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Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts

by Victoria Smith profile


Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
2 reviews

About the Story

Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is a domestic horror interactive fiction.

It is a real house made imaginary.

In summer the ghosts come, and the violet orange of the humid night reaches new depths.

Gothic fiction has a long tradition of haunted houses; grand structures are geographically fixed but temporally shifting. Our memories of a place are fragmented and recursive, histories are personal and public at the same time. The Gothic sequence of descending from public to private to secret places - uncovering greater horrors as we go – gets twisted around a suburban house. Glass reveals, reflects and conceals, doors should stay shut.

Too often solitude is seen as something to overcome. Many myths feed on the image of a lone man against the wilderness – either a literal or metaphorical one. It is to be triumphantly conquered, wrestled down, beaten. There’s a quiet pleasure to immersing yourself in solitude, exploring the loneliness as a landscape. The rich inner worlds of women are rarely seen, as we continue to exist in our houses and in our heads.

Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is about all of this and none of this. If you’ve made peace with the strange knocks you hear at night, so have I.

Content warnings: Contains mentions of rape, paranoia, and hallucinations

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Member Reviews

Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
More like reading a free-form poem., June 22, 2018
by simuloid (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

I am a slow reader. Despite this, I was able to play through the game in about 20 minutes. "Play" is a generous term. The attractively rendered HTML pages contain a couple of hyperlinks each that serve to take you to the next room or an item description.

The writing is good, the descriptions evocative, the grammar correct (at least, I didn't spot any errors). But at no point was I frightened, nor did I feel that my actions had any bearing on the progress of the story. It felt like a pick-a-path adventure where all the choices lead to the same page.

In fairness, I didn't play through more than once, so it's possible that clicking links in a different order leads to a different ending.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A delicious snack, July 6, 2018

This is a short but very rich piece, like a dark chocolate lavender ganache. I loved the use of additional documents, which appeared suddenly in contrast to the fading in text.

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by oceow on 9 February 2022 at 12:22pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page