Reviews

All Hallows: The Journal of the Ghost Story Society

JILL MANDRAKE

The finest current ghost-story anthology originates in British Columbia—Ashcroft, to be exact. All Hallows: The Journal of the Ghost Story Society is a thrice-yearly periodical that needs to be more widely known. I discovered it via The Writers’ Yearbook (U.K. edition, 23) and have never seen a local reference to this gem in our own backyard. The current issue includes film news, interviews, letters and essays, plus twelve short stories, all of which succeed in taking a familiar theme (the ghost world can be repetitive) and giving it an up- to-the-minute spin. Brian Wright’s “Haunted House,” for example, takes the premise of The Sixth Sense into the first-person realm. Peter Bell’s “Resurrection” gives the plot of The Wicker Man a gender change. Sarah Monette’s “Drowning Palmer” echoes William Golding. “The Wainwright Glass” by Geoffrey Warburton is like an old episode of Thriller restored and brought to modern times. Does anyone recall Mario Bava’s classic Black Sunday? Well, the creepiest story in this collection, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” by Brian Day, presents a cemetery scene in such a close and wistful manner (I daresay, enshrouding), that we cannot help but feel that Maestro Bava lives on.

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JILL MANDRAKE

Jill Mandrake writes strange but true stories and leads Sister DJ’s Radio Band, featuring rhythm and blues covers, post-vaudeville original tunes and occasional comedy bits. https://hido.bandcamp.com/album/the-neti-pot

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