Happy Halloween 2011

by John J. Miller on October 31, 2011

in Blog Posts

  • Sumo

Today is the day for H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan PoeArthur Machen, Bram Stoker, and Shirley Jackson.

From my article on the classic ghost-story writer M.R. James:

Do you believe in ghosts? Montague Rhodes James kept an open mind: “I am prepared to consider evidence and accept it if it satisfies me,” he once commented. …

Even hard-headed skeptics must have moments of uncertainty. There is no rational reason to avoid walking beneath a ladder, only a superstitious one. But who doesn’t think twice about doing it — or breaking a mirror, opening an umbrella indoors, or letting a black cat cross your path? “Everyone can remember a time when he has carefully searched his curtains — and poked in the dark corners of his room before retiring to rest,” wrote James. Better safe than sorry.

Dickens probably put it best: “My own mind is perfectly unprejudiced and impressible on the subject of ghosts. I do not in the least pretend that such things cannot be.”

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