Haunted Camberwell is Eddie Brazil’s latest paranormal book exploring local ghosts and hauntings, says DAVID SAUNDERSON
Eddie Brazil was swept into the world of the paranormal as a 10-year-year in 1966.
Supernatural experiences in his south London family home captured his imagination and led to a lifetime interest in ghosts and hauntings.
Eddie has recently published Haunted Camberwell, based on his own research in the south London locale. It is the first time many Camberwell paranormal experiences have been written down.
Exploring Haunted Camberwell’s paranormal heritage
“I read all I could on ghosts and hauntings,” Eddie says. “Yet, many of the books, I found, contained accounts of phantoms in castles, stately homes or remote areas of the country. They were all very well, but what I wanted to learn about was the paranormal heritage of my own locale.”
Eddie says the new Haunted Camberwell book not only allowed him to explore Camberwell’s ghosts but its forgotten past.
“The area has changed so much in recent years,” says Eddie, “that I felt it was losing its identity and history. Ghost stories seemed to me to be a way to engage with the old Camberwell.”
Camberwell has its fair share of hauntings
Despite common misconceptions, places like Camberwell do have their hauntings – characters just don’t remember them as well as those in stately homes. Constant population change in London means newer residents don’t have the connections to the past – they can’t verbally pass down ghost tales of an area.
Eddie explains: “I think a rural ghost story has had over the years, a more stable foundation simply because it occurs in locations, such as the remote countryside, where things hardly change – communities remain as they have been for hundreds of years.”
“Those tales which come from the city seem to have a more modern feel than those emanating from the countryside,” he says.
“This is not surprising seeing as Camberwell was, until the early 19th century, a rural backwater. The Victorians and the industrial revolution turned rural Camberwell into an overcrowded, smoky London suburb.
“And I suppose the ghost stories which developed reflected this grimy new age. However, in saying that, south-east London still has its fair share of phantom vicars, ghost trains, haunted churches and spooky alleyways, along with its complement of violent poltergeists and evil spirits.
Ghost stories learned from family and friends
“Most of the ghost stories I learned about were related to me by friends, family or acquaintances I met in pubs – not the most scientific of research I will admit. But given that most of Camberwell’s paranormal history has never been published, it was the only way to obtain accounts of the strange incidents.”
“It is possible that most of the readers of the book will be unaware of the stories.
“Hopefully, after reading Haunted Camberwell, they will come forward with their own odd experiences. One of the accounts, concerning the haunting of a graveyard in Camberwell, appeared in Peter Underwood book. Other incidents were stories told over a late-night pub pint.
“Like many books on ghost stories, my volume contains a few anecdotal tales which, I admit are impossible to investigate today. But there are others such as “The Midnight Pursuer”, the longest and the most disturbing story in the book, which is absolutely true.”
You can get a signed copy of Haunted Camberwell, for £7.50, by emailing [email protected]