Ghost Taverns of the North East, by Darren W Ritson and Michael J Hallowell. Amberley Publishing, ISBN 9781445607535, £12.99.
ANOTHER of Amberley’s fascinating books which takes an in-depth look at some of the North East’s most haunted public houses and the spectres that are said to live in them.
Written by two of the UK’s most respected paranormal researchers, it takes you on a supernatural pub crawl across the whole region, uncovering the truths about establishments and their haunted reputations.
The eerie front cover gives you a perfect taste of what is to come inside.
While the book covers a lot of pubs in South Tyneside and Newcastle, there are a few instances from the county.
And in the first, the Northumberland Gazette is mentioned.
Ritson and Hallowell give the Fishing Boat Inn at Boulmer a ghost rating of eight after a letter from Rory Lane, who used to live there.
He says how, aged five, he threw a piece of car racing track at his brother’s bedroom door and it was stopped mid-air and was thrown back.
His father also felt coldness and hands taking hold of his neck.
Various other instances are also described – it makes for very, very spooky reading.
Other pubs mentioned include The Schooner Hotel, in Alnmouth, in an in-depth study, which gives it a ghost rating of nine.
It talks of the hotel’s macabre past throughout its 400-year history as well as Eleanor the ghost, who reputedly wanders around the hotel along with William, who is believed to have killed his wife and children.
And it wouldn’t be complete without Ye Olde Cross in Alnwick – better known as the Dirty Bottles – for the superstition that the bottles in its window because of the curse of the ‘dirty bottles’, which killed a man 200 years ago when he tried to clean them.
North East Industries Through Time by Stafford M Linsley, Amberley Publishing, ISBN 9781848686830, £14.99.
THIS book provides a brilliant insight into the industries which have continued or died out across the North East.
Some such as coal mining and shipbuilding have passed into decline but others indicated in the book are still alive and kicking in the area.
It provides a great history of the area, with a good selection of photographs which show how these industries have shaped and changed the North East over the last century.
Seahouses Harbour is one of those, that while still exists today, its nature has changed considerably and pictures in the book show just how. Acklington Park’s Tin and Iron Foundry, which has now been converted into luxury accommodation is another described while Ponteland Smithy is also included.
And Otterburn’s Woollen Mills which now form a shop, museum, cafe and tourist information centre. There are numerous others included and it provides a nice overview of the area.