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  • 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 […]

    In Search of the Anomaly Gap, 1700-1800 March 29, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    In Search of the Anomaly Gap, 1700-1800

    Beach has noted before on this site the way that in the enlightenment there is an ‘anomaly gap’. It becomes, from about 1700 to 1800, unfashionable to speak about the paranormal, even in jesting terms. Actually this is a very approximate rule. In Beach’s experience some forms of the supernatural are acceptable. For instance, ghosts […]

    Ghost Larks January 26, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Ghost Larks

    Nineteenth-century newspapers are full of ghost reports. One thing that is rarely taken into account in modern ghost books, is just how many of these were larks. Remember that ghosts led to ghost riots and general excitement. Bored in an evening? Throw a white sheet over your head. Here is a typical one: At Felling, […]

    Ghost Changes Will December 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Ghost Changes Will

    This is one of those only in Ireland stories, which the British press loved in the nineteenth century. The tale originally came up in the Cork Examiner, but this text was taken from Bu He, 3 April 1869. An amusing instance of post mortem bequest and its consequences transpired at the Kanturk Petty Sessions on […]

    The Ghost in a Tree November 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Ghost in a Tree

    This little account appeared in Wilkinson and Harland, Lancashire Folk-lore (1867), 164. But they were quoting a story that had appeared in a newspaper in 1856. Beachcombing has been unable to trace the original, but honestly he didn’t try that hard. Will it be credited that thousands of people have, during the past week, crowded […]

    Sadistic Supernatural Creatures November 18, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Sadistic Supernatural Creatures

    The Auld Lord was a creepy monster associated with Lowther in Westmorland (the old English county between Lancashire and Cumbria). The Auld Lord spent most of his time spinning around the countryside with headless outriders and running his coach down impossibly steep inclines. But when back at home at Lowther Hall his dark side would […]

    Crash Ghosts October 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Crash Ghosts

    In 2008 that hoary old newspaper of the British right, The Daily Telegraph, all cobwebs and fox hunting, included a fascinating piece on a car-crashing ghost. Here follows a very brief edited version: Paranormal researchers are investigating the sightings of a girl in Victorian dress on a road in the West Midlands, which locals say […]

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