As tonight's countdown to Halloween's post, I want to promote the work of E. Nesbit, one of my favourite ghost story writers. She was more famous for children fiction, but she wrote a few great supernatural stories, which is how I first discovered her. The first story I ever read of her was Man-size in marble, which I blogged about here. It is set on Halloween night. So I was hooked. So I bought a few years later The Power of Darkness: Tales of Terror. There are a good deal of tales of terror in them, but the title is not completely accurate: some stories could just as well be labelled scifi (albeit with a good dose of fear), in some the ghostly manifestation is explained rationally, but not before giving the reader a few chills until the reveal.
You will find her ghost stories in many anthologies, nevertheless I would recommend that you get your hand on this book so you do not miss any treasure. The first story in the book is Man-size in marble, so it is ideal to start your Halloween season. Unlike the other Edith (Wharton), whom I blogged about recently, Nesbit displays evil far more concretely. The ghost is far more openly menacing, and she does not shy away from blood and gore when the story requires it. Apart from Man-size, I particularly enjoyed Number 17, which I mentioned here, The Haunted House (Nesbit's take on the vampire myth), In the Dark and The Pavilion. They are going to make your skin crawl, give you a chill, whatever cliché you can think about. I truly love this author.
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