"True Ghost Stories" -- Fiction or Non-Fiction?

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Post by ColleenMc » May 9th, 2018, 8:33 am

I was casting around at the Internet Archive looking for possibilities for stories to record for the Ghost/Horror story collections, and I have come across several books that call themselves "True Ghost Stories". I'm not sure whether to consider these fiction or non-fiction as often they are collected reports that the author/compiler has received from others. Other times they read like fiction stories complete with dialogue.

There is also the added complication that there is a custom in writing horror and ghost stories to frame them as a submission to a journal or a story heard from another, so that they sound like potential "non-fiction" when they are actually completely made up by the author.

I found a cool book ("Indian Ghost Stories" by S. Mukerji) that is falling into that possible category.

In general, do people categorize books purporting to be "true" ghost stories as fiction or nonfiction? Or does it matter?

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Post by TriciaG » May 9th, 2018, 10:51 am

I went to the Library of Congress and did a search on "True ghost stories". Their classification didn't help me much, but they show the Dewey number.

Dewey Decimal System categorizes them as 133:
130 Parapsychology & occultisms
133 Specific topics in parapsychology & occultism

So they'd be nonfiction, in the sense that they aren't intended as fiction. "Nonfiction" doesn't mean "not true" but comes down to the intent.
Fiction, partly about jail atrocities: It Is Never too Late
Watergate Report, volume 3: Here
E E Cummings' time in French prison: The Enormous Room

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