According to Charles Fort, some people have a wild talent. Lee Walker's wild talent was being able to tell a story like nobody else. Like some medieval bard Lee could mesmerize with his tales. Most were set in and around his native Liverpool. Often, they involved the weird and bizarre intruding on daily life; little vignettes of Forteana that somehow suggested a much larger, more horrible whole behind them. Some were the ultimate friend of a friend stories to be told in the pub on a rainy night. But some were deeply personal experiences that the author himself lived through. Perhaps the strangest was that involving the weird deaths of his family's pet rabbits that culminated in his sister’s sighting of a grotesque, hammer wielding goblin.
I first came across Lee's work in a self-published magazine called Dead of Night. Though sporadic, Dead of Night was the very best Fortean magazine ever published. I devoured it and it was as much packed full of strangeness as a king-sized box of eclairs is packed full of calories. When he began to write books, big, thick books like wizards’ grimoires, then the landscape of Merseyside became more like Arkham.
Lee's cultural influences were much the same as mine; 1970's Doctor Who, the stories of M.R James and the horror films of Hammer and Amicus. Liverpool and its surroundings morphed into a world of sinister factories and plants, empty houses once owned by kindly pensioners but now inhabited by something else, and twice-told tales of things seen creeping in graveyards or woods. It was as if anything could hide some monstrous and unnatural secret and that was the talent and lasting impact of Lee's writing; a lingering sense of unease that was unequalled by any living writer, and what's more that unease may well have been based in reality.