THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Once Upon A Frightening Time
"The ghost story is a universal genre," notes The Woman in Black's author Susan
this classic genre that dates back to ancient times. "It exists in every culture
Throughout the years, ghost stories have been depicted through various artistic
and have permeated folklore and oral storytelling. Though widely known as a
genre, many believe ghost stories are rooted in actual supernatural experiences
sightings. As such, many ghost stories surround famous historical figures and
To what do theorists attribute audiences' ongoing fascination with ghost
interesting explanation is illustrated by The Woman in Black director James
Watkins in a
summarization of a Stanley Kubrick quote- "In an interview he gave on The
Kubrick explained that on one level ghost stories are scary, but on another
level they are
inherently consoling because they imply an afterlife, they imply that something
there after death." This comforting quality could in part account for their
popularity but, as Watkins simply states, it could also be that "people just
love a good
Though ghost stories have taken various shapes over the years in literature, the
been widely associated with the short story form by contemporary readers. It was
this fact that prompted Hill to write The Woman in Black.
"I took a break from writing to have my children and, during that time, I read a
ghost stories which I've always enjoyed," recalls Hill. "But most ghost stories,
from one or two very famous ones like The Turn of the Screw, are short stories.
decided to try and revive the ghost story and make it full-length again. I set
with a bit of a challenge really. I wondered, 'Can you write a full-length ghost
which will keep the atmosphere and the suspense going?' I sat down and made a
ingredients rather like baking a cake - a list of what you absolutely need in a
- and then I worked from there. And so The Woman in Black came to be."
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