Uncanny book club: Ingram’s Haunted Homes

Here we have another early standard work which belongs in any collection of ghost books alongside Charles Harper’s ‘Haunted Houses’. And again I have two copies, just because I couldn’t resist the different covers. ‘Haunted Homes and Family Legends’ by John Ingram was first published (I’m fairly sure) in 1884. The copy on the left is the earliest of my two copies, the third edition of 1886. It has deep blue boards highlighted in silver ‘gilding’ and on the front has a suitably high Victorian gothic image of a shrouded apparition drifting down the steps of a mansion under a clouded moon – you might just be able to make that out. The copy on the right is the 1912 edition, which I acquired first and which is quite a common book. This was a much cheaper production, printed on cheap paper: all the pages in my copy have gone brown. It has illustrations, though, which the earlier edition lacks and a different but almost as pleasing cover; brown this time but also picked out in silver. The ghost has been relegated to the spine, another shrouded figure apparently wiping away a tear. Creepy! The 1912 edition was half the price of the 1886 (and frankly I overpaid for the older one). Gothic treats the pair of them and much nicer than a paperback.


About UncannyUK

I am the editor of Uncanny UK (www.uncannyuk.com), a website devoted to British ghosts and folklore. I am the former editor of Paranormal Magazine and the author five books on Welsh folklore. Just launched Apparition Developments, first product of which is Ghost Finder London - an app plotting 300 haunted sites in London for iPhone. I'm a highly experienced journalist and corporate copywriter. I'm an enthusiast on the subjects of UK folklore, the supernatural and antiquities and am fond of old horror and sci-fi movies, cult TV such as Dr Who and I collect Victorian/Edwardian magazines. I also enjoy weird art and macabre literature by the likes of M R James, E F Benson, Algernon Blackwood, W Hope-Hodgson, H P Lovecraft etc. I live in North Wales, which is a very spooky place.
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