It’s October, the month of the encroaching dark and unexplained hauntings, and I’ve been reading lots of ghost stories which I’ll be reviewing here on Crimepieces. I want to bring you recommendations of spooky tales by writers who you might be familiar with along with some forgotten authors.
I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Jane Howard and in particular the Cazalet Chronicles. I bought Mr Wrong a year or so ago and was delighted when I picked it up to see that it was a collection of ghost stories loosely based around haunted travel. In the opening story, a woman buys a car and, on her first drive out of the city, encounters the strange feeling that something is desperately wrong. She tries unsuccessfully to return the car and the phenomena persists to the extent that she begins to put off the weekly visit to her parents. Finally, the car’s history emerges and that of her own role in the continuing story of the vehicle.
Another other excellent story in this collection was the slightly better known Three Miles Up. Two men are on a canal boat holiday which has become marred by discontent and bickering. When they pick up a girl to transport part way along the canal, the dynamic shifts. The landscape is as much part of the horror as the protagonists and it’s a haunting tale which stays with you long after you’ve finished it.
Do you have a favourite ghost story? Do let me know in the comments below and I’ll see if I have it on my shelf…