New novel chronicles study of Wolds spook

A new book exploring the legend of a famed Wolds-area spectre is now available to buy, and you are also invited to tell your own tales of terror.

The Boggart by Simon Young
The Boggart by Simon Young

‘The Boggart’ by Simon Young is the first in-depth study of this mysterious supernatural being that once stuck terror into the hearts of locals across Lincolnshire and the North-West of England for centuries.

In fact, these horrifying and enigmatic creatures have featured in northern folklore for more than 500 years and their legendary myths survive today, whether as the inspiration for a place-name or as monsters from fantasy fiction.

Despite their enduring place in British legend, many would struggle to agree what exactly a boggart is, and Simon has spent many years hunting the true nature of this shape-shifting spook.

Using long-forgotten written sources and by capturing contemporary memories through his Boggart Census – which received over 1,100 responses – this ground-breaking book uncovers how boggarts have been viewed over the centuries.

‘The Boggart’ has succeeded in reconstructing boggart beliefs, experiences and tales on a scale never before achieved, and with the publication of this book comes the surprising discovery that almost everything we think we know about boggarts is wrong.

Simon has rediscovered that “boggart” was the word used to describe all solitary supernatural spirits –everything from headless phantoms and killer mermaids to sinister black dogs and shape-changing ghouls.

When viewed in this new light, it becomes clear why the boggart has been represented and remembered in so many different and contradictory guises.

However, the spooky and menacing boggarts that have haunted Lincolnshire and the North since Tudor times are slowly being replaced by a more harmless representation, and the old traditions of the boggart die out, they shape-shift once more and retain their place in British mythology.

Readers are now also being asked to submit their own memories and experiences to add to Simon’s Boggart Census.

Did you grow up listening to bedtime stories of boggarts? Would your Gran tell you to “stop making boggarts” if you were getting into mischief? Was your childhood home next to Boggart Hole Clough or on Boggart Lane?

The Boggart Census is still ongoing and you can email Simon with your stories at [email protected]

‘The Boggart’ is now 
available to buy via 
University of Exeter Press website at www.exeterpress.co.uk/en/Book/2112/The-Boggart.html