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Spooky Norwood is setting for new horror novel

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A HORROR writer says South Norwood and Upper Norwood are perfect locations for some of the tales in his new chilling collection.

David Hambling, 50, chose the areas because of the spooky things he found out while researching.

He said he had enough material to write a number of stories based on medieval goings-on – forming his Shadows From Norwood collection.

The seven stories are all separate yet interlinked.

David, who is also a freelance technology journalist, said: "I was surprised at the amount of history I discovered from my research of Norwood. It certainly lent itself to the genre, especially the ancient and medieval history.

"For instance, the famous highwayman Dick Turpin used to live in Thornton Heath.

"There were also a group of people who lived in the woods called charcoal burners who were the outcasts of society."

The former north Londoner moved to Norwood in 2000, unaware of much about its history or culture.

He said: "As a north Londoner, I always viewed south of the river with an element of suspicion. I always knew it as the place where taxis didn't go but quickly I found the place had its own charm and quirky feel to it."

As well as a story set in South Norwood Lakes Park, one of the tales details a boy's 1936 visit to Crystal Palace Park to see the famous dinosaurs and ends with a teacher battling monsters.

The stories, which David said can be compared with Doctor Who, are also littered with demons, radical science experiments, murders and sea gods.

Cat-lover David, who writes for The Guardian and The Economist, said: "I called it Shadows From Norwood because if you look at all the skyscrapers in London from any high point, there appears to be shadows between us and them stretching from Norwood.

"Perhaps there have been forces at work here for a long time."

The thriller writer said his main influences were American author H P Lovecraft and crime writer Raymond Chandler.

Although a journalist by day, David's main passion has always been fiction.

"I started writing fiction when I was about 18 and then, like many people who want to write fiction, went into journalism, but I have always enjoyed writing from my imagination," he said.

"In the world of e-books, it is quite easy to publish these days. It means that everyone really does have at least one novel in them."

For more information about Shadows From Norwood and to watch a trailer David has made for a possible film, visit www.facebook.com/ShadowsFromNor wood

Spooky Norwood is setting for new horror novel


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