I have an abiding love of the macabre, the grim, the weird and the uncanny. Ghost stories and Weird Fiction always take up a large part of my bookshelves, wherever I am. Until now I have never made a detailed study of my favourite kind of literature, and have been nothing but a grotesque gadfly in a seedy haunted garden.
In this blog I will publish examinations of “ghost stories” from specific angles of approach and interpretation. Angles will form and reform as time goes on, but some possible shady avenues will include:
- Suburban Horror
- Ghost Stories that are Not Ghost Stories
- Ghosts and Social Change
I will also be looking at what ghost stories can hint or reveal about the times, places and societies that they come out of.
I hope to publish a new article every month. Sometimes I may manage more than one, but I will try to manage one at least.
I will try to stick mainly to what publishers and anthologists define as “ghost stories”. However, I will consider any story that includes the following:
- The Return of the Dead
- Ehrfurcht (the German compound-quality that author and anthologist Robert Aickman defined as “reverence for what one cannot understand”
- Echoes from the Past and the Ripples of Fate
- The Uncanny
- Things that Should be There but Aren’t There and Things that Are There but Shouldn’t Be
Here. Eventually some other places, possibly.
The posts in this blog will be critical examinations of stories and themes across stories. I will try to avoid talking about “what” a story is and focus more on “how” and “why” it is. Be prepared for spoilers.
In the next post I will ease into step by presenting “The Best Ghost Stories Wot I Have Read.” I shall look at the themes of each story and consider why each story is a valuable part of the canon.