Neglected Lady Ghost Story Writers

When talking about ghost stories the writers whose names get bandied about a lot by myself and other fans of the genre are usually male.  I was pleased to find this volume on Amazon The Lady Chillers  –  The story introductions are by Mark Hankin. so I thought it would be a perfect start to broadening my experience of these talented ladies. With that thought in mind I invested the heady sum of 99p and set about reading. I actually discovered during the course of reading this book that I had in fact read a couple before as part of various anthologies. You know how it is though, you read a story think ‘that was good’ and then can’t for the life of you find it again to re-read it because you’ve no idea what it was called! Anyway all the stories in this book are very worthy in their own right. Some were creepier than others; some not altogether satisfactory but that’s all subjective. This post is basically a chance for me to share with you a couple of my  favourites. I may even get around to finding some more works by the ladies in question so here are my personal favourites:

  1. The Open Door by Charlotte Riddell- Not so much a locked room mystery as an open door mystery! I really like this one; it’s got a touch of humour, suspicious deaths, missing wills, strange nocturnal visitors and a door that wont stay closed, despite the best efforts of many people.
  2. The Shadow In The Corner by Mary Elizabeth Braddon – A good old fashioned haunted room story, complete with innocent young girl, cynical servants and sceptical master and family disgrace. Good and spooky this one.
  3. The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell (of Cranford fame) – Guilt, immorality, shame, snow storms, a haunted organ and a ghostly child. Oh and it’s Christmas!

Of course these are just three of the 15 stories in the book, I enjoyed reading all of these stories, though you could probably skip the first couple of pages of the haunted organist or Hurly Burly by Rosa Mulholland. Personally I found the opening dragged a bit. I thought it detracted from an otherwise pretty spooky story. Anyway I’d recommend a look at this book if ghost stories are your thing. I’m not sure that there is a physical version of this book but I’m sure if you haven’t got a Kindle you can find the stories in other anthologies.  

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