Gay Baldwin began researching and recording ghost stories in 1977, when the first book, Ghosts of the Isle of Wight, written with Ray Anker was published. There is certainly no shortage of hauntings on the Island, and More Ghosts of the Isle of Wight, Ghosts of the Isle of Wight III and Isle of Wight Ghosts Book 4, have also been local best sellers.
She devised the popular Island Ghost Walks, a series of historical walks with a supernatural slant, which have introduced thousands of Islanders and visitors to the darker side of towns such as Newport and Cowes.
Although not psychic herself, as a journalist who is also a member of the Ghost Club Society, Gay has interviewed many hundreds of people who have incredible and inexplicable experiences of hauntings. Armed with the facts, she then researches the history of the sites or houses involved, looking for reasons for the ghostly happenings.
Some accounts defy rational explanation and this fifth book of Isle of Wight ghost stories will give even the most confirmed sceptic pause for thought.
Some of the things that go bump in the night are easily explained away. An over-active imagination can conjure up all sorts of "ghostly" sounds, smells and apparitions. Creaking timbers; skeletal branches tap tapping on window panes; owls or bats in flight after dark; mice or rats scurrying through attics or behind walls, can be the innocent origin of many a ghost story. Not in every case however....
After more than forty years of writing about ghosts, Gay firmly believes in the supernatural. Too many people, reasonable, rational, sensible people, have had experiences and encounters, which cannot be explained away by anything other than supernatural means.
Gay would like to hear any strange tales of ghosts or hauntings that you might have. Call her on 01983 522196, or email: email@example.com
Some of your comments on the new Knighton Gorges book, thanks and keep them coming. Here are a few, including this from the Editor of Journal of the Ghost Club: You can also read the review in the Ghost Club Journal
"I really found the book to be a breath of fresh air. Yours was a fabulous mix of history and ghosts and it certainly increased my curiosity about the place. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone either interested in ghosts, or the history of the Isle of Wight and will defibnitely be seeking out the crumbling gateposts of Knighton Gorges for myself next time I visit the Island.
"Once a favourite holiday location for Queen Victoria, The Isle of Wight sits in the Solent about 4 miles off the Hampshire coast line and boasts that it is the most haunted island in the World. This is a reputation richly deserved, as it seems that any places on the Island can claim a ghostly inhabitant or two. One place which seems to beat them all hands down is the legendary Knighton Gorges, situated under Knighton Down in the parish of Newchurch. Once the grandest mansion on the Island, sadly all you will find today of Knighton Gorges are two decaying stone gateposts and an overgrown driveway. The land on which the house used to sit is private property.
Sarah Darnell wrote:
"For those who don’t know of the ghost stories culminating from Knighton Gorges, there are several, and until I read this book, I hadn’t realised quite how many! Things still happen – cars are said to inexplicably break down in the vicinity, power drains. A big plus for me with this book is that Gay doesn’t just concentrate on the Hauntings, she also covers the history of the house and its inhabitants in great detail.
"This I feel, gives the ghost stories much more credibility. The book has a good selection of pictures and although no photographs of Knighton Gorges exist (the camera hadn’t been invented at the time the building was demolished), Gay makes good use of artist impressions and ingravings, so you can get a good sense of what the building looked like.
Wayne Thomas wrote:
Ghosts of Knighton Gorges, Brilliant read, especially the historical background. When's the next "FIX" please?
John Matthews wrote:
"Loved the book Gay! thanks for a great read. What's next?"
Nick Harvey wrote:
"Congratulations must be in order - a wonderful read, very informative and I now know so much more about Knighton Gorges. You should be very proud of this one and I would like to say well done. All your research and hard work has paid off and I hope you have a well deserved rest after this one!"
Jerome Small wrote:
"Finished reading your book half an hour ago. I only started reading it at about 6 o clock last night must be a record."
Sue Little of Newport, IW, wrote:
"Hello Gay, I am enjoying reading your book, thanks also for the quick delivery to my door. "
Maureen Hastings of Gosport, wrote:
Thanks for the book, which I was unable to put down and read it in one evening!! What a story, it must be your best yet. I wish you lots of success with the book."
Alan Stroud of Cowes, wrote:
"You'll be pleased to hear I read the first part of your book, about the history of the house, in just two goes. I couldn't put it down. You've missed your vocation; you should have been a historian. It's really very good; I enjoyed it and I learnt a lot about the house and it's history that I didn't know. I like the way you've done the anorak's guide to the house and gathered together all the information from different sources and put it all in one place; that's how all histories should be done."
Jo Monck of Niton wrote:
"Just reading the book for a second time and it is just as good second time round, really enjoyed both the history and the ghost stories, excellent, so much research! That house is addictive."