DONNA CUTTRESS reviews Ghosts and Gravestones of Haworth by Philip Lister
On a trip to the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, I saw this book advertised in the Tourist Information shop window (used to be the morgue!) amid the info about the Bronte sisters and steam trains.
Being a devoted ‘Graver’, I bought it and wandered around the beautiful and spooky graveyard of St Michael & All Angels in Haworth.
I wanted to know about the families that were interred and their stories. I also wanted to know about the many ghosts that have lingered here and in the village over the years. This book is ideal for that.
Philip Lister is a tour guide in Howarth and his love of this town and its ghostly history is infectious.
The book can be used as a guide while visiting, but there is a warning about reading and walking in the old graveyard of ‘Grave Diving’.
Some coffins have been buried 10 deep, the stones are old and polished by the weather, and some graves have collapsed!
There are black and white photographs of the more interesting gravestones and illustrations of the various zones.
According to the guide there had been up to 40,000 people interred here and the ‘fluids’ once ran into the local spring water. Not nice.
Lister also writes about the local ghostly legends, and being a small place you can visit these places for yourself and take in the atmosphere. I was hoping to meet ‘Lily Cove’ at the Old White Lion Inn, see Old Grey Beard carrying his lantern or hear the ‘jingling bells’ that the cats had around their necks that once belonged to the landlady of the Old Silent Inn. These tales of the local spooks, many with accompanying photographs of the buildings they haunt are entertaining and well written.
Surprisingly, at the back is a recipe section! You can cook ‘A Parliament of Rooks Pie’ or ‘Toads Legs in Garlic’ and more; all “in keeping with the spirit of the book!”
The ghostly history regarding the Brontes is covered in detail. The Parsonage museum is the second most visited literary site in the world and the haunting stories that accompany the family history in Haworth do not disappoint. There is even a photograph of the gates, (now bricked up) that the Bronte family were carried through on their final journey to the Church of St Michael & All Angels.
Philip Lister has produced an informative and interesting account of the ghoulish goings on in this beautiful, historic Yorkshire village. Buy it if you visit or if you just like to be spooked!
Liverpool’s DONNA CUTTRESS writes horror/suspense short stories,and has recently been published by Crooked Cat Pub. and Siren’s Call Publications as part of Women In Horror month. Follow here on Twitter @Hederah