Monday, January 16, 2017

REVIEW: Great Ghost Stories

Great Ghost Stories
Selected by: John Grafton

I love ghost stories. Ever since I was a kid sitting outside on summer nights telling scary stories with my friends by the dim glow of a flashlight, I have loved creepy tales of all sorts. These days I listen to a lot of creepiness on my phone -- ghost story podcasts, Old Time Radio like Suspense and CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and Creepypasta stories. I am also a sucker for every haunted house or creepily awesome book I come across.

My favorite sort of ghostly tale is classic.....slow-building psychological terror that often ends with that surprise stab....that shudder inducing da-dah-dahhhhh moment. No weird steamy sex, spurting arterial blood or blood-curdling Wilhelm screams. Just suspenseful, old fashioned, oh-my-god-what-is-that horror.

Great Ghost Stories is a collection of 10 classic ghost stories published in England and America between 1864 and 1912 - the golden age of ghost tales. Most of the authors in this anthology are power-hitters - authors who wrote masterpieces of classic literature. Others are masters of the ghost story. It's a collection of great examples of the classic ghost story!

The lineup:

The Phantom Coach - Amelia B. Edwards
To Be Taken With a Grain of Salt - Charles Dickens
Dickon the Devil - J.S. LeFanu
The Judge's House - Bram Stoker
A Ghost Story - Jerome K. Jerome
The Moonlit Road - Ambrose Bierce
The Monkey's Paw - W. W. Jacobs
The Rose Garden - M. R. James
Bone to His Bone - E.G. Swain
The Confession of Charles Linkworth - E.F. Benson

I found this book by chance on the shelf at a thriftstore. I think I paid a quarter for it. So glad I did! The stories were all awesome and enjoyable. A few I had read before, and several were new to me. I can't really pick a favorite. I enjoyed them all.

This book is a Dover Thrift Edition, so it's inexpensive but awesome. Any reader who enjoys classic literature and scary stories will love this little, but hard-hitting, anthology.

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