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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.