Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween 2019 book cover:
"A Ghost Hunter's Game Book"

  • Title: A Ghost Hunter's Game Book
  • Author: James Wentworth Day (1899-1983)
  • Dust jacket illustrator: Eisner, according to the lower-right corner. I can't find any other information about who that is.
  • Publisher: Frederick Muller Ltd, London
  • Publication date: 1958
  • Dust jacket price: 16 shillings, I believe. The dust jacket flap reads "16/- net"
  • Pages: 222
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket blurb: "James Wentworth Day collects ghosts, ghouls and legends as other people collect stamps. Ghosts, he believes, definitely exist — he has seen them. In this intriguing and sometimes spine-chilling book he has gathered together the first-hand experiences of very many living people, from all over England."
  • Select chapter titles: "The Ghosts of Craster Tower," "He Died in Drury Lane," "A Spectral Army in the Sky," "A Church of Sad Spirit," "The Man Who Changed into a Cat," "The Appalling Club in Cow Lane," "Castle of Ghastly Secrets," and "The Black Hound of Mid-Devon." (The "Spectral Army in the Sky" refers to the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 and not, as I might have guessed, the Machen-fueled Angels of Mons in the First World War.)
  • First sentence: "Every county has its village legends, fustian hobgoblins, churchyard hauntings and turnip-top ghosts."
  • Last sentence: "We have barely touched the fringe."
  • Random sentence from the middle #1: "Shortly before the old lady died, she told her relatives that if they would carry her from her cottage by the mill stream up through the garden to Bower House, she would show them where she had buried her treasure when the Scots were on the march."
  • Random sentence from the middle #2: "In short a 'Something' shaped like an egg and gifted with the strength of ten."
  • About this book: There is a serious dearth of reviews or information about this spooktastic volume online. In the introduction to his 2013 book Essex Ghost Stories, Richard Holland writes:
    "Special mention must be made of James Wentworth Day, for it is a name we will encounter often in this book. Wentworth Day (1899-1983) was born in Suffolk but lived most of his adult life in Essex. A lover of the land and a particularly keen wildfowler, Wentworth Day spent many years befriending the country folk of East Anglia and in this way discovered many Essex-based ghost stories, including first-hand encounters that would otherwise have been lost to obscurity. Many of these tales were repeated in the several books of ghost stories he published in his lifetime, particularly Ghosts and Witches (1954), A Ghost Hunter’s Game Book (1958) and Essex Ghosts (1973)."

No comments:

Post a Comment