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Ghost stories

June 9, 2012

My husband and I are in the habit sometimes reading a book loud to each other. Currently we’re in the middle of “The General’s Ring” by Selma Lagerlöf. It’s a ghost story about an old general who wishes to be buried together with the ring he once recieved from the king. However, the ring is stolen from the grave, and after that, more and more people start inferring the general’s influence on events or even see him haunting his old house… It’s a most excellent ghost story, in fact, and my summary hardly does it justice.

Anyway, I was thinking on how few really good ghost stories there are. How most of them rely on blood and gore, or on perverted religious symbols, or both, to get the message across that this is supposed to be scary. Blood and gore makes me want to puke, and perverted religious symbols make me want to yawn. I want a ghost story that’s scary because of uncertainty, because you don’t really know what the ghost is capable of.

Also, most ghost stories have very flat characters in them. They hardly appear human at all. A good ghost story, like all good books, should be full of humans with ideas and fears and feelings and reasonings and caprices.

Lastly, because I have a vivid fantasy and am easily scared, it should have a happy end where the ghost is finally banished back to where it belongs, where it can’t harm anyone any more.

Does anybody know of a good ghost story?

One Comment
  1. Moreva permalink

    Read this!
    It is in Swedish. Do you remember Johan Thelin? There are three more to read after the first one.

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