It’s June! And to me that means it’s officially summer! And as the season for campfires and fire-fly nights awakens I find myself reminiscing on some of my favorite ghost stories from my childhood, and how my fascination for all things ghoulish told around a campfire or under the stars still holds me to this day.
When I was growing up my little family, (Mom, Dad, my little sister, and our two big floppy-eared dogs) would take summer trips up to Michigan to visit my dad’s side of the family. While there we stayed with my Grandparents. Their was a reeeeaalllly old farmhouse, which apparently was originally a stop on the pony express. It was a home full of love and character also poor lighting and creepy noises. Which lead lead young minds like my sister and I to image all of the possible things that could lurk in it’s deep shadows. One of the best things about visiting was that living right next door were 5 of my cousins all around my age. We, of course, got into plenty of mischief since our deep country-side location made our parents leave us unsupervised most of the time. Which at night meant trying to scare the living daylights out of each other with scary stories.
I took great pride in my ability to get the most ernest screams out of my cousins with perfectly timed jump-scares and dramatic reactions to “did you see that thing out in the field just now?!” My greatest weapon was a beautiful leather bound copy of Ghosts – A treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New I picked up from the discount section of Borders one year. It’s tales were timeless enough that when read aloud on a summer night by a circle of little girls, lightly dampened by dew under Michigan’s clear sky full of glittering stars, it’s pages seemed to hold a particular sort of magic.
I’m still constantly consuming ghost stories in movies, in books, or told on podcasts, I just can’t get enough of them. So I figured I’d take a moment and share with you my favorites.
Favorite Sources for Summer-Time Ghost Stories
Books I have personally read
- Ghosts – A treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New – Selected by Marvin Kaye with Saralee Kaye
- (The tome of ghostly tales I mentioned from my childhood which- holy *&^&! It’s apparently wortha fair chunk of change! Still never giving it up.)
- Haunted New England – A Devilish View of the Yankee Past – by Mary Bolte
- Haunted Inns of New England by Mark Jasper
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – by Alvin Schwartz – The one with Stephen Gammell’s artwork
- True Irish Ghost Stories by St. John D. Seymour
Books on my wishlist
- Campus Chills by Mark Leslie
- Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places by Brad Stiger
- I really want the printed edition of True Ghost Stories: Jim Harold’s Campfire 1, 2 and 3 – because I enjoy the show so much and would love to have those stories on good ol’ fashioned dead trees.
- Ghosts: True Encounters With the World Beyond by Hans Holzer
- Haunted Houses: Tales from 30 American Homes by Nacy Roberts
What are some of your favorite places to find ghost stories?