Classic Ghost Stories

Book Review by Ceris Aston | 07 Nov 2017
  • Classic Ghost Stories
Book title: Classic Ghost Stories
Author: Various

'I can assure you,' said I, 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.' And I stood up before the fire with my glass in my hand.
'It is your own choosing,' said the man with the withered arm. And H.G. Wells' confident youth goes upstairs, alone, to the red room...

Be you sceptical or superstitious, Vintage Classics' Classic Ghost Stories is the perfect book to curl up with on a winter's evening. The collection features tales by many of the most well-known writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including Conan Doyle, Dickens, Gaskell and Oliphant. Some are best known for spine-chilling stories – for others, spectres are unexpected. Reading E. Nesbit's Into the Dark, it is strange but somehow satisfying to recall that she wrote children's classic The Railway Children. There is more, always, than meets the eye.

The anthology is haunted by unearthly lights, eerie cries and strange visions. Some apparitions appear as warnings, others are malevolent or vengeful, others still are lovers yearning to keep a tryst. You seek to call a warning to the insensible protagonist, or are frozen, united in terror with one who suspects but does not know what is to come.

Pull the blanket around your shoulders, pause at the sound of a creaking door, convince yourself that old houses make noises on their own. And enjoy... 

Out now, published by Vintage, RRP £12.99