Will Maclean, The Apparition Phase and Conjuring Up Philip

In a shadowy nook of the early 1970s, know-all teenage twins Tim and Abi Smith convert the family attic into their own macabre bolthole of supernatural books and Victorian taxidermy. And, with the intention of creating a mild tabloid furore, they fake an unconvincing ghost photograph. Showing it to their ostracised classmate Janice Tupp initially seems little more than a sneering prank, but the siblings are alarmed when Janice transpires to have unlikely contacts beyond the veil. “I see you…” she warns. “I see the broken house with all the broken people in it. I see it coming back for you…” The twins’ hoax, she claims, has unleashed a genuine ghost.

Such is the premise of Will Maclean‘s splendidly chilling debut novel The Apparition Phase. Later, when Abi vanishes, Tim is unwittingly drawn into the quintessentially 1970s world of supernatural research: he joins a semi-commune of troubled teenagers and Machiavellian academics in Yarlings, a remote Suffolk country house commandeered for pseudo-scientific sessions around a haunted planchette.

Not only is the story riddled with delicious references to the cultural tropes of the era (Doctor Who, the Newby Hall spectre, chilli con carne), but – on a personal level – I was incredibly flattered when Will revealed that one of the inspirations behind the book was the original Haunted Generation feature, published in the Fortean Times in June 2017. A conversation for the website seemed delightfully inevitable, and – when I suggested a leisurely Thursday afternoon natter over Skype – Will thankfully knocked once on the virtual séance table and his spectral presence swiftly appeared in a flickering laptop window. Here’s our discussion in full:

Bob: What was your starting point for The Apparition Phase? It has a lot of plot strands – was there one idea in particular that kicked off the story?

Will: I had a different literary agent when I started, and she said “play to your strengths, write a ghost story. That’s obviously what you’re interested in.” So I wrote 10,000 words of a story set in the present day. It was about estate agents, so y’know… scary already. But it never went anywhere. I spoke to lots of estate agents, and they all had creepy stories about houses they’d tried to let, so that was a good starting point… but it really wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

Then I read your article in the Fortean Times and I just thought… you know what, the hauntology territory might be familiar to me, but it’s not familiar to a lot of other people. The Guardian review of the book actually said that some of the details “smelled slightly of Google” and I thought, “I didn’t have to google anything!”. Things like The Stone Tape were just the reference points we grew up with.

So I started to make a wish list of tropes. Haunted houses, séances, all the things you’d find in that type of fiction in the mid-1970s. And I thought, “Can I do anything new with these?” And I spoke to my sister, because we did actually fake a ghost photograph when we were kids… 

I wondered that! She’s not actually your twin, is she?

She’s not, she’s two years older than me! Tim and Abi’s relationship is much more intense and much… odder. But we had a mutual interest in those kind of things, and we did fake a photograph. And it was rubbish. Absolutely appalling.

Talk us through it, how did you do it?

We did exactly what’s described in the book. Put chalk on the wall, and took a picture of it. And then we thought “Well, this isn’t going to fool anybody…”

But when my sister took a photography course later on, she showed it to her tutor and apparently he was terrified! So that little nugget was the starting point. That and the idea of Tim and Abi being twins, which is interesting from a storytelling point of view. And it’s a cheesy thing to say, but I just listened to their voices. Once those characters started talking, the story just flowed from there. It was a delight to write.

I also put together a notebook, filled with mood boards of images that brought to mind that particular time, with words and sentences I found chilling or apposite. It looked bananas when I’d finished it, but it meant that I ended up knowing the world I was writing about inside out, as well as revealing some interesting tangents. A lot of it didn’t go into the book directly, but it all ended up providing flavour. I wanted the 1970s to seem as complex and multi-layered – and as filled with potential – as the present moment always does. Like it hadn’t happened yet. 

The era feels perfect. There are little mini-eras within the 1970s, and 1972-74 is that weird period when the post-hippy counterculture had seeped through into the mainstream. So you’d have major publishers putting out books full of paranormal material – often for kids! And Nationwide would include stories about poltergeists alongside reports of industrial action or foreign wars.

And they’d be treated with the same weight. “This is the world we live in. There are strikes… and there are ghosts!” You find that tone in things like the Usborne Ghosts book. The matter-of-factness in that is just phenomenal. “Ghosts will often try to walk through a wall…” [Laughs]

So I made a timeline of hauntology using your starting point of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with all its associated Victoriana. Which I think is the starting point, and things fall into several distinct phases from there. Then it starts to wither about 1980, and by 1986 it’s nowhere to be found.

After that feature was published, one of the letters to the Fortean Times was from a reader called Richard Carey, who said he could pinpoint the exact moment when “that” feeling ended for him, and it was when he saw the Star Destroyer rumbling across the screen in the opening scenes of Star Wars. I guess, from then on, everything for him was digital: space, and robots. For me, it extends a little bit beyond that, but I can see how that moment could be a watershed.

It’s the start of what I’ve come to call the “radio telescope end of hauntology”. After that, you start to get a weird mix of computers and stone circles, and it gives things a shot in the arm, but essentially it’s doomed. But compiling that timeline… you’re right, 1972-74 feels like the high watermark. It just seemed obvious to set the book during that period.

You touch upon this in the book, but the fascination with the supernatural bled into academia as well. It was the era when universities were dabbling with ESP and psychic research…

Absolutely. I’m fanatical about books, especially rediscovering old second-hand books… and I think that comes over in The Apparition Phase, with Tim and Abi’s library. There’s a book called Science and the Spook… and obviously the Philip Experiment: I thought the book about that would be a charity shop classic, but it cost me a fortune! It was eye-wateringly expensive! But I thought, having put it in The Apparition Phase, that I couldn’t not own a copy – so I spent £120 on it.

Tim talks about the idea of, one day, ghosts being “solved”. And you can really feel that in the literature of the time. Scientific research will crack it all wide open, and we’ll finally know what ghosts really are. That feeling runs through all of these books, and it’s really strange.  

It’s a sea change in culture, I think. Up until the 1970s, I think there was the idea that the paranormal consisted of things that science had yet to explain – but, one day, it would. But after that, the “unexplained” became part of the counter-culture. Now, you’d be ridiculed for taking any kind of scientific approach to the paranormal.

There’s another way of doing it, though. A woman called Caron Lipman wrote a wonderful book called Co-habiting With Ghosts. It came out in 2016, and it was her talking to people who live in haunted houses. I went to see her give a talk, and she introduced it by saying that she wouldn’t be talking about whether she believed in ghosts, or whether or not they’re objectively real. She just talked about the experiences of people who live in these houses, and believe they’re being haunted. And it just seemed like a really sane approach, to treat this non-judgmentally. People clearly have odd experiences: let’s just talk to them, and see what those experiences are.

But that’s the only example I can think of in the past 20 or 30 years where that approach was taken.

It’s a very Fortean approach. Just present the evidence without necessarily making any judgement.

Yes! It’s a fantastic book. She was great, and it was really great to hear someone talking about these things. And there’s quite a lot of that in The Apparition Phase, I think. You know… does it really matter if these things are real or not? Given the effect they have on human behaviour?

I’m being cautious with spoilers here, but I guess that’s the crux of the book: is it possible to psychologically create a ghost that bears no resemblance to anyone who has ever lived or died?

Yes, that’s probably as far as we can go with that one! [Laughs]

But yes, I wanted to make it as original as I possibly could. Ghost stories are either about a real ghost, and that takes the story into a certain kind of territory, or they’re psychological – which is interesting as well, but with that, you’re definitively shutting down the possibility of the ghost being real. It seemed like those were the only two options, but I tried to think of others and to play around with them a little.  

Well I won’t shy away from asking – where do you stand on it all? Are you a believer, a cynic, or somewhere inbetween?

I would say I’m an agnostic. I love ghost stories, and I’ve had odd things happen to me, but I think the brain is a very faulty recording instrument! I honestly don’t know. And I’m happy not to know. I don’t like certainties… if you’re writing stories, certainties shut down so many possibilities. In a world that seems to have a complicated relationship with perception, there’s just so much that we don’t know. And it’s fascinating to speculate.

I certainly don’t like ghost stories that don’t have a ghost. I find that very unsatisfactory.

“Odd things” have happened to you? You can’t just leave that hanging…

I saw a UFO when I was 16. It was me and a couple of mates… we weren’t high, and we weren’t drunk, but we were at that stage where you think: “We’ll stay up all night, that’ll be great!”

So we walked to West Kirby. From Wallasey, you go over the M53, past Moreton, and you’re into the fields. We were out all night, and on the way back we saw something in the sky. It was triangular, which I’ve learned since is quite a classic shape. And it was silent. It just flew over and came to an absolute dead stop, stayed for about thirty seconds, then it went off at a tremendous speed.

That was the whole experience, and it was so strange. I’m still in touch with one of the people who had that experience with me, and we still say: “What was that?” But we’ll never know, and I’m happy not to know. It was just so odd.

How did you feel at the time?

I was annoyed at the uselessness of it all! That there were no answers. And that I would never know what I saw. But I’ve come to terms with that now. That’s the pure paranormal experience for me – there’s never an Act 3. You never get told: “Oh, it was an experimental aircraft”. At the time, I wasn’t even shaken up it. I was just annoyed that that was the whole experience.

Any idea when this happened?

It was 1989. 

It’s just that Stephen Brotherstone, from the Scarred For Life books, saw it as well. Also over Merseyside.

No! Oh, dear…

The first time I went to Liverpool to meet him, he drew me a picture of it. It was definitely triangular. And he told me, essentially, your story. In virtually identical terms.


Oh my God…

You need to get in touch with him.


I do… and then we can have more frustrating conversations that don’t have an answer! [Laughs] That is very, very strange. There you go, you see… keep an open mind!

I really liked Scarred For Life; I bought and enjoyed that first volume so much. I haven’t got hold of the second volume yet, but I loved that they left no stone unturned. It’s a proper piece of sociology. It’s just nice that someone mapped all that stuff out. Even with the stuff that’s over-familiar… it was such a good piece of work.

There are a lot of séances in The Apparition Phase, too. Ever been present at one?

Nope! Sorry. Although… I don’t want to give too much away here, but the thing that they speak to… a lot of thought went into that. In The End of Borley Rectory by Harry Price, there are transcripts of the séances, and they’re fascinating. So there’s an echo of those in The Apparition Phase. I mean, if you entertain for a second the idea that you’re speaking to a once-human or a non-human or post-human intelligence… come on, that’s brilliant.

But they may not be. They may just be egging each other on to have this collective experience. Which you would, there’s a pressure to perform at these things. But I really liked making that entity as nasty as it was. If you’re going to have a ghost, you need a malevolent one! Whose roots are ill-defined… even if the ghost is coming from you, that’s also somehow terrifying. 

I like the fact that a planchette is used. Was that a little nod to the party scene in Alan Garner’s Elidor? Red Shift gets a namecheck as well…

There are so many things I put into the book as little Easter Eggs! There’s also an homage to Red Shift with the red and blue motif. Abi’s school tie is red and blue…

Of course! That never occurred to me!

I like books that have stuff you’d miss the first time around! I really wanted to write a book like that. There’s a lot of undiscovered stuff in there, and people are digging around for it all. Which is really nice.

Is there also more drama to be had from setting the book in the pre-technological age? There’s a disturbing scene where Tim is lost in the countryside… and obviously nowadays he’d just phone for help. Or get his bearings from the GPS on his phone. Does the abscence of those elements open up better storytelling possibilities?

It does. M.R. James said you should always set a ghost story in the past, and I think that’s good advice. If you look at his stories, their entire settings are haunted. If his characters get on a train, it’s a steam train; and if they go to Aldeburgh it’ll be full of people with horses and carts or whatnot: it’s an Edwardian world, and to us that world is haunted anyway. It’s also haunted by what’s going to happen to it: it’s going to be pulverised by the First World War. But it’s also haunted by our memory of it, as an idyll of some kind. And the 1970s has now undergone the same process.

The other big influence was Mark Fisher, whose work I only discovered as I was writing this book. I loved his ideas about cultural deceleration… the notion that culture hasn’t really moved on since about the mid-1990s. It’s very hard to argue with that. Especially since the age of the internet: what used to be a plurality of stories has become just one story now. We’ve only got the internet. It’s now devoured everything, and sometimes it seems that the only story we can tell is a story told through technology.

Exemplified by the ghost that contacts the kids during the seance, Tobias Salt: nowadays, they’d just Google him to see whether he’d ever been a real person.

They totally would – there’d be absolutely no story! I mean, there are still unsettling stories you can tell in the digital age. Black Mirror has proved that. But the internet doesn’t lend itself well to the supernatural, I don’t think. The only influence of it on The Apparition Phase is the Slender Man… “Mr S” in the book is an echo of him. I like that idea of the open source myth… although, obviously, it spilled into the real world with terrible consequences.

The Slender Man is such a bizarre phenomenon. We know exactly who invented that story, and where, and when. It’s documented. And yet, that doesn’t seem to matter to some people…

It doesn’t, and that’s really interesting. Also, we’ve just seen QAnon and the fruit that has borne. It’s an age when these things have such a real world currency, and yet they are nakedly fictional. It’s very strange. That interaction is such an interesting thing to write about.

Is that something you’d like to explore more, then?

I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve got a couple of ideas for new things. But it’s been very hard to write during lockdown. At the start of it all, the Times Literary Supplement or the LRB – I forget which – interviewed writers about their plans, and they all claimed they were going to read Homer’s Odyssey or something. Whereas I was lucky if I had time to have a shower…

It’ll actually be interesting to see what fiction comes out of this. I don’t think people are going to want to read about viruses! I went to the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden when the theatres re-opened for a while last September, and saw a play about a pandemic. And I almost viscerally resisted it. I wanted escapism.

Was there possibly an element of that in the 1970s as well? There wasn’t a global pandemic, but life could be grim and bleak. Did we look to the paranormal and fantastical in the spirit of “God, there’s got to be something more than this…”?


I think there’s always a reason when people turn to these things en masse. It was the fall-out from the hippy dream and the Age of Aquarius. All that energy had to go somewhere. No matter how much science tells us to stop believing in “woo”… people don’t. It’s expecting objectivity from human beings, who are incapable of it. I’m incapable of it. To suddenly expect people to say “OK, we mustn’t believe anything weird”… it’s bonkers. People will always believe weird stuff.

I wonder if the 1970s interest in the uncanny was a reaction to the explosion in technology as well. Harold Wilson’s “white heat”, and Brutalist town centres. It’s all very futuristic and totalitarian. Was there an element of reacting against a world of colour televisions and concrete tower blocks by wanting to live in a world of witches and fairies and ghosts?

Yeah, and I think that’s actually very timely for now. With the Folk Horror Revival and hauntology. If you work on a laptop now, you just spend all day moving electrons around. You miss that connection with something beyond the everyday. That’s very seductive.

Is The Apparition Phase a bit of a departure for you? It’s a very dark book, but your CV has a lot of TV comedy on it…

It is, yes! It’s much darker than I intended it to be…

I did wonder, given your background, whether you’d actually started with the intention of writing something a little tongue-in-cheek.

No. Terrible to say that, isn’t it? But no. Writing comedy sharpens you up… it’s a good grounding for horror, and I think there’s a massive crossover between the two genres. They’re both very disciplined. A laugh is immediate – you instantly know if you’ve got it right or not – and I think scaring someone is the same.

I’ve written comedy, and kid’s TV, and it’s very enjoyable. But I really wanted to have a shot at this. I’m in my forties, and it’s the first time creatively that I’ve just thought, “Right – what do I want to do?” And I hope that enthusiasm comes across. If you work in telly, everything is interfered with at every stage of its gestation – for good and for ill. You get a lot of notes, and you’re very often not trusted to do something of your own.

But the book has just been a joy. It really was a case of thinking: “What is the book that I myself would like to read?”

Although even in your comedy work, I noticed you’d written for people who I suspect would appreciate the feel of The Apparition Phase. Peter Serafinowicz, for example, clearly understands the aesthetic of unsettling 1970s TV. Look Around You was incredible.

Yeah, him and Robert Popper are both brilliant. And there are people like Joel Morris and Jason Hazeley, who have always done this sort of thing. They know all this stuff inside out. And Alice Lowe, of course… who I just think is a genius. They all seem to have an interest in this stuff.

What did you write for Peter?

Oh God, it’s just so long ago… I have a feeling Brian Butterfield’s Christmas Pizza might have originated with me, but someone else wrote it up… The Ready Steady Cook bit that’s 30 seconds long and incredibly stressful… I wrote that with John Camm.

But comedy was one of the first victims of the credit crunch. You’ll notice, if you look at my CV, there’s a reduction of my comedy work after 2008. It was one of the first things that got cut back. So after that, I went more into children’s TV. Which is brilliant, it’s a really great apprenticeship for any writer.

Anyone who’s worked on Bear Behaving Badly is fine by me.

There you go! Honestly, the people who make these shows are not cynical: they really care about the product and the kids. It’s exactly what you’d hope for. For the most part, I cannot speak highly enough of people who make kid’s TV. And again, it’s about discipline as a writer. You learn to plot things better, you learn to give the jokes space and to give all the characters a little moment each. There’s no apprenticeship for these things, so you just pick it up as you go along. It’s an Invisible College of Working In Telly. It’s great.

I hope those years of learning come across in the book. Although there are no Bear Behaving Badly references in there, sorry.

I was desperate for Snuggly Ducky Duck Duck to make an appearance.

[Laughs]. That’s what the ‘S’ stands for in “Mr S”…

I was intrigued by your 2014 film The Cunning Woman as well…

That was me and Joel Morris. In 2012, we were just so annoyed. As a TV writer, it’s hard to be taken seriously if you’re not also in front of the camera. As I say, they often don’t trust you with your own work. And I said to Joel, “Look – if money was no object, what would you do?”

He said “I’d make a ghost story…”

So we went away to Suffolk with some friends – Susy Kane and Ann Bryson. They’re both brilliant actors, and they just wanted to do it. We pulled in a ton of favours, and put some of our own money into it, and we made an old-fashioned ghost story. It’s flawed, and it was made at such a pace that it was both terrifying and brilliant, but it taught us so much.

As a writer, the production process and the filming are things that you’re not normally allowed anywhere near. So I think, for both of us, it was a turning point really. It just made us better at what we do. And I think you need to do those things, because they always lead somewhere interesting. I just went: “You know what… I’m not going to send speculative scripts into BBC2 any more, because I’ve been doing that for seven years and it hasn’t got me anywhere. I’m going to do something different”.

It just forces people to view you in a different way, and forces you to think of yourself differently, in a creative sense. Which is always a good thing.

Was The Cunning Woman the first time you’d really drawn on those experiences of watching TV in the 1970s, too?

Yes. It has all of those tropes. We tried to make it as Lawrence Gordon Clark as possible, without being Lawrence Gordon Clark! It was just so much fun to do, but it involved pulling in so many favours, from brilliant people who did it for nothing, that I don’t think we’d be able to do it again. 

I was very touched by the acknowledgement you gave me at the end of The Apparition Phase, although you do say that you thought my Fortean Times feature “breathed new life into the twitching corpse of 1970s hauntology”. Which implies you thought the scene was fading somewhat – is that true? And did you then realise that it wasn’t?

I think that’s exactly right. I thought it was done and dusted, and everyone had got all the reference points. But it’s not – it’s proliferated hugely. At the moment, I’m reading Merlin Coverley’s Hauntology book, and that’s introduced me to people like Vernon Lee, who I never knew about. And to The Apparition Phase I’ve added things like the J. Wentworth Day book, and the Christina Hole book. There’s such a wealth of material, and some of it has political relevance, too – that idea of futures being abandoned is a fascinating concept. 

What I was afraid of was pure nostalgia – that doesn’t interest me at all. I’m not big on “Do you remember Scalextric…”

Yeah. I love poking around in the little corners of the past, but I don’t actually want any of it back. I’m not especially sentimental about “the golden days” when kids ate Orange Fruities on swings all day. But as an era that existed forty years ago, the more curious corners and implications of which haven’t yet been fully explored, it fascinates me. 

Exactly. Especially now with, as we were saying, that uniformity of experience and emotion. It seems that everyone has the same feelings now, and those feelings are very public. There’s no underground now, there’s no room for anything to grow unobserved, it’s immediately exposed to the world. I miss all of that – but I think you’re right, I wouldn’t bring any of it back.

Where did you relationship with hauntology begin? Did you discover Ghost Box Records in the 2000s?

I discovered them really late, around 2012. I like picking up stuff accidentally, or through recommendations, where friends go, “Have you heard this?” That just feels really rewarding. But it’s a great label. I played Pye Corner Audio a lot during the writing of The Apparition Phase, because to me those albums had a real emotional resonance. And it is an emotional thing, hauntology. An emotional connection to a particular feeling.

It’s odd, but I now find that most potent era for me is the time just before my memories start. That 1972-74 era, exactly when The Apparition Phase is set. I wasn’t born until 1972, but I completely identify with that period.

Precisely. I was born in 1973, so it’s nostalgia for something I can’t remember.

But it’s within touching distance…

It’s really funny having a small child. She’s four, and she’ll say “When I was a baby…” like it was a halcyon time for her…

My God!

“When we used to go there…” and it’s literally a place we visited 18 months ago. For her, it’s a Shangri-La that’s gone. A wistful memory to be explored. I like that.

It’s amazing that she’s started doing it so young. I remember being 11 in 1984 and feeling nostalgic for the summer of 1981, when I was eight.

I think all children do that. “Those were the days…” [Laughs]

Whereas now, three years passes in a blink! There’s probably something on the floor of my house that was dropped three years ago, and I haven’t got round to picking it up yet.


Three years ago is the same as now!

Twenty years ago is the same as now…

This is what Mark Fisher said about cultural deceleration. And there’s still a lot to be written about this: that aspect maybe hasn’t had its time yet. I’m quite interested in the fact that most musicians now use the same suite of software… it brings a uniformity.

I’d always thought that too. But a few years ago I was interviewed by a group of sixth form students about music, and I mentioned that I found it quite hard to tell the difference between the commercial chart music of 2000, and that of 2017 – when this conversation was taking place. And they looked at me like I was insane. To them, it was completely different. I might as well have said that I couldn’t tell the difference between 1930s oompah music and The Beatles.

But they couldn’t articulate it. They implied it was more to do with lyrical subjects and the look of videos and costume design. Not necessarily the technology of the music.


I think they’re absolutely correct. It’s the attitude that has changed, And you’d expect that in pop music, that’s what should happen. And there have been musical breakthroughs, and there’s always good stuff out there, but yeah… it’s very hard to escape Mark Fisher’s theory. “Does this sound like it couldn’t have been released before 1995…?”

I guess technology plays a huge part. Once you can work with an infinite number of multi-tracks, and digitally edit every individual element of your recordings to the micro-second, where do you go from there? How can the production of music actually improve?

Yeah, and the cheapness of it plays a part as well. Everybody can do it. Do you know what… [Laughs] I’m getting way out of my comfort zone talking about music here! I guess there’s always something new.

So The Apparition Phase is out in hardback now, and the paperback is due on 14th October. I saw a terrific thing as well – you’ve signed 1000 copies, and written on each a word that, when they’re all put together, comprise a 1000-word short story! Where did that idea come from?

Goldsboro – which is a bookseller in London that specialises in modern first editions – has a book club, and they made The Apparition Phase their book of the month for November 2020. Which was wonderful. I heard about this in September, and I started to think “How can I make this more special?”. As a fan of books as physical objects, I mean. So I kept bothering Jason Arthur, the publisher at Heinemann, with all these questions. “Will the 1000 editions be numbered?” and so on, just wanting to know the parameters of it.  And then I had this idea of hiding a short story in there. Jason thought it was bonkers but was happy to go with it, which speaks volumes about him as a good publisher.

It took a couple of weeks to write the exactly-1000-words-long piece, and a whole morning to write an individual word in 1000 books, as well as signing them, but the staff at Goldsboro were really helpful, and Jason pitched in too. Philip Schofield was in the office briefly, to talk to someone about his book, which added to the very surreal nature of the day!  I had a lot of failsafes in place too. I didn’t want be notable as the person who attempted this really good idea and messed it up!

And it really took off… the Times and other news sources ran the story, and I was interviewed by Mariella Frostrup about it. But more importantly, readers really responded to it, and a bunch of them have started putting together the words. They’re really organised, too! They have a spreadsheet! So far they’ve collected just under a third of the words…

The Apparition Phase – 1000 Words – Google Sheets

The story itself is written by one of the main characters in the book, and it’s their opinion on certain matters connected to the main plot. The novel stands alone without the piece – you don’t need to have read it to enjoy the book. There are secrets in it, though. It’s also one of my favourite characters, so it was good to revisit their voice.

And what’s your next project?

Well it’s been quite the year, but I am writing something new, and that will probably be set in the past as well. But it may not be… that’s a terribly boring cryptic thing to say, isn’t it? But I’m in a position again where I can write something that I would actually want to read myself – and that’s brilliant. At this point, I don’t know if I’ll write another ghost story or not. Although there’s more than one type of ghost to write about…

2 thoughts on “Will Maclean, The Apparition Phase and Conjuring Up Philip

  1. Haptalaon June 7, 2021 / 8:45 am

    Interested to

    Like

  2. Haptalaon June 7, 2021 / 8:49 am

    Oh dear me, let’s try that again.

    Interested to hear that you have a connection to the 72-74 period without being born for it. I love these things, and was born far later. I wonder if it’s something to do with the fact that when you were growing up, the cultural detritus from 72-74 was already old and hanging around in libraries and doctor’s surgery waiting rooms and so forth. & the hauntology of it is related to memory, but not so much one’s memories of up-to-date popular culture but one’s memories of what was actually tangible and present.

    Can’t believe I haven’t come across Vernon Lee until now

    Like

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