‘Stories that go ‘bump’ in the night’ by Linda Morris in Sun Herald 23rd September 2012
‘Deborah Abela saw her one and only ghost ……..the ghost story is universal to children’s fiction.’
Deb Abela’s new series ‘Ghost Club series reveals her ghostly side when I interviewed her.
What the Dickens Is All This Fuss About Ghosts?
An interview by Susanne Gervay of
Deborah Abela, author of the Ghost Club series
Why would the famous Charles Dickens support your Ghost Club?
Dickens was fascinated by ghosts and claimed throughout his life to have seen many. Not only that, he was so intrigued by them, he was one of the founding members of the real Ghost Club in England. Formally launched in London in 1862, the club still meets once a month, offering to investigate ghostly goings on for anyone who calls. 2012 is their 150th anniversary and Dickens would be well pleased. (http://www.ghostclub.org.uk ) My Ghost Club operates a very similar service, except the two most successful catchers are kids.
Did you know that Charles Dickens has only 2 statues of him in the world. One in Philadelphia and one in Centennial Parklands in Sydney. The Dickens statue in Sydney, had his head stolen. Centennial Parklands created a copy of his head. You can see the statue in Dickens Drive in Centennial Parklands. We think a ghost stole Dickens’ head. Why and how could Angeline and Edgar find Dickens’ real head?
Oh I love the idea that a ghost stole Dickens’ head…and I think I might have a hunch about who was responsible. It is said that Charles Dickens is a very pesky ghost and is often seen roaming the place of his burial. Five days after his death in 1870, his spirit appeared at a séance in America. It returned frequently over the following decades, usually to propose an ending for his unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. So if I was to send Angeline and Edgar to investigate the disappearance of the statue’s head in Centennial Parklands, I would need to meet Dickens himself, who I’m sure would be a very willing participant in solving this mystery. We may well need to talk to a few eyewitnesses who are no longer with us and, of course, dig up a few of Dickens own ghostly characters to help out.
I have, mostly on camp and sleepovers, but when I was a kid it was my nanna who told me stories about ghosts. The ability to see ghosts ran in the female side of her family and the ghosts they could see were always relatives. So it was my nanna who started my ghostly fascination, especially in the way she wasn’t in any way scared by them. When I found out about the real Ghost Club, I knew I wanted to write about two young kids who, like my nanna, aren’t scared of ghosts and in fact, are very disappointed if they answer a call out and don’t see a ghost.
Are Angeline and Edgar going to have many adventures?
Oh I suspect there are many pesky ghosts that will need to be dealt with by my intrepid duo, but at the moment I have four planned and have just finished writing the first draft of the third novel called, The Transylvanian Ghost Convention.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes but I have only seen one ghost. It was late at night when I’d climbed into bed in an old warehouse I lived in. I knelt at the head of the bed, grabbed the curtains on either side of my window and was about to pull them closed when, outside, I saw the face of my nanna. She never said anything, simply stared straight at me. I didn’t run, I didn’t scream and I wasn’t the least bit scared. After a few minutes, she faded away. I calmly drew the curtains shut, feeling as if Nanna was still looking out for me and I had a very deep and very restful sleep.
Visit the next stop on Deborah’s blog tour:
Did you miss the previous stop? See http://www.thebookchook.com/
To see all the stops on the tour see http://www.DeborahAbela.com
Dickens Headless Statue and Charles Dickens Statue source: https://www.centennialparklands.com.au/about_us/history_and_heritage/statues_and_sculptures/charles_dickens_statue
Charles Dickens the man