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Victorian Ghost Stories!

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:Sarita:
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Victorian Ghost Stories!

Post by :Sarita: » Mon March 8th, 2010, 8:26 pm

Forgive me if there's already a thread about this, but I would love to get my hands on a good Victorian ghost story! Preferably a recent book set during the Victorian era, as opposed to a ghost story written by an author of the time ... Can anyone name me some gooduns? :)
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.


[Albert Camus]


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annis
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Post by annis » Mon March 8th, 2010, 8:32 pm

I quite enjoyed Susan Hill's "The Man in the Picture".

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:Sarita:
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Post by :Sarita: » Mon March 8th, 2010, 9:02 pm

Ah of course, Susan Hill! She wrote The Woman in Black too, didn't she? I've seen that at the theatre and wanted to read the book, but it's about 100 pages long and costs about £7 in most shops, didn't seem right. Must get it from the library instead.

Thank you for your suggestion :) and the link! x
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.


[Albert Camus]


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annis
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Post by annis » Mon March 8th, 2010, 10:24 pm

Another couple for your list-- John Harwood's "Ghost Writer" and "Seance"

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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Tue March 9th, 2010, 1:08 am

We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue March 9th, 2010, 2:17 am

Not sure that they qualify as Victorian, but Edith Wharton wrote some ghost stories, as did Alexandre Dumas.
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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Tue March 9th, 2010, 8:31 am

How about The Turn of the Screw by Henry James?

That's not a recent one, though. :rolleyes:

The Woman in Black is a favourite of mine, which has been mentioned above. The Mist in the Mirror is another one by Susan Hill.
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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Tue March 9th, 2010, 2:20 pm

M R James was pretty good for ghost stories too, you might be able to find some short story collections of his works - they get a bit repetitive after a while so probably best to read them a few at a time, but some of them are pretty spooky!
Currently reading "The Black Friar" by S G MacLean, "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott & "The Seagull" by Ann Cleeves

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:Sarita:
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Post by :Sarita: » Tue March 9th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Oh wow, lots of suggestions! Thank you, thank you :D
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.


[Albert Camus]


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MyTwitter

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Vaughn Entwistle
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The Seance by John Harwood

Post by Vaughn Entwistle » Sat August 28th, 2010, 3:53 pm

I was also looking for a good Victorian Ghost story (really, when is one not looking for a good Victorian ghost story?) I picked up the Seance by John Harwood. Hmmmn, maybe I need a bit longer to process having just finished reading the book but here goes:

I found the writing style a bit odd as Harwood apparently only writes in first person. The Seance uses multiple view point characters and jumps forward and backward in time. Weirdly, in some instances this meant that one first-person view point character had to be reading a letter or journal written in first-person by another character. At times I got lost. Also it was hard to maintain the first person illusion because the character had to have total recall to quote everyone and note every action.

At times I loved the book and thought the scenes were very atmospheric. At times it bored me as what were supposed to be "reveal" scenes dragged on for page after chapter. It also puzzled me that book is pitched as a mystery, not, as you might suppose, a horror or ghost story, despite the title and subject matter.

In the end, it didn't satisfy my craving for a genuine Victorian Ghost story, so I'm still searching.

I would have preferred a more straightforward narrative structure. Third person or first-person narrator with intermittent third person chapters, rather than what struck me as the author's lack of comfort with writing in anything other than first person.

Or am I just being an old misery-guts about this? The Seance was apparently pretty successful, so I'd be interested to hear other members' opinions.

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