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 “The Best Ghost Stories in Fiction”