This morning I just finished reading ‘The Haunted House’ by Charles Dickens. Being both an avid reader of ghost stories and Dickens, I was surprised that I had never heard of this title before. It was originally written in 1859 for Dickens’ weekly periodical All the Year Round. What makes this story unique is the fact that the haunting of each room within the haunted house is told by a different author. Dickens recruited some of his best friends (who also happen to be some of the best writers of the period) such as Wilkie Collins and Elizabeth Gaskell to write ‘hauntings’ of the rooms in the house.
This complete story by different authors gives a fantastic insight into some of the key writers of the Victorian period, as well as building one story from several voices which are literally very different. It is interesting to see how the different authors (and poets) construct very different ghost stories, which act together as a whole story.
While the concept is very interesting, I found some of the stories difficult to follow as the authors all had a different approach to writing a ‘ghost’ story. I was also slightly disappointed that the ‘ghosts’ were less spectral than I had hoped. However, the story is nevertheless very unique and presents a wonderful collection of Victorian authors. At only one hundred pages long it can easily be read in a couple of days and, even though the ending could be seen as disappointing, it still makes for an entertaining and unusual read.
If you enjoyed this please read my article on the London Olympics: http://bit.ly/IaTK1X