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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099287575
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

The English Ghost

Spectres Through Time

Formats & editions

An enormously enjoyable spooky collection of ghost-sightings over the centuries, full of the spirit of place, in true Ackroyd style.

The English see more ghosts than any other nation. From medieval times to the present day, stories have been told about ghosts who avenge injustice, souls who long for peace and spooks who just want to have fun. The English Ghost is a treasure trove of such sightings; comical and scary, like all the best ghost stories, these accounts, packed with eerie detail, range from the moaning child that terrified Wordworth’s nephew at Cambridge to modern day hitchhikers on Blue Bell Hill.

  • Pub date: 1 December 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099287575
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning historian, biographer, novelist, poet and broadcaster. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography, Thames: Sacred River and London Under; biographies of figures including Charles Dickens, William Blake, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock; and a multi-volume history of England. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

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Praise for The English Ghost

“A rich and compelling assembly of stories for winter nights”

New Statesman

“The idea of an Ackroyd-curated collection of true ghost stories is appealing...the book records a folk art form, now itself deceased”

Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday

“This is a wonderful little book. It's properly old-fashioned and unorthodox, a scrapbook of clues, tittle-tattle, hints and mortal byways”

Roger Clarke, Independent

“Ackroyd's collection glides seamlessly from terror to humour to downright peculiarity: it is the ideal read as the nights darken and Halloween approaches”

Tina Jackson, Metro

“A fascinating anthology of sightings of ghosts in England over the centuries”

Andrew Lycett, Literary Review

“He has found some sterling stories. It's for life, not just for Hallowe'en”


“Everybody loves a good ghost story and this selection of spooky sightings, both scary and comical, will certainly satisfy an appetite for eerie reading”

Daily Express

“The stories have a pleasing strangeness, even, or perhaps especially if one does not believe in ghosts”

Independent on Sunday

“The story of the phantom hitchhiker did give me the creeps”

Colin Waters, Herald

“Ackroyd's book has its fair share of terrified hauntees and, unless you're a sceptic, there are plenty of scenes that will make the hairs on the back of your neck bristle”

Simon Griffith, Mail on Sunday

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