Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Travelling Bag And Other Ghostly Stories” as Want to Read:
The Travelling Bag And Other Ghostly Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Travelling Bag And Other Ghostly Stories

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,446 ratings  ·  226 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
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by Profile Books (first published February 16th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,446 ratings  ·  226 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Travelling Bag And Other Ghostly Stories
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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'
Zoe Stanford
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
How the title story got past an editor I have no idea...
Jane Scholey
I LOVE Susan Hill. Always have. The Woman in black still gives me shivers. This set of stories is well told, in the spirit of an old Hammer movie. Creepy and tense. The writing is brilliant,as always.
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
Michelle Harrison
Did not finish.
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.
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
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,
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
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
Danni The Girl
After reading the first story I came home to find a dead moth on my living room floor and then one flying round my bathroom......... to say the least I was creeped out.
I wanted to give this 3.5 stars
These 4 stories are more creepy than scary. I liked story number 1, number 2 and 3 were ok and number 4 really creeped me out.
Very short, easy read
Although I wasn’t sure on the writing style I felt it wasn’t clear enough for me I felt I wasn’t understanding vital parts in the stories.
Worth a rea
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.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Four well-written, atmospheric ghost stories, except the title story which has no ghosts but does have a big inconsistency in it. I didn't find the first three stories scary ("The Front Room" was a bit), but I had inexplicable nightmares two days in a row, and trouble sleeping. I was also expecting gaslamp fantasy, but the last two stories are in a modern setting, and that kills the mood a bit. Other than that, a very nice collection, I'll definitely read more of Susan Hill.

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.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bit of a mixed bag...

The Travelling Bag - 2.5/5
Boy Twenty-One - 3.5/5
Alice Bake - 4/5
The Front Room - 1.5/5
Printer's Devil Court - 3.5/5

Average = 3/5
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
I just love Hill's stories so much. They are elegant and simple, yet smart; chilly, but not overly grotesque.
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
This book has 5 ghostly short stories by Susan Hill. Each completely different from the last.

I think out of them all I preferred Alice Baker the best; it sent shivers down my spine and made the hair on the back of neck stand on edge.

By the title The Travelling Bag and other ghostly stories you assume the title is story to be the best but I was quite disappointed by it unfortunately. I didn't find anything particularly creepy or unnerving about it. When I think of ghost stories I think about how
Melissa  Williams
I wanted to like this book, as a huge fan of Susan Hill but sadly, this book simply didn't hit the mark. A collection of ghostly tales that, to be honest, were far too tame for my taste and lacked originality. I lost interest in the second story in particular by about 5 pages in.
I thoroughly enjoyed the final story, however, and so that is how I ended up rating 3 stars.

I miss Susan's edge and her bite!
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it

The collection was pretty good. Only 2 of the 4 stories were creepy, but her writing is just so great that I didn't even mind! Alice Baker and The Front Room were definitely the most unsettling and vivid. If you're a fan of Susan Hill's ghost stories, the I recommend this. If you're just trying to get into her and have only read The Woman in Black, I would recommend reading Dolly or The Small Hand before picking this up!
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could rate each story individually:

The Travelling Bag - 3.5*
Boy Twenty-One - 5*
Alice Baker - 4*
The Front Room - 4*
Printer's Devil Court - 3.5*

Overall, I loved this collection and will most likely invest in more of Hill's books in the future. In truth, the 3.5 ratings were due to the fact that I wanted more! I just felt that these stories ended too abruptly and could have done with more development. Susan Hill's writing is fantastic as always!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wakenhyrst
  • The Coffin Path
  • The Corset
  • The Silent Companions
  • Bone China
  • The Greatcoat
  • Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book of New Ghost Stories
  • Thin Air: A Ghost Story
  • Spare Me the Truth (Dan Forrester #1)
  • The Familiars
  • Unexplained: Supernatural Stories for Uncertain Times
  • The Foundling
  • The Murder of Harriet Monckton
  • The Siren (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #2)
  • The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales
  • A House of Ghosts
  • The Crow Garden
  • Blood & Sugar
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

The author of 'Salt to the Sea' discusses the historical events that inspired her new YA novel.
15 likes · 4 comments