Ghost story

A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them.[1][2] The "ghost" may appear of its own accord or be summoned by magic. Linked to the ghost is the idea of "hauntings", where a supernatural entity is tied to a place, object or person.[1] Ghost stories are commonly examples of ghostlore.

Colloquially, the term "ghost story" can refer to any kind of scary story. In a narrower sense, the ghost story has been developed as a short story format, within genre fiction. It is a form of supernatural fiction and specifically of weird fiction, and is often a horror story.

While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come. Belief in ghosts is found in all cultures around the world, and thus ghost stories may be passed down orally or in written form.[1]

Whistle and I'll come to you illustration
Illustration by James McBryde for M. R. James's story "Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad".


Pyle pirates ghost
The ghost of a pirate, from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1903)

A widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material. Anthropologists link this idea to early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person (the person's spirit), most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist.[3] Belief in ghosts is found in all cultures around the world, and thus ghost stories may be passed down orally or in written form.[1]

The campfire story, a form of oral storytelling, often involves recounting ghost stories, or other scary stories.[4] Some of the stories are decades old, with varying versions across multiple cultures.[5] Many schools and educational institutions encourage ghost storytelling as part of literature.[6]

In 1929, five key features of the English ghost story were identified in "Some Remarks on Ghost Stories" by M. R. James. As summarized by Frank Coffman for a course in popular imaginative literature, they were:[7]

  • The pretense of truth
  • "A pleasing terror"
  • No gratuitous bloodshed or sex
  • No "explanation of the machinery"
  • Setting: "those of the writer's (and reader's) own day"

The introduction of pulp magazines in the early 1900s created new avenues for ghost stories to be published, and they also began to appear in publications such as Good Housekeeping and The New Yorker.[8]


A Magician by Edward Kelly
John Dee and Edward Kelley invoking the spirit of a deceased person (engraving from the Astrology by Ebenezer Sibly, 1806)

Early examples

Ghosts in the classical world often appeared in the form of vapor or smoke, but at other times they were described as being substantial, appearing as they had been at the time of death, complete with the wounds that killed them.[9] Spirits of the dead appear in literature as early as Homer's Odyssey, which features a journey to the underworld and the hero encountering the ghosts of the dead,[1] as well as the Old Testament in which the Witch of Endor calls the spirit of the prophet Samuel.[1]

The play Mostellaria, by the Roman playwright Plautus, is the earliest known work to feature a haunted dwelling, and is sometimes translated as The Haunted House.[10] Another early account of a haunted place comes from an account by Pliny the Younger (c. 50 AD).[11] Pliny describes the haunting of a house in Athens by a ghost bound in chains, an archetype that would become familiar in later literature.[1]

Ghosts often appeared in the tragedies of the Roman writer Seneca, who would later influence the revival of tragedy on the Renaissance stage, particularly Thomas Kyd and Shakespeare.[12]

The One Thousand and One Nights, sometimes known as Arabian Nights, contains a number of ghost stories, often involving jinn (also spelled as djinn), ghouls and corpses.[13][14] In particular, the tale of "Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad" revolves around a house haunted by jinns.[13] Other medieval Arabic literature, such as the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity, also contain ghost stories.[15]

The 11th century Japanese work The Tale of Genji contains ghost stories, and includes characters being possessed by spirits.[16]

English Renaissance Theatre

Henry Fuseli rendering of Hamlet and his father's Ghost
"Hamlet and his father's ghost" by Henry Fuseli (1780s drawing). The ghost is wearing stylised plate armour in 17th-century style, including a morion type helmet and tassets. Depicting ghosts as wearing armour, to suggest a sense of antiquity, was common in Elizabethan theatre.

In the mid-16th century, the works of Seneca were rediscovered by Italian humanists, and they became the models for the revival of tragedy. Seneca's influence is particularly evident in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy and Shakespeare's Hamlet, both of which share a revenge theme, a corpse-strewn climax, and ghosts among the cast. The ghosts in Richard III also resemble the Senecan model, while the ghost in Hamlet plays a more complex role.[1] The shade of Hamlet's murdered father in Hamlet has become one of the more recognizable ghosts in English literature. In another of Shakespeare’s works, Macbeth, the murdered Banquo returns as a ghost to the dismay of the title character.[17]

In English Renaissance theatre, ghosts were often depicted in the garb of the living and even in armour. Armour, being out-of-date by the time of the Renaissance, gave the stage ghost a sense of antiquity.[18] The sheeted ghost began to gain ground on stage in the 1800s because an armoured ghost had to be moved about by complicated pulley systems or lifts, and eventually became clichéd stage elements and objects of ridicule. Ann Jones and Peter Stallybrass, in Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, point out, "In fact, it is as laughter increasingly threatens the Ghost that he starts to be staged not in armor but in some form of 'spirit drapery'." An interesting observation by Jones and Stallybrass is that "at the historical point at which ghosts themselves become increasingly implausible, at least to an educated elite, to believe in them at all it seems to be necessary to assert their immateriality, their invisibility. [...] The drapery of ghosts must now, indeed, be as spiritual as the ghosts themselves. This is a striking departure both from the ghosts of the Renaissance stage and from the Greek and Roman theatrical ghosts upon which that stage drew. The most prominent feature of Renaissance ghosts is precisely their gross materiality. They appear to us conspicuously clothed." [18]

Border ballads

Ghosts figured prominently in traditional British ballads of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly the “Border Ballads” of the turbulent border country between England and Scotland. Ballads of this type include The Unquiet Grave, The Wife of Usher's Well, and Sweet William's Ghost, which feature the recurring theme of returning dead lovers or children. In the ballad King Henry, a particularly ravenous ghost devours the king’s horse and hounds before forcing the king into bed. The king then awakens to find the ghost transformed into a beautiful woman.[19]

Romantic era

A Ghost Story
Depiction of a woman telling a ghost story.

One of the key early appearances by ghosts was The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole in 1764, considered to be the first gothic novel.[20] However, although the ghost story shares the use of the supernatural with the Gothic novel, the two forms differ. Ghost stories, unlike Gothic fiction, usually take place in a time and location near to the audience of the story.

The modern short story emerged in Germany in the early decades of the 19th century. Kleist's The Beggar Woman of Locarno, published in 1810, and several other works from the period lay claim to being the first ghost short stories of a modern type. E. T. A. Hoffmann's ghost stories include "The Elementary Spirit" and "The Mines of Falun".[21]

The Russian equivalent of the ghost story is the bylichka.[22] Notables examples of the genre from the 1830s include Gogol's Viy and Pushkin's The Queen of Spades, although there were scores of other stories from lesser known writers, produced primarily as Christmas fiction. The Vosges mountain range is the setting for most ghost stories by the French writing team of Erckmann-Chatrian.

One of the earliest writers of ghost stories in English was Sir Walter Scott. His ghost stories, "Wandering Willie's Tale" (1824, first published as part of Redgauntlet) and The Tapestried Chamber (1828) eschewed the "Gothic" style of writing and helped set an example for later writers in the genre.

"Golden Age of the Ghost Story"

Historian of the ghost story Jack Sullivan has noted that many literary critics argue a "Golden Age of the Ghost Story" existed between the decline of the Gothic novel in the 1830s and the start of the First World War.[23] Sullivan argues that the work of Edgar Allan Poe and Sheridan Le Fanu inaugurated this "Golden Age".[23]

Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu was one of the most influential writers of ghost stories.. Le Fanu's collections, such as In a Glass Darkly (1872) and The Purcell Papers (1880), helped popularise the short story as a medium for ghost fiction.[24] Charlotte Riddell, who wrote fiction as Mrs. J. H. Riddell, created ghost stories which were noted for adept use of the haunted house theme.[25]

The "classic" ghost story arose during the Victorian period, and included authors such as M. R. James, Sheridan Le Fanu, Violet Hunt, and Henry James. Classic ghost stories were influenced by the gothic fiction tradition, and contain elements of folklore and psychology. M. R. James summed up the essential elements of a ghost story as, “Malevolence and terror, the glare of evil faces, ‘the stony grin of unearthly malice', pursuing forms in darkness, and 'long-drawn, distant screams', are all in place, and so is a modicum of blood, shed with deliberation and carefully husbanded...”.[26]

Famous literary apparitions from the Victorian period are the ghosts of A Christmas Carol, in which Ebenezer Scrooge is helped to see the error of his ways by the ghost of his former colleague Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come. In a precursor to A Christmas Carol Dickens published "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton".[27] Dickens also wrote "The Signal-Man", another work featuring a ghost.

Jamesian style

David Langford has described British author M. R. James as writing "the 20th century's most influential canon of ghost stories".[28] James perfected a method of story-telling which has since become known as Jamesian, which involved abandoning many of the traditional Gothic elements of his predecessors. The classic Jamesian tale usually includes the following elements:

  1. a characterful setting in an English village, seaside town or country estate; an ancient town in France, Denmark or Sweden; or a venerable abbey or university.
  2. a nondescript and rather naive gentleman-scholar as protagonist (often of a reserved nature).
  3. the discovery of an old book or other antiquarian object that somehow unlocks, calls down the wrath, or at least attracts the unwelcome attention of a supernatural menace, usually from beyond the grave.

According to James, the story must "put the reader into the position of saying to himself, 'If I'm not very careful, something of this kind may happen to me!'"[29] He also perfected the technique of narrating supernatural events through implication and suggestion, letting his reader fill in the blanks, and focusing on the mundane details of his settings and characters in order to throw the horrific and bizarre elements into greater relief. He summed up his approach in his foreword to the anthology Ghosts and Marvels (Oxford, 1924): "Two ingredients most valuable in the concocting of a ghost story are, to me, the atmosphere and the nicely managed crescendo. ... Let us, then, be introduced to the actors in a placid way; let us see them going about their ordinary business, undisturbed by forebodings, pleased with their surroundings; and into this calm environment let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then more insistently, until it holds the stage."

He also noted: "Another requisite, in my opinion, is that the ghost should be malevolent or odious: amiable and helpful apparitions are all very well in fairy tales or in local legends, but I have no use for them in a fictitious ghost story."[29]

Despite his suggestion (in the essay "Stories I Have Tried to Write") that writers employ reticence in their work, many of James's tales depict scenes and images of savage and often disturbing violence.[30]

19th Century American writers

Influenced by British and German examples, American writers began to produce their own ghost stories. Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), based on an earlier German folktale, features a Headless Horseman. It has been adapted for film and television many times, such as Sleepy Hollow, a successful 1999 feature film.[31] Irving also wrote "The Adventure of the German Student"[21] and Edgar Allan Poe wrote some stories which contain ghosts, such as "The Masque of the Red Death" and "Morella".[21]

In the later 19th century, mainstream American writers such as Edith Wharton, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman[32] and F. Marion Crawford[33] all wrote ghost fiction. Henry James also wrote ghost stories, including the famous The Turn of the Screw.[1] The Turn of the Screw has also appeared in a number of adaptations, notably the film The Innocents and Benjamin Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw.

The introduction of pulp magazines in the early 1900s created new avenues for ghost stories to be published, and they also began to appear in publications such as Good Housekeeping and The New Yorker.[8]

Comedies and operas

Oscar Telgmann's opera Leo, the Royal Cadet (1885) includes Judge's Song about a ghost at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.[34]

Oscar Wilde's comic short story "The Canterville Ghost" (1887) has been adapted for film and television on several occasions.

In the United States, prior to and during the First World War, folklorists Olive Dame Campbell and Cecil Sharp collected ballads from the people of the Appalachian Mountains, which included ghostly themes such as "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter", "The Suffolk Miracle", "The Unquiet Grave" and "The Wife of Usher's Well". The theme of these ballads was often the return of a dead lover. These songs were variants of traditional British ballads handed down by generations of mountaineers descended from the people of the Anglo-Scottish border region.[35]

Psychological horror

In the Edwardian era, Algernon Blackwood (who combined the ghost story with nature mysticism),[23] Oliver Onions (whose ghost stories drew on psychological horror),[23] and William Hope Hodgson (whose ghost tales also contained elements of the sea story and science fiction) helped move the ghost story in new directions.[23]


Shunkosai Hokuei Obake
Print by Katsushika Hokusai. Illustration for a classical Japanese kaidan story Yotsuya from the series One Hundred Tales (Hyaku monogatari). The ghost of Oiwa manifesting herself as a lantern obake.

Kaidan (怪談), which literally means “supernatural tale”[36] or "weird tale",[37] is a form of Japanese ghost story.[36] Kaidan entered the vernacular when a game called Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai became popular in the Edo period. The popularity of the game, as well as the acquisition of a printing press, led to the creation of a literary genre called Kaidanshu. Kaidan are not always horror stories, they can "be funny, or strange, or just telling about an odd thing that happened one time".[37]

Lafcadio Hearn published Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things in 1904 as a collection of Japanese ghost stories collected by Lafcadio Hearn, and later made into a film.[38] The book "is seen as the first introduction of Japanese superstition to European and American audiences."[36]

Modern era (1920 onward)

Ghost Stories magazine, which contained almost nothing but ghost stories, was published from 1926 to 1932.

Beginning in the 1940s, Fritz Leiber wrote ghost tales set in modern industrial settings, such as "Smoke Ghost" (1941) and "A Bit of the Dark World" (1962).[39] Shirley Jackson made an important contribution to ghost fiction with her novel The Haunting of Hill House (1959).[1][40]

A noted modern British writer of ghost fiction is Ramsey Campbell.[41] Susan Hill also produced The Woman in Black (1983), a ghost novel that has been adapted for stage, television and film.[2]

Noël Coward's play Blithe Spirit, later made into a 1945 film, places a more humorous slant on the phenomenon of haunting of individuals and specific locations.


The Gray Ghost
The Gray Ghost (1917).

During the late 1890s the depiction of ghost and supernatural events appear in films. With the advent of motion pictures and television, screen depictions of ghosts became common, and spanned a variety of genres. The works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Wilde have all been made into cinematic versions, as well as adaptations of other playwrights and novelists. One of the well known short films was Haunted Castle directed by Georges Méliès in 1896. It is also considered as the first silent short film depicting ghost and supernatural events.[42]

After the second World War, sentimental depictions of ghosts were more popular in cinema than horror, and include the 1947 film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which was later adapted to television with a successful 1968–70 TV series.[20] Genuine psychological horror films from this period include 1944's The Uninvited, and 1945's Dead of Night. The film Blithe Spirit, based on a play by Noël Coward, was also produced in this period.[43] 1963 saw one of the first major adaptations of a ghost novel, The Haunting, based on the well known novel The Haunting of Hill House.[20]

The 1970s saw screen depictions of ghosts diverge into distinct genres of the romantic and horror. A common theme in the romantic genre from this period is the ghost as a benign guide or messenger, often with unfinished business, such as 1989's Field of Dreams, the 1990 film Ghost, and the 1993 comedy Heart and Souls.[44] In the horror genre, 1980's The Fog, and the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of films from the 1980s and 1990s are notable examples of the trend for the merging of ghost stories with scenes of physical violence.[20] The 1990s saw a return to classic "gothic" ghosts, whose dangers were more psychological than physical. Examples of films from this period include 1999's The Sixth Sense and The Others. The 1990s also saw a lighthearted adaptation of the children's character Casper the Friendly Ghost, originally popular in cartoon form in the 1950s and early 1960s, in the feature film Casper.

Asian cinema has also produced horror films about ghosts, such as the 1998 Japanese film Ringu (remade in the US as The Ring in 2002), and the Pang brothers' 2002 film The Eye.[45] Indian ghost movies are popular not just in India, but in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and other parts of the world. Some Indian ghost movies such as the comedy / horror film Chandramukhi have been commercial successes, dubbed into several languages.[46] Generally the films are based on the experiences of modern people who are unexpectedly exposed to ghosts, and usually draw on traditional Indian literature or folklore. In some cases the Indian films are remakes of western films, such as Anjaane, based on Alejandro Amenábar's ghost story The Others.[47]


In fictional television programming, ghosts have been explored in series such as Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Supernatural, the television series adaptation of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). In animated fictional television programming, ghosts have served as the central element in series such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Danny Phantom, and Scooby-Doo, as well as minor roles in various other television shows.

Popularized in part by the 1984 comedy franchise Ghostbusters, ghost hunting has been popularized as a hobby wherein reportedly haunted places are explored. The ghost hunting theme has been featured in paranormal reality television series, such as A Haunting, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, and Most Haunted. It is also represented in children's television by such programs as The Ghost Hunter based on the book series of the same name and Ghost Trackers.[48]

The Indian television series, Aahat, featured ghost and supernatural stories written by B. P. Singh. It was first aired on 5 October 1995 and ran for more than a decade, ending on 25 November 2010 with more than 450 episodes.[49]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Darrell Schweitzer (2005). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders. Westport, CT: Greenwood. pp. 338–340.
  2. ^ a b "Ghost Stories" in Margaret Drabble (ed.), The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 9780198614531 (p. 404-5).
  3. ^ J. Gordon Melton (1996). Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Gale Group. ISBN 978-0-8103-5487-6.
  4. ^ Vassler, Bill. "Campfire Stories: The Art Of The Tale". Westside Toastmasters. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  5. ^ Gordon, Lauren (16 July 2014). "9 Scary Campfire Stories That'll Make You Drop Your S'mores". ABC News. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  6. ^ Carey, Joanna (17 February 2004). "Ghouls for schools". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  7. ^ Coffman, Frank. "Excerpts From "Some Remarks on Ghost Stories"". Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2012.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  8. ^ a b Carpenter, Lynette; Kolmar, Wendy K. Ghost Stories by British and American Women: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography. Taylor & Francis. pp. xxii.
  9. ^ Finucane, R. C. (1984). Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts. Prometheus Books. pp. 4, 16. ISBN 978-0879752385.
  10. ^ D. Felton (2010). Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories from Classical Antiquity. University of Texas Press. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-292-78924-1.
  11. ^ Jaehnig, K.C. (1999-03-11). "Classical ghost stories". Southern Illinois University. Archived from the original on September 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
  12. ^ Braund, Susanna (28 March 2013). Buckley, Emma; Dinter, Martin T., eds. Haunted by Horror: The Ghost of Seneca in Renaissance Drama. A Companion to the Neronian Age. pp. 425–443. doi:10.1002/9781118316771.ch24. ISBN 9781118316771.
  13. ^ a b Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006). The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West. I.B. Tauris. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-1-85043-768-0.
  14. ^ Hamori, Andras (1971). "An Allegory from the Arabian Nights: The City of Brass". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 34 (1): 9–19 [10]. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00141540.
  15. ^ Ian Richard Netton (1991). From the introduction of Muslim Neoplatonists: An Introduction to the Thought of the Brethren of Purity. Edinburgh University Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7486-0251-3.
  16. ^ Smith, Tom (August 6, 2014). "Hyper Japan hails digital-age 'Genji' opera". The Japan Times. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Graves, Zachary (2011). Ghosts the complete guide to the supernatural. Eastbourne, UK: Canary Press. p. 182. ISBN 9781908698124.
  18. ^ a b Jones, Ann Rosalind; Stallybrass, Peter (2000). Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory. Cambridge University Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-0521786638. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  19. ^ Helen Child Sargent; George Lyman Kittredge (1904). English and Scottish Popular Ballads edited from the Collection by Francis James Child. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
  20. ^ a b c d Newman, Kim (ed.) (1996). BFI Companion to Horror. London: Cassell. p. 135. ISBN 978-0304332168.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  21. ^ a b c Andrew Barger, "Introduction:All Ghosts are Grey" in Barger (editor),The Best Ghost Stories 1800–1849: A Classic Ghost Anthology. Bottletree Books LLC, 2011. ISBN 1-933747-33-1, (pp. 7-12)
  22. ^ Pamela Davidson. Russian Literature and Its Demons. Berghahn Books, 2000. ISBN 9781571817587. Page 59.
  23. ^ a b c d e Jack Sullivan (1986). "Golden Age of the Ghost Story" in The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural. Viking Press. pp. 174–6. ISBN 978-0-670-80902-8.
  24. ^ J. L. Campbell, Sr., "J. S. Le Fanu", in E. F. Bleiler, ed. (1985). Supernatural Fiction Writers. New York: Scribner's. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-684-17808-0.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  25. ^ J. L. Campbell, Sr., "Mrs. J. H. Riddell", in Bleiler, ed., Supernatural Fiction Writers.
  26. ^ James, M. R. (December 1929). Some Remarks on Ghost Stories. The Bookman. pp. 55–56.
  27. ^ Barger, Andrew (2015). Middle Unearthed: The Best Fantasy Short Stories 1800-1849. Bottletree Books LLC. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-933747-53-8.
  28. ^ David Langford, "James, Montague Rhodes", in David Pringle, ed., St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers (London: St. James Press, 1998). ISBN 1-55862-206-3
  29. ^ a b James, M.R., "Preface to More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary". In Joshi, S.T., ed. (2005). Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories: The Complete Ghost Stories of M.R. James, Volume 1, pt. 217. Penguin Books.
  30. ^ Punter, David (2003). "The modern gothic". The literature of terror: a history of Gothic fictions from 1765 to the present day. London: Longman. p. 86. ISBN 978-0582290556. Although James conjures up strange beasts and supernatural manifestations, the shock effect of his stories is usually strongest when he is dealing in physical mutilation and abnormality
  31. ^ Sleepy Hollow at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  32. ^ Benjamin Fisher, "Transitions from Victorian to Modern: The Supernatural Stories of Mary Wilkins Freeman and Edith Wharton" in: Robillard, Douglas, ed. American Supernatural Fiction: From Edith Wharton to the Weird Tales Writers. New York: Garland, 1996. (pp. 3-42). ISBN 0-8153-1735-2
  33. ^ Douglas Robillard, "The Wandering Ghosts of F. Marion Crawford" in: Robillard, Douglas, ed. American Supernatural Fiction: From Edith Wharton to the Weird Tales Writers. New York: Garland, 1996. (pp. 43-58). ISBN 0-8153-1735-2
  34. ^ Cameron, George Frederick (1889). Leo, the Royal cadet. [Kingston, Ont.? : s.n.
  35. ^ Campbell, Olive Dame & Sharp, Cecil James (1917). English Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians. New York: G. Putnam's Sons.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  36. ^ a b c Foutz, Scott. "Kaidan: Traditional Japanese Ghost Tales and Japanese Horror Film". Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  37. ^ a b "What are Kaidan". Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai. 2010-08-18. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  38. ^ "Kwaidan", by Brian Stableford, in Frank N. Magill, ed., Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature, Vol 2. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, Inc., 1983, ISBN 0-89356-450-8 (pp. 859-860).
  39. ^ Landon, Brooks (1983). "The Short fiction of Leiber". In Magill, Frank N. Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature, Vol 4. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, Inc. pp. 1611–1615. ISBN 978-0-89356-450-6.
  40. ^ Sullivan, Jack. "Shirley Jackson". In Bleiler. Supernatural Fiction Writers. pp. 1031–1036.
  41. ^ Joshi, S. T. (2001). Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. pp. 53–63. ISBN 978-0-85323-765-5.
  42. ^ Babbis, Maurice. "The True Origin of the Horror Film". Emerson College. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  43. ^ "Blithe Spirit". British film institute. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  44. ^ Chanko, Kenneth M. (August 8, 1993). "FILM; When It Comes to the Hereafter, Romance and Sentiment Rule". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  45. ^ Rafferty, Terence (June 8, 2003). "Why Asian Ghost Stories Are the Best". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  46. ^ Mohamed, Shoaib (September 24, 2007). "The Bus Conductor Turned Superstar Who Took the Right Bus to Demi". Behindwoods. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  47. ^ "Anjaane – The Unknown". December 30, 2005. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  48. ^ Williams, Karen (2010). "The Liveness of Ghosts: Haunting and Reality TV". In Blanco, María del Pilar; Peeren, Esther. Popular ghosts : the haunted spaces of everyday culture. New York: Continuum. pp. 149–160. ISBN 9781441163691.
  49. ^ "Hello darkness, my old friend..." Indian Express. Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. 3 November 1997. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2010.

Further reading

  • Bailey, Dale. American Nightmares: The Haunted House Formula in American Popular Fiction, Bowling Green, OH: Popular Press, 1999. ISBN 0-87972-789-6.
  • Felton, D. (1999). Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories from Classical Antiquity. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-72508-9.
  • Ashley, Mike, Editor. Phantom Perfumes and Other Shades: Memories of GHOST STORIES Magazine, Ash-Tree Press, 2000.
  • Joynes, Andrew (editor), Medieval ghost stories: an anthology of miracles, marvels and prodigies Woodbridge: Boydell press, 2003.
  • Locke, John, Editor. Ghost Stories: The Magazine and Its Makers: Volumes 1 & 2, Off-Trail Publications, 2010.
  • Sullivan, Jack. Elegant Nightmares: The English Ghost Story From Le Fanu To Blackwood, Ohio University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-8214-0569-1.

External links

7th Hong Kong Film Awards

The 7th Hong Kong Awards ceremony, honored the best films of 1987 and took place on 10 April 1988 at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The ceremony was hosted by Lydia Shum and Paul Chung, during the ceremony awards are presented in 14 categories. The ceremony was sponsored by City Entertainment Magazine.

A Chinese Ghost Story

A Chinese Ghost Story (Wade–Giles: Ch'ien-nü Yu-hun; literally: "The Ethereal Spirit of a Beauty") is a 1987 Hong Kong romantic comedy horror film starring Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong and Wu Ma, directed by Ching Siu-tung and produced by Tsui Hark. The plot is loosely based on a short story about Nie Xiaoqian from Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling's Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, and also inspired by the 1960 Shaw Brothers Studio film, The Enchanting Shadow. The film was popular in Hong Kong and several Asian countries, including South Korea and Japan, when released. Most notably it boosted the stardom of Joey Wong, won Leslie Cheung popularity in Japan, and sparked a trend of folklore ghost films in the Hong Kong film industry, including two sequels, an animated film, a television series and a 2011 remake. The film was ranked number 50 of the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures presented at the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards.

A Chinese Ghost Story (2011 film)

A Chinese Ghost Story, also known as A Chinese Fairy Tale, is a 2011 fantasy-supernatural film directed by Wilson Yip, starring Louis Koo, Liu Yifei, Yu Shaoqun, Kara Hui, Louis Fan, and Wang Danyi Li. The film is adapted from the short story Nie Xiaoqian in Pu Songling's Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, a collection of supernatural stories set in ancient China.

A Chinese Ghost Story II

A Chinese Ghost Story II (倩女幽魂 II:人間道) is a 1990 Hong Kong romantic comedy-horror film directed by Ching Siu-tung and produced by Tsui Hark. It is the sequel to A Chinese Ghost Story and is followed by A Chinese Ghost Story III.

A Chinese Ghost Story III

A Chinese Ghost Story III (Sinnui Yauwan III: Do Do Do) is a 1991 Hong Kong romantic comedy-horror film directed by Ching Siu-tung and produced by Tsui Hark. It is the sequel to A Chinese Ghost Story and A Chinese Ghost Story II.

Though technically a distant sequel, the plot is more of a retelling of the original A Chinese Ghost Story. Joey Wong reprises her role as a ghostly beauty bound in servitude to the Tree Demon. The Tree Demon's seal, as cast by the monk Yin (Wu Ma) in the original film, only lasts for 100 years. Now 100 years later, the Tree Demon awakens.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol during a period when the British were exploring and re-evaluating past Christmas traditions, including carols and newer customs such as Christmas trees. He was influenced by the experiences of his own youth and by the Christmas stories of other authors including Washington Irving and Douglas Jerrold. Dickens had written three Christmas stories prior to the novella, and was inspired following a visit to the Field Lane Ragged School, one of several establishments for London's street children. The treatment of the poor and the ability of a selfish man to redeem himself by transforming into a more sympathetic character are the key themes of the story. There is discussion among academics as to whether this was a fully secular story, or if it is a Christian allegory.

Published on 19 December, the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve; by the end of 1844 thirteen editions had been released. Most critics reviewed the novella favourably. The story was illicitly copied in January 1844; Dickens took legal action against the publishers, who went bankrupt, further reducing Dickens's small profits from the publication. He went on to write four other Christmas stories in subsequent years. In 1849 he began public readings of the story which proved so successful he undertook 127 further performances until 1870, the year of his death. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been translated into several languages; the story has been adapted many times for film, stage, opera and other media.

A Christmas Carol captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. Dickens had acknowledged the influence of the modern Western observance of Christmas and later inspired several aspects of Christmas, including family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit.

A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story is a 2017 American supernatural drama film written and directed by David Lowery. It stars Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky, and Liz Franke. Affleck plays a man who becomes a ghost and remains in the house he shares with his wife (Mara).

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017, and was released by A24 on July 7, 2017.

A Ghost Story for Christmas

A Ghost Story for Christmas is a strand of annual British short television films originally broadcast on BBC One between 1971 and 1978, and revived in 2005 on BBC Four. With one exception, the original instalments were directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark and the films were all shot on 16 mm colour film. The remit behind the series was to provide a television adaptation of a classic ghost story, in line with the oral tradition of telling supernatural tales at Christmas.Each instalment is a separate adaptation of a short story, ranges between 30 and 50 minutes in duration, and features well-known British actors such as Clive Swift, Robert Hardy, Peter Vaughan, Edward Petherbridge and Denholm Elliott. The first five are adaptations of ghost stories by M. R. James, the sixth is based on a short story by Charles Dickens, and the two final instalments are original screenplays by Clive Exton and John Bowen respectively. The stories were titled A Ghost Story for Christmas in listings such as the Radio Times, although this never appeared on screen, where they were regarded as individual films.An earlier black-and-white adaptation of M. R. James's Whistle and I'll Come to You, directed by Jonathan Miller and shown as part of the series Omnibus in 1968, is often cited as an influence upon the production of the films, and is sometimes included as part of the series. The series was revived by the BBC in 2005 with a new set of adaptations that were produced intermittently over the next few years.

Crest of Betrayal

Crest of Betrayal (忠臣蔵外伝 四谷怪談, Chushingura Gaiden: Yotsuya Kaidan, a.k.a. Loyal 47 Ronin: Yotsuya Ghost Story) is a 1994 Japanese film directed by Kinji Fukasaku.

Ghost Stories (Coldplay album)

Ghost Stories is the sixth studio album by British rock band Coldplay. Co-produced by the band with Paul Epworth along with returning Mylo Xyloto producers Daniel Green and Rik Simpson, it was released by Parlophone on 16 May 2014. The album was released by Atlantic Records in North America on 19 May 2014. It is the first album by the band in North America under Atlantic, after Coldplay were transferred from Capitol Records in 2013, following the purchase of EMI and its assets by the Universal Music Group in 2012, which required the sale of Parlophone to Warner Music Group.

The album was recorded by the band throughout 2013 and 2014 at the band's purpose-built home studios in London, England, and in Los Angeles. It features guest producers Avicii, Timbaland and Madeon, and the band's frequent collaborator Jon Hopkins. It was heavily promoted by the band and Parlophone in the lead-up to its release, with an accompanying prime time TV special, a visual album, and a special six-date promotional tour of the album, as well as various appearances on television and radio. The album was further promoted by five singles: "Magic", the lead single, released in March; "Midnight", released in April; "A Sky Full of Stars", released in May; "True Love", released in August; and "Ink", released in October. It was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 57th Grammy Awards. At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards it was named Top Rock Album.

The album received mixed to positive reviews, with many critics praising the band's return to the more stripped-down and melancholy style found in their earlier music, though some took issue with its lukewarm lyrical content. It is reported by several media outlets that Chris Martin has said that the album was inspired by his and Gwyneth Paltrow's split in 2014.

Ghost Stories (Japanese TV series)

Ghost Stories (学校の怪談, Gakkō no Kaidan, lit. "School Ghost Stories"), also known as Ghosts at School, is a 20-episode anime series created in 2000 by animation studio Pierrot and Aniplex for Fuji Television, based on a book series by Tōru Tsunemitsu.

The series was licensed for the North American market by ADV Films whose English dub replaced the original script with a comedic one. It was also aired in Latin America by Cartoon Network, which had broadcast the entire series unedited on October 1, 2005. The series was also picked up by the anime television network, Animax, who broadcast the series with a different English dub unedited and uncensored under the title Ghosts at School within its respective networks across the world in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions.

Ghost Story (1981 film)

Ghost Story is a 1981 American horror film directed by John Irvin and based on the 1979 book of the same name by Peter Straub. It stars Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., John Houseman and Craig Wasson (in a dual role). The female lead role was played by Alice Krige in a dual role as Eva Galli/Alma Mobley. It follows a group of elderly businessmen in New England who gather to recount their involvement in a woman's death decades prior when one of them suspects her ghost has been haunting him.

It was the last film to feature Astaire, Fairbanks, and Douglas (who died four months before the film's release), and the first film to feature Michael O'Neill. The film was shot in Woodstock, Vermont; Saratoga Springs, New York; and at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. It was released in the United States on December 18, 1981.

Ghost Story (TV series)

Ghost Story (later re-titled Circle Of Fear) is an American television anthology series that aired for one season on NBC from 1972 to 1973. Executive-produced by William Castle, Ghost Story featured supernatural entities such as ghosts, vampires, and witches. By mid-season, low ratings led to a title change.

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files)

Ghost Story is the 13th book in The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher's continuing urban fantasy series about Chicago wizard Harry Dresden.

Ghost Story Games

Ghost Story Games, LLC is an American video game developer based in Westwood, Massachusetts, and led by Ken Levine. The studio is the rebranding of Irrational Games as announced in February 2017, and while still the same business subsidiary under Take-Two Interactive, the rebranding was considered a fresh start by the founders as they move into more emergent narrative-driven titles compared to the larger titles they had made under Irrational.


Kaidan (怪談) (sometimes transliterated kwaidan) is a Japanese word consisting of two kanji: 怪 (kai) meaning “strange, mysterious, rare, or bewitching apparition" and 談 (dan) meaning “talk” or “recited narrative.”

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black is a 1983 horror novel by Susan Hill, written in the style of a traditional Gothic novel. The plot concerns a mysterious spectre that haunts a small English town, heralding the death of children. A television film based on the story, also called The Woman in Black, was produced in 1989, with a screenplay by Nigel Kneale. In 2012, a theatrical film adaptation of the same name was released, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The book has also been adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt. It is the second longest-running play in the history of the West End, after The Mousetrap.

Yotsuya Kaidan

Yotsuya Kaidan (四谷怪談), the story of Oiwa and Tamiya Iemon,[1] is a tale of betrayal, murder, and ghostly revenge. Arguably the most famous Japanese ghost story of all time, it has been adapted for film over 30 times, and continues to be an influence on Japanese horror today.

Written in 1825 by Tsuruya Nanboku IV as a kabuki play, the original title was Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (東海道四谷怪談; translation: Ghost Story of Yotsuya in Tokaido). It is now generally shortened, and loosely translates as Ghost Story of Yotsuya.[2]

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