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Literature: Ghost Stories
aka: Sparrow Hill Road
Phantom prom date
Rose Marshall is the Shadow of Sparrow Hill Road. She's the Lady in Green. She's the Phantom Prom Date.

Ghost Stories is a series of short stories and novels by Seanan McGuire about a ghost named Rose Marshall, who died in 1941, and has been hitching the ghostroads ever since as an occasional psychopomp, trying to help wayward souls she meets along the way...and to get revenge for her own murder.

The stories are based on the Urban Legend of the Hitchhiker Girl, and on songs involving roads, cars, dates, and broken hearts.

There are currently 12 short stories in the series:

  1. Good Girls Go To Heaven
  2. Dead Man's Party
  3. Tell Laura I Love Her
  4. Building A Mystery
  5. El Viento Del Diablo
  6. Last Dance With Mary Jane
  7. Do You Want To Dance?
  8. Dead Man's Curve
  9. Last Train
  10. Bad Moon Rising
  11. Faithfully
  12. Thunder Road

The entire series can be found here.

The first novel, Sparrow Hill Road, was released in 2014.


  • Age Without Youth: Part of Bobby Cross' Deal with the Devil. Getting the youth he has to do on his own.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Subverted. Gary wanted Rose, and the queens of the school couldn't understand what he saw in the poor girl wearing thrift store clothes.
  • The Cheerleader: A recurring theme in Ms. McGuire's writing, but particularly prevalent in the Sparrow Hill Road series.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: On the part of Rose's older brother Arthur, who can't believe things about Bethany without also believing things about Rose.
  • Arc Words: Bobby Cross is coming.
  • At the Crossroads: Where Bobby made his Deal with the Devil, and where Bethany tried to.
  • Beware Of Hitch Hiking Ghosts
  • Canon Welding: Rose's universe and the one in which InCryptid takes place are the same.
  • Car Fu: Bobby Cross' weapon of choice.
  • Cool Car: Gary the car.
  • Comfort Food: In this case, diner food. Malts, milkshakes, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, golden fries and pie — especially comforting to ghosts who only get to sample the pleasures of the living when wearing a borrowed coat. They're not able to taste food any other time.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: the series deals with fatal car crashes. Comes with the territory.
  • Cue the Sun: The borrowed life Rose gets from a borrowed jacket dissipates at sunup.
  • Deal with the Devil: Bobby Cross made one for immortality, and occasionally makes other ones.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Rose, who has met some of the divine creatures that hang out on the ghostroads, but refuses to believe just the same.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Played with. Rose doesn't really build a quest party, but she's on a hero's journey nonetheless.
  • Immortality Immorality: Played straight with Bobby Cross, but inverted with Routewitches and Ambulomancers, who get long life in return for the jobs they do on the highways and the ghostroads.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Played with. Rose appears in the green silk prom dress she died in unless she concentrates otherwise and/or is wearing a borrowed coat.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Bethany is Rose's great grand niece.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: Rose and Gary forever, to the point of the latter spending sixty years pining for her, and then magicking himself into a ghost car to be with her in the ghostroads.
  • Magical Gesture: When Rose returns to Buckley, she walks widdershins around the gym checking for trouble.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The bean sidhe seem to be the only ones that turn up in the series.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different:
    • Rose can be brought back to life, temporarily, if someone loans her a sweater, jacket or coat. Only then can she enjoy a meal, a good cup of coffee, sex, etc.
    • Routewitches usually end up as ghosts after their deaths.
    • Roads and diners and cars, if loved and traveled and thought of enough, can become ghosts too.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Bobby Cross' car needs in its gas tank the ghosts of those he's run off the road to keep him young and able to drive the ghostroads.
  • Power Tattoo: The Queen of the Routewitches gives one to Rose to protect her from Bobby.
  • Psychopomp: Rose has ended up in this role more than once.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Rose and several of the other ghosts and supernatural creatures she meets along the ghost roads. Rose has been 16 since 1941.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ghostbusters: Rose encounters some college students looking to catch ghosts. Specifically The Ghost At The Diner.
    • A Christmas Carol: Rose opines Scrooge was right about most spectral visitations being indigestion.
    • Stephen King (which doubles as Creator In-Joke because SeananMcGuire is a huge fan of his).
  • Soul Jar: Methods of catching ghosts.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: Gary the car.
  • Spirit Advisor: Emma is Rose's, and Rose is, however briefly, one to the souls she helps along.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Bethany, although Rose kind of understands it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The college age ghost hunters put up by an enemy of Rose's. Know enough to get themselves in danger, but not enough to keep themselves alive.
  • Valkyries: They show up as cheerleaders.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Where Rose grew up. Couldn't afford bleach to blonde her hair, so had to make do with lemon juice. So many other things she couldn't afford.

The Good Fairies of New YorkUrban FantasyGossamer Axe
The GeneralistLiterature of the 2010sThe Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

alternative title(s): Sparrow Hill Road
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