Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Ghosts' Who's Who by Jack Hallam

Jacket shown is the 1977 first edition by David & Charles (UK). 157p.

A dictionary of spectral biography, listing alphabetically over 450 English phantoms, from a Bronze-Age man to a pilot of World War II with a geographical index of ghostly locations.

One such 'ghost' is Polly Nicholls, who is said to haunt Durward Street in London. She was Jack the Ripper's first victim and was a 42-year-old prostitute when she died in the gutter of Durward Street, Whitechapel on 31 August 1888. Her ghost is said to be seen huddling in the gutter.

Another is Herbert Kay, a 52-year-old dentist who died in London when a wartime landmine exploded outside a pub in the East End. In 1975 his ghost was seen to walk through walls, bang doors, shake beds, drink beer and flood the pub by turning on the beer taps. Those who saw the ghost before it was exorcised described it as 6ft tall and 'well built'.

And then there's Edwin Fry, who haunts The Blueberry Inn in Blewbury, Berkshire. He was the landlord of the pub, dying in 1951. His ghost is said to walk from his old upstairs bedroom to the bar downstairs. The footsteps are described as 'hollow and rubbery', the sound made by somebody walking in wellington boots.

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