Sunday, 2 October 2016
All Souls, by Edith Wharton
For today's countdown to Halloween post, I thought I would plug a particularly fitting ghost story for you to read and re-read in the coming weeks. I blogged before about the ghost stories of Edith Wharton, which I enjoy for many reasons, among them the autumnal settings of many of these stories. Well, I finally finished reading this book and I discovered one particular story that is not only fitting autumn, but fitting Halloween itself. It is aptly named All Souls' and is mainly set on Halloween. Not to be confused with her poem of the same title. Unfortunately I have been unable to find it online so far, so you might have to purchase the book. Without giving too much away, All Souls' is about the dangerous and supernatural essence Halloween is meant to have, even though the holiday is never named. There are souls all right, and a good deal of witchcraft, maybe a haunted house, but interestingly enough it is the absence that creates the unease and finally the terror. There is very little, if any, blatant supernatural manifestations in All Souls'. This is typical with Edith Wharton, who wrote very subtle horror, with no gory effect or screaming monsters jumping at you. But the stillness and isolation of the setting in this time of year is enough to create one of the most efficient scary stories I read in a long while. So you must absolutely read it this month. You won't regret it.