Susan Hill on Scarborough: ‘My first haunted place was a bombed girls’ school’


This post is by Susan Hill from Books | The Guardian


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The author of The Woman In Black explains how growing up in the Yorkshire coastal town brought our her macabre side

Children accept the status quo. You live in a place and that’s how it is. But I think I knew then that being born and raised in Scarborough, on the Yorkshire coast, was special and would form me as a writer. It did, and not only because the adaptation of my ghost story, The Woman in Black, started life there, at the Stephen Joseph theatre. The coastline, the cliffs, the sea, the beautiful curve of South Bay, the public gardens, the cliff trams, the smell of rock pools, the massive winter storms, all have threaded in and out of my dreams for 70-plus years.

Not only the landscape was memorable. I was born in 1942 and so grew up during the last years of the war, and into ...