jump to navigation
  • Best Ghost Story: Paris Station Ghost October 8, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Best Ghost Story: Paris Station Ghost

    This is one of the very best ghost stories: partly because of how its written; partly because of how difficult it is to explain away. The author is Shane Leslie, an Irish member of the British establishment in the 1920s and 1930s, a cousin of Churchill and a witty and delightfully gossipy talker. He had […]

    Irish Ghost with Erection September 23, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Irish Ghost with Erection

    There is a minority tradition about obscene ghosts: ghosts that stalk the living for sexual favours; or that even invade their beds. It is very difficult to know how common these ghosts were because prior to about 1970 it would have been just too much to write about them: paradoxically the source-starved middle ages and […]

    The Hobgoblin Club September 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Hobgoblin Club

    It is 1891. You are living in a small Cornish village and your neighbours get jumpy every time they see a shadow (‘the ghost…’ etc) and talk darkly of Mother Jones being a witch. Well, in most British villages it was a question of sermons, railway timetables and opening parish schools. But in Ludgvan, close […]

    War Heroes’ Bones for Manure in Scotland September 17, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    War Heroes' Bones for Manure in Scotland

    We have seen on this site, several times, urban legends about body parts being used in industrial production: fat for glass or telegraph wires; body parts for soap, something, of course, found too in the First World War. The following story is a not so elaborate practical joke but the attitudes behind it suggest that […]

    The Somercotes Ghost September 12, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Somercotes Ghost

    An interesting ghost scare from 1930. Somercotes is a village in Derbyshire. The first report is from 9 Jul 1930. The Somercotes ghost, which caused a big scare four years ago, has apparently not been laid. This early report has proved untraceable, though in the midst of the following crisis a local confesses to having […]

    Transvestite Hunt for Fake Ghost August 27, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Transvestite Hunt for Fake Ghost

    In some ways this is a normal nineteenth century ghost story: we are in 1836. A man dresses up as a ghost; he scares some people; a group of toughs go out and look for him; it ends in tears: the story is entitled, be warned, ‘flogging a ghost’. However, this one has some special […]

    The Ludgvan Ghost Riot August 12, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Ludgvan Ghost Riot

    Here is a nice ghost riot story from deepest darkest Cornwall, at Ludgvan near Penzance. This is a rather rare, though not entirely unprecedented thing, a rural ghost riot. Note also that this is a memory: interestingly the great Ludgvan ghost riot of c. 1820 or c. 1830 didn’t make it into the press. My first acknowledgment […]

    The Ghost, the Dynamite and the Fever July 17, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Ghost, the Dynamite and the Fever

    This is weird little story from Barnoldswick on the border between Lancashire and the North Riding. The year is 1928. Barnoldswick is affected by a ghost scare which has broken out like a fever among the schoolchildren of the town. The use of ‘fever’ is interesting thinking of that wonderful book by Robert E. Bartholomew […]

    Snowball Atrocities 7#: Ghostly Snowballs in Illinois June 26, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Snowball Atrocities 7#: Ghostly Snowballs in Illinois

    Beach was awfully fond of his snowball tag, and was disappointed when he simply ran out of good snowball stories. Imagine his joy then to run into some ghostly snowballs in Skinner’s Myths and Legends of Our Own Land. The year is apparently 1849 Forty-seven years ago, in the township of St.  Mary’s, Illinois, two […]

    Council Séance Over Haunted House June 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Council Séance Over Haunted House

    Beach has only once been to Bedfordshire, a tiny English county near London. He got stuck in its chief town, Luton, took a room in a sordid pub (the bookshelf had a rack full of well-thumbed pornographic magazines – if only Tripadvisor had been around…) and missed his bus.* In any case, enough of Luton. […]

    Tree-Felling Ghosts or Youth Vandalism? June 15, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Tree-Felling Ghosts or Youth Vandalism?

    This is a very confusing story: perhaps one reason for taking it seriously. We are in Orkney in March 1907. There were certainly believed-in ghosts in Orkney but in 1907 there was also still strong belief in trows: the local fairy population. Ghostly happenings have disturbed the town of Kirkwall, the capital of the county […]

    The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #3: Castoffs April 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #3: Castoffs

    Some peripheral reports from the 1883 Dundee ghost flap. Readers will remember that reports began in late 1882, and that they died out at the quarry in late Jan 1883, after an energetic policeman had intervened. 19 Feb 1883 a Dundee paper reported that the ghost had been caught. If this really was the or […]

    The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #2: the Hilltown Ghost April 22, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #2: the Hilltown Ghost

    Yesterday, Beach introduced the Dundee ghost of 1886. Here is the sequel. All is quiet at Blackness Quarry, but elsewhere in the town evil brews. Here is the main report Two or three weeks ago we drew attention the remarkable doings of an individual who the role of a ghost, and disported himself in the […]

    The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #1: Blackness Quarry Ghost April 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #1: Blackness Quarry Ghost

    In early 1883 in Dundee, the coastal Scottish city, a ghost was glimpsed in Blackness Quarry. Here we have a ghost flap, a ghost riot and a ghost hunt all combined. It is an interesting case because contemporary reports were rich in details. This, though, is the only report, known to this blogger, from the […]

    The Supernatural on Ngram April 19, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    The Supernatural on Ngram

    Beach has recently been messing about with Ngram, as his leisurely ancestors used to mess around on southern English rivers. Ngram for the uninitiated is a Google tool that allows the user to measure the frequency of certain words in Google Books. It is not as sophisticated as Google Analytics, which measures search terms. But […]

    Page 1 of 912345...Last »