Ghost Notes

sketchbook notes of Cambridge ghost tour

When I go to museums or talks, even if I’m not actively drawing, I like to take sketch notes. It’s a habit I got into while studying for an art MA five years ago, where we were required to keep a visual diary of talks and exhibitions we attended. (You can see that diary here). Earlier in the summer I went on a ghost tour of Cambridge via work, and I took these notes. (You can read more about haunted Cambridge here too). If I’m in a situation where I’m walking around or moving a lot, I block out the text and images in non-photo blue pencil, and then do the inking later when I have a desk. If I’m sat down, then I do them straight in pen- usually a 0.7mm bullet Posca marker. I’ve scanned a few pages today from my current sketchbook, and I’ll post them gradually, interspersed among other things.

A few notes about this page:

  1. Cambridge is essentially on a drained swamp, surrounded by a lot of water, and on completely flat ground right to the North Sea. This means lots of swirling fog and mist in the winter. Ideal for ghosts and haunting.
  2. The Night Climbers are apparently a real club of students who scale buildings. Or maybe they’re ghosts.
  3. Cambridge was very badly affected by the Black Death. This means a lot of plague pits and mass graves. Again, ideal for haunting.
  4. I didn’t go in the Haunted Bookshop, because it wasn’t open very often. I did however go in the “haunted” café next door, and nothing spooky happened, apart from a braying young man with a supernaturally irritating voice yelling at the table next to us.
  5. The Everlasting Club is a local ghost story about a secret club with yearly meetings.
  6. Charles H. Fisk (I wrote his name wrong) is an American study abroad ghost.
  7. “Stone Tapes” is a reference to this famous ghost story, and its idea that ghosts could be a physical recording of dramatic and emotional moments in the past.

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