Ghosts of York by Rob Kirkup

Ghosts of York by Rob Kirkup

Published in 2012 by Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781848682368. Price £12.99

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This book is the story of how in 2011 the author and some of his brave friends toured a number of locations in York in search of ghosts and also looking for evidence that they exist. They visited an interesting variety of locations around the city, some were obvious candidates such as York Dungeon and the Treasurer’s House, others are more surprising, such as the National Railway Museum and the Watch Tower at Siward’s Howe.

It would give too much away to reveal what they found, but they certainly had lots of experiences which must have been both intriguing as well as terrifying. They include a bridge at the National Railway Museum, which they found afterwards had a sad past, as well as experiences with a lightning effect in a cellar, fingers dug into backs and air conditioning units switching on without explanation.

The book is accessible and written in an engaging way, relating also in passing to the various visits to JD Wetherspoon outlets, as well as other pubs in the city, and how much luggage was packed by various participants as well as their purchases of “ghost hunting sweets”. This helps to create a little more of a personal nature about the book, sometimes the back story is just as interesting to help build up a picture of the whole event.

The authors concluded that they saw and felt enough evidence for ghosts, and they also name many others who have had similar experiences in the various locations they visited. The sceptics may not be converted, but they will at least take from this book an interesting tale of the city’s history, a printed version of a ghost walk. But for those who believe in ghosts, or who don’t disbelieve in them, this is an engaging story of how some very brave people explored some very dark parts of the York.

Overall, a recommended read and the section on the visit to York Guildhall with its various rooms and hidden tunnel leading to the River Ouse added a new dimension to the building for me.