For Fun and Edification

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They Who Seek Ghosts and Demons
(in Fact and Fiction)

The Ghost Hunter Hall of Fame spans the long history of actual ghost hunting by listing several of its most noteworthy investigators. Many of these supernatural snoopers worked during the Victorian period (1837-1901), and to get an idea of what books they relied upon, look at The Victorian Ghost Hunters’ Library. The Hall of Fame is always researching historical ghost hunters, so come back again to learn about new inductees.

The Chronological Bibliography of Early Occult Detectives is a long list of fictional occult detective characters from 1817 to 1925 along with many links to online texts of their tales. (There is one page for the 1800s and another for the early 1900s.) This project is mostly retired, but very occasionally I manage to discover yet another character to add to the extensive bibliography.

A Key to the Chronological Bibliography of Early Occult Detective might be helpful in understanding that bibliography and my definition of “occult detective fiction.”

A Frozen Land that Never Was

Charting Crocker Land was a pet project. I’m intrigued by polar voyages in general, but Robert Peary’s 1907 claim to have glimpsed an Arctic landmass he called Crocker Land especially holds my interest. Crocker Land drew a lot of attention and discussion, it appeared on maps, and a major expedition was launched to determine if it was real or not. It proved to not actually exist. This raises several questions, which I explore. What had made the word of one man so persuasive? Was Peary seeing things — or  was he lying? How does Crocker Land fit with centuries of imagining land at the North Pole and decades of exploration?

A Few Quick Chuckles

Old Phantoms with New Captions is made up of my made-up captions for ghost story illustrations I’ve found in old magazines and books. This project depends upon me stumbling across these illustrations, and they’re pretty rare. But — who knows? — if you don’t find a new addition, maybe you’ll chuckle again at the old phantoms!

The TARDIS Pages

Sprinkled throughout the pages and projects above are what I call “TARDIS” pages. This stands for Trusted Archival Research Documents in Sequence (though some might have thought I was headed elsewhere). These are timelines with links to historical sources available online, and I hope my colleagues who enjoy research will find them useful. Here’s what I have so far:

The Cock Lane Ghost TARDIS
Crocker Land and Other Mapped Mirages of the Arctic TARDIS
Fireside Storytelling Descriptions & Depictions TARDIS
The Rise of the Term “Ghost Hunt” TARDIS
Telescopes versus the Moon People TARDIS 

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