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Ghosts––Not necessarily all blood, guts & gore. . .


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#1 Countrymouse

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:48 PM

Somebody, in another forum, asked (and I'm paraphrasing, as I do not have the post before me, so I don't want to misrepresent her question) if her idea for a ghost story had to be blood and guts filled horror.

I know I might have had a similar post in the past. What truly defines horror? But I think it bears repeating that horror encompasses everything from Poe to King to Meyer to Sebold and so on.

Yep, when reading the HWA a few months back, I was surprised to learn that even Sebold's The Lovely Bones can be construed as horror. Who would've thunk?

My ghost stories run the gamut too. The first one I ever wrote, the ghost main character was as mild-mannered and benign as Casper the friendly ghost, yet still, the story had a gothic feel and sufficient back story so that it could fall under the horror umbrella.

Okay, that's my offering for today.
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#2 Tom Bradley

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:03 PM

I dunno. That Casper gives me the heebie-jeebies.

#3 Countrymouse

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

I dunno. That Casper gives me the heebie-jeebies.


Oh, for heaven's sake! Tom . . .

;)
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#4 Tom Bradley

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:17 PM

When in doubt, consult the experts...



#5 Countrymouse

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

When in doubt, consult the experts...

http://youtu.be/lAScd2dZz7U


"EXPERTS", LOL, now THAT'S funny!
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#6 Tom Bradley

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:22 AM

"EXPERTS", LOL, now THAT'S funny!


Hey, they're entertaining anyway.
Ghost Adventures is my newest guilty pleasure. It used to be Dancing with the Stars but it jumped the shark a long time ago and now is just boring.
Of course, I'm probably tempting fate -- a mirror ball ghost probably will haunt me now...

#7 E.B. Black

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:03 PM

I wrote a horror/comedy short story once that was supposed to be both terrifying and funny at the same time, read it to my critique group, and someone said,"But if it has funny moments, then is it not horror?" And I'm like,"It's about a ghost! It is horror!"

Also, ghosts are better written most of the time without blood and guts horror. The reason ghosts are scary is not because they are violent because what happens to the dead is such a terrifying mystery to us.

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#8 starwriter

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 01:59 PM

I've written a ghost story. Here are my two cents. 

 

IF you are the author, and I have witnessed a ton of truly creative efforts from authors here, judging from their queries, you can do anything you want. I created an original ghost. Go there. Be as original as you can be. It is your story and you can do anything you want. Research truly haunted places Watch videos but be sure to be original. As the author, you have so much freedom to do what you want to do. Make it consistent and believable and you might just have a bestseller. 
 

Leave the ghost as a mystery. That way, you intrigue your reader. Don't show the ghost until the end of the book for impact. I researched how to write scary stuff like crazy. Your story can be anything you want it to be. It is your creation. 



#9 TiffanyRos

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:02 PM

As a paranormal investigator I consider how a ghost story makes me feel before I categorize it as horror. I have read plenty of ghost stories that have made me feel sad, happy, or whatever. I don't consider then horror. (This is a personal opinion, of course). But anything that scares me, or gives me that sense of dread I consider horror.


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#10 starwriter

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:04 PM

I agree. Good point. 



#11 Katie Bailey

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:31 AM

I wrote a horror/comedy short story once that was supposed to be both terrifying and funny at the same time, read it to my critique group, and someone said,"But if it has funny moments, then is it not horror?" And I'm like,"It's about a ghost! It is horror!"
 

Another horror/comedy writer?  *sidles up to you*  :D  FRIENDDDDDDDD.

 

Along these lines, I recently got into a query contest with my horror/comedy ghost hunting novel.  While reading it, my betas had no problem comprehending the shifts in tone, the way it is sometimes more comedic, sometimes more horror-centric.  For the sake of the contest, though, when it asked me to list the genre, I just put it down as "horror."  This was a big concern for a lot of the critiquers; the query and first 250 words didn't seem scary enough for them to dub "horror."  It's definitely one of those things were there are different varieties of horror out there, but a lot of people are expecting it to be terrifying.


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