The Ghost Story
There isn’t much confusion about what defines a Ghost Story. Most readers know that such a tale normally features at least one disembodied person–being, of course, a ghost or a spirit, or at least the semblance of such. Some Horror enthusiasts, however, include beneath the Ghost Story Umbrella tales of demonic possession and bargains with the Devil, witches, ghouls and graverobbers, and werewolves (or other were-creatures). The Ghost Story aficionado, however, would disagree and place all of the tales devoid of ghosts beneath the more generous Horror category. After all, there are a wide variety of ways to approach the classic Ghost Story. There is no need to muddle the genre by including the rest of the Horror subjects. Masters of the Ghost Story include, but are not in any way limited to, M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Charles Dickens, E.F. Benson, J.S. Le Fanu, Ambrose Bierce, and Edith Wharton.
The Ghost Story is the Afterlife breaking into the world we call reality with its own disturbing, awakening reality.