Ghost stories... I loved Dark Matter, what else to try?

(61 Posts)

I really surprised myself - I thought Dark Matter was fabulous, really intriguing and genuinely had me wondering and imagining what it would be like in that situation. Loved it, lots of atmosphere and suspense. Serious chill in the spine.

Unlike Greatcoat, which was as flat as a pancake!

I've never really explored the Ghost Story genre, only read the odd slightly ghostly story by accident in the past (eg. Lovely Bones), so please can anyone recommend anything else? I have Woman in White, Florence and Giles and White Lie on my Kindle for starters....


valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 10:37:45

I loved it too smile

Woman in Black is very atmospheric.

Snapespeare Wed 06-Feb-13 10:45:20

place marking.

i was asking about 'dark matter' on sunday, i said it was so gripping, but terrifying...i wanted to throw it across the room to get it away from me, but i couldn't!

Woman in Black - yes, I think I must add that to the list!

Snapespear - I know exactly what you mean, I was literally rigid as I read it, barely daring to turn a page in case something came out..... really clever build up of intensity.

KurriKurri Wed 06-Feb-13 13:55:23

I liked dark matter too, and Woman in Black, have you tried M R James? an old writer but really good classic ghost stories (and you can usually get something by him free for Kindle if you want to try him out), I've also just downloaded (for free) the haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins and am enjoying it so far.

KurriKurri Wed 06-Feb-13 13:59:08

oh just remembered I've got 'Dolly' by Susan Hill lined up to read soon, - it looks good (though I can't say for sure as I've not started it yet!)

SusieB13 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:55:53

I've looked up Dark Matter but it seems that there are a few books with this name, could anyone please let me know who the author is?


KurriKurri Wed 06-Feb-13 17:59:02

Susie - Dark Matter is by Michelle Paver smile

rockinhippy Wed 06-Feb-13 18:14:07

Can I be cheeky & ask if Dark Matter is at all sexually explicit ??

My DD is very keen to read it, she loves scary suspense stuff, but takes it in the right spirit so I'm not worried about her reading it from that POV, but she's still young, so I need to be careful otherwise - thanks

KurriKurri Wed 06-Feb-13 18:43:34

As far as I remember rockin, its not sexually explicit at all, - there is a suggestion of homosexual love towards the end but no sex. It's not gory or anything either - just very atmospheric and creepy. How old is she?

What Kurri said. No sex, and no gore. But rather good all the same! wink

The Woman In White is superb - you're in for a treat!

I was really, really disappointed with 'Dark Matter.' I thought it was pretty boring and the homosexual hintings just felt like the writer desperately trying to be 'innovative' to me. It could have been great but it wasn't.

Then again, I detest 'The Woman In Black' too.

Hippy - How old is your dd? There's one called 'Century' which she might like: an old fashioned ghost story. And don't forget 'Tom's Midnight Garden' which is just gorgeous.

Some of you might like 'The Little Stranger' by Sarah Waters. I don't think she's a very good writer tbh, so it didn't really work for me, although I do think it's her most readable and least irritating one.

carlajean Wed 06-Feb-13 22:49:14

I really enjoyed Dark Matter as well, and would second the suggestion of MR James - simply the best ghost story writer ever IMO. Try Rats, by him, as a good example.

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 22:52:27

How old is she rockinhippy?

rockinhippy Wed 06-Feb-13 23:24:40

Brilliant - thank you all smile that sounds perfect for her

For those that ask - she's 10, but eating YA books up faster than I can keep up with & though I'm please she loves reading & doing so well, her taste in books is definitely older than she is & it's proving to be a bit of a nightmare as obviously not all are suitable - starting to wish there was some sort of rating system as there is with cinema

Thanks again

devilinside Wed 06-Feb-13 23:26:18

I loved Dark Matter, I can recommend Jonathon Aycliffe for spooky ghost stories

rockinhippy Wed 06-Feb-13 23:35:47

Ooo & thanks for the other suggestions too, I will look into those for hersmile

James Herbert has written a few good ghost stories too, though I've found his earlier stuff to be better, I was a bit disappointed with Crickley Hall, though not read his latest one yet, but I do remember reading The Cottage which was spooky, disturbing, but quite lovely too

KurriKurri Thu 07-Feb-13 11:17:28

rockin - as she is a mature reader, she might enjoy some of the classics that are a bit creepy - I'm thinking Jane Eyre maybe, or some of the M R James stuff I recommended further upthread, or Wilkie Collins, Sherlock Holmes and things of that type? She would probably be fine with The Woman in Black and the other Susan Hill spooky stuff - AFAIK they don't have any bad language or sex in them (and they are short enough for you to have a flick through just in case!)

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 11:34:00

My ds read Dark Matter recently- he's 11, and spent the next 3 nights in my bed. He is a notorious wimp, but even so- be warned!

rockinhippy Thu 07-Feb-13 11:34:42

I wish curri she can be a PITA with her reading tastes, she refuses to read any of the classics at all, which would make my life so much easier, I have tried hard to get her interested, as I know they'd be okay for her content wise, but she says they are old fashioned & "stuffy"hmm - kids eh!!

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 11:40:38

They are old fashioned and stuffy when you're 10! Never understand this "give them the classics" line- you want to encourage good readers, not put them off!

rockinhippy Thu 07-Feb-13 11:43:17

Thanks Seeker, I will bear that in mind, but she generally laps up scary stuff & I've not had that reaction from her since tiny, so I'm not too worried, I don't mind a bit of swearing, as she hears enough in the street, but is sensible & doesn't swear herself, tells others off if they do - haha - the odd sexual etc reference is okay, as she's not naive & old for her years generally, but Crickley Hall, which I had intended handing over to her as all through it was fine, up until the last couple of chapters when it suddenly got all hardcore S&M & peado

Sorry thread hijack blush

rockinhippy Thu 07-Feb-13 11:44:15

Cross post [ grin]

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 11:50:12

On the surface Dark Matter seems pretty tame but it really messes with your mind - my 11 year old would have ended up in my bed too had he read it grin

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 11:59:41

Ds came to find me when he finished it- and his pupils were actually dilated with fear- I've never seen that before!

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 12:03:11

I can believe it! I read it when we were snowed in last winter which made it even more realistic and creepy!

rockinhippy Thu 07-Feb-13 12:06:26

Mmmmm, maybe I better read it first then just incase - thanks

carlajean Thu 07-Feb-13 12:10:28

rockinhippy give her Marianne Dreams by Katherine Stott (I think), a very good, but scary, book for that age group

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 12:21:59

Ooh, just remembered Charlotte Sometimes- can't remember who wrote it, and The Ghost in the Blue Velvet Dress, by Martin Waddell!

mimbleandlittlemy Thu 07-Feb-13 16:43:53

The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday is good - it's not quite a ghost story as such but strangely creepy.

I would also second The Little Stranger which I loved and found very spooky though I know others who didn't, also second MR James' stories - Whistle And I'll Come To You is one of the great ghost stories and Susan Hill actually does homage to it in Woman in Black.

Charlotte Sometimes is lovely - one of my very favourites. Is it Penelope Lively? Having a bimbo moment and can't remember.

'Marianne Dreams' v good but maybe a bit 'young?'

Not a ghost story as such, and the ending isn't very good but 'Coraline' is a great spooky story for a ten year old.

rockinhippy Fri 05-Apr-13 23:36:59

I had to come back & update -

I've now read Dark Matter, so has DD, after reading the comments as regards how disturbing some of you found it, figured best read it myself before considering it for DD, besides you had me very interested as I love a good disturbing book myself.

I enjoyed it, good enough read, strong characters etc etc, but just as it started to get going, that was it, over, I was thoroughly disappointed that I didn't find it disturbing at all, very tame - DD read it & pretty much said the same thing, she wasn't scared at all, in fact she thought it too tame too, but she did enjoy reading it & loved that it taught her about arctic expeditions etc

Goes to show we are all different, our DCs too - I'd say its fine for a none nervous 10 yr old smile

LordEmsworth Tue 09-Apr-13 21:06:38

If you can get hold of a copy - When Marnie Was There. I first read it at about 9, and can still re-read it, a certain number of decades later...

KurriKurri Tue 09-Apr-13 21:51:41

Not sure if it's been mentioned earlier - but The Owl Service by Alan Garner is pretty spooky and suitable for a ten yr old I'd have said, - and for adults too if you haven't read it smile

I recently read one by Susan Hill called The Small Hand - which is a quick. spookyish read.

KurriKurri Tue 09-Apr-13 21:52:27

sorry about random full stop in that post confused

ScrambledSmegs Tue 09-Apr-13 22:07:50

I loved The Small Hand too. Very spooky, but also short. More of a novella.

carlajean Tue 09-Apr-13 22:56:25

you might enjoy The Green Man by Kingsley Amis - anyone else read it? it's very creepy

DuchessofMalfi Wed 10-Apr-13 08:17:54

DH loves a good ghost story. He said Dark Matter was one of the best books he's read from that genre.

I've got The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters lined up to read soon. Looking forward to that smile

I have never read Sarah Waters, though have seen several recommendations of her books recently. Are you in Book Vipers on Goodreads Duchess?! That book is next month's read....

DuchessofMalfi Wed 10-Apr-13 12:31:20

Yes I am Anonymous smile

KurriKurri Wed 10-Apr-13 12:58:51

I really enjoyed The Little Stranger, - it seems to be one of those marmite books on here - love it or hate it! - but certainly leaves you with lots to think about.

Phil Rickman is amazing really chilling stuff but subtle.

KurriKurri Wed 10-Apr-13 13:33:22

Thanks for that recommendation DamnDeDoubtance - I've read a couple of Phil Rickman's merrily Watkins book and enjoyed them - didn't realise he did other ghostly stuff, - and there seem to be a few well priced on Kindle atmsmile

KurriKurri Wed 10-Apr-13 13:34:20

Oops - clicked to soon, -are there any titles in particular you'd recommend?

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:09:35

The Mackinnon Curse Series, by Julia A. Templeton are good - DD has just finished reading them & really rates them as better than Dark Matter - I'm just reading the first one now & its looking good so far -

The first book is "The Deepest Cut" which we got as a free IBook download, 2&3 you buy, but very reasonably priced, book 4 is free too

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:14:43

Thanks Kurri I loved the Owl Service as a DC, - DD read it a couple of years ago, but wasn't impressedhmm

juneau Thu 11-Apr-13 08:05:14

The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

Lindalehughes Fri 12-Apr-13 14:39:47

I'm reading Heart Shaped Box at the moment and it is very beliveable an rather creepy! There are a few sexual references but so far, nothing too graphic.

marissab Fri 12-Apr-13 15:23:05

Rockinhippy i can recommend fog by carolinne b cooney. Also snow, and fire. Spooky and weird, exciting and not gory or sexual. Aimed at teens. They may be out of print but are excellent. Did someone recommend james herbert to you? Nearly all his books have graphic sexual and violent scenes. Stephen king is a better option for younger readers.

Rockinhippy Fri 12-Apr-13 17:39:40

thanks Marrissa - no, not recommended, that was me trying to remember which if any of my James Herbert books might be suitable for her, its been a long time since I read most of themconfused, but she's very keen to read them

she's not fazed by gore, she's obsessed with all things medical, especially surgery & ATM wants to either work in A&E or be a surgeon, so I suppose it's good training - lol - but I will be fazed with her reading anything too sexually explicit of course

I will look those titles up, they sound perfect - THANK YOU

Heart Shaped Box sounds very interesting for me too smile

CoteDAzur Fri 12-Apr-13 18:08:35

Has anyone mentioned The Witching Hour by Anne Rice?

KurriKurri Fri 12-Apr-13 18:27:18

Rockinhippy - check out The Knife Man by Wendy Moore, and Blood and Guts by Michael Mosely - both factual books on the birth of modern surgery that I have heard recommended on here. I haven't read them (they are on my wish list!) and you will need to check out whether they are suitable - but they might be right up her street smile

pollywollydoodle Sun 14-Apr-13 21:24:09

i also loved dark matter and thought the greatcoat was dull

the snowchild is a recent good atmospheric read rather than a gory one as are insommnia and rose madder by steven king (all too explicit for 10yo tho, i think)

woman in white is great as is turn of the screw if you haven't seen or read it

SarahAndFuck Thu 18-Apr-13 21:05:53

I thought The Little Hand and The Greatcoat were both quite dull.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons are both very good, lots of atmosphere and creepiness. They are also very different, Hill House is your classic creepy old house while House Next Door is a new build with a difference.

SarahAndFuck Thu 18-Apr-13 21:09:19

Rockinhippy - there is one moment in Dark Matter that might bother your daughter. It upset my mother very much.

Has she read any of the Lois Duncan books? I loved them when I was aged about 11/12 and still have them now. The Eyes of Karen Connors, about a teenage girl who has visions and tries to help the police with missing persons cases. And Stranger With My Face, about a teenage girl whose friends start to fall out with her over odd things she has said and done, except she hasn't said or done them. She eventually sees a doppelgänger of herself and realises something is very wrong.

Another book along those doppelgänger lines is Another Me by Catherine MacPhail.

SarahAndFuck Thu 18-Apr-13 21:12:52

Stephen King's Bag of Bones is quite a good ghost story as well. It's not my favourite of his, and I did have to read it more than once before I really took to it, but it is good.

SarahAndFuck Thu 18-Apr-13 21:23:23

I recently read A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your House as well. That was very good but it's more of a short story than a book.

And talking of short stories, if anyone has a copy of a book called A Day In The Life, which raised funds for Breast Cancer Care, there is a very good short ghost story by Maggie O'Farrell in it that I really recommend reading. It's called The House I Live In.

SarahAndFuck Thu 18-Apr-13 21:36:43

Actually have you read anything by FG Cottam? His stories have a kind of classic, creepy tone to them.

All of them are very good, but my favourites have been Dark Echo, about a cursed/haunted boat and The Waiting Room, about an abandoned train station now on private land, whose owners start to be haunted by an evil presence that has focused it's energies in and around the old waiting room. Colony is about an island off the coast of Scotland, where a group of modern day investigators discover more than they ever wanted to know about the disappearance of a group of settlers who vanished years earlier. Brodmaw Bay has a very creepy ghost coming and going, and some other strange things as well.

Ceasnake Thu 18-Apr-13 23:54:39

SarahAndFuck, thank you for reminding me of the Lois Duncan books! They are truly excellent. I Know What You Did Last Summer was made into a fairly awful film but the book is great. I think Summer of Fear was my favourite... my introduction to psychological thrillers.

SarahAndFuck Fri 19-Apr-13 09:21:43

I forgot she wrote the I Know What You Did... book. It was very different to the film. She's written quite a lot of books and they were always in demand at the school library, they had a waiting list for some of them.

The authors teenage daughter was murdered in 1989 and the case is still unsolved. She wrote a book about it which I've often meant to read it. The police believe it was a random shooting but Duncan did her own investigation and thinks her daughter's boyfriend was involved with a gang that killed her.

marissab Fri 19-Apr-13 17:07:38

Ooo go on then. Just bought dark matter 2nd hand off amazon for £1.60. It better be good ladies. I just broke my no buying books rule!!!!

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