Ghost stories

The “ID this ghost story” thread makes me in the mood for a good 'ol haunted novel. Any you’d particularly recommend?

“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door…”

Well, that’s a very different two sentence story from the original. :slight_smile:

Is that from a book I’m supposed to know?

ETA: Was that supposed to be “knock” instead of “lock”?

• Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
• Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Haunted and the Haunters
• Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
• Henry James, The Turn of the Screw

How about some new ones from the last five years?

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill (he’s the older of Stephen King’s sons)

Ghost Story by Peter Straub.


A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons is a pretty good ghost story.

It is the sequel to Summer of Night which is the best horror story I have ever read.

One of my favorites. Actually, anything by Peter Straub is pretty good, and often creepy.

A recent one: Her Fearful Symmetry But it is not thriller-chiller scary. Same with Peter S. Beagle’s A Fine and Private Place.

There is always The Yellow Wallpaper.

I came in here to say Ghost Writer - it was such a find for me - I especially love the nested short stories in it. Heart Shaped Box was excellent as well.

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, is wonderful. I’d say it’s not strictly, strictly speaking a ghost story, but in a way it does feature at least two “ghosts” and is deliciously gothic and creepy.

That’s not a ghost story, though; that’s a psychological horror story.

It’s a good one, though. Very creepy, and I spent a lot of time in English class rereading it instead of paying attention.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill was a pleasant surprise. It’s been filmed but you can’t find a (legal) copy anywhere, and it’s been a play. It’s the creepiest story I’ve read in years.

imasquare, those two Simmons books are excellent. There’s speculation that some of the events of Summer of Night were all in Dale’s head, which is supposedly confirmed by what happens in A Winter Haunting. I’m tempted to re-read them, to see if that theory makes sense.

Anything by M. R. James.

The House Next Door, by Anne Rivers Siddons. Not a traditional haunted house story, but it’s excellent.

Hell yeah! Good call.
If you want a classic, Malleus, tis the season for A Christmas Carol.

And if you like that one, you should really like the Peter Straub book A Winter Haunting is a rip off of: If You Could See Me Now.

I haven’t read The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters yet, but I want to. It’s supposed to be good, or so I’ve heard:

I know Ann Rice got bashed in the “Worst Popular Books” thread, and I’ll wholeheartedly agree that, in the series she has written, each successive book is weirder and more “WTF?” than the last.

However, the first book in a series is another matter. Both Interview with the Vampire and The Witching Hour scared the crap out of me. (OK, The Witching Hour gets pretty “WTF?” at the very end, but everything else up to that point is really creepy and scary.)

AuntiePam, I’m definitely going to have to read The Woman in Black. I saw it the 1989 TV version and thought it was fabulous. (And it’s been long enough ago that I don’t remember the details, so I can get scared anew!)

I liked it a lot, and so did everyone in my book group who read it. People were comparing it to The Haunting of Hill House. It’s not that good, but it’s pretty good.

freckafree, I envy you, seeing it on film. And I envy all the Londoners who’ve enjoyed the stage play. Criminey, everything else is out on DVD – why not this?

That’s funny, I read it as Knock…

But, *Lock * makes it even more spooky. :eek: