Read Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger Online


INCLUDES AN INTRODUCTION AND NEW GHOST STORY FROM AUDREY NIFFENEGGERHaunted houses, spectral chills, and of course, the odd cat… This is Audrey Niffenegger’s eclectic collection of the very best and creepiest ghost stories, by writers including M. R. James, Saki, Rudyard Kipling, Neil Gailman, Ray Bradbury, Edith Wharton and many more. Eerie, uncanny, witty and weird, welcINCLUDES AN INTRODUCTION AND NEW GHOST STORY FROM AUDREY NIFFENEGGERHaunted houses, spectral chills, and of course, the odd cat… This is Audrey Niffenegger’s eclectic collection of the very best and creepiest ghost stories, by writers including M. R. James, Saki, Rudyard Kipling, Neil Gailman, Ray Bradbury, Edith Wharton and many more. Eerie, uncanny, witty and weird, welcome to a world most ghostly.A spookily beautiful hardback, designed and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger herself....

Title : Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781501111198
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 449 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories Reviews

  • Althea Ann
    2019-03-13 23:03

    Basically, this is a collection of the ghost stories that Audrey Niffenegger thinks you ought to read. With a few exceptions, I agreed with her. I'd read the bulk of the selections included, but welcomed the chance to re-read, as there are quite a few excellent stories featured. Each also has a charming black-and-white illustration by Niffenegger.**** The Black Cat - Edgar Allen Poe I think I might have to give this one the Most Unpleasant Narrator of All Time award. It's true, animal abusers tend to be psychopaths. Here, Poe gives us a disturbing glimpse into the mind of a man who shows no remorse for his deeds and is eager to blame outside factors for his own decisions. The story, published in 1843, still has the ability to shock, even today.**** Secret Life, With Cats - Audrey NiffeneggerUnsatisfied housewife decides to volunteer at the local no-kill shelter, to bring some meaning to her life. While there, she also makes a friend with a fellow volunteer, who ends up leaving her a modest property in her will. And then, things get weird. This is one that I suspect will stick with me.**** Pomegranate Seed - Edith Wharton A woman is very much in love with her new husband, a widower. But as time goes on, it seems that another woman may have become a factor in their relationship. Who are the mysterious letters that arrive in the house at odd intervals from? And why does her husband find them so upsetting?(a re-read) ***** The Beckoning Fair One - Oliver Onions What really makes this story is how what's terrifying about the ghost is how its influence affects the mind and moods of the characters... Over and above shadows and bumps in the night, it's the depression and despair that accompany its presence.A writer rents out a suite in a decrepit and long-empty home. Sinking his savings into renovations, he's eager to show the apartment off to his lady-friend, whom he anticipates will be delighted by what he's done with the old place. However, her reaction is quite the opposite. Even though everything is freshly painted and lovely, she hates it. Moreover, she seems terribly prone to accidents whenever she comes to visit. Meanwhile, the tenant can't seem to get a lick of work accomplished there, and the more he tries to buckle down and get his latest novel written, the more he seems convinced that it's no good, and that he's a failure.And that's just the beginning of the horror...(Just as a note, I think what really brought this up to 5 stars for me is the character of Elsie [the friend of the narrator]. She's just so bold and real - 'substantial' in more ways than one. She's one that's going to stick with me.)(a re-read) ***** The Mezzotint - M.R. James A print curator comes across an 'interesting' picture on offer. At first it seems to be an unremarkable, amateur work - but something about it is strange: it seems to be slightly different each time it's viewed. The image may hold the clue to a terrible crime...Classically old-fashioned - and wonderfully spooky!(a re-read)**** Honeysuckle cottage - P.G. WodehouseOK, the whole love-and-marriage as the dreaded ball'n'chain for bachelors is a bit passe, as a joke. However, this is still wonderfully written, and yeah, quite funny. A successful romance novelist passes away - and her will requires that her nephew move into her charming cottage. The nephew is also a writer - but one who churns out ultra-masculine mystery-thrillers, and has nothing but disdain for his aunt's body of work. However, her house may have an insidious effect on his perspective - and his writing.***** Click-clack the Rattlebag / Neil Gaiman"Super-creepy short tale, with the feel of the stories kids tell each other at sleepover parties… Reminded me just a little bit of Kelly Link’s ‘The Specialist’s Hat.’ (Another super-creepy tale.)"(a re-read) **** They - Rudyard Kipling"It unfolds as a man, driving aimlessly in his motorcar, comes across an estate tenanted by a lonely blind woman… and, it seems, several children, who are strangely elusive. The setting is vivid and lush, the language evocative – it’s more of a musing of life and loss than the ghost story it might seem to be. However, the ending is peculiar and rather unsatisfying – I’m not sure what to make of it." Of course I had 'The Jungle Book' and 'Rikki Tikki Tavi' as a child, but I'd never read this Kipling tale before. It unfolds as a man, driving aimlessly in his motorcar, comes across an estate tenanted by a lonely blind woman... and, it seems, several children, who are strangely elusive. The setting is vivid and lush, the language evocative - it's more of a musing of life and loss than the ghost story it might seem to be. However, the ending is peculiar and rather unsatisfying - I'm not sure what to make of it. (view spoiler)[What I didn't understand, in the context of the text, is why the narrator feels, suddenly, that he must never return. One analyst explained it so: "Even if the dead is very young and much beloved, one must turn one’s back on that road and return to the living world to which one belongs." Having learned that Kipling wrote this after the death of his young daughter, it makes sense in that he's trying to convince himself to move on - I guess it also makes sense that as a reader, I didn't find the effort fully compelling.(hide spoiler)](a re-read)**** Playmates - A.M. BurrageAdopted by a man with no understanding of children's emotional needs, a lonely girl in a big old house finds some very unconventional playmates. Are they imaginary friends, created to stave off her isolation - or something else? Although technically a ghost story, this piece is more wistful than scary.(a re-read)*** The July Ghost - A.S. ByattIt's very... A.S. Byatt-y. An academic type discovers that he (and only he) can see the ghost of his landlady's deceased son, and is drawn into an awkward relationship predicated on grief and loss. **** Laura - SakiTechnically, this isn't a ghost story, but a tale of reincarnation. On her deathbed, a woman muses lightheartedly about how she maybe hasn't been the most angelic sort (considering her enjoyment of plaguing her insufferable husband), and will probably come back as a 'lower' type of creature. The way things play out is quite amusing.***** The Open Window - SakiAnother hilarious piece from the master humorist. Due to a 'blind' introduction proffered by his sister, a man goes calling on a total stranger. A niece tells a tale of family tragedy - and the fact that the reader can predict what's coming doesn't make it any less funny. *****The Specialist's Hat - Kelly Linkavailable free on Link's site:"Creepy! Creepy, creepy, creeeeeepy! If you buy, and move into a haunted house, you PROBABLY should check the babysitter's references, and maybe her ID, too, before you leave your young children with her. Better yet, just get the hell out of that house before it's too late."(Already read this one a few times... it's been well-anthologised.)*** Tiny Ghosts - Amy GiacaloneAn unassuming-but-content older couple find themselves no-longer-so-content when their home is invaded by a horde of 'tiny ghosts' who plague them by acting like they own the place. In addition, they're quite free with their criticism. The story calls them 'ghosts' but they're more like Mary Norton's 'Borrowers' - if the Borrowers didn't bother hiding, and were obnoxious, to boot.** The Pink House - Rebecca Curtis At a writers' retreat, one woman tells her dinner guests a ghost story involving her ex-boyfriend. The listeners are less than impressed, and quite openly insulting. This is a very strange piece - I felt like it might possibly work if it was only one segment of a 'Canterbury-Tales-like' cycle, but on its own it was inconclusive and a bit pointless-feeling.***** August 2026 : There Will Come Soft Rains - Ray BradburyOne of the finest stories ever written. :-)Many thanks to Knopf and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-03-10 00:12

    3.5 a collection of ghost stories ranging from a few new ones back to Poe and Bradbury. Poe's story was one of my favorites though I had read it before. Another favorite was Honeysuckle Cottage, just loved the quirkiness of that one. story provided a little shiver but for the most part none of these were very scary but all were good. Interesting so see what stories are chosen for a widespread collection like this one. A little something for everyone.ARC from NetGalley.

  • Kirsten
    2019-02-22 01:12

    An interesting collection of ghost stories. Great variety.The Black Cat by Edgar Allan PoeI've read and heard this performed many times. A classic story. Yet a little disturbing as the main character seems to abuse his wife and his pets for no reason. A wonderful dénouement is had, however.Secret Life, With Cats by Audrey NiffeneggerA little creepy. Also, reminds me why I don't have cats. Also, it was one of those dreary tales of a life sucked out of a person. Pomegranate Seed by Edith WhartonAnother rather dreary tale. Not even creepy. Just sad.The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver OnionsIf no one's rented a flat in over a dozen years, there may be a reason! Just saying.This story is wonderfully creepy and intense. Things get worse and worse and worse for our hero. (Actually, he's not much of a hero.) A psychological thriller that may or may not be a ghost story.The Mezzotint by M.R. JamesI'm sure I've heard this story or one like it at some time. Not as spooky as I would like. Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. WodehouseThis was a delight! Why have the Beeb not made a movie of this? Maybe with Tom Hiddleston or that guy Matthew Goode?Click-Clack the Rattle Bag by Neil GaimanI'll bet Neil Gaiman would be great at telling bedtime stories. This was a very short and evocative story about a boy wanting a bedtime story, but he's the one that does the scaring!They by Rudyard KiplingA bittersweet story of a house where the spirits of children get to play and be loved by a blind spinsterPlaymates by A.M. BurrageA sweet little ghost story. The July Ghost by A.S. ByattI didn't really get that much out of this one. Far too depressing for me. Laura / The Open Window by SakiTwo fun stories that remind quite a bit of Wodehouse!The Specialist's Hat by Kelly LinkCreepy twins. Creepy house. Creepy babysitter. Need I say more?Tiny Ghosts by Amy GiacaloneWhat would you do if you were house was haunted by tiny ghosts? A lot of them. Insulting tiny ghosts. Who criticize EVERYTHING. Loved this story, because it was quirky and funny... and the solution is great!The Pink House by Rebecca CurtisOne of the meatier and more substantial stories in the book. Dark, claustrophobic, but - in the end - very satisfying.August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray BradburyWow. Great story.

  • Sue
    2019-03-07 02:07

    I do enjoy reading ghost stories...and I don't restrict this reading to the days around Halloween. In my world tales of the supernatural and paranormal are appropriate any time of the year, any time of the day. Now horror, on the other hand, and seriously creepy ghost stories perhaps should be confined to daylight hours if one is prone to bad dreams. Niffenegger's collection is made up primarily of the gentler and more classic form of ghost story, the sort that finds its effects in style, manner and language, not in gore.I did find the stories varied as those in collections often do and that among my favorites were many of the classics included. My favorites are: The Pomegranate Seed by Edith Wharton, The Mezzotint by M.R.James, Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G.Wodehouse (yes a comic ghost story), Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman, Playmates by A.M.Burrage, and a story from a quite contemporary writer, Tiny Ghosts by Amy Giacalone. It is likely that other readers will have other favorites--but there were no truly unexpected stories here and a few that did not really "take off".My rating 3.5*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Jan
    2019-03-08 23:05

    3.5 starsNot my most favorite collection of creepy ghost stories, but there are a few prize gems in here that are worth a mention. (They, Playmates, Honeysuckle Cottage)This is such an eclectic collection from vintage authors to modern day and while I wouldn't classify these as scary, there was an element of 'weird' that kept me turning the pages. With Halloween right around the corner, this was a nice way to ring in the season. :)My thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lotte
    2019-03-16 22:29

    3.5/5. Favourite stories in this collection: 'Secret Life, With Cats' by Audrey Niffenegger, 'The Mezzotint' by M.R. James, 'Click-Clack the Rattlebag' by Neil Gaiman & 'The Black Cat' by Edgar Allan Poe.

  • Patty Killion
    2019-03-09 01:24

    Ghostly...A Collection of Ghost Stories...Introduced and Illustrated by Audrey NiffeneggerWhat could be better than a collection of ghostly short stories about haunted houses, spectral chills and, of course, the odd cat.....that are written by Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, P G Wodehouse, Neil Gaiman, Rudyard Kipling, Saki, Ray Bradbury, M R James, Audrey Niffenegger....and many more!I know that Halloween is over, but good ghost stories are great reading for anytime of the year.Grab a blanket and settle down with this fantastic book!!

  • Laurie
    2019-03-14 21:16

    Overall, a very good collection of straight-up ghost stories & some that are mere haunting stories. They flowed together very well, at times almost too well to distinguish, with an overlapping feeling of wistful melancholia.The Black Cat - Edgar Allan Poe: 4*, ooooh this one is f**cked up!Secret Life, with Cats - Audrey Niffenegger: 4*Pomegranate Seed - Edith Wharton: 4*The Beckoning Fair One - Oliver Onions: 3*, a bit long, but a slow creeperThe Mezzotint - M.R. James: 5*Honeysuckle Cottage - P.G. Wodehouse: 5*, Hilarious!Click-Clack the Rattlebag - Neil Gaiman: 5*, short and not-very-sweetThey - Rudyard Kipling: 4*, bittersweetPlaymates - A.M. Burrage: 3*The July Ghost - A.S. Byatt, 3* Laura - Saki: 3*, pretty funnyThe Open Window - Saki: 4*, a classicThe Specialist's Hat - Kelly Link: 3*, creepyTiny Ghosts - Amy Giacalone, 3*The Pink House - Rebecca Curtis, 3*, kind of long & goofy but chilling towards the end!August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains - Ray Bradbury: 5*

  • Ines
    2019-02-17 01:00

    i received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review for me is a 3,5 stars.....i appreciated this book and i found interesting stories in it, i was expecting a little bit more scary, mistery and suspense pieces......most of them were with a too linear plot............the ending were more likely predictable.......for non english readers....i found a not easy writing, i had to check a lot the dictionary... some of the terms are not the everyday you can read in modern books.....

  • Heidi
    2019-03-09 20:59

    Three and a half stars: An interesting mix of ghostly stories for those who want an eclectic variety.What is about a good ghost story that keeps us coming back for more? Is it that we are curious about our own mortality? Do we want a good scare? Are we looking for proof of life after death? Perhaps it is something simpler, perhaps it is because we want to be entertained, and we like to be frightened. Especially in the Fall as the shadows lengthen and lurk a little longer in the corners. For those of you who enjoy ghostly tales, Ms. Niffengegger has compiled a collection of stories that will show you how long the ghost story has been around, and how it has evolved. This book draws upon classic authors like Poe, Wharton, Kipling, Gaiman and Bradbury. So settle in and prepare for some ghosts.What I Liked:*I appreciated that this book drew upon a vast range of stories and authors. Many of the stories are older, dating back to the 19th and 20th century. Even though it takes a moment to get used to the older language and writing, it was easy to be immersed in the stories.*I liked the range of the stories. Most were the type where the reader was left pondering on what happened. Was it a ghost or something else? For those of you who shy away from ghost stories because you don't want to be scared, fear not, this is a set of stories you can read an enjoy as most aren't particularly scary. Here is a quick run down of the stories:The Black Cat by Edgar Allan PoeThis was a typical Poe type story with murder, hiding of the body and betrayal by an unlikely source. This story blended elements from some other Poe stories, i.e. building of wall to encompass a body, falling into madness, etc. I liked the story, but I was put off by the violence to the cat. I was pleased that the narrator got what was coming to him in the end for his abhorrent behavior. Three StarsSecret Life, With Cats by Audrey NeffeneggerThis was a strange little story about a woman who seems to have a good, comfortable marriage and life, but then she starts volunteering at a cat shelter. She makes a friend, and when her friend later dies, she inherits her house. The house has a strange little secret in the basement. Shudders......Three starsPomegranate Seed by Edith WhartonThis was a tale that left me scratching my head as I am not sure exactly what went down. It is about a woman who recently married a widower. For months, he has been receiving strange letters all in the same hand. The wife confronts her husband, and he assures her everything is fine, but she frets that he has a mistress. The next day, she cannot reach her husband, and things take a strange turn when she opens the letter. Is the ghost of his deceased wife haunting him?Three and a half starsThe Beckoning Fair One by Oliver OnionsThis is the longest and probably the most peculiar story in the collection. It is about an author who rents a floor of an abandoned house. He restores the floor and takes up residence. When he tries to write, he cannot as he is preoccupied with the house, and convinced he is being haunted by a beautiful ghost. This is a story of a man spiraling into madness. The question is whether it is the house that is causing him to go mad or is it himself? Three and a half starsThe Mezzotint by M. R. JamesThis is a disturbing little tale about a painting that appears to be haunted. Is the painting acting out some scene from long ago when a robed figure crept in and stole a baby, or is it imagination? That is up to the reader to decide.Three starsThe Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. WodehouseThis was an interesting story about a writer who inherits a house from his aunt, who was also a writer. While inhabiting the house, the confirmed bachelor seems to be thrust right into one of his aunt's sickeningly sweet, romantic novels. He tries to fight off what is happening to him, but he is failing. Will he become entangled into the romantic story? Four starsClick Clack the Rattlebag by Neil GaimanThe best story in the book. This is a short little tale, just a few pages in length, but it packs a punch. It is about a man visiting some friends, who encounters a little boy who tells him a strange tale about creatures who suck out the essence of a human through their eyes, leaving a bag of bones and skin that rattles in the wind. Where did the boy hear such a frightening story?Five starsThey by Rudyard KiplingThis was a story about a man who, by chance, finds a lovely estate in the woods where an old, blind woman lives with a bunch of children. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to catch a glimpse of the elusive children. This was a story where it was very easy for me to pick up on what was going on from the beginning. I felt like this story dragged because it was full of lengthy descriptions, and I was unsure as to what happened at the end. Two starsPlaymates by A.M. BarrageA story about a man who takes in a young girl as his ward. At first, he pays little attention to the girl, but once he moves into a house in the country, the girl begins to change. She is smiling and happy, and always playing in the school room with her imaginary friends. I liked the way the man and the girl changed, due to the playmates. Four starsThe July Ghost by A.S. ByattAnother strange little story about a mother who is suffering with losing her child. She wants nothing more in the world than to see her son one more time. When the man she is renting a room to her in house starts seeing her ghost, she becomes distressed. I liked the ghost, but this story fell short for me. I really didn't get it. Two starsLaura and the Open Window by SakiTwo little tales by this author. Both of these stories were short but packed a punch. The first one was about someone dying and possibly reincarnating as an otter... is it possible? The second, is more famous and one I have read before, about a young woman who tricks a stranger into believing he is seeing ghosts. A great little read.Four starsThe Specialists Hat by Kelly LinkThis was another one of those head scratching tales. Two young, twins move into a strange old house with their father after their mother dies. They are a bit obsessed with death. One night, a babysitter comes, and this babysitter is a bit strange. Not sure what really happened at the end of this one. Something sinister.Two starsTiny Ghosts Amy GiacloneThis was a funny, lighter story about a couple who suddenly start seeing little ghosts in their home. These ghosts are rude, and they have attitudes. Funny, and light, and I liked the way they ended up getting rid of the ghosts.Three starsThe Pink House by Rebecca CurtisA story that opens the door to the possibility of possession by a ghost. Not particularly creepy, but it ends with a bang, and it gives the reader something to ponder. I ended up liking this strange little story. Four StarsAugust 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray BradburyThis really isn't a ghost story per say, but was a great way to end the book. A short spin by Bradbury that takes you to a futuristic house that takes care of everything: the cooking, cleaning, maintenance and care of its family. The problem, the family is gone and the house is the only one standing after some cataclysmic disaster. A bit sad to see this ghost house functioning, taking care of no one. Four and a half stars.This was an interesting collection, that provides stories from authors dating back to Poe to modern day. It is an eclectic batch of stories, and I liked sampling the different styles. Some were stronger than others, and many left me scratching my head. Still it was a fun read, and if you like ghost stories, this is a fun way to sample ghost stories from the past to present, and to see how they have evolved. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. [email protected] Day Ramblings.

  • Jan W. McG
    2019-03-13 00:06

    Really a disappointment. Some of these stories are rare jewels. Others left me asking, "What?"The spooky, ghostly aspect just wasn't there. Most of the stories were vague, and a few were simply disconnected. Just not for me.

    2019-02-28 23:15

    Even if I already knew some of the stories collected in this book, reading them all together with some new other short tales made me shiver, right now I'm so frightened that I would even iron instead of going to bed. Some authors are well known, like Poe and Saki, some not for ghost stories like Edith Wharthon, but still all of them are worth reading.Anche se alcune delle storie raccolte in questo volume le conoscevo, leggerle assieme con altre che erano novitá mi ha fatto venire i brividi, in questo momento ho talmente tanta paura che piuttosto che andare a dormire mi metto anche a stirare. Alcuni autori sono conosciuti, come Poe e Saki, altri magari sono famosi ma non per aver scritto storie di fantasmi come per esempio Edith Wharthon, ma tutti vanno letti perché ne vale proprio la pena.THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND SCRIBNER FOR THE PREVIEW!

  • Karly
    2019-03-05 20:06

    I haven't read a scary story anthology since Schwartz's Scary Stories in grade school. I didn't realize until I started this book that not all ghost stories are scary stories. In fact, while the selections seem arbitrary, some of them were hilarious and charming; then others were melancholy, creepy, and downright scary. Most were written in the early 20th century or earlier, when it was easier to be frightened in candlelight and when ghosts liked to write letters. But there were some modern day stories that were good too. I wasn't a huge fan of this book during the middle, but the last 3 or 4 stories really pulled me in. I get the sense that there are better ghost story anthologies out there, but this was a good selection. And Niffenegger's own illustrations were a good addition.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-11 00:27

    this was 4 and a half stars for me. I realized that I really like ghost stories, and am not such a big fan of horror. The majority of stories were by classic authors including Poe, Kipling, Wharton, and Ray Bradbury. Niffenegger chose the best of the best and even included two newer authors. If you like ghost stories, this is for you!

  • Nicola Mansfield
    2019-03-12 03:02

    A varied selection of ghost stories from Victorian era through to modern day authors. The spooky ghost theme is consistent throughout the collection though sometimes the reader is left with deciding whether it is a story of the paranormal or madness. The writing, however, varies widely from Gothic to humour to horror to simply odd and so on making it a decidedly inconsistent anthology. Overall, I found the selections mediocre, some better than others, a few great, but more than a few less than good. There were some I'd read before and the older ones were my favourites. There were classic stories by Poe, Oliver Onions and M.R. James but surprisingly my favourite in the entire collection was a modern story by a new-to-me author, Kelly Link. Almost all the older authors I've read before, if not these specific tales, but I just wasn't wowed by their representative stories. They have so many much better titles to choose from. Certainly not one of my favourite anthologies, but if you haven't read any of these authors before they are worth reading.1. The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe (1843) - I've read this many times and reviewed it before. Quintessential Poe with many of his oft-repeated themes. The cat episode never fails to get at me. A little iffy as to whether it is a ghost story, though. (5/5)2. Secret Life with Cats by Audrey Niffenegger (2006) - Ok this is certainly freaky. Freaky in a weird way and puts an entirely new spin on the idea of the crazy cat lady. Fun to read but the ending didn't seem to fit the character. (3/5)3. Pomegranate Seed by Edith Wharton (1931) - Gahhh! This was decidedly dull with an incredibly predictable melodramatic ending. (2/5)4. The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions (1911) - The collection's novella, this is a very long story. I haven't come across this author before but I'll be sure to look out for his name from now on. Very satisfying story that has us thinking all over the place. Either a ghost story or a descent into madness with a completely shocking ending that took me by surprise. The ending really makes the story worth the read. (5/5)5. The Mezzotint by M.R. James (1904) - Oooh! Spooky! I loved this and the writing. James is a wonderful writer from this period. A man receives a picture and every time he looks at it, it has changed. Very creepy when he finds out the history of the engraving. (5/5)6. Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. Wodehouse (1925) - The intro to this story says it's funny but I'm not a huge fan of Wodehouse and found the story a bit insipid and silly rather than ha-ha funny. A dyed-in-the-wool bachelor writer of mysteries inherits his romance writer aunt's house and finds it haunted by the spirit of wholesome head-over-heels love stories. Readable enough to keep my attention, though. (3/5)7. Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman (2013) - Fast forward to modern times and here is a very short creepy story from Gaiman. It's certainly creepy enough but the pov it's written from isn't possible if we're to believe the intended doomed ending. I'm not big on Gaiman. (3/5)8. They by Rudyard Kipling (1904) - A man drives upon a secluded manor with a large garden of fanciful topiaries and spies assorted children. Then he meets the young, beautiful blind mistress of the estate. Quite haunting though overly sentimental. (3/5)9. Playmates by A.M. Burrage (1927) - Well-written though fairly straightforward 'nice' ghost story. A lonely young girl is raised alone by her elderly guardian, they move to an inherited old house and her usual glum manner eventually brightens up. Her guardian and the housekeeper think she has made up some imaginary friends but we, the reader, can figure out what these so-called friends really are. (3/5)10. The July Ghost by A.S. Byatt (1982) - A man rents upper rooms from a married woman and soon learns he is the only one being visited by her 11yo son who was killed in a traffic accident two years ago. This was just boring. (1/5)11. Laura by Saki aka H.H. Munroe (1914) - Saki is hit and miss with me; usually a miss and this was one of those. A woman is on her death bed talking about how she supposes she will be reincarnated as an otter. Of course, she does. The humour falls flat on me and I just found it stupid. (1/5)12. The Open Window by Saki aka H.H. Munro (1914) - Now this one is a hit. I've read it before, but it always delights. A teenage girl plays a nasty trick on a distraught visiting man. Dark humour. (5/5)13. The Specialist's Hat by Kelly Link (1998) - This is a new-to-me author and I found this a spooky ghost story. It is a babysitter story and I admit to enjoying creepy babysitter tales. This one runs counter to your usual bb-sitter horror, and because of that is indeed a unique twist and haunting tale that slowly reveals it's rather unexpected ending. Probably my favourite in the entire collection. (5/5)14. Tiny Ghosts by Amy Giacalone (2015; previously unpublished) - This is just silly, but I guess the moral is not to let anyone push you around. (2/5)15. The Pink House by Rebecca Curtis (2014) - A woman tells a gathering of writers and painters an obscure true ghost story which happened to her over a period of seven years. At the end, the listeners tell her what they think of her tale, which isn't much at all and I felt the same way. Strange, but in a "why bother" way. (2/5)16. August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury (1950, orig. "April 1985") - A haunting, tale that tells the last day in the life of an automated house that survived the nuclear apocalypse. Chilling. It is dated, though, and changing the stories time-frame date from 1985 to 2026 doesn't fix that. I can take the piece more seriously as intended, from a Cold War perspective. I'd give the original 5 stars but give the edited date version four. (4/5)

  • Stephen Collins
    2019-03-18 00:17

    Here we have classic stories from Poe,James,Saki,Bradbury & rare tale from reason I thought try this Oliver Onions his short stories are difficult to find. Manly because lot of people will not believe he is real Onions!

  • Christine
    2019-03-03 22:20

    Everyone should have a quest and mine is finding the perfect ghost story. What better place to find a great ghost story than in a book of just such stories put together by Audrey Niffenegger (Time Traveler’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry)?Each story has an introduction by Ms. Niffenegger that explains a little bit about the story’s author, some background on the story itself and why she decided to include it in this collection. It also includes some charming illustrations drawn by Ms. Niffenegger.The stories are quite diverse both in when they were written (some as early as the 1700’s) and their authors; some very well known as Poe and Bradbury and others unfamiliar to me. Also included were more contemporary fiction such as the story by Ms. Niffenegger herself. In my self proclaimed quest for a good, scary ghost story I’ve read many so it surprised that the ones I enjoyed the most were the two included by Saki, an author I have not read before. The stories were very tightly written, had the fright factor yet were on the humorous side. “Click, Clack the Rattlebag” by Neil Gaiman was a definite favorite as well.Haunted houses, possessed people, ghostly places and strange objects were all given a nod. While, admittedly, not every story appealed to me – which is expected when reading a collection – overall, Ms. Niffenegger made some good choices. Spanning many eras of writing I also found it interesting to see how writing and content changed over the years. It was very clear when seeing stories brought together in one book. The only drawback in my opinion (and the reason for my rating) was that some of the stories included left me wondering if it was truly a ghost story or a description of someone losing their grip on their own sanity … maybe sometimes it’s the same thing?So have I found my “perfect” ghost story yet … probably not … but the journey is what makes the quest so much fun!The stories in this collection are:• 'The Black Cat' by Edgar Allen Poe• 'Secret Life, With Cats' by Audrey Niffenegger• 'Pomegranate Seed' by Edith Wharton• 'The Beckoning Fair One' by Oliver Onions• 'The Mezzotint' by M.R. James• 'Honeysuckle Cottage' by P.G. Wodehouse• 'Click Clack the Rattlebag' by Neil Gaiman• 'They' by Rudyard Kipling• 'Playmates' by A.M. Burrage• 'The July Ghost' by A.S. Byatt• 'Laura' by Saki• 'The Open Window' by Saki• 'The Specialist's Hat' by Kelly Link• 'Tiny Ghosts' by Amy Giacalone• 'The Pink House' by Rebecca Curtis• 'August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains' by Ray Bradbury*I received this ebook at no charge from Simon and Schustervia Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *Some pretty exciting news from her website “Currently, I am working on a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Wife. The working title is The Other Husband. I am also continuing to work on The Chinchilla Girl in Exile and artwork for an exhibition at Printworks Gallery in September 2016.”My curiosity is piqued and I know I definitely want to read “The Other Husband”.

  • Rodney
    2019-02-16 23:04

    I wrote a whole big thing about why I'm obsessed with ghost stories, but meh. TL;DR: setting, memory, and gender. Just like everything else I'm interested in. I absolutely loved "The Specialist's Hat" and "The Beckoning Fair One." Those two were the creepiest masterpieces of the form I've ever read. Like reread every once in a while for the rest of your life, on that level.All of Edith Wharton's ghost stories, including "Pomegranate Seed," collected here, is gorgeous, top-shelf stuff. Read it all. Much as Ursula Le Guin is my favorite realist author, Edith Wharton is pretty much my favorite speculative author. The rest is a mixed bag. Most were pretty good. I didn't get the Rudyard Kipling story AT ALL but I liked it anyway, cause that's how I am. Some were pretty predictable (Why do you not realize that kid is a GHOST?). Only a couple were AWFUL (Saki, my friend, there will never exist a world in which a woman reincarnated as a fucking otter is scary). And my shame is that I'm not on Team Gaiman at all (Why do you not realize that kid is a GHOST, Neil?!)The problem with ghost story collections is that the mood is often spoiled by the story being in a ghost story collection in the first place. So, for instance, the AS Byatt story would've landed a little better had I not known going in what was up. As modern ghost collections go, this is a pretty good one, though.

  • Annie Joyce
    2019-03-17 20:09

    Loved pretty much all but 2 of these stories! Satisfyingly creepy and weird.

  • Jay
    2019-02-24 21:25

    3.5 stars Honestly wasn't sure how to rate this book, as with most collections, because some of the stories were five stars some one, and most inbetween.

  • Rachel Dalton
    2019-02-24 23:07

    I think it's always difficult when to go into a book expecting one thing, and to get another. Audrey Niffenegger is the author of my all-time favorite book, "The Time Traveler's Wife," so I was excited to read a book that she compiled of her favorite ghost stories. There were some big names in this anthology, to be sure: Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, and Niffenegger herself.I picked up this book wanting a scary read to curl up with in the weeks leading up to Halloween. But I found that these particular stories, while still ghost stories, were more understated than I would have liked. I was looking for more of the "jump out and scare you" kind of ghosts, but got more of the vague "was it a ghost or was it not?" Maybe that desire/complaint makes me sound less sophisticated, but oh well.That being said, I didn't hate this book. Many of the stories were great reads. My favorites were "Pomegranate Seed" by Edith Wharton, "Honeysuckle Cottage" by P.G. Wodehouse, "Click Clack the Rattlebag" by Neil Gaiman, "Laura" by Saki, "The Specialist's Hat" by Kelly Link, "Tiny Ghosts" by Amy Giacalone, "The Pink House" by Rebecca Curtis, and "August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury (the last of which I have loved for many years). Perhaps the two most surprising reads were by two authors I have never heard of before - Amy Giacalone and Rebecca Curtis. "Tiny Ghosts" was a ghost story, but it is also about a women learning to be happy with herself and not give a damn about what anyone thinks - let alone a ghost. This is always a message I can appreciate. "The Pink House" was exactly the kind of story I was looking for in this collection. It had me captivated until the final page, and I look forward to reading more of Curtis' work. Niffenegger's contribution to the collection is not my favorite work by her. Her stuff is often kind of offbeat and edgy, but this was downright horrifying. Still, she paints a very vivid picture and is able to surprise you. I was just a little grossed out by this one. Plus, I hate cats. Final miscellaneous thought: I was disappointed that "The Black Cat" was the Poe piece chosen for this anthology. With so many dark, suspenseful tales, I thought this was a dull choice. I would have much preferred "The Tell Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Masque of the Red Death", or "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Maybe a little more mainstream, but they are for a reason. So, not what I was expecting, but I was still happy that I was able to read some stories by some authors I was already familiar with, and some new ones that I'm excited to read more of!

  • Jennifer Rayment
    2019-02-18 02:13

    The Good StuffMy favorite story by far was , by Neil Gaiman (the man is a truly incredible writer who never wastes a word) - those are my types of ghost stories kids - sorry. I shivered at the end, it was the type of story we used to tell each other at sleepovers. You know the ones, right, keeps you up at nightEven the stories I didn't enjoy, I do appreciate the sense of mood they createdSome truly unique storiesThe Beckoning Fair One is wonderfully moody with a sense of foreboding The Mezzotint was delightfully dark and creepy and stayed with me for quite a while I also enjoyed Playmates, a very haunting yet empathetic tale (and as Niffenegger mentions, really shows you the resilience of children)The tale by Rudyard Kipling is creepy, yet beautiful. You really feel the authors griefGot a kick out of Laura by Saki. Ok, all I can say is that it is dark and funny and involves an Otter, what's not to loveI've read The Open Window before and it was pure delight to read again.Tiny Ghosts was wickedly odd and funny, it was my 2nd favorite next to Neil Gaiman's story There is a Ray Bradbury story, and damn that man was a wicked writer. Like Gaiman, not a word wasted. A truly gifted author. This one is not your usual ghost story, but something more horrific, because you can see the reality of it and that is more horrific than any ghost storyUm, the Edgar Allan Poe story, made me start being even nicer to my cat The Not So Good StuffNot my favorite types of ghost stories in this collection. Found them a little too literary for my taste. This isn't a bad thing, just a personal preference I don't trust my cat now (Also note to self: never piss off your cat or um die before someone can find you)I am a ghost story nerd so I was very much looking forward to reading this, but I was a tad disappointed, as many were very old fashioned and outdated for this generation. Again not a bad thing, just a personal preferenceFavorite Quotes"we all wonder about death, but we don't understand it. Ghost stories are speculations. little experiments in death""Coke is very bad for you, ' said the boy. "If you puta tooth in coke, in the morning it will be dissolved into nothing. That's how bad Coke is for you and why you must always clean your teeth, every night.""I'd heard the Coke story as a boy, and had been told, as an adult, that it wasn't true, but was certain that a lie which promoted dental hygiene was a good lie, and I'd let it pass.""Because I can't stop my body and mind waiting, every day, every day, I can't let go."3 Dewey'sI received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review

  • Diane
    2019-02-25 21:08

    Ghostly, was a pleasant surprise, an awesome collection of short ghost stories. Each story can be completed in a short sitting, preferably by a nice warm fire or glowing candle with something warm to drink. Each story begins with a small intro and illustrations, and each selection has a specific theme as well: loss, cats, houses, children and unrequited love -- things and places that are often thought of as being haunted. All are about death in some way.I enjoyed almost every story in this collection. My absolute favorite was one written by the author: "Secret Life With Cats", which I found to be very personal and moving as well. The story of a lonely marriage, volunteer time at a cat shelter, an elderly woman who disappears and a new life. Other stories that I thought were great were: "A Black Cat," Edgar Allan Poe: a creepy mean man and a cat who get's revenge on him. Edith Whaton's, "Pomaganate Seed," was very good, as was "Tiny Ghosts"; Amy Giacalone, which was a ghost story that made me laugh, and "The Pink House"; Rebecca Curtis, which was deliciously creepy. "Honeysuckle Cottage" by P.D. Wodehouse was also very good as was "Click Clack the Rattlebag "by Neil Gaiman. One story felt seriously date, "They"; Rudyard Kipling.It doesn't matter if you believe in ghosts or not to enjoy this collection, and I doubt that reading any of these stories will cause you to wake from sleep screaming either. The illustrations are lovely, and honestly, this may be a book that I'll have to buy and reread each October, I enjoyed it that much.4.5/5 stars----http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.c...

  • V.R. Barkowski
    2019-03-16 02:08

    This collection of ghost stories assembled and introduced by Audrey Niffenegger is a delight. Tales run the gamut from Poe’s macabre masterpiece, “The Black Cat,” to Amy Giacalone’s laugh-out-loud, “Tiny Ghosts” and PG Wodehouse’s, “Honeysuckle Cottage.” A seemingly disproportionate number of the stories have protagonists who happen to be writers. Difficult to say if this was intentional on Niffenegger’s part. Perhaps writers are more likely to be haunted? Reader beware: Ghostly is more a survey of fine ghost tales than an anthology of scary stories. Still, there is plenty here to lift the hairs on the back of the reader’s neck. Given modern technology and today’s political climate, Ray Bradbury’s post-apocalyptic, “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains,” made my blood run cold. Thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for the opportunity to read and review this title.

  • Helen
    2019-03-07 19:11

    Edited by Audrey Niffenegger, this is an astoundingly great selection of ghost stories, from every era. The ones involving children, "They," "Playmates," and The July Ghost," were positively haunting; I could feel tears collecting in the corners of my eyes. "Honeysuckle Cottage" had me laughing out loud;"The Black Cat," "The Mezzotint," and "Click Clack the Rattlebag" were prickles-up-and-down-your-back spooky--but the ones I really admired were the modern ghost stories, "Secret Life with Cats," "The Specialist's Hat," Tiny Ghosts," and "The Pink House," proving that you don't need a spooky Victorian mansion to tell a good ghost story. The book ends with "August 2026, There Will Come Soft Rains," by Ray Bradbury. It's a chilling story that serves as a warning to us all.

  • Megan Jones
    2019-03-05 02:27

    This was an outstanding collection of haunting stories! Each one was unique, original, and thought-provoking - exactly what I look for in intriguing reads. I read a few negative reviews, but I believe that Niffenegger's Introduction actually touches on the fact that this is NOT the typical ghost story collection, nor is it a survey of a genre, instead she admits to simply liking these stories. And because I like her work as an author, I agree that these are fantastic stories. While "The Black Cat" by Poe is widely anthologized, it as well as a few classics were perfect compliments to the more modern short stories. This definitely put me in the holiday spirit!

  • Anna H
    2019-03-10 22:59

    Meh. Not great for modern readers of horror. If you grew up reading Stephen King or you're a fan of film director (genius) James Wan, these will disappoint. Victorian-era ghost stories -- which most of these are -- are not really "scary" in the modern sense. Mostly they're pretty boring. Ghosts back then seemed to represent the hauntings in characters' lives more than supernatural presence. Neil Gaiman's story was good and there were a couple others that were OK but I wouldn't recommend taking time out of my life to read this if you're a modern horror fan. Collections of short stories typically disappoint me anyway, but these really left me wanting more.

  • Kate
    2019-02-24 01:19

    I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for a review.Audrey Niffenegger is an expert in the off-beat and creepy (see Her Fearful Symmetry), so it's only fitting that she bring together a collection a non-traditional ghost stories just in time for Halloween. Sure, it's got your standard work of Poe, but Niffenegger also includes stories from authors not normally known for hauntings, including P. G. Wodehouse, Edith Wharton and Ray Bradbury. This is a book that makes you rethink what constitutes a ghost stories, and whether hauntings are really scarier than what exists inside the human mind.

  • Michael
    2019-03-13 01:02

    My wife and I decided to read this book together for Halloween and I absolutely loved it. There are so many great ghost stories in here, including a lot of funny/ironic stories, which were among my favorites. There are also two magnificent stories from two undisputed legends, which were probably my absolute favorites of the entire collection: Click Clack the Rattle Bag by Neil Gaiman and August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. Some other notable favorites include: Tiny Ghosts, Honeysuckle Cottage, and Laura.

  • Chelsea
    2019-02-19 22:27

    Absolutely wonderful collection of stories. This collection is diverse and full of surprises. When i picked this up i was expecting more horror, instead i was pleasantly met with horror with a purpose. Stories examined death, grief, mourning, descent into madness and much more. There are numerous stories in this collection i would recommend and others i plan on studying for my own writing. A must read for aspiring writers, especially those who want to send powerful messages through or about ghosts, death, and the mindset there of.