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Fjm3eyes
10-23-2007, 03:40 AM
Hi,

I am wondering if anyone would like to talk about authors of classic ghost stories. For example: Sheridan LaFanu, Angernon Blackwood, Henry James, and others. Also, the stories themselves.

wordmonkey
10-23-2007, 03:47 AM
Don't forget M.R. James. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._R._James)

And while we're on it, not specifically ghost stories, but freaky weird, H.P.Lovecraft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.P.Lovecraft).

Maybe it's the double initials!

Fjm3eyes
10-23-2007, 03:55 AM
Yes, M. R. James wrote some good stuff.

Mandy-Jane
10-23-2007, 04:01 AM
Edgar Allan Poe - although his weren't technically "ghost" stories, they still have an element of the supernatural about them. I can't think of a specific one, but I have a book of his short stories, and they are enthralling. I love them!

Zelenka
10-23-2007, 04:39 AM
I was just going to say MR James. I always get upset when I finish reading through my collection of his stories because I want there to be more of them. 'O Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad' is one of those stories that stuck with me from the first time I read it, which is over fifteen years ago now, and 'The Diary of Mr Pointer' (or Paynter, I've seen it spelled as well) creeped me out for years, since at the time I read it, I had curtains in my room very like the ones described in the story. I like most Victorian ghost stories and have a few collections, but he will always be my favourite.

John Buchan, author of The Thirty Nine Steps, also wrote a number of ghost stories, which I really enjoyed. With Lovecraft, I've liked about half of the stories I've read and the other half I couldn't get into.

JessR

shakeysix
10-23-2007, 04:53 AM
you know, last spring i picked up a library book one of the kids left in my classroom. i opened it to that story, for no real reason. of course i was not three paragraphs into the story when i remembered reading it when i was that age--about 15. it was time to go home but i sat and read the whole thing through, again. and it was just as creepy then as it was the first time, some forty years before! great story. one of the best ever---s6.

blacbird
10-23-2007, 07:06 AM
Some great writers you might not immediately think of wrote fine ghost stories, notably Henry James and Edith Wharton. Many critics view Wharton's story "Afterward" as the finest ghost story in the English language. Ambrose Bierce penned some good ones, too. E. F. Benson and Oliver Onions were masters in the early 20th Century. Then, of course, with Christmas coming, there's Charlie Dickens his very own self, and Marley clanking his chains.

caw

rugcat
10-23-2007, 07:30 AM
I was just going to say MR James. I always get upset when I finish reading through my collection of his stories because I want there to be more of them. 'O Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad' is one of those stories that stuck with me from the first time I read it...And let's not forget "Casting the Runes." It was made into an English B movie called "Curse of the Demon," (http://einsiders.com/reviews/dvd/nightdemon.php) which, surprisingly, was not bad at all, considering.

Birol
10-23-2007, 08:56 AM
you know, last spring i picked up a library book one of the kids left in my classroom. i opened it to that story, for no real reason. of course i was not three paragraphs into the story when i remembered reading it when i was that age--about 15. it was time to go home but i sat and read the whole thing through, again. and it was just as creepy then as it was the first time, some forty years before! great story. one of the best ever---s6.

What was the story?

blacbird
10-23-2007, 09:04 AM
What was the story?

Implied by title, "Oh Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad," by Oliver Onions (pronounced, by his preference, O-NY-onz). A great ghost story, by any standard.

caw

shakeysix
10-23-2007, 09:05 AM
the first time i read "turn of the screw" i was in high school. it was a blistering hot summer day and i was sunbathing. i will never forget the chills that crawled up and down my well oiled spine as i read about the governess' first encounter w/ peter quint.

years and years later i was a social worker. one of the veterans in the office was holding forth on the subject of child sexual abuse. she said something that gave me another round of goose pimples. she said that sexual abuse aalmost always corrupts the victims. we like to think differently but the sad fact is that once a child is initiated he almost immediately searches for another child to prey upon. which is why miles was sent home from boarding school in the story "the turn of the screw". in fact she made the point that miles and flora behave exactly as modern reasearch tells us abused children do behave. so there must be at least a grain of truth in the story.

in james' time the effects of sexual abuse on children was unknown and unstudied. there was no reasearch, no case studies, no observations. psychology was not yet considered a science. who was the father of psychology? william james. if the story is based on a case file then surely william james told the story to henry.

"what about the ghosts?" i gasped, chills playing xylophone up and down my spine. we were huddled into a cubicle in a well lit state office building; keyboards clacking, phones ringing, hearts racing.

"two ghosts," she corrected, shuddering and pulling her cardigan around her shoulders. "if they were ghosts. only the governess saw them.'

"miss jessel could have been mist on the water, but peter quint? she was just inches from his face ... i don't want to think about peter quint."

so what do you think?--- s6

Shadow_Ferret
10-23-2007, 04:06 PM
Hi,

I am wondering if anyone would like to talk about authors of classic ghost stories. For example: Sheridan LaFanu, Angernon Blackwood, Henry James, and others. Also, the stories themselves.
I've never really been into ghost stories and haven't heard of any of these authors or MR James.

Are they scary or just sort of moody? Who would ya'll suggest starting with?

ETA: And yes, I've heard of, and have enjoyed, Poe and Lovecraft.

wordmonkey
10-23-2007, 04:15 PM
And let's not forget "Casting the Runes." It was made into an English B movie called "Curse of the Demon," (http://einsiders.com/reviews/dvd/nightdemon.php) which, surprisingly, was not bad at all, considering.

Great little movie. One of those tight, mess with your head, is it real or is it just imaginary, movies.

If you like schlock-horror, you'll likely find this mundane and slow. If you wanna think a little, I HIGHLY recommend this. :D

jodiodi
10-23-2007, 05:44 PM
I am so glad I checked out this thread. I adore ghost stories and prefer creepy to the gore and crap that passes for 'horror' these days. I've got to check out some of these stories mentioned since I haven't read all of them.

Thanks!

Birol
10-23-2007, 05:52 PM
Are they scary or just sort of moody? Who would ya'll suggest starting with?

Henry James' Turn of the Screw is novella. As Shakey suggests, it's a psychological story that is disturbing and opened to many different levels of interpretation. I'm not saying start with it, but if you like such things, you should definitely find a copy to read.

BarbJ
10-23-2007, 07:42 PM
'O Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad' - this was the story that leapt to mind when I read the title of this thread, and it's been at least a decade since I read it. I'm going to have to dig out my older books. Thanks for the reminder, Fjm3eyes.

Oh, and welcome! :welcome:

Fjm3eyes
10-24-2007, 01:57 AM
I am so glad I checked out this thread. I adore ghost stories and prefer creepy to the gore and crap that passes for 'horror' these days. I've got to check out some of these stories mentioned since I haven't read all of them.

Thanks!



It's amazing how frightening a story can be when atmosphere, and not blood, are emphasized. Well, not really.

zahra
10-24-2007, 02:39 AM
Implied by title, "Oh Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad," by Oliver Onions (pronounced, by his preference, O-NY-onz). A great ghost story, by any standard.

caw
It's actually by MR James.

I've never really been into ghost stories and haven't heard of any of these authors or MR James.

Are they scary or just sort of moody? Who would ya'll suggest starting with?

ETA: And yes, I've heard of, and have enjoyed, Poe and Lovecraft.

MR James is scary.

If I were you, I'd get an anthology of ghost stories - Fontana did a good series, many of which are available on amazon (Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories) or the 'Ghost Book' series edited by Lady Cynthia Asquith - also available on amazon. Good authors in those include Rosemary Timperley, R Chetwynd-Hayes, H Russell Wakefield (check 'Blind Man's Buff'). Also check 'Smee' by AM Burrage, 'The Old Nurse's Story' by Elizabeth Gaskell, 'Afterward' and 'The Lady's Maid's Bell' by Edith Wharton.

You won't be able to get all these in one anthology, alas, but try and get to read them all.

blacbird
10-24-2007, 02:44 AM
It's actually by MR James.

Correct. For some reason my brain confused it with Onions' "The Beckoning Fair One", an other magnificent ghost story of similar vintage.

caw

shakeysix
10-24-2007, 03:17 AM
it was good. i have been passing it up for years because wharton is not one of my favorites. stupid shakey!
i am in my classroom staying late for parent conferences , reading edith wharton--tales of men and ghosts. (thanks blacbird) my classroom is old. the school was built in 1928. kind of spooky and creaky up here, all alone, at night. so i am thinking of all the ghost stories i have ever read. not willingly mind you.

there is one that has frightened me for years but i have no idea of the title or author. i do know that it is usually in anthologies of ghost stories. it begins with a girl dreaming about an ugly red haired man in a medieval portrait. the portrait has a name --roger something. the man in the picture says he will come for her later and the dream ends.

as a grown woman she and her husband are walking in a graveyard. she sees a gravestone very close to the edge of a cliff. the sea is washing away the base of the cliff. the grave is about to tumble into the sea. the name on the tombstone is the same name as on the portrait in her dream!

does anyone else remember that story? i need to know the title so i can go downstairs and check the wretched thing out and read it again. why? so i can scare myself even more before i have to walk home...in the dark!---s6

nerds
10-24-2007, 03:51 AM
You're spooking me now. Seriously. Teacher all alone, old creaky school, creeps down to library for ghost book . . . it's a ghost story-in-progress.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

shakeysix
10-24-2007, 04:29 AM
is waiting in the stacks for plump but succulent... no! i will not go there. hey--did anyone ever read "the lonely one" by ray bradbury? not a short story really. it is a chapter or two in "dandelion wine' about the serial killer who follows the old maid schoolteacher home? yikes!--now there is one scary story--no blood. no gore. no axes. no chain saws. you never even see the killer. --s6

jodiodi
10-24-2007, 07:27 AM
Ah, my favorite video game series, Silent Hill, has a level set in an old, empty school. Great atmosphere.

AnneMarble
10-24-2007, 08:03 AM
Have you seen the Ghost Story Society (http://www.ash-tree.bc.ca/GSS.html)? This is an international organization dedicated to ghost stories. They put out a journal that's chock full of in-depth nonfiction, reviews, etc. as well as ghost fiction. There's even a column by Ramsey Campbell. And they have their own YahooGroup (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/All_Hallows). (That join is always jumping. Even people like Michael Dirda and Ellen Datlow post!)

The alt.books.ghost-fiction FAQ (http://home.epix.net/~wallison/abgf_faq.html) is also a great resource. It includes list of publishers of ghost fiction as well as links to other newsgroups as well as links to free public domain ghost fiction available on-line.

Oh, and if you're really into M. R. James, there is a journal dedicated to him called Ghosts & Scholars. Here is their web site:
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pardos/GS.html

zahra
10-26-2007, 12:05 AM
Isn't it annoying when you want to find a tale and can't remember the name? I've got a memory stuck in my mind about a girl whose sister disappears in a cottage (fairy, probably), and I can't beflipped remember what it's called.