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Gina Collia
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Gina Collia

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Sir Andrew Caldecott (1884~1951) was educated at Uppingham School and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he became an Honorary Fellow in 1948. He held various posts within the Malayan Civil Service, which he joined in 1907, and developed a genuine interest in the country's language and folklore. He was Governor...
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Gina Collia

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I have been rather absent of late. A few months back, my husband and I bought a somewhat neglected cottage, and we've been doing it up ever since. And when I say neglected, I am talking about no heat, no running water, no power at all at times, no roof...
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Gina Collia

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Help to bring a bronze bust of Bram Stoker to the Dublin Writers Museum in Ireland in May, 2016.
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Gina Collia

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A couple of days ago, I posted about Mrs Alfred Baldwin's ghost stories. Today, in the spirit of Christmas, I'm offering up 'The Real and the Counterfeit' for your enjoyment. If you'd prefer to read the pdf version, just click on the image above. THE REAL AND THE COUNTERFEIT by...
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Have them in circles
115 people
Andrew Kerr's profile photo
Harby Ropin's profile photo
Miku Hatsune's profile photo
Sincredible Kali's profile photo
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Laura Jaworski's profile photo
Jonathan Louis's profile photo
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Louis Phillips's profile photo
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History nut, Victorianist, rat fancier, part-time assassin. Lover of all things spooky.
Introduction

I have always been interested in all things supernatural. I suppose it would be a very odd thing indeed if I weren't so interested, considering the family I grew up in. I was about five years old the first time my grandfather took me off on one of his countryside adventures. Generally speaking, such outings involved miles and miles of walking, a fair bit of singing, and a considerable amount of storytelling, usually in a churchyard. We'd take a packed lunch and a bottle of something fizzy, sit alongside our favourite Victorian vault, not far from the gravediggers' den, and he'd tell me about his childhood, his family and his years in Burma during the Second World War. He'd also tell me stories about the occupants of the graveyard, and what they got up to when we weren't around to observe their goings on. He was an accomplished storyteller, and he had me hanging on his every word. And that is how I spent the Sundays of my youth... sitting in graveyards, drinking ginger beer and hypothesising about the occupants of the graves we so loved to sit amongst and their nocturnal shenanigans.

So, I loved all things ghoulies and ghosties, vampires (courtesy of the Hammer films I started watching around the same time) and things that go bump in the night. But I had another reason for being so interested in the supernatural - my grandad was a medium and psychic. It was something never spoken about outside of my immediate family as long as he was still with us, as outsiders might think he was batty (or, in the case of churchgoers, possessed by demons), but within my family it was talked about openly. I grew up surrounded by the other side.

When I was about nine years old, I was severely reprimanded by a teacher for telling spooky stories. Apparently, it's not a good thing to terrify fellow pupils to the point where they refuse to enter the school's lavatories alone, for fear that disembodied hands will rush under the cubicle walls and grab their ankles. I was only carrying on a family tradition, I explained. After all, I'd been frightened out of my wits many a time since I was five years old, and it had never done me any harm. 

I have always loved old books and history... and libraries, archives, museums and historic sites. I am a researcher by nature, and ferreting about for information about things long gone and people long dead is what I do best. Give me a room full of dusty old books and I'm content for hours... days... maybe forever. Considering all of the above, it shouldn't come as any great surprise that I love a good, traditional ghost story; in particular, the ones written by M. R. James. 

That's me anyway... history nut, bibliophile... lover of all places cobwebby.

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