An Interview With The Ghost Busting Peter Townsend

Author: Peter Townsend, writer of Ghostly Images and all around great guy.

Interviewer: L. Vera, the only ninja on AKAQ, that you know of.

An Interview With The Ghost Busting Peter Townsend:

L. Vera: Peter it’s great to have you here on AKAQ.

Peter: Thanks for inviting me.

L. Vera: So what brought you to wonderful lands of “Literature”?

Peter: I like reading something that is different, quirky and original. Some years ago after reading a few novels with tired and uninspiring plots I thought I’d have a go at writing a story.

L. Vera: And the strange world of the paranormal?

Peter: I tend to have a sceptical outlook by nature. However, writing about Victorian spirit photography in Ghostly Images inevitably involved exploring the views of its paranormal supporters. Seeing apparent ghosts of dead family members and friends on their portrait photographs was proof of the afterlife for such people. Many supporters saw photography as reliable evidence of the spirit world in the golden age of spirit photography from the 1860s to the 1930s. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a pugnacious champion of the authenticity of spirit photography.

Others, in contrast, claimed these photographs were little more than crude and unconvincing fakes. Harry Houdini publicly debunked a number of fraudulent mediums and fake spirit photographers in his time.

L.Vera: Can photography really reveal evidence of the spirit world?

Peter: The American Museum of Photography, on the theme of Do You Believe? Science vs. Séance, has a collection of Victorian ghost photographs. It states: “Many of the images presented here have been studied and debated for nearly a century. Whether they are ludicrous or miraculous is in the eye of the beholder.” Readers might like to look at these photographs and form their own view. Are they ludicrous or miraculous? Why do they continue to fascinate both believers and skeptics today?

The American Museum of Photography 

L. Vera: What should readers expect to find in your book, Ghostly Images?

Peter: A serial murder mystery set in Whitby, North Yorkshire, during 1894. I’ll give you a brief flavour of the novel. David Taylor didn’t believe in the paranormal when he reluctantly became a spirit photographer. When ominous shadows appear on the photographs of young women slain by the Whitby Ripper, David is forced to think the unthinkable. Could his camera possess psychic powers that can predict death and expose a killer?  Meanwhile…The Whitby Ripper waits for his next victim.

L. Vera: Can you tell me more about the ‘other information’ on your blog?

Peter:  There’s information and photographs of Whitby, the setting for the novel. Here are two photographs of the town.

(photos of Whitby attached – you could use 2 or one of these –your choice)

L. Vera: Awesome photos! What other future projects should we look for?

Peter: It’s not very original but I was thinking of pitching an idea for a screenplay to Stephen Spielberg about the cesspit which is the UK banking industry. The title would be ‘Swindler’s List.’

L. Vera: Witty! But I think I’ve heard something similar to this?

Peter: I did warn you it wasn’t very original, didn’t I? But on a much more serious note it’s too early to think about another project at the moment. My novel was only released in June. I’ll see how things go over the coming months. If Ghostly Images attracts a reasonable amount of interest in the UK and US I’ll consider where to go from there.

L. Vera: What’s your favorite quote?

Peter: About bankers?

L. Vera: No. Can you give me your favorite quote about writing?

Peter: “Handwriting is civilization’s casual encephalogram.” – Lance Morrow

L.Vera: What does that mean?

Peter: I’ve no idea.

L.Vera: What do you regard to be the three main rules for anyone writing a novel?

Peter: I think W. Somerset Maugham sums it up well when he says: “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.”

L. Vera: It was great having you here and everyone here at AKAQ wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors and hope to be a small part of it.

Peter: Thanks for your interest and best wishes to you and all at AKAQ.

Readers can find out more about the book, how to buy, together with an excerpt at LL-Publications:

Peter’s blog has details about the history of spirit photography, together with other information at

(UK) link.

(USA) Amazon. com link


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