Saturday, October 6, 2018

#6 of 31 Days of Halloween: ghost stories

I've loved ghost stories most of my life. I like the scary ones, the comforting ones, the silly ones. One of the first times I scared myself silly with a book, it was a short story about a ghost child who wanted a friend so badly they nearly killed another child to make her a ghost, too.

I like the non-professional ones, too--the ones people tell when you're sitting together in the right setting and something inspires such confidences. When someone you know and respect as a rational being admits that they've seen something they can't explain that left them feeling unsettled…well that's the best kind of chills!

A few of my favorites (from books and stories):

Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp was given to me by my middle and high school librarian. It might be responsible for my loves of evil children and gazing balls.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I'm pretty sure that same librarian gave me this one, or maybe something else by Shirley Jackson. The quintessential haunted house story, a book that set the tone for all the future ones.

Beloved by Toni Morrison. Written from events that haunt a person even if nothing supernatural is involved. I cried more than once reading this one.

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I read this one pretty recently and it made me a fan of Joe Hill's work. I loved the ghost and the vengeance plot as well as the living characters.

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe. This is one of those stories where you're not sure if there's a ghost or not. The narrator could also be misinterpreting events, or seeing through an unreliable lens. Sometimes I like this kind of story better than the ones with real for-sure ghosts.

Got a favorite ghost story I should check out? LMK in the comments.

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