Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top 10 ghost stories

Kate Mosse is the author of Labyrinth, Sepulchre, and other novels, works of non-fiction, short stories and a play, Syrinx, which won a Broadcasting Press Guild award in 2009.

She named her top ten ghost stories for the Guardian. One title on the list:
"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe (1843)

From the master of the morbid imagination, this gem of a story blurs the edges between horror and ghost fiction. A murderer's guilty conscience gets the better of him, driving him to confess his crime. The unnamed narrator murders an old man with a "vulture eye". He plans carefully and hides the body by dismembering it, but his guilt will not let him rest. Is he imagining the beating of the heart beneath the floorboards or is there something there? Gripping and horrifying, the perfect mix of horror and Gothic, the forerunner of the psychological ghost stories that were to come into vogue.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Visit Kate Mosse's website.

The Page 69 Test: Sepulchre.

Also see: Brad Leithauser's five best ghost tales, James Hynes' top ten Halloween stories, and Peter Washington's top ten ghost stories.

--Marshal Zeringue