Don’t go into the light!
WhoohooohoooOOooo. Ghosts. I recently felt in the mood for some paranormal bedtime reads, and so got these three.
Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting Of Hill House and Tiffany Murray’s Sugar Hall were both recommended by David Mitchell in an interview where he spoke about his influential scary reads. He also mentioned Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger which I thought was an awesomely creepy book, and so I trusted his judgement.
I have only started Sugar Hall, but so far, it’s a bit meh. It’s the 1950s and a widowed mother is practically camping out in the ancestral home of her dead husband, and there is a small ghostie boy hanging about. The living boy wants to make friends with him, and leaves him a shirt (the ghost is naked) and also has a nose-bleed nearby, which somehow revives the ghost and makes him more able to do more ghostie things.
The problem is the view-point changes too much, and I need to know the logic if why a ghost can be nourished by human blood. Explain, please. Non-fiction doesn’t have to be believable because it’s just true, but fiction needs plausibility, even in the most fantastical circumstances. I think that was one of the reasons I liked the TV show Being Human, as none of the practical details of being a ghost, werewolf or vampire were ignored. The other thing is with the book is the ghost pops up without much build-up. He’s just there, sometimes. Not at others. I shall force myself to finish it, but I hope David Mitchell’s other recommendation of Shirley Jackson, whom I have enjoyed (if that’s the right word) before with the horrifying The Lottery, is better.
I also got Toni Morrison’s Beloved, as like with The Little Stranger, the ghost is a previous child of the house. It’s both a terrifying and comforting idea that the ghost of your child could still be in the house, no wonder people have chosen to write about it. Anne Boleyn swishing her skirts about the Tower is one thing, but someone we know being a conscious entity on the other side is very disturbing. And it’s even worse if they are still alive, such as with Netflix’s Stranger things, and Poltergeist’s poor old Carol Anne being stuck in the telly. Mommy, where are you? I can’t find you. I can’t. I’m afraid of the Light, mommy. I’m afraid of the Light.
Ahhhh! Don’t go into the light, Carol Anne! You have a sequel with a creepy preacher to make!