Thursday, 16 December 2010

Have a Spooky Christmas: an introduction to Haunted Lancaster

Local ghosts expert and author Ian Dale-Bell has just released Walking Ghostly & Gruesome Lancaster on iPad and for eBook readers.

Whether you live locally or plan to visit Lancaster at some point in the future, his local guide shows you some of the more interesting spots to look out for if you're a ghost hunter. Just like the many wonderful guided walks around the city, this book offers an illustrated pedestrian's guide that is easy to follow, offering information on places to look at and gruesome tales along the way.

The guide also includes plenty of internet links providing you with lots of extra information on local museums and places to eat and drink.

Here, he offers a introductory guide to Lancaster's spooky history...

The Romans came to Lancaster in around 55AD, and some of its historic streets have borne witness to pillage from the north, the Reformation, the War of the Roses, the Black Death, witch trials and many other traumatic events. It is, perhaps, no wonder that tales are told of restless spirits who still roam ancient sites and old buildings.

Of course, the site of the Castle and the Priory has been occupied from the very start of the settlement of Lancaster. Some of the oldest streets would have followed a path from the original fort to villages in the outlying areas; these would include Church Street and the road south to Preston. Underground springs originate from the hill upon which the castle is built, one follows the back of Church street and formed the old mill stream, another runs down to the River Lune and through the public house ‘The Three Mariners’ itself.

One theory of ghosts and spirits is that they are attracted to the electro-magnetic fields generated by features such as running water. Perhaps then it is no coincidence that some of the buildings near these underground streams are the location of some of these ghostly tales?

There are many gruesome tales to be told from this city’s sometimes-turbulent past. The Black Death swept through this land in the late 14th century and took many lives, the dead being buried on the moors above Lancaster, away from the population. Religious intolerance cruelly led to the horrific deaths of the Lancashire Martyrs, and Lancaster itself had so many public executions at one time that it was knows as ‘the hanging town’. Life was hard and a death sentence could be given for what now would be considered minor offences. Sanitary conditions were poor and life expectancy was short.

It is not wonder that ghostly and gruesome tales attach themselves to these ancient streets...

• You can buy Ian's book Walking Ghostly & Gruesome Lancaster for £2.99 from http://paraghost.co.uk by PayPal. Purchasers buying this book will receive his other book, Exploring Paranormal Morecambe and the Surrounding Area free.

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