Spectral cats; magical candles; parents murdering their fairy children. In his new book, Richard Sugg presents A Century of Supernatural Stories, a collection of compelling nineteenth-century newspaper accounts of seemingly supernatural phenomena. Presented along with Sugg’s own interpretations of what the strange events, and the way they were perceived, might tell us both about the society of the period and indeed about the reality behind these events, these tales serve as a skeleton key to history.
A man cutting his own mother as a witch; parents murdering their children as fairy changelings; villagers staking the living as vampires… Ghosts in towns, on farms, on ships; poltergeists that baffle all investigators; spectral cats, owls, dogs and sheep; a man shot dead as a ghost; an apparition which the witness falls right through; magical candles made from human fat and human hands…
Not that long ago, the world was haunted: by superstitions, imaginary terrors, and even seemingly crude hoaxes which might cause their victims to quite literally die of fear. Strange as all this is, one thing is even stranger. Some of it was probably true. Given in the original voices of nineteenth century newspaper accounts, this Century of Supernatural Stories offers us a shadowy labyrinth of terrors real and imagined. Drawing on years of research into the supernatural, Richard Sugg offers to guide readers through this Labyrinth of Fear. But be warned: those who make it through may find that the world never looks quite the same again.
The book A Century of Supernatural Stories is available to read now via Kindle. You can listen to Richard’s telling of some similar stories in this podcast recorded in 2014.