’31 Tales of Terror’ #21: Ghosts that Have Haunted Me

*Title: Ghosts that Have Haunted Me by John Kendrick Bangs
Date Read: 26 October 2008
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: The narrator, totally at ease with ghosts and haunting, relates a number of encounters that he’s had with ghosts. So at ease is he with their presence, he not only engages in a ‘war of words’ with some of them, he often utilises particular attributes of a ghost to his own advantage.
Afterthoughts: I think this story is best described as a satirical look at the whole business of ghosts and haunting and it is one that I found highly entertaining. The preposterous notion of being so familiar and at ease with ghosts, to the extent that one is able to exploit them for one’s own needs is certainly original, and Bangs promotes this notion to a highly readable and enjoyable level. I didn’t particularly care for the other Bangs story in this challenge, but this one is a definite highlight. Absolutely terrifying? No! Absolutely hilarious? YES!
Notable Quote: “I have seen so many horrid visitants from other worlds that they hardly affect me at all, so far as the mere inspiration of terror is concerned. On the other hand, they interest me hugely; and while I must admit that I do experience all the purely physical sensations that come from horrific encounters of this nature, I can truly add in my own behalf that mentally I can rise above the physical impulse to run away, and, invariably standing my ground, I have gained much useful information concerning them.”

Rating: ★★★★½

*Story read as part of the 31 Tales of Terror reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).