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Friday, May 30, 2008

Ghost Stories

Interesting thought occurred to me today - nobody writes about ghosts anymore.

I've been reading through magazines and webzines, looking for good places to submit to. There's quite a bit of the horror genre out there, and judging from samples, there's not a lot of ghost fiction. Vampires, scary clowns, demons, and nightly bumpers. No ghosts. At first I thought, well of course, ghosts aren't scary. Ghosts can't hurt you, ghosts don't have claws or fangs. They can't hurt you. When I think of ghosts, I think of Casper or Beetlejuice or Ghostbusters. So it's obvious why ghosts aren't used.

Then I remembered my wife is terrified of ghosts. I still don't know why (for the above reasons), but the fear is there. She talks about houses in her old neighborhood that were haunted, a college library, dreams. Scares the hell out of her. I think that fear is difficult to translate to writing though. Certainly would be for me. I have no idea how to write a ghost story that's scary. Ghost stories almost border on mysteries - trying to find out what the ghost wants, which invariably is linked to how it died. Anyway, it just seems to me that ghosts are a motif waiting to make a comeback.
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