About the Ghastling

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This is the long anticipated, eagerly awaited third issue. The tales in this collection hang between the living and the dead. Stories that ask questions about ‘mortality’ and a surreptitious theme of the ‘curse’ runs its cloying thread throughout; explores thresholds, interior hauntings and relationships with the inanimate. This time of year sees the release of the ‘darker things’ we so enjoy reading and watching during winter. The time of year that brings shadows, short days and long nights. So what do we have for you? Well, come closer and I shall tell you.

Calling the Dead explores the unfinished business of the ‘recently departed’, and is a cautionary tale for the living: do not play with the dead, else they will play with you. In The Woodchester Happening, an encounter with a seemingly mute boy leads to a strange and disturbing sequence of events. A Precious Possession is a peculiar tale of a box recently inherited, opened, when frankly, it was best left closed… In The Tower, a traveller finds himself amongst the ruins of an ancient and foreboding place in rural Eighteenth Century France, beware, reader, of the one who tells the tale… A film crew arrive in rural Spain to observe the rituals of a macabre festival at the site of a drowned village, unaware that they will become a little more than just spectators in The Village Below. Tight-Lipped is a chilling tale of what happens when a Ventriloquist dies and the grieving are faced with the, now detached, extended entity of the recently deceased. Having lost the extension which gave it life, character, a voice… Sacrilege then surely, to interfere with the ventriloquists’ belief to treat the dummy as though it were, in fact, living… Moth tells the tale of a young homeless man, recently out of gaol, seeking safety and solitude in a city cemetery but finds himself in unsettling company: the company of a soul collector to be precise…

This collection is not only made to chill the spine but is thought-provoking too. Our ability as humans to believe in the potential of ‘otherness’ in every living and created thing is one of the best things about being human. To believe that curses fall upon us like an illness and can be passed along by ‘carriers’- living or otherwise – makes us wary of the ‘something’ we don’t want to mess with. Our superstition can either plague us or save us… So, once again, dear and precious reader, I advise you to proceed with caution. And if you do find yourself suddenly ‘bequeathed’, take care.

Enjoy the coming darkness,

Rebecca Parfitt, Editor

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A magazine of ghosts, the macabre and the oh-so peculiar. We are looking for literary fiction, illustration that chills, shivers, surprises and horrifies.

Who do we like?

 M.R. James, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Susan Hill, Walter de la Mare, H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Edgar Allen Poe, Wilkie Collins, Jeannette Winterson, Sarah Waters, E. Nesbit, Helen Dunmore, E.F. Benson and Shirley Jackson.

Topics we like:

tales of the occult, black magic, superstition, folklore terrors and circus sideshows. 

We don’t like:

Twilight or any associated texts e.g: Dark Romance, and terrible clichés of any of the above! No gore please, we favour the psychological rattling of our brains…

Editor: Rebecca Parfitt

Contact her: editor@theghastling.com