In the last twenty-five years, ghost hunting has entered something of a golden age, with all sorts of technology playing its part and filling up an investigators kit bag. Cameras, EMF metres, InfraRed thermometers and spirit boxes all help to carve a science out of a difficult premise, with differing levels of credibility. In the early 1800s, things were a little bit different. It was a simpler time. All you needed back then was a stiff drink, or maybe two, and a loaded revolver, because as we all know, if you want to catch a ghost, you need to shoot it first. All well and good, provided the ghost you shoot isn’t just a man in his work overalls.

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (1804) Trial of FRANCIS SMITH (t18040111-79). Available at: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/record/t18040111-79.

Kirby, R.S. (1804) Kirby’s Wonderful & Scientific Museum. Barnard & Sultzer, London, UK.

Taylor, Joseph (1815) Apparitions; Or, The Meaning of Ghosts, Hobgoblins & Haunted Houses, Developed. Macdonald & Son, London, UK.

Waters, Thomas. (2015) Magic and the British Middle Classes, 1750–1900. Journal of British Studies, vol. 54, no. 3, 2015, pp. 632–53. 

Mitchell, Valentine (1926) The Newgate Calendar. Garden City Publishing CO. NY, USA.

The Star (1804) Coroner’s Inquests. The Star, Fri 06 Jan 1804, p4. London, UK.

The Star (1804) The Hammersmith Ghost. The Star, Mon 09 Jan 1804, p2. London, UK.

Morning Post (1804) The Ghost of Hammersmith. Morning Post, Fri 06 Jan 1804, p3. London, UK.

Kentish Gazette (1804) The Real Hammersmith Ghost. Kentish Gazette, Fri 13 Jan 1804, p3. London, UK.

Johnson’s Sunday Monitor (1804) Hammersmith Ghost. Johnson’s Sunday Monitor, Sun 15 Jan 1804, p3. London, UK.

Illustrated Police News (1937) Ghost Shot Dead In Village Cemetery. Illustrated Police News, Thurs 04 March 1937, p1. London, UK.

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