Complete Ghost Stories, Paperback Book

Complete Ghost Stories Paperback

Part of the Wordsworth Classics series

1 out of 5 (1 rating)


Interest in supernatural phenomena was high during Charles Dickens' lifetime. He had always loved a good ghost story himself, particularly at Christmas time, and was open-minded, willing to accept, and indeed put to the test, the existence of spirits. His natural inclinations toward drama and the macabre made him a brilliant teller of ghost tales, and in the twenty stories presented here, which include his celebrated A Christmas Carol, the full range of his gothic talents can be seen. Chilling as some of these stories are, Dickens has managed to inject characteristically grotesque comedy as he writes of revenge, insanity, pre-cognition and dream visions, he indulges also in some debunking of contemporary credulity.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic horror & ghost stories
  • ISBN: 9781853267345


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I read the first couple of these only. Both were fairly interesting, but neither can be reasonably called a "ghost story" in any meaningful sense, they're just strange stories. One features an odd chair that gives romantic advice (rather Blytonesque than horrific) and the other is simply a lunatic's account of his life. Both had the typical Dickensian style, full of verbosity and extravagant phrasings, making them simultaneously characterful and somewhat clunky. Both were also extracts from "The Pickwick Papers", rather than written to be short stories. Considering all this, I decided there was no reason to keep reading. If I want to read the Pickwick Papers I might as well do that properly; if I want to read ghost stories, the evidence suggests this is not a good anthology. And to be honest a little of Dickens' style goes a long way.I'm really torn on how to rate this. The stories aren't bad in and of themselves, but as a ghost story anthology it is a miserable sham. I'm giving it one star, but no blame attaches to Dickens for that. Well... very little. Paid by the word, is all I can say.

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