Archive for Dark Horse Book of Hauntings

Ghost Hunters

The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings

Here’s a book Dark Horse put out back in 2003, and it’s  still in print, so it won’t even be any trouble for you to find it.

Like the title says, it’s a book full of stories about hauntings and ghosts of all kinds. It’s a classy piece of work, hardcover, beautifully put-together, with an unusual mix of stories and storytelling styles.

We start out with what’s probably the strongest story in the book — “Gone” by Mike Richardson and P. Craig Russell. It’s about a couple of kids daring each other to go into the local deserted old house. When one of them finally takes the dare, he doesn’t come back out. It’s a deeply creepy, eerie story, and it’ll stick with you for a long time. There’s also a great Hellboy story by Mike Mignola, with Big Red stumbling into an unusual haunting; the very first “Beasts of Burden” tale by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, featuring a haunted doghouse; a story by Randy Stradley and Paul Chadwick in which a ghost and an odor haunt a teenager; and an interesting tale by Uli Oesterle about a haunted tattoo.

And there’s more in here than just comics. There’s an old turn-of-the-century ghost story called “Thurnley Abbey” by Perceval Landon. I’ve been a fan of these old ghost stories for years — the language is always a bit archaic and the storytelling style is about as non-modern as you can get, but dang, those guys knew how to tell a good ghost yarn back then. There’s also an interview with L.L. Dreller, a seance medium. I’ve got not much to say about that one — I don’t believe in such things, but I do think it’s an interesting addition to the book.

Verdict: Thumbs up. You’ve got Beasts of Burden, Hellboy, the previously-mentioned and awesomely spooky “Gone,” and much more. You’ve got the old story by Perceval Landon. The whole thing is just packed full of excellent ghost stories.

I said before that this is a classy book — for one thing, it’s hardcover, and there ain’t nothing like hardcover to class up the joint. But the design of the book itself just makes it feel like they really went all out to make a book anyone would feel proud of. They definitely went out of their way to evoke older ghost story books — the illustrations by Gary Gianni of Landon’s old ghost story take the style of old magazine illustrations, the frontispiece of the book is an illustration by Gustave Dore from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and several of the stories seem to be based on classic Victorian ghost tales.

It’s great reading for Halloween. Heck it’s great reading for any time at all. Go pick it up.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments off