Haunted: Ghost Stories To Chill Your Blood (Andersen, 2011)
Joseph Delaney - The Castle Ghosts Susan Cooper - The Caretakers Mal Peet - Good Boy Jamila Gavin - The Blood Line Eleanor Updale - The Ghost In The Machine Derek Landy - Songs The Dead Sing Robin Jarvis - The Beach Hut Sam Llewellyn - The Praying Down Of Vaughan Darkness Matt Haig - The Ghost Walk Philip Reeve - The Ghost Wood Berlie Doherty - The Little Ship's Boy
Blurb: A face in the mirror ... Howling in the night A black dog at your door ... Cold hands dragging you down ...
Some of the best-loved children's authors have come together to bring you this terrifying collection of ghost stories. There's a lost ghost child trapped in a mirror and wanting to pull you in; an evil soul-eater waiting for its next victim; a ghost walk with a haunting twist; and the spirit of a drowned boy who needs to be put to rest. These and many more spine-chilling tales will make you scream, shiver and gasp. Open if you dare.
Tried a couple of these last night. Both decent though second way too upbeat for those of terminally depressed disposition.
Matt Haig - The Ghost Walk: "Life and death are really just two islands, very far apart. And there's a whole sea of nothingness in between. And it's a vast sea, full of souls who aren't dead or alive. They're neither one thing or another." Dad's lost his job, money's tight, but Oscar's parents scrape together enough cash to take him away on a short break before he faces the terrifying prospect of starting a new school full of toff-hating tough nuts. York proves a complete bore until they tag along for ultra-lugubrious Dorian Deadwater's evening Ghost Tour ...
Philip Reeve - The Ghost Wood: Legend has it that the Devil kennels his pack of Hell Hounds under a boulder in Poldavy Wood, so when young Will pockets a stone as a holiday souvenir he's asking for trouble. A huge black dog shows up in his bedroom and the house comes under sustained attack from an entire ghostly forest (nicely handled). Sadly, after so promising a beginning, story takes a turn for the nice. I guess they can't all be Rabid.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.