Haunts (2024)

Cover image: Graham Fletcher (by courtesy of the artist) /
Cover design: Daniela Gast (2024)

Haunts. ISBN 978-1-991083-17-3. 99% Press. Auckland: Lasavia Publishing, 2024. 202 pp.


On the Road to Nowhere
Revisiting Samuel Butler’s Erewhon

In the Le Fanu Museum

The Station

The Cat’s Veto

Skeleton tracks


The Interrupted Journey


Mythago Wood

The Missing Pages

Cartographies of the Afterlife
Preface: The Treasure House

The Haunted Bookshop

Suicide Note

'As Jack Ross stated in his latest collection Ghost Stories, ‘We’re most haunted by that which we’ve worked hardest to deny and eradicate from our lives.'
- Brooke Georgia, Aubade (2022)
What do we actually mean by the word haunt? In this new set of stories inspired by the term, Jack Ross invokes a series of his favourite haunts via voices from the past, beginning with Samuel Butler’s Erewhon and concluding with Emanuel Swedenborg.
In between he visits with Irish ghost-story maestro Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, along with others ranging from James Joyce to H. P. Lovecraft – not to mention Scheherazade herself, creator / narrator of The 1001 Nights.
Most importantly of all, perhaps, he tries to settle accounts with his own father, the architect of a vast entangled empire of native bush and weeds at the back of their suburban quarter-acre section in Mairangi Bay.
The book ends with the novella Cartographies of the Afterlife, an exploration of the penumbra between life and death, based on accounts from recent visitors.
In the immortal words of Bette Davis: ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night.’

Jack Ross is the author of six poetry collections, four novels, and four books of short fiction. His previous collection, Ghost Stories (Lasavia, 2019), has been prescribed for writing courses at three local universities. He’s also edited numerous books, anthologies, and literary journals, including (most recently) Mike Johnson’s Selected Poems (2023).
He blogs at


This is a set of nine short stories, together with an essay: 'On the Road to Nowhere: Revisiting Samuel Butler’s Erewhon,' which serves as an introduction to the collection as a whole. The book concludes with the novella 'Cartographies of the Afterlife', an account of an imaginary secret society based in the hills of Titirangi, on Auckland's West Coast.

The stories are grouped around the common theme of haunting, in a variety of different forms. Many of them centre on famous authors: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, James Joyce, and (of course) the ineffable H. P. Lovecraft. Some have been previously published in periodicals or online, but six - including the novella - are appearing here for the first time.

This is my fifth book of short fiction, after Monkey Miss Her Now (13 stories - 2004), Trouble in Mind (novella - 2005), Kingdom of Alt (7 stories and a novella - 2010), and Ghost Stories (10 stories and two essays - 2019).


Reviews & Comments:

  1. Mike Johnson, "About Us." Lasavia Publishing (2015):

    Publishers distrust the wild card, that which might put readers too far out of their comfort zones, as if comfort was somehow the purpose of literature. Both writers and readers lose out. Real grass roots work is lost or supplanted by celebrity culture.

  2. Tracey Slaughter, Facebook (July 1, 2024):

    Another glorious volume of stories! Architectural, chilling, clever, harrowing, moving, wry.

Isabel Michell: Haunts on Waiheke (15/7/2024)

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