Ghost Story Books

on October 27, 2014 in Misc

It’s Halloween week, which means it’s time for supernatural tales.  Some people have a thing for zombies, others hanker for sexy vampires, and then there are witches and skeletons and creepy crawly stuff.

For me it’s always been ghosts.

ghost on tr

Ever since I could trick or treat, I was nuts for ghost stories.  Sure, they scared the *%!!#! out of me and convinced me that something dark and terrible was lurking under my bed and if I dared to climb out from under the covers in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom it would grab my ankles and pull me under and….

But I still couldn’t stop reading those scary stories.

Well, in the spirit of the season I figured I should share my terror by mentioning one or two ghost books I might have read over the years.  So I went went to the bookshelf where I remembered keeping a couple and realized…

Holy crap, I’ve got a lotta ghost books!

We’re not talking fiction, either. We’re talking a broad collection of non-fiction, swear-on-The-Bible, these are absolutely true tales of the supernatural, or so the writers claim.  I have guides to haunted places in Britain (and yes, I spent one night in an allegedly haunted inn somewhere in Cornwall but saw nothing).  I’ve got several books like Psychic Visits to the Past, which are supposed to be about people witnessing slips in time, but to me come across as scary ghost tales.  Then there’s Ghosts of the Air, which are the experiences from pilots, and the inevitable books about ghosts of the Civil War or Gettysburg or just war in general.

holy ghostbuster

One of my favorites is Holy Ghostbuster, which was written by J. Aelwyn Roberts, a Welsh vicar who describes his ghostly experiences from the perspective of a spiritual man who has been to many deathbeds and in many creepy Welsh and English country houses.  It’s a classic.

I’ve got the omnibus from those two Ghost Hunters guys on the SciFi Channel, Ghost Files: The Collected Cases from Ghost Hunting and Seeking Spirits.  If nothing else, check out the photos.  I guarantee that a couple will creep you out.

Finally, there’s the book that instilled in me a permanent, paranoid fear of ghosts.  It was the very old (second edition 1926), beaten-up, taped-together True Irish Ghost Stories (compiled by Seymour and Neligan) that my parents, for some sick, warped reason, left lying around the house when I was still an impressionable tyke.  I read it cover to cover and haven’t been the same since.  If you’re interested, it’s now back in print, and while some reviewers complain that its tales are very spare and newspaper-like, for me their simplicity and factual language made them all the more real, which made them all the more unnerving.

So is it ghosts for you, or are you a zombie or vampire or other supernatural fan?

Have a great Halloween.

12 Responses to “Ghost Story Books”

  1. I don’t read a lot of horror and tend to lean towards the ones with critters in them. I’ve also visited a lot of haunted places in England and Scotland, but like you, saw nothing.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – The critter ones can be cool too. Wish you and I had seen some ghosts, though.

  3. Hearing that you love ghosts, I might recommend watching American Horror Story season 1 on Netflix. It’s called “Murder House” and is filled with ghosts.

  4. I’ve had two ghostly experiences. One involved my mother and was comforting. The other took me completely by surprise and was dark, strangling, and terrifying.

  5. I recently wrote a ghostly flash fiction concerning ghosts, HORROR ABOARD THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Deadly ghosts, Nazis, a handcuffed and hobbled American prisoner — what fun!

    Tonight’s post, THE 13TH FLOOR, also involves ghosts on the abandoned 13th floor of an asylum.

    My mother once woke up to see two strange women standing at the foot of her bed. My step-father got quite a wake up call! The two women disappeared.

    I will let others see ghosts, thank you very much! I content myself with writing about them at Meilori’s!

  6. Helena says:

    Michael – I’ll check it out. I’ve seen clips and it does indeed look creepy good.

  7. Helena says:

    Carol – I’m glad you had a comforting one, but the strangling one? That I’ll take a pass on, even though I want to know the details!

  8. Helena says:

    Roland – I read your Horror Aboard the Orient Express and really enjoyed it, especially with the twist ending. So I’ll gladly check out The 13th Floor.

    My mother once woke up to see the ghost of a man in her bedroom and recognized him as the house’s former owner. She talks calmly about the incident, whereas I would have scared witless.

  9. Spooky stuff! I believe in demons, not ghosts. I’m sure your average demon could appear as just about anybody or anything…

  10. Helena says:

    Milo – If a ghost is in fact a demon, then that makes it more dangerous and scary. I prefer old fashioned ghosts, especially the nicer ones.

  11. I like my supernatural aspects to be more mysterious than scary… but that’s mostly because I’m a scaredy cat! LOL

  12. Helena says:

    Carrie – Mysterious is good, and I like limits to my own scary.