Not Exactly Ghosts by Andrew Caldecott

How did you come across the book?

Umm… I was researching Victorian ghost stories… you know, like Christmas… like those scary ghost stories in that Christmas song. So I started just reading different Victorian ghost stories around Christmas and it’s just been… kind of uh… sending me down a worm hole of all these different authors… and so, the author was just somebody that cropped up when trying to find other ghost stories.

So far, what perspective have gained from this book?

Umm… unlike a lot of other Victorian ghost stories… not exactly ghost stories is… just that; they’re not exactly ghost stories. I mean, the tradition, you know… tends to be about haunted love stories… they tend to be romantic as well as scary. This stuff is all… well, one of these stories was about this little kid who had heard one of the neighbor kids had fallen down a well and they heard another kid screaming for help, and so it scared the kid… and he didn’t find out until years later that it wasn’t a ghost… that it was somebody he in theory could have helped but he didn’t realize because he thought it was a ghost. You know… so it’s… it’s an interesting riff on the Victorian ghost stories in that they tend not to be about ghosts.

… when asked, “do most ghosts stories tend to happen in that way?”

No… that’s just the one that I finished most recently. Yeah… they tend to be… like for instance, one of the ghost stories was actually just about… [bctt tweet=”A haunted writing desk that compelled people to write grave stone epitaphs…” username=”cityreadsnyc”]… you know… and, it turned out that it was once owned by this guy that had gotten in trouble for slander and so… because he was writing these horrible little poems about people and… so his spirit had made people write these non-sense, little grave stone things… you know … but again, it wasn’t really a ghost… it was just this idea that this man’s ill temper had gotten into the desk and compelled other people to be… grumpy, I guess.

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

I honestly don’t know if I would recommend it yet… umm… yeah, I suppose that I would but… I would say that if you were… you know… a person who is reading a bunch of Victorian ghost stories… it’s a nice change of pace because it’s clearly written by somebody who had spent a lot of time reading them and just decided what he wanted to do different with the form. I just don’t know who that person would be.

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