Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell Short Story Analysis

133 Poisonwood Avenue Would Be Stronger If It Were A Killer House

“Open House on Haunted Hill” is a Nebula Award winning short (ghost?) story by John Wiswell, published in 2020. I’ve recently immersed myself in ghost stories from the 18- and 1900s. But how does one go about writing a contemporary ghost story? Can modern writers still write an original and surprising ghost story? I mean,……

The Signalman by Charles Dickens Short Story Analysis

“The Signalman” (1866) is a ghost story by iconic English author Charles Dickens. If you’ve ever fantasised about leaving your open office or customer service job to work alone in a tiny box in the middle of nowhere, unbothered and free to get on with your straight-forward but very necessary job, this might be the……

The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of……

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg Picturebook Analysis

“The Widow’s Broom” is a 1992 picture book by American author illustrator Chris Van Allsburg. Like many of Van Allsburg’s books, this one remains popular with teachers, partly because this is a storyteller who requires the reader to do a little work. Students can practise their inference skills in class. Like all good stories which……

Creepy Blue and Black Illustrations

Haunted Houseful is an Alfred Hitchcock collection of stories published in 1961. Fred Banbery (1913-1999) created these very nice illustrations. From what I can gather, the illustrations don’t match the stories especially well, but they would work very well as creative writing inspo. (For instance: Write Your Own Urban Legend.) Fred Banbery (1913- 1999) 1961……

In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories

In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories

In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories written by Alvin Schwartz was first published in 1971 for emergent readers ready for scary… but not too scary. I recently looked closely at a modern picture book called Creepy Carrots, another excellent example of a ‘scary’ story perfectly pitched at 4-6 year olds. This collection……

Illustrating Ghosts

Walter MacEwen - The Absent One on All Souls' Day ghost

Adelaide Claxton (British painter) 1835 – ca. 1905 Charles Altamont Doyle A ghost by Hannes Bok Kazuno Kohara The House Ghost by Ludvig Holberg, illustrated by Hans Tegner 1896 Carl Larsson, Guardian Angel ghost Ghosts! George Cruikshank (1792–1878); from George Cruikshank’s Omnibus, 1842 Illustrator-Rea Irvin (1881-1972) The Illustrated Police News, London, England, December 28, 1872……

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Man-Size In Marble by Edith Nesbit Analysis

Louis Haghe - Tomb de Lalaing Hoogstract 1850

“Man-Size in Marble” (1893) is a gothic short story by Edith Nesbit. You can read it at Project Gutenberg, as part of Nesbit’s Grim Tales collection. This tale is her most widely anthologised short story. What must it be like to be ahead of one’s time? It’s happened to scientists over the years. The guy……