Ghost Stories

Trigger Warnings:

These are ghost stories, so are supernatural in nature (mostly). Similar to the English ghost stories that inspired our family tradition, I try for a sense of dread rather than outright body horror. However the stories do touch on death (obviously) and in some cases abuse and trauma. I've tried to indicate where themes beyond the supernatural are included in the stories in the text below each title.

The first year we wrote a ghost story, I was mostly going for the feeling of dread that you can get from the rhytmic motion of a train in a tunnel.

TW: suicide, implied abuse

Following his wife's death in a road accident, Mark takes the holiday they were planning to Hungary but hasn't yet come to terms with his bereavement

A short mood piece experimenting with viewpoint

(incomplete) A half-baked idea that tried to link the Viking invasions of Northumberland to present day tensions and social anxiety. It doesn't really work, and feels pretty naive in the current political context, so I haven't been able to properly finish it. Maybe one day I'll find a hook for what the story is really trying to say and be able to add a conclusion.

An attempt to return to the MR James inspired roots of the ghost telling tradition. Academics meddle with what they shouldn't when they remove an old bell from an isolated church.

A researcher stays the week in an abandoned ghost town in the American West, trying to discover the reason that the population abrubtly left. Honestly, the title kind of gives it away though.

This was inspired by a visit to Brodie in Nevada, where the abandoned dusty houses struck me with both curiosity and melancholy. This story is closer to horror than the other ones here.

What is the real history behind the brand shiny new appartment Marge has moved into?

An update of an old British folktale for modern times; the medium, after all, is the message.

Inspired by a Christmas Song, and thinking about what folktales could lie behind a seemingly innocous phrase.

TW: adult language

They say that the fireplace in the pub has never gone out since that old customs raid; but that surely can't be true, can it?

A guard in Stirling gaol sees an opportunity to make some money from a prisoner.

Growing up I read many versions of the folk story where the hapless protaganist brings something home, only to find the original owner pursuing him to recover its property (in the first version I ever read; its tail). This is my attempt at the story.

TW: COVID 19, psychological abuse

The enforced isolation during the pandemic has given Tom and Dick's relationship time to develop and strengthen. There are still the ghosts of the time before to contend with, though.