A true story of a 1930s ghost hunt and the woman who confounded the world. Kate Summerscale came across the case of Alma Fielding’s haunting in a rare, out-of-print book by Nandor Fodor – a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter. In search of more information she found his ‘diary’ of the investigation, a minutely detailed document hundreds of pages long, describing Alma’s seances, her haunted furniture, and her unexplained injuries. Over three years of research, she tracked down the descendants of the main characters in the story who surprised her with vital information missing from the archives. It was upon reading the newspapers of the time that Summerscale came to realise that Alma’s poltergeist was one of hundreds of contemporary ghosts.
With Hitler and Mussolini threatening their neighbours in Europe, Britain had become gripped by a darker type of haunting: one of trauma, alienation, loss, and the foreshadowing of a nation’s worst fears. The Haunting of Alma Fielding is one such story. Kate Summerscale reads an extract from her Baillie Gifford-nominated book.