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October's theme is Hauntings (or Ghost Stories).
“A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them. The "ghost" may appear of its own accord or be summoned by magic. Linked to the ghost is the idea of "hauntings", where a supernatural entity is tied to a place, object or person.”
A few Suggestions:
- The Winter People / Jennifer McMahon
- The Woman in Black / Susan Hill
- A Christmas Carol / Charles Dickens
- The Haunting of Hill House / Shirley Jackson
- Heart-Shaped Box / Joe Hill
- Ghost Story / Peter Straub
- This House is Haunted / John Boyne
- The Shining / Stephen King
- The Amityville Horror / Jay Anson
Plus a few more suggestions by Monkey are here:
Some other ghost stories I read recently that would fit are: Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest, The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, Sweetheart, Sweetheart by Bernard Taylor, The Unseen by Alexandra Sokoloff, I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Slade House by David Mitchell, Rooms by Lauren Oliver.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow / Washington Irving
I'd also like to read
Ghost Ships: True Stories of Nautical Nightmares, Hauntings and Disasters / Richard Winer
but, I've had to request it as an ILL, so hard to say when it will come for me.
So far, I'm liking it. It's about a New York writer who goes to rural Ireland to stay for a few months to write a story that takes place during the potato famine. Late at night, with no one around, ghosts are starting to appear - oh boy!
When 15-year old Teri’s parents die in a house fire, Teri is the only one to get out. She is collected by her biological father to go live across the country with him, his wife and their 13-year old daughter, Melissa. Melissa is considered by some to be a bit… strange. But she has good reason. (The back of the book doesn’t say much, so I don’t want to give too much away.) They are rich, but Melissa and her mother (Phyllis) don’t really fit in, though Phyllis certainly tries.
This was really good. I was pulled in at the start and it kept me reading and wanting to read. I was quite horrified and disgusted with actions of many of the characters and felt so badly for Melissa. This book has elements of both supernatural and psychological horror, both of which I “enjoy” reading. Just be careful reading through some of the reviews, as much more is given away than I think should be for this book.
Jack Quinlan is a writer from New York who went to stay in a remote village in Ireland to research his next book that involved the Potato Famine. One night as he was driving home from the local pub, he thinks he sees an old man, skeleton thin, lying in a ditch but within minutes the man disappears. So, he starts doubting what he saw. Later, there will be other incidents and he tries to figure out what's going on with the help of the local priest.
This was an interesting ghost story with an eerie feel all the way through. The way it was written made it seem almost believable and suspenseful as Jack tries to understand what's going on, which I liked. The ending was a bit of a letdown. Although something surprising happened, I would've liked a little more explanation. Overall, I enjoyed it and felt like it really fit the Halloween season.
I found this appreciation by Susan Hill of the ghost story, and there are quite a lot of reading suggestions in it: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/20/susan-hill-ghost-stories-winter
Reread a 3rd time:
3 stars. I have read this two previous times, two years in a row. This is the first time I was able to sit and read uninterrupted. I had hoped I would like it better, but I’m actually rating it lower than I rated it the first two times. Maybe my mindset; maybe I was rating more leniently at the time, but I just am not interested in the super-detailed description, most of which has nothing to do with the story. Once again, I do agree that the actual meeting of Ichabod Crane with the Headless Horseman is the most interesting part.