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Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings

Posted by demonik on November 10, 2008

Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings (Robinson, 2008)


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photo Tony O’Reilly/ Fortean Picture Library: Cover design: JoeRoberts.co.uk

Foreword: I Am A Researcher Of The Supernatural

A Century Of Hauntings: A Chronology from 1900-2000
The Ghost Hunters: Fifty Authentic Supernatural Experiences
Phantoms In The Sky: Ghostly Pilots, Aircraft And Haunted Airfields
Encounters With The Unknown: Eyewitness Stories By Journalists
Haunted Stars: Show Business And The Supernatural
Supernatural Tales: True Ghost Stories By Famous Authors
Phantom Lovers: Sexual Encounters With Ghosts
What Are Ghosts? The Theories Of The Experts
The A-Z Of Ghosts: Phantoms Of The World

Bibliography
Research Organisations
Acknowledgements

Back cover blurb:

Surprisingly, the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have turned out to be the most extraordinary periods in the history of supernatural encounters – with more mysterious accounts of ghosts being reported from all over the world than during any previous era.

This giant survey from the acclaimed investigator, the late Peter Haining, years in the making and now posthumously published for the first time, documents the full spectrum of credible hauntings during the last hundred years or so. It encompasses over 100 first-hand accounts of poltergeists and phantoms, ghostly pilots and haunted airfields, seduction spirits and sexual encounters with ghostly entities – and much more. Also included are the notes of famous ghost hunters such as Hans Holzer, Harry Price, and Susy Smith; and some fascinating analysis by notable experts on what ghosts really are.

How appropriate that, as we approach November 19th and the first anniversary of his untimely death, the legendary Peter Haining should return from the grave with a collection of True Hauntings.

Experts will doubtless be mortified that Peter has exhumed several of these ‘true’ accounts from such reliable resources as The News Of The World and The Sunday People, but he’s also ransacked his library to good effect for accounts from (perhaps!) more credible authorities, several old Vault friends among them: Dennis Wheatley (on the true life incident at boarding school which inspired his big seller, The Haunting Of Toby Jugg), Arthur Machen (versus a Poltergeist infestation), Barbara Cartland, James Herbert, Robert Thurston Hopkins, Fred Archer, Elliott O’Donnell, Peter Underwood and medium to the stars Doris Stokes.

Predictably, the NOTW is the source for much of the Phantom Lovers: Sexual Encounters With Ghosts section which reads for the most part like a series of plot-outlines for Benny Hill sketches as the country’s struggling pubs are besieged by randy Royalists, Peeping Toms, Phantom Bottom-pinchers – the whole gamut of sex pests from beyond the grave. Typical of these “Grinning Ghouls”, the spectre in the changing room of The Disco Bar, Newcastle who so put the willies up go-go dancer Maggie in 1974, and an incorrigible old rascal who conducted his reign of terror in The Knights Lodge Inn near Corby during the ‘eighties. “I’ve seen him and he’s a big robust chap – a cavalier who carries an ostrich feather. He uses the feather to lift the ladies’ skirts and tickle them – he must have been a real Casanova when he was alive” deadpans a handy ‘Psychic Investigator’, Jean Cooksley. The vast majority of these encounters feature male spooks mithering Miss GB contestants and dolly birds, although The Sun (who else?) can provide a “scantily clad” (what else?) female phantom who steals the discarded clothing of courting couples should they frolic in her Hertfordshire field.


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Spectre smitten, pop chanteuse Lynsey De Paul: Her Eurovision Song Contest hopes hit “Rock Bottom” in spooky circumstances!

As those of us who’ve been terrified out of our wits by The Weekend Book of Ghosts & Horror will know to our cost, saccharine-coated songstress Linsey de Paul is arguably the most haunted women in the history of pop and here we learn of another chilling episode in her troubled career – the case of the haunted headphones that so disrupted the fabled Rock Bottom sessions. Another haunted celebrity is William Shatner – and not just by his inspired incursion into the music world, The Transformed Man. Here he recalls his brush with death on a motorcycling tour where it could well have been all up for him had it not been for the intervention of a phantom biker.

I’ve only had the book a day and, doubtless, will have some more woeful comment to make as I progress, but it’s proving a most diverting read. One to file alongside his outrageous but scandalously entertaining ‘non-fiction’ accounts of The Legend & Bizarre Crimes of Spring-Heeled Jack and The Mystery & Horrible Murders of Sweeney Todd!

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