Ghost writers or ghost novels? These books and the mediums that penned them claim that they were actually written by famous writers.
Through the popularity of spiritualism and mediums at the turn of the century, some books were written through a medium either using a ouija board or through automatic writings.
When you find these strange ghost books in the library, they are all cataloged under the writer’s name, not the medium. They are also known as the last written work of said author if they ever were published because none could prove that they didn’t write them.
Here are some examples of books written by ghosts, or at least that people claim are written by spirits long dead.
Mark Twain: Jap Herron: A Novel written from the Ouija Board
Seven years after his death, the medium Emily Grant Hutchings together with Lola Hayes, claimed that a book was dictated to them from American author, Mark Twain.
The books written by ghosts was published in 1917 after a two year communications through the ouija board according to Hutchings. The book came into notoriety when the New York Times published a piece on it, and many found the story indeed in Twain’s spirit.
Spiritism was at its peak and it was not an uncommon thing that books were written by ghosts and it was only one of a few books published in that year that came through a medium as a channeled text, although Mark Twain was definitely one of the more well known authors.
However, the daughter of Mark Twain, Clara Clemens did not find this publication to be that of her father and tried to take the case to court. She managed to get Hutching to stop publishing the book and have copies of it destroyed.
The Writings of Shakespeare’s Spirit
According to the library, there are in fact more than one book written by Shakespeare spirit. It is the book Shakespeare’s Revelations and My Proof of Immortality. And in Shakespeare’s bibliography there are more than one volum of books written by ghosts.
It was actually through the medium Sarah Taylor Shatford these works were produced. She was a poet herself, and published the first book of poems in 1919, filled with poems reflecting the wartime, and encouraged readers to follow a Christian life.
Shatford said that she first encountered the voice of Shakespeare through the ouija board, but later through a Clairaudient, where he was basically talking through her.
This is not the only medium/writer that claims to have been the ghost writer of the great Shakespeare. In 1920, Gregory Thornton published Sonnets of Shakespeare’s Ghost. This piece of work was closer to Shakespeare’s voice we can find in his other writings from his living days. It turned out, Thornton was actually a pseudonym for a literature professor named T.G Tucker.
But it wasn’t only poems Shakespeare allegedly wrote from the afterlife. In 1916, an author by the name Lincoln Phifer self published Hamlet in Heaven, a sequel to Hamlet. Apparently, Phifer received the writings from Shakespeare like he would have a telephone call.
Ian Fleming and the James Bond Novel Written by his Ghost
In 1964, Ian Fleming, most known for the James Bond novels, died. But it wasn’t the last James Bond novel written under his name. In 1970, a manuscript from a middle aged woman named Vera came to the author’s brother, Peter Fleming’s attention. The novel was called Take over: A James Bond Thriller and was apparently written by his brother’s ghost.
Vera started corresponding with the dead once after her mother’s death and had allegedly no literary background or desire to write fiction. She continued to explore this medium and found her handwriting becoming her mothers, writing her mother’s words to her from beyond the ground.
Her mother started to dictate late authors works of fiction, including Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G Wells and Ian Fleming.
Peter read the script they claimed was that of his lost brother, but was very skeptical as it was nothing like his brother’s writing. Even though he was skeptical, he was fascinated by Vera and how she wrote on a pad.
W. Somerset Maugham Ghost Novel
The work of Ian Fleming was not Vera’s last work though. In 1971, Vera started to transcribe a full length novel by W. Somerset Maugham, authors of works like Of Human Bondage, The Painted Veil and The Moon and Sixpence. and now, he had books written by his ghost.
It was given to Peter Fleming who remarked how the style of the author had changed dramatically since his death. But before she finished transcribing the novel, her husband died that year. After this, she devoted her time exclusively to correspond through automatic writing with her deceased husband.
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