Think you’ve got spooks? Want them investigated? The West Midlands Ghost Club makes regular field-trips.


Don’t have any spooks? Not even a soot-sprite? No, I don’t believe in them either. Not inclined to sit on a camping stool in a damp dark graveyard for six hours? Well, you can always stay at home and browse some books…

One of the most evocative and accomplished photographers of the British gothic, Sir Simon Mardsen, had a book published by English Heritage towards the end of 2007, Memento Mori: Churches and Churchyards of England — a follow up to his previous book This Spectred Isle: A Journey Through Haunted England, also published by English Heritage. This Lincolnshire photographer also runs his large Marsden Archive picture library, of supernatural and gothic images ready to purchase or use for your book/cd/game.


And should you wish to pimp your bungalow with a few gargoyles, there’s a surprisingly sophisticated niche industry forming around ‘faux frights’. Although, as yet, the most impressive products seem to be from America. 10ft-high animatronic gargoyle, anyone? For only £5,000+. We seems to have come a long way from the joke-fangs in the local toy shops of the 1980s.


It would be interesting to see some well-researched market report tot up the total UK earnings arising from what might be termed our ‘haunted Britain’. Halloween (about a £150m annual spend in the UK) plus all the role-playing and games, replicas, books and other print media, films, tourism to sites, gothic clothing and crafts, etc. Even if a survey left out the wider aspects of fantasy media (sci-fi, ‘gore’ horror, sword & sorcery, medieval-style epics, mystery) it has to be substantial and has to have increased exponentially since the ‘birth’ of Harry Potter in 1997 (Rowling alone is reportedly worth $1 billion).

Related: recent “gothic” posts on D’log.