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A good ghost story has to include certain writing techniques to give it a certain cutting edge of horror.

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Introduction

Wider Reading A good ghost story has to include certain writing techniques to give it a certain cutting edge of horror. The setting of a good ghost story is always important. A very common setting could be a sinister graveyard or an old eerie mansion, anyone that adds to the spooky atmosphere. Description needs to be used to the maximum effect to create a frightening atmosphere. Everything from the creaking door to the rocking chair must be described used selectively creepy language. There are many telling signs to show when the ghost is going to make his appearance. This is because the writer usually prepares the atmosphere for its entrance. Techniques used for this are things such as drops in temperature, sudden noises, howling winds, swirling mists and others. There are a variety of different ghosts used in this genre of stories. These poltergeists that don't usually emerge and have tendency to steal or move things around. Even though you can't see them visibly you can still feel their presence, which can be said for a lot of other ghosts. Other types of ghosts are ones that are visible to the eye. These are usually dressed in old clothes and have ashen white faces. ...read more.

Middle

Drablow puts in chilling appearances such as this one at the graveyard of Eel Marsh house, "She was at the far end of the plot, close to the one of the few upright headstones, and she wore the same black clothing and bonnet, but it seemed to have slipped back so that I could make out her face a little more clearly." When the ghost is seen Mr. Kipps seems to freeze and seems to stare at her. This shows as the description is down to the last chilling detail. All details of actions and appearances are included so the unsettling tale can be felt to its full effect. Arthur Kipps stays in a hotel in the village to start with, and then he later moves to Eel Marsh House. Whilst he is in the village, any time he talks of the late Mrs. Drablow, the locals seem to act strange. It is obvious that they don't want to talk about the subject. This sets the scene for something bad to happen, and this in effect is preparation for the ghost. "The Signalman" is a pre-twentieth century novel, and is based around a train station signal box and the comings and goings of one man. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this there is not a lot of preparation and the ghost is not known to be the ghost until the very end. The boy featured in the story is obviously not of the same time as the woman you can tell by the description of clothing "Rather unconventionally dressed with a flowing, wine-coloured tie and black velvet coloured jacket." This is a very out-dated. It is a Victorian way of dressing so it is obvious that he is from the past. When the ghost is gone (this is a very typical trait in ghosts) the woman finds out that he is dead by looking in one of the boy's books that were written by him. This story isn't particularly good either on building up tension, but it does release some ension at the end. When she finds that he is dead it is a chilling moment "Francis Randel died from a sudden heart attack on Christmas Day, 1851.The woman mentioned in this final entry in his diary was the last person to see him alive." This is the part where she finds that he is in fact dead and that it seems she was mentioned in the last entry. Preparation and appearance for and of ghosts in these stories is mainly done using clever description. The exceptions to this are "On The Brighton Road" and "Christmas Meeting". Theses are not particularly good where preparation is concerned. ...read more.

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