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inkdreams
04-20-2019, 08:43 PM
How to research for ghost fiction? 😅
I am new to writing in the horror genre. What should I do or read to learn about ghosts? Recommend me online websites, books, anything else you think could be helpful.

Marissa D
04-20-2019, 09:02 PM
Um, not wanting to sound obvious if you've already done this...but did you try going to Amazon and searching on "ghosts" and spending a few hours (literally) looking at what comes up, both fiction and non-fiction?

Sage
04-20-2019, 09:12 PM
That's a pretty broad subject. What specifically are you looking for to research? What kind of a ghost story are you looking to write?

Whether you want something more horror or paranormal, I'd start reading a lot of books in that genre. I'm sure a search on Amazon and Goodreads would give you list of recs and bestsellers. I bet you could Google "best resources for ghost fiction" and get some recs that way too.

Brightdreamer
04-20-2019, 09:19 PM
First, I'd suggest familiarizing yourself a bit with the genre you're writing.

Second... that's a very, very broad topic. Are you talking traditional beliefs in spirits and the afterlife - and, if so, whose traditions? Are you exploring folklore and/or urban legend hauntings? Are you looking at historic, modern, or futuristic paranormal investigation (19th century seances vs modern camera traps)? Is there a particular era or culture you're focusing on? Are ghosts/hauntings a real thing in your world, or a deliberate hoax, or a "maybe"? What does your ghost (and associated lore) need to do for your story and characters? Why a ghost?

For research, I second Google as a start, though if you have access to a library (online or in person) that might help, too - a good librarian can help narrow down your search. If you want classical ghost stories and horror, try William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki short stories, or Dickens's A Christmas Carol (which isn't so much about haunting and ghosts as using ghosts for a plot device.)

Shoeless
04-20-2019, 11:43 PM
This is, as others have said, a huge, HUGE topic. But it can be a lot of fun to research. It's absolutely a rabbit hole for me, where I can spend hours chasing down claims of hauntings and sightings, as well as just reading classics from people like Stephen King.

It really depends on whether you want to write "realistic" ghost fiction based on actual claims, or go totally gonzo, since this is fiction after all, and have your ghosts do things that don't really come up in most "I swear every word is true" claims of ghost encounters.

NINA28
04-20-2019, 11:50 PM
Well, if you haven't all ready start reading in the Genre you're interested in. It's not just about writing about ghosts, it's about having the skill to create atmosphere and fear in your reader.
Watch some horror movies with a ghost theme. I recommend The Sixth Sense, the Others, The Shining, The Awakening. (can't recommend books as I don't really read ghost horror)
You have access to the internet so start doing some research and finding some websites.

soulrodeo
04-21-2019, 12:25 AM
How to research for ghost fiction? 
I am new to writing in the horror genre. What should I do or read to learn about ghosts? Recommend me online websites, books, anything else you think could be helpful.

Literally learn about ghosts on a basic subject level? Or learn about how to write about ghosts? Huge difference there in the advice/recs you could receive.

AW Admin
04-21-2019, 12:25 AM
It's a bit silly to write in a genre you don't read.

That said, I'm moving this to the Research forum.

Curlz
04-21-2019, 01:16 AM
You could read a few ghost stories first, in order to see how other writers have tackled this. There's a nice volume called "The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories". It's a great start. Then, if you want to see how some people have actually experienced ghostly presence, you can look up a tv series called "A Haunting". You can also just type "ghosts" into Google and read a few random websites. Or maybe start with Youtube, that may be even more fun! See how it goes, you may find something interesting! :Thumbs:

Auteur
04-21-2019, 02:10 AM
I've thought about writing a story about a ghost who's a practical joker and just annoys the hell out of people. :)

waylander
04-21-2019, 11:56 AM
The short stories of MR James are considered classics of the genre.

AllyBlue
04-22-2019, 12:55 AM
I think you might need to pick a direction before you start your research. Do you want present your ghosts as supernatural-type evil spirits? Do you want to find a scientific explanation for them? (yes, that can be every bit as horrific or even more so than the supernatural path) Some combination of the two? Are they poltergeists? Spirits of the dead? Demons? Residual hauntings? Manmade creations? Something else entirely? There are theories out there to cover almost everything you can think of. Start by simply Googling what you want. Ex: if you're wanting to write about poltergeists, Google poltergeist theory. Read as much as can find about the type of haunting you want to write about. Learn what the current prevailing theories are (or the prevailing theories at the time your book will be set in). Even if you don't use them, it pays to have that knowledge and background.

Also, if you have a local paranormal investigation group, go talk to them. Find out what they do and how they do it. Go with them on an investigation, if they'll let you. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but it can't hurt to ask. Again, even if you don't use that in your book, it's always good to have that knowledge base. Talking to people who research and investigate the paranormal in their day to day lives is probably one of the best ways to learn about current paranormal theory. Best of luck!

inkdreams
04-22-2019, 07:26 PM
Thank you :D




You could read a few ghost stories first, in order to see how other writers have tackled this. There's a nice volume called "The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories". It's a great start. Then, if you want to see how some people have actually experienced ghostly presence, you can look up a tv series called "A Haunting". You can also just type "ghosts" into Google and read a few random websites. Or maybe start with Youtube, that may be even more fun! See how it goes, you may find something interesting! :Thumbs:

inkdreams
04-22-2019, 07:28 PM
Thanks. This is helpful! :)





I think you might need to pick a direction before you start your research. Do you want present your ghosts as supernatural-type evil spirits? Do you want to find a scientific explanation for them? (yes, that can be every bit as horrific or even more so than the supernatural path) Some combination of the two? Are they poltergeists? Spirits of the dead? Demons? Residual hauntings? Manmade creations? Something else entirely? There are theories out there to cover almost everything you can think of. Start by simply Googling what you want. Ex: if you're wanting to write about poltergeists, Google poltergeist theory. Read as much as can find about the type of haunting you want to write about. Learn what the current prevailing theories are (or the prevailing theories at the time your book will be set in). Even if you don't use them, it pays to have that knowledge and background.

Also, if you have a local paranormal investigation group, go talk to them. Find out what they do and how they do it. Go with them on an investigation, if they'll let you. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but it can't hurt to ask. Again, even if you don't use that in your book, it's always good to have that knowledge base. Talking to people who research and investigate the paranormal in their day to day lives is probably one of the best ways to learn about current paranormal theory. Best of luck!

inkdreams
04-22-2019, 07:33 PM
Literally learn about ghosts on a basic subject level? Or learn about how to write about ghosts? Huge difference there in the advice/recs you could receive.

Both :D

lonestarlibrarian
04-25-2019, 09:00 PM
A lot of nurses have paranormal encounters when they're not playing cards... ;)

This thread (https://allnurses.com/whats-your-best-nursing-ghost-t79490/)is up to about 2,600 comments. :) This one (https://allnurses-breakroom.com/ghost-stories-unexplained-experiences-etc-t96605/) is just shy of 900... This one (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/332xhy/serious_nurseshospital_workers_of_reddit_what_is/) has about 2,400 comments...

WeaselFire
04-30-2019, 08:46 AM
Recommend me online websites, books, anything else you think could be helpful.

Google.

Jeff