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GhoStory Guru: “The Highboy” by Alison Lurie

Ever had an inanimate object give you the creeps? If you have, then you’ll identify strongly with Alison Lurie’s disturbing “The Highboy.” If you haven’t? Then this story is the best way to connect with that feeling without having to go through it (yes, I know, cheap thrill).

What gives this story its creep-factor—well, other than the very subject itself—is Lurie’s diction: this modern tale is peppered with antiquated words and phrases to invoke the feel of many of the classics.

Read “The Highboy” and the next time you go into your dining room, you might just give that really ugly inherited antique a second glance.

“The Highboy” is found in Lurie’s 1994 collection, Women & Ghosts. You can purchase it here:

GhoStory Guru: “The Pool People” by Alison Lurie

It’s easy to get chills reading a ghost story that’s set in an abandoned house, a dark forest, a haunted castle—one of the keys to the great ghost story is setting. But a talented writer can give his reader as many shivers in Key West as he can in Transylvania through word choice.

At this, Alison Lurie’s “The Pool People”—about a Key West woman and her not-so-nice mother-in-law who treats the help pretty badly—excels. Lurie’s taken everyone’s concept of paradise and shadowed it up to prove you can still get the spook factor in a sunny environment. Read this and I can guarantee you’ll think twice before taking that dip in your friend’s pool.

“The Pool People” is found in Lurie’s 1994 collection, Women & Ghosts. Click on the picture to purchase.

GhoStory Guru: “Fat People” by Alison Lurie

Has that diet got you down? Maybe you need to develop a healthy fear of food.

It can be done—thanks to Alison Lurie’s ghost story “Fat People.” Lurie has taken an every day struggle that most of us have experienced—the desperate diet—and cooked up something terrifying. One of the ways she achieves this level of terror is making her dry-humored, frank heroine, Ellie (“The salads all started to have sour low-cal dressing, and there was never anything but fruit for dessert: watery melon, or oranges cut up with a few shreds of dry coconut on top, like little undernourished white worms”) someone with whom we can identify: she’s the dieting side of all of us, that voice we hear in our heads. Read this and you definitely won’t put that donut in your mouth.

“Fat People” is found in Lurie’s 1994 collection, Women & Ghosts. Click here to purchase:

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