Tag Archives: witchcraft

In which the Author publishes his 31st book, ‘Bloody British History’…

Bloody History of Britain coverBloody British History, my 31st book, has just been published. It’s a sanguinary canter through some of the

more gruesome aspects of British history, with an eye to not merely the murderous and macabre, but also to

the strange and, at times, surreal. Delve within the illustrated pages and you will learn of prehistoric cannibals using skulls as drinking cups, discover how to boil a poisoner to death, understand the technique of chemical warfare during medieval sea battles, and learn more about the use of cheese as an instrument of torture than you ever wanted to know.

With a full cast including Ancient Britons, Romans, Barbarians, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Pirates,

Jacobites and invading Frenchmen, Bloody British History relates some of the most famous episodes in the

history of the British Isles from unfamiliar perspectives. The sight of the largest ship in the Spanish Armada

keeling over with blood pouring from its scuppers. The giant Viking at Stamford Bridge finally defeated by a

spear thrust to the testicles from below the bridge he was defending. William the Conqueror turning the North of England into an uninhabited wasteland. The Scots inventing the concentration camp. Roman SEALs

conducting amphibious warfare. Witchcraft in Westminster politics. Not the six wives, but the Six Executions of Henry VIII. And how not to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Featuring walk-on parts from all manner of unpleasant characters from Richard the Lionheart and Bloody

Mary to Jack the Ripper and Hitler’s Gestapo, Bloody British History does what it says on the can.

There will, indeed, be blood.

The book is published by The History Press and is available through all the usual retail channels, including the country’s hard-pressed but indispensable brick-and-mortar bookshops.

In which the Author embarks on a Halloween ‘tour’ of Scotland…

This Halloween I’m giving a series of talks on spooky subjects at various places in Scotland. Zombies, poltergeists, vampires, witchcraft – there’s something for everyone.

1. SUBJECT: SUPERNATURAL SCOTLAND

WHEN: Tuesday 28th October, 7pm

WHERE: ABERFELDY – Breadalbane Campus, Aberfeldy, Perth & Kinross PH15 2DU

DETAILS: A medieval monk describes an outbreak of zombies in the Scottish Borders.  A poltergeist case in

Edinburgh ends up in court. The Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument in Perthshire is a complex fake. A ghost

sighting in Dundee provokes a mini-riot. And hundreds of Glasgow schoolchildren invade a graveyard hunting a

vampire with iron teeth. Based on meticulous original research, prolific author (and highly entertaining speaker) in

this Halloween special Geoff Holder reveals some of the historical and modern mysteries of the Scottish

paranormal experience. Welcome to Supernatural Scotland. It’s stranger than you can imagine.

COST: £5

MORE INFO: http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/9844/Supernatural-Scotland-with-Geoff-Holder

 

2. SUBJECT: ZOMBIES FROM HISTORY

WHEN: Thursday 30th October, 7.30pm

WHERE: EDINBURGH – Skeptics in the Pub, Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG (just off the Royal Mile).

DETAILS: It’s the night of the living dead… Zombie culture didn’t start with George Romero. Here be medieval

chroniclers’ sworn-to-be-true tales of the plague-spreading undead, including the pugilistic zombie of Paisley and

the zombie monk of the Scottish Borders; archeological evidence from graveyards of Anglo-Saxon and Romano-

British fear of the walking dead; several ‘Ladies with the Ring’, all supposedly revived in the grave by jewel-stealing gravediggers; the men who were hanged and buried – and then revived; the Cumbrian Crusader whose corpse

was still bleeding 800 years after his death; and the ancient bog body that accidentally solved a modern murder

mystery.

Warning: contains corpses.

COST: FREE

MORE INFO: here 

 

3. SUBJECT: SEX, LIES AND POLTERGEISTS! at the FIRST EVER SCOTTISH PARANORMAL FESTIVAL

WHEN: FRIDAY 31ST OCTOBER, 3.30PM

WHERE: Albert Halls, Albert Place, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK9 4LA

DETAILS: Activity which has baffled paranormal investigators for centuries. Focusing on Scotland, Geoff will

discuss the earliest recorded Scottish poltergeist, a witchcraft episode from Stirling, and an Aberdeenshire

example kickstarted by young lust.

A canvas of commonsense-defying mysteries that stretches from the year 1635 to the present day.

COST: £5

MORE INFO: http://www.paranormalscotland.com/presentations/geoff-holder-sex-lies-and-poltergeists/

 

In which the Author talks witchcraft on the Spooky Isles site…

That fine institution The Spooky Isles has one of my witterings up today, the subject being the extraordinary (and

unique) Maggie Wall witchcraft monument in Dunning, Perthshire Scotland. Appropriately, it’s part of their Spooky Scotland week.

Maggie-Wall938x150011 - Maggie Wall monument

 

The piece is based on my book Maggie Wall – The Witch Who Never Was and the title itself may give you a clue

about my conclusions regarding this amazing site, the only historical monument to a named witch in the country.

spooky isles MW

 

You can check out the piece here, and while you’re there scope out some of the other goodies on the site. My

thanks to MJ Steel Collins.

 

 

Bloody History of Britain cover

In which the Author proofs his next book: Bloody British History…

Bloody British History is my next non-fiction book for The History Press. It deals exclusively with the sanguinary

moments in British history, from prehistoric cannibals and the reality of  Iron Age warfare to First World War

Zeppelin raids and the Gestapo’s detailed plans for ‘rationalising’ an occupied Britain in 1940.

Along the way you will encounter bloody massacres, revolting peasants, battles at sea and on land, foul murders,

royal executions, piracy in the English Channel, and a multitude of inventive punishments. There are also

explorations of the tactics of Roman Special Forces, how to boil people to death, and a medieval case of sex, lies and witchcraft.

William the Conqueror, Richard the Lionheart, Mary, Queen of Scots and the seven putative assassins of Queen

Victoria all get a look-in as well. Other episodes instruct you how to use medieval chemical weapons to blind your opponents, why the Wars of the Roses were like the longest football match ever, and the use of cheese as an

instrument of torture.

Yes, cheese.

One of the key moments between an author delivering the manuscript and the book actually being published is the revising of the proofs. These are the pages of the book printed out on double-sided A3 pages. The author combs

through the proofs, correcting any typos, formatting errors, incorrect image captions and so on. I’ve just completed this stage, and it’s a pleasure to see my prose matched with full-colour images on every page – not to mention

liberal splashes of graphic designer gore.

Here’s a preview of the cover, which may change a little between now and publication. Bloody British History will

be published in September. Bloody History of Britain cover

And so: there shall be blood.

In which the Author writes a vampire novel…

After writing dozens of non-fiction books on mysteries, witchcraft, zombies, ghosts, poltergeists, murders,

bodysnatching and other gleeful subjects, I’ve finally finished my first novel.

It’s a vampire novel, which will perhaps surprise no one given my genre tastes, but in addition to featuring serial

killers, explosions, bodily naughtiness, and jokes about Jimi Hendrix, it is also an alternative history.

Basically, I’m attempting to do nothing less than replace the current standard vampire mythology with an entirely

new one based around evolutionary biology and cutting-edge archaeological thinking.

I know, modesty has always been one of my greater faults.

Now that the novel is finished, the real hard work begins: trying to find a publisher or agent. Despite having written 31 non-fiction books, when it comes to getting a first novel published I’m back on the starting block.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

In which the author appears in Le Canard Gascon…

Canard Gascon p
Le Canard Gascon
is a monthly magazine that covers food, culture, business, politics, history and events in this

part of southwest France (Gascony). Edition 54, January-February 2014, has a full page feature on me and my

work, under the title of ‘British Zombies’.

 

Described as ‘Le spécialiste de l’étrange’ (specialist in the strange) who writes about the paranormal, witchcraft,

ghosts and zombies, I am credited with including in my work a ‘certain British humour’ that ‘our neighbours across the Channel practice with such excellence.’ Merci.  The article also claims that the Holder household is ‘a veritable

chaos of books’. Oh, such lies – the other day I managed to find the sofa without having to move more than fifty

volumes. Pfff!

 

You can read the article online (in French, of course) here. My thanks to Monsieur Jean-Louis le Breton, leading

light of Le Canard Gascon.