10,000 Ghost Stories
(Ivy Press, April 2014)
Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
“I await its nightly performances with an eager dread now, and still indulge my secret, shameful night calls. I know if I shut my eyes, it will leave me; but, however much I long to, I cannot.”
At first glance, this book appears to contain 23 chilling ghost stories, each with its own illustrated spectre. However, the pages are neatly guillotined so that each story has a separate beginning, middle and end; and each summoned ghost is similarly dissected into head, body and legs (or something akin to legs).
The reader can mix and match the body parts and story segments to summon an almost infinite host of ghosts and their tales. Over 10,000, in fact. Given the fluid nature of the Dead, and their propensity for decapitation and different guises, this all seems fitting.
The book is intended to revive the lost art of telling ghost stories to an audience. Imagine yourself with a few friends huddled around a dying campfire in the middle of a midnight forest, with the trees whispering in the breeze; or gathered, one All Hallows’ Eve, at a table lit by flickering candles.
It is a moment when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and the time ripe for telling tales. Select your beginning, middle and grisly end – by dice, free will or ouija board – and recount the story of the ghost you have summoned.