Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Pre-order now Shop now Learn more



on 7 May 2018
A thought this book was a little lightweight when I first bought it. But since I’ve started reading it, I’ve changed my mind. It gives good accounts of many ghost stories that I have not read anywhere else; it also written in a nice leisurely style, with no difficulties concerning understanding. But apart from this, the book also provides information on types of haunting and some of the main characters involved in the ghost hunting traditions, such as Harry Price. I was also interested to find the ghost story that is supposedly the catalyst for the great ghost story by Henry James: The Turn of the Screw. All in all, this is a very good book that I’ve enjoyed reading. In fact, I can’t understand why the book seems to have a lot of lacklustre reviews here on Amazon. Four stars, easily.

I hope you find my review helpful.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 24 September 2013
Disclosure, Roger is a friend but goodness me I genuinely and wholeheartedly *did* enjoy A NATURAL HISTORY OF GHOSTS, and quite unbidden.

The Hinton Ampner/Turn of the Screw tale is worth the price of admission alone. That and the doomed U-boat, the shrieking naked Victorian psychics, Harry Price and Borley - are just few of the absolutely irresistible highlights.

I've always been fascinated by ghosts (perhaps not to his intrepid extent) - funnily enough ghost stories have much in common with children's stories (which I write), in that they nearly always not about what they're about. They also require a particularly child like or innocent suspension of disbelief to work - in amongst the hysteria and populist scares.

The tale of Monty James scaring the bejesus out of some schoolboys under his charge is absolutely wonderful.

For me as a writer it's one of those wonderful treasure troves of a book, full of so many things peculiar, eccentric, strange (all so beautifully and entertainingly conveyed) that I don't think one could ever fail not to be inspired or intrigued by its contents.
2 people found this helpful
|11 Comment|Report abuse
on 13 January 2018
A bit old-fashioned and overly selective. Many hoary old stories ( e.g. Borley ) re-visited.
Virtually no discussion of science or pseudoscience surrounding ghost lore.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 20 December 2017
Not what I thought it was going to be- but OK.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 5 October 2017
A brilliant must read book to add to anyone's Paranormal collection.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 12 September 2016
great read
One person found this helpful
|11 Comment|Report abuse
on 24 September 2013
Really enjoyed this. It brought back those feelings of overwhelming and unknown dread I used to feel reading articles about hauntings as a child. Lovely stuff about the cultural evolution of ghosts and very evocative descriptions of the sites. Makes one want to plan a road trip. Great stuff, accessible yet scholarly.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 21 January 2014
This was not your usual sort of Ghost book, the book is put together well and I would recommend for a good read
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 10 January 2014
Could not put this down. Fascinating and totally up to date. Would recommend to anyone with an interest in Forteana.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 5 December 2012
Roger Clarke seems to have sharply divided his readership, judging by the reviews. More than one made the comment that he was too passionately involved, given that he confesses it's the book he always wanted to write. I'd come more-or-less straight to this from Owen Davies' 'Social History of Ghosts' which attempts to be an academic study. Davies succeeds, but despite all the praise, I found it a dry and rather dense read. Some parts of this book seem to attempt analytical study, but - thankfully - readability wins out, and if that's the result of Clarke's love of his subject, that's fine with me. Yes, there's some repetition, some disjointed narrative and a confusion of endnotes, all of which a bit of attentive editing could have fixed. Nonetheless, it's a hell of a subject, since the nature of the beast (no puns intended) defies categorisation. Do you clump your ghosts into 'types' such as poltergeists, grey ladies, monks and nuns etc, or do you opt for the chronological approach? Either way, you end up with lots in the way of overlap and little in the way of coherent patterns.

There are some fascinatingly strange details in this book, and Clarke is clever enough to avoid coming down on the side of either souls of the dead or scientific explanations. He does cover the fashionable thoughts of each ghost-hunting age, right up to the latest theories of quirks of the brain and its potential resonance with outside forces such as sound and electro-magnetic waves. (No, I don't understand it, but there's something to grasp intuitively and it sounds impressive). Some famous hauntings were obvious, or exposed as, fakes, and Clarke doesn't shy away from this either, but adds that because the Cock Lane Ghost was one such, it doesn't condemn all ghosts to the same shabby fate.

He also makes a similar point to Davies, in that our attitudes to the supernatural, or the paranormal, may have grown more sophisticated, and our experiences reflect the times we live in, to some extent, but we are still firmly at square one when it comes to explanations and proof of anything at all. I'd put this somewhere between the Davies book and 'Ghoul Britannia' for a combination of entertainment and interesting facts.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)