"The China Bowl"
by E.F. Benson
While still settling into his newly purchased home, a man is witness to a persistent apparition.
My Reaction (with SPOILERS):
It didn't take long for me to recognize this story. I've certainly read it before-- probably as part of a collection of ghost stories I read before starting this blog. (Or at least I think it was that long ago...) In any case, I remembered most of the story. The significance of the china bowl was immediately clear-- though that might not be difficult to figure out on the very first read-- but I had forgotten the gruesome ending.
So... Decent run-of-the-mill ghost story, but not in any way outstanding. Predictable-- and the ghost itself isn't even scary. (She's basically a grown-up version of that little girl from The Sixth Sense.) What is it with ghosts being "witnessed" by multiple people at the same time? I've written about this before, and it still mystifies me. Is it supposed to lend credence to the tale that two or more people are seeing the same thing? Because if that's the purpose-- don't make me laugh! Now, on rare occasions it works, but in general, it simply doesn't.