Strange Coincidences

Supernatural fiction is not always the easiest genre to write in and be original and innovative. A lot of tropes and cliches get re-used and re-hashed over and over again. Haunted houses, dark pasts, missing, psychic or dead children, ghosts, unreliable narrators- they are all familiar examples within the medium.

In 2001 I wrote a supernatural ghost story called 'Requiem', and I eventually published it in my 2010 short story collection 'Beyond Twilight'.  It was about a ghost hunter called Nick Weston who stays at a supposedly haunted house in a strange little village. Nick is haunted by the death of his wife, and is actually a sceptic when it comes to the supernatural. He's very much a hero of the sort James Herbert would have written for his lurid horror novels, but as the story progresses he becomes an unreliable narrator.

I noted recently that the BBC had made a supernatural series called 'Requiem'. The fact that the title was the same was not unusual, as many words and titles get re-used in different works of fiction, across varying media. The first coincidence was that it was also the title of a supernatural ghost story narrative, like mine was. The hero is a heroine in this case, a cello-playing young woman. Then I read a little more about it, that the central female character is haunted by past loss, and that she ends up in a strange little Welsh village with weird locals, and stays at a supposedly haunted house, and she's an unreliable narrator. Oh, and there's a character called Nick in it. So...quite a few coincidences. 

Requiem was apparently written by a screenwriter called Kris Mrksa. Here is an article where Kris Mrksa talks about where his inspiration for the story came from. I have not seen the BBC television series yet but I will try to find time at some point to watch it. It is very difficult to write very original ghost stories, and similar ideas and themes can occur to writers operating in that genre. On a superficial level, there can be a lot of parallels and similarities in different works.


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