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 About Ghost Stories

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Head Alpha
Head Alpha

Number of posts : 1300
Registration date : 2008-09-26
Age : 26
Location : Behind you

PostSubject: About Ghost Stories   Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:29 pm

A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, or an account of an experience, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise
the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them. Colloquially,
the term can refer to any kind of scary story. In a narrower sense, the
ghost story has been developed as a short story format, within genre fiction. It is a form of supernatural fiction, and is often a horror story.
While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have
been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets
of things to come. Whatever their uses, the ghost story is in some
format present in all cultures around the world, and may be passed down
orally or in written form.

  • The traditional ghost story has its roots in folklore, but
    its prose style is characteristic of the romanticised writers of the
    gothic tradition that preceded it. Authors include Charles Dickens, Sheridan Le Fanu, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs. Henry Wood, F. Marion Crawford, Charlotte Riddell, Margaret Oliphant, Sarah Orne Jewett, Rhoda Broughton, Amelia Edwards, and Elizabeth Gaskell. Sheridan Le Fanu's Green Tea is an example from his collection In a Glass Darkly, which also includes the vampire story Carmilla. Another example is Mary Elizabeth Braddon's At Crighton Abbey.

  • In the psychological ghost story, the emphasis is on the
    perceiving consciousness of the victim, instead of the actions of the
    ghost. These tales frequently call into question the reliability and
    mental stability of the protagonist, and may investigate social issues.
    Authors include Henry James, Oliver Onions, Walter De La Mare, Edith Wharton, L.P. Hartley, Vernon Lee, Violet Hunt, and Robert Aickman. Examples include Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, Oliver Onions' The Beckoning Fair One, and Vernon Lee's Amour Dure. Charles Dickens' The Signalman
    is notable for exploiting the fear of new technology in the form of the
    railways, and the likelihood of an accident. Dickens' central character
    experiences foreknowledge of an impending accident three times from a
    spectre, the last ending with his own demise.

  • The antiquarian ghost story was born from more folkloric
    origins and in this sense is more closely tied to the traditional ghost
    story. Many of its practitioners were scholars or clergymen, and they
    discarded the romanticised prose of the traditional school, favoring
    realism and gentle escalation of the supernatural within the narrative,
    typically after some ancient medieval relic has been disturbed in some
    way. Authors include M.R. James, Arthur Gray, A.N.L. Munby, E.G. Swain, Christopher Woodforde, Cynthia Asquith and R.H. Malden. The genre influenced on writers such as Russell Kirk, E.F. Benson, H. Russell Wakefield and Ramsey Campbell. An example is M.R. James' Oh, whistle and I'll come to you, my lad from his book Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.

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