Thursday, 21 October 2010

Haunted Houses (1979)

From about 1978-1983 Usborne seem to have a had a merry old time producing rather creepy children's books. Haunted Houses was probably my favourite, it never went up in the attic and has always moved house with me. I must have been 6 or 7 when it was bought, and there's always been something unique about the illustrations and text, the same matter-of-fact style of drawing/writing that you'd get from a book on wildlife applied to a headless woman.

There's no 'we believe' or 'possibly' about it, she 'haunts a marsh on the west coast of England at dusk'. Fantastic.


  1. Brilliant. I see this series of books have popped up on here before and with good reason - they are truly remarkable. I love the title page in this book; skeleton with spooky village in background.

  2. Brilliant - I still have this and each illustration takes me back to my childhood. I love the sheer certainty in the writing.

  3. Agreed... Its funny how they never used 'speculation' or 'scientist's views' on this subject... Same happens in the Usborne book of UFO's...It's all very 'matter of fact'! Do they know something we dont????

  4. Yes, Usborne's 'World of the Unknown' series are much more tentative, but the Supernatural Guides; straight in there, no messing, here's your disturbing ghost, Wallop.