Phantom Encounters


Title: Phantom Encounters

Writer: Janet P. Cave, Laura Foreman

Publishing House: Time-Life Books

Date of Publication: January 1st 1988 

Rating: 5 stars

’ Or when the lawn

Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return

Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,

The sad intangible who grieve and yearn;’’

              To Walter de la Mare, T.S. Eliot 

Restless spirits that cry their agony from every battlement of every castle in the beautiful British Isles. The haunted waterfall in Kitty’s Steps, the black figure of Creech Hill, the ghost with the golden cup somewhere in the wilderness of Cornwall. In Glamis Castle, a family has been haunted for generations. In Ireland, a red-headed young woman had become the banshee of the Fanshawe family and a Black Monk had been haunting the Byron family for generations. A mutilated cat haunts a manor in Oxenby, an evil old hag, the Gwrach – y- Rhibyn had been haunting the Stradling family in Wales until the last descendant fell dead. 

A mutilated hand haunts a Scottish clan, a white bird becomes the Angel of Death for a noble family in Devon. The Tower of London has become home to tragic figures of the British History and the theatre houses in Drury Lane aren’t silent once the lights have burned out. In Canterbury Hill, the warriors of King Arthur are waiting for the time to rise again. In Letham, the Battle of Dun Nechtain between the Picts and the Northumbrians is still going strong. And the haunting spirits residing in Whitby Abbey still echo the hymns of a glorious past.

Tormented, wronged dead return to their families, seeking justice and closure and others come back to help their beloved who have fallen into despair. Charles Dickens takes part in a strange, real-life ghost story, children seek companionship in little ones from the other side. The doppelgänger phenomenon is always exciting and as frightening as ever.  

The spirit of a heroic soldier who died in Gallipoli can still be seen, among the rocks and the bushes and in Malaysia, the ghosts of the Japanese soldiers who were left behind, are condemned to linger on, a just price for the evil they inflicted. In Japan, terrifying ghosts bring vengeance and retribution to vile, sinful men and women. And in different parts of the world, the living organize ceremonies to trick the spirits of the dead, to exorcise them and lead them to an actual eternal rest. 

Astonishing book, incredible illustrations.

‘’Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ th’ olden time,

Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal;

Ay, and since too, murders have been performed

Too terrible for the ear. The time has been

That, when the brains were out, the man would die,

And there an end. But now they rise again

With twenty mortal murders on their crowns

And push us from our stools. This is more strange

Than such a murder is.’’

  Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4