By Craig Clevenger
“You’re a smart kid. Figure it out.” — The Hitcher, 1986
Every ghost story is, at its core, about the struggle to be recognized; about the dead—invisible and immaterial—and their efforts to be received by the living, who in turn must do likewise among those not being haunted. Witness the typical second-act protest in a typical horror film: “I’m not crazy. I know what I saw. I was there.” For the living, to be similarly disregarded—to be treated like a ghost—can be worse than meeting one. I don’t write ghost stories, but I do write about characters who are both figuratively haunted and who have in some fashion themselves been rendered ghosts. People call my stories dark.