Local author Tony Walker has just published a new book – Cumbrian Ghost Stories: New Tales from an Old Land.
This is to follow on from Tony’s last book on a Cumbrian theme: The Ghostly Guide to the Lake District which did very well over twenty years ago. When asked about why there was such a gap in between publishing the two books, Tony said, “I’ve been busy.”
He added, “But, I felt it was about time I did something Cumbrian again. I have been writing short stories and novels, both ghost stories and others, but hadn’t done anything specifically Cumbrian.”
The new book follows on in part from some of the stories in the old one. The stories are set around the county – Siddick, Garrigil, Bewcastle, Troutbeck, Mallerstang and Cartmel among others, and are a mix of classic ghost stories, modern horror stories and stories based on old Cumbrian legends with a folk horror theme.
Tony said: “I enjoyed re-writing the legends best. I must admit I took liberties with some of them.
“The Croglin Vampire is a dramatized and expanded version of Eliot O’Donnell’s version of the tale, while the Bewcastle Fairies is drawn from a local legend from just after the English Civil War. The Mallerstang Boggle is based on the tale of a huge black hen that guards King Arthur’s treasure there.
“The Grizedale Forest Wedding is basically a werewolf story.
“I guess my influences are the classic English and American ghost story, such as those by M R James, and I was introduced to those by the BBC’s Christmas Ghost Story series. Then there’s H P Lovecraft’s strange stories and weird tales, and finally, I’m very much interested in the new Folk Horror Revival movement. Mark Gattiss has a talk on that you can look up on Youtube.”
Tony is joining up with Maryport actor Ben Brinicombe and the Cumbrian electronic “hauntology” musician Jonathan Sharp to put on an a Halloween event called Eerie Cumbria at Cakes & Ale Café, Bookends, Castle Street, Carlisle at 7:30pm on Friday, 1st November 2019. The event is free but is likely to be busy.