Storytelling – getting the pictures from my head into yours

Ghost Stories

The Ghost Stories I like best are written ones, because they build slowly, by the accumulation of subtle details. Master of all is M.R. James. But Algernon Blackwood is also pretty good, and so is Arthur Machen, and don’t neglect E.F. Benson either – or some of Kipling‘s stories, such as They, Wireless, and The Wish House. This is no place for modesty, so I will give you a link to my own Ghost Stories, and some more are to be found here, particularly Deep Waters and Dogs and Directions, which, exceptionally, I told first at Wykeham Tales, and then wrote down.

I believe that M.R. James’s A School Story would tell well, because it is event-based, but the ones that rely on atmosphere are meant to be read.

Here are some wonderful Norwegian ghost stories that I encountered recently, by Jonas Lieweird-tales-plate-001

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One response

  1. I have now TOLD my own version of A School Story at Heads and Tales Storytelling Cafe in Ringwood. I used elements from my own life [“If your work isn’t autobiographical, then it’s plagiarism,” says Almodovar], set it in an Austrian rural boarding school, during a summer course, in 1979, to tie in with the IRA’s bombing of Lord Mountbatten, and the discovery of the bodies with the crucial coin [a one pound coin, symbolically defaced by being cut in two] is communicated to me by a co-alumnus at a College Gathering. [He’s gone into house-renovation – and the original house was in Ireland in M.R. James – but in my version there’s a reason for it…]

    I have also told twice Ivan and the Pastor of Brono from Jonas Lie’s book. It has a wonderful structure, and is made for telling.

    April 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

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