It was a dark and stormy night. I pulled my shawl tighter for warmth and headed for London’s Black Dog Books, a haunted bookshop, not knowing what horrors I would find at the end of my journey.
Hidden behind Cargo in an old railway arch is the Black Rat Projects gallery where a ghostly pop-up bookshop has appeared. It might look like a spectre, but it’s a real shop where you can buy your Christmas presents from a carefully selected choice of second-hand books and fanzines. The haunted bookshop was inspired by reports of Victorian book dealer FJ Williams who haunts the East End.
There were eerie things happening in the shop. I heard a disembodied girl’s voice, the lights were flickering and a copy of children’s book The Gruffalo leapt off the shelf at me, propelled by some inexplicable force! Even the shop’s pot plant was quivering with fear.
The bookshop is surrounded by contemporary art, including a sculpture with a talking telephone head sitting outside the shop, swearing and cursing. The sculpture is a comment on rich city boys who buy art because they can afford it but don’t really appreciate it.
The bookshop and gallery are free to visit and are open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, until the end of January. www.blackratpress.co.uk