Tag Archives: ghosts

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…

In which the author gets the thumbs up from ‘Fortean Times…’

The most recent edition of Fortean Times contains a top-hole review of The Jacobites and the Supernatural. As any fule kno, Fortean Times is the world’s leading magazine for strange phenomena, and has been my rock and benchmark for more decades than I care to recall.

Here’s the review in full, reproduced from Fortean Times No.277 July 2011 with permission:

Holder has written a number of guides to regional folklore and legends, but this book takes a novel tack, focusing on the ill-fated Jacobite risings of the late 17th to mid-18th centuries.

Here are tales of witchcraft, spirits, prophecies, prodigies, portents and curses that followed Bonnie Prince Charlie and supporters of the Stuart cause. Of course, there are battlefields, castles and dwellings (a surprising number of them in England) with ghosts, poltergeists, fairies and grisly murders – but there is quite a bit of human interest too. For example: the dashing young ‘Bonnie Dundee’ Graham who was reputed to have sold his soul to the Devil and died by a silver bullet, and the Young Pretender himself who was said to have ‘impressed’ his good looks upon an unborn child.

Here too, we learn how the ‘touching rite’ (believed by many at the time to be a sure cure for scrofula) was introduced to British royalty and used politically by the Stuarts as a proof of a legitimate king, and how many of the marvels of superstition, witchcraft and folklore were exploited by propagandists on all sides.

Great stuff, well written and illustrated.