From one story that has a machine that attracts the dead to another tale where a young boy must face a nightly visitor alone in his room, the classic ghost story is celebrated and explored in Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers. The idea behind this collection was to combine the ghost story with technology and to reflect the emerging new science of the Victorian era. The stories are eerie and disturbing but are more chilling than frightening. Many are written true to the style and have the feel of the classic ghost stories of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
There are seventeen stories that include many well known writers: Gene Wolfe, Sean Williams, and Laird Barron. In Terry Dowling’s “The Shaddowwes Box” revenge is sweet when a man that survived a murder attempt uses a special box to deal out his justice. A mysterious valley in India is the setting for Robert Silverberg’s “Smithers and the Ghosts of the Thar”. In Lucius Shepard’s “Rose Street Attractors” a man is asked to solve a murder of a woman whose ghost continues to appear.