March 10

This is my first post in a while…… naughty I know, slaps on the wrist and all that stuff.  I have been busy travelling home and back for family matters, injured myself a few times and am right in the middle of the annoying and stressful process of moving home. But I am here now with my new post, a book review which I am happy to be writing.

The book is called “Haunted London” by Richard Jones and is published by New Holland Publishers. Before I begin talking about the content, I want to say a few things about the look of the book itself. What I like about it is that it isn’t big or heavy as a lot of books of this type can be. It is a well-made paperback book, with 128 glossy pages full of pictures of buildings or places rumoured to be haunted as well some photos of actual ghosts! The front and back cover are well-presented, with the back cover explaining some information about the content inside the book and about the author. The great thing about the look of this book is that I believe it could even appeal to cynics! It definitely isn’t one of those books you see hidden in that creepy corner of a bookshop where you dare not ever go! And at only £9.99 it’s a bargain alone, even without the 20% discount code I’m going to give you!

The author Richard Jones seems to be very experienced in the field of all things “Haunted”! From my own research I found that he has written numerous books on the subject, such as “Haunted Britain and Ireland” or “Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland”. He has travelled to many supposedly haunted places, clearly done a huge amount of research and is an important figure in walking tours around the city of London. It is obvious why someone of his experience is such an asset and incredible source when it comes to detailing the most haunted places in England’s capital. If you are interested to find out more about the author or about his tours, I found this website to be extremely helpful:

Walks Of London

Moving on, I have to admit that when I accepted to review the book I was scared at how it would be. I am a big fan of the “Ghost Story”, enjoy watching programs like “Most Haunted” and generally have an interest in the whole premise of haunted castles/houses e.t.c. I think it may stem from my own previous experiences of the “supernatural” as a child which has led me to believe that ghosts or spirits still roam amongst us in our world! The thing is though, I haven’t read many books on the subject, mostly because they can often be too full-on, as if the author is desperately trying to convince the reader that ghosts exist and all stories are TRUE, e.t.c, blah blah blah. Even as a believer that ghosts or whatever they are can exist among us, I don’t believe in all the stories told throughout time.

The great thing about “Haunted London” is that Jones’ writing is sometimes funny, always friendly and extremely descriptive as he describes a numerous amount of ghosts of which some are nice, some evil, some funny, some sad and so on. The best thing however is the fact that it never feels like he is trying to convince you that the stories are true! He just tells you the facts, the opinions, the stories or the myths in a relaxed way. In reading the book it is difficult to determine what Jones really believes himself! For this, I feel that this book is ideal for those who believe, those who don’t, those who are interested, curious, cynical or for tourists planning a trip to London and looking for a bit of ghostly adventure!

Also, another thing I loved about the book is that is divided into the areas and places of London, such as “North London, South London, East and West” and it even has a chapter called “Theatreland and The West End”, so those interested in the creepy tales of long ago murdered actors will find plenty of chilling tales in this section. We, of course, also hear of the many ghosts at the infamous “Tower of London” and also tales of “Jack the Ripper” and of the ghosts of his victims being seen at the places of their death! Again, this is great for tourists who intend on visiting such notorious places where many a grisly murder took place!

Finally, Jones takes us on a tour across the centuries, covering the ghosts of “Dick Turpin”, the wives of Henry VIII and even Jack the Ripper! Other less known ghosts are detailed, with one of the most chilling being that of a woman who seems to have saved herself from her own suicide in the 1940′s, whereas one of the saddest is the ghost at “Threadneedle Street” who appears all of sudden to ask passers by if they have seen her brother, who had been executed in 1812 for forgery at The Bank of England; his death something she clearly never got over. (pages 66 and 58). And if you are looking to be scared, there is many a tale of angry, hateful and even evil ghosts who have scared the living so much that those who have encountered them have turned to suicide to escape!

In conclusion, I really feel that “Haunted London” is a book for everyone. Tourists can use it to find the scariest places in London if they hope to see a ghost, believers can read to learn more about even the lesser-known ghosts of the capital, and even cynics can enjoy it if not for some of the famous tales or ghosts! The author is clearly an expert in the subject, he has obviously done a lot of research, and he remains relatively unbiased throughout the book which again makes the book interesting for anyone no matter their opinion. Lastly, I found it really interesting also for the history of the capital. Each ghost/story really takes us back into the past. You learn about the attitudes in the past to ghosts and of social and cultural behaviours at certain times in history. But even the recent ghost tales in the book let us see how our feelings towards the supernatural hasn’t changed much throughout time. It’s still baffling, scary and bizarre!

If anyone is interested in getting the book and learning about some of the scariest, saddest or funniest ghosts that London has to offer, you can get a 20% discount (with free postage and packaging!)  if you order from the New Holland Publishers site using the discount code: Freckletastic.

Click on the link below the picture or above to go directly to the page where you can buy the book :)

Good luck Ghost Hunting! :)

Haunted London

(ISBN 978184773220)