My City of Secrets

Sometimes, walking the streets of this city, I feel like the ghost. I set out for my walks alone, usually over a break for lunch, and walking the quiet estates it can be rare to see another human being. Passmore, Walnut Tree, Great Holm all seem to lose their population around breakfast-time and only regain it when the working day is over. I haunt your streets and the secret cut-throughs from one side of the estate to the next when no-one else is there, listening to my footsteps and looking out for the things that shouldn’t be.

Milton Keynes should be the least haunted place in the UK. Shiny and new, born of optimism and well-placed for people making the most of their lives, it should be clean and free from any blood-soaked history. But the stories in this collection provide evidence that this is far from the truth. Does MK offer a particular draw to ghosts and otherworldly beings?

I’m a latecomer to this odd, fascinating city. I come from one of the oldest cities in the country and remember being taught about the history of the village where I grew up, how it would have been named by vikings and renamed by Romans. The past was never far away. Perhaps that’s why I grew up fascinated by ghosts and ghouls, the nearly-hidden and the other-worldly. This collection takes my interest in those things to a far shiner, newer place but one that collects shadows in its corners just as well as an ancient Roman settlement.

For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to write about the things I see, find, feel and meet along the redways, towpaths and cut-throughs of this fascinating city, so I hope you find it an interesting read.

Stephanie Lay (Dr Slay) 

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