NICK Tyler, a writer with the interest in the paranormal has just published a book ‘Haunted Yorkshire’ - a collection of the county’s ghost stories, legends and history, including in Craven - a perfect read for a dark winter’s night.

Mr Tyler, who lives in Worksop, says for years people have been obsessed with stories of the supernatural, tales of ghostly goings-on, and things that go bump in the night.

“We watch, read and recount terrifying stories of the undead for our excitement and enjoyment, and millions of us claim to have experienced paranormal encounters that we firmly believe to have been real,” he says in the preface to his book.

And, he says it is reasonable to assume that if the afterlife does exist, Yorkshire would almost certainly be home to numerous ghosts, entities and demons.

“A county laced with so much history would surely be able to leave an imprint on the fabric of time,” he says.

In his travels, he researched and spoke to people in Craven, discovering stories of hauntings in Wigglesworth, Settle and in Malham.

“I write not to change your point of view or perspective, but simply to pass on these accounts allowing you to make up your own mind,” he says.

The B6478 between Wigglesworth and Tosside - Becks Brow - has been the unfortunate location of fatalities across the years, he says, but it might not just be a combination of speed and driving conditions, but the appearance of a ‘white lady’. It is said, he has discovered, that the full-bodied apparition materialises along the stretch of road, particularly on dark and damp nights.

The ‘white lady’, he says, is believed to be the lost soul of a 21 year old woman who was tragically killed in a car accident on the stretch of road in the late 1970s, along with her boyfriend. Those who have seen her say she appears walking on the side of the road, or standing still on the grass verge, looking around, apparently for her boyfriend.

In his search for people who had seen the ‘white lady’, Mr Tyler came across Michael Bell, not his real name, who was on his way home to Tosside when he claims to have seen the apparition. It was a dark and wet night, and he pulled over and offered the woman a lift, but she had vanished. He carried on, and saw her again, this time, sprinting at the side of the road, before shooting out into the road and in front of his car. Michael careered off the road and into a tree, suffering a broken leg and severe bruising.

Mr Tyler compares Michael’s account to like ‘something straight out of a horror movie’ and if true, ‘the most violent account’ he had encountered, given the injuries he sustained. ‘Michael’ was found to be nearly four times the drink drive limit, but was convinced of what he saw.

The Green Lady of Settle is the story of a pub landlord, his passion for prized pigs and his jealous wife. The story goes, that the wife prepared her husband a special anniversary dinner, but he was late, so she covered it in rat poison and fed it to the pigs. While they lay on the ground dying, she stabbed them with a pitchfork, just to make sure. The husband, who had been drinking all afternoon, heard the commotion, ran home, grabbed the pitchfork out of his wife’s hands, and thrust it into her stomach; as she lay dying, she told him she was pregnant with their first child. The landlord dumped her body in the river before returning to drink with his friends, who provided him with an alibi.

To this day, says Mr Tyler in his book, people hear ghostly sounds of squealing pigs and sightings of a woman, dripping with water and green skin. It is commonly believed, a sighting of the ‘Green Lady’ will mean the death of a family pet.

Janet’s Foss, Malham, gets its name from a folk tale that claims the waterfall is home to Janet, Queen of the fairies, says Mr Tyler, who has uncovered tales from people who claim to have encountered something different - a malevolent entity that feeds off the life force or aura of anyone unfortunate enough to get close to it. Often described as appearing as a green mist floating out of the water, this rare phenomenon is thought to be that of a wraith, he writes.

Yorkshire Ghost Stories is published by The History Press and costs £12.