As a lot of this blog is about writing, I wanted to write a regular article on my favourite forgotten words. You know the type of thing, those poor lost words that sit at the back of our minds, gathering dust, having been discovered years ago in literary classics like Dickens, or Austen. They are the spices of the literary world, but I refuse to let them sit in a cupboard and be ignored until they go out of date! Let’s bring them back!

This month’s word is: KELPIE



  1. A water spirit of Scottish folklore, typically taking the form of a horse and reputed to delight in the drowning of travellers.
  2. A sheepdog of an Australian breed with a smooth coat, originally bred from a Scottish collie.

This definition is from the Oxford English Online Dictionary but I’ve also heard the word used generically to describe a ghost. I thought with it being October and the time of year for ghosties and ghoulies and Halloween stories, it would be a good word for the month. I’m a huge fan of ghost stories particularly ones that are based in fact and tradition. When I used to work at Dover Castle there were a number of ghosts around and even the toughest of security guards had said they’d seen them!

Do you do anything for Halloween? What are your favourite ghost stories? I find this time of year is great for firing kids imaginations and getting them to have a go at creative writing. Let me know if your little ones write anything that includes a kelpie!