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dreamer31's avatar

What is the best paranormal/ghost book you have ever read?

Asked by dreamer31 (1932points) February 19th, 2011

Anything that has to do with ghosts, catches my attention. I feel I have read almost all of the books about ghosts fiction and nonfiction. So what is the best one you have read?
I am hoping this will give me suggetions that I haven’t thought/heard before.
My favorite was a true story about a woman and her daughters who moved into a haunted house. cannot remember the name of it

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9 Answers

flutherother's avatar

The ghost stories of MR James are I think the best, though Sheridan Le Fanu also wrote some very, very good ghost stories as did Algernon Blackwood.

downtide's avatar

The Greywalker series by Kat Jackson. They’re about a private detective in Seattle who, following a near-death experience, emerged with some weird abilities to sense ghosts, spirits etc, and she ends up with a lot of weird cases as a result.

everephebe's avatar

Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams both have used ghosts in their stories and I quite enjoy their work. The links are books.

MacBean's avatar

There was a book called Stonewords that I loved when I was a kid. I can’t remember who wrote it, though…

When I was a little older I got attached to Hell House by Richard Matheson and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Stir of Echoes by Matheson leaps to mind, as well.

I read The Amityville Horror (please ignore the “A True Story” subtitle) when I was thirteen or so, and found it pleasantly creepy.

Duma Key by Stephen King is ghost-y, and I liked that one.

And speaking of Stephen King, Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Uncle Stevie’s kid) is a recent one that I thought was a pretty good debut novel.

Also, it’s not a ghost story, but I really recommend The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson.. It’s one of my favorite genre pieces of all time.

SmashTheState's avatar

On the Track of the Poltergeist” by legendary parapsychologist Scott Rogo. I had become interested in poltergeist phenomena as a result of living in a house which exhibited some, and found his book fascinating, as I could relate it directly to my own experience.

As far as fiction goes, my favourites would be:

“Ghost Story” by Peter Straub. He writes superbly-written stories with awful plots. This story’s plot is pedestrian, but it’s written with such style and panache that you’ll forget all about the fact that the plot could have been written on an index card with a fat sharpie.

“The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson. She spent her life writing the same story over and over again, about a fragile blonde woman of questionable mental health with repressed lesbian desires. Shirley Jackson was a fragile blonde woman of questionable meantal health; I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader. This story is probably her best. “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality. Even larks are supposed by some to dream. Hill House—not sane—stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within. It had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm and doors were sensibly shut. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

“The Shining” by Stephen King. As a note of trivia, this is the only book which ever made me fear blind. I was reading the book alone, at night, in the attic I rented in an old house. Just as I got to the scene in the hotel room with the bathtub (those of you who’ve read it know what I’m talking about), the floor creaked right beside me. I went instantly fear blind, a phenomenon which occurs when a sudden spike in blood pressure caused by a massive infusion of terror-induced adrenaline makes the arteries in your eyeballs squeeze shut, most often experienced by soldiers in combat.

geeky_mama's avatar

This is under the “paranormal” heading but I really liked: The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

flutherother's avatar

@MacBean I would agree ‘House on the Borderland’ is a classic.

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downtide's avatar

Oh! How could I forget “Phantom of the Opera”! I read quite a few classics because I can get them free for my kindle, and this one had me hooked from start to finish. A REALLY good story.

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