Library discussion series will explore ‘Ghost Stories’

Haunted house

This winter, Newton Public Library is offering a three-part TALK (Talk About Literature in Kansas) discussion series exploring tales of the uncanny: “Ghost Stories.”

Ghost stories arouse the same emotion that draws readers to mystery fiction: the desire to solve the problem of the past. Ghost stories try to explain what death is, where loved ones go, and why the good suffer. The books in this series represent some classic explanations.

Members of the public are invited to participate in any or all of these free discussions. Thanks to a grant from Humanities Kansas, each will be led by a special guest.

Jan. 29, 7 p.m.: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. The Wall Street Journal has called this novel “the greatest haunted-house story ever written.” Dr. Kim Stanley, chair of the Department of Modern Languages at McPherson College, will lead the discussion.

Feb. 27, 7 p.m.: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. Nobody Owens would be a completely normal boy, if he weren’t living in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts. Miranda Ericsson, readers’ librarian for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, will lead the discussion.

March 18, 7 p.m.: The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill. A mysterious specter haunts a small English town. This 1983 novel is the basis for a play that has been running continuously on London’s West End since 1989. Dr. Kevin Rabas, Emporia State University professor and past Poet Laureate of Kansas, will lead the discussion.

Copies of the selected books are available for borrowing; ask at the Circulation Desk. For more information, visit the library, call 316-283-2890, or email adult services supervisor Dan Eells,