Ghost Story (Straub novel)

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Ghost Story

Ghost Story is a horror novel written by Peter Straub. It was published on January 1, 1979 by Coward, McCann and Geoghegan. The book was adapted into a film by the same name in 1981.

The novel was a watershed in Straub's career. Though his earlier books had achieved a limited amount of critical and commercial success, Ghost Story became a national bestseller and cemented the author's reputation.


The story takes place in the fictional town of Milburn, New York, and is told from the alternating points of view of four men in their old age. The protagonists, lifelong friends who call themselves the "Chowder Society," gather periodically to reminisce and share ghost stories.[1] When one of the four dies suddenly, the three survivors find themselves haunted by dreams in which they also die. As the story unfolds, the four men's past is revealed to hold a murder from their youth, and they begin to fear that the young woman they killed has returned to take revenge upon them.[2]


Stephen King, in his non-fiction review of the horror medium, Danse Macabre, lists Ghost Story as one of the finest horror novels of the late 20th century and provides a lengthy review within its "Horror Fiction" section.[3]

Relation to other Straub works[edit]

Ricky Hawthorne is mentioned in the author's 1983 novel Floating Dragon, in which it is stated that he is the uncle of a victim in the latter book. The town of Milburn briefly appears in Koko, published in 1988.


  1. ^ Temple, Emily (October 9, 2013). "The 50 Scariest Books of All Time". Flavorwire. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Wagner, Hank. "A Classic Reconsidered: Peter Straub's Ghost Story". DarkEcho. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  3. ^ King, Stephen (1981). Danse Macabre. Everest House.