This is a tourists' guide to haunted places in Scotland, not a book of ghost stories as we would normally understand the expression. It tells us, sometimes in rough summary sometimes in a certain amount of detail, what the nature of the apparition is in each case, but it has no pretension or ambition to be literary. There is a brief introduction saying nothing much, and the stories are grouped, reasonably up to a point, into categories. The categories in practice don't seem terribly well thought-out to me. To some extent they are geographical, for instance there is a section on Edinburgh but Edinburgh ghosts reappear in later chapters dedicated to pubs, to theatres and to private residences. Some categories relate to the type of apparition, some to the type of location, the types of apparition are not very clearly or consistently differentiated, and the sole chapter where I have personal knowledge of one of the issues is the most unsatisfactory of all.
I have no experience whatsoever of the preternatural, but I have good knowledge of one instance of a poltergeist. This poltergeist incident is categorically true, and you will find it related here on pages 37/38 as The Poltergeist of Sauchie. As usual with the more reliably recorded cases of poltergeist manifestations, there was inexplicable movement, apparently telekinetic, of inanimate objects, and these abnormal phenomena centred on an adolescent. I do not believe so much as 0.002% of the reports I read of `ghosts', but poltergeist occurrences quite simply do take place. What I refuse to accept is any classification of them as preternatural. There are more things just on earth than are accounted for in our philosophy to date, and this is one of them. It doesn't seem to me to belong in the same chapter as the story of Andrew Mackie's House, the longest narrative in the entire book. This tale is a ghost-story and a half, and the linking motif, namely the unnatural movement of the inanimate objects, is almost the least of it.
Viewing the book as a catalogue, I am simply in no position to assess it for either completeness or accuracy, but surely there must be enough and more than enough sites listed to satisfy the most dedicated and determined amateur searcher after Caledonian paranormalia. The editor very sensibly refuses to deny categorically every report, because I believe neither she nor I are in any position to do so. Some of it is legend, losing nothing through time and commerce no doubt, and some of it is pretty obvious romancing. For what it is, the book is quite good value and very properly it has a short chapter on the distinctively Scottish phenomenon of `second sight'. Another couple of items relating to ghost-trains were of particular interest to myself -- I would have been amazed if there had not been such reports at the site of the original Tay Bridge so famously destroyed in 1879, but the phantom conveyance at Dunphail was one I hadn't previously heard of, and any property developers in the area had better be careful about building over the old track-bed.
It would not be for me to `recommend' such a publication, but I am very pleased to have bought it. If you wish to use it as a cut-price Baedeker in a specialised field, I shall be there vicariously with you in spirit (no pun intended).