SPINE-CHILLING tales of ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night haunt the pages of a hard-to-put-down new book.
Wrexham Mail sub-editor Richard Holland has painstakingly researched reports of spooky goings on for his new book Haunted Wales.
He has stripped away literary padding by previous writers to root out the origins of ghost stories from all over the Principality.
'Wales is the most haunted country in the world,' says Richard.
'Every day, it seems, someone somewhere in Wales sees an apparition or experiences some other ghostly phenomenon.
'In Haunted Wales, I have delved deep into old books, periodicals and journals - some dating back several centuries - to uncover hundreds of stories, many of which have never since been published and will be entirely new to the reader.
'And to ensure every story is trustworthy, I have only used original source material.'
The stories are collected into current counties, so readers can check out how haunted their own neighbourhood is. They are complemented by 32 pages of photographs and illustrations.
'This is the first time the ghostlore of Wales has been gathered together in this way,' says Richard, who has been writing and broadcasting on the supernatural in Wales for nearly 20 years.
'I have made sure every story is referenced and that every detail in the story is true to the original source.
'But then there was no need for me to elaborate - Haunted Wales is crammed full of weird, grotesque and frightening ghost stories.
'I hope everyone who reads Haunted Wales will find it fascinating as well as entertaining - but they may find they leave the light on after they've finished it!'
Richard traces his interest in the supernatural to his childhood days.
He remembers hearing unexplained footsteps at home, which spurred his curiosity.
Years later he recalls a visit the Plas Teg, the Jacobean mansion near Caergwrle, where
he detected a 'dreadful atmosphere'
in one particular room which the guide later confirmed was haunted.
One of the 'new' stories in Haunted Wales concerns a female phantom at Bettisfield Hall, which hasn't seen print for more than 100 years.
But Richard, 40, said ghost stories were not confined to the pages of history.
'People are always experiencing the unexplained, and I'm always keen to hear first hand accounts of modern-day happenings,' he said.
'I would appeal to anyone with a tale to tell to contact me.'
Richard whetted the appetite of the public with two previous books on similar subjects - Supernatural Clwyd and Haunted Clwyd.
Haunted Wales, published by Landmark Publishing, costs £14.99. It is available from local bookshops and the reference number is ISBN 1 84306 177 5