Halloween Author Corner: Peter Underwood on Where the Ghosts Walk

It has been said that Peter Underwood, author of WHERE THE GHOSTS WALK has heard more ghost stories and spent more nights in haunted houses than any man alive. Dame Jean Conan Doyle used to introduce him to her friends as ‘the Sherlock Holmes of psychical research’.

Do you believe in ghosts? Peter Underwood reveals some of the spooky sights he visited whilst researching his new book – perhaps you could pay a visit yourself, and then make up your own mind.

This Halloween, WHERE THE GHOSTS WALK is your essential ghost-hunting companion. And it’s available as an e-book so you can download it now and start your ghost hunt straight away!

Where do ghosts walk? Now there’s a problem. That they do walk this earth seems incontestable when considering the evidence. From every part of the world, in every civilisation, since the beginning of recorded history to the present time, there is good evidence of ghostly forms being seen by observant people with objective minds and healthy bodies.

They are seen when least expected and usually to persons in a relaxed state of mind; but the fact that there are instances of a particular ghostly figure – be it a monk, a child, a nun or whatever – being seen at a specific place by different people, on different occasions by witnesses who have no previous knowledge that such a figure has been seen there previously, suggest that there is something about some areas that make it more likely that such a figure will be seen there and that there are indeed such things as ghosts that are sometimes seen by some people in some places.

There are literally hundreds of books detailing ghost sightings in theatres, pubs, castles, private houses – even fires stations, police stations and ballrooms, but in WHERE THE GHOSTS WALK I have sought to recount reliable instances of ghosts being outdoors as opposed to in buildings. We examine haunted airfields, graveyards, bridges, woods and waters, to mention just a few. Discover places frequented by ghosts and ghostly activity that can be visited by anyone at any time.

In this, my 50th published work, among the first-hand evidence I include is that of Prudence Pepper, a former ambulance driver with the London Fire Service who heard, time after time, the unmistakable sounds of planes coming in to land at deserted Davidstow in Cornwall. During visits to the airfield I heard many stories of seemingly inexplicable happenings, sounds of wartime activity, glimpses of wartime personnel, and other replays of long ago happenings.

At the Cerne Abbas giant I talked with a young couple who had both seen four ancient figures on the giant hill carving, absorbed in some sort of primitive ritual; figures that abruptly and mysteriously disappeared in a puzzling fashion.

At Honiton in Devon a haunted highway harbours a phantom soldier, thought to be one of Monmouth’s men who fled after fighting at Sedgemoor. He has been encountered by two school teachers and a party of schoolchildren, before suddenly disappearing.

Cwmdonkin Park in Wales is haunted by its most famous son, Dylan Thomas; Greenwich Park boasts several ghosts; Swanage, Brighton and Isfield are only three of the haunted railway stations included; while ruins with ghosts include Corfe Castle, Caephilly, Margam and Netley. Among the seascapes are Boscastle, Beachy Head and Sandwood Bay in Scotland; while haunted woods and trees are to be found in London, Blandford Forum, Windsor and Northampton.

All in all, the world is a strange place where, from time to time, ghosts walk.

Where the Ghosts Walk cover

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween from all of us at Souvenir Press! Things are getting spooky here in the office – and not just because the office poltergeist is up to his old tricks! Read on for a few recommendations that will make your Halloween spooktacular.

Where the Ghosts Walk is a must-read for any would-be ghost hunter this Halloween. Packed with information including loads of places where ghosts have been seen outside – that is, places anyone can visit at any time – it is sure to have something in your local area. From haunted railways and roads, to abandoned airfields and old gardens, this is the “definitive guide to the haunted places of Britain”. The fiftieth book from the UK’s leading expert on the paranormal, Where the Ghosts Walk is the culmination of a lifetime’s work by Peter Underwood. So grab some friends, plenty of torches, and maybe a few snacks for the road… and get ghost hunting!

Or if you’re easily frightened and would rather spend your Halloween curled up on the sofa than out looking for things that go bump in the dark October night, why not try a sample of Sad Monsters, a collection of short stories by Frank Lesser.

  • Did you hear what happened when Megan Fox met Bigfoot?
  • And what about that guy who went on a date with Medusa?
  • Did you know that Son of Godzilla never calls anymore?
  • Have you ever wondered how to train a werewolf? (Because they really do make great pets – once you get the initial teething problems out of the way)

Frank Lesser uncovers the softer side of some of the world’s most fearsome monsters, making Sad Monsters the perfect Halloween read for the easily scared, or those who are looking for laughs rather than upping the fear factor!

Check out our Halloween newsletter for more spooky delights, and be sure to stock up on sweets for any trick-or-treaters who might be doing the rounds tonight!

Have a spooktastic Halloween!

     Where the Ghosts Walk cover  Sad Monsters

Vettel wins 4th World Title

Sebastian Vettel yesterday made Formula 1 history after becoming only the fourth man ever to won four world championships. Only Michael Schumacher has won more consecutive titles – of his seven championship wins, five came between 2000 and 2004 – a five-year spell that Vettel could match if he continues next season in similar form.

With three races still remaining in this year’s Formula 1 race calendar, Vettel sealed his championship win with a race victory in India. You can read the race highlights from the Indian Grand Prix on the BBC website, along with a short profile of Sebastian Vettel. Vettel’s victory also secured a fourth consecutive Constructors’ championship for his team at Red Bull Racing.

Souvenir Press publishes the only English-language biography of Sebastian Vettel, featuring exclusive contributions in their own words from Sebastian himself and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, and filled with colour photos throughout (many previously unpublished and exclusive to this book).

To celebrate Sebastian Vettel’s fourth consecutive championship title, why not treat yourself to a copy of Meet Sebastian Vettel, published by Souvenir Press. A must-have gift for any Vettel fan, and packed with photographs to see you through the close season until racing starts again next year.

Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and all of the team at Red Bull Racing on their fourth consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship wins.

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Introducing: Anthony Smith

If you live in, or commute into, London, the chances are you’ll already be familiar with Anthony Smith’s work. You may not know it, but his cartoons will jog your memory!

His ‘Learn to Speak Cat’ cartoons are published in ‘Metro’ daily, as well as on the Learn to Speak Cat Facebook page. Now Souvenir Press is publishing a collection of his ameowsing cartoons in full colour, the purrfect gift for cat lovers!

Learn to speak catAnd for dog lovers, we have the companion book, ‘Bad Dog, No Biscuit’. Dog owners everywhere will recognise the trials of training a naughty pup, but this one is wilfully disobedient! Will this naughty pooch ever master sitstaydrop and down? Check out the NEW Facebook page for Bad Dog, No Biscuit.

Bad Dog No BiscuitBoth books by Anthony Smith are published today in paperback by Souvenir Press. And to whet your appetite we’ve got a selection of Anthony’s cartoons, below. Enjoy!

Taken from Learn to Speak Cat by Anthony Smith:

Learn to Speak Cat sample

Taken from Bad Dog, No Biscuit by Anthony Smith:
Bad Dog - SitImages copyright © Anthony Smith.

Celebrating the Royal Christening

Ahead of the royal christening today of Prince George of Cambridge, we are sharing a personalised blessing prayer, taken from Reverend Andrew Tawn’s book of name prayers, Naming and Blessing.

This personalised name prayer, like all of the others in the book for more than 500 names, can be used to pray for a child throughout their life, and makes the perfect reading to personalise a christening.

A blessing for Prince George of Cambridge, on the day of his christening:

God of life, sow your blessings in the
Earth of George’s spirit,
Over time may they send down
Roots deep and sustaining,
Growing an abundant harvest of all things
Excellent, true, pure and gracious.

As you turned your Son’s death to new life,
Lord, turn his troubles to blessings,
Endings to beginnings,
eXchange his sorrows for joys.
And as you promised
Never to forsake those who live you,
Defend him against every danger,
Everywhere he goes, go with him,
Remain with him and bless him for ever.

Let God’s blessing be
Over him to guide him,
Under him to carry him,
In him to inspire him,
Surrounding him to shield him.

If you are celebrating the royal christening today, perhaps you will take a moment to share this personalised name prayer, a blessing for the young prince.

For more than 500 other personalised name prayers, Naming and Blessing is available in hardcover with illustrations by Pat Schaverien. It would be the perfect gift for prospective or new parents, to celebrate the birth of a new baby.

Naming And Blessing cover

Black History Month: Stride Toward Freedom

It’s still Black History Month here in the UK. Last year we featured here on our blog four recommended books – read our two blog posts for Black History Month 2012 here and here. This year we’ll give you a more in-depth look at each of these four books.

In the spotlight last week we featured Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, the diary of a white man who travelled through the Deep South of the 1950s disguised as a black man. Read last week’s Black History Month blog here.

This week, take a look at Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. Described by ‘Black History Live’ as “telling the inspiring story of the Civil Rights movement… A very important and moving book which tells the story of the movement that transported and changed not only America but globally”, it is published as part of our Independent Voices series, highlighting its continued cultural importance.

This is Martin Luther King Jr’s account, in his own words, of the origins of the Civil Rights movement in America which culminated in his 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

It starts with a story we all know: on December 1st 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. What follows is the unique story of King’s involvement of the budding Civil Rights movement, right from the start. With King at the head, the black community of Montgomery organised a year-long boycott of the bus service: the first large-scale, non-violent protest against racial segregation of its kind in America.

“This book is an account of a few years that changed the life of a Southern community, told from the point of view of the participants… it is the chronicle of 50,000 Negroes who took to heart the principles of non-violence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their human worth.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Preface to Stride Toward Freedom

At the time of the Montgomery bus boycott King was only 26 years old. Within a year he was a national figure and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. Nine years later, in 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. And only four years later than that, he was assassinated, on April 4th 1968, aged only 39.

What better way to celebrate Black History Month than to look back at where it all began, sowing the seeds that would grow into the Civil Rights Movement in America?

Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. is a thought-provoking read, a doorway into history, perfect for Black History Month.

Visit the Black History Month website.

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International Stammering Awareness Day

Tomorrow, 22nd October, is International Stammering Awareness Day. Aimed at raising awareness of stuttering, every year there are a whole host of charity fundraising events listed on the British Stammering Association website for October 22nd.

Taken from the BSA website, here are a list of ideas for International Stammering Awareness Day:

  • Tweet about ISAD, and update your Facebook status on the day.
  • Talk about stammering to someone. Maybe introduce yourself as someone who stammers when making phone calls;
  • Create your own YouTube video of yourself talking about your stammer and upload it onto the BSA Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stammeringbsa);
  • Give a talk on stammering at a public speaking club, rotary club, etc.;
  • Print-off information from our website to show friends, family, colleagues.

This year there is also an online conference happening as a series of Google+ hangouts, which you can follow here, as part of a collaboration between the International Stuttering Association and Stutter Social.

This ISAD, if you are seeking help or advice as someone who stammers, take a look at Beyond Stammering by Dave McGuire, the founder of the McGuire Programme. The British Stammering Association recommends it as “a useful part of a toolkit to manage stammering”. The book will help you to learn techniques to manage your stammer, and give you the confidence to speak out, to break free of the hold that your stammer has over your life.

Beyond Stammering