Life & Death

Ghostly Encounters Life & Death was first published in 1997 without the ‘Life & Death’ subtitle. It has been added to reflect the urgency of its message, plus some additional case files: these being Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, and the mysterious palace gardens of Versailles.

Open pdf sample chapter pages Ghostly Encounters Life & Death

Case Files Include: ‘The Moving Hand Writes’. Omar Kyam’s famous warning quote was -sort of – chosen by Margo. Ominous and profound, it suggests that what we do in life cannot be changed once done. Such contract is invisible mostly, for payback can be slow in arriving, but it is inexorable, even after death.

‘The Sweetest Bed of All’. All that remains of the fabulous Worsleys of Wight dynasty is Appuldurcombe House, Gatcombe House and Billingham Manor; all were haunted by ghosts of Worsleys past, some of whom refuse to leave. Notorious Billingham Manor, a beautiful old house where no one stayed for long, thanks to its mischievous ghosts.

‘The Last Posts at the House of Bisset’. Mysterious Knighton Gorges house, near Newchurch is top of the list for ghost-hunting, even though all that remains of the stately pile is the gateposts. The rest was torn down by its bitter-hearted owner, in a fit of pique. However, the sound of ghostly horse and carriage is often heard at the old gates. Margo investigates the haunting and identifies the supernatural source.

‘Of Games & Patience’. A return to ghost-blighted Billingham Manor, to confront the charming card-cheat ghost causing havoc in his old home. Francis of Billingham cashed in at last.

‘Ghosts of the Wild’. Ghosts don’t only haunt buildings, they haunt other places too. And with these there usually is a ‘find’ – buried treasure of some sort or another. 

Image of Keats Cottage, Shanklin
Keats Cottage, Shanklin

‘The Sea, the Maid & the Dying Poet’ In the early 1800s the famous Romantic poet John Keats came to the Isle of Wight to convalesce from an aggravated case of consumption. He stayed in a cottage in Shanklin. During that time some of his lines were stolen, and kept by an admirer. She remembered them, and the poet, long after all had turned to dust.

‘Who’s Sorry Now?’ Consequences, various ‘finds’ recovered on the direction of ghosts.

‘The Mary Rose’. King Henry VIII’s famous flagship was brought up from the sea bed having lain undiscovered for several hundred years. Most captains expect to go down with their vessel, but in this case the captain came back with the wreck, with some explanation as to what happened on that sunny windless day in 1545 when she foundered in the face of the French invasion fleet. 

‘H.M.S. Victory’.  The pride of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, Nelson’s famous flagship is a magnificent old vessel dressed in black and gold. Although much of the superstructure has been replaced, the ghosts who haunt the dark and warren-like decks of the Victory remember some dramas.

Image of HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Dockyard
HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Dockyard

‘H.M.S. Warrior’. Britain’s first ironclad battleship guards the dockyard in Portsmouth. Tougher than a rhino, more intimidating than Godzilla, the ghost of the Warrior was just as tough.

‘Carisbrooke Castle’. The famous castle near Newport was most famous not for whom it kept out, but for the king it kept in: Charles I. Margo investigates the ghosts of the story of how he came to the Island, of how the gates shut; and of how he planned his not-so-great escape.

  • Extra case files for this edition of Ghostly Encounters 

‘Notre Dame de Paris’. The French capital’s second most famous landmark building, old Notre Dame is known as the ‘Eye of Paris’ and truly it has witnessed some odd comings and goings, not the least of which was the curious Festival of the Fools, when drunken lunacy was tolerated, so long as everyone had been good until then. The English are nt the only nationals to become ghosts, it happens to the glorious French too.

‘Versailles’. For reasons best known to himself, Sun King Louis XIVth decamped his government from the centre of Paris and built a spectacular palace and garden from which to rule. His reign was among the longest in history; his garden is still an open temple to the Old Gods, as its ghosts discovered.



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