1971


48
YEARS

GAZETTEER OF BRITISH GHOSTS

“I had come to know Paul Tabori through his biography of Harry Price and his position as literary executor to the Harry Price estate.”

“He knew of my great interest in ghosts and haunted houses that I had collected over the years…”

“...and when he and…Souvenir Press produce[d] a series of books that would constitute a library of psychic knowledge…”

“...[he] invited me to contribute a volume about the ghosts and haunted houses of Britain…”

The series title is taken from a successful book by Andrew MacKenzie - a member of the SPR.

“My working title was An Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Hauntings…”

“...but Paul came up with the far better Gazetteer of British Ghosts…”

‘To my wife

JOYCE ELIZABETH

for everything’

(The ‘dedication’ to the Gazetteer)

“[It was] the first real attempt at a comprehensive survey of Britain’s haunted sites…”

Visit the Gazetteer of British Ghosts Google Map

“I would like to acknowledge…my daughter

for reading the first draft and for many helpful suggestions…”

“…and particularly my son Chris

who has provided most of the excellent photographs…”

“I can remember well

(and I am sure he can too!)

motoring hundreds of miles one Sunday through Surrey…”

“...Oxfordshire, Leicestershire,

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex

and goodness knows where else…”

“…seeking out some of the

haunted places

that I had included…”

“The entries marked with an asterisk [*] are those about which I have personal knowledge…”

“...either having interviewed the witnesses, carried out an investigation of the case, or visited the place in question…”

Dartmoor in Devon for example.

“The vast moorland is reputedly the haunt of pixies, a headless horseman…”

“...a mysterious pack of ‘spectral hounds’, and a large black dog, among others...”

“During the Great Thunderstorm of 1638…”

“...the Dartmoor village of

Widecombe-in-the-Moor…”

“...was even said

to have been visited

by the Devil…”

The tower of Widecombe church

was apparently struck

by ball lightning.

“Two miles north of Widecombe-in-the-Moore…”

“...there is a lonely stretch of countryside

with a roadside grave…”

“Jay’s Grave is said to be

the final resting place of…

Mary Jay…”

“...who hanged herself...

on the site of the grave…”

“Ever since...

fresh flowers have appeared on Mary’s grave

and no one has ever discovered where they come from...”

“My wife and I once spent a night

on Dartmoor and our dog whined

and was restless the whole night...”

Underwood with Joyce and Sheba

“[The book] spawned a number of imitations

...of which Antony Hippisley Coxe’s Haunted Britain

 is probably the best.”

Gazetteer of British Ghosts
'Introduction’, pp.9-10; 55-56

No Common Task
pp.183-184; 182

The ‘gazetteer’ serves as a model for Underwood’s subsequent work.

Ghostwatch no.8: 'The Black Ribbon’ (Underwood recounts a story from his Gazetteer of Scottish & Irish Ghosts).

In the wake of the Gazetteer's success, Underwood moves to a new home in Hampshire...

...the White House.

Underwood and Joyce with his brother John and his wife at the front door to the White House.

The White House is located near Farnham - a town included in the Gazetteer.

“Farnham town is full of ghosts...”

Farnham Castle

“…its many hidden treasures

not merely because of its many lovely old buildings…”

Farnham Castle Dining Room

“…its many hidden treasures

its unfamiliar secrets

and its enchanting corners…”

Underwood during an interview in the dining room of Farnham Castle in 1974.

“It is also a place of exceptional character:

and numerous historical associations…”

Haunted Farnham
p.7

The White House subsequently manifests strange phenomena of its own...