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Search tags: Ghost-Stories
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review 2020-06-09 15:53
Whispers Under Ground
Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

by Ben Aaronovitch

 

The stories in this series have a way of building on the established world, but always adding something new. This one nearly lost me when the nature of a peripheral character started to sound too much like it was borrowing from the teenage Paranormal Romance genre, but it recovered nicely and turned out to be one of the best in the series so far.

 

A new adventure for Peter Grant takes him underground, well, to the London Underground where tales of sewer creatures and secret tunnels always provide plenty of scope to extrapolate a good story setting. Watching this character develop along with his magical abilities is definitely one of the strengths of the series.

 

Magic, supernatural creatures and superior officers who don't want to know are all part of the job, right?

 

Anything else I can say will give spoilers, so I'll just move on to the next one in the series and simply say, this was good.

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review 2020-06-07 14:04
Trapped in Room 217
Trapped in Room 217 - Thomas Kingsley Troupe

by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

 

This is a children's Horror story, targeted at age 8 - 12. I'd say it's appropriate for that level, yet the writing is very good! It's part of a series of real life ghost stories, set in places where ghost sightings have actually been reported.

 

Jayla and Dion have to accompany their father, a landscaper, for a job in Colorado. It turns out that the hotel they stay in has a reputation for being haunted. Jayla is in seventh grade, her brother is a little younger.

 

As it turns out, the room they stay in has a resident ghost. When the children experience a sighting of the ghost, they set out to investigate.

 

I'm no expert on children's literature, but I think this was extremely good for the age group. The writing doesn't 'talk down' to the children's level so I was able to appreciate Jayla and Dion's adventure and concerns about getting into trouble for various things.

 

While the fear factor would be considered tame for the adult Horror reader, I think it pushed the scary parameters just enough to keep a child interested while not giving them nightmares, unless they're overly sensitive. It's still a ghost story and the dark can be frightening!

 

This would be an excellent choice for the sort of kid who enjoys Goosebumps or children's adventure stories.

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review 2020-06-03 12:37
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Illustrated) and Other Tales By Washington Irving - Washington Irving

by Washington Irving

 

This is one of those classics I've meant to read for years. It's written in an older English dialect that adds atmosphere to the narrative and brings the Dutch communities of New England to life with all their customs and superstitions.

 

Icabod Crane is a schoolmaster who has cast his eye on a local girl, just eighteen. She comes from a family that is as well-off as is to be found in the small community and is also a beauty. While there wasn't as much about witchcraft in the original story as was in the most recent movie version with Johnny Depp, it is mentioned along with goblins and ghosts and especially the tale of the headless horseman who legends say rises from the grave to seek his missing head.

 

The story was a lot more basic than I expected, with the whole ghostly phenomenon more a matter of superstition and practical joking than the tale has grown into with retellings, but it was enjoyable nonetheless to finally read the original material.

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review 2020-06-01 14:33
The House by the Cemetery
The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers) - John Everson

by John Everson

 

Let me start by saying that I'm not a fan of slasher fiction. I am, however, a big fan of haunted house stories and that's what led me to this story, innocently unaware of the author's other novels and prevalence of violence therein.

 

It's a great premise; a house located next to a cemetery is the local 'haunted house' that every small town has, only this one was owned by a witch who actually does still haunt the place. An entrepreneur gets a bright idea to convert the old house into a Halloween amusement and a collection of Horror enthusiast decorators and make-up people get involved creating themes based on popular Horror movies.

 

While it isn't what I would call great literature, I have to give credit to the author for creating the right atmosphere despite the fact that I haven't seen most of the Horror films referred to, though I did go look up the Goblin soundtrack to Suspiria on YouTube.

 

The story kept my attention all the way through and despite the main protagonist, Mike, being the poster boy for stupidity by way of being led my his genitals and too much beer, the variety and distinctiveness of characters was really well done. It wasn't until the last few chapters that things got messy and I did have to stop between chapters to decide if I could continue, but by then I needed to know what would happen and who might survive.

 

The descriptions were well done, though graphic, in a way that didn't feel gratuitous. Considering the level of violence it reached, that's a pretty good trick. People who like slasher Horror will love this. Personally I'm too squeamish to ever want to go there again.

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review 2020-06-01 14:22
The Haunted Hardware Store
The Haunted Hardware Store (The David Morgan series Book 1) - Frank Roberts

by Frank Roberts

 

This story started with a long, drawn out description of small town life that gave me thoughts of slitting my wrist, both from the writing style and the thought of having to spend a life in that environment. Eventually some ghostly happenings did enter the story.

 

There's nothing wrong with the writing in this per se, it's just a voice I don't get on with. Very much like someone's great uncle Horace sitting on the front porch in a small southern town telling a story of something that happened and digressing into irrelevant details about people you don't know for hours at a time. Some readers might love this style, I don't.

 

The most likeable characters in my opinion are the ghosts. They do get their story told. The main character would be okay if he would stick to the story. The actual central plot is fairly good once it finally takes form. I just found the digressions terminally boring.

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