The Italians create a lavish meal: a feast fit for their loved ones. And you know how those Italians love to cook.
And then, they leave it for the ghosts of the ones they have lost, and will never see again. They walk out of the door, and down the road to the church, leaving the meal steaming – for whom? Is it just a game, a fantasy, a fierce longing for those wraiths to be wholly present just once more?
It is the very essence of Hallowe’en.
In parts of Britain, on October 31st, the Reformation soldiers stamped on the tradition of leaving a candle burning in the window of every window to guide long lost loved souls home to the place their clay feet once trod. Soul Lights. The French would take the direct route, kneeling next to graves and praying, leaving bowls of milk for the departed.
Our longing for those we lose knows no bounds and ritual salves it, momentarily, though the ache returns.
But the problem was this: that in England, they banished Purgatory.
The whole point of All Souls Day was to pray for the souls of the dead to be released from Purgatory – a sort of half-way purification and refining place – and let into Heaven. Even when I was a little girl I was told: go into church, say an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be and when you walk out, you will have released a soul.
So when the nonconformists made it clear that Purgatory did not exist, the question remained: what was Hallowe’en all about, then?
And the answer came: if the restless were not souls on their way to Heaven, they must be the wraiths who could not get in. Evil Spirits.
How have humans dealt with inexorable evil in life? They have exorcised it with story.
And the great writers of ghost stories have, through the ages, done just that. Each in their own, very particular, peculiar way. Sheridan Le Fanu, Henry James, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, MR James. The list goes on.
There are those of us who never tire of this gentle kind of exorcism. Some of us are utterly addicted. some like a spooky tale every now and then, and never more than at this time, when in the Northern Hemisphere the darkness draws in.
Thus, a group of writers have drawn together a set of tales.
Authors Angela Amman, Mandy Dawson, Cameron D. Garriepy, Kameko Murakami, myself, Andra Watkins, and Elizabeth Yon have written seven tales. A portentious number.
The tales use ancient symbols and storylines: the last of a family of sensitives; a statue which exercises a strange hold on a woman; a little girl who holds fragments of a haunting story, and another who longs to escape from a strange and dominant mother; a woman cursed to be unseen, a fate worse than death.
And a deserted farmhouse, inherited, which has the darkest of sides.
It’s almost the feast of All Hallows. Time to tell ghost stories: and here are seven to chill you to the bone.
45 thoughts on “Spine Chillers to Make Your Kindle Quake”
Hm. Intriguing. But I’m going to bed shortly, and since I’m a certified scaredy cat who lives alone, I’ll check out these tales in the light of day.
I’m so glad to find another scardycat
Meow back at you buddy!
Congratulations on the book…well done.
Cheers, Roger 🙂
Just read it on Andra’s site Kate, well done and off to download
Thanks, Jim 🙂
Congratulations, Kate! Now off I’m to buy the book 🙂
Thanks- most appreciated!
Congratulations Kate – The book is awaiting me in my kindle library. Can’t wait to read.
Excellent. Thanks so much, Katie. Enjoy.
Kate, your story for our little collection made the hair stand on my head! Readers are in for a real (frightful) treat!
Yours too, Elizabeth. Can’t believe I have a story published alongside yours: I have always been in awe. You write so beautifully.
Congratulations on your anthology. I just ordered it for my PC Kindle via Amazon.
I’m going to scare myself silly. Those Reformation folks really put the kibosh on fun stuff, like ghosts and cards and dancing and theater, etc. As I’ve heard people say, “There ain’t no fun in fundamentalist.”
Thanks Gale, for ordering. There ain’t no fun in fundamentalist, indeed: ours even abolished Christmas….
So exciting, Kate. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Kindle, but, read somewhere that I can download on my computer. I’ll see what I can do, as I am eager to read these stories.
Yup, I have Kindle on the computer, Penny. Not quite the same as turning the pages. If you have a smart phone you can get Kindle on that; I use my phone for leisure and all the texts I use for research, I download into my trusty Apple Mac.
I got delicious chills just reading your post, and (of course) your story is an amazing piece of the collection 🙂
Angela! Hello, and thank you for popping along! It’s mutual. All of the stories have their own flavour, and yours was just fantastic. I do love a good chiller….
Congrats to you, Andra, Cameron, and your co-conspirators! Hope sales are BOOming!
*Jumps six feet in the air* Thanks for that, Nancy. I love the idea of being a co-conspirator, like Fawkes and his gang. Fab.
Evidently not available on the US Amazon site… I would be afraid to download the UK version…. don’t know if the Kindles are compatible… you might want to get on Amazon’s case and tell them you have US readers chomping at the bit!!!!!
Here’s the US Amazon link:
The book is on US Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-in-Darkness-ebook/dp/B00FOGXQQU/
Thanks Andra, how did I miss that? Am downloading it.
Glad you got it sorted, RMW 🙂 Thanks Andra!
I am honored to be part of this anthology with you and the others, Kate. Sorry to have been away. Internet was very dicey on the boot. It was all I could do to queue up some sort of post on my phone. I read most of your post emails, but attempting responses made my app crash, more often than not.
Don’t mention it! I have been sporadic at best recently. I figure, visiting our cyberfriends is not about obligation, it’s about the pleasure of seeing each other when we can make it over. Rather like life.
Looks good, Kate. Hope you do well!
Cheers Tom 🙂
Kate I was thrilled to hear about this book as soon as I saw this morning what you’d posted about it via Google+. I bought the book this morning and cannot wait to read it. As I commented on Andra’s blog, I have read fiction by you and by Andra and by Cameron D. Garriepy and have enjoyed every word of it. As yet the other writers are new to me, but I am very excited about discovering the stories by all of you. A wonderful treat for this time of year! 🙂
Heather, thanks for your lovely message on Google +.It quite made my day. It’s the perfect time for reading this genre. Enjoy!
Thank you! I have started reading. 🙂
Brrr! I already feel a chill crawling up my spine.
You might be interested in this, Kate:
Had to go to Amazon.com not to be given a raspberry by the site.
How nice – your chilly tale opens it!
I hope the purchasers think of putting up their reviews and assessments – they are sure to be good ones.
Reblogged this on To write is to write is to write and commented:
Have to share this one, too: Kate Shrewsday, Andra Watkins, Angela Amman, Cameron D. Garriepy, Elizabeth Yon, Kameko Murakami, and Mandy Dawson share seven ghost stories “to chill you to the bone”–and just in time for Halloween.
Yes indeed! I was quick to download as soon as I got the word! I have my weekend reading all queued up! 🙂
So it’s 2:30 a.m. and I’m alone, reading “To Hear the Dead Proclaim,” and I draw toward the end and suddenly realize I’m reading it on my new Kindle, which arrived late yesterday, and the realization makes me feel unsettled, and the feeling will always be there when I think about e-readers and laptops and televisions and such, which is most of the time. Your story is indeed a bone-chiller.
Kathy, I do hope that you enjoy that Kindle!! Thank you so much for Kindling, downloading and reading. I’m not sure 2:30am is the time to read a ghost story about ghosts invading electronic devices on a Kindle. Howsomever: I hope you got some sleep after reading it 😀
Chilling tales to keep me aware nights? Brrr! Is this available on Nook? I don’t have a Kindle. Congratulations to you and your fellow writers for getting your scary tales published.
Kate … I put a link to this post and to the US Amazon link on my blog. Best wishes to you all. Judy
Judy, thank you, how kind! Most appreciated.