Book Review: The Ghost Club by William Meikle

The Ghost Club is a curious group of stories written by William Meikle, but in styles of classic authors. The author uses a fictional supper club in which all the famous writers of old have come to tell their tales as a thread to link each of these short stories together.

From Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry James to Margaret Oliphant and Mark Twain, these tales mimic the style of each author as if they were written by them. Meikle knows his literature and does a fantastic job imitating these greats. There is a lot to love in this book if you’re a sucker for spooky tales.

Some of my favorites were:

“Wee Davie Makes a Friend” in the style of Robert Louis Stevenson
A haunting tale about an ill boy where his father is unusually cruel about a little toy that seems to be making him feel better.

“In the House of the Dead” in the style of Bram Stoker
The tale of an interesting house with rooms where loved ones can see their dead. However the dead may also be able to steal the life from them.

“Farside” in the style of Herbert George Wells
In a very Time Machine-ish tale, gentlemen at a dinner party see the Northern Lights and soon after are introduced to a machine that can see a person’s aura. When one person’s aura is different than the rest and he dies, the inventor thinks his contraption can see—or may be the cause of—death.

“The Scrimshaw Set” in the style of Henry James
A gentleman buys a scrimshaw chess set that hypnotizes him into a Cthulhu-like obsession with chess.

“To the Manor Born” in the style of Margaret Oliphant
A maid hears mysterious singing and discovers the ghost of the master’s mistress and ghost child.

There are others that were interesting like “Born of Ether” in the style of Helena P. Blavatsky which uses the old fairy tale troupe of the shadow stealing a person’s life and “The Angry Ghost” in the style of Oscar Wilde which I found comical as a young boy is told not to believe in ghosts by the very granny who turns into a ghost.

Overall this is a delightful handful of ghost stories and seems to be one of those books you could enjoy reading aloud to each other.






Several of the stories in my new collection THE GHOST CLUB fit into my ongoing Sigils and Totems mythos.

It’s a simple enough concept.

There are houses like this all over the world. Most people only know of them from whispered stories over campfires;
tall tales told to scare the unwary. But some, those who suffer… some know better. They are drawn to the places where
what ails them can be eased.

If you have the will, the fortitude, you can peer into another life, where the dead are not gone, where you can see
that they thrive and go on, in the dreams that stuff is made of.

There it is in a nutshell. There are houses where people can go to get in touch with their dead loved ones.

But this gives me lots of things to play with. To even get inside a room, you need a sigil; a tattoo or carving on your
skin, and a totem, a memento of your loved one. Then there’s the fact that your loved one might be a parallel
universe version rather than the one you actually know.

And where do these houses come from? What’s behind the walls? How do they work? Why do they work? And who chooses the concierges who run them? Or fixes them when they don’t work?

So I’ve got all that to play with, plus the fact that the houses can exist anywhere, at any time. They’re like lots
of boxy, multi-faceted Tardis, spread across space time,  places and situations into which I can hook in characters
and stories.

I think I’ve stumbled into something that could keep me busy for a few years.

When it came to writing THE GHOST CLUB stories, I thought it would be fun to have some of the famous writers stumble into this mythos, as if it’s something that has always been out there, on the fringes of storytelling since stories were first told.

So I have Bram Stoker telling of strange doings in a house in Whitechapel, a tale that is the most directly linked in
the mythos of them all, I have Rudyard Kipling’s army officer stumbling into a cellar in the mountains of India
where a house is in the process of being ‘born’, and I have Henry James telling of a chess set that may, or may
not, have come from another such house, and which will turn up soon in a later story of mine that’s going into the
whole mythos in more depth.

These stories add to the novel, three novellas, and another handful of tales that are already published, and there is
more to come.

I’m Willie Meikle, and this is my mythos.


 William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with over twenty novels published in the genre press and more than 300 short story credits in thirteen countries. He has books available from a variety of publishers and his work has appeared in a large number of professional anthologies and magazines. He lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company. When he’s not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory. Willie Meikle on Amazon

To purchase The Ghost Club Amazonon

1500’s Horror Novels

The first book for the 1500’s that I found was The Chronicles of Agustus Seton by William Meikle. Augustus Seton is a sword for hire and a seeker of truth. He spends his time hunting witches and demons and at the same time is trying to find an explanation of the supernatural events that shaped him. The book  follows Agustus as he searches for a holy relic, confronts a beast that terrorizes Glenmore castle and tells the story of how he received a magical sword and what price he had to pay to get it.

This book is set in Scotland in the 1590‘s. This was a time when people thought that demons and witches roamed the countryside and people were very superstitious. William Meikle in the writing of The Chronicles of Agustus Seton tries to make the setting, the events and the people as historically accurate as possible and at the same time talk about the magic and myths that people believed in.

The next book that I want to mention is Cast in Dark Waters by Ed Gorman and Tom Piccirilli. This story follows a pirate queen named Crimson as she travels through the Caribbean sea in search of treasure in the 1500’s. Crimson’s crew comes to an island where there is believed to be temple that has treasure hidden inside. They find the temple but its guarded by a tribe of vampire like creatures who plan on turning the pirates into undead monsters. Vampires, pirates and a secret temple of treasure, this one definitely sounds like fun.

Another book I found was Dark Desire by Elaine Moore. Its about a woman named Victoria Mackay who was turned into a vampire by Johann Nikolai in 16th century Scotland. After she becomes a vampire, Victoria escapes Nikolai and is pursued around the world. This book chronicles her adventures in 17th century France, 18th century Spain, 19th Century South Africa and early 20th century San Francisco. In her journeys Viktoria learns about undying love and how to live as one of the undead. If your into vampires and history you may want to check this one out.

If you want a comedic look at the 16th century look no further then Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland. Zombies have invaded London in 1592 and the only one that can stop them is William Shakespeare. How can he do it, you ask? Well Shakespeare is really a vampire and he has a zombie hunter named Katherine to help him. Can Shakespeare stop the zombie apocalypse in time for the premiere of his latest play? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Finally leaving 16th century Scotland and moving on to France we have a book by Mary Casanova called  Curse of a Winter Moon. The book takes place in a French village  in 1553. A boy named Jean-Pierre is born on Christmas Eve and his mother dies in childbirth. Jean-Pierre’s 12 year old brother Marius is left with the responsibility of caring for him. To make matters worse for Marius, the superstitious townspeople believe that because Jean-Pierre was born on Christmas Eve it means that he is a werewolf.

Unable to get help from the church who think that Jean-Pierre is evil. The two siblings leave town and set off on their own. What made this book look good to me was that the author gives a very accurate history of religious beliefs and what people were like in France during the 1500‘s. This book is actually geared towards young adults but it looks good and I wanted to mention it.