Skip to main content

"13 Traditional Ghost Stories From Lincolnshire" Book Review

Written by Michael Wray
Illustrations by Anne Marshall
Edited by Chris Firth


I was born in Orkney, but I grew up in Lincolnshire. I went to primary school there and only moved back to Scotland after I had started at John Leggott College. As a result, I feel a certain connection with the place.

Growing up in a village on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, I was very aware of the ghost stories around where I lived. My mum grew up in Epworth, so I was well accustomed to the tale of Old Jeffery that is featured in this book. Our house, itself, was very old and I'm pretty sure it was haunted. It talked - creepy floorboards when no-one was there, doors closing when I couldn't feel a draught - that sort of thing. Close to our house there used to be a wood where apparently someone hanged themselves. We were also down the road from Thornton Abbey with its headless ghost who sometimes runs across the road. (The story, as I heard it, was that someone was fishing in the monastery pond and a monk chopped his head off with a spade! Barbaric stuff!)

As a result, I really loved reading through the stories contained in this delight of a book. As my sister pointed out, they are written mirroring the oral tradition of ghost stories. They are written down as you might say them, and important words and phrases are made bold in the text. You can almost imagine a family or an old group of friends sitting around the hearth telling each other chilling tales as the nights draw in.

Even the font used for these words in bold is well chosen. Very olde worlde!

Because it is written how it would be said, the stories are easy to read. You don't have to plough through reams of exquisite description to find the story hidden away.

The illustrations are also very well done, with a sense of antiquity and individuality which reflects some of the delights of Lincolnshire.

Basically, I really enjoyed this book!! There are a couple of small mistakes. Nothing too much and something that a reader can easily skip over. Also, there are 14 stories in this book - not 13. But this is just me being a bit pedantic!

I was initially confused because there are also 3 mini-paragraph-stories about Johnny i' the Grass. These stories start exactly the same. I thought it was just an error in the publishing but since realised that the stories are slightly different.

Overall, this was a really delightful booklet that I would happily pick up again from the shelf and read through.

You can buy a copy of this book here.

We are running our own Ghost Story Competition to celebrate the tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas. Stories (up to 4000 words) can be submitted to by the 31st September 2017. The winners will be announced on the 6th November 2017 and the subsequent anthology will be published in time for Christmas! You can find more details about this competition (including information on prizes!) here.


Popular posts from this blog

Teaching Tips from 'Harry Potter'

When I was at primary school, I liked Harry Potter. I wasn't really crazy about it like some of my classmates were, but I liked it. My sister and I used to act out what we thought should happen (not all the books had been released at this point) and we got parts of it startlingly correct. I've got lots of happy memories of playing in the bedroom or in the garden.

Now I'm a teacher, I am beginning to appreciate the series more and more as I see my pupils encouraged to read the books having enjoyed the films so much. We recently dressed up for World Book Day and (aside from myself - a proud Hufflepuff) there were plenty of Harrys and Hermiones.

But aside from being a great story for adults and children, the series can also give teachers some great tips. I recently sent a Harry Potter clip to a teacher friend to cheer her up, declaring that it was classic active learning!

(Active learning is one of those buzzwords that educationalists love. And it's a great teaching meth…

"The Cunning Woman's Cup"

"When Alice McCleish’s gardener Brian unearths an object of great archaeological significance deep under the compost heap it is not only Alice who is affected. Her friendship with Margaret Allerton, retired Professor of Anthropology, as well as Alice's family, friends and neighbours are all touched. 

Alice and Margaret find themselves questioning long-held beliefs about the material and spiritual world that surrounds them. Both women find their lives transformed unalterably by their newfound companionship. Serendipity puts Alice’s nearest neighbour, the troubled Violet Turnbull, in touch with the enigmatic Avian Tyler, whose mystical ‘gift’ offers Violet a promise of liberation.

All the while an echoing voice from long, long ago hints at the history of the locality dominated by the standing stone circle that bestrides the skyline above the small community of Duddo. This harrowing story reveals the provenance of the artefacts found beneath that compost heap."

Amazon tells me…

"Dear Mr Pop Star" by Derek & Dave Philpott

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs.
But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back...
Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave's greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

When I agreed to review this book and be part of the blog tour for the launch, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. This book's subject and way of writing is most unusual...but it works!
What a great hobby to write to celebrities, and greater still that some of them would reply, often matching the cheek and wit that was initially sent to them.…