Review of ‘Haunted Places of Derbyshire’, by Jill Armitage

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 2nd January 2006, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Jill Armitage
Published by Countryside Books
ISBN 1-85306-947-7 (2006)

Not for nothing has this spooky book been launched at the start of dark nights and the preferred time for some cosy fireside reading. Jill Armitage has tracked down old incidents along with more recent hauntings from one side of Derbyshire to the other, the majority centred on the Peak District.

Ghost stories are part of many a writer's stock in trade and this author is very aware that some of her stories will already be known to some of her readers, but this time there is none of the breathless credulity that can spoil a good yarn. Recent strange sights and sounds add modern postscripts to long established hauntings: the spectre captured on a Polaroid photograph, a ghostly organist playing ethereal music in Ilam church, blood-curdling screams heard on the moors behind Chatsworth and even reports of phantoms seen inside the stately home itself.

Jill Armitage sees no need for analysis, leaving the reader to consider the evidence. She has split her field of research into four areas, plus a map. An excellent index lists people and places, and many of the carefully positioned photographs seem to have been taken especially for the book - making it a pity that the photographer is anonymous.

A jolly good introduction to the subject and one to put goose pimples inside someone's Christmas stocking, the published price of Haunted Places of Derbyshire is (in 2006) described as '16p per haunting'!

Review by Julie Bunting

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