Friday, October 25, 2013

The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings

The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings (The Dark Horse Book of..., #1)The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings by Scott Allie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another library find that works very well for October Scare Fest reading.  Probably my most favorite type of horror/scary story is ghost stories. Even though ghost stories have been around, well, forever, they have the potential to be very diverse. And I feel that each one can feel different.  I haven't read very many graphic novel-format ghost stories, so this was a new one for me.  Wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I think that the authors successfully plumbed the deep waters of the ghost story, with each one in this volume having a distinct feel.

Truthfully, there were two prose narratives.  The first was a classic, "Thurnley Abbey" by Perceval Landon.  It feels very much like a classic story, and that's good. I feel that the actual ghost was a bit unclear, but I am not unappreciative of a ghost story that depends more on atmosphere than description of the actual scare-causing element. The accompanying illustrations were lovely.  I liked it.  Definitely gave me the classic ghost story infusion I enjoy so much.  The other, "Spirit Rescue", was an interview with a medium IL Dreller.  It was interesting hearing his encounters with real-life ghosts and his insight into the modern spiritualist movement.  I do believe in ghosts in real life. And I watch all the ghost shows, so it was an interesting addition to this book.

As far as the graphic novel stories, I enjoyed them all. The artwork was uniformly well done, showcasing the distinctive styles of all the contributors.  I enjoyed Mignola's addition, "Dr. Carp's Experiment," but that's no surprise.  I actually liked all the stories. My favorite was "Stray", which is about a poor Beagle whose dog house is haunted and has to get some professional help from a ghost hunting dog. It was cute!  Some of the stories were definitely eerie, although none were "I can't sleep" scary.

Overall a good collection, and a quick read.  Recommend to fans of both graphic novels and ghosts.

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