You are in:  Home - Fiction - Short Stories - Dark Encounters
Dark Encounters

Fiction, Short Stories
Publication Date
31 October 2017
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd
b/w line drawings throughout

Dark Encounters

A Collection of Ghost Stories
Introduction by Alistair Kerr
by William Croft Dickinson - Find out more about the author


'Like most really good ghost stories, there is an element of fact or historical myth surrounding it to make the tale that much more authentic. The author also has the knack of keeping the reader hanging on his words to try and find out what was the cause of the tale' – Army Rumours

'A really atmospheric book. Best set aside for a cold, dark winter’s evening in front of a roaring log fire!' – Women Together

First published in 1963 by Harvill Press, Dark Encounters is an elegantly spine-tingling collection of ghost stories set in the brooding landscape of Scotland and often referring to real people, places and objects.

From a demonic book that brings its readers to an early death to the murderous spectre of a feudal baron, these tales are a welcome addition to the long and distinguished canon of Scottish ghost stories.

For those who seek the unnerving and the inexplicable, Dark Encounters is guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

This edition features a rare story – ‘The MacGregor Skull’ – which was the last story every written by the author and posthumously serialised in the Scotsman in 1963

William Croft Dickinson (1897–1963) came to study history at St Andrews in 1915. Military service in the trenches in France during the First World War interrupted his studies but in 1921 he graduated with a First and went on to teach history at the London School of Economics. In 1944 he was appointed Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Paleography at the University of Edinburgh, during which time he founded and edited the Scottish Historical Review, and where he remained until his death. Apart from his historical works, Dickinson wrote many books for children and ghost stories; stories and legends were an essential part of the historical narrative to him.

Alistair W.J. Kerr graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1975 and served in the diplomatic service until 2009. He is the author of a military biography Betrayal: The Murder of Robert Nairac GC (Cambridge Academic, 2015) and is a long-standing admirer of William Croft Dickinson’s work.