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The Big Book of Ghost Stories

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  20 reviews
THE BIG BOOK OF GHOST STORIES is a spirited Black Lizard anthology with over a thousand pages of haunted—and haunting—tales.
The ghost story is perhaps the oldest of all the supernatural literary genres and has captured the imagination of almost every writer to put pen to the page. Here, Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler has followed his keen sense of the supernatural
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Paperback, 833 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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John  Bellamy
Penzler's outstanding selection of ghost stories includes many classic authors in the genre but mostly and thankfully substitutes some of their lesser known gems in lieu of their over-exposed work. Some of the best tales here are by British authors unjustly obscure to American readers and Penzler is to be thanked for producing an instantly indispensable treasury of ghost stories. And don't ask me to name my favorites, 'cause that would be like asking a mother to name her favorite child in the pr ...more
Carolyn
A wonderful mix of classic and new terrifying stories...perfect for a cold fall night!
Nancy Oakes
There is truly nothing I like better than a good, old-fashioned ghost story, and here in The Big Book of Ghost Stories, edited by Otto Penzler, I am completely in my element. Ghosts are everywhere, roaming in the old English abbeys, conjured up in the eerie atmosphere of the Victorian seance room, moaning in old castles, sailing the seas, you name it, and a ghost will be found there. This is an incredible collection, one I couldn't wait to get to every time I had a moment to pick it up.

The stor
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Julie Davis
This was a treat for myself after getting a free lance writing job. I read the entire book over a long period of time by opening it at random to one of these short stories. There are classics (The Monkey's Paw; Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad) and stories from much more modern authors like Donald Westlake, Isaac Asimov, Chet Williamson, and Andrew Klavan. There are so many stories in this "big book" that it took me some time to finish, especially at the meandering, leisurely pace I favor ...more
J2e
Three things to like about this book: one, it has a great cover and two, it is well presented, like an enormous magazine. The third is the number of authors and stories I hadn't encountered. I have about half a dozen ghost anthologies with Fritz Leiber's "Smoke Ghost", and everyone, it seems, must include M. R James. Both are here but there is a lot more as well. Like a lot of Americans, he misses a few British writers - Robert Aickman, R Chetwynd Hayes - that should have been included in "the m ...more
Mary
Holey Moley Batman! Approximately 80 ghost stories compiled in one book (over 800 pages written in small text, so you know there is a lot to read in there!). Not one gory alien or zombie story to be found, these are all your basic supernatural "ghost goes BOO in the night" stories. While it contains many classic stories by H. P. Lovecraft, O. Henry, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Saki, there are also several by authors I had either never heard of, or did not know that they wrote ghost stories (Mark Tw ...more
Noelle
I read one ghost story every evening in October. With 80 stories, it should last a few Octobers more. My favorite stories this time around were "The Shadowy Third" by Ellen Glasgow, "A Ghost's Story" by Mark Twain, "Pacific 421" by August Derleth, and "Journey Into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert.
Susan
I enjoyed the variety in this collection and also the organization of the stories. I could just pick up the volume and go to the "haunted houses" section, or whatever, and find something that piqued my interest.
Linda
I REALLY liked this book! It's 800+ pages of ghost and horror stories, old and contemporary. All of them are short; some are by well-known authors (Mark Twain, M. R. James, Wilkie Collins,Rudyard Kipling), but most of them are by authors I'd never heard of before. Although some are presented as "one of the best" of the century, whatever, I never had a shiver. Of course, unfortunately, I tend to be a "show me the money" person. If I ever met a ghost, I'd believe in them. Literary merit varied but ...more
Mysterious  Bookshop
In this anthology, the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop presents a carefully selected--but immense--collection of the finest ghost stories ever written. Separated by theme and complete with author biographies, this is a must-have for both lovers of supernatural horror as well as those just becoming interested in it. Alongside the titans of the ghost story--M. R. James, Washington Irving, etc.--are established authors not primarily known for their work in the genre, as well as a few lesser-k ...more
Dorish Narayan
Mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh <3
Lauren
Okay, I do know this has the words "Big Book" in the title, but it was really way too long and was hard to read because of the double column for the stories. A lot of the stories were okay (though some were good), but usually there isn't a need to have two stories by the same author. I guess I've just read a lot better ghost anthologies than this one.
Lynn
Really a fun compilation, with lots of stories that were new to me. And great organization - instead of organizing it chronologically, Penzler organized this one thematically. Stories about haunted houses; stories about creepy kids; stories about ghostly spouses. You get the idea.
Holly
This was a pretty fabulous and comprehensive anthology. There was enough in this volume to keep me busy during my October horrorfest. Most of the great writers of the genre have been included. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Adam Lewis Schroeder
I would love to go straight back to the beginning and start this whole book again, but I don't have a year to spare just now -- still have to finish Penzler's adventure anthology.
Aaron VanAlstine


"The Night Wire" is one awesomely chilling short story. Many others by authors I've not read before.
Rebecca
Hit-or-miss with this one, but it's good for sneaking in a quick scare during a break.
Kathy
Nice for hanging around reading. Worth everything for the Canturbury Ghost.
Eric
800 some odd pages: that was a lot of ghost stories.
Charlie
Fun Fun Read!
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Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Otto Penzler founded The Mysteriour Press in 1975 and was the publisher of The Armchair Detective, the Edgar-winning quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, for seventeen years.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for The Encycl
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