“One day in John Watkin’s bookshop in Cecil Court, a specialist shop for occult literature, I was introduced by Watkins to Sax Rohmer, the creator of Fu Manchu…”

Cecil Court

Cecil Court follows through from Goodwin’s Court on the opposite side of St Martin’s Lane.

“Sax held the belief that thoughts are things, which

accounted for the ‘atmosphere’ that could be felt by sensitive people when they visited places for the first time…”

“It was an odd fact that Sax and his wife Elizabeth were often hard up, and they would sit for hours with an ouija board…”

“He told me that he had experimented with the idea of astral exploration, as he called it…”

Astral projection is a term used to describe a willful out-of-body experience.

“Using a technique of self-or auto-hypnosis…”

“…he had spent a night in the compound of Peel Castle on the Isle of Man…”

The castle was built in the 11th century

by the Vikings.

The Isle of Man

“…its legendary phantom dog is reputed to manifest in a subterranean passage…”

“…and haunt the adjoining guardroom…”

“So frequent were the appearances of the ghost dog at one time that the various guardsmen became accustomed to its periodic visits - although they were careful to give it a wide berth…”

“One night a particularly hardy guardsman insisted on entering the guardroom alone…”

“A loud cry was heard, and the man stumbled back, dumb with fright…”

“…he would never speak of what he had seen or heard in the few remaining days of his life…”

“After that the passage was blocked up - but on a visit after he had heard the story, Sax located a possible entrance to the passage from the sea...”

“Although he was never able to explore it, he always maintained that he had heard a high-pitched, dog-like howl emanating from the hidden passage.”

Underwood includes Peel Castle in his section of ‘Classic Ghostly Dog Stories’ in Peter Underwood’s Guide to Ghosts and Haunted Places.