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”

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”

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”

Todmorden UFOs ~ Previously undiscovered historical UFO sightings from the 19th and early 20th centuries!

This experience can be found in a letter to the editor of the Todmorden Advertiser from 1932, and is perhaps the strangest of the pre-saucer era sightings I uncovered in researching Weird Calderdale. It is signed ‘Old Lydgatian’ and is reproduced below in full. A CURIOUS PHENOMENON “Sir,- One day this year, in about theContinue reading “Todmorden UFOs ~ Previously undiscovered historical UFO sightings from the 19th and early 20th centuries!”

Weird Calderdale Bonus Chapter ~ The Halifax Witch Doctor

Here’s a chapter about a strangely comic episode from the mid 19th century that didn’t make the final edition of the book due to space considerations…. The Halifax Witch Doctor ‘The plaster and the pills, and the bottle that I gave him would fotch t’ watter from him. The pills are harmless. I know whatContinue reading “Weird Calderdale Bonus Chapter ~ The Halifax Witch Doctor”

Weird Calderdale: New Edition available now!

Ghosts, aliens, vampires, witches, wizards, outlaws, mysterious deaths, horrible murders and hysterical mass panics in Halifax and the Calder Valley. This new edition of a local history cult classic has been fully revised and greatly expanded to include 20 chapters of fully referenced West Yorkshire weirdness. Support your local bookshop: buy Weird Calderdale from theseContinue reading “Weird Calderdale: New Edition available now!”