I have always loved ghost stories. I don’t know why, exactly, but there is some romantic element to the soul who has “unfinished business” and the living beings who encounter them and sometimes help them out. I don’t really care for “horror” genre ghost stories, where the ghosts are malevolent and people get chopped up and stuff, but rather I prefer the stories of ghosts who maybe don’t realize they’re dead, or who have such sad stories that they somehow can’t “leave.” I don’t actually believe in ghosts myself, but the stories are…shall we say, “haunting.” (sorry. Bad pun.)
One of my favorite ghost stories is Robert Nathan’s “Portrait of Jennie.” Published in 1940, it is a novella, the story of a struggling artist in NYC during the depression and the ghost of a young girl. They made a movie of it in 1948, which I saw on TCM long after I had read the book. I think I came upon the book while browsing the library as a teenager. I have read it several times since, because the story is so amazing. I have my own copy somewhere. I think. (Probably in a box. Or on a shelf in my house that I don’t visit too often.) A recent ghost story that has become one of my new favorites is one I discovered through the blog of its author, Lisa Buie-Collard. It is called “Evangeline’s Miracle” and I cannot recommend it strongly enough. Click here for the link to her site!
Anyway, these are the sorts of ghost stories that I love. I even like scary ones, if they aren’t gory and of the “horror” genre. One notable movie that comes to mind is “The Others” with Nicole Kidman. I was really scared watching that, and it still makes me shiver! Another one I remember from browsing the library is an old radio drama called “Suspense.” This was a radio drama which ran from 1942-1962, carefully preserved for listeners of the ’80’s on cassette tapes (!) One episode in particular, called “Fugue in c minor” starring Ida Lupino and Vincent Price, was particularly memorable for me. In fact, I found it on YouTube! So if you’re up for a scary tale, go right ahead! I don’t recommend listening to it at nighttime! 🙂
This post is for Linda G Hill’s #JusJoJan.