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Lonely Haunts: Six Ghost Stories / The Death…

Lonely Haunts: Six Ghost Stories / The Death Mask and Other Ghosts

by Thomas Graham Jackson, Mrs H. D. Everett

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Recently added bybcquinnsmom



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Fans of obscure or long-forgotten ghost-story writers will most certainly welcome this collection by Coachwhip, a "one-man publishing venture" with a lot of very cool titles.

Lonely Haunts is composed of twenty stories written by two different authors, neither of which I've ever heard of before reading this book. The first author is Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, who reveals in the preface to his collection that his stories "were written in idle hours for the amusement of the home circle"; he also notes that M.R. James (noted here not by name but as "the author of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary") lays down two conditions for a good story of the kind." The first is that the "setting of the scene must be in ordinary life...so that one may say "This might happen now, and to me," and the second is "that the ghost must be malevolent," a rule that Jackson decided to "violate" in two of his stories. I'll leave it to potential readers to discover which stories those are. There are, of course, six tales here all of which make for great ghostly reading.

The second author is even more obscure, since Jackson was actually renowned for his architectural work, and that is Mrs. H.D. Everett, whose The Death Mask and Other Ghosts was published in 1920. As the back-cover blurb of my book notes, her tales are a mix of "...ghost stories, with family haunts, communication from the other side, malevolent curses, and more." This is certainly true -- there is a good and varied selection of tales here that keep the reading fun without becoming too repetitious, which is always an issue in any ghost-story collection by a single author. Some tend to follow along the same lines, but even so, they are definitely original in the telling.

Overall, Lonely Haunts is a lovely, haunting, and seriously page-flipping collection, and even better, it's my introduction to two more obscure writers, which is a major big deal for me. Not all of the stories reach greatness, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't highly entertained by the entire book. Anyone can read what's current or read tales from the past that are already very well known, but for me there's so much more pleasure to be had in discovering forgotten writers and their stories that I never knew existed.

Coachwhip guy -- keep up the good work! I've read two Coachwhip collections now and have been blown away by both. Highly recommended for that reader who wants something new in old ghostly fiction.

more at my reading journal. ( )
2 vote bcquinnsmom | Nov 27, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Graham Jacksonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Everett, Mrs H. D.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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