The Best Ghost Stories in Fiction

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 1843.

Christmas used to be the time of year to tell ghost stories, both in Western cultures and in many other parts of the world during those longest nights of the year.  Charles Dickens’ tale of a miserly man who finds redemption through the help of undead spirits is a timeless holiday classic that has never been out of print. Lucky for the equally Scrooge-like amongst you, this haunting novella can be read for free online at several archive sites.

The Turn of the Screw and Other Tales by Henry James (1898). 2010.

Henry James is often said to have been one of the greatest writers in the English language and his ghost stories are still considered some of the best ever written. In Turn of the Screw, a governess looks after two children on a remote estate while their single father works in the city. She begins to see two apparitions on the property, and slowly comes to believe the children are communicating with the ghosts she feels are evil. This Broadview edition includes an introduction and appendixes that will probably haunt you for the rest of your days. Containing samples of James’ relevant nonfiction, his inspirations, reception, and “Study of the Supernatural in Nineteenth-Century England and America.” Continue reading

Secret Door Podcast: The Haunting of Vancouver Island

The interview “The Haunting of Vancouver Island with Shanon Sinn” was released by Secret Door Podcast on October 17th. In this episode, I was interviewed by Melissa Martel about The Haunting of Vancouver Island as well as other regional ghost stories.

Melissa also lives on Vancouver Island — in the Courtenay area — so the interview was unique in some ways because she’s more knowledgable about Vancouver Island folklore (outside of the Victoria area) than anyone else who has interviewed me so far. Besides talking about Vancouver Island, we discussed our beliefs and/or skepticism in regards to ghost hunting devices and touched on several other topics as well. Continue reading

Tofino’s Climate Strike

I wanted to share a few photos I took today during Tofino’s Climate Strike. For those of you who don’t know, Tofino is located on Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s where my retro fishing boat, the iDigher, is moored.

Tofino was the first municipality on Vancouver Island that I noticed was attempting to ban single-use plastics such as shopping bags and straws. In 1993, the town was an instrumental ally of Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations during the War in the Woods (where 900 people were arrested). Since then, Tofino has been a firm opponent of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and its proposed increase in tanker traffic.

One could say that Tofino has a long history of social activism and acknowledgment of Indigenous rights, so I was curious to see what kind of turnout there would be today.

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VIU’s Creative Writing Program: A Graduate’s Review

I enrolled at Vancouver Island University during the summer of 2014.

I’d been diagnosed with chemotherapy-caused nerve damage – something I still deal with to this day. I was being medically released from the military and had been offered two years of postsecondary education as part of a payout package.

My disabilities from the nerve damage include sensory pain, digestive issues, fatigue, and cognitive challenges, including slower memory recovery and occasional slurred speech. I feel hung over every morning. My vision can become blurry and it can be difficult to concentrate. As fate would have it, I was also diagnosed with PTSD. Continue reading