Ghost Stories

A Ghost Story Is Not A Horror Story

It’s that time of the year again when I get invited to read something spooky in a wing-backed armchair beside a crackling fire. Actually, one year I did that in Black’s Club, but this year we’re in the National Liberal Club, a grander and far chillier environment for the annual Hallowe’en reading, and I’ll also […]

Give Them The Creeps This Christmas

My Christmas gift to myself this year was purchased last night. It’s ‘Ghost Stories For Christmas’ – the box set issued by the BFI. It’s a five-disc set containing; Disc 1 Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968 & 2010 versions) Jonathan Miller and Christopher Frayling discuss the 1968 version Introduction to the 1968 version […]

Hallowe’en: Finding The Heart Of The Ghost Story

I’m doing Hallowe’en events all next week, and I’ll be reading several new ghost stories, but I still struggle to find a way of reaching the heart of the ghost story. Some questions need to be asked. In modern times, how can we believe in them? Are ghost stories horror stories? What are they for? […]

Ghost Stories On Film

I recently watched ‘The Woman In Black’. I’d read Susan Hill’s book many years ago and the play, a cheap two-hander popped into the Fortune Theatre to fill a programming gap, has now been running half as long as ‘The Mousetrap’, thereby closing off that lovely little theatre forever. I can see why it’s a […]

The Best Ghost Stories Ever Written?

Wordsworth Books have been republishing masters of the traditional ghost story in very nice editions, and I’m currently on a hunt to find the best ghost stories ever written. I’ve got EF Benson and MR James there on my list, along with Sheridan Le Fanu, Marjorie Bowen, Dickens, DK Broster, Gertrude Atherton, WH Hodgson, Alice […]

Mind Games & Ghost Stories

I went to see ‘Ghost Stories’ at the Lyric Hammersmith this week, which is a terrifically fun night out, although us old horror lags would have liked more audience involvement in the trio of scary stories on display, and at least a little blood. During the show (which we were warned not to talk about, […]