BLACK Country author Brendan Hawthorne has gathered together some of the region's scariest tales for his new book.

Readers will be on the edge of their seat as they leaf through Black Country and Birmingham Ghost Stories, which features more than 20 ghostly accounts.

Stories include spooky goings on at Dudley Zoo and Castle, eerie sightings at Halesowen Abbey and how two friends moved out of Haden Hill House, Cradley Heath in the mid-nineties after hearing a choir singing a requiem mass every night for a week.

Mr Hawthorne said: “When asked to compile a series of ghost stories from the Black Country and Birmingham I was faced with a harsh choice. Should I go ahead and re-present the already well-known ghost stories of the region or research a book that contains new and personal stories of the unexplained? That question was answered in less than a second.

“The pages that lie ahead of you contain tales and anecdotes from everyday people from all walks of life who have had an insight into what they believe to be the worlds of spirit. Invariably, their lives have not only been touched by the experience but for some, their lives have been significantly altered as a result of their encounters.”

He continued: “It was also important for me to present stories from more modern times and not just tap the rich vein of material from the Victorian gothic. I have employed the use of face-to-face interviews, been given access to a fellow author’s research notes and here and there, used old newspaper clippings as a source of information.”

The book is available from all good bookshops, supermarkets and tourist information centres, priced £3.99.