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Horror Sub-Genres > Ghost Stories/Paranormal

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message 1: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
The ghost story is one of oldest and most popular trope in horror. What are your favorite ghost stories?


message 3: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "Ghost Story by Peter Straub"

That by which all other ghost story books are compared to. Straub’s writing in this is literary genius. I’ve reread this 3 times and every time I read it, it makes me want to burn my own writing.


message 4: by Jon Recluse (last edited Sep 01, 2019 03:29PM) (new)

Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
Cast A Cold Eye by Alan Ryan
Ghosts by Noel Hynd
The Elementals by Michael McDowell
The Ghosts Of Sleath (David Ash, #2) by James Herbert
Ash Wednesday by Chet Williamson

Anything by M.R. James, William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki stories.....and William Meikle's additions to that series.


message 6: by Randy (new)

Randy Money | 245 comments Another vote for Ghost Story by Peter Straub .

Plus,
Collected Ghost Stories by M.R. James
The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson by E.F. Benson
The Hours After Midnight Tales of Terror and the Supernatural by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (or another representative collection)


message 7: by Marie (last edited Jun 15, 2021 05:48AM) (new)

Marie | 3428 comments Salvage by Duncan Ralston by Duncan Ralston- five star read for me. This was a great ghostly tale and I read it within two days as I just could not put it down! Gripping and intense! It is on my favorites shelf!

The Devil's Woods by Brian Moreland by Brian Moreland - five star read. This was a great ghostly tale of a haunted forest mixed with a Indian reservation! Read this book within two days and the pace was fast along with a haunting intensity! Another one that is on my favorites shelf!


message 8: by Randy (new)

Randy Money | 245 comments More time now, and more to add:

Novels:
Bag of Bones Bag of Bones by Stephen King
The Woman in Black The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Naomi's Room Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe
Heart-Shaped Box Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Collections (with caveat that not all ghost stories have ghosts, so you find other ... things ... in some of the stories here):
The Two Sams The Two Sams by Glen Hirshberg
The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth The Bone Key The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth by Sarah Monette
Ghost Summer: Stories Ghost Summer Stories by Tananarive Due

A YA novel I'm fond of:
Tamsin Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle


message 9: by Canavan (new)

Canavan | 548 comments The problem I always have when working up a list of favorite ghost stories is, oddly enough, figuring out just what a “ghost” is. As an example, M. R. James’ justly famous Ghost Stories of an Antiquary would seem to feature very few ghosts. Anyway, here are a baker’s dozen. It’s not a particularly well thought out list and relies heavily on old chestnuts.

“The Body Snatcher”, Robert Louis Stevenson (1884)
“Man Overboard!”, F. Marion Crawford (1903)
“The Beckoning Fair One”, Oliver Onions (1911)
“Smee”, A. M. Burrage (1929)
“The Frontier Guards”, H. Russell Wakefield (1929)
“Mr. Arcularis”, Conrad Aiken (1931)
“Three Miles Up”, Elizabeth Jane Howard (1951)
“The Haunting of Y-12”, Al Sarrantonio (1981)
“But at My Back I Will Always Hear”, David Morrell (1983)
“Mr. Dark’s Carnival”, Glen Hirshberg (2000)
“The Legend of the Midnight Cruiser”, Michael Reaves (2003)
“Bloody Bill”, Reggie Oliver (2005)
“The Redfield Girls”, Laird Barron (2010)


message 10: by Randy (new)

Randy Money | 245 comments I've read and enjoyed the Stevenson, Onions, Burrage, Aiken and Hirshberg; all first rate stories, though one anthologist argued that "The Body Snatcher" wasn't a ghost story and sounded like he was mad about it.

I'd add E.F. Benson's "Caterpillars" which is probably the creepiest story I've read by him, and Robert Aickman's "The Inner Room." Walter de la Mare's "Seaton's Aunt" is also creepy and a ghost story. Sort of.


message 11: by Canavan (last edited Sep 10, 2019 01:30PM) (new)

Canavan | 548 comments Randy wrote:

I've read and enjoyed the Stevenson, Onions, Burrage, Aiken and Hirshberg; all first rate stories, though one anthologist argued that "The Body Snatcher" wasn't a ghost story and sounded like he was mad about it.

To your point about “The Body Snatcher”, yeah, I can certainly understand why someone might be hesitant to classify it as a ghost story. On reflection, the final image does seem more tangible than intangible.

Randy also wrote (in part):

I'd add E.F. Benson's "Caterpillars" which is probably the creepiest story I've read by him,

Coincidentally, I’ve been slowly re-reading Benson’s stuff over the last year or so (a story or so every week). They’re not quite as enthralling as I remember them being when I first read them as a teenager, but there are relatively few clinkers. If I were to highlight a single recurring flaw in Benson’s work, it might be his tendency to try to provide a pseudo-scientific explanation for supernatural phenomena. I get that this message was at least in part addressing the Spiritualist beliefs then prevalent in many English-speaking countries, but for my money that kind of over-explanation almost always sucks the mystery and tension out of a story. Not very original, but my favorite Benson story would unquestionably be “The Room in the Tower”. Any number of runners-up, e.g., “Naboth’s Vineyard” and “The Face”.


message 12: by Baz (last edited Sep 10, 2019 07:33PM) (new)

Baz MW (bazcatt) | 84 comments I've never understood the fascination with Ghost Story, unfortunately. Probably due to the lack of ghosts in a book with a title dominated by their namesake.

Everybody is so hell-bent on talking it up though, that I might have to give it another read one day. Maybe I was having a bad day.


message 13: by Steve (new)

Steve Parcell | 901 comments Baz wrote: "I've never understood the fascination with Ghost Story, unfortunately. Probably due to the lack of ghosts in a book with a title dominated by their namesake.

Everybody is so hell-bent..."


I am much the same Baz and on the Haunting of Hill House, Found both books quite mundane to be honest.


message 14: by Randy (new)

Randy Money | 245 comments Canavan wrote: "Randy wrote:
I've read and enjoyed the Stevenson, Onions, Burrage, Aiken and Hirshberg; all first rate stories, though one anthologist argued that "The Body Snatcher" wasn't a ghost story and sounded like he was mad about it.

To your point about “The Body Snatcher”, yeah, I can certainly understand why someone might be hesitant to classify it as a ghost story. On reflection, the final image does seem more tangible than intangible."


The editor was Herbert Wise in Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural if he hadn't probably been dead by the time I read it, I'd have taken exception. I think the story can be defended on psychological grounds as occupying ground somewhere between his division between terror and the supernatural.

Anyway, I also love the movie version with Karloff and Lugosi.

I agree about Benson, although I'm finding it on first reading of most of his stories. They're all engaging, and the ones I really like -- "The Room in the Tower"; "Mrs. Amworth" in spite of no longer having a surprise in it; "Caterpillars" -- I like a lot.


message 15: by Canavan (last edited Sep 11, 2019 11:22AM) (new)

Canavan | 548 comments Randy said (in part):

Anyway, I also love the movie version with Karloff and Lugosi.

Yes, one of the movies that Val Lewton produced. I liked most of those.


message 16: by Canavan (last edited Sep 11, 2019 02:01PM) (new)

Canavan | 548 comments Randy wrote (in part) concerning “The Body Snatcher”:

The editor was Herbert Wise in Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural if he hadn't probably been dead by the time I read it, I'd have taken exception. I think the story can be defended on psychological grounds as occupying ground somewhere between his division between terror and the supernatural.

That’s a great anthology, of course. Every once in a while I’ll pull it down off the shelf. If I ever read Wise’s introduction, it was decades ago. Your comment prompted me to skim through it. Obviously, given that I’ve already made it known that it’s a favorite of mine, I disagree with his perspective on the Robert Louis Stevenson story. (Ironically, I sometime find myself annoyed by stories which embody a characteristic precisely the opposite of the one Wise describes! — the supposed supernatural tale in which a natural or realistic solution is introduced at the last moment.) As for the intro as a whole, the most charitable description of Wise’s discourse on terror, the supernatural, and racial memories appertaining thereto is that it’s dated.


message 17: by April (new)

April Teesdale (aprilteesdale) | 41 comments Asylum by Ambrose Isben was really good
and I loved Summer of Night by Dan Simmons.


message 18: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Soucy | 54 comments So many to choose from, and I love that I've seen some on this list I probably need to read!

My favorite ghost stories include:

Ghost Story
The House Next Door
The Shining
Pet Sematary
Bag of Bones
The Haunting of Hill House
Burnt Offerings
The Amityville Horror
Experimental Film
Kill Creek

There's probably more, but these are the first that came to mind!

*Also yes, Amityville has been debunked but true story or not, the book itself scared the crap out of me as a teenager


message 19: by Justin (new)

Justin Tai Sen Choy  (justintai) Please recommend me some amazing supernatural scary books to read


message 20: by Jeff McIntosh (new)

Jeff McIntosh | 140 comments Straub's "Ghost Story"......anything by M.R. James......Datlow has a couple anthologies out as well...

Jeff Mc


message 21: by Montzalee (new)

Montzalee Wittmann (montziew) | 56 comments April wrote: "Asylum by Ambrose Isben was really good
and I loved Summer of Night by Dan Simmons."


The series of Asylum was excellent! Truly scare worthy!


message 23: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Saving-Sherman (ksaving) | 4 comments I just finished NOS4A2 and it was great!!


message 24: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten McKenzie (kirstenmckenzieauthor) | 34 comments I really enjoyed Purgatory by Rosetta Allan. Based around a true crime, it's told from the viewpoint of the ghost child. Chilling.

Purgatory by Rosetta Allan


message 25: by Kasia (new)

Kasia (kasia_s) | 2936 comments Mod
Justin wrote: "Please recommend me some amazing supernatural scary books to read"

The Cabin at the End of the World, by Paul Tremblay was hard to put down.


message 27: by Lora (new)

Lora Milton | 202 comments Justin wrote: "Please recommend me some amazing supernatural scary books to read"

A Halloween Tale by Austin Crawley is pretty amazing.

Other good ghost stories that come to mind are:

Ghost Story by Jeff Brackett by Jeff Brackett, different from the one suggested by people above

Angel Manor by Chantal Noordeloos

A Christmas Tale by Austin Crawley


message 28: by Carrie (last edited Jun 29, 2021 01:14PM) (new)

Carrie  (icanhasbooks) | 79 comments Marie wrote: "I have a few more ghost story books since my last post in here two years ago:

The Haunting of Blackwood House
Ghost House
Linden Manor
[book:ESSIE'S H..."




It makes me happy to see someone recommend Clare McNally


message 29: by Marie (new)

Marie | 3428 comments Carrie wrote: "It makes me happy to see someone recommend Clare McNally.."

Thank you, Carrie! I read Ghost House and Ghost House Revenge which both were excellent books. The atmospheric haunting was top notch in both books!


message 30: by Mark (new)

Mark Campbell | 12 comments Hi Marie

It's good to know there are other Clare McNally fans out there. I have been a huge Clare fan for years. Since the 1980s. I have about 8 of her books. I love re-reading them. They are a delight to me and are a great inspiration to me as a horror writer who likes to delve into the world of ghosts.

Mark


message 31: by Carrie (new)

Carrie  (icanhasbooks) | 79 comments Marie wrote: "Carrie wrote: "It makes me happy to see someone recommend Clare McNally.."

Thank you, Carrie! I read Ghost House and Ghost House Revenge which both were excellent books. The atmospheric haunting w..."



My favorite of hers is Somebody Come and Play, it's actually one of my childhood/teen years favs. I discovered it in the 90s and that was my introduction to her.


message 32: by Mark (new)

Mark Campbell | 12 comments Hi Carrie

Yes, I love that one as well. I discovered Clare's novels the best part of 40 years ago and I still love them. In fact I am thinking of re-reading them quite soon. I was probably about eighteen when I first came across her novels but they still touch me all these years later. I know some people say Clare's work is best suited for the teenage market but I think anyone of any age can enjoy them. To me they are timeless.

Mark


message 33: by Carrie (new)

Carrie  (icanhasbooks) | 79 comments I bid on a box of most of her books on ebay many many moons ago, still actually haven't read them all yet.


message 34: by Mark (new)

Mark Campbell | 12 comments Anyone here come across Margery Lawrence? I have three ghost story collections by her. They were limited edition volumes. She wrote these collections in the 1920s and 1930s. My favourite collection was her first: 'Nights of the roundtable.' Her ghost stories are fabulous. They have such a wonderful atmosphere and some great twists. I highly recommend her work to any reader out there who would like a good ghost story.


message 35: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 340 comments I loved The Turn of the Screw by Henry James by Henry James . There is a bit of mystery at the end.


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