31 Ghost Stories in 31 Days

ghoststoryWith Halloween fast approaching, it’s time to dig into those long neglected ghost story anthologies that have been staring balefully from my bookshelves. I just can’t resist snapping them up. There’s a coziness, unavailable in ever Sunny So-Cal, that ghosts and all remains a pleasant alternative to the nightless, 24 hour world.

I wonder whether or not the explosion of vampire fiction these days has less to do with sex appeal, than some subconscious attempt to take back the night. Or is it more our high-tech, halogen tinted denial of darkness that’s behind such cuddly interpretations of the undead. The vampire has nowhere left to hide, shine a light and make him work for his pay.

Edith Wharton said it best in the afterward to her own anthology: “What the ghost really needs is…only continuity and silence…it seems to hanker to appear again, and it obviously prefers the silent hours, when at last the wireless has ceased to jazz. These hours, prophetically called “small,” are in fact continually growing smaller; and even if a few diviners keep their wands, the ghost may after all succumb first to the impossibility of finding standing room in a roaring and discontinuous universe.”

So here’s my plan to try to restore at least a little of that darkness. Everyday this month, I’ll dig out a ghost story from the past. There may be more than 31, it may take a day or two to catch up at times, but we will reach the number 31 by All Hallow’s Eve.

I hope you’ll join me in the small hours.

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