Monday, 17 January 2011

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Haunted E-book by J.L. Bryan

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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Competition Details

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!


BooksforCompany said...

Haha l love this post!! =)
The Party Ghost is a very funny one! I used to always be scared there was one in my attic! Don't all kids? lool!

C.Lefeve said...

What a fun post! I grew up on the South Texas border with stories of La Llorona (a woman who killed her kids a la 'Susan Smith' to be w/ her lover) and El Cucuy (boogeyman/ghost who takes children if they are bad). Recently, my husband and I thought we had a ghost in our new house (we live right by a civil war battlefield), who would open the child guard/gate we installed for our pugs, but it turned out to be one of the pugs who mastered the art of locks! I'll admit, I was a bit dissapointed it wasn't a "party ghost".

Darkeva said...

Nice detail! I love that there are so many different kinds of ghosts and each one of them has something different to offer, some good, some evil nasties ;-)


JL_Bryan said...

Books for Company & Claudia - Sounds like we have a lot of hauntings going on. Fortunately, there are future blog tours posts on how to deal with that exact situation!

Darkeva- Thanks for coming by!

One Pushy Fox said...

Interesting post about the variety of ghosts out there. Also interesting that you classified the ghosts from A Christmas Carol in the angel category. I'd be with you for the ghosts of Christmas past and present but the future ghost? For me, that one's too creepy for that (and no matter what I do, the visual I get for this ghost is always the depiction from the Bill Murray movie, Scrooged, *shudder*).

I can't think of another type of ghost but I will add that I think it's interesting how no matter how modern and sophisticated we think ourselves to be, a good ghost story is always something that calls to the part of us that is frightened of the dark.

I grew up in Chicago where there are a lot of urban legend ghost stories, my favorite of which is Resurrection Mary, about a girl in a party dress who haunts Archer Avenue. Every year around prom time, people tell that story and invariably someone's sister's boyfriend's cousin had picked her up while driving home from their prom and got freaked out when she disappeared at Resurrection Cemetery. *insert creepy laugh here*

Mel said...

The school I used to go to was always rumored to haunted - it used to be a private home over 100 years earlier (It was a Queen Anne mansion house in Surrey). I never saw anything but there were always stories that the staircase was haunted by a maid the butler had pushed down the stairs...I certainly used to get feelings of dread before some classes - but that might be because I hadn't done my homework! :-)

I've always been curious about ghosts though...

Books sounds great!


Tanja said...

Sorry, but ghosts are bad. There is no way to tell a good ghost from an antagonistic demon. Ok, my religious background is probably the reason I think they are bad. But too many movies make me feel like they are scary.

JL_Bryan said...

Pushy - I agree, the ghost of Christmas future is very scary! But, you know, he's doing it so you'll learn & be a better person...kind of a supernatural "Scared Straight" program :)

Mel - Thanks for sharing your ghost story!

Tanja - You might be right! I've never heard of a "good" ghost in real life, only in fiction. The ghosts I hear about in real life don't sound very nice at all!

SandyG265 said...

I've never thought about there being different kinds of ghosts before.

SandyG265 said...

Forgot to leave my email address

sgiden at

Anonymous said...

Wow, as much as I love ghosts, I've never really tried to put them in categories like that. VERY interesting post.

Aleetha said...

Thanks for sharing and telling us about any kind of ghost. For the rest of my life I just put them in one category.

In Indonesia, we have many kinds of Ghost. From a creepy ghost of pregnant woman till the one who stays in bridge.
Most of them are frightening. So I think they are in The Revenant class.
Their stories are well known in every generation.
Some of them come from legend.
I have a long list with me. at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

So glad my friend Lauralynn pointed me in this direction. Love the way you have categorized the ghosts. Always good to know what kind of ghost you have hanging around your attic. :)

Anonymous said...

oops forgot the email address.

Deepali said...

This is pretty funny!! Very interesting to see ghost categories, its just something I never really paid much attention to, but seems to needed now :)
What about a possesor kind of ghost? Does that need a separate category?

hense1kk said...

Ha I love your interviews! They are always so fun and original! Lets see....Well a revenant definitely makes for a good story...but I would definitely NOT want one hanging around...what about ghost animals? They hang around too...and not for very obvious reasons EX(Winston Churchill...the Stephen King's Pet Semetary)

hense1kk (AT) cmich (DOT) edu

JL_Bryan said...

I agree that "possesors" and "ghost animals" would be two more categories of ghosts!

Birgit said...

I kinda like the ghosts on the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom *lol*. Other than that ... who knows?

danaan at gmx dot at

Anonymous said...

I see my mother at different times. She is just watching me. I have always thought of her as an angel. This year on Christmas Eve I found a note she had written 30 years ago. I think it was her way of wishing me a merry Christmas! Chipaholicmel at yahoo dot com

Melanie said...

I've never dealt with a ghost, but know several people who have. One friend was disturbed by her resident ghost's stomping up and down a locked staircase in the back of her house. She was also visited frequently by the ghost, who appeared as a blue orb in her bedroom. Yikes. She resolved the situation by having a rational conversation with the entity, asking it to keep it down and otherwise not scare the bejesus out of her. That seemed to work and the ghost either left or chose to go into hiding.
As a side note, this friend confirmed the ghost's presence with her landlord, who had also lived in the house and encountered the spirit.
Perhaps this one was a "Broken Record?"

JL_Bryan said...

Birgit - Those are great ghosts!

Melanie - Could be! That seems to be the most common type of ghost in the real world, from what I've heard...

Thanks for commenting, everyone! I'll add you the Grand Prize entry list.

Darlyn said...

I am totally a scaredy-cat! I know ghost exists and they can be everywhere and I read ghost stories too. But if you need a ghost story from me, well, I don' really want to remember one. Maybe it's enough to tell that I saw one in my life it's the scariest thing i've ever experienced. Yikes!