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Ghost Stories

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  • A sheet ghost hovers in front of a yellow background

Shawna, OPO | October 1, 2021

Why do we love ghost stories?

For the adrenaline junkie, whose roller coasters will be soon closed for the season, a good scare will get the heart racing. 

For those who love a good mystery, the unknown spiritual plane is not predictable, nor can it be measured scientifically. It is an ultimate mystery to puzzle out.

Arm-chair philosophers can explore the darker side of human nature as they come face-to-face with the fear of death.

What ever the reason drives your desire to venture through a ghost story there are plenty of options!  If you wish to stay in the comfort of your own home, the following are just a few stories that can also be found at our download library.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is a short classic recognized by many modern-day writers as one of the best ghost stories ever written.  James is recognized as a writer focused on the interior mind of his characters producing exceptional stories.  This foundational gothic tale is set in an English Manor house where an inexperienced unnamed governess comes to teach two oddly quiet young children.  She finds she not only has to teach them but also protect them from two malevolent ghosts.  By the end of this 1898 story, the reader comes to realizes that this tale has been equal parts ghost story and psychological thriller.

For a modern ghost story Simone St. James, a Southern-Ontario author, has us visit The Sun Down Motel.   After the death of her mother, Carly Kirk chooses to uncover the mystery of her Aunt Viv’s disappearance 35 years earlier, before returning to her future.  This journey begins at “The Sun Down Motel” when Carly accepts the same night shift job that Viv held just before she disappeared; and the job is not the only echo of Viv’s life Carly slips into.

The nightshift reveals that Viv is not the only person to have disappeared from the area.  However, not all of the others have left The Sun Down Motel.  Some of the ghostly residents are aggressive and frightening.  So are some of the very real people of Fell, New York.  Carly will need to find her answers in time to leave before she too disappears.

For some nonfiction background Peter H. Ackroyd, father to the actor Dan Ackroyd, has chronicled the family’s fascination with ghosts in A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Seances, Mediums, Ghosts and Ghostbusters.  This book starts with the author’s grandfather Dr. Samuel Augustus Aykroyd holding seances with a local medium.  It gives great detail to the diversity of the paranormal experiences from the Victorian era’s enthusiastic fascination through the decades to the investigators who looked to debunk frauds and spiritualist alike. 

If you only want a quick tale this year there are number Short Ghost Stories books in our collection.  Happy Haunting!