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The Whitby Ghost Book Review

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.

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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. 

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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.

Buy Now

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!

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4 thoughts on “The Whitby Ghost Book Review”

  1. I used to work at saltersgate inn during the year 1999 I was a live in general assistan. I recently drove past to have a look and was shocked to see it in such a state, my last memory was of it being a busy pub,restaurant and hotel in which I worked in all departments. I really hope someone purchases this beautiful historic building and bring it back to its former glory.

    • Hi Louise. I believe somebody has brought the building at auction but nothing seems to have progressed with the development. I don’t have much more information I’m afraid. Ill ask around in one of the Facebook groups to see if anybody knows anything more.

  2. That’s great news, Thankyou for the information. I’m glad to know it hasn’t been torn down. I have very find memories of living there, I didn’t personally experience any paranormal activity but I remember having to iron all the bedsheets up in the attic which I found extremely horrid. The restaurant area with the infamous fire (I admit to having to re light on occasions) had a atmosphere at night when all the customers had left and everybody was in bed.

    • Hi Louise.

      Here are a few comments from the Facebook post I put out.

      ” I’m not sure if this is entirely correct but I heard that it was bought by the people who own the Fox and Rabbit on the Whitby-Pickering road (who also have the Horseshoe at Levisham). I understood they were getting their architect involved but haven’t heard anything more. That was all some time ago, so I don’t hold out much hope that anything is going to be done any time soon…”

      “Sold for £107,550 to the people who have the Fox & Rabbit and The Horseshoe Inn.”


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