The cover of 'Ghostland' by Edward Parnell

Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country is a work of narrative non-fiction that is being published in hardback by William Collins on 17 October 2019. Its RRP will be £16.99.

It will be available in UK bookshops such as Waterstones, Blackwells and Foyles – and many lovely independent stores – as well as here from Amazon, where it will also be available as an e-book.

Ghostland is a journey around the British Isles that takes in Wales, Scotland, the far south-west of England, East Anglia and the north-west, as the author explores key sites that influenced writers, filmmakers and artists whose work explores the weird and the eerie – as well as the places that have a special meaning to his own story…


From the inside cover…

In his late thirties, Edward Parnell found himself trapped in the recurring nightmare of a family tragedy. For comfort, he turned to his bookshelves, back to the ghost stories that obsessed him as a boy, and to the writers through the ages who have attempted to confront what comes after death. 

In Ghostland, Parnell goes in search of the ‘sequestered places’ of the British Isles, our lonely moors, our moss-covered cemeteries, our stark shores and our folkloric woodlands. He explores how these landscapes conjured and shaped a kaleidoscopic spectrum of literature and cinema, from the ghost stories and weird fiction of M. R. James, Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood to the children’s fantasy novels of Alan Garner and Susan Cooper; from W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn and Graham Swift’s Waterland to the archetypal ‘folk horror’ film The Wicker Man . . . 

Ghostland is Parnell’s moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – and what is haunting him. It is a unique and elegiac meditation on grief, memory and longing, and of the redemptive power of stories and nature.


The following list contains some of the key figures that feature in Ghostland:

A Wicker Man figureRobert Aickman
A. L. Barker
E. F. Benson
Algernon Blackwood
Lucy Boston
John Buchan
Robert Burns
Ithell Colquhoun
Susan Cooper
Walter de la Mare
Arthur Conan Doyle
Alan Garner
John Gordon
Two distant figures on Borth beach, Wales.Thomas Hardy
L. P. Hartley
William Hope Hodgson
Elizabeth Jane Howard
M. R. James
Rudyard Kipling
Arthur Machen
Paul Nash
Amyas Northcote
W. G. Sebald
Graham Swift