It’s good to see not one but two new books by Darren Ritson. Darren’s one of the more careful paranormal investigators in the UK and all his books are enlivened by his own personal ghost-hunting experiences.
Darren has researched and investigated paranormal activity all over the British Isles but his base is the north of England. These books both reflect his intimate knowledge of the region.
Paranormal County Durham, from Amberley, is naturally the thicker of the two volumes. Among the usual mansions, castles and pubs, Darren showcases several more unusual haunted locales, including a waterfall, a disused mine, a former POW camp and a particularly eerie abandoned MOD site (at an undisclosed location!). Accounts range from the short and snappy to in-depth descriptions of investigations and their follow-up research, all of which make for fascinating reading.
The ghosts are as varied as the locations. Darren has devoted a whole chapter to the phantom horsemen which charge around the Durham countryside. He rounds off with a selection of stories collected by a local historian which are generally well-known.
Unusually for one of Amberley’s ‘Paranormal’ series, ‘County Durham’ is almost entirely devoted to ghostly phenomena, as opposed to the selection of strange creatures, UFOs and the like which are usually included.
Darren stays in the north but heads west for Haunted Carlisle, published by the History Press. This is another thoroughly well-researched volume offering the same mix of folklore, eyewitness accounts and on-the-spot investigations in sites varying from Carlisle Castle and the railway station, through pubs and hotels to a haunted bus stop and a Laser Quest venue (the mind boggles!). Lots and lots of new material here (well, new to me) and a must-have for any resident of the town or the surrounding area (one section highlights haunted sites on the rural outskirts).
Both books from this busy ghost-hunter and prodigious author are highly recommended.
Paranormal County Durham by Darren W Ritson is published by Amberley and priced £12.99 (ISBN: 978-1-4456-0650-7); Haunted Carlisle by Darren W Ritson is published by History Press and priced £9.99 (ISBN 978-0-7524-6087-1).