Panic in the seas of Whitstable

PANIC – Do you remember a time, reader, when we weren’t all talking politics and when the papers weren’t filled with Brexit-based jargon? It seems like a long time ago, I know, but there was a time, believe it or not, when there were front pages of national newspapers dedicated to other news. A time when we had more serious things to PANIC about! Such as the impending doom that our seas, our harbour and our entire town faced at the claws of CRABZILLA.

Five years have passed since the moral panic that drives the sales of national newspapers was themed around the monster supposedly living in our harbour, with headlines such as ‘Is this Crabzilla?’ and ‘Giant crab measuring 50ft spotted off British coast’. When the aerial shot was released, one paper, notorious for its puns, went with the headline ‘CLAWS’ with the crustacean replacing the open-mouthed shark in the iconic JAWS movie poster.

The beast beneath the murky waters at the end of our harbour became the talk of the town and the talk of the country, and even featured in the papers of our neighbours France, Sweden and Germany. Crabzilla broke America appearing in the New York papers, Huffington Post and as far as India, Australia and Japan. The beauty of this photo-shopped deception was that it came complete with an origin story which went as follows: ‘This shocking image of a giant crab under a popular crabbing spot in Whitstable was taken last weekend. The boys were unaware of the danger, but as several passersby shouted to them, the crab slipped silently away under the water, into the dark, sideways.’

Enough to send a shiver down the spine of any slight suffer of Kabourophobia (the fear of crabs and lobsters), thankfully for the Kabourophobics amongst us this was all a hoax by Whitstable artist Quinton Winter. The artist runs a blog of supernatural elements around the town which is well worth checking out, titled Weird Whitstable. Crabzilla has lived on in the form of postcards and artworks, some of which are available at the brilliant Horsebridge Centre; the perfect stocking filler (just not for those terrified of crabs, perhaps). Quinton is the opposite of Kabourophobic, in fact, the artist sees crabs everywhere even in the Whitstable skyline, say hello to ‘Cloudzilla’.

For tales of the supernatural or to buy one of Quinton’s prints, head to –



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