Peter Alexander Haining (2 April 1940 – 19 November 2007) was a British journalist, author and anthologist who lived and worked in Suffolk.
Born in Enfield, Middlesex, Haining began his career as a reporter in Essex and then moved to London where he worked on a trade magazine before joining the publishing house of New English Library.
Haining achieved the position of Editorial Director before becoming a full-time writer in the early 1970s. He edited a large number of anthologies, predominantly of horror and fantasy short stories, wrote non-fiction books on a variety of topics from the Channel Tunnel to Sweeney Todd and also used the pen names "Ric Alexander" and "Richard Peyton" on a number of crime story anthologies. In the Seventies he wrote three novels, including The Hero (1973), which was optioned for filming.
In two controversial books, Haining argued that Sweeney Todd was a real historical figure who committed his crimes around 1800, was tried in December 1801, and was hanged in January 1802. However, other researchers who have tried to verify his citations find nothing in these sources to back Haining's claims. Strong reservations have also been expressed regarding the reliability of another of Haining's influential non-fiction works, The Legend and Bizarre Crimes of Spring Heeled Jack.
He wrote several reference books on the BBC TV programme Doctor Who, including the 20th anniversary special Doctor Who: A Celebration Two Decades Through Time and Space (1983), and also wrote the definitive study of Sherlock Holmes on the screen, The Television Sherlock Holmes (1991) and several other television tie-ins featuring famous literary characters, including Maigret, Poirot, Dr. Finlay and James Bond. Peter Haining's most recent project was a series of World War Two stories based on extensive research and personal interviews: The Jail That Went To Sea (2003), The Mystery of Rommel's Gold (2004), Where The Eagle Landed (2004), The Chianti Raiders (2005) and The Banzai Hunters (2007).
He won the British Fantasy Awards Karl Edward Wagner Award in 2001.
Peter Haining contributed to over 170 books, authoring the vast majority, a few of which are listed here.
- The Freak Show (1970)
- The Sherlock Holmes Scrapbook (1973) Indispensable for collectors of Sherlockiana
- The legend and Bizarre Crimes of Spring-Heeled Jack (1977)
- M. R. James - Book of the Supernatural (1979) (ISBN 0-572-01048-6) Introduction by Sir John Betjeman. Articles and rare items about MRJ
- A Sherlock Holmes Compendium (1980)
- Doctor Who: The Key to Time A year by year record (1984) (ISBN 0-491-03283-8)
- Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1993) London: Robson Books
- On Call with Doctor Finlay (1994) London: Boxtree Limited
- London After Midnight (1996)
- The Nine Lives of Doctor Who (1999)