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The Travelling Bag: And Other Ghostly Stories

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,108 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
From the foggy streets of Victorian London to the eerie perfection of 1950s suburbia, the everyday is invaded by the otherworldly in this unforgettable collection of new ghost stories from the bestselling author of The Woman in Black.

In the title story, on a murky evening in a club off St James, a paranormal detective recounts his most memorable case, one whose horrifying
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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by Profile Books
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Paromjit
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are 0f a set of short ghost stories very much in the style of the usual Susan Hill books. They have an air of creepiness and menace about them but not grotesque horror or gruesomeness. The title story has a psychic private investigator, Gilbert, telling the story of Walter Craig, a gifted medical scientist, to Tom Williams, a retired bishop. Walter is engaged in ground breaking research when he begins to suffer from a debilitating illness. He takes on a assistant, Silas Webb, who is able t ...more
James
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are wanting something ground-breaking, cutting edge or consciously contemporary, then Susan Hill ghost stories are probably not for you. If on the other hand you enjoy well written, well crafted, solid, reliable, ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ hauntingly memorable ghost stories in the Victorian/Edwardian tradition – occasionally with a contemporary (or near contemporary) setting, which I do…then this another collection (a quartet) of stories well worth taking the time to read.

Whilst not q
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Paul
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ghost-stories
I have a sort of annual ritual at this time of year, when I read Susan Hill’s latest ghostly offering and this year is no exception. This time Hill has produced four short stories; The Travelling Bag, Boy Number Twenty-one, Alice Baker and The Front Room. Hill is a ghost story writer in the traditional mode; she concentrates on the psychological aspects of those involved rather than blood, gore and non-stop action. They concern everyday life and everyday occurrences.
In my opinion the quality of
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Blair
I was excited about this collection because, while I've enjoyed all of Hill's previous ghost stories, I've always felt they're consistently spread a little thin. Hill's plots feel more suited to the brevity of a short story, but they are usually padded out to novella length, something that has often served to highlight the weaknesses in otherwise wonderfully creepy tales – and, ironically, also tends to leave them feeling incomplete. The Travelling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories is a small book c ...more
Zuky the BookBum
Short story collections provide a great mix of quick reads, hence why I love them so much! I was really looking forward to this one as I love a good scary story but unfortunately, this one didn’t live up to expectations.

I have reviewed each story individually below.

~
THE TRAVELLING BAG
The first short in the collection didn’t grab me from the get-go. I didn’t feel it was very spooky and I wasn’t really keen on the way it was laid out. I think the chopping and changing of scenes took away from any
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Andrew
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Susan Hill is a very accomplished author and I will state here and now I have not read her other journeys through other genres.

For me Susan Hill is the author of the modern day ghost story classic - Woman in Black and for me is the quintessential author of classic ghost story.

So here we have another short collection (I think there are less than 200 pages) consisting of a number of longer stories all with a macabre twist. To try and explain what you have here is very difficult to do (made all bu
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Rachael
I do enjoy Susan Hill's ghost stories but was left sadly rather unimpressed with this collection.

The first story is entertaining but there seem to be some inaccuracies (how can the narrator recount an event he wasn't party to and to which nobody spoke of?) The ending was predictable but well written nonetheless.

Boy Twenty-one is exactly the kind of ghostly tale I usually enjoy, but it felt a little lacking. I was left with a lot more questions than answers and it felt a little unfinished. I thin
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Roman Clodia
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
These are elegantly written, as Hill's stories always are but lack the chill of her best ghostly work. We do get to see the range of her imagination from the Victorian setting of 'The Travelling Bag' to the unusual 1950s suburbia of 'The Front Room', the weakest of the tales.

'Boy Number 21' is gorgeously melancholic as two lonely boys form an undying friendship, and 'Alice Baker' is a mildly humorous take on the office story, though with a frisson underlying it.

Nicely told and crafted, but don'
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Zoe Stanford
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
How the title story got past an editor I have no idea...
Teresa
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a mixed bag of short stories. I gave it four stars because the ones I enjoyed, I really enjoyed.

The Travelling Bag 3* for me. Quite good.
Boy Twenty-One 2*. Didn't think much of this one and it kind of petered out and left me unsatisfied.
Alice Baker 3*. Wasn't bad. Again kind of petered out without a real explanation.
The Front Room 4*. The best of the lot. Suspenseful and eerie. Ending took me totally by surprise.
Printer's Devil Court 4*. Very good story. Eerie and uncomfortable.

All in
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Patrick Kiernan
The Travelling bag by Susan Hill is a collection of short ghost stories in the classic English ghost story form. These stories remind me of M.R. James and other famous ghost writers I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys the old style of ghost stories. My favourite story in this collection was the same as the title of the collection it has that classic feel that I really enjoy. I have only one criticism is that this book isn't original, so for that reason I'll rate this a four star ...more
Michelle Harrison
Did not finish.
Lisa
This was a mixed bag for me. Out of the four short stories contained within this book, only two gave me the creeps. The other two didn't do much for me at all, sadly.
Laura
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Susan Hill has made a mint from 'The Woman in Black', but the success of this work has had two unfortunate consequences. First, it has led to the neglect of her very fine earlier novels, 'Strange Meeting' and 'I'm the King of the Castle'. Second, and more seriously, it has encouraged the belief that she is good at writing ghost stories. What is becoming more and more obvious is that she only has two plot lines, which are adapted in ingenious but ultimately tedious ways in successive collections. ...more
Rose English
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book 04 of my Goodreads Challenge and everything you could expect from Susan Hill

This book attracted me because of the embossed dust cover so beautiful (being a touchy feely kind of book lover). Fans of 'The Woman in Black will surely love this a I did.

A collection of four short stories

The Travelling Bag should really come with a warning especially for those of a nervous disposition and a phobia of fluttery creatures. It is a tale within a tale set in old Victorian times. A story of revenge. W
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Andy Weston
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to score a book of four short stories. Two of them are good, one of them average, and one poor, so a 4 out of 5. Overall though I'm disappointed by the latest from the very wonderful Susan Hill. Her ghost story novellas are without exception some of the best in that genre since Shirley Jackson and the classics. I can only imagine that she felt there wasn't enough substance in any of these stories individually to turn one of them into a novella.

The title story, The Travelling Bag,
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Bill Lynas
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading a Susan Hill ghost story is always enjoyable. They are quietly atmospheric & although there are never huge scares she gently raises the tension to make them entertainingly creepy. The four short stories in this collection show her talent is not diminishing. Of course being English ghost stories they show, as always, that anyone experiencing frightening events can be calmed down with a nice cup of hot, sugary tea.
Kirsty
I find Hill's fiction a little hit and miss, and this collection was really rather underwhelming. There is nothing chilling about the first story, and whilst I liked the structure - which is reminiscent of the play version of 'The Woman in Black' - I gave up a quarter of the way through.
Clair
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The Travelling Bag and other Ghostly Stories contains 4 short tales all eloquently written in Susan Hill’s gothic style. They are all spooky stories that slowly creep up on you rather than gory horror. As the atmosphere within each one slowly builds up like a crescendo of eeriness to their creepy finale. Most are in the traditional Gothic style but a couple have a more contemporary setting. These are all beautifully crafted to leave a chill down your spine. You do have to let your imagination ru ...more
Melora
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unsettling. Disquieting. In these stories the supernatural brushes against us, rather than stomping about rattling its chains. Some of Hill's ghosts are wistful, others savagely malevolent, but their purposes, like their forms, are always indeterminate. As another reader noted, the short story is, perhaps, a better format for Hill's ghost stories than is the short novel (I'm thinking of The Woman in Black and The Small Hand), where she tends to meander around a bit too much. As in those longer s ...more
Tim Reed
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Collection got better as it went on. Some stories relied on atmosphere, scares and a good twist (Alice Baker), whilst others leant more on setting and moral standpoint. I preferred the former, but overall well worth a read for those who like classic ghost stories.
Manda
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of 5 easy to read ghostly stories, I read one nightly last week and had no bad dreams!

These are soft delightful gothic feeling tales, nothing that is queamish or get those who are easily scared. Entertaining and not Susan Hills best, but still a good solid 4 stars.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received this title from Allen & Unwin for review.

3.5 stars

Ten Second Synopsis:
A collection of four short ghostly stories, with an emphasis on psychological horror.

If this was the first Susan Hill book I had encountered and I read this collection in the traditional fashion (that is, from front to back), I might be forgiven for discarding this book halfway through as sub-par in quality. As this is not my first Susan Hill book, I persevered and am very glad I did so because oddly enough, the
...more
Sam
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, horror, shorts
While technically speaking this isn't actually a classic each story is written in the style of traditional Victorian Gothic stories, with nothing explained explicitly and your imagination allowed to run wild from the hints and suggestions provided. There are four stories in this collection, each one just as chilling as the next and yet just as heartfelt and heartbreaking. The title story is told as a fireside tale by a psychic detective as he recounts an old case of two academic, one of whom ste ...more
Emily Woolford
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Stringer
As it's Halloween time it felt appropriate to read a scary ghost book, a genre I have never read and must confess avoid (even films) as I'm a bit of a big wuss. So when recommended this, a book written by the author that I'm told wrote the very scary 'Woman in Black' thought this seemed a good place to start the genre.

And this book includes four short stories: The Travelling Bag, Boy Twenty-One, Alice Baker and The Front Room. I got quite into the first story, but I do like my pre-Victorian styl
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Helen
Nov 02, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder how this came to print, with the editor seemingly on holiday. The first story, the title of the book, 'The Traveling Bag' is a short story but riddled with typos. I counted nine in the first twenty pages. Some look to be just your average Kindle typos, but there are others which cannot be attributed to some poor transfer. Names of characters are erroneously mixed up, as at the start of chapter three, where Silas Webb is confused with Walter Craig... "He had always judged Webb to be a gr ...more
Naomi Hewitt
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic collection of creepy little stories- don't make my mistake and read them before you go to sleep! Alice Baker is a particularly good one I think but the others are good too.
Aliss
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A quick, short read which grips you right through to the end.

Four ghostly tales, each sharing an unsettling atmosphere. Each story is based in a different period but share characters who are troubled by unusual goings on. My favourite was the last one, 'The Front Room', which I found to be the darkest of the four stories.
Elanna
Classic ghost stories, so classic that they trespass into clichéed territory. There are uneasiness and creepiness at moments, but the overall narrative does not keep together. Plus, characters' reactions in front of the supernatural are not convincing at all. It's a pity, because there are glimpses of good psychological insight hinting at a narrator with some potential. Being this valid for all four stories, I am not sure whether I should give this writer a second chance.
Anecdotal: the evil gran
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1,248 followers
Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1942. Her hometown was later referred to in her novel A Change for the Better (1969) and some short stories especially "Cockles and Mussels".

She attended Scarborough Convent School, where she became interested in theatre and literature. Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factor
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More about Susan Hill

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