Review: New Ghost Stories
New Ghost Stories, published by The Fiction Desk, features some strong, fresh stories that make this collection worth picking up. Julia Patt’s “At Glenn Dale”–based on a real location–preys on urban explorer fantasies and ratchets the tension beautifully, while Eloise Shepherd’s “Journeyman” has the rare distinction of something I’ve honestly never seen done: the ghost’s appearance is so seamlessly integrated, sharp, short and shocking it’s almost as though it’s a film image; it’s a jump-inducing moment that made me question whether or not I had really seen it. Matthew Licht’s “Washout” uses the sense of smell to flesh out its setting and help the reader relate to the circumstances of its sorry characters, and the entrance of the supernatural is so completely unexpected it would’ve made a surprising addition to a non-genre-specific collection. My personal favorite, though, is Jason Atkinson’s “Half Mom,” a palpable examination of loss and regret with a bit of black comedy. All in all, those four make New Ghost Stories a general recommend for ghost story junkies who are tired of the same old stuff.