Saturday, 7 June 2014


Ian Topham
Mysterious Britain & Ireland

What inspired your site?
I got involved in seriously investigating claims of the paranormal over twenty years ago, though I have been reading about and had an interest in hauntings etc for most of my life.  A couple of my friends had been making very brief notes on cases they came across in books and magazines, just a one line description with a reference note,  which they then indexed in a binder by county.  This work by Daniel Parkinson and Andy Griggs formed the initial backbone of the Mysterious Britain & Ireland website when Dan and I eventually started putting it together in the late 1990’s

Probably one the main influences for creating the site was ASSAP’s (Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) Project Albion.  
 Albion has been likened to a Domesday book of the paranormal, attempting to record and map the full spectrum of anomalies, folklore and legends, past and present, within their geographical, as well as historical, context. 

So the basic idea for the site was to create a gazetteer, mapping the articles out county by county.  Our original articles were rather brief short pieces and the maps were not very detailed, but when the website was revamped in 2005 with a proper management system we were able to develop a database, cross reference articles and include detailed maps.  Copying everything over at that point took six months but it was worth it.

What are your aims?The aims of the website have not really changed since we set it up.  We are dedicated to furthering knowledge in local landscape mysteries, folklore, myths and legends. To provide a growing resource for Britain's myths, legends, mysterious phenomena, 'sacred' sites and strange events. To create a network of people interested in similar topics. To stimulate interest in folklore and legends and its connection to the landscape.
What plans do you have for the future? 
Hopefully more of the same.  We usually update the site several times each week and the English gazetteer alone now has over 1000 articles. I just wish I could write for the site full time, but I realise that we have undertaken a mammoth task and no matter how hard we try we will never manage to map out everything.  I just hope that what we do manage to do is helpful and entertaining for the readers.

We have also started mapping out sites of interest, events, folklore and legends relating to other countries which we will continue to do as I find it fascinating looking at similarities between British and foreign cases and folklore.

We don’t have any huge changes to the website lined up at the moment.  The forum is a little redundant at the moment and many of the readers are posting on out Facebook page instead, so we may close the forum to avoid having to police spammers.

We are open to ideas though and if anyone has an idea that would enhance the site the readers enjoyment of it please let me know.


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