Coming Soon – God-King Of The Living Dead

I have a story titled God-King Of The Living Dead to be published a little later this year in The Fairy Tale Collection – The Knight Sky from Anthology House Publishing.

My tale features the return of an ongoing character, Caligula Wulf, who first appeared in my story Unnatural Acts.

This time Caligula Wulf time is accidentally summoned to mediaeval Hungary to face an undead hoard lead by their infernally powerful, and gibberingly insane, God-King…

More details coming soon…

Publication Date to be confirmed

God-King Of The Living Dead

Short story, circa 5500 words

Historical Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Dark Comedy

To be featured in the anthology The Fairy-Tale Collection : The Knight Sky, Edited by J. L. Lane, published by Anthology House Publishing

 

Reviews of the Sweet Dreams anthology and my story R.I.P.

The first couple of reviews for the Sweet Dreams anthology have been published on Amazon, both of which mention my story R.I.P.

 

 

 

 

A collection of unique tales by some very talented authors that will leave your mind wondering at possibilities. My favorites tales were the waking hour and R.I.P, which one’s will be your favorites I wonder.

 

This one is Chastity H. King’s Review of ‘Sweet Dreams’


For her horror anthology ‘Sweet Dreams’, J. L. Lane has selected some of the best short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Although brought together under a common theme, these tidbits of terror are as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Whether you are looking for some new stories from authors you know and love, or new ones to fall in love with, your search is over. This anthology has something for anyone who loves horror fiction.

A great novel is like meeting someone, going for drinks, then dinner, learning about them over the course of a few months, maybe longer, and hoping it will turn out the way you want. A great short story is meeting someone, skipping the drinks, sharing a passionate kiss in some dark corner and walking away with no time for expectations, just excitement and pure adrenaline. These pages pull you into that corner, kiss you deep, and leave you wanting more.

This book snagged me from the start with Kitty Kane’s Souldrop: A town of terror. This is a story about a journalist whos’ gruesome actions lead her down a road to her unexpected destiny. A little farther along I was delighted to find a wonderfully morbid story by J. L. Lane herself. ‘Waking Hour’ is a nightmare of such intensity that you find yourself questioning which is the dream and which is reality. I was thrown from one dreamland to the next, delving deeper as I went and loving every minute of it. I mean everyone likes to be scared sometimes, right? If you do like getting scared and are wondering if this book is enough to do it, just read this passage from G.H. Finn’s ‘R.I.P.’: I’ll open you up don’t be afraid, just feel the kiss of the edge of my blade.

So, get your copy of ‘Sweet Dreams’, lock your doors, check all the lights are in proper working order, and be ready to go without sleep for the night

Sweet Dreams on Amazon UK

Sweet Dreams on Amazon US

“The Hidden War On Terror” – Coming Soon in “Dark Designs: Tales Of Mad Science”

My story The Hidden War On Terror will be published in Dark Designs: Tales Of Mad Science from Shadow Work Publishing – due out on 28th March 2017

The Hidden War On Terror is a darkly comic, Cthulhu Mythos inspired, Spy-Fi tale of cosmic terror and the workings of more than one kind of hidden inteligence…

More deatils soon…

“Rakshasa” – My story is in “Fifty Flashes” – Out Now in Paperback

My flash-fiction speculative/horror story Rakshasa is featured in Fifty Flashes, published in paperback by Whortleberry Press (orderering details below).

Whortleberry Press – The Best In Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Sine 2001

Rakshasa is drawn from Hindu and Buddhist mythology and folklore and mixes horror and Indian philosophy in equal measure.

We proudly present our new flash fiction anthology:
50 FLASHES
Yes, the work of 50 of our outstanding Whortleberry authors is now ready to bring you
thrills and chills, laughter and tears, amazement and awe.

Fifty Flashes is available from Lulu on this LINK

 

“Sweet Dreams” featuring my story “R.I.P.” – Out Now

My short story R.I.P. is featured in the horror & dark speculative fiction anthology Sweet Dreams, the first book out from Anthology House Publishing.

R.I.P. is a twisting tale with an unfolding mystery and features the themes of hypnosis, past-life regression, reincarnation, hidden identity and the terror inspired by the world’s most infamous serial killer…

Sweet Dreams is available in paperback and as an etext (e.g. for the Kindle) and can be ordered from Amazon (links below)

Toss and turn your way through a darkly haunting world of nightmares. After reading this anthology you may never again sleep with the lights off. If you ever dare sleep at all…
23 twisted stories and 5 haunting poems from the depraved minds of:
Kitty Kane
Paul J. Elias
Andrew Lennon
J. Duncan
Toneye Eyenot
J. L. Lane
Essel Pratt
G. H. Finn
Veronica Smith
C.S Anderson
Jim Goforth
Peter Oliver Wonder
Dani Brown
Norbert Góra
Roy C. Booth
Cynthia Booth
Lisa Dabrowski
Anusha VR
Kevin Wimer
Christine King
Tina Piney
R. E. Lyons
Frank Martin

Sweet Dreams on Amazon UK

Sweet Dreams on Amazon US

FREE! Read my story “A Gift Of Honeycake” in Bodyparts Magazine Issue #7: Fairy Tales, Gods and Monsters

Ursus5You can read my Utopian/Dystopian, myth & folklore related sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction story A Gift Of Honeycake online, FREE on this link

“It was night time in the forest.
Cold.
Very cold.
Oh so very cold.
Dark.
Very, very dark.
Darker than chimney soot.
Darker than midwinter midnight.
Blacker than the heart of a thrice-born witch”

My tale is featured in Bodyparts Magazine Issue #7: Fairy Tales, Gods and Monsters

 

Bodyparts #7 Fairy Tales, Gods & Monsters features short stories, flash fiction, essays and art – read online FREE

FREE! Read my story “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” in Sirens Call #30 “Death In All Its Glory”

Title: Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Published in the FREE MAGAZINE

The Sirens Call : “Death In All Its Glory” (Issue #30)

Sirens Call 30

Electronic Magazine Available FREE here

www.sirenscallpublications.com/pdfs/SirensCallEZine_December2016.pdf

Micro-Fiction, 300 words

Pokemon Go inspired comic horror

Published in The Sirens Call eZine Issue #30 – Death In All Its Glory.

gotta-catch-em-all


A Six Word Story for Krampusnacht

A day later than usual, here is my latest 6-word story, just in time for Krampusnacht

Be good (or learn to run quickly),

Finn

youre-on-my-list-said-krampus

 

Six Word Story #4

Hello once again Dear Reader,

Here is this week’s 6-Word Story…

Finn

let-there-be-darkness-the-end

#FREE ! #STEAMPUNK ! This weekend only!!!

cover-bigHere’s your chance to read one of my stories – and lots of others – toally FREE. You can download the eText version from Amazon (links below).

My short story Obelisk is in the anthology Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors

Obelisk takes place in an alternative-history version of the Victorian period and is set on a newly colonised Mars, where prospectors and miners ride steam-driven horses and clockwork mules, and where archaeologists search for traces of a lost, indiginous Martian civilisation.

The anthology as a whole features twenty five tales of highly inventive Steampunkery, so grab it FREE while you can!

 

For the long Thanksgiving weekend, between the parade, the turkey and the football, if you find yourself without anything to do, you might want a taste of outer-space and fantasy-world adventure! Look no further than JayHenge’s anthologies! Free Kindle versions on Amazon for the entire 4-day weekend!

Get Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors on Amazon.com HERE or Amazon.co.uk HERE

The Hidden War On Terror – Darkly Comic Cthulhu Mythos Story

I’ve had another story accepted. This one is a dark, satirical comedy horror drawn from the Cthulhu mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft. I will of course be doing a happy little dance of praise to the dread dead dreaming one while sacrificing all unbelievers with a rusty knife.

The story is due to be published in an anthology in the spring of 2017.

More news on this soon.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh ooh ah ah ting tang walla walla bing fhtagn

Finncth11

Fall/Autumn Edition of New Zenith Magazine

nz-fall-2016-page001A quick reminder that I have a story in the current (Fall/Autumn) edition of New Zenith Magazine.

The magazine is available to buy for $3.99 in digital format here (print edition out soon).

You can read the free web editions of the magazine (but not my story, The Halloween Party) on the following links.

Free OCTOBER web issue

Free NOVEMBER web issue

 

 

halloween-finn

logo

My Story ‘Grave Mistake’ in ‘O Horrid Night: Chilling Holiday Tales for the Black-Hearted’

My story Grave Mistake will be published in O Horrid Night: Chilling Holiday Tales for the Black-Hearted

o-horrid-nightTwas the month before Christmas at Castle FunDead,

And there was something stirring for all to dread.

A new book was ready to frighten the masses,

Something strange for horror-loving lads and lasses.

Pre-order your copy, so you get it right away,

On December third, the official release day!

 

Click the cover art to pre-order from FunDead!

Six Word Story #3

Hello Dear Reader,

Here’s another 6-Word Story.

Finn

 

life-do-i-get-another-go

Sweet Dreams Anthology – Back Cover

The Back Cover for the "Sweet Dreams" anthology. Design by Dale Leary.
The Back Cover for the “Sweet Dreams” anthology. Design by Dale Leary.

I have a story titled R. I. P. coming out soon in the collection Sweet Dreams from Anthology House Publishing. Here’s the back cover artwork for the book.

This anthology is themed around dark and disturbing dreams and contains a host of tales that blend unsettling speculative fiction, weird terror, the supernatural and horror in all its forms.

More news on the anthology soon.

Finn

 

Six Word Story #2

Hello Dear Reader,

Here is this week’s 6-Word Story. You’re welcome.

Finn

earth-was-in-humanities-hands-butterfingers

Dhampyrs in Folklore & Fiction #FolkloreThursday

Dhampyrs in Folklore & Fiction

monster-1454286_960_720This piece will be posted on both my Fiction Writing Blog and my Folklore & Magic Blog. I’m feeling somewhat smug today having just had a story accepted for The British Fantasy Society’s Horizons magazine. Naturally my tale A Taste Of Blood And Honey is a work of fiction but is does draw on genuine folklore and features a variety of supernatural beings in a grim social-surrealistic setting (essentially an experimental form of “Kitchen Sink Urban Fantasy”).

In my story I feature a form of Dhampyr (not quite the usual sort however). The name Dhampyr is generally taken to be a conjunction of two Albanian words, “dham” (teeth) and “pirë” (drink). As Dhampyrs are not especially well known outside Eastern Europe, I thought it might be an idea to explain a little bit about them. Traditionally, a Dhampyr is a creature found in Balkan folklore. It generally appears to be a normal human (at least much of the time) but in reality the creature is most commonly born as the result of a sexual encounter between a vampire and a human. Dhampyr is one of several possible ways of spelling the term in English, others include Dhampir, Dhampyre and Dhamphir.

gothic-1320072_960_720In folklore, Dhampyrs generally possess powers similar to those of Vampires (inherited one presumes from their Vampiric parent). Dhampyrs however frequently have (at least some of) the strengths but not (all of) the weaknesses of Vampires.

In recent Vampire fiction, Dhampyrs have often appeared as hybrids of one human and one vampire parent – not vampires themselves, but a half-breed of both. I put a different spin on things in my own story, while hopefully remaining true to the spirit of the original folklore.

Originally “Dhampyrs”  were specifically associated with Balkan folklore although other names were also used in the region, for example the Serbian “Vampirović”, “Vampijerović” and “Vampirić” or the Bosnian “Lampijerović” (literally meaning “Son of a Vampire).

Often a boy said to have a Vampire parent may be named “Dhampir” and a girl “Dhampirica”. Alternatively, depending on region and local tradition, a male child may be named “Vampir”, while a female child might be named “Vampirica”.

In the Balkan region it was believed that generally most male vampires continue to have a great desire for “female company”, even after death. It was widely believed that a vampire would return and do their best to have intercourse with his wife, girlfriend or with any woman he had been attracted to in life. In at least one well documented case, a Serbian widow blamed her pregnancy on her late husband, who had “allegedly” become a vampire. This belief also led to several cases of Serbian men masquerading as vampires in order to have their wicked way with women they desired.

gothic-1482950_960_720The sexual nature of vampirism has been well established in classic fictional works on Vampires, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel through the Hammer Films of the ‘60s & ‘70s and on to the more recent works of authors such as Anne Rice, or even to an extent the Twilight franchise. But this is not simply a literary motif. In Bulgarian folklore for example, vampires were sometimes said to deflower virgins, just like in the later horror movies. Sexually active vampires appear in Southern Slavic vampire beliefs, and likewise in Belarusian legends.

Some Eastern European traditions tell of specific signs by which the children of a vampire can be recognised.

Albanian legends state Dhampyrs have untamed dark or black hair and lack a shadow.

vampire-625851_960_720In Bulgarian folklore, possible indications include being “very dirty,” having a soft body, no nails and no bones (the lack of bones is also ascribed to the vampire itself), and “a deep mark on the back, like a tail.” A long pronounced nose was often also sign, as were larger than normal ears, teeth or eyes.

In some areas, a true Dhampyr possessed a “slippery, jelly-like body and lived only a short life” which may have been a description of a hereditary genetic condition, or side-effects produced as the result of poor nutrition.

Or of course, perhaps it may indicate having a vampire as a parent…

Six Word Story #1

The origin of the Six-Word-Story is (perhaps dubiously) usually cited as being Ernest Hemingway (for more on this see the entry on Wikipedia).

Regardless of who actually wrote the first 6-Word story, it has become a niche but fairly popular literary form (at least amongst writers who want to try and show off their own attempts).

To amuse myself (and hopefully you, dear reader) I’ve decided to post one 6-word story each week.

Here goes with my first one…

free-to-good-home-unwanted-mother

I’m in the Fall/Autumn issue of New Zenith Magazine

I have a story, The Halloween Party, in the latest issue of New Zentih Magazine which is available now in digital format for the very modest price of US $3.99 (about £3.27) – click here to get a copy (it will be available in print format shortly).
My story is in the paid edition but if you’d like to see what to expect from the magazine there is a free web edition here
I’m in good company in the present issue. Details of my fellow contributors are below.

NZM Logo

Contributors – Fall 2016

Robert Edward Baker

Robert Edward Baker works as a male model by day and a rock singer by night. He also writes fiction like the above. In truth, Robert lives in Bradford, England, with his wife and their three sons. Recently, he took his first baby steps toward a career in writing.

Robert’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Robert-Edward-Baker-1743647935882181/

Allison Epstein

Allison Epstein

Allison Epstein is a writer, marketer, feminist, and recreational student of Shakespeare living in Chicago. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Strangelet Journal, Ugly Sapling, The Huffington Post, and Adios Barbie, among other publications. She hasn’t finished a conversation without quoting the musical Hamilton since September 2015.

Twitter: @AllisonEpstein2

Publications: allisonepstein.contently.com

Blog: thebodypacifist.wordpress.com

Ute Carson

Ute Carson

A writer from youth, German-born Ute Carson has published three novels, three collections of poetry and numerous essays and short stories. She resides in Austin, Texas with her husband. They have three daughters, six grandchildren, a horse and a number of cats. Please visit her website www.utecarson.com.

G. H. Finn

G. H. Finn

G. H. Finn is the pen name of someone you are very unlikely to have heard of but who keeps his real identity secret anyway, possibly in the forlorn hope of one day being mistaken for a superhero.

Website: http://ghfinn.orkneymagic.com/

Twitter: @GanferHaarFinn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/g.h.finn/

Amazon Author’s Page: UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/G-H-Finn/e/B0147L6E66/ & US http://www.amazon.com/G-H-Finn/e/B0147L6E66/

Previously Published & Forthcoming Fiction:
Please see this link http://ghfinn.orkneymagic.com/published-fiction/

Sandra J. Jackson

Sandra J. Jackson

Born in Montreal, Sandra J. Jackson now resides in a rural setting in Eastern Ontario.

Sandra is a multi-genre author. Her debut novel, Promised Soul, was released in March 2015. She is currently working on her first series, the first of the books due to release sometime in 2016.

Links

Website: www.sandrajjackson.com

Amazon (International link): myBook.to/PromisedSoul

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sandrajjackson.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjjacksonauthor

Google +: http://google.com/+Sandrajjacksonauthor

Linkedin: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/sandrajjacksonauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson

Lisa Luciano

Lisa Luciano

Lisa Luciano enjoys reading, writing, and creating art with recycled materials. She has been through the “Miraculous Marathon” a few times….being the mother of eleven children.

Edward McDermott

Edward McDermott

Edward McDermott, born in Toronto, has a professional day job but spends his spare time pursuing a writing career. Aside from taking writing courses and participating in writers’ groups, Edward takes time for sailing, fencing, and working as a movie extra. http://www.edwardmcdermott.net/

Kate Krake

Kate Krake

Kate Krake is a writer, mother, wife and beagle tamer. She is the author of the continuing urban fantasy meta-novel, Guessing Tales as well as numerous non-fiction books for writers. Kate also runs the writing advice website, The Write Turn. Kate lives in Brisbane, Australia (and yes, her backyard is at times overrun with kangaroos).

http://www.katekrake.com

http://www.thewriteturn.com

http://www.guessingtales.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katekrake

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katekrake/

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/katekrake

Denny E. Marshall

Denny E. Marshall

Denny E. Marshall isn’t a high-flying super hero, nor president of the largest nation in the world, and he hasn’t been published in the New Yorker. However, he is one heck of an artist, and a pretty mean storyteller. Watch out world because we haven’t seen the last of him!

Chance Nix

Chance Nix

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chance managed to escape the trappings of life by running away to join the United States Marine Corps in time to serve during the battle of Fallujah in 2004. After serving two tours in Iraq and helping during Hurricane Katrina, Chance was discharged with a Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He currently lives in Princeton, Texas with his wife Jennifer, their two sons; Damien and Bastian, and two wonderful dogs. When he is not spending his time with his family or watching UFC, Chance can be found at his keyboard working on yet another story.

Brooke Petrie

Brooke Petrie

Brooke Petrie is an author who carries a pen, notebook and a tonne of adjectives with her wherever she goes. She has a passion for all forms of storytelling – be it poetry, music, visual art or narratives. Brooke can’t wait to venture out of the small city of Adelaide, South Australia, to hear more stories from different places in the world. Her dreams often involve meeting Jack Kerouac.

Jacqueline Seewald

Jacqueline Seewald

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Sixteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies.

Her writer’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com

LD Masterson

LD Masterson

LD Masterson lives in Dayton, Ohio and enjoys writing in a variety of genres. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies and she recently completed a paranormal suspense novel, Hunter’s Way.

Catch her at http://ldmasterson-author.blogspot.com.

Jay Seate

Jay Seate

After Jay read a few tales to his parents, they booted him out of the house. Undaunted, he continues to write everything from humor to the macabre. Jay won Horror Novel Review’s Best Short Fiction Award as well as placing stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul. He has longer works on Amazon and B&N.

Luke Spooner

Luke Spooner

Luke Spooner currently lives and works in the South of England. Having graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator working under two aliases; ‘Carrion House’ for his darker work and ‘Hoodwink House’ for his work aimed at a younger audience. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures.

John H. Stevens

John H. Stevens

John H. Stevens lives with his lovely wife, Geraldine and daughter Katie in the suburbs of Chicago after growing up near Wrigley Field. During the day, he’s a mild-mannered Systems Programmer. At night, he tries to come up with ideas for horror stories despite his dogs’ demand to play with them. His scariest secret is he’s a Cub’s fan.

Darren Todd

Darren Todd

Darren writes short fiction full time, along with book editing for Evolved Publications and narrating audiobooks for Audible. His stories have appeared in seventeen publications. He’s had two plays produced and a non-fiction book published. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and son and does his best work in coffee shops on a dated word processor.

Kyra Spisak

Kyra Spisak

Kyra Spisak resides in the Great White North of Canada. She spends her nights writing and her days working in a half asleep haze. You can find her and all her writing adventures on Twitter, @GeorgeSpisak. She publishes under both Kyra Spisak and George Spisak, depending on her mood.

J. J. Steinfeld

J. J. Steinfeld

Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published seventeen books, including Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions).

Paul Weidknecht

Paul Weidknecht

Paul Weidknecht is the author of Native to This Stream: Brief Writings About Fly-Fishing & the Great Outdoors, a collection of short stories, essays and poems. His work has also appeared in A Readable Feast: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for Every Taste by the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, Best New Writing 2015, Gray’s Sporting Journal, The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine Anthology, The MacGuffin, Potomac Review, Rosebud, Shenandoah, and Structo, among others. He resides in New Jersey and has completed a collection of short fiction.

Ghost Stories – Back From The Dead…

Out with vampires, in with haunted houses: the ghost story is back

Literary stars from Gillian Flynn to David Mitchell are joining the ranks of haunting bestsellers
reblogged from The Guardian

It has been supplanted in recent years by vampires, witches and other monsters, but now the good old-fashioned ghost story is back with a bang, with everyone from debut novelists to established literary stars such as David Mitchell and Gillian Flynn hoping to raise the hairs on readers’ necks this Halloween.

Flynn’s The Grownup, the chilly tale of a fraudulent medium and a possibly haunted Victorian home, which won an Edgar award in the US when it was published in George RR Martin’s Rogues anthology last year, will be available as a standalone tale for the first time on 3 November. Meanwhile Mitchell’s haunted house tale, Slade House, which began life on Twitter, arrives next week, as does Little Sister Death, a previously undiscovered ghost story by cult US author William Gay.

They will join Catriona Ward’s debut novel Rawblood, Neil Spring’s The Watchers, Andrew Michael Hurley’s word-of-mouth hit The Loney and Kate Mosse’s The Taxidermist’s Daughter, all of which describe hauntings of one kind or another. The queen of the genre, Susan Hill, also has a new book out, as her spine-tingling stories are published together for the first time, while those who prefer to get their chills the old-fashioned way – read aloud – should head to the website of author Robert Lloyd Parry who, as “Nunkie”, will tour Britain this autumn performing classics of the genre.

Not since the heyday of MR James and WW Jacobs has the ghost story been so in vogue, but why? “We’re definitely seeing a resurgence after horror has held sway for a long time,” says Mosse. “The thing about horror is that it’s not that subtle; it’s a straightforward chase about the terrible thing that’s going to get you. With a ghost story the whole thing is, ‘Is it coming? Is everything in your head?’ Ghost fiction plays on those fears – which is why I describe The Taxidermist’s Daughter as not a whodunnit but a whydunnit.”

Spring’s acclaimed first novel The Ghost Hunters, which takes place in Borley Rectory in Essex – infamously once known as the most haunted house in Britain – has just been optioned for an ITV series starring Rafe Spall. He says: “The thing with a good ghost story is that it’s about ‘What if this happens? What if this is real?’ It’s in those moments that you start to imagine the worst.”

That’s certainly true of Gay’s terrifying lost novel Little Sister Death, which drew on the author’s obsession with America’s infamous Tennessee Bell witch case (also the influence for the indie horror, The Blair Witch Project) to tell a Shining-esque tale of thwarted ambition, a haunted house and a family on the verge of collapse.

Little Sister Death works because of William’s sense of character and place,” says Angus Cargill, Gay’s editor at Faber.

“You know all these horrible things are going to happen. They’re looming from the get-go, so you end up shouting at the page, ‘don’t do that, don’t take your family there’.”

Cargill attributes the ghost story’s comeback to a growing acceptance of genre fiction: “We’re definitely seeing less of the sort of snobbery there used to be. I love it when writers cross genres, so it’s great to see someone like William, who was known as a literary southern gothic writer, move more towards horror, or Mitchell writing a ghost story.”

Hill, whose The Woman In Black, first published in 1983, continues to terrify as a book, film and a play, agrees. “There has been a sea-change in attitude towards genre writing,” she says. “Literary novelists started turning their hand to the crime novel. Writers such as Hilary Mantel changed our perception of the historical novel. The genres became not only acceptable but writing to which people aspired, whereas they would not have done 20 years before. I took a lot of flak about ‘dumbing down’ when I published Woman in Black and I’m very pleased it has changed – there’s never been any reason to be ashamed of writing genre fiction, but at last people realise that.”

It’s also arguable that as the nights draw in people draw a strange comfort from spooky tales of things going bump in the night. “Queen Victoria in the Doctor Who episode Tooth and Claw puts her finger on it: we think ghost stories chill us but actually they offer comfort,” says Mitchell, whose Slade House, a Halloween-set tale drawing on everything from The Turn of The Screw to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, is one of the most anticipated novels of the autumn. “A universe with ghosts is a universe with an afterlife, which means the bed in the hospital ward or the view from the hospice window is not the end; we carry on, we’ll get to see the people we love once again. So while ghost stories scare the pants off you, they also defang mortality.”

Catriona Ward, author of the much-praised debut Rawblood, agrees. “I think the thing about ghost stories is that it’s a safe place to enact your darkest fears,” she says. “Reading a ghost story gives you the permission to go to places we actively and rightly avoid in normal life. A good ghost story asks the reader to examine the horror within – but it’s in a safe and contained way.”