Sidmouth storyteller prepares to release spooky tales of Devon’s ghosts

Storyteller Janet Dowling

Storyteller Janet Dowling - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth storyteller is preparing to send chills down readers’ backs with her compilation of ghost tales.

Janet Dowling’s new book Devon Ghost Tales will hit the shelves on Monday, October 1 and features 17 stories from across the county.

The writer carried out extensive research by making site visits, visiting churches, libraries and museums for information to start reimagining the tales in a new way.

Janet said: “It’s not just another Devon ghost storybook, where ghostly sightings are listed as a gazetteer or a quick summary of the story that is told, but a serious attempt to get back to the history, the lives and the emotions of the people who may the source of the ghostly happenings.

“As a storyteller, I am passionate about finding the stories of the landscape, how they have influenced us and the relevance they have for today. These ghost stories still stand the test of time.

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“It’s part of a series of books that has enabled storytellers to collect the old stories and make sure that they are kept for future generations.

“As well as reading them under the covers at night.”

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The author, who also presents a storytelling show on Sid Valley Radio, confessed that there were deliberately no Sidmouth tales as she has begun to investigate stories from around the valley for a separate book.

Janet added: “I found there were quite a few so I kept them back to work on my next project “Curious and eerie tales of the Sid Vale” where I’m encouraging people to come forward and tell me their version of curious and eerie local tales.”

She will be attending several book signings in places featured in her book - including the Prospect Inn, Exeter, where a rag doll ghost has been seen.

Her first event will take place in Paragon Book on Wednesday (October 3) from 11am to 1pm.

Janet said she will be willing to talk to anyone about how she went ghost hunting, why she didn’t include some stories and tips to writing and telling ghost stories.

She will also be talking about her book at Sidmouth Library, as part of its author cream tea talks on November 20.

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