Desert Island Ghost Stories

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Desert Island Ghost Stories

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Apr 10, 2011, 9:56am

The classic question, of course, is "what records/books would you bring with you on a desert island?" Now the the advent of e-readers and iPods may have changed some of the details of the question (don't forget your hand-crank recharger!), but not the underlying meaning.

In the supernatural/ghost story context, there is one book I'd have with me, in paper, while I awaited rescue. Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, edited by Herbert A. Wise and Phyllis Fraser. Since I have two copies (one to keep and one to read), I'll bring the later.
Why? This collection has the best of the best, both in authors and stories. M.R. James, Lovecraft, Poe - all are here. The best stories "The Monkey's Paw" (my all-time favorite), "The Great God Pan", "The Beckoning Fair One" and "Back for Christmas"

What is your Ghost Story Desert Island book?

Apr 16, 2011, 5:45pm

The child in me would demand Ruth Ainsworth's Phantom Cyclist and Other Stories, but the adult in me would probably grab one of the following three*:

Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural (Modern Library)
Collected Ghost Stories M.R. James
Mammoth Book of Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories Richard Dalby

The last one is a favourite as it has "Schalken the Painter" rather than one of the more common Le Fanu short stories, and a good overview of some other gems as well.
and now i will return to lurking in the shadows....
*No, you can't make me choose. I'd be happy with any one of them, including Ainsworth's. :P

Apr 17, 2011, 5:59am

M R James would do the trick. ThereĀ“s no one like him if you want to be frightened.

Apr 17, 2011, 12:56pm
An interesting collection, some fairly obscure.