I enjoyed this book but found it inconclusive. Peter Ackroyd is known for his focus on the nature of the English (as in, for instance, another book of his on the English imagination). His contention here is that "seeing ghosts" is something the English seem to do more than any other nationality - a thesis he sets out in the first section of the book. The deduction from this would appear to be that seeing ghosts is essentially a phenomenon of the psyche, with no objective reality, and may be understood in such terms. Many of the English ghost stories in the book, however, feature different people independently having the same experience in the same place over a number of years, e.g. the A38 story in which motorists encounter the man in the grey mackintosh flashing his torch into the road, and the repeated appearances of the girl on Bluebell Hill whom many motorists swerve to avoid, and then find her to have no substance. The twentieth century stories had greater interest for me than those which were related in the sixteenth century - partly because of the verbose language in which the narrators express themselves. Ultimately I was left wishing for some kind of analysis and summing up by Peter Ackroyd but this was lacking. Later on I had a conversation about this book with the assistant in my local bookshop, and she said she believes that supernatural experiences are not monopolised by the English at all, but it may simply be that other races take it so much more for granted that they don't make an issue of reporting "sightings". An intriguing book for ghost story fans, and for those who have themselves had supernatural experiences.