Got Ghosts? You will have!

Terrific news in the last few days – my new book ‘Got Ghosts?’ is due out from Fox Spirit in October, all set to coincide with Halloween!

The book is a complete romp, very loosely based on the hit TV show ‘Most Haunted’, and features a haunted English manor house, and all the things that go wrong when the film crew of (entirely fictional) television series ‘Got Ghosts?’ come for a weekend to make a programme there.

Greystone Hall’s owner Emily has far too much to deal with, including a plethora of ghosts, an arrogant producer, happy and unhappy mediums, a set of missing paintings, and yet more ghosts, not to mention a burgeoning romance with someone she doesn’t expect.

More details to come, but then if you’re good psychics you’ll know that already…



Ghostly pictures

Just in time fspiritphotograph3-720x1119or Halloween, there’s a fascinatingly creepy but ultimately common-sense article about the Victorian practice of photographing ghosts on the Hyperallergic blog here.

The article debunks some of the old myths surrounding ghostly photographs and is illustrated with some really good examples, as well as some that wouldn’t fool anyone these days.  But when the technology was new and people had no understanding of how it worked, it must have been only too easy to believe that the camera never lied.

Reminiscent of the perils of air-brushing and Photo-shopping these days!

Story from the archives

What a nice surprise.  Like the historian I studied to be I’ve been digging around in old files and archives, and have just re-discovered a short story I had published way back in 2011, which I quite thought had disappeared.

‘Clones’ appeared in The New Flesh magazine, which ceased trading not long afterwards (although I’m sure the two events weren’t actually linked…  Ahem.).  I assumed that the magazine’s web site would cease to exist, took the link off my own web page, and promptly forgot all about it.

Just shows how wrong you can be.  Thanks to the wonders of the internet The New Flesh site is still accessible, and my story is there along with many more.  The story is more than a little strange – but perfect for Halloween, so if you want to read about a scientist doing dreadful things with a vat of goo in a laboratory, follow this link!  I hope you enjoy it, and if I find any more buried treasure I’ll be sure to let you know.

Halloween hauntings

There’s an amusing piece in The Guardian today about the world’s most haunted cities.  They list about a dozen from around the world, all supposedly haunted or beset by strange phenomena.  There are also some nice atmospheric photos – although none showing the ghosts.  Perhaps they wouldn’t stand still long enough?

If I’m honest the ‘most haunted’ label seems to be pretty generous since some of them seem to be remarkably free from restless spirits.  One pub with ghostly sightings or a beach where people hear screams at night hardly counts as a ‘nightmare on every street’.  Nevertheless it’s a bit of harmless (or should that be ‘armless?) fun for Halloween… and I love the line about the demons leaking out!

Ghostly Lancashire

This month’s Lancashire Life magazine has an amusing little piece about haunted stately homes in and around the county, presumably in the run up to Halloween.

Locations on the list include Rufford Old Hall which is said to be haunted by Queen Elizabeth I (and no, the article’s authors couldn’t think why she would choose to “manifest herself in West Lancs” either!) and Lancaster Castle, once a prison, which houses numerous spirits including one of the famous (infamous?) Pendle Witches.  More unusual are the Grand Theatre, Lancaster, and the Winter Gardens at Morecambe, both of which are home to theatrical ghosts.  Over the border into Cumbria there’s Muncaster Castle, described as “one of the most haunted castles anywhere”.  I’m not sure about that claim, but during a visit a few years ago I did notice a very creepy atmosphere in one of the downstairs rooms.  Whether it was ghostly activity, or just cold and damp (this is an old stone castle after all) I couldn’t say, but it made for an entertaining trip out.

Also on the list are a handful of haunted Lancashire pubs, involving a pun about “serving spirits” which I wish I’d thought of!

It’s amusing just how many of these ghosts and spirits involve young women with broken hearts.  Clearly there was a great deal of heart-breaking going on in the past; either that, or it was the only way women had of getting their own back on their cheating or murdering relatives!