Usborne's 1977 Cult Classic Ghost Book Is Back By Popular Demand

June 05, 2019 6:00 AM ‐ ParanormalBooks

This article is more than four years old and was last updated in August 2021.

The World Of The Unknown: Ghosts
If you grew up in the 70s or 80s then one of the most memorable books from your childhood is sure to be the classic picture book 'The World Of The Unknown: Ghosts'. (The book has now been published - see what we think of 'The World of The Unknown: Ghosts' in our review).

The book told illustrated stories of haunted houses and famous fakes, as well as tips on ghost hunting and strange happenings, including some of the most famous haunting cases of all time, such as the unforgettable tale of Borley Rectory, the Black Shuck, Gef the Mongoose and Pluckley, which is said to the most haunted village in the UK.

Fans of the original will get a chance to re-live those childhood memories by flicking through a brand new reissue of the cult classic, which will be released just in time for Halloween and it available to pre-order now.
The book has influenced a generation of ghost hunters and writers, and was read and re-read by obsessive fans of ghost stories. Eventually it went out of print, but it was never forgotten and now it's back in print as a result of a successful online petition and social media campaign.

The new version will be completely unchanged from the 1977 original, except for a new foreword by lifelong fan of the book, Reece Shearsmith. Reece promised to write a foreword for the book in a tweet to Usborne, "reprint and I'll do the new foreword!"

The BAFTA-winning actor, writer and comedian is best known for his creepy works including 'Inside No. 9' and 'Psychoville'. Much of his dark comedy has been influenced by this vintage Usborne book. The campaign for the book to be republished was supported by filmmaker, Ashley Thorpe, is set to release an animated movie telling the story of Borley Rectory, which features Reece.

Ashley, who not only directed and animated the film, is also credited as the writer. He said, "the subject of Borley Rectory seized my imagination as a child after stumbling across the legend in the 'Usborne Book of Ghosts' in the Exeter Library in the late 70s."

Borley Rectory was demolished in 1944 after being damaged in a fire but the legend of the haunting at the Victorian house in Essex lives on today. The large Gothic-style rectory was said to be haunted since it was built in 1862.

Reports ranged from hearing unexplained footsteps within the house, to sightings of the ghost of a nun who was often spotted at twilight in the grounds of the house, and even a phantom coach driven by two headless horsemen.

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"This is not just A book. It is THE book! As a kid, I took this out of my local library so many times, they just gave it to me... All makes sense now, doesn't it?"
Laurence Rickard, BBC screenwriter ('Horrible Histories' & 'Ghosts')
More than 1,200 people responded to the online petition, which included support from the likes of Nick Frost and Jon Culshaw. 'The World Of The Unknown: Ghosts' is re-released on October 3rd, 2019 and is available to pre-order from Amazon now.
World of the Unknown: Ghosts

World of the Unknown: Ghosts

First published in 1977, this cult classic has been reissued for a new generation of ghost-hunters. This book is for anyone who has shivered at shadowy figures in the dark, heard strange sounds in the night, or felt the presence of a mysterious 'something' from the unknown.

Ghost stories are as old as recorded history and exist all over the world. Many of the different kinds of ghosts that are thought to haunt the Earth and their behaviour are described here. You will meet haunting spirits, screaming skulls, phantom ships, demon dogs, white ladies, gallows ghosts and many more.

This book also explains the techniques and equipment of ghost hunting and tells how lots of 'ghosts' have been exposed as fakes or explained away as natural events. Also included are some theories that attempt to explain the possible existence of ghosts.

With a brand new foreword by BAFTA-winning writer, comedian and actor Reece Shearsmith, otherwise the book remains unchanged from the original.

Buy It Now

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