Boo! Ghost Stories, Fictional and Otherwise

It’s almost Halloween, and it would be a terrible disservice if the Ricochetoisie didn’t know about the terrific new Black Lizard Big Book of Ghost Stories (Amazon). Edited by the great, great Otto Penzler, it’s — as the title promises — a giant 800+-page doorstop of a book packed with ghost stories old and new.

Likely of particular interest to Ricocheteers is “The Advent …

  1. Little My

    I actually live in a community said to be haunted by the ghosts of men and women killed in some ancient battle. My next-door neighbors before moving in consulted two kabbalists, who (separately) described the enraged spirit of a man trapped inside the children’s bedroom. This being was released through an exorcism. Sounds ridiculous, but every family that lived in that house  since it was built in the 1970s (and I know all of them) suffered either divorce, serious illness, or in one case, the father was murdered at his work place, and it is said that he had reported seeing the same figure described by the kabbalists some time before his death. The exorcism was designed to release the ghost from its anger and let it proceed on its spiritual path. I  heard the account from the people involved, although the details are not general knowledge. Our houses are next to the ruins of a Byzantine Christian monastery, which was occupied by Arabs in the Crusader era. In our area are lots of similar and earlier remains, including a cave which contained an Egyptian-style burial with a mummy. Anything could have happened here.

  2. Danihel Tornator

    Who knew that Russell Kirk wrote ghost stories? I’m getting his book Ancestral Shadows: An Anthology of Ghostly Tales, since it fits the season. 

  3. Jerry Carroll

    We lived quite happily for many years in a home in Marin County built in the early 20th century. One night as I lay sleeping upstairs, I was awakened by a powerful sense of evil emanating from the open closet. I cringed in utter terror at first, but realized I had to fight back at whatever it was. So I sprang up and started throwing haymakers in the air until the feeling passed. Sometime later when I mentioned it to her, my teenage daughter said one time she had  experienced that same pervading sense of great evil in the room. The closet was behind her.  Her cat was facing the closet and staring into it, every hair  standing up. As with me, the feeling passed fairly quickly. We lived in that house for 25 years and these were the only ghostly experiences we had.

  4. Matt Blankenship

    If you want to terrify your children, there’s nothing better than the TailypoI remember seeing a storyteller tell that story in a cajun accent on a Saturday morning show when I was a kid, and I never forgot it.  I never saw the book or heard the story again–until a couple of weeks ago when I ran across it at a great indy children’s bookstore in Kansas City (Reading Reptile, if you’re ever in the area).  Anyway,

    Tailypo, Tailypo,

    Why’d you cut off my tailypo?

    …you know, and I know,

    that I’m here to get back  my tailypo…

  5. Aaron Miller

      My stories I make up, sort of, for the kids on camping trips around the fire.   It’s a ritual they’ll never forget.  

    My oldest nephew constantly begged for ghost and monster stories (and made up his own) some months back. The stories stopped, by order of Mama, when the nightmares began.

    I can’t wait until he’s old enough for The Dark Crystal.

  6. Matt Blankenship

    Any Bradbury.  M.R. James, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.  And Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (the only Henry James I can read…)

    I grew up on Poe.  And I second Washington Irving.  As Richard Brookhiser once said about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow:  “There are bigger stories in the world, but none that are better made.”

  7. Amy Schley

    Would something like this little story count?

  8. Aaron Miller

    A rosary was pulled from my hands and torn apart by something invisible when I was a kid. Our house was blessed with holy water many times.

    Here’s a short story I wrote in college. The skeleton of a story, really.

    I’m a fan of this anthology. Back then, even when people said nothing, they said it very well. And the tales are more creepy than scary, which is my preference.

    Now, back to watching Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

  9. Aaron Miller
    Amy Schley: Would something like this little story count?

    Ha! Clever story.

  10. Johnny Dubya

    I was standing at the kitchen counter in our house (built 1875) when I heard a voice behind me clearly say, “Daddy?”  I spun around, with my heart racing, and saw nothing.  My wife and I have two children, but our daughter was staying with relatives in another state, and our son was asleep upstairs.  I bounded up the stairs, opened my son’s door, and saw him still sleeping in his bed.  I then went into the master bedroom and breathlessly related to my wife what had occurred.  I must have been quite a sight; white as a… well, you know.  We subsequently had a couple of similar incidents, and then they stopped.

    I grew up in a very old house (built c. 1765), and my mother once found the wrought-iron latch on the basement door clacking and clattering violently.  There was no one on the other side.  But… perhaps there was someone… on the other side.

  11. J. D. Fitzpatrick

    There was a really great thread on this topic a couple years back–Kenneth had a story about working late at the Gap and watching the tape on a desktop calculator go wild. I can’t find the thread, though. 

  12. DocJay

    I knew a couple different folks with alien abductions, and I’ve had people swear some places we’re haunted.  Indian burial grounds and such.

      My stories I make up, sort of, for the kids on camping trips around the fire.   It’s a ritual they’ll never forget.  Most of the stories are rehashed from a class I took in college, Devils Vampires and Other Horrible Creatures in 19th Century Literature taught by a dude named Bram Dykstra.   Yes that was the class title.    I never credit them though and have the street cred as best ghost story teller ever among my brood.

  13. Crow

    While not strictly ghost stories, this time of year always affords opportunity to spend some time in the dark halls of Edgar Allen Poe’s twisted world. Favorites include Ligeia, Masque of the Red Death, and Descent into the Maelstrom.

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