Ghost Story
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A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, or an account of an experience, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them.

Colloquially, the term can refer to any kind of scary story. In a narrower sense, the ghost story has been developed as a short story format, within genre fiction. It is a form of supernatural fiction, and is often a horror story. While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come. Whatever their uses, the ghost story is in some format present in all cultures around the world, and may be passed down orally or in written form.
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Types
Jack Sullivan's 1978 book Elegant Nightmares: The English Ghost Story from Le Fanu to Blackwood presented several sub-classifications of English-language ghost stories:

The traditional ghost story has its roots in folklore, but its prose style is characteristic of the romanticised writers of the gothic tradition that preceded it. Authors include Charles Dickens, Sheridan Le Fanu, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs. Henry Wood, F. Marion Crawford, Charlotte Riddell, Margaret Oliphant, Sarah Orne Jewett, Rhoda Broughton, Amelia Edwards, and Elizabeth Gaskell. Sheridan Le Fanu's Green Tea is an example from his collection In a Glass Darkly, which also includes the vampire story Carmilla. Another example is Mary Elizabeth Braddon's At Crighton Abbey.
In the psychological ghost story, the emphasis is on the perceiving consciousness of the victim, instead of the actions of the ghost. These tales frequently call into question the reliability and mental stability of the protagonist, and may investigate social issues. Authors include Henry James, Oliver Onions, Walter De La Mare, Edith Wharton, L.P. Hartley, Vernon Lee, Violet Hunt, and Robert Aickman. Examples include Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, Oliver Onions' The Beckoning Fair One, and Vernon Lee's Amour Dure. Charles Dickens' The Signalman is notable for exploiting the fear of new technology in the form of the railways, and the likelihood of an accident. Dickens' central character experiences foreknowledge of an impending accident three times from a spectre, the last ending with his own demise.
The antiquarian ghost story was born from more folkloric origins and in this sense is more closely tied to the traditional ghost story. Many of its practitioners were scholars or clergymen, and they discarded the romanticised prose of the traditional school, favoring realism and gentle escalation of the supernatural within the narrative, typically after some ancient medieval relic has been disturbed in some way. Authors include M.R. James, Arthur Gray, A.N.L. Munby, E.G. Swain, Christopher Woodforde, Cynthia Asquith and R.H. Malden. The genre influenced on writers such as Russell Kirk, E.F. Benson, H. Russell Wakefield and Ramsey Campbell. An example is M.R. James' Oh, whistle and I'll come to you, my lad from his book Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.
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Around the world

England
In "Some Remarks on Ghost Stories" (1929), M. R. James identifies five key features of the English ghost story, as summarized by Prof. Frank Coffman for a course in popular imaginative literature:

The pretense of truth
"A pleasing terror"
No gratuitous bloodshed or sex
No "explanation of the machinery"
Setting: "those of the writer's (and reader's) own day"

Japan
The Tale of Genji contains ghost stories. In English Victorian society, Lafcadio Hearn published his collection of Japanese folktales, Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things.

Arabia
The Arabian Nights contains a number of ghost stories, often involving jinns, ghouls and corpses. Other medieval Arabic literature such as the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity also contain ghost stories.

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You may also want to research: 
List of reportedly haunted locations
Haunted Attractions
Paranormal Places
Ghost / Ghost Hunting
Haunted House
List of Ghost Films
Horror Fiction
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Categories:
Halloween  Halloween Traditions, Customs & Practices  October Observances   •

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References
1 Elegant Nightmares: The English Ghost Story from Le Fanu to Blackwood, Jack Sullivan, 1978.
2 Excerpts From "Some Remarks on Ghost Stories". 13 October 2005.
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External links
The Best Ghost Stories at Project Gutenberg - 1919
Audio recording of a traditional ghost story from Labrador, Canada
Ghost Story Society
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Resources: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article hauntedlocations /and other related pages. Top Photo: stock
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