My Books


The Remarkable True Story of the Battersea Poltergeist

(Learn more...)

The Poltergeist Prince of London



Ghosts and legends of London

(Learn more...)

Haunted London



Ghosts and legends of the London Borough of Wandsworth (covers Balham, Battersea, Putney, Tooting & Wandsworth)

(Learn more...)

Haunted Wandsworth



Ghosts and legends of the London Borough of Lambeth (covers Brixton, Clapham, North Lambeth, Norwood, Stockwell & Streatham)

(Learn more...)

Haunted Lambeth



Ghosts, legends and curiosities of Mitcham in Surrey / south London

(Learn more...)

Strange Mitcham



More ghosts, legends and curiosities of Mitcham in Surrey / south London

(Sequel to 'Strange Mitcham')

Mysterious Mitcham


Work in Progress:

(See Announcment)


The Battersea Poltergeist podcast January 2021: (BLOG) 'The Battersea Poltergeist podcast!'

Incredible to see the Observer critics pick 'The Battersea Poltergeist' podcast as one of their coming highlights for 2021!

The series is based on events detailed in my book 'The Poltergeist Prince of London: The Remarkable True Story of the Battersea Poltergeist'...

Click here to read the full article.

24 December 2016: The Long Walk Home

Something a little different for this year's 'Bedside' (Christmas) edition of The Wandsworth Society's magazine: some festive fiction based on one of the real-life ghost stories I recorded in Haunted Lambeth.

Share |

Jeers and Loathing at the Jack the Ripper Museum November 2015: (BLOG) 'Jeers and Loathing at the Jack the Ripper Museum'

I'd never been abused by a mob before.

Over the past few months I had read a lot about the 'Jack the Ripper Museum' in Cable Street, E1, and had decided to write a short article examining various aspects of what made it so controversial...

Click here to read the full article.

Ham House Ghost Tour (Halloween 2015) November 2015: (BLOG) 'Ham House Ghost Tour (Halloween 2015)'

There are at least 10 ghosts in the house and gardens, our guide announces moments after we gather in Ham House's entrance hall. There is no equivocation as to whether or not ghosts are real. They are, and they are here ...

Click here to read the full article.

Sweeney Todd: Fleet Street's Demon Barber October 2015: (BLOG) 'Sweeney Todd: Fleet Street's Demon Barber'

The gruesome story of Sweeney Todd, the 'Demon Barber of Fleet Street', is regarded by most as legend. Some, however, insist the murders really happened. They believe that Todd really did polish off wealthy-looking customers by opening a concealed trapdoor beneath a tilting chair ...

Click here to read the full article.

The Other Stockwell Ghost August 2015: (BLOG) 'The (Other) Stockwell Ghost'

The Stockwell Ghost was not a ghost. That was the conclusion reached after the notorious events of 6–7 January 1772, when the blame for what had originally appeared to be the work of a devilish imp was placed upon Ann Robinson.

Ann – a young woman of around 20 who had recently come into service as a maid to the elderly Mrs Golding – was accused of ...

Click here to read the full article.

How I Died: Memories of a Poltergeist July 2015: (BLOG) 'How I Died: Memories of a Poltergeist'

One of the hardest parts of writing a book is selection: choosing not what to put in but what to leave out. It's a task that becomes even more difficult when writing about events for which you've been given access to an almost overwhelming amount of documentation.

In 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' – the book I co-authored with Shirley Hitchings about her poltergeist experiences that began in Battersea, south London, in early 1956 – I described the heroic attempts of psychical researcher and early fortean Harold Chibbett as he struggled to persuade the communicative but frustratingly evasive poltergeist known as 'Donald' to yield firm details of 'his' life story....

Click here to read the full article.

British Academy Literature Week 2015 19 March 2015: New fairy tales for modern London

Once upon a time (well, at the beginning of February) the British Academy, in partnership with Londonist, held a competition for Londoners to write a new fairy tale for modern London. The winning entries have just been announced - and they include the story I submitted!

I'm pretty chuffed about this because I'd never written a fairy tale before. Quite honestly, I'm still not entirely convinced I have.

To find out more about the winning entries and about this May's Literature Week exploring the theme of fairy tales and folk tales in the modern world, visit the British Academy website.

The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale - Part 6 2 February 2015: (BLOG) 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale' - Part 6

James carried on to say:

'The silence continued. It was as if I was being given an opportunity to share – albeit only for a brief moment – another dimension in time. And then she appeared ...'

Click here to read the full article.

The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale - Part 5 30 January 2015: (BLOG) 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale' - Part 5

James got his way and, now in his late thirties, he returned to HMP Wandsworth:

'On my return to Wandsworth the training began in earnest. For the first three months, I followed the routines of a discipline officer, working on my designated landing, and at the same time moving around the prison to gain as much experience as possible. Every week I was to report to the education officer with a written report on my observations concerning the tasks I had been allotted for that week. It was in one of those reports that I recorded my encounter with a strange apparition that I now know as the "Grey Lady" ...'

Click here to read the full article.

The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale - Part 4 29 January 2015: (BLOG) 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale' - Part 4

James Bonser arrived back in England with the firm intention of becoming a teacher. 'But life,' he said, 'doesn't always follow the plans we make for it.

'I became a carpenter instead. Not a great one but good enough to form my own building company and to be employed by several councils in the south of London.'

During the mid-1970s, his life changed course again ...

Click here to read the full article.

The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale - Part 3 28 January 2015: (BLOG) 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale' - Part 3

Spiritualists believe that after the physical death of a person some aspect of that person's personality or mind continues to survive on a spiritual plane. Intrigued by what he saw at the Spiritualist church in Morden, where he witnessed mediums make apparent contact with the spirits of the deceased and pass on messages to the living, James unexpectedly found himself drawn towards their strange new world ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale - Part 2 27 January 2015: (BLOG) 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale' - Part 2

James Bonser was born in 1944 and grew up not far from Wandsworth, in Mitcham. He got in touch with me in early 2010 after finding my online account of ghostly lore connected with some interesting old ruins close to where he had spent his childhood. In fact, he remembered the ruins in question very well ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale - Part 1 26 January 2015: (BLOG) 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: A Prison Officer's Tale' - Part 1

For over a century and a half, the forbidding Victorian bulk of Wandsworth Prison has dominated Heathfield Road, a short distance to the west of Wandsworth Common in south London. Within these sombre walls, the sad figure of a gloomily attired woman has from time to time been reported drifting silently through the corridors ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 7 9 December 2014: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 7

When they visited No. 63 Wycliffe Road, Battersea, south London on Saturday 20 December 1958 psychical researcher Harold Chibbett and his wife Lily discovered that Donald the poltergeist had once again put up his own Christmas decorations ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 6 6 December 2014: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 6

Tempted as he was to see this episode as evidence of Donald's paranormal powers, Chibbett was determined to put the poltergeist's claims to the test.

His letter to Wally Hitchings deliberately refrained from stating which shop he had visited and it requested that Wally ask Donald to reveal both the name of the shop and the precise floor on which the toy department was located. If the poltergeist had truly made a spectral visit to the location then answering these questions should be easy ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 5 4 December 2014: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 5

Saturday 21 December 1957 was miserable and rainy as Chibbett made the journey into central London to look for Donald's doll. That evening he wrote a letter to Wally Hitchings relating how the trip had gone ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 4 2 December 2014: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 4

'By Xmas time, 1957,' recorded psychical researcher Harold Chibbett in his case notes, '"Donald" had acquired the Yuletide habit of giving and receiving presents – at his host's expense of course!'

The poltergeist would tap out messages or leave notes telling the Hitchings family what to buy on his behalf. A family member would then go out and ...

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Weird Map September 2014: Weird Map updated

Have just updated my Weird Map of London stories with another entry courtesy of Jason Hollis, from his book ‘Haunted Enfield’ (published by The History Press, 2013).

'Millfield House'

See map for details and click on the link there to Jason’s book to find out more.

Share |

Fortean Times 312 review of The Poltergeist Prince of London '... an essential read for any fortean ...' - Fortean Times reviews The Poltergeist Prince!

"This book is a rarity: a balanced collaboration between a writer and a person who was at the centre of a poltergeist haunting. Over 12 years, Shirley Hitchings and her parents were accosted by relentless tapping sounds along with objects moving on their own, the occasional spontaneous fire, a ghostly breath or two, and floating lightforms. Beyond the (sometimes musical) tapping, the Battersea poltergeist started handwriting notes to the family, to psychical researchers – and even to British teen idols! This was a poltergeist with a particularly sassy personality – sometimes more than one, it seemed..."

Click here to read the full review.

Share |

The Weird Map Weird Map updated

Have just updated my Weird Map of London stories with another entry courtesy of Jason Hollis, from his book ‘Haunted Enfield’ (published by The History Press, 2013).

'Southgate House'

See map for details and click on the link there to Jason’s book to find out more.

Share |

The Weird Map Weird Map updated

The latest update to my map of weird London stories is another entry courtesy of Jason Hollis (thanks!) from his book ‘Haunted Enfield’ (published by The History Press, 2013).

'Footsteps at Salisbury House'

See map for details and click on the link there to Jason’s book to find out more.

Share |

The Poltergeist Prince of London - London Fortean Society event Thursday 24 April 2014: 'THE POLTERGEIST PRINCE OF LONDON' - at Dirty Dicks!

Venue: The Vaults Basement Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR. (Nearest station is Liverpool Street.)

8pm (doors 7.30pm) Thursday 24 April 2014, £3 / £2 concessions.

Battersea, 1956: A poltergeist outbreak is fantastical enough, but a poltergeist that learns to communicate details of an apparent previous life? And a life that begins to sound like that of the Lost Dauphin of Revolutionary France? Studying the poltergeist's claims researcher Harold Chibbett was forced to wonder: could 'Donald' really be the spirit of the Louis-Charles, tragic son of Marie Antoinette?

Shirley Hitchings, the centre of these events and co-author of our book 'The Poltergeist Prince of London', discusses her experiences with Alan Murdie, Chairman of the Ghost Club and regular 'Fortean Times' contributor on ghosts.

Many thanks go to the London Fortean Society for organising what promises to be a superb event.

Share |

24 December 2013: Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

Safe above ground, in the comfort of daylight, it is easy to scoff at tales such as those that follow. But late at night, when you find yourself sitting in an empty train carriage or waiting on a deserted platform, all alone in the underground gloom, that's when these half-remembered tales will seep out of the walls. That's when the unexpected sigh of warm, dry air, the rustle of paper skittering across the track, and the distant rattle from deep within the black maw of a nearby tunnel, will all too easily take on sinister implications. That's when you'll wish you'd paid more attention to these stories....

My article for this year's 'Bedside' (Christmas) edition of The Wandsworth Society's magazine looks at a few south London tales of ghosts on the Underground.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 3 13 December 2013: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 3

Having examined the Christmas decorations supposedly put up by the poltergeist, and feeling something of the festive spirit himself, Chibbett asked whether Donald would like to receive a Christmas present.

'Rather rashly I promised to get him whatever he wanted!' wrote the psychical researcher afterwards. 'In fact, I suggested that [...]

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 2 9 December 2013: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 2

Donald, who claimed to be the spirit son of Marie Antoinette, often referred to Shirley by the vaguely French-sounding name Renee or Renie. In a note discovered on Thursday 6 December 1956 the poltergeist wrote [...]

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Ghost of Christmas Presents - Part 1 6 December 2013: (BLOG) 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' - Part 1

Do ghosts celebrate Christmas? It may be a strange question but one of south London's strangest stories suggests that one ghost – or rather a poltergeist – took to doing precisely that!

In early 1956 the Hitchings family of No. 63, Wycliffe Road, Battersea (approximately a mile northeast of the busy Clapham Junction railway station) started to be disturbed by mysterious thumping and tapping sounds in their home. The activity soon developed into full-blown poltergeist-like phenomena, with objects moving, bedclothes being pulled from sleepless occupants and – terrifyingly – outbreaks of fire. While this was going on, however, there was a remarkable development....

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

Black Magic, Parliament and the Battersea Poltergeist 24 November 2013: (BLOG) 'Black Magic, Parliament and the Battersea Poltergeist'

On the evening of Wednesday 22 February 1956, in a house in Stockwell, south London, an underground train driver and part-time medium named Harry Hanks prepared to exorcise 15-year-old Shirley Hitchings of her poltergeist.

Hanks placed himself into a trance and as his breathing slowed a hush enveloped the crowd of reporters, photographers and TV cameramen squeezed into the medium's sitting-room. Everything was in readiness – but before the exorcism could get underway there was a hammering at the front door. The police had arrived.[...]

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

Halloween 2013 HALLOWEEN 2013

I'm delighted to announce TWO wonderful Halloween events this year, both based on the tales in my books!

If anyone you know might be interested in going to either of these, please pass these details along to them.

1: Mitcham Walking Restaurant - with Ghosts!

Thursday 31 October 2013, 5pm-8pm.

A three-course meal in three separate restaurants, with a ghost walk in between.

Limited spaces available - advance booking recommended.

(Organised by OneMitcham.)

Full details at my 'Mysterious Mitcham' site...

2: 'Haunted Wandsworth' at Wandsworth Museum

Thursday 31 October 2013, 4pm-6pm.

For children aged 5+ and their families.

A spooky ghost stories tour followed by Halloween craft and games. Wandsworth ghost stories adapted from James Clark's book 'Haunted Wandsworth'.

Limited spaces available - advance booking is recommended.

(Organised by Wandsworth Museum.)

Full details at the Wandsworth Museum website...

Du Cane Court, Balham: Haunted by a past that never was 08 September 2013: (BLOG) 'Du Cane Court, Balham: Haunted by a past that never was'

Countless buildings hold ghost stories, the eerie tales murmuring half-forgotten memories of events in those places' histories. Other locations, though, can haunt us despite having no phantoms, spirits or spectres assigned to them; sometimes even when the history in question never actually occurred.

Du Cane Court stands in Balham High Road, south London ....

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

The Megaliths of Malta - Ggantija 12 July 2013: (BLOG) 'The Megaliths of Malta: Ggantija'

The temperature has already passed 30 degrees Celsius and now the air throbs with a Babel of languages. Two newly arrived coachloads of sunburnt tourists are following their respective guides along the wooden gangways, one group passing through each of the two entrances.

Among the stones they are urged to huddle together to listen to descriptions of what they are seeing. Some gaze around with merely polite interest. Others are clearly unimpressed, wondering why on earth their guides insisted they stop here when they could still be driving along in air-conditioned comfort. But a few are plainly enthralled, as well they should be: for anyone with a working soul this is an awe-inspiring place....

Click here to read the full article.

Share |

On the Trail of the Stockwell Ghost 2 July 2013: (BLOG) 'On the Trail of the Stockwell Ghost' - Part 2

It was quickly apparent that I was not the first to reach this part of the world.

Climbing down the steps at Brixton train station, I found the area around Electric Avenue pulsing with music, the air warmly vibrant with the aromas of coffee and food. But I was on a quest so, turning my collar up against the chill and pulling my hat down more firmly over my ears, I struck out north towards the junction of Brixton Road and Stockwell Road....

Click here to read Part 2 of 'On the Trail of the Stockwell Ghost' in my new blog.

Share |

On the Trail of the Stockwell Ghost 28 June 2013: (BLOG) 'On the Trail of the Stockwell Ghost' - Part 1

I chanced upon it in March 2009. In the local history section of Lambeth Council's website, towards the bottom of what was described as 'an extract from an article written long ago (source and date unknown) and found on the Vauxhall Society website', I spotted the phrase: '... and this was the place famed for the Stockwell Ghost.'

As far as I'd been aware, nobody knew anymore exactly whereabouts in Stockwell the Stockwell Ghost affair had occurred. And even if they did I didn't. Intrigued, I made my way to the Vauxhall Society website where I found the reproduced text of an article 'taken from a newspaper cutting, source and date unknown' ...

Click here to read Part 1 of 'On the Trail of the Stockwell Ghost' in my new blog.

Share |

Mysterious Mitcham 23 June 2013: Update to 'Mysterious Mitcham'

Shortly after the Second World War, David Bushell and his friends used to play down in the now-inaccessible caves that run beneath Beddington, just to the south of Mitcham Common.

His memories of what it was like down there have been added to the 'Under Beddington' section of my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website.

It sounds as if it must have been a magical place to play as children!

Read 'Under Beddington' at the 'Mysterious Mitcham' website.

Share |

Five Ghosts of Christchurch Greyfriars 31 May 2013: Five Ghosts of Christchurch Greyfriars

In the shadows of a ruined Wren church on London's Newgate Street lies a peaceful garden.

At least, it looks peaceful; if the tales are to be believed, at least five ghosts haunt this place – and two don’t get along with each other...

Read 'Five Ghosts of Christchurch Greyfriars' at the Spooky Isles website.

Share |

14 May 2013: Doing the Lambeth Ghost Walk

Up now at The Spooky Isles website: a few creepy teasers from my latest book, 'Haunted Lambeth', looking at The Old Vic in Lambeth, Clapham Common South Side and Tulse Hill railway station.

Click here to read this article.

Share |

Mysterious Mitcham 26 February 2013: Update to 'Mysterious Mitcham'

If, as so many believe, ghosts are spirits of the deceased lingering in places they once knew in life, then this tale presents something of a puzzle.

There would seem to be no reason why a house in Graham Road should be haunted by the shade of an early 19th-century soldier – yet that is precisely what 'Deborah' (pseudonym) clearly remembers seeing here....

Read 'The Spectral Soldier of Graham Road' at my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website.

Share |

20 February 2013: OUT NOW: 'Haunted Lambeth'

'Haunted Lambeth' (ghost stories and legends from the London Borough of Lambeth) is now available.

Order the paperback version using the link on the left.

Alternatively, if you prefer e-books you can download the Kindle edition today.

Click here for further details.

Share |

4 February 2013: 'Haunted Lambeth' publication date set

'Haunted Lambeth' (ghost stories and legends from the London Borough of Lambeth) will be released from the distributors on 12 February 2013, and should appear on bookshop shelves around 3 to 4 weeks after that.

The official publication date has been set as 1 March 2013, but you can pre-order your copy now using the link on the left.

Click here for further details.

Share |

23 December 2012: Ghostly Tales for Christmas

The Christmas spirits are roaming once more and so, as the midwinter darkness chills the world outside, why not lock the doors and windows and relax into the comfortable warmth of your favourite room. It's time to discover another two of south London's strangest stories....

My article for this year's 'Bedside' (Christmas) edition of The Wandsworth Society's magazine looks at an allegedly haunted flat in Kennington and a phantom said to haunt The Green Man pub on Putney Heath.

Share |

12 November 2012: 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' to be published in 2013

It's been a long journey but I'm delighted to announce that 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' (about 'Donald', the Wycliffe Road, Battersea poltergeist) is due to be published in late 2013.

The publisher wants the final draft by the end of March and the book is currently scheduled to be in the shops for Halloween.

Share |

4 June 2012: 'Haunted Lambeth' in the local news

The 'Streatham Guardian' has an article about my forthcoming 'Haunted Lambeth' today. You can read the article here.

Share |

Mysterious Mitcham 24 February 2012: Update to 'Mysterious Mitcham'

Thanks to Ewan Green I've been able to add more details to the chapter about an apparition at the old Woof & Sabine factory in Tramway Path, Mitcham, in south London.

Read 'An Apparition at Woof & Sabine' at my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website.

Share |

Photo credit: Stephen Bassett/Paradigm Research Group 23 February 2012: "Dear Mr President, We Want The Truth About UFOs!"

The White House is hiding the truth about UFOs and contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, according to Stephen Bassett. Bassett is far from alone in this belief, but what makes him stand out is that he is determined to force a change....

Read the full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Bill Bertram (Pixel8) 2007-08 8 February 2012: Royal Status For Ghostly Greenwich

It's amazing how you can absorb history through reading ghost stories. Admittedly, some of the finer details can sometimes be wrong (readers beware!) but the historical gist of such tales is generally accurate. Readers soon acquire a profound sense of existing within a continuum of time that wells up from the depths of the long-gone and stretches ahead into the unknown.

I was reminded of this the other day when, as part of the events marking her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II granted royal status to Greenwich in south-east London....

Read the full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

1 February 2012: 'Mysterious Mitcham' updated

I have expanded the 'Beddington Parish Church and Churchyard' section of 'Mysterious Mitcham' with more about the triangular leys said to connect this church to other significant sites, and added two maps depicting these arrangements.

These leys were conceived by author Christopher Street, who believes they form part of an intricate and highly complex arrangement of patterns called an 'Earthstar', that encompasses the entirety of London. For further information see Street's books, links to some of which appear below. (The information I used in 'Mysterious Mitcham' came from his 'Earthstars ... London, City of Revelation'.)

Read 'Beddington Parish Church and Churchyard' at: 'Mysterious Mitcham'.

Share |

25 January 2012: 'Haunted Lambeth' to be published by The History Press

I'm delighted to announce that 'Haunted Lambeth' (ghost stories and legends from the London Borough of Lambeth) is set to be published by The History Press.

They're the same publishers who brought out my previous books 'Haunted London' and 'Haunted Wandsworth' so the new title should be in safe hands.

The estimated publication date for 'Haunted Lambeth' is February 2013.

Share |

17 January 2012: Meet The Man(n) Behind The Paranormal Database

A chat with Darren Mann, author of 'Haunted Cork' (see below) and creator of the 'Paranormal Database' website.

Read my latest article at: 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

'Strange Mitcham' (2011) 9 January 2012: 25% off 'Strange Mitcham'!

Order 'Strange Mitcham' via this month and receive a 25% discount.

Just place your order here, using Coupon Code: LULUBOOKUK305.

(Coupon expires 31 January 2012, maximum savings for this coupon = £50.)

23 December 2011: The Phantom of the Cinema

It's become something of a tradition that each year I contribute a ghostly story to The Wandsworth Society for their magazine's 'Bedside' (Christmas) edition. This year's appropriately seasonal tale features the apparition seen at Streatham's Astoria cinema (now the Odeon) on Christmas night, 1933.

The article is an abridged extract from my forthcoming book 'Haunted Lambeth', which is nearing completion and will hopefully be published in 2012.

On the subject of books, there's still no news re publication of 'The Poltergeist Prince of Battersea', but who knows - perhaps 2012 will see two of my books published in the same year!

In the meantime, my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Share |

Photo credit: Simon Drake 20 December 2011: Discovering Guildford's Ghosts With Philip Hutchinson

Ghosts have an affinity for old buildings, it seems. Whether this is because the aging structures have had longer than their younger counterparts to gather spirits to them, or because books, films, and television shows have simply taught us to expect historic buildings to be haunted is almost beside the point.

The fact is that where you find old buildings you tend to find tales of the supernatural. It is little surprise, therefore, that Guildford has plenty of ghostly lore....

Read the full article at: 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince 17 November 2011: Da Vinci And The Turin Shroud: Did Leonardo fake the face of Christ?

You might not realise it but you've probably seen Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince before. They're there as passengers on the double-decker bus taking Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) to London's Temple Church in the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, and their presence in the scene was no accident. Rather, it was an acknowledgement of that story's debt to their research ...

In my latest article, Lynn and Clive tell me about the 'compelling new evidence' they've discovered supporting their theory of a link between Leonardo da Vinci and the Turin Shroud.

Read the full article at: 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: liewcf (Cheon Fong Liew) at Flickr 9 November 2011: Calling All Smartphone Users: Paranormal Researchers Need YOUR Help!

Technology is a tricky mistress. Just when you think she's reaching out to help, her other hand whips up to smack you round the face.

ASSAP's Maurice Townsend tells me about a growing problem in paranormal research and what’s being done to fight it.

Read the full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Gabor Dvornik at Flickr 2 November 2011: A Vampire Bit Our Housekeeper! Real Tales Of The Supernatural

Shirley Spycalla lives on the tiny island of Montserrat in the eastern Caribbean where, with her husband Lou, she runs the Erindell Villa Guesthouse.

While holidaymakers love the Caribbean for its sandy white beaches and clear turquoise waters, beneath the stunning scenery these islands are positively steeped in dark tales of mysterious forces and supernatural beings, the best-known example being the widespread belief in zombies, or “jumbies”.

Shirley knows more than most about this aspect of the Caribbean ...

Continued at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

25 October 2011: Might This Be The Best Way To See A Ghost? Reflections from a psychomanteum

I'm sitting in a blacked-out room, gazing into the empty depths beyond a mirror's surface, waiting for a spirit to appear. The only source of light is a small candle behind me, throwing flickering shadows onto the darkened walls and ceiling, and the overall effect is more than a little eerie.

To be honest, I'm a bit nervous here. My memory is traitorously exhuming thoughts of creepy Japanese girls with hair-cowled faces, of the Bloody Mary legend, and of countless slasher films in which a mirror suddenly reveals your killer standing just behind your shoulder. What the hell am I doing here? ...

Continued at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

In other news, there are changes afoot at 'The Morton Report' website, which will soon be focusing more clearly on its core subjects: celebrities, royals and interviews. It's the right move for the site in my opinion, although as you might imagine the new slant's not exactly my forte.

Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC 18 October 2011: Zombies: The "Real-Life" Walking Dead

Zombies have a lot of life left in them, it seems. The continuing popularity of the genre is great news for those of us who like our entertainment on the gruesome side, especially as it brings back The Walking Dead for a very welcome second season.

Not everyone has the luxury of enjoying zombies in the guise of fiction, though. To some, they are terrifyingly real...

Continued at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

11 October 2011: Royal Phantom Due For Annual Appearance

On 12 October 1537 the screams of a new-born boy rang through the chambers of Hampton Court Palace, beside England’s River Thames. King Henry VIII finally had the son he’d so desperately wanted, but it would cost him the life of his beloved queen.

Less than a fortnight later, Queen Jane Seymour, Henry’s third -- and favourite -- wife, died of what are believed to have been post-natal complications. But, as with so many of England’s historical notables, it appears death has not kept her from wandering around...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

04 October 2011: Hunting For Ghosts With John Fraser

John Fraser is one of the UK's leading ghost hunters and the author of Ghost Hunting: A Survivor's Guide.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to him about his experiences.

Read my article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: ASSAP website 20 September 2011: UK Paranormal Research Gets Professional

Rumours had been circulating for months among the UK's paranormal research groups. ASSAP -- the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena -- had let it be known they had a major announcement to make, and there was much speculation as to what it would be.

The secret was finally revealed on Saturday, 10 September 2011, at ASSAP's 30th anniversary conference. The Association -- an education and research charity interested in all manner of strange goings-on -- announced that it had been recognised as a professional body for investigators of anomalous phenomena. Officially recognised, that is, and by no less an entity than the UK Government! ...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA-JSC) 13 September 2011: Aliens On The Moon?

Is the Moon really as barren as we're told? The makers of Apollo 18 are not the first to suggest something might be up there.

In 1835, hopes were high that life would eventually be discovered on our satellite. So when a series of six articles claiming precisely that appeared in the New York Sun newspaper some readers were willing to believe it was true. In what has become known as "The Great Moon Hoax" it was announced that the English astronomer Sir John Herschel had made astounding discoveries...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution 6 September 2011: Is The 'Extinct' Thylacine Still Alive?

It's not supposed to exist these days but people claim to spot it so often that the thylacine has been called the world’s 'most common extinct animal'.

The thylacine was always something of a contrary beast. Also known as the Tasmanian wolf because of its generally wolf-like appearance, and the Tasmanian tiger because of the brown stripes in its fur, it was actually neither a wolf nor a tiger but a marsupial...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: IDW Publishing 30 August 2011: Ghostbusters And Ghost Hunters - Personal reflections on the changing face of paranormal investigation

Has ghost hunting become too much like Ghostbusters for its own good?

Read my new article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Prairiekittin at Flickr 23 August 2011: UFOs Are Unidentified - I'll Say That Again, Unidentified - Flying Objects

Extra-terrestrials buzzed London last week - except they almost certainly didn’t.

On 17 August one of the local (south London, UK) news websites announced: “UFO spotted in Croydon town centre”. Predictably, the article accompanying this headline was illustrated with a picture of flying saucers...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Draco2008 at Flickr 16 August 2011: The Rendlesham Forest UFO Revisited - Colonels clash and the controversy continues...

It’s been called Britain’s Roswell, and it’s back in the news.

Rendlesham Forest is in Suffolk, England. It stands close to what was once a twin military airbase (RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge) used by the USAF under the command of Colonel Ted Conrad...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

The Battle of Wilson's Creek 9 August 2011: The Ghosts Of Wilson's Creek

The American Civil War is returning to Missouri.

Over the weekend of 12-14 August, the Wilson’s Creek Foundation will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek with a major re-enactment of the engagement, and once again the ground and trees will shake to the roar of cannon and the clatter of muskets. If some of the stories told about the site are to be believed, however, the fighting never fully went away...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Neil Armstrong2 at Flickr 2 August 2011: Paranormal Versus Xenonormal - Should paranormal researchers really be researching the paranormal at all?

A quiet revolution is underway in paranormal research. The idea involved is not new -- it’s been around for a few years now -- and it hasn’t captured the hearts and minds of too many people yet, but it’s an idea with potentially wide-reaching implications and it might just be gathering momentum.

It’s based on a simple question: should paranormal researchers be researching the paranormal at all? Should they instead be researching the “xenonormal”? ...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photo credit: Peter Pearson at Flickr 26 July 2011: Ghosts Of St Paul's Cathedral, London

Different people experience the same location in different ways.

For many visiting St Paul’s Cathedral this week their surroundings will evoke poignant memories of the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, which was held 30 years ago this Friday. Other visitors will be captivated by the history and awe-inspiring magnificence of Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece. The thoughts of many others, of course, will be dominated by the cathedral’s status as a House of God.

For me, though, the most alluring aspect of St Paul’s is its ghost lore...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

The Future Of UFOs 19 July 2011: The Future Of UFOs: What will our grandchildren tell us they saw in the skies?

I saw a flying saucer the other day. I’d popped into the British Library in London to visit their current science fiction exhibition, and at the entrance was a model of a crashed saucer. It got me thinking about the changing mythology of UFOs...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

The Poltergeist Prince of London 14 July 2011: UPDATE re the Wycliffe Road poltergeist book

Bastille Day today - given who the poltergeist claimed to be it's certainly a fitting date to have finally finished the first draft of this book! No time to celebrate though because now comes another major task: looking for a publisher. Wish us luck!

Share |

The Morton Report 12 July 2011: The Return of Ectoplasm: Is it back from the dead?

Ectoplasm used to appear a lot, extruding from the various orifices of spirit mediums during séances in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s not something you hear too much about in the 21st century though, so I was startled to read recent claims that a German group photographed this controversial substance just last year...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

True Blood Fairie Queen 5 July 2011: Fairy Tales Get Scary This Summer

The little people are big news this summer, and they’re more frightening than you might expect.

Forget the romanticized fairies of Victorian paintings and Disney films. I’m not talking about pretty little silver-voiced beings flitting around on butterfly wings and sprinkling magic dust. The current trend draws on older legends of sinister, shape-shifting entities inhabiting a supernatural realm that impinges upon our own...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

The Morton Report 28 June 2011: Practical Tips For Keeping Vampires Away - What to do if you’ve run out of garlic

With 'True Blood' back for a fourth season, fans of the hit TV show will know that not every vampire is content with synthetic blood substitute. Some insist on the real deal, freshly decanted from a mortal vessel, and so it's important to know how to protect yourself.

Fortunately centuries of vampire mythology have described plenty of defences you could use, even if you have run out of garlic...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

Share |

Photography by Sean Ebsworth Barnes 21 June 2011: Where to See Ghosts When You Go to See Ghost: The Musical

Supernatural romance comes to the London stage this week when Ghost: The Musical - adapted from the Oscar-winning Paramount Pictures film Ghost - starts its West End run at the Piccadilly Theatre. As the show will no doubt put you in the mood for a spot of ghost-hunting, here are some handy hints for what to watch out for when you go...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

The Morton Report 14 June 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton: Undercover Royal Ghostbusters

Don't tell anyone but I think I may be on to something. I have a sneaking suspicion that Prince William and Kate Middleton are secretly hunting ghosts on behalf of the British Monarchy.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (as they are now officially known) are to move into refurbished apartments inside Kensington Palace and - as with so many of the venues chosen for their wedding day in April - their new London home just happens to be one of the city's most famous haunted houses....

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

The Morton Report 7 June 2011: Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena Celebrates 30th Anniversary: ASSAP's 30 years of weird science

Paranormal research groups can come and go so fast they seem as elusive as the spectres they seek, so when one reaches its 30th birthday it's a fine excuse to celebrate.

The UK-based group ASSAP will pass that milestone this Friday ...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

The Morton Report 31 May 2011: The Phantom Pirate of Execution Dock: On the trail of Captain Kidd...

With Captain Jack Sparrow entertaining cinema audiences in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I thought I'd take a trip to east London on the trail of another pirate - this one of the supernatural variety.

The waterfront neighbourhood of Wapping, to the east of the City of London, has changed enormously over the last few centuries. Once, this place teemed with dockers and sailors scratching out a hard but honest living, and with pirates and smugglers squeezing out a hard and dishonest living, the law-abiding and the criminal crammed together amid the noise and bustle of these winding streets....

Read my new article in full at 'The Morton Report'.

What's more, I'm delighted to announce that my articles for 'The Morton Report' are now officially a weekly column so remember to check each week for the latest update!

The Morton Report 24 May 2011: Grimaldi's Ghost: What's the one thing creepier than a clown?

If clowns scare you then it's probably best to avoid Denmark this week. Answering the summons of whatever sinister power calls to them, clowns from across the planet are gathering in Svendborg for the 13th International Clown Festival.

As disturbing as that thought is, the creepiest clown of all won't be attending the Festival ...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

The Morton Report 18 May 2011: The Headless Boleyns Prepping for Annual Appearances

Heads up, folks! If she keeps to her supernatural schedule then now's a great time to look out for Britain's most famous phantom.

When Anne Boleyn (or Bullen) married King Henry VIII she wasn't his first wife. That dubious privilege had fallen to Catherine of Aragon...

Read my new article in full at 'The Morton Report'.

The Poltergeist Prince of London 10 May 2011: UPDATE re Wycliffe Road poltergeist book

It feels like we're finally getting somewhere with this book! The last few chapters have just been drafted and I'm going over these with Shirley at the moment.

The next mountain to climb will involve tidying and trimming almost a quarter of a million words into a much more concise and readable book - I'm almost looking forward to it!

The Morton Report 10 May 2011: Ghostly Glimpses Through the Fog of War

Wartime security shrouds much in secrecy, and still obscures one curious incident that happened 70 years ago today.

At around 6 p.m. on Saturday 10 May 1941, a lone Messerschmitt Bf 110 took off from an airstrip in Augsberg, Germany, its destination the United Kingdom. But this was no bombing raid....

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

The Morton Report 3 May 2011: Ghosts of No. 10 Downing Street

"Why would anybody want to be PM anyway?"

I didn't ask that myself, but overheard someone recently during a debate on the coming AV referendum. (You know the sort of debate I mean: the drinks are flowing, grey matter is being lubricated and suddenly people are full of opinions they never knew they held before.) ...

Read my full article at 'The Morton Report'.

The Morton Report 24 April 2011: Wedding Ghosts

I hope you've recovered from the Easter excess of chocolate and are getting ready to enjoy the coming royal wedding and/or extended bank holiday weekend.

Getting into the (ahem) "spirit" of the occasion in my own way, my latest article takes a light-hearted look at a few London ghosts Prince William and Kate Middleton might bump into on their big day.

You can read this over at Andrew Morton's new website: 'The Morton Report'.

Prehoc Solutions Ltd A massive and public thank you to Prehoc Solutions Ltd

Updates to this website are sporadic at best but this one very nearly didn't happen at all. A few days ago my PC suffered a major systems error, which not only rendered my machine inoperable but also corrupted hundreds of files that contained years' - in some cases decades' - worth of work. One moment I was happily finishing off my working day, thoughts turning towards planning the evening ahead, and the next I was caught in a state somewhere between utter panic and absolute despair; it was a sobering experience to understand fully for the first time just how much I rely on my computer these days.

I am, however, extremely fortunate to have a brother who's a genuine expert in this field and who deals with IT issues professionally, and his company was able to quite literally rebuild my machine piece by piece until every part was working properly again. He had also previously impressed upon me the need to take regular back-ups of my data, which had always seemed like a bit of a pain to be honest but I am now immensely grateful to him for his nagging!

So, after a very nasty scare, I'm up and running again and I think the very least I can do is offer this public statement of thanks to Prehoc Solutions Ltd for coming to my rescue. I was already a happy client of theirs before this (they host this website, for one thing) but having now seen at first hand just what else they can do I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who needs any IT services: click here to visit their website.

James Clark, 18 April 2011

'Strange Mitcham' (2011) February 2011: 'STRANGE MITCHAM' now available for the Kindle

The new edition of 'Strange Mitcham' is now available as a Kindle eBook.

If you know anyone who might be interested then please let them know!

(Free Kindle reading apps are available from Amazon for the iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac and Android: click here for details.)

'Strange Mitcham' (2011) February 2011: 'STRANGE MITCHAM' - revised and revamped

Last month I mentioned I was putting together an eBook version of 'Strange Mitcham', which was originally published way back in 2002. Well, since I was doing that anyway I decided that I might as well take the opportunity to update the whole thing so that's what I've been doing. The revised and revamped second edition is now available (in paperback form only so far) and I'm really pleased with the result: it's being printed by and can already be obtained from them at this link.

I'm also arranging to have it sold by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and it will be available from those sites in a few weeks, at which time you should also be able to order copies from your local bookshop.

The eBook and Kindle versions (i.e. what I was actually supposed to be doing!) are in hand and they should be ready in the near future.

Wandsworth Society magazine 2010 January 2011

Although I'm a few days late may I start by wishing you all a very happy New Year!

As many of you will know I regularly contribute a ghost-themed article to the Wandsworth Society for their magazine's Christmas ('Bedside') edition and 2010 was no exception. In 'The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison: a first-hand account' I told the true story of an ex-prison officer's personal encounter with that establishment's resident spectre, which took place one winter during the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Looking to the future – in more ways than one – I am currently preparing an eBook version of 'Strange Mitcham'. As soon as this is available I will announce it here so watch this space.

I am also still hard at work on a book about 'Donald', the Wycliffe Road (Battersea) poltergeist. Although the bulk of this book has already been drafted, I am reworking much of it in the light of the recent discovery of the Hitchings family's diaries, which contain a great deal of additional information. The extra work means it will take longer to complete the book but I'm sure it will be worth the wait!

1956diary November 2010: Diaries discovered

Invaluable new source material regarding the Wycliffe Road (Battersea) poltergeist case has just surfaced after lying undisturbed in an attic for decades. The discovery consists of a set of diaries kept by the Hitchings family (chiefly by Shirley Hitchings's father) during much of the period that 'Donald' the poltergeist was terrorising the occupants of their south London home during the 1950s.

Combining the entries in these battered volumes with what we already possess of the original investigator's case notes is enabling Shirley and me to recreate this amazing story in finer detail than we'd dared hope.

pumpkin Hallowe'en 2010: Ideal Hallowe'en reading, featuring tales from 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

Two of the tales recorded on my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website feature in the third and concluding part of the 'Londonist' website's round-up of London ghost stories this week.

A perfect read for this Hallowe’en weekend, A Ghost in Every Borough covers uncanny encounters across the capital, from Barking to Wandsworth. The full article can be read at the 'Londonist'.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Vestry Hall September 2010: New chapter added to 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

A hidden tunnel allowing sneaky visits to the pub, an underground 'dungeon' and the spectral presence of a dead caretaker. Read about the strange side of one of Mitcham's best-known buildings in 'Tales from the Vestry Hall'.

Sir Walter Raleigh July 2010: Major Update to 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

The ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh raises his spectral head again in 'Mysterious Mitcham'. (Or he might do, if anyone knew where his head is these days!)

Read about him in a new chapter entitled 'The Figure in the Alley', and look out as well for updates to several other chapters concerning the Beddington area, just to the south of Mitcham Common.

I've also given the entire site a facelift so if you haven't visited for a while why not take a look?

Mysterious Mitcham June 2010: Update to 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

A new story has been added to 'Mysterious Mitcham', telling the tale of a pair of old cottages haunted during the summer months by the apparition of a young woman. See 'The Haunted Cottages in Tramway Path' at my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website.

Haunted London and Haunted Wandsworth April 2010: Reprints on the way

Amazon is currently showing 'Haunted London' as out of stock, but the publishers are arranging reprints of this title (as well as 'Haunted Wandsworth') and these should be available soon. In the meantime, I still have a couple of copies available, and these can be ordered directly from me (see the Bookshop to the right).

Mysterious Mitcham April 2010: Update to 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

Thanks to Kevin Green, I have been able to add a couple of new snippets of local children's folklore from the 1950s to the 'Mysterious Mitcham' website. A story of strange lights emanating from an ancient tree can be read about in a short new chapter titled 'The "Ghost Tree"' and the schoolboy tale of the 'Devil's Chair' gets a mention in the updated chapter titled 'The "Haunting" of Hall Place'.

Mysterious Mitcham March 2010: Update to 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

New information from a reader has allowed me to expand what had been a very short chapter called 'A Ghost in Church Road'. Thanks to James Bonser, the location of this little piece of Mitcham folklore can now be identified as the ruins of an old building called Hall Place.

The chapter has been expanded and re-named as 'The "Haunting" of Hall Place'.

Map March 2010: Poltergeist house location pinpointed

Working on a book about the strange events that took place in No. 63 Wycliffe Road, Battersea in the 1950s (see 'Work in Progress' above) is fascinating but I have long regretted not being able to visit the house itself. (It and much of the road were demolished during redevelopment of the area 40 years ago.) At least now, however, I know just where the house stood.

My thanks go to Wandsworth Heritage Service, who supplied maps showing Wycliffe Road and its houses as they used to be, and Shirley Hitchings, who was able to use these maps to pinpoint her old home. No. 63 stood on the west side of the road, just about where the present-day Evesham Road would intersect with Wycliffe Road if the latter still extended that far south. I have moved the location marker on my online map to show the correct location.

Ordering from Amazon December 2009: Ordering from Amazon:

I have added links to enable visitors to buy copies of my books from Amazon. Details here...

Wandsworth Society Xmas 2009 December 2009: 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents'

For the last five years the Wandsworth Society has asked me to contribute articles for the festive 'Bedside Edition' of their newsletter/magazine. Because I am currently deep into writing a book about the 1950s Battersea poltergeist (see above), it was clear that that case would have to be the focus of my article this year. Therefore, 'The Ghost of Christmas Presents' tells of the alleged poltergeist's bizarre - and at times comical - efforts to participate in the Hitchings family's Christmas celebrations. The Wandsworth Society can be contacted via their website.

Mysterious Mitcham November 2009: 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM' website updated

The chapter about 'Calico Jack', the playful ghost said to have haunted Lacks the Drapers near Mitcham's Upper (or 'Fair') Green during the 19th and early 20th centuries, has been updated with the addition of a couple of old photographs. One image shows the elderly Hannah Lack (who ran the Mitcham store for fifty years until she retired during the First World War) with her family at The Culvers in Carshalton in around 1922. The other is a 1926 image of the Thornton Heath branch of Lacks, which opened in 1906 following the success of the original Mitcham store. My thanks go to Andrew Wyatt, a descendant of the Lack family, who sent these photographs to me after discovering the image of Hannah in his family's archives and who gave permission for the photographs to be used in 'Mysterious Mitcham'.

Haunted London November 2009: 'HAUNTED LONDON' reprints are on the way

It is great to be able to report that after being shown as 'out of stock' on the publisher's website for the past few months, my 2007 book 'Haunted London' is once again being reprinted by The History Press. The book is scheduled to go to press in the final week of this month and should be back in the shops by early December - hopefully just in time for Christmas! Of course, if you don't fancy going out, you can buy copies direct from this website: just go to the Bookshop to the right.

Haunted Wandsworth October 2009: 'HAUNTED WANDSWORTH' back in stock

I'm delighted to announce that 'Haunted Wandsworth' has just been reprinted by The History Press. Apart from the publisher's change of name on the spine the new copies look almost identical to the originals, except that they now have shiny laminated (and in my opinion improved) covers.

'Haunted Wandsworth' reveals the eerie secrets of the south London Borough of Wandsworth (encompassing Balham, Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth) and would make a perfect gift for anyone interested in the area. To order a copy just go to the Bookshop to the right.

Mysterious Mitcham September 2009: 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM' website updated

Mitcham's annual Fair may be over and done with for another year but a wonderful selection of newsreel footage from years gone by is now available from British Pathé's film archive. The footage spans the period 1919 - 1938 and clearly shows just what a big deal the Fair once was. The earliest newsreels show the Fair's opening ceremony - complete with the famous giant key - being held next to The King's Arms pub on Upper or "Fair" Green, the Fair's location before it was moved to Three Kings Piece in 1924.

Previews of this footage were recently made available to view for free at the British Pathé website and I have added links to the relevant previews from 'The Legend of Mitcham Fair': just follow the links at the bottom of that page.

Haunted Wandsworth September 2009: Reprints on the way!

My books 'Haunted Wandsworth' and 'Haunted London' are both currently listed as out of stock at the publisher's website. I am assured that both books are to be reprinted very soon but in the meantime I still have a few copies of each title available from this website. So, if you would like to buy gifts in time for Halloween head to the Bookshop to the right.

Server Trouble 12 June 2009: server trouble update

I am told that the issue with Virgin Media restricting access to this website and to my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website has finally been resolved. Fingers crossed it stays that way! My apologies to everyone who has had difficulty accessing my sites over the last two weeks.

Server Trouble 11 June 2009: server trouble update

My apologies to anyone still(!) having difficulty viewing my 'Mysterious Mitcham' website. The fault lies with Virgin Media who are blocking Virgin customers from visiting my site and from at least 100,000 other sites. Why? It seems that one website that has nothing whatsoever to do with us except that we happen to use the same server has been phishing and from Virgin's point of view the quickest and cheapest solution is simply to block us all until someone else fixes the problem! I am doing everything I can to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible so if you cannot get to my site at the moment please try again later. In the meantime, do feel free to email a complaint to Virgin as this might actually help to force them to sort the issue out! If you would prefer to make a more formal complaint in writing, you can send a letter to Complaints, Virgin Media, PO Box 333, Matrix Court, Swansea, SA7 9ZJ.

Map May 2009: Discover your neighbourhood ghost

I have added a map showing the locations of the ghost stories, legends and other strange tales that appear in my published collections. The map is colour-coded according to which collection each story is taken from and shows where each story is set, together with a brief summary of that tale. Click here to start exploring the map.

Mysterious Mitcham March 2009: 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM' website updated

A new story has been added, telling the tale of 'Calico Jack', a ghost said to haunt Lacks the Drapers during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Wandsworth Society Xmas 2008 December 2008: 'Fireside Tales: more strange stories from Wandsworth Borough'

Article published in 'Wandsworth Society' magazine, The Bedside Edition, Dec. 2008: the mysterious fires that broke out in York Road in 1911, the incendiary poltergeist that terrorised No. 63 Wycliffe Road during the 1950s and Putney Heath's incredible 'Fireproof House'.

Haunted London July 2008: 'HAUNTED LONDON' back in stock

The History Press has reprinted 'Haunted London' and copies of this title are once again available from bookshops and online retailers (including me!).

Haunted London June 2008: 'HAUNTED LONDON' has sold out!

The original print run of 'Haunted London' (published August 2007) has already sold out but I am delighted to announce that The History Press is preparing a second print run which will be completed within the next few weeks.

Mysterious Mitcham October 2007: 'MYSTERIOUS MITCHAM'

The eagerly awaited sequel to 'Strange Mitcham' is at last available.

Titled 'Mysterious Mitcham', it is completely free and can be read online here.

Haunted London August 2007: HAUNTED LONDON published by Tempus

'Haunted London' looks at ghost stories and legends from the centre of London, one of the world's greatest and seemingly most haunted cities.

Find out more...

Haunted Wandsworth August 2006: 'HAUNTED WANDSWORTH' published by Tempus

This collection of local ghost stories and legends looks at strange tales from the Borough of Wandsworth in south London (encompassing Balham, Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth)

Find out more...

Strange Mitcham April 2002: 'STRANGE MITCHAM' published

My first collection of ghost stories, legends and mysteries, this booklet looks at my home town of Mitcham in Surrey / south London

Find out more...