Read The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson Online


· What unspeakable horror glimpsed in the basement of a private library in West Yorkshire drove a man to madness and an early grave?· What led to an underground echo chamber in a Manchester recording studio being sealed up for good?· What creature walks the endless sands of Lancashire's Fleetwood Bay, and what connects it to an unmanned craft washed ashore in Port Elizabet· What unspeakable horror glimpsed in the basement of a private library in West Yorkshire drove a man to madness and an early grave?· What led to an underground echo chamber in a Manchester recording studio being sealed up for good?· What creature walks the endless sands of Lancashire's Fleetwood Bay, and what connects it to an unmanned craft washed ashore in Port Elizabeth, nearly six thousand miles away?In 2009 Jeremy Dyson was contacted by a journalist wanting help bringing together accounts of true life ghost stories from across the British Isles.The Haunted Book chronicles the journey Dyson, formerly a hardened sceptic, went on to uncover the truth behind these tales...

Title : The Haunted Book
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780857862426
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Haunted Book Reviews

  • Blair
    2019-04-03 06:53

    I read Jeremy Dyson's short story collection The Cranes That Build the Cranes at the end of last year and found it average, but I continued to be interested in his latest work The Haunted Book, partly because of its interesting premise. The idea is that the author of this book - supposedly the real Jeremy Dyson - has been sent a collection of strange true stories by a journalist named Aiden Fox. Dyson then travels around England to the various places these stories originated in order to investigate them further, and along the way he is introduced to further ghostly tales contained within older versions of the same type of book. Rather amusingly, this concept had evidently proved so convincing that my local library had shelved The Haunted Book alongside books on studies of the paranormal, rather than in the fiction section. As this is effectively a collection of short ghost stories, however, I've done what I usually do and briefly summarised and reviewed each one individually below. The Haunted BookKitson from Nealon: A womanising marketing executive buys a dilapidated house with an eccentric ex-occupant, and finds himself disturbed by the atmosphere of his new home. A fairly routine story to start off the collection, which I found interesting but not really scary. I didn't really see what Greg's sex life had to do with anything, and if the point was supposed to be that (view spoiler)[he was going to end up being haunted by a PHONE, of all things, because he routinely gave the women he slept with fake numbers (hide spoiler)]... Well, I thought that was ridiculous, really! Not that impressive, but it didn't put me off - I didn't like the first story in Cranes and went on to enjoy some of the others much more. The Diary of Ramon Huld: A series of diary entries from a lone yachtsman attempting to complete a round-the-world trip. Far better than the first story, with a much more effective atmosphere. I wished this could have been fleshed out into a longer story.A Wire With Gain: The former members of a rock band reunite in middle age, revisiting a recording studio where they previously encountered some spooky goings-on. Longer than the stories that preceded it, this was entertaining and creepy. I was a bit disappointed, though, that (view spoiler)[what happened to Gabby was never made clear - I kind of got the impression that she'd committed suicide, but this wasn't confirmed, which seemed odd as if that had been the case, it would have made the tale more frightening (hide spoiler)]. Ward Four Sixteen: A student accompanies his friend's girlfriend to volunteer at a hospital for the mentally handicapped, and gets lost while searching for a special care ward. I found this by far the most disturbing story in the book - it genuinely freaked me out - but it was also the most confusing and unsatisfying, both because the 'haunting' didn't make sense and because I found it hard to understand who the characters were to each other, what time period the story was taking place in, etc.This Book is HauntedAn Encounter by Water: A solitary doctor takes a walk by a canal, and meets an inquisitive old man. This was one of my favourites from the collection, and more than any of the others it felt like a classic ghost story. I loved the touch of (view spoiler)[what was obviously a modern mobile phone being mentioned in a story ostensibly dating from the 1970s (hide spoiler)]!The Pleasure Park: A newspaper report details the endeavours of a family who are obsessed with finding a 'phantom' theme park they glimpsed years before. This one, though short, was another highlight - the article format was used to great effect in order to suggest how this obsession has contributed to the family's problems.Tetherdown Lock: A group of students are taken to a mysterious government facility to undertake maintenance work, but a couple of them start to be preoccupied with finding out what the place's true function is. Another good story with a very intriguing twist and a great ending - in fact, writing this review has made it clear to me how much I preferred the stories in this section over the others.A Book of HauntingsCase One: A librarian develops a fascination with a particularly salacious collection of prints; while staying late to study them, he becomes aware that he is sharing the library with a strange presence. I liked the detail in this story but I found it all a bit far-fetched and silly.Case Two: An ex-policeman, now awaiting execution after committing murder, tells the tale of the case that brought him into contact with his victim. As with the previous story, I liked the detail involved - the tension surrounding the sleep clinic was nicely built up - but thought the conclusion was over the top.Glimpses in the TwilightThe book becomes (deliberately) more incoherent towards the end, and the final part is one of the shortest - intended, I think, to add some context to the elements that link the earlier segments, rather than being a particularly meaningful story in its own right. I appreciated it in this respect, but it didn't have much of an impact otherwise.The Haunted Book as a wholeI thought this was a really good idea and I enjoyed reading it, particularly the sense that I didn't know where it was going to go next. Overall, though, I do think it works better as a collection of short stories than a complete narrative. For the conceit to truly work, it would have to genuinely feel as if a) the introduction and interjections from 'Dyson' were actually part of a work of non-fiction, and b) the 'extracts' had a markedly different voice and tone from the rest of the stories. Although there was enough of a change from one section to another to differentiate them, they definitely had enough similarities to make it obvious they were the work of the same author. I was also disappointed to find there was no real conclusion to the author's journey or the reason for the connections between the books; with this in mind, the abstract direction the book veered off in towards the end felt like a bit of a cop-out. Better than The Cranes That Build the Cranes, and worth a read if you're a ghost-story lover like me, but not brilliant and I would definitely have preferred it if the framing narrative had been tied up properly.

  • Kirsty
    2019-04-19 13:08

    I have read many supernatural stories of both the fact and fiction variety since I was a child, but The Haunted Book easily ranks as the worst.Instead of chilling, gothic style stories woven into a tense plot, you get a ridiculous collection of insipid, pointless amateur rubbish. The stories are in no way scary, and I do believe I have read children's books that were more frightening (and made much more sense)!The flow was very stilted and jarring, without any definate aim or direction. When it comes to the point where it's a book within a book within a book, you're entering into ridiculous and pretentious territory. As the book goes on I felt like the author was trying to show how complex and creative he could be, but instead of marvelling at his "cleverness" I really felt like setting fire to the book and clapping my hands with glee as it turned to ashes! The last few pages just nosed dived into obscurity and I have to admit that I struggled to follow what was happening by this time. None of the plot threads added up to a satisfying and cohesive ending, and it just seemed illogical to me. I have never had book try to "talk" directly to me before, or try to convince me that I am stuck in the book and my life is not real, but just a construct. I think the author has been watching the Matrix films one to many times...

  • Ellie
    2019-04-15 12:52

    When Jeremy Dyson is contacted by journalist Aiden Fox to uncover Britain’s hidden ghost stories, he embarks a hardened sceptic. As he sets off around the country he learns how the mundane can turn terrifying in an instant.The success of many of these stories is the complete normality running up to the ghost encounter. One minute you’re reading about the minutiae of everyday lives and the next an edge of fear has crept into the text. The fear that a noise or a touch can bring is somehow much more real than monsters that lurk in the dark. Hardened horror fans may find the pace a little slow but I found several of the stories really gave me the creeps.The Haunted Book is rather ambiguously marketed, presented as a collection of ghost stories from around Britain sourced by Dyson. It is left up to the reader to decide the truth but inevitably it becomes clear it if fiction masquerading as non-fiction. Even if you are inclined to believe in the stories themselves, the fact that there’s a book within a book, within a book would leave very little that could be genuinely attributed to Dyson.Like many short story collections, there are hits and misses and I found myself skipping over a few. Yet there was always the feeling that you could turn the page to be confronted with something terrifying and the lack of it just adds a little to the tension. What really lifted the book for me was the end; hidden away in those black pages. If you are a book geek you will love it. Maybe every book should end that way!The physical hardback is certainly one of those books that begs to be picked up. Indeed, when reading at my desk during lunch (because I’m a big wimp and need to read scary things in daylight) several people came and leafed through it. The designer has managed to replicate the old journal look perfectly.

  • Joanne Sheppard
    2019-04-12 09:56

    Jeremy Dyson is the member of The League of Gentlemen team who doesn’t appear on screen. He’s also the co-writer of the stage hit Ghost Stories, a deeply unsettling play in the ‘portmanteau’ format beloved of British horror films of the 1960s and 70s, in which several separate stories are told within a overarching narrative. Like his fellow Gentlemen Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss, Dyson seems to have a frame of horror interest that’s incredibly similar to my own, heavily influenced by pre-1975 films, short story anthologies and slightly cheaply-produced books called things like ‘The Hamlyn Book of Ghosts’. If he’s got a pack of vintage Horror Top Trumps knocking around, used to collect Armada Ghost Books, always chose the Dracula ice lolly and got Shiver & Shake annual for Christmas every year, he’s probably just me in a parallel universe in which I am inexplicably a successful northern writer.The Haunted Book, then – also in the ‘portmanteau’ format, and presented as a work of non-fiction in which Dyson is commissioned by the mysterious Aiden Fox to compile a collection of mostly contemporary British ghost stories – should by rights have been the perfect read for me. And, as I would have expected, a lot of it did certainly resonate with me.Each story-within-the-story (and there are many) is a gem. Some of them are ghost stories in the conventional sense. A man is haunted by a ghostly voice from a disconnected phone, for instance, and an evil spirit stalks an old library. Some of them, however, are something different, and ultimately more unsettling: the one that has continued to nag at my subconscious since I finished the book over a week ago features no actual ‘ghosts’ at all, but rather a family trying to find an abandoned amusement park they once visited but have never been able to locate again. It’s a story where what remains unsaid and unexplained is more disturbing than what is. And most – perhaps all – the stories have a strong psychological undercurrent that suggests that what we’re really frightened of most of all is ourselves.There’s more to The Haunted Book than just a collection of stories. However, it’s almost impossible to go into much detail about what is arguably the most interesting aspect of the book without giving away the end, and the experience of reading it does rely somewhat on that end coming as a surprise. It’s probably enough to say that the title of the book is no accident, as Dyson (in his fictional guise as the protagonist, at least) discovers books within books within books, all written by authors with curiously significant names. Those who went to see Ghost Stories may remember what happens to Dr Goodman, the rationalist sceptic and professor of parapsychology (played by Andy Nyman in the production I saw) who tells the stories themselves, and also the degree to which the audience were drawn into the production. Perhaps elements of The Haunted Book will come as less of a surprise to them.Without giving any further explanation, I’ll just say that while the end of The Haunted Book is undeniably a clever one that elevates the book above a straightforward ghost story collection, I also found its high-concept artifice a little distancing. The element of the novel that’s supposed to really draw the reader in was, for me, the very thing that made me feel as if I was taking a step back and losing contact with the chilling undercurrent of the book overall. Perhaps the fault lies with me, and I was too busy looking out for it, too keen to analyse. But all that said, I can’t help but admire the way Dyson brings the novel together at its conclusion for its sheer ingenuity. It's an ending that will stay with me for some time, and I suspect it will stand up to repeated re-readings.If you have even the slightest interest in ghost stories, I'd recommend The Haunted Book. And if you’ve read it, do let me know what you think.

  • Patrick
    2019-04-23 14:10

    I enjoy a good ghost story. Or perhaps ‘enjoy’ is the wrong word, since I’m both more and less demanding of them than I would be of literary fiction. I go to them for total involvement, and to some extent I’m willing to set aside my usual critical faculties in pursuit of that. I've always had this fantasy of finding some obscure volume of occult writing and being affected by it to the point of genuine existential terror – hence my love of Mark Danielewski’s cult classic ‘House of Leaves’, for example. ‘The Haunted Book’ isn’t the first collection to adopt a frame narrative that masquerades as a series of true accounts, but it’s refreshing to find something which adopts the conventions of horror fiction even while manipulating them to suit its own ends. It’s interesting, and very well written; and yes, it is haunting in more than one sense. An introduction by the author frames the book as a collaboration with a journalist named Aiden Fox, who writes columns on supernatural occurrences for a local paper in the south-west of England. Fox himself doesn’t appear in the stories which follow, but each one is preceded by a link from a narrator (apparently Dyson himself) who travels directly to the site at which each story occurs. He even goes so far as to give road directions as to how to get to most of the locations yourself, should you be interested. The stories themselves are genuinely inspired. I don’t want to go into detail as to what they’re about because much of the pleasure I found in this book was in discovering each one on its own merits. Dyson has clearly read widely in the traditions of British horror fiction, and he really does know his stuff. For the most part his tales eschew gore and violence in favour of atmosphere, yet they aren’t leaden or overtly threatening; they lure you in, keep you wondering exactly when and how the shock will come until sometimes it doesn’t come at all. Or sometimes it does. Some don’t even really feature anything explicitly paranormal, but a deep vein of weirdness runs through every one.And then something else unexpected happens. About three-fifths of the way through the book, the author does something unusual with the form of the text which colours what follows. Again, I don’t want to say too much about this except that one of the later stories relies upon the narrative gear-shift in order to deliver an incredibly clever twist in its tail. That aside, it wasn’t ever entirely clear to me what purpose the change in narrative style was meant to achieve. Was it simply another way of forestalling what would normally be a ‘big reveal’ about the true nature of Dyson’s apparently non-fictional persona?I don’t know. And that might turn out to be the most interesting thing about this book. The ending itself is one of the strangest I’ve read in any work of fiction for some time; on one level it colours what came before in the light of new knowledge, but it still withholds revelation. Certain themes, things the stories have in common are underlined, but it frustrates any attempt to link them all together in any kind of grand conspiracy. The question of where all these stories came from – which in a way is the main question of the book -- is left unanswered. And when you think about it, isn’t that a really weird demand to make from a work of fiction in the first place?(One final thing: if you’re thinking of buying this book, get it in hard copy rather than as an ebook. You won’t be sorry.)[EDIT 27/2/13: Upgraded this to five stars because I'm still thinking about most of these stories over three months later.]

  • Phil
    2019-04-20 13:55

    *Spoiler alert. I loved this book. The tale about the mental institution, forget the title, was particularly chilling, like being stuck inside a nightmarish public information film from the 1970s. My only gripe is that the back story, about the author's collaboration with a reporter, seemed to fragment and eventually disintegrate entirely - what happened? I expected there to be some kind of resolution but none was forthcoming. Having said that, it's still a fantastic read. The Aickman influence, well documented by Dyson, is very evident, as are the other formative influences, many of which are mentioned in the introduction. I read it on Kindle, which was fine, but I suspect the print version is probably more immersive, with the illustrations and design no doubt adding to the experience. Thoroughly recommended.

  • Judy Abbott
    2019-04-07 14:06

    Tekinsiz Kitap, Jeremy DysonDomingo YayınlarıAlgan Sezgintüredi çevirisiİngiltere kırsalında gerçekten yaşanmış ürkütücü hayalet öykülerinin derlemesi diyebiliriz. Beklediğim kadar korkutucu değildi.

  • Janette Fleming
    2019-04-17 08:05

    What unspeakable horror glimpsed in the basement of a private library in West Yorkshire drove a man to madness and an early grave?What led to an underground echo chamber in a Manchester recording studio being sealed up for good?What creature walks the endless sands of Lancashire's Fleetwood Bay, and what connects it to an unmanned craft washed ashore in Port Elizabeth, nearly six thousand miles away?In 2009 Jeremy Dyson was contacted by a journalist wanting help bringing together accounts of true life ghost stories from across the British Isles.The Haunted Book chronicles the journey Dyson, formerly a hardened sceptic, went on to uncover the truth behind these tales.Love this review from the Independent's traditional to present ghost stories with an authenticating framing device: the dusty diary, the old newspaper clipping, the aged man who relates a terrible experience.The shtick here is that a journalist, Aiden Fox, who writes a column about true ghostly encounters, has proposed a collaboration to Jeremy Dyson, the co-creator of The League of Gentlemen; he provides his extensive source material and Dyson will write up the stories as fiction. Dyson, or should that be "Dyson", accepts, and vows to visit all the locations. But that is just the start of the game.The 10 stories which comprise The Haunted Book explore the conventions and tricks of the form, although some have no ghost at all. We begin with a straightforward haunted house yarn. A young man is taunted by calls from a disconnected telephone; but it seems that the clue lies in his own psychosexual make-up. The sense of a link between a character's sexual life and his supernatural experience intensifies as the book goes on, and is one of the unifying features of the collection. Another is the way that "Dyson" himself becomes a haunted figure, as he roams around the country following Fox's leads."A Wire with Gain" concerns the surviving (heh, heh, heh) members of an Eighties band, Zurau, who reunite to complete an album in the very studio where one of their number had a horrible experience. The recording terminology of the title becomes an elegant metaphor for time passing and opportunity lost.After four tales, the book turns into a replica of a 1978 title, This Book is Haunted, within which lies perhaps the most terrifying tale, "Tetherdown Lock". The spirit of the writer Robert Aickman – much admired by Dyson – presides over all (one of Zurau's songs is named after an Aickman story). Aickman also ties sexuality and coercion in some of his creepiest tales. The last two formal tales, which purport to come from yet another source, "A Book of Hauntings", make this link explicit with a Leeds library haunted by a porn fiend, and a series of sex crimes out on't moors. But there's one more surprise for the reader, in the final, coal-black pages.The Haunted Book sets out not merely to entertain, but to embody a creeping menace in the text itself. The trompe-l'oeil cover is just the start of the fun. Open it if you dare ….

  • D.M.
    2019-04-19 06:53

    I've only read one other book by Dyson, but it was good enough for me to want to check this one out when it appeared (credit again to my library, who actually ordered it new when I asked for it!). Coincidentally, I've been reading a collection of M.R. James' ghost stories, and this fits in perfectly with that. In fact, many times I forgot what was going on in which book, they're so similar in tone, topic and style.Dyson's writing is perfect. When I read the previous book (Cranes...), I was struck by how fluid and fine his style is. This time out, he's adapted his style to reflect not just the subject at hand (ghosts and general weirdness), but to change in order to ape different time periods' popular styles. He does this admirably, and if not for the gimmickry at play here, I'd almost believe these were the excerpts from various sources they claim to be.I absolutely loved this book. It's the first time in a long time I was so creeped out by a story that I gave in to the infantile impulse to look around the dark room to make sure I wasn't being watched (though this was aided by the atmospheric video Amazon has to promote the book)!This would have been a five-star book for me, except for one thing: the ending. Through the course of the tale(s), something is clearly being set up. I had no solid expectations of what that would be, but what it finally was I found vastly disappointing. I won't give it away, as I know there are plenty of readers who found the end clever and interesting. Not me. So, the book loses a star for crapping out at the end. But, if you're looking for a modern book of spooky stories with a classic bent, you could do far worse than The Haunted Book. (Do yourself a favour, though, and don't e-book it; I'm sure it'll lose something in the change from this beautifully-produced hardcover into a sheet of electro-text.)

  • Nay
    2019-04-09 08:55

    Well, I'm not really sure what to make of this book. It starts off with an introduction by the author, Dyson, explaining his history with ghost stories and how he came to write this book. He then lays out some stories for our perusal, giving an account of his experiences when visiting the setting of each one. The book then takes a different turn by becoming another book of a similar name, again recounting some ghostly stories. And so on. I'm not even sure I fully understand the last few pages, so the less said about that the better. The stories within the book were good, they didn't scare me but I enjoyed them as creepy little stories about the supernatural and the unknown. I have a feeling some of them will stick with me, as one or two did when I read Dyson's 'Never Trust A Rabbit' twelve years ago. I liked that they didn't provide an answer, letting the reader make their own mind up on what happened, why and how. And not only on the stories, but about the very essence of the book itself - why did Dyson write this book, and what happened to him on his journey? There is a running theme in the book which I didn't get till about halfway through, which I also enjoyed. And there's also that nagging question that won't go away. Were any of the stories actual accounts from real people, or did they all come from Dyson's mind? I guess that's up to me to decide...

  • Anthony
    2019-04-22 14:57

    This book delivered more than I had expected. It presents itself as a portmanteau connecting stories based around the frame of Dyson collaborating with a local journalist to assemble his spooky column into a book. It's quite an effective conceit. The idea of ready recorded stories needing to be qualified by a journey around haunted Britain is a mouth watering prospect. The only problem is the framing device disappears halfway through the book and is never really explained. Not that it mattered much because the second half of the collection is based on an found tome full of old ghost stories. I really enjoyed these. It's a mix between Aickman and James. I won't list my favourite stories in case it leads to spoilers. One thing I will say is I enjoyed every single one of them. Yes of course some more than others. The only downfall was the fading of the framing structure which sent me reading back to see if I'd missed a few pages.If you loved ghost stories as a kid or read The Mysterious World books like me then you will appreciate this book. It's clear Dyson has a great love of the supernatural tale and it really shines though.I give it four stars but in reality It's a four and a half.

  • Chris Pettett
    2019-03-28 14:04

    Overall a great collection of ghost stories - some more effective than others but no stinkers - in a beautifully produced hardback. My personal favourite is the one about the family trying to track down the phantom fairground. I have to admit I was initially somewhat disappointed when I turned the final page; I didn't get the rather bizarre ending and I thought it would have been much better had the original linking narrative (Dyson's musings on the stories and locations) been continued. However, I then went back and re-read the ending, more carefully, and whilst I don't profess to understand every single detail, I think I "get" it now, and the more I think about it the more I like the ending. The recurrence of the "Aiden Fox" motif (right the way through to 8-10-4x) is rather clever and also makes more sense once you appreciate the ending.

  • Phillip
    2019-04-05 13:15

    Preposterous tosh. There I was expecting this book to be full of chills yet the stories are about as scary as an episode of Scooby Doo. This is one book that does not seem to know what it is, and you are left with the feeling that the author is trying to be too clever for his own good. The writing style is actually quite good, however, there are countless spelling mistakes and even missing words, so whoever proof read this didn’t do a very good job. These are supposed to be fiction stories based on true locations and experiences, yet the endings left me feeling disappointed and not the least bit frightened, which is a shame as some of the locations seemed to be the perfect location for a good ghost story. If you want to read ghost stories written by someone who knows how to scare the reader, then read the works of M. R. James, but don’t waste your money on this!

  • Lou
    2019-04-20 08:10

    Eye-catching hardback edition that if your to judge a book by it's cover it would call you to its dark passages in the boundaries between natural and supernatural. There is a motley of stories contained within, ordinary people in ordinary places new dwellings, hospitals, and the sea to name a few, butwhat they encounter is of the supernatural and unexplained terrors.This did serve up some interesting reading into strange occurrences, there was a feeling for me that this territory that i treaded had been covered before in the world of stories.3.5 stars

  • Ross McGovern
    2019-03-26 11:01

    Some of the stories in here have stayed in my head ever since I read it. It's that good. Utterly compelling and weirdly original, except in a peculiar kind of originality which makes you feel you're being reminded of something real. The story of The Pleasure Park in particular got right under my skin and I've no idea why. I suppose it's about shared experience, somehow Mr Dyson is capturing the essence of something we've all felt before but had no words for.Very, very creepy and worth every minute. You will come back to this book more than once.

  • Kirsty
    2019-04-11 10:00

    The first third was great – creepy short stories in an increasingly-mysterious frame story. But then it all fell apart, with an attempt at metafiction which was not just unsuccessful, but boring. Such a shame! Read the first four stories and then stop.

  • Deanne
    2019-04-10 09:11

    A series of short stories some of which are very creepy, however there are some weaker parts of the book, especially the last twenty pages.

  • Samuel Gibb
    2019-03-28 12:59

    Dark, compelling, oh so clever. And terrifying. Of course. But in a rather wonderful way.

  • Virginia Appleton
    2019-04-03 07:18

    Only just started this but loving every second so far. Bloody brilliant!

  • Doug Lewars
    2019-03-25 13:11

    *** Possible Spoilers ***This book contains a number of stories with a theme of the supernatural - ghosts primarily - and they're well-written and quite enjoyable. That's the good news. Unfortunately, in an attempt to create an atmosphere of scariness, the author prefixes his stories with a certain amount of commentary. He attempts to blend anecdote with the story and it doesn't work. For example, he suggests that the stories are being written to flesh out a series of anecdotes and that he traveled to the various story settings to get a feel for what was required in the story itself. Needless to say he attempts to create the sensation that perhaps something is just a little strange in the real world. However the result is a book that is part travelogue and part ghost stories. The ghost stores are entertaining. The travelogue is boring. In addition, he attempts to add verisimilitude by publishing a book within his book which, by itself, wouldn't be so bad except he finds it necessary to use graphic title pages and the occasional font that isn't easy to read. I do recommend the ghost stories but you can just skip over everything in italics and the entire last section. The last section is supposed to be from an old manuscript and the page backgrounds are grey. The very last section of the book is black with white lettering in which he attempts to create the illusion that the book and the reader have merged during the reading. This section is just plain boring. So you might want to pick up this book and read the stories but I'd guess that about 50% can be skipped without any loss.

  • Thomas John
    2019-04-11 11:18

    Very enjoyable, frequently very creepy and innovative, but hamstrung by such a dreadful ending as to make you rethink the whole thing. It's such a shame, as up until about 30 pages from the end this was a triumph, and I'm not sure what Jeremy Dyson was thinking by ending as he did. Ordinarily I'd recommend you just stop before then but that's not how the book works - every section rests on the one before it. That's a real shame, and makes the book a big disappointment overall.

  • Halina
    2019-04-08 12:52

    Overall an interesting book that contained many short stories about haunting. I am confused as to whether these stories where actually real though.

  • Carole Tyrrell
    2019-04-01 15:11

    I was eagerly anticipating reading Jeremy Dyson’s The Haunted Book. It finally came into my library and immediately raced down to collect it. The hardback is very good looking as it’s been made up to look like an old book with a faded cover and old style title label. There’s also pages inside created to look dog-eared and discoloured. The premise of the book is that Jeremy Dyson was approached by a journalist, Aiden Fox, who wanted him to compile a collection of Fox’s newspaper column, Stranger than Fiction. This contained supernatural tales and experiences . Dyson uses some of these on which to hang various tales which are each preceded by a short section on their inspiration and background. The Haunted Book’s introduction begins with the 13 year old Dyson’s desire to see a real Hand of Glory and he then goes onto explain his fascination with the supernatural, Like me, he devoured classic anthologies including Haunted Britain by Anthony D Hippisley Coxe. I still have my copy. Whitby fascinated him and he recounts an unsuccessful family outing there. Dyson quotes the German word ‘ehrfurcht’ which means ‘reverence for that which we cannot understand’. Dyson also mentions Prof Richard Wiseman’s theory that evolution has left us with a genetic disposition to see faces in a dark places. Mr Dyson also discusses his Jewish upbringing where books were seen as powerful things. He saw The Haunted Book as a guidebook and a way back to his childhood self who hid the book that scared him in another room. Each tale is based on a purportedly true ghost story and is preceded by the inspiration behind it which can involve news clippings etc. We begin in Hinckley at the Nealon house and Dyson’s uncomfortable experience of feeling that someone was curled up in the boot of his car and waiting to jump out at him once Dyson’s journey was underway. Some stories work better than others; the first ‘Kitson from Nealon’ involves Greg, a serial, casual seducer who buys more than a bargain price house. It all begins when he finds a 1930’s Bakelite telephone in a cupboard at his new des res which seems to be still connected to another world despite being unplugged and ‘The Diary of Ramon Huld’ which records the possible fate of a round the world yachtsman who was presumed dead after vanishing from his yacht and yet, two years later, was seen walking 500 metres from shore. The places in the book are not just haunted ones but involve haunted people as well. In the tale of a reunited rock group at their old recording studios situated in an old mill which had a reputedly haunted room in the basement. They are sitting in the mixing room listening to their old tapes featuring their now deceased girl singer singing from inside the slubbing room. The narrator, Ray, who’d grown up, given up and become famous in another field in Canada ,will after hearing the tape, be forever haunted by what might have been. Dyson also visited a local derelict asylum as he had two nearby, High Royds and Meanwood Park in Leeds. As he says ‘…the attraction of these places was that you could end up in there and never get out by crossing the line.’…. In Ward Four Sixteen,a volunteer at the local asylum takes a wrong turn on his way to the kitchen and may have found an alternative existence for himself in another, older eerie Special Care Unit. Dyson, in his introduction to this one mentions encountering a small person, in a light coat with hair falling across their face, squatting on bricks watching him on a visit. However some tales didn’t work so well for me; ‘Tetherdown Lock’ involving temp workers employed at a top secret installation and ‘The Lock Keeper’s Cottage’ or ‘An Encounter with Water’ but you always do have a couple of stories that don’t impress so much. I loved ‘The Ghost in the Library.’ The library in it reminded me of the local library from my childhood which was a dark place with tall, high bookcases that dwarfed me and the paranormal section was always the darkest place. I still remember reading ‘Dangerous Ghosts’ which my dad had borrowed and which I can remember to this day. In this story, the narrator, a newly appointed librarian, working late one night encounters a pale face peering out at him from a bookcase before seeming to vanish into it. The librarian is understandably unnerved and reports it to the Head Librarian who sympathises and involved a local medium. The library houses Lord L’s collection of erotica which is kept in a locked cage and of course our narrator has to go and look at it. The ghost begins to prey on him as he thirsts to see more as the previous librarian, an expert on Lord L’s collection, had invited him in. The book ends with what appears to be a séance.

  • Hugo
    2019-03-29 13:55

    As a collection of ghost stories - all of them neatly plotted and written in careful, and varied, period vernacular - I'd happily give this five stars, but the portmanteau device that supposedly links the parts into a whole simply didn't work for me, and finishes the book on a limp and unsatisfying note.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-22 10:20

    I have read mixed reviews of this book, largely because many readers seemed to be expecting a series of ghost stories. Much of the criticism came from 'not being remotely scared'. I think these readers misunderstand the book. The reader isn't meant to be scared, the reader is meant to think! This is a collection of documented happenings by sane individuals that have not been explained. The author asks how far human perception may explain some things, the limits of human cognition and a little psycho physics thrown in; "my house only exists because I perceive it" - yes, that old chestnut.Dyson may partly be a victim of his own success in some of the criticism. These questions are asked with tongue firmly planted in cheek and the tales are told as though they were meant to be stories rather than documented experiences.So, accepting it for what it is, I think it's a fabulous read & a nice book too. I like a nice book in our ever increasing digital age.My only criticism is the very last chapter where Dyson spends a small amount of time on Witchcraft & associated arts. All that is supplied here is uneducated misinformation, an unpleasant surprise at the end of an otherwise excellent read. Witchcraft is portrayed in the stereotypical "witch in a pointy hat with a familiar, normally a black cat" way, casting spells by invoking the devil to do the witches bidding. Poppycock. Wicca is a religion predating Christianity. Indeed, many Christian festivals have their roots in Wicca. Do your research, please. Although, I thought the links between the religions of Wicca & Christianity were common knowledge, now we have stopped burning herbalists and their black cats at the stake....

  • Sian Ellis
    2019-04-16 13:57

    Very clever and highly enjoyable. Best to read in as few sittings as possible because this is one of those books that is as much about the reader sat reading it as it is about the book. Arguably more so. The perfectly timed introductions of new books throughout are best encountered on your own late at night, as you read a book in a book in a book you find yourself suckered in in a sort of 'Heart of Darkness', 'Apocolypse Now' kind of way. Dyson is not writing a story as much as he is crafting a very specific emotional journey for you to travel.This is not the sort of read for you if you don't like a bit of work. However the work is absolutely necessary to the enjoyment of the book. Yes there are questions unanswered, yes it is fraught much more with implications than it is explanations but it is only through these excercises of our own imaginations that we are in an appropriate state for Dyson to begin to write the reader, crafting our emotions so that we become the book reading a book in a book in a book until it's black end. If we didn't have to work our imagination earlier on in the book, then we wouldn't dream that perhaps if we were to lower our large hardback copy of our book at any time, perhaps we would see that it had been obscuring from view a child in a pale coat, hair over it's face, at the foot of our bed.If you want something with lots of jumps and reveals to terrify you then this probably isn't the book for you, this one definitely wants you to terrify yourself.My favourite part was the cover and dedication in The Book of Hauntings. Perfectly frightful.Truly refreshing and involving to read something not as a mere spectator but ultimately a main character.

  • Silviaangel
    2019-04-14 11:06

    The Haunted book is a collection of 10 “Horror” stories (more unusual phenomenon) covering from Ghost apparition to force lurching in nature ready to feed on human energy.Personally I really enjoyed those short well written stories which dig into human fear of the unknown and obsessions.The Haunted book starts with the task of investigating and writing those stories into a book. The approached of this journalist is quite similar to modern television programmes that are around today. You have a story (true or not) go into location and explore the feeling of the place while writing your account of the story mixwith the original account.However in the middle of book the atmosphere change completely and we are now reading a much older book ( a dream within a dream type of theme )in which the author seems to be trapped in it.Although the second part of this book is supposed to be darker and twisted I actually found it quite boring and a bit too disconnect with the main story described in the first part.In his attempt to be too clever (expecially the mathematical end)the author lost me and in fact contrary to the end on his own book it was very easy for me to put it down, don't think about it and place it on top of my pile of "books to give to charity" .Not much of a Haunting book.

  • David Pattison
    2019-04-19 07:22

    Don't be fooled by the cover of the paperback with its allusions to the B movie horror of Bela Lugosi and Ed Wood: this is more an attempt to use the techniques of the classic ghost story in a knowing, ironic and reader-nudging postmodern context, and by and large it succeeds.It's basically a collection of short or medium-length stories about mysterious occurrences in (mainly Northern) England, where the case for a supernatural explanation of events outweighs the rational one. Scenarios range for a music recording studio with an unpleasant past to a secret Government bunker.It's mostly well told, with believable protagonists and subtle shock effects. The one exception, I feel, was the tale set in the Lincolnshire asylum, which was let down by weak characters and an overfamiliar storyline.The postmodernism is evident in the book's "sampling" approach, borrowing wholesale from other alleged horror texts, constituting a book inside a book (inside a book) to advance the author's claim that it's possible for one book to be haunted by another. The execution of this, however, might be too cerebral for its own good; some readers might simply be put off by the constant changes both in font and in tone.But overall this is an intelligent and well-written book that's well worthy of your time.

  • Lori
    2019-03-30 13:01

    I should have known by the cover. Sometimes you can judge a book that way.The stories that compromise the first part -- oops! Freudian typo -- the stories that comprise the first part are utterly devoid of scares. They are poorly written with no suspense or frights and I found myself skimming and turning pages at a speed suitable for a flip-book.But an odd thing happened on page 26. No, not the first page 26, that might have made for a good book. On the second page 26 there was actually a single interesting and mildly scary story. But you have to get through 201 pages of torturous, boring, poorly written and generally head-scratching stuff to get there. And the story that follows that one is horrible and the one after that, too and then mercifully, the book ends.The decent story is dedicated to "U. Reeder." This man's writing is as subtle as an ambulance siren. And it isn't nearly so good that it's worth reading the rest of the book, it merely stands out among the rest as a diamond would in mud. This isn't even supposed to be a collection of short stories. It's allegedly a novel. I saw no proof of that.LEAVE NOW! WITHOUT THIS BOOK! GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!! The only true fright is wasting money on the thing.

  • James Perkins
    2019-04-12 07:21

    I like to read ghost stories. It's a rare one that can scare me, and I was not familiar with the writer, so I didn't have high expectations here. Yet I was still sadly disappointed by this book. In the information age, any volume of supernatural tales said to be "true" doesn't come across as such; really, he needs a different gimmick. The writing itself was clever, but was missing something - it just didn't create any feelings of fear or dread, like a good ghost story should. I found myself frustrated for much of the book, with the writing style often mimicking that of the nineteenth or early twentieth century, and because some of the stories were set at that time, it took away their modern day threat, instead distancing it into the past. There was not even any suggestion that the monsters alluded to would somehow manifest behind me, the reader, as I read this supposedly "haunted" book. The "dialogue" with the book at the end came across as a silly experiment in literature that made no sense at all. I might read another book by Mr Dyson, but only if there's nothing else around.