Ghosts of the British Museum; powerful and fascinating non-fiction

I’ve only been to the British Museum once. It was about six years ago when I visited a friend for her birthday in London. Even though I like going to museums and art galleries, I remember not enjoying the British Museum. I’ve never given it much thought as to why I didn’t enjoy this particular museum, but now that I’ve read the Ghosts of the British Museum by Noah Angell, I definitely am giving it a great deal of thought. Especially as I have got an interest in the paranormal, and this fascinating non-fiction tells of unsettling ghostly encounters and occult activity in the world’s oldest national museum. However when I visited the museum I can honestly say that thankfully I never experienced anything supernatural, but I do recall being very relieved when we left…

The British Museum courts controversy, and over the past year it has been in the media a lot including stories of theft and the refusal to return the Parthenon Sculptures, often referred to as the Elgin Marbles, to Greece. Both of these issues, amongst other controversies, sinister ongoings and dark historical secrets regarding Museum are covered in this truly compelling non-fiction. As I was reading it, I felt a whole cocktail of feelings including fascination, shock and shame, as well as being spooked out at times.

Artist and writer, Noah Angell first heard about the ghostly activities at the British Museum while in the pub having birthday drinks for a friend. He was intrigued and had to find out more. That was in 2015, and since then Noah has met with and interviewed many past and present British Museum staff – including night and day security staff, cleaners, curators, administrators, storage assistants, collections managers, maintenance workers, visitor services staff etc. – unearthing a vast array of paranormal activity that haunts the Museum. Apparently it’s ‘an open secret among museum workers that colonial and ethnological museums are prone to hauntings.’

Noah Angell

As many of you know from reading my blog, I am a bit of a history geek and Ghosts of the British Museum is a fascinating historical account of British history – one that, even though it is uncomfortable, we need to face up to. It is an account of imperial plunder and colonial slaughter that still resonates today in so many different ways. For example, many believe, including some staff at the British Museum which could be deemed as prison for colonial loot, that many of the Museum’s artefacts are still traumatised by the horrific actions of British imperialism. These objects are now fighting back, ‘protesting their enforced stay within the Museum‘, haunting the exhibitor galleries, corridors and deep underground vaults.

Like many people, I am aware of the controversy around what is referred to as the Elgin Marbles. But Oh My; the chapter in Ghosts of the British Museum that focuses on these Greek historical objects is so illuminating. It informed me on a massive scale, fascinated me and really moved me.

I have been telling so many people about the Ghosts of the British Museum, urging them to read this powerful and extremely insightful non-fiction. Released in April 2024, it is available now to read. I thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to the blog tour of this sensitive and fascinating read. Thank you also Monoray for sending me a gifted copy which I devoured.

To follow the blog tour, please see below.

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