Susan Hill (author of The Woman in Black) critiques the genre in the Guardian:

The list of ingredients included atmosphere, a ghost, a haunted house and other places, and weather. A footnote to "ghost" was a) of a human being; and b) with a purpose. There are dozens of little books of "true" ghost stories, usually sorted by geographical location, but almost without exception the ghosts have no purpose and so the stories are ultimately unsatisfying. A headless horseman rides by, a phantom coach clatters down a dark road, a veiled lady drifts up a staircase and through a wall, a pale and misty child's face is glimpsed at a window – and that is all. The ghosts are there and they apparently go through the same motions again and again. It is ultimately uninteresting. There has to be more to fiction than that.

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