Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grandpa's Ghost Stories

Grandpa's Ghost Stories
James Flora ~ Antheneum, 1978, New edition from Feral House Press, 2017

One from the Flora "Grandpa" series, this book totally freaks me out. I would have been horrified by it as a child, but then my husband (who loved Rat Fink and Frank Zappa when he was little) steps in and declares it awesome. Says, if fact, that he would have worshipped this book as a child. So, I open its pages again and again, knowing that I am giving the boy what he will eventually need to fuel his nightmares, thus making him a more creative and spirited man just like his pop.

Nightmarish. Bizarre. Whacked out. All those key components that make a book perfect for the Halloween season. Reading this book is like walking into a slightly more PG and hugely more creative version of one of those Halloween superstores you see pop up along the highway in abandoned Wal-Mart stores during the month of October... and so it begins...

"Just think how terrible it would be if you were lost in the woods in a storm like this. What would you do then?"

"I don't know Grandpa. I think I'd just crawl under a log and die."

"No, you wouldn't," Grandpa said. "I know, because when I was your age it happened to me. I was lost in a forest but I didn't crawl under a log. I looked for a safe, dry place. I found one. An old woodcutter's shack deep in the forest. The door was open wide, so I went inside, and that's where I found the bag of old bones. But that's a story too terrible to tell. It might scare the pants off you."

Well, leave it to good, ole Grandpa to tell not just that tall tale, but also two more profoundly creepy and disturbing stories: The Bag of Old Bones, The Cave of the Warty Witch, and The House of the Ghastly Ghost. In these scenarios, we see our hero almost eaten alive by a giant skeleton, turned into a human-sized spider, rescued by a dismembered hand, and finally swallowed by an elephant-sized werewolf ~ knee deep in possum tails, bug fur, lizard claws and rat teeth deep inside the creature's gut. Delightfully nasty and slightly on the expensive side to buy, anybody made of snips and snails and puppy dogs tails will dig this monstrosity, and maybe even a few future Elviras will like it too.

Also by:
Pishtosh Bullwash and Wimple
Kangaroo for Christmas
Stewed Goose
Great Green Turkey Creek Monster
Grandpa's Farm
Leopold the See-Through Crumbpicker
The Day the Cow Sneezed
Little Hatchy Hen
Grandpa's Witched Up Christmas
My Friend Charlie
Sherwood Walks Home
The Fabulous Firework Family


Read along on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and Etsy!


Samy St Clair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Burgin Streetman said...

glad to be of service. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think that book might give ME nightmares! :) Also, big thank you for Crictor -- we just got the mail after a long trip and it was a hilarious surprise. The kids love it.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog while doing a search on this book. I was crazy about this book as a child, and my name was all over the library card b/c I checked it out so much. I'm glad it's still circulating out there. Also- my mom did not like it, and I grew up pretty normal and unscarred... so far as I can tell. :)
~ Amanda

Anonymous said...

I was searching for this book, I also used to rent it a lot as a child and loved it. I even thought of going to my old elementary school and looking for it. lol Now, I've found it and bought it!!!!
Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how long i've been searching for this book. A kid in my 1st grade class had borrowed it from his library and was flipping through it at school, I wanted to see it SOOOO bad, but he wouldn't let me. I didn't remember the name, just the weird pictures. I stumbled across your article while looking for the Gunniwolf. THANK YOU!!!

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