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I Belong


Guest Author: Scott Nicholson (Guest Post & Kindle Giveaway)

Please join me in welcoming author Scott Nicholson here today to Dark Faerie Tales.  Scott is here today to talk a bit about ghosts and his novel, Speed Dating with the dead.  Be sure to check out the previous stops on his blog tour.  Scott always does really interesting and engaging guest posts.

One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a Kindle DX or Kindle 3.  As always, details are listed at the end of the post.

Welcome Scott!

What’s Your Favorite Ghost?

By Scott Nicholson

Everybody loves a good ghost story, and they’ve been used everywhere, from “Hamlet” to “The Lovely Bones,” covering the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Ghosts have always been my primary paranormal trope of choice, having been raised in the Appalachian front-porch storytelling tradition. But even after I grew up and started reading in lots of genres, I tended to enjoy ghost stories the most. Some of my favorites are “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson and the “Haunted” series by James Herbert.

Stephen King’s “The Shining” is amazing, and those two twin girls in the Kubrick movie version are one of the creepiest images I’ve ever seen on film. What I like best about ghosts and haunted houses are the psychological implications, especially when you can’t tell whether there’s an actual haunting or if something is merely weighing on the protagonist’s sanity.

Alexandra Sokoloff’s “The Harrowing” and “The Price,” Deborah Leblanc’s “A House Divided,” and Christopher Ransom’s “The Birthing House” are modern books that fall under this category. J.T. Warren’s “Hudson House” is a creepy new haunted house tale, and William Meikle spins a good supernatural yarn.

For the record, Casper the Friendly Ghost always annoyed me, and I don’t get any special thrill out of books like “The Lovely Bones” or J.N. Williamson’s “Ghost,” (filmed as the Swayze/Moore movie) where the supernatural is not spooky. However, I enjoy a novel like Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca,” where the “ghost” is the presence and influence a dead woman casts over the lives of survivors.

I definitely prefer suspense to gore, and ghosts seem to impart a particular brand of menace just because you’re not quite sure what they might do. A vampire’s going to suck your blood, a zombie will eat your brains, a werewolf will shred you to ribbons, but a ghost? What’s the motivation?

When I use ghosts in my work, such as in The Red Church, Creative Spirit, or Speed Dating with the Dead, they usually have a dual role of delivering some sort of message from beyond but also projecting a threat. That reflects the combination of curiosity and fear with which I view the afterlife.

Some of my favorite ghost movies are “The Others,” “Session 9,” “Dead Birds,” and even “The Sixth Sense,” which is kind of “your parent’s brand of horror.” Once you’ve been to paranormal conferences and see relatively sane people stand there and claim to be seeing and talking to ghosts, cinema ghosts lose a little of their luster. Still, the element of the unpredictable remains fresh, and ghost stories tend to age well across the generations.

And maybe it’s no coincidence that classic writers like Shakespeare, Dickens, James, and Twain dabbled in the supernatural. Despite their distinguished presence in English literature, spirits aren’t as prominent in fiction these days. I suspect it’s because the paranormal and urban fantasy genres are heavily skewed to romance at the moment, and getting it on with a ghost isn’t so visually appealing.

But ghosts keep popping up in virtually every other genre, so it’s safe to say ghosts will never die. What are some of your favorite ghost novels and movies?


————-

This week’s Scott special is As I Die Lying, 99 cents for a limited time.

Author Bio:

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Disintegration, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

You can visit Scott around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:


To be eligible for the Kindle DX or Kindle 3, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. Scott is also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details can be found here.


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131 Responses to “Guest Author: Scott Nicholson (Guest Post & Kindle Giveaway)

  1. SaytuNo Gravatar
    1

    When I was a kid I was convinced that my house was haunted! The floors would creak, weird noises always came from the closet doors and sometimes I would get this creepy feeling that somebody…or something was watching me. Add to the fact that I have an overactive imagination, my childhood years were filled with nightmares. And yet I still love a good ghost story :)!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    moc.liamgnull@2m.utyas

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  2. LaQuietNo Gravatar
    2

    I’m not really fond of ghost stories, though they are part of the paranormal genre I read. lol

    Count me in for a Kindle! :D

    LaQuiet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. JesseNo Gravatar
    3

    I’ll have to say that “The Sixth Sense” is my favorite ghost story. As for ghost books, I don’t think or recall having coming across a ghost book that became a favorite of mine. I’ll have to check out those books you mentioned in the blog.

    -Jesse

    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

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  4. DaleNo Gravatar
    4

    Saw The Lovely Bones over the weekend and as a single father this movie actually made me tear up. A very touching movie that I highly recommend.

    dalelmurphy(at)gravesidetales(dot)com

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  5. Joe F.No Gravatar
    5

    Love it!

    moc.liamgnull@hcsifahpesoj

    Joe F.

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  6. CristyNo Gravatar
    6

    The Shining by Stephen King is my favorite ghost story/movie. Probably because that’s the only ghost movie that realy freaked me out.

    Suha57(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. HODGEPODGESPVNo Gravatar
    7

    i’m thinking about getting speed dating next. moc.oohaynull@nahguavps

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  8. Rabid FoxNo Gravatar
    8

    The Lovely Bones is a great book, easily one of my favorites from the last decade. As far as movies go, I recently caught a trailer for a horror movie that had slipped my mind despite the fact I had enjoyed it so much when I saw it. The Abandoned is a horror film set in the Russian wilderness and is absolutely frightening.

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  9. Jessica B.No Gravatar
    9

    I can’t think of one that is my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read some ghost stories but they don’t catch my attention as much. And I can’t really think of one book or movie off the top of my head (tho you did mention Casper and someone else mentioned Sixth Sense which are both ghost movies that I’ve seen)

    jessangil at gmail dot com

    -Jessica

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  10. liberarypatNo Gravatar
    10

    Afraid I have to go with the “your parents’ brand of horror.” I really scare too easily. GHOST, the movie, and THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR are about my speed. I never saw the rationale behind scaring myself so badly that I can’t turn off the lights to go to bed and I have nightmares. More power to those who can handle it.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

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  11. EmilyNo Gravatar
    11

    Thanks!
    Emily ebdye1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Horror BooksNo Gravatar
    12

    I used to think little of ghosts in horror fiction but lately I’ve had cause to change my mind.

    The first book to scare me after a decade long dry spell was The City of Masks by Daniel Hecht. That was about five years ago and it really creeped me out. Re-reading it this year did not affect me so drastically as the first time. The other two books in the series did not scare me at all.

    This week I’ve been listening to the MP3 version of the Amityville Horror which I treat as fiction. I read the book when it first came out and it scared me. Of course I was a teenager then so I figured it was youth.

    Yesterday I was listening to the book (I was about one third of the way through) and rolling soggy pumpkins into a trash bag at midnight when a car alarm went off and scared the out of me! The story continued and I was seriously creeped out for the next fifteen minutes.

    I’m such a jaded reader that it was an accomplishment to scare me like that.

    Ghost Story and The Shining scared me, but I read them as a teenager too. I haven’t re-read them yet and maybe I should.

    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson never scared me but it was such a wonderful layered book that I’ve read it twice and listened to it twice. Hell House by Richard Matheson and Soulstorm by Chet Williamson both play off of Shirley’s book in fascinating ways.

    Bag of Bones was a delightful book but not scary. But one of my all time favorite books is Tom Piccirilli’s The Choir of Ill Children which is a richly textured southern gothic novel with several different kinds of ghosts.

    I could probably go on but these are the ghost stories that really made an impression on me one way or another.

    Thanks for the contest,
    Greg “The Undead Rat” Fisher

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

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  13. Stacey SmithNo Gravatar
    13

    Not Read much Books with Ghost But love Movies with ghost my Fave is Poltergeist and my moms Fave is the Amityville Horror And there is so meny Good ghost movies out there that I love like the Sixth Sense one of My Fave’s
    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

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  14. Scott NicholsonNo Gravatar
    14

    thanks for all the comments–Greg, Daniel Hecht is a good author, haven’t heard much from him lately

    @stacey Poltergeist is a creepy one

    @karen thanks for trying Drummer Boy–tell a friend!

    @emily no, haven’t been to Crenshaw Place–I haven’t been anywhere spooky in a while besides my computer…

    Scott

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  15. Sharon S.No Gravatar
    15

    I also like suspense over gore (but some good gore never hurts ). I really enjoyed Terri Garey’s Nicki Styx series. It is PNR, but with ghosts and mystery.

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  16. NannyNo Gravatar
    16

    I really want to read this book.

    moc.liamgnull@sweivermn

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  17. IcedreamNo Gravatar
    17

    I love a good ghost story, I agree about King’s The Shining, one of the best at scaring me sensless without having a lot of gore.

    waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

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  18. Michelle @ The True Book AddictNo Gravatar
    18

    Love ghost stories! What about Hell House by Richard Matheson? One of THE most scary books I’ve ever read. Another good ghost story by Stephen King was Bag of Bones, one of my favorites too. Session 9? One of the most scary and creepy movies I’ve ever seen. Just thinking about that one gives me the shivers! :evil:

    truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

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  19. PridgeNo Gravatar
    19

    Another great post :)

    stephanie(.)pridgen(@)gmail(.)com

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  20. Josef B.No Gravatar
    20

    The Red Church – Scott Nicholson

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  21. Dawn MarmaukeNo Gravatar
    21

    I love Scotts writing!
    he makes you think about what you’ve read. And he can scare you.

    Count me in for the Kindle!
    moc.loanull@ekudamramnwad

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  22. DianaNo Gravatar
    22

    Just stopped in to say hi. Have to go ring bells!

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  23. Scott NicholsonNo Gravatar
    23

    Wow, 121 entries! Great going and I wish everyone good luck, thanks Dawn, Josef, Michelle, yes, Richard Matheson is a great writer!

    Keep following, the tour is ALMOST over…

    Scott

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  24. BrianNo Gravatar
    24

    It sucks when life interferes with your blog reading!

    Anyway….

    briank68{at}gmail{dot}com

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  25. Jess (The Cozy Reader)No Gravatar
    25

    I’d consider myself a fan of ghosts in books. I read and loved The Lovely Bones but it was a little sad for my tastes. I also loved The Ghost and the Goth — fun, young, and sweet. :)

    thecozyread @ gmail.com

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  26. Theresa BuckholtzNo Gravatar
    26

    My favorite movie was the sixth sense. We had to watch it twice cause we could not believe the ending. I love watching Ghost Hunters, sometimes they run into some creepy things.

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  27. Joyce HarrellNo Gravatar
    27

    This is a really interesting site…..my husband loves these kinds of stories…I will defintely be sharing with him

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  28. Mary A. StovallNo Gravatar
    28

    I love Ghosts and the paranormal. I’ve read a few books. And I’ve been known to go to Yorktown Battlefield to look for ghosts.I’ve seen a few orbs, no kidding. So my intesrest is HIGH!

    moc.liamtohnull@9511imim

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  29. Doreen RNo Gravatar
    29

    speaking of speed dating….I would never do it.
    Great post. Thanks :)

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  30. OlyaNo Gravatar
    30

    I wasn’t too impressed with “The Lovely Bones,” either, but I do have a soft spot for “Ghost” ;-)

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  31. ElenaNo Gravatar
    31

    Awesome. Ghosts =)
    Count me in, – ed.regnessempopnull@mid_ae

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