O’Donnell, Elliott (27 February 1872 – 8 May 1965)

Lived at 12 Becondale Road in 1911

He was born in Clifton near Bristol, the son of Irishman Reverend Henry O’Donnell and Elizabeth Mousley.  He was educated at Clifton College in Bristol and later at the Queen’s Service Academy in Dublin.  Although he had intended to join the Royal Irish Constabulary he travelled to the USA and worked on a cattle ranch in Oregon.  He became a policeman during the Chicago Railway Strike of 1894.  He returned to England and worked as a schoolmaster and trained for theatre in London at the Henry Nevil Studio.  In 1905 he married Ada O’Donnell and served in the British Army during World War One, later acting on stage and in movies.

He was best known as an author and lecturer.  As a novelist he was known primarily for his books about ghosts having seen a ghost when he was 5 years old.  He also claimed to have been strangled by a mysterious phantom in Dublin.  From 1904 he worked as a writer and specialised in what were claimed as true stories of ghosts and hauntings.   He wrote several popular novels including ‘The Sorcery Club’ in 1912. He also wrote for magazines including ‘Hutchinson’s Story Magazine, ‘The Novel Magazine’, ‘The Idler’, ‘Weekly Taleteller’ and others.  He wrote 50 books in total.

As he became known as an authority on supernatural affairs he was asked to solve ghost problems.  He also lectured and broadcast on radio and television about paranormal matters in Britain and the USA.  He wrote articles and stories for national newspapers and magazines.

Elliott O’Donnell died aged 93 at the Grosvenor Nursing Home at Clevedon in North Somerset on 8 May 1965. In his will he left £2,579.