Joanne Wotypka is a branch library assistant in the Cameron Library at
the University of Alberta.
These two volumes provide a selection of ghost stories ranging from the
simply mysterious to the extremely disturbing. Both books include an
impressive number of Canadian stories. The style of the storytelling is
engaging, drawing the reader in with ordinary details before revealing
the supernatural aspect of each tale.
A.S. Mott’s collection of haunted school stories is quite creepy.
Every school has its secrets, and based on these stories, it seems clear
that they are magnets for the supernatural. “The Pool” is an example
of spooky storytelling at its finest. Perhaps even more creepy are the
intrusive and malevolent spirits featured in Edrick Thay’s stories of
haunted houses. For sheer depravity, Madame Lalaurie, the sadistic lady
of New Orleans, rivals Vlad the Impaler and the vampiric Countess of
Although both books contain pictures of many of the sites and
personalities mentioned in the stories, the inclusion of ghostly
pictures would have greatly enhanced their scare value as well as their
credibility. That quibble aside, these two collections are good for an
extreme scare or two, especially if their readers have active