Tag Archives: jacobites

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 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.

In which the author basks in praise from the Ghost Club…

The Ghost Club is Britain’s most venerable supernatural investigation society, having been founded in 1862. In the most recent edition of The Ghost Club Journal the Club’s Treasurer, Lance Railton, wrote a spiffing review of T he Jacobites and the Supernatural.


Here’s a few extracts:

“This book has been a pleasure to read and review – a straightforward, well-researched, well-written, well-illustrated book with basic maps and a comprehensive bibliography. It demands room on the bookshelf of anyone interested in Scotland, its ghosts and its history.


Geoff Holder is an experienced author, with 17 books on the strange, supernatural, Gothic and gruesome under his belt, and it shows. However, I was also impressed by his firm grasp of the history of the Jacobite cause and the sociological, religious, folkloric and cultural dimensions swirling around it.


The book is in three sections – a brisk, clear and balanced overview of the historical context; followed by a longer and more detailed survey of the occult beliefs on both sides; and then a fairly extensive gazetteer of the sites – on both sides of the border – associated with the ghost stories and other alleged phenomena of the Jacobite risings from 1689 to 1745.


…This was a delight to read.”


The full review can be seen here