The Victorian Ghost Hunter’s Library

Ghost Hunter Library

Go to the Ghost Hunter’s Hall of Fame page.

Ghost hunters and the Victorian period (1837-1901) seem to fit together. After a period of strong skepticism toward ghosts in the 1700s and early 1800s, the Victorians re-raised the question of ghosts being real. Was it the Spiritualism movement? Was it the rise of academic groups such as The Ghost Club and The Society for Psychical Research? Was it the gaslights? Regardless, here’s a list of books that might have appeared in the library of a Victorian ghost hunter.

Compendiums of Purportedly True Hauntings

Crowe, Catherine. The Night Side of Nature; or, Ghosts and Ghost Seers.
Volume I, London: T.C. Newby, 1848.
Volume II, London: T.C. Newby, 1848.
New York: J.S. Redfield, 1850. [This is the edition cherished by Vera Van Slyke.]
Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates [“New Edition”]

Ingram, John H[enry]. The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain.
London: W.H. Allen, 1886. [First Edition?]
London: W.H. Allen, 1886. [Third Edition.]
London: Gibbings, 1897. [Illustrated Edition.]

Jarvis, T.M. Accredited Ghost Stories.
London: J. Andrews, 1823. [Technically, this book is pre-Victorian, but it was written when writers typically refuted the reality of ghosts. It would have been valued by ghost hunters for decades after its publication.]

Lang, Andrew. The Book of Dreams and Ghosts.
London: Longmans, Green, 1897.
London: Longmans, Green, 1899. [New Edition.]

———. Cock Lane and Common-Sense.
London: Longmans, Green, 1894.

Lee, Frederick George. More Glimpses of the World Unseen.
London: Chatto & Windus, 1878.

———. The Other World; or, Glimpses of the Supernatural.
Volume 1, London: Henry S. King, 1875.
Volume 2, London: Henry S. King, 1875.
New York: G.W. Carleton, 1875.

Owen, Robert Dale. Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1860.
London: Trübner, 1860.

Stead, W[illiam]. T[homas]. Real Ghost Stories: A Record of Authentic Apparitions.
London: Review of Reviews, 1891.
London: Grant Richard, 1897.

Thiselton-Dyer, T[homas]. F[irminger]. The Ghost World.
London: Ward & Downey, 1893.

Individual Hauntings

[Brett, Henry Johnson]. Was It a Ghost? The Murders in Bussey’s Woods.
Boston: Loring, 1868.

Goodrich-Freer, Ada M., and John [Cricton-Stuart], Marquess of Bute. The Alleged Haunting of B– House.
London: George Redway, 1899.

Hubbel, Walter. The Haunted House: A True Story.
Saint John, New Brunswick: “Daily News Steam, 1879. [Reports on the “Great Amherst Mystery” involving Ester Cox.]

Ingram, Martin Van Buren. An Authenticated History of the Famous Bell Witch.
Union City, Tennessee: Pioneer Press, 1894.
The Internet Archive offers an online edition of this rare book. [The case is less about a witch and more about either the ghost of a witch or a poltergeist.]

Go to the Ghost Hunter’s Hall of Fame page.

Go to the For Fun and Edification page.

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