The Demon Husband – one of the 100 best ghost stories

‘The 100 Best British Ghost Stories’ by Gillian Bennett (Amberley 2012) is one of those books I wish I’d written. It’s a collection of folk tales and historical records of ghostly encounters from across the UK. I’m guessing the ‘100 best’ concept was suggested by the publisher rather than the author but there’s no doubt Gillian Bennett has chosen her selection with great care.

100Best

The stories are listed chronologically, from the 17th to the 20th centuries, providing a loose narrative as the style and context of the ghost stories evolve. This approach also reflects the academic expertise employed in the work: the author is a former editor of the ‘Folklore’ journal. I note that, like me, Gillian lives in North Wales, and Welsh yarns are well represented. They include ‘The Golden King of Bryn-yr-Ellyllon’, from my home town of Mold, and one of my favourite ghost stories from anywhere, a weird tale Gillian has entitled ‘Colonel Bowen Visits His Wife’  but which for some reason I’ve come to think of as ‘The Demon Husband’. I’ve uploaded this eerie account of a frightening haunting in South Wales at: http://www.uncannyuk.com/1081/demon_husband_of_gower/

All the usual suspects are here: Silky, Tregeagle, Cock Lane, Cauld Lads, Boggarts, Padfoot and Co, crisis apparitions and prophecies. But there are a number of less well-known spooks, too, including a long section of previously unpublished accounts collected by a keen scholar of Lincolnshire folklore in the first half of the 20th century. The most recent accounts are also previously unrecorded in print: a selection of stories collected orally by the author herself. There are gems among both collections.

‘The 100 Best British Ghost Stories’ by Gillian Bennett is an expertly compiled collection of UK ghost-lore, and a handy and welcome addition to the bookshelf.

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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 folklore, ghosts Britain, ghosts England, ghosts of Britain, ghosts Scotland, ghosts Wales, haunted Britain. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Demon Husband – one of the 100 best ghost stories

  1. Pingback: ‘The 100 Best British Ghost Stories’ by Gillian Bennett

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