Tag Archives: ghost

In which the author actually writes a book…

There have been no posts recently because I’ve been sequestered away writing Paranormal Cumbria (deadlines are a wonderful thing). The text of the book is now complete so normal service (such as it is) should be resumed as soon as possible. As a sneak preview, I can promise witchcraft, monsters of sea and lake (oh yes, Bownessie gets a look in), twentieth-century fairy sightings, ‘scareship’ UFOS, the Cursing Stone of Carlisle, the Cumberland Spaceman and the Croglin Vampire. Crikey.


Just a reminder that the event at Ladywell in Glasgow, originally booked for Wednesday 24th August, has been rescheduled for 19 October. Same venue, same time, same vampire with iron teeth – just a different date.

In which the author gets a grand review from veteran Fortean Lionel Fanthorpe…


Back in the day, I enjoyed many a talk (at Fortean Times UnConventions and elsewhere) by the Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe, the President of ASSAP (Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) and the former President of BUFORA (British UFO Research Association). Among his 250(!) books, many written in conjunction with his wife Patricia, my favourite is an in-depth study of that enduring Fortean enigma, the Oak Island Mystery.

Just recently, Lionel and Patricia kindly got in touch with a splendid review of The Jacobites and the Supernatural. Here it is, reproduced with permission:

Review of The Jacobites and the Supernatural


By Lionel Fanthorpe

Geoff Holder already enjoys an excellent reputation as an author specialising in history and mystery – and The Jacobites and the Supernatural enhances that reputation yet further. What he has done in this highly readable and informative book is to take the reader through the period from 1689 to 1745 and the grim battles of Culloden, Sheriffmuir and others. He has also brought the Jacobite period vividly to life again with accounts of witchcraft, talismans, sorcery, psychic phenomena and portents: all of which coloured Jacobite society.


Geoff takes the reader to fascinating sites and locations including Lord Pitsligo’s ruined castle at Rosehearty, Blair Castle, Loch Rannoch, Dunkeld and Eilean Donan Castle. He introduces the reader to many larger than life characters of the Jacobite period: James II, Louis XIV, Viscount Dundee, Duncan Forbes and the beautiful Mary of Modena. All this relevant and worthwhile historical and geographical material provides an ideal background for the accounts of the anomalous and paranormal events which make the book so interesting.

In which, as you do, the author podcasts on medieval cannibal children…

“Sawney Bean, Christie Cleek and other Scottish Cannibals”, the next episode of my “Fortean Freak Out” podcast, is now online here, here.

Based on an episode investigated in Paranormal Dundee, I investigate the relationship between authentic history, legend and hoax in the stories of the Scottish cannibals Sawney Bean and Christie Cleek – and come to the conclusion that a source story may be the little-known tale of a cannibal child allegedly executed in Dundee in the 15th century. It is (cough) a piece of folklore you can really get your teeth into.

In which the author wibbles about in a video interview…

My recent video interview, entitled “Inside the Author’s Library”, is now available on that there YouTube. Go here to see excessive authorial wibbling, with topics including:


  • The role of the Ramones in paranormal research
  • The danger of dinosaurs
  • Paradigm shifts
  • Numinous ritual caves
  • Skepticism vs. scepticism
  • The genesis of a Glasgow urban legend
  • The hitch-hiker’s guide to life-changing moments (especially if Colin Wilson is involved)
  • The process of writing, from pitch to publication
  • Navigating by graveyards_

In which the author tiptoes into podcasting…


If you are unable to get to a live event to watch me wave my arms about and witter on in front of an audience, there is now an alternative – The Fortean Freak-Out with Geoff Holder, a downloadable podcast of me wittering on in front of a microphone (in the best traditions of radio, the associated arm-waving will have to be imagined).

The first podcast is entitled “The Vampire with Iron Teeth” and deals with an episode covered in Paranormal Glasgow – a children’s hunt for a cannibalistic vampire in 1950s Gorbals. I expand the story into Glasgow’s wider history of children’s hunts – from ghosts and ‘maniacs’ to Spring-Heeled Jack – and look into the cultural context of the events, from American horror comics to crypto-Communists and the only time the Houses of Parliament have debated the activities of a vampire.

The podcast can be downloaded FREE from the official Fortean Freak-Out with Geoff Holder page, or alternatively listen through the Podcast page. The Fortean Freak-Out will be a regular feature, so check back for future podcasts on cannibalism in Scotland, fairylore, Jacobite paranormalism, bodysnatching, poltergeists and much else.


Thanks to Jamie Cook for editing and engineering.



In which the author seeks paranormal stories from Cumbria…

Paranormal Cumbria, the next book, is under way, and as part of the research I’m looking for personal stories of the supernatural and strange within the county.


So if you’ve encountered a big cat, a Black Dog, something odd in the sky, or a bogle or spirit – or anything else bizarre – please get in touch using the contact form located at the bottom of the ‘Events and Booking’ or ‘Media Room’ pages. Family traditions and stories passed down from previous generations are also welcome.

Please include as many details as possible – such as date, time of day, location, what happened, names of witnesses and so on – and indicate whether you are happy for the story to appear in the book, and for me to use your name in Paranomal Cumbria.


It doesn’t matter whether you are a visitor or a resident – all that is important is that the event or sighting took place in Cumbria. And of course Cumbria is much larger than just the Lake District.


I look forward to receiving despatches from the frontline of Forteana…