Tag Archives: ghost story

Haunted by Sarah Gailey

Flamingo tongue on a sea fan

This is the VERY LAST short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer. Guess I need to find the 2019 version and start reading some newer stories!

Published: March, 2016 in Fireside Quarterly (you can read it for free at that link)

Genre: ghost story

Setting: a random house, present day

Summary: Short version: The origin and end of a haunted house Continue reading

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The local library started a book club for teens and tweens that reads a book and then watches the movie. For December, this was the chosen book. I decided to read it to the kids. We also watched the The Muppet Christmas Carol as part of the book club experience.

Subtitle: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

Published: 1843 (so you can get it for free at Gutenberg.org if you want – that’s how we read it)

Genre: a ghost story

Length: 104 pages

Setting: London, 1840s Continue reading

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The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R. by Benjamin C. Kinney

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: June, 2016 in Strange Horizons (you can read it or listen to it at that link)

Genre: ghost story

Setting: near Chicago, present day, moving thirty years into the future

Summary: Our narrator, Anita, is a ghost stuck in the basement of her house repeating the last argument she had with her husband, Luis, before she died. Whenever she tries to leave and enters sun or moonlight, she vanishes. Anita tries to converse with the people who discover her, but she can only speak in sentences she said near her death. Only one person, Malati, tries to talk to Anita and discover how her ghost form works.

Final thoughts: An interesting story. We see the progression of Anita’s awareness of herself as a ghost and her attempts to communicate. Eventually, she’s able to make a sort of connection with Malati and she decides to help her stay with her girlfriend by proving her existence to the scientific community.

Title comes from: It actually makes more sense once you finish the story. The person referred to in the title is the narrator of the story.

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Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

Published: 2012

Genre: middle grade ghost story

Length: 352 pages

Setting: England, present day

Interest: I was looking for a six-hour audiobook for a trip to Toronto. This was available and I thought it had potential since I recognized the author. Continue reading

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La Bamba Boulevard by Bradley Denton

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas, although apparently it was published before. I just can’t figure out where.

Genre: ghost story

Setting : Hollywood Boulevard, near Buddy Holly’s 75 birthday

Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it.

Summary: Our narrator is in Hollywood for the first time ever to celebrate Buddy Holly’s 75th birthday and the presentation of his star on the Walk of Fame. While he’s wandering down the street, he is accosted by Ritchie Valens, who goads the narrator, as a Texan, to try something new and live his life. The narrator is sure Valens is just a huckster, and blows him off. However, the next day he changes his mind and tries a couple of new things in order to pay off his bet.

Final thoughts: This fits in the “sweet” side of ghost stories. Ritchie Valens is dead, but he maintains he lived more in his short life than the narrator has in his long life, and he challenges the narrator to really live his life. At first it seems as if the narrator will continue in his rut, but eventually he rises to the challenge, trying some new food and drink and actually singing in public.

Title comes from: Ritchie (and the narrator) sang La Bamba on Hollywood Boulevard

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Short Stories by Michael Matheson

The Many Lives of the Xun Long

Published: 2013 in Masked Mosaic : Canadian Super Stories

Genre: ghost story

Length: 5 pages

Setting: Toronto, Canada, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Xinhua lives in Toronto with her mother and the ghost of her great-grandfather. He was one of the original Chinese settlers in Toronto and had petitioned the Jade Emperor to be made a protector of the Chinese in that city. From that time, he’s passed on his skills as the Xun Long to the daughters of his line. Xinhua is the latest Xun Long and she has to juggle patrolling and protecting the innocent with school and work.

Final thoughts: This reminded me of a Chinese Buffy the Vampire Slayer who has a ghostly great-grandfather for a mentor instead of a watcher. I liked how the author got the history of the Xun Long into the story as an argument between the ghost and Xinhua.

Title comes from: The Xun Long was the protector, and that position had been handed down from daughter to daughter through generations. We get to see three generations in this story.

Weary, Bone Deep

Published: 2013 in Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I

Genre: horror

Length: 6 pages

Setting: a suburban house, present day

Summary: The narrator is a small boy who can see things that other people can’t. One of those evil things lives behind the grating over the air duct in the basement who ate his older brother’s soul when he died. No one believes the boy when he tries to tell him about the spirits, especially his abusive father. So, he’s camped out in front of the air duct for three nights, waiting for the creature to come out. Instead, the father find him and is not happy.

Final thoughts: This was a much creepier ghost story than the first one. The most telling part of the story was when the boy describes how he misses his brother because he was older and could take the beatings his father dished out easier than the narrator. The poor kid, at ten already reduced to the mathematics of “my brother is bigger so let him get hit instead of me”.

Title comes from: The boy is trying to stay awake for the third night in a row as he stalks the creature in the air duct. He’s also weary from his abusive homelife.

If you’re interested in purchasing a book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Short Stories by Samuel Marzioli

A House in the Woods

Published: January 2013 in Penumbra eMag

Genre: ghost story

Length: 4 pages

Setting: out in the woods, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: The narrator has bought a house out in the woods in which to retire. When he goes out to discuss the remodel, his contractor recommends demolishing the house and starting from scratch. The narrator feels like the house is staring at him and disapproving of the decision, but he goes ahead with it.

Final thoughts: The take home message is the narrator wonders for the first time if he has a soul that will carry on after he is dead. If a house can have an inhabitant, why not a human body? I wasn’t really impressed with the story, but I’m not into the existential side of stories.

Title comes from: The setting of the story.

Midnight Visitors

Published: February 2013 in Penumbra eMag

Genre: post-apocalyptic story

Length: 14 pages

Setting: a random city, some time in the near future

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Every night, loved ones who died have shown up at the door to take the living somewhere. A small collection of survivors have gathered in a house, but they’re losing their ability to refuse their loved ones’ pleas. Everyone but the narrator decides to follow their loved one, where ever they lead.

Final thoughts: Again, I see a theme of wondering what happens after you die. Can the dead really come back and be benevolent in their attention to the living? The narrator refused to believe anything good could come of following the dead out the door at midnight, but everyone else goes into the unknown. Who made the better choice? It’s up to the reader to figure that out since the author never describes what’s really happening. I also wonder who would have to come to the door to make me want to leave my current life.

Title comes from: The visitors always come knocking at the door at midnight.

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