Tribute to The Ghosts by Antonia Barber – Classic Ghost Stories
Do you enjoy reading ghost stories?
One of the first ghost stories I read growing up was The Ghosts by Antonia Barber. I only remember two parts of it, and sadly I must have donated the book when my husband and I made our cross-country trip to Alaska, but those parts have stayed with me for over 24 years! And the book was, and still is, a classic.
There’s just something intriguing about ghost stories. Do ghosts really exist or are they merely a figment of our overactive imagination? Do they have special powers? Are they able to hear and see things through solid walls or over great distances? And most interesting of all, what stories do they have to tell us? What led to their death? What secrets have they taken to the grave?
The basic story idea for Shattered came to me in a dream. I had just finished writing a middle-grade literary novel, and when I woke up that one morning, I knew my next story was going to be about a teenage girl who died in an orphanage.
I honestly never had the inclination to write a story from the viewpoint of a ghost. At least not until this idea came along. But I’m thrilled to death to have written it. It was definitely a fun (but emotional!) story to write. Writing Marris’ story awakened my interest in ghost stories, and I’m sure I’ll be writing more in the near future.
What is it about ghost stories that intrigues you the most?
For me, what keeps me interested is the characters’ backstories and how they fit into the present day. What bits and pieces of the past shape and mold the characters’ perceptions, reactions, and opinions today? What frightens them? What numbs them to things that others would find disturbing or emotional? What emotional or mental struggles do they face in their current surroundings?
Ghost stories unlock the past, revealing secrets that would otherwise have been left hidden. It’s up to ghost story writers to bring the truth to light.