The estimable Tom Ruffles of the Society for Psychical Research has just given Paranormal Cumbria a very positive review. The full review can be found here but I’ve extracted a few highlights:
“The contents, conveyed in his usual humorously perceptive style, are arranged thematically … He supplies references for all his stories, the result of which is a three-page bibliography of books, journals and newspapers that allows readers to double-check for themselves. This rigorous analytical approach is rare in the field, and all the more welcome for it.”
“The Croglin Grange vampire… Holder delves into the various accounts as they evolved from the first reference in print by Augustus Hare, showing what a complex narrative it actually is.”
[Comparing the book with another, similar publication] “To sum up, the resident of Cumbria may well want both (plus Holder’s The Guide to the Mysterious Lake District book) in order to ensure that they have maximum coverage of the county. But the visitor who does not want to purchase both will be better off with Holder’s book. And it’s three quid cheaper. I therefore declare Paranormal Cumbria the winner.”
My next book, Haunted Dundee, is published on 26th January. So, manic grin in place, I’ll be signing copies that day in the Dundee Waterstones branch.
The book explores several centuries of Dundonian hauntings. There are stories of poltergeists, malevolent entities, apparitions, strange sounds, doppelgangers, visionary experiences and much more. The incidents range from 1706 to the present day, and include the tales of the White Ladies of Coffin Mill and Balgay Bridge, the hauntings of the historic ships Discovery and Unicorn, and a host of personal ghost sightings told to me by contemporary eye-witnesses.
Other cases include some truly bizarre episodes of apparent hallucinations of ghostly individuals investigated by a distinguished psychiatrist who was also a member of the Society of Psychical Research.
To celebrate, I’ll be signing copies on Thursday 26th January at the Waterstones branch at 35 Commercial Street, Dundee. Map here!
I’ll be in store between 1 and 2.30 p.m. Ish. If you can’t make it at the time, you could always call the shop on 0843 290 8287 and ask them to reserve a copy, which I’ll sign for you to pick up later. (They’ll probably have copies of Paranormal Dundee for sale as well.)
On Monday (16th January) the Evening Times ran an article on your humble author, headlined Meet the new Mr Glasgow the History Man. Reporter Russell Leadbetter chatted to me about The Little Book of Glasgow, including the story of the city in the Second World War, and the tendency of Glaswegians, historically, to prefer riots over battles.
The feature functioned as a trailer for a weekly column in the newspaper. From 23rd January I’ll have a column in the Evening Times every Monday. Entitled ‘Historical Times’, it consists of extracts from The Little Book of Glasgow – everything from sport to film, from architecture to pop stars, and from astronomical druids to zoological oddities.
I’ve just put the final touches to Haunted St Andrews & District, book number 23 in the list they are all calling ‘Geoff Holder’s List of Books What He Has Wrote’.
This has been a terrific book to research and write. St Andrews is a wonderful place to wander round, and the stories are fascinating, ranging from medieval spectres of monks, murderers and archbishops, to ‘undergraduate legends’ transmitted via online student message-boards.
I also spent time investigating the famous White Lady and the mummies of the Haunted Tower, as well as the Veiled Nun, the Grey Lady, the Library Ghost, and other Fife phantoms. Not to mention a trio of poltergeists (including the polt of Pitmilly House, officially recognised by an insurance company payout).
Haunted St Andrews & District will be published in the summer of 2012.
The Little Book of Glasgow is now officially published. A funny, fast-paced, fact-packed compendium of frivolous, fantastic and strange facts about Glasgow, it is, to use the conventional phrase, the perfect Christmas gift.
At a recent talk I had a number of advance copies for sale and signing, and they disappeared faster than Santa’s mince pies. Amazon has almost sold out already – just one left at the time of writing. Thanks to everyone who’s bought one.