said to haunt Steeles Lane.
It is said to be the apparition of Mademoiselle Pinard, the mistress of a soldier from the Napoleonic War.
During the allied occupation of Paris, a young soldier in the Kent regiment seduced the innocent young Parisienne with the promise of marriage.
Head over heels in love with him, she followed her beau to England where she arrived on his doorstep, but he turned his back on her.
Distraught and penniless, Mlle Pinard dressed herself in the dress she had bought for their wedding and hanged herself in Steeles Lane.
Her ghost lurks there still, standing quietly by the side of the road on the spot where she died.
Doug Powell, who lives in Steeles Lane, has always known the tale.
“It has been passed on down the generations, although I don’t know if she has been seen,” he said.
Another Steels Lane resident who, fearing ghostly repercussions, wished to remain anonymous, had an eerie experience one dark winter night 20 years ago while walking his dog.
“While I was going down the bridal path I heard a rumbling noise and I turned around and saw an old American cart with big iron wheels coming towards me. There was a driver sitting on the back seat wearing a leather jerkin.
“I stepped out of the way but just as the cart passed me it disappeared. I was more surprised than shocked. I don’t believe in anything but there was no doubt in what I saw,” he said.