Don’t Read This! features scary stories from authors of diverse backgrounds from Zimbabwe to Japan to Spain. The stories strike many different notes as well from very scary to nearly humorous.
Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy was one of my favourite sets of books when I was growing up. I especially loved books that presented stories and the folklore they were based on.
It’s surprising that her name seems mostly lost to time — like the grand majority female writers of the Victorian era. What makes it more of a tragedy in Oliphant’s case is that her work is quite good — even better than a lot of writers whose names I’ve seen on the more mainstream ghost story anthologies.
The real shining piece of this book is the ghost and the setting. The whole world of the opera house comes alive as the ghost wrecks havoc and extracts vengeance. This is a review of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra).
As much as I rarely buy newly published books, I make exceptions for curations of ghost stories and new printings of old, often forgotten work. This is a special Halloween review of Weird Women and Haunted Houses.
I’ve met people that swear by Camp Crystal Lake and others that don Freddy’s classic bladed gloves or put on the Ghostface mask from the Scream series. But nothing really gives me that feeling of decay, destruction, and ghostliness like stories, films, and books that have Victorian settings. This is a review of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black.
It was my lovely spouse who actually recommended this book. She’s made quite few of Compestine’s recipes and enjoyed them almost as much as I know she enjoyed the stories. This is a review of Ying Chang Compestine’s A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts.
Why do I like ghost stories? I like them because I like to hear stories. I like to suspend my disbelief for that instant why I wonder if they could happen. I like them because I like to read stories about a version of reality that is just a bit off-kilter and unexplained. This is a review of Lafcadio Hearn’s Japanese Ghost Stories.