A Classic Ghost Story is the story that, like anything else honored with the label of ‘classic,’ stands the test of time. The author of such a tale may have a name for himself, or he may not be known at all. Notwithstanding, his story resonates with the reader whose attraction lies with such things, and a classic is born. Some Ghost Stories are immediate classics, such as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Others take a bit of time to become delectable to the palate and well worth their time spent in the cellar of seemingly neglected literature. One of the best examples of this occurrence is with the story ‘The Happy Children’ by Arthur Machen, which is not only one of the best Ghost Stories ever written, but has been successfully made into a short film. Another, also made into a film, is ‘The Haunting of the New’ by Ray Bradbury—a writer not usually known for Ghost Stories, yet in this tale offers something fresh and never previously told in the genre.
Sionnach Varela greets us from in 17th Century Ireland—with ghost hounds who chase her. And witch-hunters. And boys a’courting. And grotesque monsters. And weird messengers, giants, spirits, animals, and dreams. But none of this really disturbs her because she has a secret, and that secret gives her hope against all chance. And believe it: she was born with the odds stacked against her as if she were a typical girl from the 21st Century— Sionnach the Black Fox. Athlete. Seer. Teenage Girl.