Karl Bell is an award-winning historian and a Reader in Cultural History at the University of Portsmouth. His research revolves around the history of the fantastical imagination. He has published on a range of topics including nineteenth-century magic, urban folklore and legends, ghost lore, and early Victorian science fiction. His second book, The Legend of Spring-heeled Jack: Victorian Urban Folklore and Popular Culture, won the 2013 Katharine Briggs Award. More recently he has co-edited an anthology of ghost and horror fiction and co-created Portsmouth DarkFest, a cultural festival that celebrates creativity, the supernatural and urban noir. He lives in Southsea, Hampshire, but his mind is frequently elsewhere.