About Paul Adams - Author & Paranormal Historian

Paul Adams

I was born in Surrey in 1966 and grew up in South-West London. Through popular ghost books by writers such as Dan Farson and Mary Danby, together with late-night showings of Hammer Films, I became fascinated with the paranormal in both fact and fiction. But it was the discovery of Guy N. Smith’s pulp horror classic Night of the Crabs in a bookshop on Tolworth Broadway in 1977 that made me want to write. Instead of the Classics, I spent years reading horror and sci-fi, something I have never regretted. As well as Guy Smith, my major literary influences are the thrillers of Dennis Wheatley and the paranormal writings of Peter Underwood.

In the late 1970s, I visited the Tudor manor house at Sandford Orcas near Sherborne in Dorset and was shown around by the then tenants, Col. Francis Claridge and his wife: Claridge claimed that the building and its grounds were haunted by over a dozen ghosts including child poltergeists, a sinister stinking man and the spectre of a seven foot-tall rapist who only materialised in the presence of female virgin visitors. The experience captivated my imagination and was my introduction to the world of ghost hunting and psychical research.

My first published short story When Barriers Break, a ghostly tale set in London’s Highgate Cemetery with a monster stolen from Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999 (!) won a prize in a W.H. Smiths Young Writers Competition in 1983. I have worked in the UK Construction Industry as an architectural draughtsman for thirty years in London, Surrey and Hertfordshire, writing and researching ghosts, hauntings and psychical subjects in my spare time: three buildings in Kingston-upon-Thames, Guildford and Hemel Hempstead I have worked in had ghostly associations and several colleagues stated that they had heard and seen strange things they could not account for. In the autumn of 2006, I began a collaborative re-examination of the famous Borley Rectory haunting with Peter Underwood and Eddie Brazil which was published in 2009 as The Borley Rectory Companion. In 2011, The History Press issued our follow-up guide to the haunted churches of England, Shadows in the Nave. Since 2007, I have been actively researching materialisation mediumship and the physical phenomena of the séance room, taking part in over 100 black-out séances and sitting with several demonstrating mediums in Hull, Mansfield, Banbury and Oswestry.

In 2010, I established the Limbury Press, a small amateur publishing house which issues specialist paranormal titles on an ad-hoc basis. So far we have published Two Haunted Counties (2010), the memoirs of Luton-born ghost hunter Tony Broughall (1932-2013), and a history of the Ghost Club. A sequel to The South Shields Poltergeist by the Tyneside-based researchers Michael Hallowell and Darren Ritson is planned for Summer 2014.

I live in Luton, Bedfordshire with my four children and a black German Shepherd called Victory. Outside of psychical research, I am a keen amateur mycologist and also play the viola (I call it playing but others aren’t so generous) in a small amateur string orchestra in Bedford. My musical taste was once described by a record dealer as ‘caviar and kippers’: NWOBHM bands (Saxon, Maiden, Motörhead, Priest, Blitzkrieg) plus Deep Purple and Dio-era Rainbow; I am fascinated by the modern symphony orchestra and its greatest exponents: Mahler, Nielsen, Bruckner, together with British composers such as George Lloyd, Robert Simpson and Arnold Bax, plus Wagner’s Ring.
Current writing projects include a history of British vampirism in fact and fiction (Written in Blood), a paranormal trivia book (The Little Book of Ghosts) and a study of British physical mediumship (Behind the Curtain), all for The History Press.