You may remember a few days back I posted my review of J.L. Bryan's The Haunted E-book. Well as luck would have it, earlier today I was asked if I would like to join the Blog Tour and host an author guest post. Of course I would!
So without further ado, I'll let Mr Bryan take you on a ghostly tour. Enjoy!
A Ghostly Taxonomy
By J.L. Bryan
Thanks to The Slowest Bookworm for hosting this stop on The Haunted E-book Tour!
The Haunted E-book is a ghost story, so we're going to talk a lot about ghosts on this tour. I thought it might be a good idea to start the conversation with a look at some of the different types of ghosts that are out there. Here are a few major types:
The “Angel”: Some ghosts aren't out to get you, they're out to help you. They may be a friend or family who knew you in life. These ghosts have a message. Perhaps “You are in danger” or “The money's hidden under the loose floorboard.” Or maybe “Don't be so sad—we'll be together again.” If you're going to be haunted, an “angel” ghost is the way to go. Examples, A Christmas Carol, To Dance With The White Dog.
The Banshee: Descended from faerie lore, this is primarily an Irish ghost, though Scottish and Welsh variants exist. The banshee can appear in the form of a beautiful young woman or an old hag, or she can remain completely invisible. The banshee is best known for her wailing scream, which usually announces a death in the family. (Interesting ghost note: In Ireland, only certain specific families are said to be haunted by banshees, generation after generation, who let them know whenever a family has died anywhere in the world.)
The “Broken Record”: Possibly the most common type of ghost. They act out the same drama again and again, more of a psychic echo than a conscious entity. These ghosts might spend their nights pacing along a widow's walk, playing a piano, or even rearranging decorations or furniture into their preferred pattern. They are associated with major emotional trauma, like heartbreak or murder, events powerful enough to leave a mark on the universe long after the person who suffered it has died.
The “Party Ghost”: These ghosts don't have an important message for you, nor are they interested in terrorizing your household. They just want to have a good time, and they happen to want to do it in your attic late at night. The Party Ghost may not be a huge threat to your survival, but it can be a major nuisance. Example: Beetlejuice.
The Poltergeist: Usually tied to a specific location and is known for smashing things up and knocking things down, and sometimes doing a little violence. Poltergeists may be restless spirits, though parapsychologists often say poltergeists are “only” a form of telekinetic acting out by adolescent girls. To me, this is a pretty big “only.” Poltergeist, Carrie.
The Restless Obsessor: Some ghosts may haunt for a specific reason, which may include their murder going unsolved, or their bodies being buried somewhere that makes them unhappy. Restless ghosts can be quite difficult, loud and destructive. Fortunately, they come with their own solution—find and bury the body, or track down the murderer, or and the ghost will leave you on alone and move on to the next plane, or whatever comes next. Examples: Hamlet, “The Telltale Heart”.
The Revenant: This is one of your nastier ghosts, and Jonah from The Haunted E-book would fall into this category. A revenant is a spirit that has not found peace, and returns to terrorize the living. Numerous rituals have evolved in human societies for warding off revenants. The ancient Greeks put a coin under the tongue of the dead to ensure they could pay the fare for Charon's ferry into the underworld—rather than come back as an angry revenant to haunt their relatives. Offerings of food and drink are put out for the ancestor spirits in numerous cultures to keep them pacified so they don't attack. “Trick or treating” on Halloween reflects this tradition. Scary ghosts and goblins show up at your door, and you give them treats to pacify them. If not, you could be vulnerable to a “trick”. Examples: A Nightmare on Elm Street, every other story in the Tales from the Crypt comic book series.
These are just a few of the more familiar ghosts. In the comments below, you might mention other types of ghosts, or your favorite kind of ghost. One commenter will win ebook copies of both The Haunted E-book and Dark Tomorrows according to The Slowest Bookworm's usual giveaway rules. Commenting also enters you for The Haunted E-book Tour Grand Prizes, including an Amazon Kindle and The Haunted Library collection of ebooks. See the blog tour page for complete details.
Thanks for having me over, Karen! It was so nice to visit.
About the Author:
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He is the author of five novels and one short-story collection. His new novel is The Haunted E-book. The sequel to his novel Jenny Pox will be available by summer 2011.
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To enter the competition, please leave your ghostly stories in the comment box below along with your email address so that we can send you the ebooks if you win. (If you would like to enter but don't want to leave your email address in the comments section, then please just leave the comment below and email me with details of the name you commented with and the email address you'd like us to use.)
The competition closes at 6pm GMT on 24th January 2011. Good luck!