Finally the first installment of the Freaky Folktales Collection!
I have been a keen follower of PJ Hodge’s excellent website Freaky Folktales for some time now. Many a lunch hour at work has been whiled away with some deliciously creepy offering from the Freaky Folktales Vaults – and I have been impatiently waiting for the collection to be published – and here it is – just in time for Halloween!
Ghosts and Other Supernatural Guests by PJ Hodge
Ghosts and other Supernatural Guests is a collection of twelve tales of terror and suspense. Ranging from intimate first person narratives, to the traditional omniscient narrator; each tale is wonderfully crafted, precise in language and detail and very much harking back to the classic age of the ghost story.
PJ Hodge invites you to step outside your everyday world with tales that subtly entice you into a more liminal world, a world where the veils between physical measurable reality and the unexplained are drawn back to reveal unsettling truths and the inescapable terrors of the great beyond.
The tales take their influence from local legend and folklore and history- PJ Hodge isn’t afraid to go out into the field to research his tales, and this lends them an authenticity and place that comes across very strongly in many of the tales. In fact he understands the importance of place and location in the ghost story – whether it is a haunted house or a haunted viaduct each of the locations are vividly and chillingly drawn.
The tales also hark back to the classic Victorian and Edwardian ghost stories of the likes of MR James and Sheridan le Fanu to name but two; I found that Walk with Me (to the Estuary) was a particularly atmospheric with a slowly building sense of menace and inescapable fate that felt very Jamesian in colour and tone. Of course taking the Edwardian and Victorian age as an influence also often allows for a certain element of arch parody of those more pompous and more assured times. This was particularly notable in the opening lines of The Haunted Cupboard which begins with a debate between two crusty gentleman at their club regarding the malignancy of Lucifer Matches! History is also a springboard into the supernatural, and the opening tale The Ghost Bureau takes as its influence the real-life (or should that be real-afterlife) Julia’s Bureau of WT Stead, nineteenth century journalist, spiritualist and all round eccentric.
The tales range from childhood adventures with a tragic twist (The Viaduct); the truly horrific spectre of The Flames of Stalbridge Manor; to the heartwarming A Tip of the Hat. This is a perfect book to read, by a crackling fire, in a lonely manor house, on a dark and stormy night – was that a tree-branch tapping on the window-pane..or could it be Ghosts and other Supernatural Guests……..!
Ghosts and other Supernatural Guests by PJ Hodge is available on Kindle from Amazon. The paperback will be available in November.
Find out more about the launch of Ghosts and other Supernatural Guests here: