I do love a good ghost story. I don't believe for a second that ghosts actually exist, but a well-written ghost story is a great thing to read.
Even for someone who doesn't believe in ghosts, a well-written ghost story can create enough tension to get the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Even though I know there's not going to be anything staring back at me, a well-written ghost story can cause me to stare nervously out of the window into the darkness, for a moment hoping that there won't be a figure looking back at me.
So, I bought "The Woman In Black" at the weekend. I don't ever go to the cinema (*) but I am aware enough to know that the film's out at the moment and I'm aware of the stage play, too. I guess that's why the book was so prominent in Waterstones when I was in there.
Anyway, I'd heard that it was genuinely quite scary, so I thought I'd pick it up and give it a read. It's a short book, so I got through it in a couple of days' worth of commutes across London. And it was great.
I really would encourage anyone reading this to go and buy the book, so I shalln't write too much of the plot - but suffice to say it strikes the balance brilliantly between injecting enough to create the chilling atmosphere but without the ridiculously overblown encounters which some less well-written ghost stories tend to rely on.
Talking of less well-written ghost stories, I bought a book of true (yes, I know) ghost stories whilst up north at the weekend. I already had the first volume of Wirral ghost stories by Tom Slemen and I enjoyed it (in the way one may enjoy a Pot Noodle or watching Eastenders. A sort of shallow enjoyment...) so much that I thought I'd buy the second volume. It was great. The funniest thing I've read in a long time...
*I really don't ever go to the cinema. I've probably seen under 20 films in my entire life. And three of those are the Matrix films. And no, I've never seen Star Wars.