Uncanny Book Club and Pic: Haunted Houses by Joseph Braddock


Another fantastic 1950s wraparound dust jacket (see Ghosts and Witches below) – this time by the wonderful Felix Kelly. I just love this cover: the colour palate, though muted, is so true to the 1950s, as are the elongated perpendiculars on the buildings. The black scrap of a ghost drifting through the landscape is more effective because it’s so low-key, I think. Beautiful and creepy all at the same time.

This is from the 1956 first edition, which was published by Batsford – the same publisher as Ghosts and Witches from 1954 and Christina Holes’ ‘Haunted England’ from 1940 (the first book I featured in my Book Club). Not only did they have an editor who appreciated the value of a good ghost book, Batsford must have had a superb art editor as well. There are some effective interior illustrations by Kelly, too, one of which I’ll feature as a forthcoming ‘Uncanny Pic’.

‘Haunted Houses’ is another ‘standard work’ that deserves its place in the ghost-lovers’ library. There is quite a lot of borrowing from earlier sources: an entire chapter is given over to Gef, the ‘talking mongoose’, for example, but I guess unless you have a copy of Harry Price’s scarce book on the subject, this is the best summary you can find. There are a fair few less well-known stories culled from newspapers and overall it’s a thoroughly readable book with a bias towards the outre: weird cloudy entities that kill livestock, mysterious invisible barriers and a ghost that allegedly killed a baby. Scary stuff!

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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.
This entry was posted in Book Club, British ghosts, ghost writer, ghosts, ghosts Britain, ghosts England, ghosts haunted Britain, ghosts of Britain, ghosts Scotland, ghosts Wales, Harry Price, newspaper archives, paranormal, physical ghost, pic of the day, poltergeists, supernatural, Uncanny pic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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