A Tuesday Ten: Ghostly Encounters

And now with Halloween approaching what better topic than ghosts? There are a lot of ghost stories out there.  So don’t think of this as the ultimate list–it’s just my ten.  These are all stories of ghostly encounters between living and ghost characters.  While some of them might be spooky, none of them are particularly horrific.


The Ghosts by Antonia Barber (Simon Pulse, c1972)

Lucy and Jamie didn’t believe their old house was haunted until they saw two ghost children with their own eyes.  This curious friendship of children across time is threatened by a dark and deadly murder, that can only be stopped if brother and sister have the courage to step back in time . . .  One of my old favorites that first got me into ghosts and time travel.


The Ghost in the Third Row by Bruce Coville (Yearling, 1987)

One of Bruce Coville’s earlier fantasy series, this trio of books features Nina Tanleven encountering different ghosts.  The first ghost shows up during her school play–a woman in white sitting in the third row.  Nina senses the ghost means no harm . . . but can she figure out what the phantom woman wants?  The other titles are The Ghost Wore Gray (1988) and The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed (1991).


Rules for Ghosting by A. J. Paquette (Walker, 2013)

Dahlia has been 12 years old for over fifty years.  She’s a ghost that haunts Silverton manor, and this ghostly girl can’t leave.  But now after so long waiting, there’s finally someone sent to help her.  But things have gotten more complicated: a new family has moved into the home, an old family curse has awoken and there’s a ghost hunter lurking  . . .  a fun, fairly light weight ghost story with a vivid heroine.


The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Olivia Stellatella’s mom left , and her father has time only for his beloved orchestra.  Losing family, home and any sense of happiness leaves Olivia at odds with the world . . . until she encounters ghosts living in the old concert hall and discovers she has the power to help them move on.  A darker sort of story in the emotional pain that the characters must deal with and heal from.  I really wish it had gone with a less cartoonish cover.


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Puffin, c1843)

How can I have a list of ghostly encounters without including this beloved classic?  While most of us associate ghosts with Halloween, Dickens brings them into play with Christmas.  Ebenezer Scrooge is a penny pinching miser who is given the gift of four ghostly visits that are aimed at changing the man for the better.    These are ghosts on a mission!


Stonewords by Pam Conrad (HarperCollins, 1990)

Two friends have grown up with each other.  Zoe was four when they met, Zoe Louise was over 100 year old.  Girl and ghost have remained fast friends over the years . . . but now time may be running out for Zoe Louise.  The only way to save her may lie in Zoe traveling to the past to change it–but will changing the past wipe out her very own future?  This was the Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Children’s Mystery (1991).


The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney-Hyperion, 2013)

Ghost busters in an alternate history England!  Complete with swords, humor and much spookiness.  Lucy Carlyle is the newest employee of Lockwood & Co. –psychic investigation agency that has been having a run of bad luck.  Can this young trio turn their misfortune around and discover the mystery behind the Screaming Staircase?  Lots of fun, though it’s also one of the scariest on the list!


Dial-a-Ghost by Eva Ibbotson (Puffin, c1996)

Pure Eva Ibbotson, the Dial-a-ghost agency finds homes for ghosts.  But when a specific match goes awry and a kindly family of ghosts are sent to haunt a young heir rather than the ones meant to scare him to death, the family decides to put a stop to the evil plot against Oliver once and for all.  Full of wit, charm and humor, this is a classic by the late author.


Lily’s Ghosts by Laura Ruby (HarperTrophy, 2003)

Stuck in her Uncle’s creepy house for the summer, Lily is not at all pleased to find the place crawling with ghosts.   And the host of unhappy phantoms is haunter her. But just why are they all here?  Lily’s attempt to unravel that mystery will reveal a sinister plot in the works–and she’s the only one who can put a stop to it!


The Children of Green Knowe by L. M. Boston (HMH books, c1954)

Young Tolly is a lonely boy sent to live with his Great-Grandmother in her strange house at Green Knowe.  Despite the fact that he is the only child living there, Tolly is certain he has heard children playing and moving around the old house.  He only just seems to miss them.  Are these children something more than figments of his imagination?  A classic, slightly spooky set of stories  that still can be found on the library shelves.  There are six titles altogether in the Green Knowe series.

So there’s a quick list of ghostly encounters for this Tuesdays Ten!  What are your favorites?  Comments Welcome!


About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on October 22, 2013, in General Posts, Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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