A west Dorset historian has written a book of chilling ghost stories based on moments in a seaside town’s history.

Chris Lovejoy, from Lyme Regis, has launched ‘The Cobb Ghoul’ which contains 16 tales, some rooted in fact and others more fanciful, set in familiar local locations from the Pilot Boat and Angel pubs to the Old Monmouth hotel and the Marine Theatre, taking in the Horn Bridge, St Michael’s Church and the Cobb itself on the way.

The book is named after a story of a young lad who died in wrongful captivity in a building on the Cobb and now haunts the harbour. Other stories include ‘Little Gypsy Rose’, about a young flower seller who died under the wheels of a carriage, an ‘The Vampire’, featuring a priest who visits patients at the leper hospital with not entirely charitable intentions. And, of course, the Pilot Boat’s Lassie makes a ghostly appearance too.

Chris is well known in Lyme Regis through his history walks and ghost tours, for which he would wear a distinctive stovepipe hat and black cloak.

‘The Cobb Ghoul’ is Chris’ first published book of stories, although he has enjoyed writing fiction for some years and has been a member of the Black Dog writing group in Uplyme. The supernatural is one of the subjects in which he feels most at home.

He said: “Ghost stories excite us because they take the reader to extremes of human experience. They bring the hidden, the unexpressed, to the fore and lead us into a mysterious, dangerous world - but we know we can return safely to our everyday life. We feel the chills without catching a cold.”

The book contains illustrations by Alan Dodson, who lives in Charmouth, and has been designed and published by Olivia Daly, also of Charmouth.

It is now in stock at Serendip bookshop in Broad Street, Lyme Regis, for £10.