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Ghost Stories are really popular, and always have been for a very long time. Several reasons why ghost based novels and movies have been successful, is because many people like the thrill. People will pick up a novel or enter a cinema without knowing how you will fell after, kind of in a way… similar to rollercoaster’s and why people go on them. People are just waiting for a break of normal day-to-day life and are craving some excitement. Nearly all ghost stories keep you suspended until the last moment, can’t wait to turn that hand and read the next page.
This keeps the reader at there nerves, but still wanting to read the rest of the book, and finish it, then buy another, then do the exact same. People who sat that they have seen a ghost, just puts other people in a fixed mind set thinking how you would feel during a encounter with a ghost, how you would feel afterwards, would you tell anyone. People often say you get Goosebumps and go cold, and every noise you hear – you think someone is there, the fear factor is there.
There is a number of factors to contribute to a good ghost story, a few of them are; Vocabulary – When the writer gives a good detailed account of what people are wearing, how the setting is, how the weather (is there pathetic fallacy? ). It will give the reader a better understanding of what’s actually going on and so they can then picture it in your head. Unpredictability – Twist’s in the story line, things to keep the reader asking questions after each page, and being answered at the end of the novel, twist’s that aren’t answered, sort of cliff hangers.
Suspense and Development of Tension – this is a key factor because it’s mainly suspense and tension that the reader finds intriguing and what makes them turn the page. Being, again descriptive, going into every sentence as the reader was in the story not knowing anything. Build up of tension; writer would want the reader to feel agitated in specific parts, taking slow steps to describe things, keeping audience at the “edge of there seat”, and similarly the writer needs to develop the tension through his writing. There are Hundreds of Ghost Stories, old, modern, Traditional.
The two Stories I am going to compare is “The Call”, and “The Old Nurse’s Story”, there are a few similarities, some of them are; The Ghost’s – In both stories, the ghosts are both lonely and seeking companionship, and they both got companionship in the end by taking over there victims. From The Call – “What the hell am I doing here? “, Asked Meg, as if waking from a dream”. Meg was taken into a trance by the ghost, in this case by a telephone call. The ghost was pretending someone was down the River. “The Shepherds…
found Miss Maude sitting, all crazy and smiling, nursing a dead child”, – The child of Miss Maude taunts her mother. They take over venerable people, this is a way they trance there victims, after taking over victims, they take them away from there loved ones and family and follow orders from the ghost. This is effective because it adds a twist to the story, taking control over a special or loved person… usually in some ghost stories they tend to take over total strangers and work from there, putting them into a trance and giving specific orders, Out of the ordinary.
In “The Call”, the ghost died by her husband throwing her into the river. He threw her into the river because she had a bad leg and was no use to him. He wanted to see other women. In “The Old Nurses Story”, Lord Furnival wanted his wanted his daughter to marry a person of importance and wealth and to bring happiness into the house. She and her sister had started to take music lessons from a non-profitable tuition from Italy. They both fancied the tutor, but Mrs Maude decides that she wants more than that… she loved him and wanted to marry him.
The only thing that was stopping her was her father, Lord Furnival. The tutor is exactly the person he doesn’t want her daughter to marry. This is effective to the audience because the audience thinks there will be a standard ghostly plot, but this is different. This adds to the depth of the plot, it all based around the family and makes the reader want to know more, it is intriguing to the reader. … Both of the victims are powerless against the ghosts. In “The Call”, the women with the dog, takes control of the wife working in the Samaritans Office.
The husband and wife don’t do anything to stop the ghost; Harry just died and made the ghost go away. When the victims were put into a trance, they don’t want to fight it, rescue themselves… in fact they want to be with the ghost more than their loved ones. This maybe the fact that the ghost just totally overwhelms them and takes 100% control over them. Meg went into a trance and didn’t come to tell her husband, that she was going to the river late at night. The women in both stories fall under the spell of the ghost.
It was late at night and the phone rang. Meg answered it and it was a bit spooky because of the time and nature of the call; there was a mad woman on the phone and was saying that her husband’s going to kill her. The next couple of phone calls were getting Meg weirder and weirder. She snapped. She didn’t know what she was doing under the ghostly trance and she went to the river, towards the woman and dog. Both of the stories are set in very cold, bleak places, these give a kind of goolish, brutal and sick feeling.
Most ghost stories are not set in cold, bleak places… most likely an urban area. This is different. Both situated far from nothing with huge houses and massive land, Wealthy people. The coldness gives a sense of evil and dangerous. Pathetic fallacy is used to reflect the power of the weather, like when they are tranced, and taken over, the weather changes, gets colder, darker and mood and atmosphere changes. Something that was mentioned in the Introduction, about making a ‘good’ ghost story, was language.
The language that both stories use a very descriptive language; so the reader knows/can imagine everything in there mind, “The bank is crumbling and the fence is rotting. “, “The water stacked up, black smooth slightly steaming… “, “the stillness of the dead-cold weather”. Both writers use similes, metaphors and personification. “The Old Nurses Story” use’s old vocabulary, long sentences; this is more found of traditional old ghost stories. As for “The Call”, it uses simple vocabulary, not complicated to follow story line and modern with straight forward sentences.