If You Like….

If you like ghost stories, you’ll probably like….

— those old Hitchcock-branded anthologies of classic ghost stories, like Haunted Houseful, Ghostly Gallery, Supernatural Tales of Terror and Suspense, and so on (anyone else remember those?);

The Uninvited, possibly my favorite haunted house movie (Cornwall, cliff, ghost– how can you go wrong?);

— pretty much anything by Barbara Michaels (Ammie, Come Home, I’m looking at you);

— Helena Dela’s The Count, a ghost story with a twist;

— my adolescent favorite (although now rather dated), Lois Duncan’s Down a Dark Hall;

— and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which still terrifies me. Is it a ghost story? Is it a terrifying tale of psychological decay? Either way, it’s creepy.

What are your favorite ghost stories?


  1. Christine on October 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    It’s been several years since I read this book, and I believe it was a ghost story, but “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield was marvelous.

  2. Erika on October 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Turn of the Screw (Henry James) & The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman).

  3. Joanne M. on October 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I’m easily spooked and usually steer clear of too much horror (Anne Rice being the exception — love The Witching Hour but it still scares the beejeezus out of me).

    Barbara Michaels is just my style — I’m reading Houses of Stone. (Loved Ammie, Come Home, too!)

    Susanna Kearsley’s The Shadowy Horses has a ghostly appearance at an archaeological dig — wonderful storytelling.

  4. Vicki on October 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    If you like the movie The Uninvited (one of my faves), you must read the book upon which it is based, The Uninvited by the Irish writer, Dorothy Macardle. While you’re at it, do yourself a favor and read her other stuff including, The Unforseen and Dark Enchantment. She was a wonderful writer. Also, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black was super scary. Right up there with Shirley Jackson. And if you can handle that level of fright, you might want to check out anything by Jonathan Aycliffe, specifically, The Vanishment or Naomi’s Room. Love those scary Brits!

  5. Lauren on October 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I had no idea she’d written others! I’ve just ordered “Unforeseen” and “Dark Enchantment”. Thanks, Vicki!

  6. Diana Staresinic-Deane on October 17, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Vicki – Where did you find Unforeseen and Dark Enchantment available? I just searched amazon and B&N didn’t bring up much.

  7. Rachel on October 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I can’t usually sleep after ghost stories (including the not actually terrifying but scared me Scary Stories series … I know. I’m a chicken.) However I can read psychological stuff – and I have never been more creeped out than I was after reading The Yellow Walpaper. I read it in high school and it’s still with me. That same year we read Rebecca in class and I recall being creeped out by that too … pansy stuff. I know. 🙂

  8. AngelB on October 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Jennifer Crusie’s Maybe this Time.

  9. jeffrey on October 18, 2011 at 5:00 am

    If you like ghost stories read The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, one of the all-time best terror-filled romps into the world of supernatural possession.

    Getting a little closer to home, I also recommend Nachtsturm Castle by Emily C. A. Snyder. This 138 page power-packed little thriller has all of the classic Gothic props wrapped up in a sequel of Northanger Abbey.

  10. Ammy Belle on October 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Oh! My favourite subject!

    Though not strictly speaking a ghost story, the novel “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier has such a presence about it that you just feel the late Mrs. De Winter lounging around hidden from the reader!

    Also will agree with Erika – “Turn of the Screw” is probably my favourite ghost story – it still sends chills up and down my spine!

    And again, though strictly not a “ghost” story – Victoria Holt’s “The Time of the Hunter’s Moon” has always cast a spirited shadow over me that tingled my toes.

    As to films – Hitchcock would be a favourite of mine, again with Rebecca, and also there was this movie, and for the life of me I can’t remember it’s name – but when I do I will come back and post here – super eerie! Was awesome!

  11. Vicki on October 19, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Diana, all of Macardle’s books are long out of print and can be tough to find. It took me a while to track them down. My best suggestion if there isn’t a seller on Amazon would be to try Alibris or Ebay. Good luck!

  12. Amy N. on October 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I’m a little late to the discussion but HP Lovecraft scared the willie’s out of me — all I can remember is something about mutated frogs. So scary I can’t even remember the name of it. Then the first 20 pages of Jurassic Park were terrifying but I did finish the book. Stephen King can be pretty scary too.

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