Name That Trauma:: Robert G. on a Ghost Book

It was an illustrated book of ghost stories. I took it out from the public library several times as a kid. I’m 32 now, but I distinctly remember two pictures from it. One was the ghost of a well-dressed man drifting across a vaulted ceiling, with bookshelves lining the walls on both sides. The other image is from a story which I think was called “The Nu.” The picture accompanying the story was pretty striking: the viewer was looking down a staircase illuminated by moonlight. A ghost covered completely by a white shroud, with a very tall white conical hat, was ascending the stairs. I know, this isn’t a lot of info. But it’s been a real pain to find, and I want to find it. Any help would be much appreciated!

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3 years ago

I don’t know your book, searched around the internet and had almost no luck. I think you are absolutely correct about the title.

I wouldn’t wager against you that the title of the ghost story you read wasn’t The Nu. The Nu fits the narrative quite nicely.

Gui seems to mean ghost and Nu Gui would be a vengeful female ghost in white that is haunting a location/house and is extremely vengeful. She is buried in RED for the purpose of enabling her to come back dressed in WHITE to resolve past transgressions.
Another type of ghost was the nu gui, the spirit of a woman who was abused in life and,usually, murdered. She haunted the house or place where she was killed seeking justice. The nu gui could act like a succubus and draw the hun aspect from the soul of men, killing them. They would only scare women, but always killed men.
Of course there is the nu gui or “woman ghost” that seems to be a popular archetype in Chinese ghostlore. She is the sort of catch-all vengeful lady ghost that checks all the boxes.

Wronged by a man? Check.

Violent death? Check.

Beautiful woman who seduces men only to punish them? Check.

In a version of the nu gui telling, a family might dress a wronged or murdered daughter in red instead of funereal white so as to entice her spirit to become a nu gui and get revenge.

I hope you find your book, I wish you good luck.

3 years ago

The second story sounds like it could be Nule by Jan Mark, from the anthology Nothing to be Afraid of. Unusually, the ghost is a haunted stair-post, but it still scared me silly as a child…