Scary Story Essay

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Very nearly all the ghost stories of old times claim to be true narratives of remarkable occurrences.

The avowedly fictitious ghost story is my subject, and that being understood I can proceed.

In the year 1854 George Borrow narrated to an audience of Welshmen, ‘in the tavern of Gutter Vawr, in the county of Glamorgan’, what he asserted to be ‘decidedly the best ghost story in the world’.

At the outset I must make it clear that with these — be they ancient, medieval or post medieval — I have nothing to do, any more than I have with those chronicled in our own days.

I am concerned with a branch of fiction; not a large branch, if you look at the rest of the tree, but one which has been astonishingly fertile in the last thirty years.

The Castle of Otranto is perhaps the progenitor of the ghost story as a literary genre, and I fear that it is merely amusing in the modern sense.

Then we come to Mrs Radcliffe, whose ghosts are far better of their kind, but with exasperating timidity are all explained away; and to Monk Lewis, who in the book which gives him his nickname is odious and horrible without being impressive.

The screenplay is based on the first of Steve Alten’s six-book, horror sci-fi series.

The film has been pitched as an action-packed thriller, centring on our hero, naval captain and diver Jonas Taylor (played by Jason Statham) and his monstrous fishy nemesis.

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