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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ghost Story Weekend?

Okay, I'm in. I heard about Ghost Story Weekend a couple years ago and I've wanted to attend ever since. This year, I got in.

What's Ghost Story Weekend? Well, horror novelist Elizabeth Engstrom runs this periodically, at a retreat on the blustery coast of Oregon. 13 people gather for the weekend to share meals, get a bit of instruction on the ghost story, and pen their own. On Saturday, at midnight, the participants read their stories to each other by candlelight.

What's not to like about that?


Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like the tradition in England of telling ghost stories at Christmas. A lot of good tales came out of that tradition. I wish I lived close enough to join you. I'd love this.

Clifford said...

I wish you could join me too -- that would be awesome.

I didn't realize there was a christmas ghost story telling tradition in England...sounds fantastic.

Kate S said...

That sounds like fun, Cliff. The Romance Writers of America chapter I belonged to in AZ does a "haunted hotel" weekend every October.

Wish I could go to either one of those things - hope you have a great time. :)

Clifford said...


I don't have a romantic bone in mg body -- if I did, I would so try to attend the Romance Writers of America's event. But I'm sure I'd be called out in no time (:

Kate S said...

Ah, Cliff - your soul is filled with romance - you just don't see it. :)

Seriously, your posts on even such simple things as waiting at a bus stop reveal passion and romantic view of the world.

You pick up details of atmosphere, give tender glimpses into the humanity surrounding you - your writing alwayes reflects a connection with, and love for, the great unwashed. ;)

If that's not romantic, I don't know what is.

(Not to mention that threesome thing you had going on with your phone and computer) ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Yep, the English Ghost story Christmas tradition was once very strong. M. R. James, Oliver Onions wrote/told many such tales. This is actually where Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" comes from, out of this tradition.

Carlos Ferrão said...

Frankenstein was written in this sort of challenge. Although, it wasn't just a weekend!

If there was this sort of event in the UK, I'd definitely be in.

From wikipedia:
"During the snowy summer of 1816, the "Year Without A Summer," the world was locked in a long cold volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. In this terrible year, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, age 19, and her lover (and later husband) Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was consistently too cold and dreary that summer to enjoy the outdoor vacation activities they had planned, so after reading Fantasmagoriana, an anthology of German ghost stories, Byron challenged the Shelleys and his personal physician John William Polidori to each compose a story of their own, the contest being won by whoever wrote the scariest tale. Mary conceived an idea after she fell into a waking dream or nightmare during which she saw "the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together." This was the germ of Frankenstein. Byron managed to write just a fragment based on the vampire legends he heard while travelling the Balkans, and from this Polidori created The Vampyre (1819), the progenitor of the romantic vampire literary genre. Thus, the Frankenstein and vampire themes were created from that single circumstance."

Clifford said...

Amazing! Maybe I should rent a villa somewhere, invite all of you guys to show up for a month or so, and we just create and bounce ideas off each other...

Carlos Ferrão said...


We'd also need the volcanic eruption to send us into cold overcast summer. Although, to be honest, that's exactly the kind of summer we had in the uk!

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