Why I Like Ghost Stories


Shutterstock / S Armitage © ghost stories

Who doesn’t like ghost stories?

OK, maybe they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m a fan of them. I remember the first ghostly images that gripped my imagination were of the supposedly haunted Borley Rectory. The story appeared in the early Eighties magazine collection “The Unexplained: Mysteries Of Mind, Space & Time”.

The magazine collection contained mysteries ranging from the Bermuda Triangle, Loch Ness Monster, “Mary Celeste” and the paranormal such as Borley Rectory.

Things that go bump in the night

Situated in the pastoral village of Borley in Essex, the haunted house has been the location of spectral figures, strange voices and poltergeist sightings over the years. Built in 1863 for the Rev. Henry Bull, the Victorian, Gothic-style house has attracted ghost hunters, psychics and simply curious onlookers.

The Bull family witnessed many unexplained apparitions and sounds themselves, including an ethereal nun, a headless coachman and his horse-drawn carriage.

Henry died – of natural causes – in 1892, while the house burned down – accidentally – in 1939. Later, psychic researcher and ghost hunter Harry Price deemed Borley Rectory as “the most haunted house in England”.

After the fire, and subsequently when the house was demolished in 1944, ghostly apparitions continued to be documented in the area.

The ghost genre

You don’t have to have visited a haunted castle, house or hotel to appreciate a good ghost story. The purpose of this post isn’t to validate the truth or falsehood of ghosts. But as a genre, it’s one that makes for good storytelling – whether it’s a book, or on stage or screen.

The “Friend” also publishes ghost stories, containing a sprinkling of spookiness, and hopefully this makes for atmospheric reading.

After all, a successful ghost story leaves an impression in the imagination, and you don’t have to believe in ghosts to appreciate a spooky tale.

Now, anyone for a night in a haunted castle . . .?

Check out the National Trust’s most haunted places.


For more from the “Friend” team, click here to read our blog.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.