Ten Classic Ghost Stories

While writing some ghost stories myself, I have been re-reading some of the ones I came across years ago by way of inspiration. I found most of these in collections on my parents’ bookshelves. I’ve no doubt that some of them came as part of job lots from auctions, which my mother used to fill … Continue reading Ten Classic Ghost Stories

Disappointing Reader Expectations and Pushkin’s ‘The Queen of Spades’

Most books about successful novel writing emphasize that above everything, the writer who wants to sell well and avoid bad reviews must at all costs respect the  tropes of a genre, and particularly avoid ‘disappointing reader expectations’. In fact, Chris Fox in his well argued and generally witty book  ‘Write to Market’ emphasizes this to … Continue reading Disappointing Reader Expectations and Pushkin’s ‘The Queen of Spades’

‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ by Elizabeth Gaskell: An Excellent Classic Ghost Story for Christmas

A ghost story is always particularly enjoyable at Christmas.Last Christmas, I recommended ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen, a comically grotesque ghost story.A few weeks ago, I recommended a modern one – Mari Biella’s modern ghost story, the stirring  ‘Dark Moon Fell’ as excellent reading in the run up for Christmas.Here is one of … Continue reading ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ by Elizabeth Gaskell: An Excellent Classic Ghost Story for Christmas

Halloween Post: ‘The Death of Lord Tyrone’ from Lord Halifax’s Ghost Book

It is nice to tell a spooky tale on Hallowe’en, and it is all the  more enjoyable to relate one which hints at an afterlife. One that contains a love story is the more intriguing. This is one of the stories from Lord Halifax’s collection of supposedly true anecdotes, and took place in the eighteenth … Continue reading Halloween Post: ‘The Death of Lord Tyrone’ from Lord Halifax’s Ghost Book

Christmas reading: ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen – An Excellent Classic Ghost Story as Comedy

I wanted to add a post about a ghost story at Christmas. Which of the many to choose as a seasonal ghost story? I am in fact recomending - again, but now as Christmas reading - a  ghost story that is about as light as could be. It is also written from a wholly conventional … Continue reading Christmas reading: ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen – An Excellent Classic Ghost Story as Comedy

‘The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories’ edited by Robert Aikman – Wonderful Classic Tales of Terror

I recently re-read ‘The Fontana Book of  Great Ghost Stories’ Edited by Robert Aikman, dated 1964.  I would still say that this is one of the best collections of tales of terror – not all of them are truly ghost stories – that I have ever read. To some extent, I would say that for … Continue reading ‘The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories’ edited by Robert Aikman – Wonderful Classic Tales of Terror