When I wrote my book ‘Haunted Wales’ (published in 2005), I made the bold assertion on the cover blurb that: ‘Wales is the most haunted country in the world’.
My research had uncovered such a wealth of ghost stories pre-dating World War 2, from such a small and under-populated nation, that I felt justified in making such a claim. After all, this didn’t even include all the modern ghost sightings, which so far as I can tell from years of writing and broadcasting on the subject, seem to happen on an almost daily (or nightly) basis in Wales.
Even as I made the claim, though, I knew of three other countries that had a right to share the title: England, Scotland and Ireland. Taken as a whole, it cannot be argued that the United Kingdom is the most haunted nation on earth. In terms of its legends, folklore, spooky literature and first-hand accounts of the supernatural our little nation is unrivalled. Even our neighbours in Europe look to the misty British Isles as the home of the uncanny. I once spoke to a German tourism officer who told me her countrymen viewed Britain as ‘the place for ghosts’, despite the fact Germany has more than its fair share of creepy castles, and was the home of the Brothers Grimm and saw the invention of the horror novel.
This year I will be launching a website,
www.uncannyuk.co.uk in which I and a few likeminded friends will be collecting together accounts of ghosts, fairies, witches, monsters and other supernatural phenomena in Britain. In time I hope it will become a superb resource for everyone interested in the supernatural and a repository for accounts of genuine experiences of the paranormal in the UK.
The website will be launched on Hallowe’en (when else?). In the run-up to its launch and throughout its life, I will use this blog to muse about aspects of ‘uncanny UK’ as they occur to me and to make further comment on the stories that appear on the site.
I’ve also decided to start a separate blog, ‘Haunted Wales’, to provide a place for stories about this little corner of the UK I live in. The danger otherwise is that Uncanny UK would be come overly biased towards stories from Wales. After all, Wales may indeed prove to be ‘the most haunted country in the world’, so it deserves its own space! You can read this blog at: