Help me find a specific book of ghost stories
October 19, 2010 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Book-finder filter: Help me find a book of ghost stories from my childhood.

When I was in first grade I found an evil book of ghost stories that screwed me up in the head so badly I slept with a light on until I was sixteen. I would LOVE to have a copy of this book again but I know very little about it.

Here's what I can remember:

- hardback, yellow cover with the title on the spine in green (I'm a little hazy on the green part)

- kid's book sized, maybe 10" x 12"

- 40 or so pages

- the interior illustrations were done by someone with a hideously perfect sense of the ambiguous. All the illustrations are done in a very wispy, sfumato style in black and white -- charcoal or maybe watercolor.

- there were several stories, which included: Borley Rectory, the restless caskets in Barbados, and a very haunted house in London

- the most haunted house in London part had a part where two sailors on shore leave broke into the abandoned house to spend the night. They were on the second floor and they heard something coming up the stairs "with the padded steps of a jungle animal." One sailor jumped out the window and fled, returning with police, who discovered the other sailor with a broken neck.

I know this isn't a lot to work with.

This book left a huge impression on me and it's one of the very few objects from my childhood that I remember clearly. Thank you for helping me track it down.
posted by honkeoki to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am guessing Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. All three of them.
posted by adipocere at 3:04 PM on October 19, 2010

I agree that it was probably Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. These scared the bejesus out of me as a kid.
posted by jeoc at 3:13 PM on October 19, 2010

Definitely sounds like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and in case you're looking for more like 'em, here's an awesome recent AskMe!
posted by ORthey at 3:30 PM on October 19, 2010

Best answer: lalex: "Ghosts? These "search inside the book" results for Barbados and jungle may help."

I was going to say the same thing. The illustrations were by Stephen Gammell of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark fame (whose creepy style sounds exactly like honkeoki's description). Here's a list of the stories:
The Noisy Ghosts of Calvados Castle
The Nameless Horror of Berkeley Square
A Long Island Spirit
The Restless Coffins
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
The Ghostly Hitchhikers
The S. S. Watertown Phantoms
The Hounds of Death
Haunted American History
posted by Rhaomi at 3:47 PM on October 19, 2010

Best answer: Hi.
I think you may be thinking of a book called Ghosts... which seems impossible to find. Check out this link where someone is asking about it; He eventually finds it and scans some photos.

( excuse lack of hyperlink-- Internet went out as I found it, so I'm typing from phone)
posted by KogeLiz at 6:14 PM on October 19, 2010

Response by poster: It IS Ghosts! OMG I can't believe it!

Here's the
image that haunted my dreams.

Thanks to all for the help -- I've been thinking about this book for years and years.
posted by honkeoki at 7:44 AM on October 20, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry -- here's a better link.
posted by honkeoki at 8:19 AM on October 20, 2010

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