Tales From Kensington is the second volume of macabre short stories by author J. Elliott. As with its predecessor, Ghost Lite, Kensington’s tales are engaging and eerie, sometimes amusing and always disquieting. The author is a great admirer of the old classics of the gothic and supernatural: James, LeFanu, Dickens, Wharton. Join a group of college students in a cozy dormitory on Halloween night as they share true ghost stories. The lights flicker. The wind picks up. A limb falls on the roof. You know, they say that when you share ghost stories, the spirits listen in… A renowned photographer is live on a talk radio show promoting his retrospective art exhibit. But why did he suddenly give up photography at the peak of his career? Why won’t he say? There’s going to be a new candy store in the historic district. Won’t that be nice? But you know, the woman who used to live there hated children… A priest has a crisis of faith over a little girl. An innocent child, surely? Why doesn’t she have any friends? A sheriff in a small town is asked to do a wellness check on a widow who lives at the end of a country lane. She died of natural causes, but left behind a most peculiar letter… Want to cool down in the heat of summer? This’ll give you a chill! Get the popcorn. Get comfy and settle in for a special treat. Don’t wait for Halloween!


Rather than spending her inheritance on a sporty new Mustang, Haint Blue responds to her mid-life crisis by purchasing a dilapidated fish camp and converting it into a meditation/yoga retreat.

An insecure albino, she must rely on her Buddhist tenets to get through the soft opening of her retreat as her guests, the weather, the wildlife, and ultimately murder, sorely test the focus of the weekend, “Finding Inner Peace.”

Haint assists the local sheriff with his investigation while side-stepping his advances.  She hopes the killer will be caught before another guest gets a premature lesson in reincarnation.

Set in fictional Catfish Springs, Florida, sister town to real High Springs, Monkey Mind should appeal to anyone who can relate to the challenges of middle age, and of keeping cool in the midst of chaos and stifling heat of September in the South.

From the Author

I get peculiar looks when I confess to having written a collection of ghost stories, as they are considered marginal to mainstream literature, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol notwithstanding. How splendid then, this comment, the first paragraph in the introduction to The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (2009 Wordsworth Editions Limited):

“In general, the literati tend to look down their noses at the ghost story, regarding it as a lower form of Literature and those writers who contribute to the genre as wordsmiths of the second rank. As the Wordsworth series of Mystery & Supernatural fiction has demonstrated time and time again, this is a grave misconception. Creating an effective ghost story requires consummate skill, ingenuity, an exploration and understanding of human nature and the workings of man’s psyche and motivations as well as the most subtle manipulation of language to conjure fear and suspense out of vague shadows.”
–David Stuart Davies

For more about the inspiration for Ghost Lite….