29 June 2010

Scary stuff, kids!

There comes a time when even the YAP break isn't a far enough retreat from the exigencies of adult reality. Yesterday was such a day: I read two middle-grade ghost stories by the absolute mistress of the genre, Mary Downing Hahn. Started with September's upcoming The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall, which very much echoed The Secret Garden, but with a vengeful spirit bent on murder. And in the dark, I read 2008's All the Lovely Bad Ones, which managed to hit my scare spots--knocking, half-heard whispers, that feeling you sometimes get of a presence where none should be--OK, I'm going to stop that, despite the sunshine. I felt both stories got less frightening once the ghosts manifested in human form, but that's really my only complaint. I remember having the crud scared out of me by Wait Till Helen Comes in my youth, and it warms my heart that the Kids Today (with their Twitter and their Justin Biebers and their I-don't-know-what) still love and consume simple tales of hauntings.

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