The Blue Hand ~ a Hebden Ghost

A grave danger faced the terrified pupils of Central Street Infants School in Hebden Bridge in the early 1970s: The Blue Hand. This ghostly hand scuttled around the school’s corridors and was apt to pounce on unsuspecting children, especially if they were alone in the toilet. The spectral hand would gouge out the little one’sContinue reading “The Blue Hand ~ a Hebden Ghost”

Slippery Sam ~ Yorkshire’s ‘Nessie’

During the 1930s Britain’s north coast was regularly visited by a mysterious sea monster. At least, this is what many witnesses attested at the time, including a former lord mayor and two well-known Labour politicians. The press loved this recurring silly season story and the creature was dubbed The Humber Monster and the Withernsea VisitorContinue reading Slippery Sam ~ Yorkshire’s ‘Nessie’

Yorkshire Cave Girl Mystery!

In the summer of 1924, a shroud of mystery descended on the West Yorkshire village of Eldwick, near Bingley. Rumour had it that a beautiful but excitable young woman whose only companion was a grey cat had taken up residence in a cave in the nearby popular beauty spot of Shipley Glen. On her visitsContinue reading “Yorkshire Cave Girl Mystery!”

Monster Fly Attacks Yorkshire!

A monster fly three feet in length and with an 18 inch dagger like tongue caused mayhem when it escaped from a laboratory and went on the rampage in Yorkshire in February, 1932. This is according to a contemporary Bulgarian newspaper and reported by Reuters in several British papers several months later when it createdContinue reading “Monster Fly Attacks Yorkshire!”

Weird Musical History 2 ~ Musaire! Calderdale’s Unsung Pioneer of Electronic Music

In the spring of 1950, an unsung pioneer of electronic music and variety star returned to his native Calderdale for a series of concerts at the Drill Hall, Halifax as part of the Halifax Home and Industrial Exhibition.[i] His name was Joseph Forest Whiteley, but he was best known by his stage name Musaire becauseContinue reading “Weird Musical History 2 ~ Musaire! Calderdale’s Unsung Pioneer of Electronic Music”

Easter Ghost ~ Halifax 1843

At Easter 1843 crowds began to gather round a certain Halifax house, and more curious onlookers joined the throng each day. The house was said to have been unoccupied for 20-30 years and yet strange sights had been seen through its upstairs window: a bed was seen to fly around the room and a ghostlyContinue reading “Easter Ghost ~ Halifax 1843”

Vampire Hunters and Me

I’ve only ever had any dealings with two vampire hunters. I found myself in the middle of a decades long feud that involved occult duels, black magic, a bishop, vampires, a giant spider, Long John Baldry’s cat and Robin Hood… It all began in 2003 when I was working on the first edition of WeirdContinue reading “Vampire Hunters and Me”

On Seeing Things…

Many are familiar with former Todmorden police constable Alan Godfrey’s 1980 UFO adventure. It’s a thrilling tale involving a mysterious death, conspiracy, UFOs, teleporting cows, hypnotists (not all of them reputable), an alien and his robots. And a big dog. Of course, all is not as it seems, and I invite the reader to seeContinue reading “On Seeing Things…”

The Broad Bottom Ghost

The story of the Broad Bottom Ghost was told by Hebden Bridge born political activist and suffragette Lavena Saltonstall to the Todmorden and District News in the early twentieth century.[i] It concerns the area between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd with the unflattering name of Broad Bottom, consisting of some woods, fields and a few houses.Continue reading “The Broad Bottom Ghost”

Brown Dick of Blackstone Edge

This version of the legend in all its melodramatic Victorian glory is adapted from the ‘Lancashire Burns’ Edwin Waugh’s dialect telling.[i] Most of the action takes place a little outside Calderdale, but I’ve decided to include it here.             One snowbound mid-winter evening, a party of travellers were sheltering from the weather by the warmContinue reading “Brown Dick of Blackstone Edge”