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Come with me to a place of wondrous contradictions. A place that is silent and unstirring, yet restless and alive. A place of untold peace and boundless dread. Come with me into the very cradle of darkness, where those who dwell, dwell alone!
Rip Torn, narrator of series.
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Ghost Stories is an American horror anthology television series that ran from 1997 to 1998 on the cable channel The Family Channel (now Freeform). The show was narrated by the late Rip Torn, and originally two episodes were presented back to back in an hour-long segment. Each episode featuring a Twilight Zone-esque shocking plot twist. Once complete, it goes directly into the episode where Rip Torn introduces the episode. During the episode's conclusion, Rip Torn comments on what was seen (usually in some form of a moral).

Absolutely no relation to the anime Ghost Stories.


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Tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Victoria Morgan, the main antagonist in "Mirror, Mirror".
  • Ambiguously Bi: The demon J.D in "Personal Demons" who takes a special interest in her host Billy Thorp and then takes an special interest in her newest host Kelly, stroking her hair lovingly as she does so.
  • And I Must Scream: College student and victim Lena Gibson dies from being knocked unconscious and stuffed into a broken fridge down a river. Broken refrigerators don't open from the inside and nobody can gear her screams, so she dies from a combination of drowning and suffocation. Luckily, she returns from the grave and makes her attacker Eric Duke suffer the same fate.
    • In "Landscape Of Lost Dreams", anyone who enters the mysterious painting never comes back out.
  • An Aseop: The series likes to quote these before and after every episode.
  • Asshole Victim: Many an unlucky antagonist or Jerkass character meet a grim fate in the series once per episode. In the pilot "Cold In The Grave" after killing a woman for rejecting his advances, Eric Duke meets a similar grave fate after being seduced by a mysterious woman (really his victim in disguise) and ending up drugged and back in the same broken fridge trapped along with her submerged in a river.
  • Back from the Dead: Once an episode. Many verities of ghosts in the series, from revenge seeking to undying love to a call for help from beyond the grave.
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    • In the pilot, a woman is killed for rejecting a man and haunts him through the broken refrigerators he repairs.
  • Beauty Is Bad: The episode "Mirror, Mirror".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Not all the episodes end in a downer. Some actually turn out well. In "You'll Always Be Mine", Officer Dave, distraught over failing to protect Jenny from her stalker ex, kills himself and his partner Kate is sad but he is reunited with her in the afterlife as her protector forever.
    • In "Landscape Of Lost Dreams", Harry and Margo are both trapped in the haunted painting for all eternity but have rekindled their marriage and reunited together.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Kelly loses her mind again after after being traumatized and nearly killed in "Personal Demons".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the pilot "Cold In The Grave" a college woman turns down an abhorrent admirer, so he kills her by running her down with his truck.
    • In "Back Ward", ghost Alice Beecher was thrown into a mental asylum by her husband for (1) simply asking too many questions and (2) for writing poetry for he believed poetry was the Devil's handiwork.
  • Driven to Suicide: In "You'll Always be Mine", after failing to protect Jenny from her stalker ex-boyfriend and tormented from her cries from beyond the grave, Detective Dave Payne decided the only way to end his suffering would be driving his car into a dead end and bursting into flames resulting in his death. Luckily, he gets to be reunited with Jenny in the afterlife and protect from her stalker.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Landscape Of Lost Dreams", The painting has only one figure in it but if you closely at the painting after Margo leaves, you can see there's another figure in the painting.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Eric Duke in "Cold In The Grave", still pent-up in anger about his wife divorcing him, loses it when a woman he tries picking up rejected him after he makes creepy advances towards her and compares her to a refrigerator.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Marty in the episode "Denial" after the realization that he was the one who killed his wife Gail after all.
  • Here We Go Again!: In "Personal Demons", Kelly becomes the next victim tortured by demons.
    • The episode "Mirror, Mirror" ends with Douglas's death and Edith becoming like her evil aunt Victoria.
    • The episode "Back Ward" ends with Rowe's former boss writing papers about vicious serial killer Dominick Palmer and beginning to hallucinate seeing his ghost returning from the grave to kill more.
  • Heroic B So D: Kelly suffers complete with A Thousand Yard Stare and hearing voices shortly before killing her husband in "Personal Demons".
    • Detective Dave Payne suffers this over and over again after continually trying and failing to save Jenny from her ghostly stalker in "You'll Always Be Mine".
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Detective Dave Payne after he fails to protect Jenny in "You'll Always Be Mine".
  • I Love the Dead: In "Back Ward", serial killer Dominick Palmer's widow reveals that her husband returned from a fresh kill and they made love while still drenched in his blood. All this recent while he's still a ghost.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Cold In The Grave", "Refrigerators are my life."
    • In "You'll Wake The Dead", "You're loud enough to wake the dead!"
    • In "Mirror, Mirror", "I look at you and I see myself, as if I'm seeing my own mirror image."
  • Jump Scare: In the pilot episode, a killer is greeted by the ghost haunting by attempting to grab him with a bloody frozen hand popping out through a refrigerator! Afterwards, he sees her every time someone opens a refrigerator door showing her corpse complete with a Scare Chord.
  • Kick the Dog: In "You'll Wake The Dead", Dean and Melissa ignore Ida Bellson's pleas for peace and quiet and then call Animal Control to get her beloved cats taken away without an once of sympathy, saying "You can always go to the pound and get them...Or move to another building". Then she dies of a noise-induced heart attack while Dean and Melissa throw a loud upstairs party.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: The demon is this to whoever it takes as a newest host and tortures in "Personal Demons".
  • Love Makes You Evil
  • Love Makes You Crazy
  • Love Triangle: Quite a few in the series.
    • Jack/Wendy/Carlos.
    • Edith/Douglas/Victoria.
    • Dave/Jenny/Jenny's stalker
  • Mirror Scare: In "Personal Demons", Kelly is revealed to being the next loony victim after the demon J.D appears in the mirror next to her.
  • Never My Fault: In the pilot episode "Cold In The Grave", Eric kills a woman he attempted to rape and after discarding her dead body, proceeds to blame his ex-wife for it instead all while talking to his ex-wife's picture as if she were there.
  • Nightmare Fuel: So much in the series. And in just one season alone.
  • Not Quite Dead
  • Paranoia Fuel Several in episodes involving ghosts. Invoked in episode "Beware The Muse" by the series narrator.
    Rip Torn: When a writer describes an event or a character or a place, it takes on a life of its own. Becomes real in the mind of the reader. Becomes as vivid as anything physically experienced. But don't take my word for it...you can read all about on page one.
  • Stalking Is Love: Jenny's stalker ex-boyfriend in "You'll Alway Be Mine".
  • Stalker Without a Crush: The demon J.D in "Personal Demons".
  • Tear Jerker: In one episode, an elderly couple are forced to say goodbye to their undead son after realizing that their undying love for him is what's keeping him from resting in peace.
    • In "Landscape Of Lost Dreams", a woman tries to save her marriage only for her neglectful husband to assume she wants a divorce when she's really fighting to save her marriage and she leaves in tears. Even sadder when it's the last time he sees her alive.
  • Together in Death: Some romantically, others vengeful.
    • Harry and Margo Sloan in "Landscape Of Lost Dreams".
    • A revengeful method between Lena Gibson and her killer Eric Duke in "Cold In The Grave".
    • Dean and Melissa in "You'll Wake The Dead".
    • Detective Dave Payne and Jenny in "You'll Always Be Mine".
  • Wham Line: In "Beat The Reaper", after the jewelry thief apologizes to his friend Zach for leaving him behind to be killed by the cops, Zach then quips with an evil smile, "Why don't you tell Zach yourself? He's waiting for you right around that corner. Don't you know?". Then he laughs and reveals himself as the Grim Reaper before approaching and killing the thief offscreen.
  • Wham Shot: In "Landscape Of Lost Dreams", after the investigator finds Harry and Margo reunited in the painting, the camera zooms in to show the artist's name on the side: Evans.
    • After being traumatized by Billy Thorp and his demon J.D, Kelly starts to become unhinged by her husbands plans and the camera zooms in showing a knife in her hands. After that, the next scene shows Kelly washing the blood off her hands and her husband lying dead in the background.
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