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Summary

The United Kingdom is an ancient land steeped in history and tradition, filled with prehistoric ruins, majestic castles, and a countryside sculpted from millennia of human habitation. Its rolling countryside is dotted with prehistoric burial mounds and stone circles. Brooding castles hold tales of bloodshed and honor. Medieval churches have elaborate stained glass windows and gruesome carvings, reflecting a mixture of hope and darkness. Every hamlet and village has tales that go back centuries, and folk festivals with roots in pagan times. Thus, it is not surprising that many believe the area is filled with ghosts. For centuries, people have told tales of ghosts stalking its historic buildings, strange creatures lurking in its primeval forests, and unexplained paths linking its ancient sites.

Scotland is a fascinating and ancient land filled with history. It has produced explorers, warriors, inventors, writers, and more than a few murderers. For many centuries, it fought bitter wars against England to maintain its independence, and even when those wars were finally lost, Scotland retained its distinct culture and identity. Though a part of the United Kingdom, it would be a mistake to lump it in with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as Scotland has its own tales to tell and traditions to maintain. Not everything in Scotland is as it appears, however. Some Scots say this is a land haunted by spirits, a place of strange disappearances and unexplained phenomena. Some of those tales are downright grisly. Scotland has always been a rival to its southern neighbor, and the rivalry extends to the number of hauntings in its medieval castles, stately homes, and old cobblestone streets. While many Englishmen claim that their country is the most haunted, the Scots can point to their own stories of ghosts as evidence they may beat the English in this dubious distinction. 

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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  • Norma Miles
  • 11-12-18

It starts with Purgatory.

An interesting book which really focuses more on historical events surrounding places said to be haunted or which carry some strange myth. The early section on English ghosts is often informative but tends to become overly littered with listings of Scottish legend later.
Narrated by Colin Flaxman in a calm newscaster voice, without histrionics or attempts to cause shivers spines, which gives it all a sense of normality. It would have been more interesting if only the places of forcefully believed ghost appearances occurred, however. It seems that there are too few to fill this book and suppositions and wishful thinking has to fill many of the pages. This reader struggled sometimes to continue.
A handy way to take a painless history lesson, though.

My thanks to the rights holder of The Ghosts of the British Isles, who, at my request freely gifted me a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. It did feel in need of editing to increase it's interest generally and to eliminate repetition, as in telling, more than once, the difference between a ghost and a poltergeist. But it was very interesting in parts. Worth reading if wanting to look up specific ghost areas such as Hampton Court.

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  • Neona
  • 15-11-18

The Narrator is Hard to Listen to

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I really wanted to like this book. I enjoy ghost stories and true tales of historical places full of spooky stories is right up my alley.

The narrator of this book is very off putting, he reads like someone reading a stock market report. It's all very monotone and businesslike. I think with a different narrator this would be so much better. As it is though, I would rather read the book than listen to the audio version of it.