About Me

I have always been interested in all things supernatural. I suppose it would be a very odd thing indeed if I weren't so interested, considering the family I grew up in. I was about five years old the first time my grandfather took me off on one of his countryside adventures. Generally speaking, such outings involved miles and miles of walking, a fair bit of singing, and a considerable amount of storytelling, usually in a churchyard. We'd take a packed lunch and a bottle of something fizzy, sit alongside our favourite Victorian vault, not far from the gravediggers' den, and he'd tell me about his childhood, his family and his years in Burma during the Second World War. He'd also tell me stories about the occupants of the graveyard, and what they got up to when we weren't around to observe their goings on. He was an accomplished storyteller, and he had me hanging on his every word. And that is how I spent the Sundays of my youth... sitting in graveyards, drinking ginger beer and hypothesising about the occupants of the graves we so loved to sit amongst and their nocturnal shenanigans.

So, I loved all things ghoulies and ghosties, vampires (courtesy of the Hammer films I started watching around the same time) and things that go bump in the night. But I had another reason for being so interested in the supernatural - my grandad was a medium and psychic. It was something never spoken about outside of my immediate family as long as he was still with us, as outsiders might think he was batty (or, in the case of churchgoers, possessed by demons), but within my family it was talked about openly. I grew up surrounded by the other side.

When I was about nine years old, I was severely reprimanded by a teacher for telling spooky stories. Apparently, it's not a good thing to terrify fellow pupils to the point where they refuse to enter the school's lavatories alone, for fear that disembodied hands will rush under the cubicle walls and grab their ankles. I was only carrying on a family tradition, I explained. After all, I'd been frightened out of my wits many a time since I was five years old, and it had never done me any harm. 

I have always loved old books and history... and libraries, archives, museums and historic sites. I am a researcher by nature, and ferreting about for information about things long gone and people long dead is what I do best. Give me a room full of dusty old books and I'm content for hours... days... maybe forever. Considering all of the above, it shouldn't come as any great surprise that I love a good, traditional ghost story; in particular, the ones written by M. R. James. 

That's me anyway... history nut, bibliophile... lover of all places cobwebby. If you want to contact me, just send a scribble to blog@collia.co.uk ~ Toodle pip!


  1. Hello,
    I just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying your posts. I have read quite a few of the books you have mentioned, but you have also shown me a lot of new titles to look for too. I was wondering if you had ever tried Russell Thorndike's "The Master of the Macabre"? While it is not strictly just a ghost story, it has ghosts and a lot more. I ordered a copy just before Christmas and then I got a bug that kept me in bed for 3 days right at the Christmas holiday. Luckily The Master of the Macabre had just arrived and for three days I just slept and read. It was not quite what I had expected it to be, but I enjoyed the book a lot.

    1. Hello Russ,
      I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. I do have Thorndike's 'The Master of the Macabre' (the Valancourt edition), but I haven't read it yet. I am intrigued now, so I think I'm going to have to shunt it up my 'to read' list.
      Kind regards,


  2. Hello Gina!

    I would really like you to get acquainted with the stories of L.A. Lewis and wrote a review about him.

  3. Hello
    I have some of the william kimber books on your list and also original art work for the covers.

  4. Hello
    I've just stumbled upon your blog and I too am fan of traditional ghost stories, Hammer films etc, especially M.R James. Seeing the TV version of Lost Hearts on a sleepover at my best friend's house as a kid is one of my happiest memories! We still only have to say "It was as far as I could ascertain..." to one another to start laughing at how scared we were that night!