The Whitby Ghost Book is the real deal when it comes to first-hand accounts of supernatural activity in our favourite seaside town
First published in 1987, The Whitby Ghost Book was written by Paul McDermott, and includes twenty-two tales of the paranormal.
The 3rd edition reviewed in this article has been revised and refreshed to include story updates and new exclusive photographs, showing the various ghostly venues its tales depict.
What Inspired The Whitby Ghost Book?
Whitby has been the inspiration for many blood-curdling tales over the years. Bram Stoker's famous bestseller, Dracula, was set high up above the 199 steps after the Demeter wrecked on to Tate Hill Sands.
As the great black dog bounds from the cursed ship and sprints up towards the iconic Abbey, the macabre scene is forever imprinted in the geography of this ethereal place.
For many, this novel sets the standard in spooky, placing Whitby front and centre of the horror genre and all things Halloween.
The connection to the spectral is continued with the annual Whitby Goth Weekend, a celebration of the counterculture that spawned bands such as The Damned, Fields of Nephilim, and The Sisters of Mercy.
Playwright Wilkie Collins found inspiration for No Name his second novel, the follow up to The Woman in White, while perusing the mystical old town with his friend Caroline Graves in 1862 with some sense of the book set locally.
Chillingly, it's not just renowned authors and gothic bands that find inspiration here in the ancient, eerie cobbled streets. Plenty of locals still remember the old ways.
Verifying The Tales Of Old Whitby
Paul McDermott worked for many years as the Collector of Dues at the Whitby Harbour. During his tenure, he met a great many of the town's yarn-spinning old salts.
Traditionally, these tales were reserved for the Fishermen's taverns over a flagon of ale, however, using his skill and charm, Paul managed to prise these stories directly from the horse's mouth and commit them to print.
Since the wily old soaks of the harbourside were prone to embellishment, Paul determined that an extensive amount of research be undertaken to verify the accounts he'd heard.
As a member of the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society, Paul took his material to Whitby Library where he meticulously fact-checked the stories shared with him.
Pouring over old books and texts he unearthed a secret history of Viking and Norman invasion and the long-standing heritage of this famous seaport for shipbuilding.
Buy The Book
Available in both Kindle format and Paperback on Amazon via this link.
Modestly priced at £1.97 for the eBook version and £4.74 for the latest paperback, The Whitby Ghost Book is an easy and enjoyable read about the ghostly goings-on and folklore of this famous old seaport.
It also contains the original publication’s map that will enable you too, to follow the trail of the ’Supernatural Whitby’ walk, on which the book was based way back in the 1980s. Please enjoy!