John Reppion’s Haunted Towns


The readers of this blog will mostly be comic readers, so you will most likely know John Reppion’s work primarily from his collaborative comic book work with his wife, and writing partner, Leah Moore. However, John has lately been exploring non-fiction works outside of the comic world, and contributing articles to publications such as Fortean Times, Strange Attractor, The End Is Nigh, SteamPunk Magazine and Revenant Magazine.

This year saw the publication of John’s first book, 800 years of Haunted Liverpool. Haunted Liverpool is a wonderful book that looks at the 800 year history of the city of Liverpool, and all the ghostly tales that have become legends through it’s troubled and storied past. I would recommend the book to anyone with an interest in the history of Liverpool, or any one with even a passing interest in the paranormal.

I love to read this sort of book. I don’t necessarily believe all the stories, but I find them incredibly interesting. Similar local legends seem to occur in every town, and seem to survive as whispered stories, passed between children at camp, and friends trying to scare each other. I find it really interesting that everyone seems to remember them, or at least a variant of them. Often these stories seem to survive generations without ever being written down. It’s more than you can say for many other stories, or historical events. Perhaps it is something within human nature that makes us want to be scared, some sort of escape from the very real horrors of modern life, or a wish to know that there is something beyond, life after death…

Anyway, This is my very round about way of telling you that John is currently researching his second book, which is very much a follow up to the last, Haunted Northampton. He has started a blog, and is asking people to submit any stories or local legends about the area, which might be of interest. If you can help him out, send him an email at [email protected].

If you would like to buy 800 Year of Haunted Liverpool, then head over to History Press. I understand that the book is currently going back for a second printing.

You know, I was thinking I would like to collate some of the tales told in my town, Victoria B.C. I find it very interesting that the town has only been here a couple of hundred years, and there are tonnes of haunting stories. The town was originally First Nations land, before the British built a fort here, and it has seen tonnes of different types of industry over the years, which tends to lead to lots of stories and superstitions. Also, Victoria is supposed to be the World capital of Satanism (according to William Gibson), and is the setting for Michelle Remembers, the true life tale of Michelle Smith, who discovered through therapy that she had suppressed memories of her parents involving her in Satanic ritual abuse.

From the Wiki:

The first ritual attended by Smith took place in 1954 when she was five years old and the final ritual documented in the book was an eighty-one day ritual in 1955 that summoned the devil himself and involved the intervention of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Michael the Archangel, who removed the scars received by Smith throughout the year of abuse and removed memories of the events ‘until the time was right’. During the rites, Smith was allegedly tortured, locked in cages, sexually assaulted, forced to take part in various rituals, witnessed several murders and was rubbed with the blood and body parts of various killed babies and adults.

Could be interesting!

Related posts:

  1. Trawling the Internets - Issue #2
  2. The (Extra) Daily Review - RASL #2
  3. Comic Book Review - Dark Tower: The long Road Home #5
  4. Robert Kirkman is Becoming a Partner at Image Comics
  5. SDCC 2008 - Update #2


2 Responses to “John Reppion’s Haunted Towns”
  1. John Reppion says:

    Thanks very much for posting this Ed and for your kind words about my Liverpool book.

    The whole Michelle Remembers thing, whilst probably best taken with a healthy dose of salt in my opinion, is nevertheless very interesting. I don’t think it matters how long a place has been settled, these stories are still going to be there. I’d be very interested in learning more about the native stories and traditions associated with your neck of the woods too. I’ll bet there is a fair amount of bleed from the aboriginal tales through to the settler’s stories.

  2. Edward Kaye says:

    Damn, I’ve been meaning to reply to this. It’s been a crazy few days!

    No need to thank me, I thought the book was bloody excellent, and can’t wait to read the next one.

    Yeah, the Michelle Remembers story smells pretty fishy. I know of other people that went to a psychotherapist, and suddenly remembered all these ridiculous suppressed memories. It would have been more believable if they had said that she was abused and used in rituals etc, but then they went over the top with the whole appearance of Satan and intervention of Jesus etc. I believe that there are people who call themselves Satanists, who commit self-indulgent and perverse acts and use Satanism as an excuse, but the entire concept of a “real” Satan and God is frankly ridiculous!

    As for the bleed-in from aboriginal tales, there doesn’t really seem to be all that much of that. Sadly the First Nations people pretty much keep to themselves in reservations, and don’t tend to mix. I can’t blame them really. It’s a very sad situations. You would be surprised at the amount of people that tell you that they are not at all racist, and have no prejudices. Then in the same breath they will ask you how you can stand living so close to all those dirty, drunk, natives!

    I was thinking about this a little more this week actually, letting ideas gestate, and I was thinking of jotting down some ideas for an “alternative” guide to Victoria. Victoria is seen by many people as a place for “newly-weds and nearly-deads”, and is generally perceived to be sort of twee. However, there is all this interesting history here, and lots of different subcultures etc.

    Perhaps only of interest to local people, but it could be fun!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!