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Old 01-21-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
Rizla
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Good Ghost Story Writers

Any recommendations? I like old-style stuff, such as Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost Hunter. I don't like Lovecraft that much, though if someone can recommend something really good by him, I'll give it a try. I'm willing to try new stuff too, but not too dark where everyone dies horribly at the end. I like a bit of hope. For example, I read a book by Brian Keene called Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was very well written but left me feeling depressed. So I want scary but not depressing Any suggestions?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:16 AM   #2
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As a starter, I'd recommend the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley. Ghosts are there, as well as a different view on vampires (well before they became "fashionable").
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:19 AM   #3
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Hell House by Matheson
The Haunting of Hill House by Jackson
Ghost Music by Masterton
The Woman in Black by Hill
The Turn of the Screw by James
The Devil You Know by Carey
Heart Shaped Box by Hill
Ghost Story by Straub
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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MR James, if you haven't already dipped into him. *The* ghost story writer, bar none.

Arthur Machen - spooky with some similarities to Lovecraft, but no damn squid gods.

J. Sheridan Le Fanu - dripping with atmosphere, especially "Carmilla," "Green Tea" and "Schalken the Painter."

Ambrose Bierce

Edith Wharton also wrote some excellent ghost stories early in her career, especially "Afterwards" and "The Triumph of Darkness".

E F Benson also wrote a lot of period ghost stories, though it can be a drag filtering them out from his Mapp & Lucia and other works - try the Wikipedia article on him.

Edith Nesbit was a surprisingly good writer of ghost stories for such a prolific children's author.

And, if you're willing to try both modern and some dalliance with depression, try both Robert Aickman and Thomas Ligotti - unbelievably good, and proof that the great tradition lives.

Oh, and please note, there is no Stephen King in this post. Repeat: There Is No Stephen King In This Post.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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I suggest Stephen King...
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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Mystery Walk, by Robert McCammon Kindle NOOK

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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I suggest Stephen King...
I like Stephen King's ghost stories too. King's ghosts are non-corporeal, they can scare the characters into doing something harmful but are not generally able to physically injure. Nor are they always evil. Some are quite helpful in fact.

Duma Key and Bag of Bones are two I enjoyed.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:17 AM   #8
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MR James, if you haven't already dipped into him. *The* ghost story writer, bar none.
I have read some stories by him and was left unimpressed. Please recommend some stories by him. He has done a lot.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:18 AM   #9
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Charles Dickens wrote several (A Christmas Carol and The Signalman).

H.P. Lovecraft wrote some stories that have a ghostly aura about them I think.
E.F. Benson
Clark Ashton Smith
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:21 AM   #10
Rizla
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I like Stephen King's ghost stories too. King's ghosts are non-corporeal, they can scare the characters into doing something harmful but are not generally able to physically injure. Nor are they always evil. Some are quite helpful in fact.

Duma Key and Bag of Bones are two I enjoyed.
I've tried King's Skeleton Crew and I didn't get on with it. Then I read that story The Road and I see what a genius he is. It was brilliant, but too painful to read.

What I want is scary fun! But not too fun, you know what I mean? I want escapism, that is not too depressing, and that is also scary.

Anyway, I will check out what people have suggested. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned James Herbert. He wrote a book called Creed which I really enjoyed. Great fun, and scary, and the hero wins.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:41 AM   #11
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Ghost Story by Straub
I read a book by Straub, what was it called? It took place in a big old private school and was all about two boy learning magic from his evil uncle. It was really good. I must try Ghost Story. I've heard it's very good.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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Yeah Straub is one of my favorite horror writers. He writes compelling character driven stories and let's the feeling of dread slowly build. Straub is not a gore-hound, his novels are mostly psychological.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
I read a book by Straub, what was it called? It took place in a big old private school and was all about two boy learning magic from his evil uncle. It was really good. I must try Ghost Story. I've heard it's very good.


Perhaps you mean Shadowland.



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Old 01-22-2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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I enjoyed the Ghosts of Columbia series by L. E. Modesitt Jr (Of Tangible Ghosts, Ghost of the Revelator, and Ghost of the White Nights). It is a different take on ghosts and is not horror at all instead it is an alternative history / science fiction book.

Here are a couple of the blurbs:
"This is an alternate history world shaped by the fact that ghosts are not mere superstition but have a literal physical reality--and political implications--because your crimes can haunt you, and the ghosts of your crimes are visible to others."
"Set in a fascinating alternative world in which ghosts are real, the United States never came into existence, and Russia is still ruled by the Romanovs..."

I would warn anyone who wants to start these to try a sample or try to get the first one from a library, they are very different from Modesitt's other works and aren't for everyone.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #15
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I have read some stories by him and was left unimpressed. Please recommend some stories by him. He has done a lot.
His story "The Mezzotint" is one of my favorites, and very creepy!
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