The Apparition Phase By Will Maclean – A Review

Publisher: William Heinemann

Publication Date: 29th October 2020

I picked up The Apparition Phase from my shelf on a whim one Saturday afternoon after hankering after a classic ghost story.

I love a good haunted house story but often find I’m left wanting in some small way…..luckily with this book I was left fully satisfied and my ghostly tastes were more than catered for!

Set in the 1970’s in the Home Counties, the story kicks off with teenage twins Tim and Abi and their quest to fake a ghost photograph. The twins have an innate interest in anything paranormal and supernatural and spend much of their time in their attic reading books on the subject and debating the various myths and legends surrounding notable ghost stories. They are very much intertwined in their tastes and isolate themselves at school.

Once they have faked their ghost photograph, they figure the only way to test out its success would be to show a pupil at their school and gauge their reaction. They choose Janice Tupp, a girl who is herself isolated and quiet. The experiment doesn’t quite pan out how the twins expect when Janice is completely taken in by the photo and later that day faints in the classroom and knocks herself out.

The twins figure the only way to set the record straight and stop Janice from telling anyone what they’ve done is to tell her that the photograph has been faked. Janice doesn’t take too kindly to the news and insists that the twins have infact taken a picture of a ghost. They invite her round to their house to show her the attic and how they faked the image, however whilst there Janice suffers an episode which looks like a possession of sorts and starts to relay information to the twins that they cannot fathom.

After this incident, a couple of years pass and Abi goes missing one day after school. Tim is distraught and tries to pin her disappearance on the things that Janice foretold in her possession. This unsettles his parents who refer him to a psychologist. This psychologist attempts to prove to Tim that his belief in the supernatural is unfounded by taking him to a country house called Yarlings where a ghost investigation is underway with a small group of ghost hunters who are yet to come up with any supernatural evidence.

This backfires and only serves to pique Tim’s interest more. Over the course of a couple of weeks Tim becomes embroiled in the group’s studies at Yarlings and finds himself at the centre of happenings and disturbances. But just how much of the evidence is real and who at Yarlings can be trusted?….

This book for me was an absolute treat and I almost wish I’d left it closer to Halloween to read. It had all the elements of a ghost story that I absolutely love, made all the more spooky by the 70’s retro vibe. It has lots of information about ghost stories that were reported in books and the press at the time which I found fascinating and I could even remember the famous images of supposed ghosts that were mentioned from looking at the same books in my school days. I have also recently been reading about the Chinnery Ghost which makes an appearance in the book too.

This is an atmospheric read that I absolutely flew through. A perfect read for the spooky season. I loved it!

See you all soon.

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx