Epigraph: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Shakespeare
yThe Oxford Book of Australian Ghost StoriesKen Gelder
Melbourne:Oxford University Press,1994Z3568271994anthology short story crime young adult 'Did Australian ghosts suffer from a cultural cringe? Dr Ken Gelder indicates in the introduction to another fascinating OUP anthology that early ghost stories were essentially a "transported genre" that looked back to England as their source. Thus John Lang's well-known story "The Ghost upon
the Rail" is based upon a case of murder for post-convict wealth.
Gelder argues that Australian ghost stories possess their own ironical flavour, but the gothic tradition has to be resolved in outback locations or deserted mining towns, as in David Rowbotham's "A Schoolie and the Ghost".'
'Gelder relies heavily on Victorian and Edwardian writers,
such as Marcus Clarke, Barbara Baynton and Hume Nisbet, as if unsure as to the nature of contemporary ghosts. It is
interesting to see that Australia's science fiction writers, such
as Lucy Sussex and Terry Dowling, provide the link between the past and the present. Dowling's "The Daeman Street Ghost-Trap" effectively uses traditional settings to link ghosts
with a current horror, namely cancer. Several bunyip stories remind us of a particular Antipodean creature to stand
against the assorted European manifestations.'