Ghost stories are often told around Christmas, and I'm getting into the seasonal mood by writing one myself, for a forthcoming anthology. It's provisionally entitled "Through the Mist". I've dabbled in the genre before, and in the spring, I had the, for me, unusual experience of recording one of my own stories, the ghost story "No Flowers", for an Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine podcast. Great fun.
I've also been getting into the right frame of mind by reading more of Robert Aickman's stories of the uncanny - four collections of his stories were republished earlier this year by Faber, and they are excellent and memorable. They are, really, stories of the uncanny, rather than just ghost stories, and all sorts of strange, often inexplicable things, happen in them. Strongly recommended.
I've also started reading Mary Elizabeth Braddon's The Face in the Glass, a paperback collection of stories published by the British Library, who get everywhere these days, and a very good thing too. I've written about Mrs Braddon before on this blog, but these stories were all new to me. One particularly good one is "The Island of Old Faces", which features a Balliol man in unexpected surroundings...
This is my last blog post until Boxing Day, but from then on, I'll be scheduling daily posts until early January, as I've noticed that readership of the blog usually rises quite sharply at around this time of year (an escape from seasonal merriment or just because there's more time to read? I'm not sure.) Before I go, I'd like to wish all readers of this blog a very merry Christmas, and to say thanks once again for your interest and support, your comments and your emails. Very much appreciated.