I don't believe in ghosts and have never seen one. I wish I could see one, and I would like to have seen one because then I could believe in God. If I can see it, feel it and taste it, then I believe in it.
A pulp story without a detective and, obviously, somebody for him to do battle with is unthinkable, and I can't remember reading a pulp story that didn't have a dame – either a good girl or a bad girl.
One of the hopes we have when we hear or read an interview with a mystery writer is to get inside the writer's head, to learn something we didn't know before.
Mysteries include so many things: the noir novel, espionage novel, private eye novels, thrillers, police procedurals. But the pure detective story is where there's a detective and a criminal who's committed a murder and leaves clues for the detective and the careful reader to find.
It was really in the Golden Age, between the two world wars, when the pure detective story – of which the locked room mystery is really the ultimate form – became popular.
Today's ghost stories tend to be much more physically or psychologically violent. The Victorians were much more leisurely about what might or could happen, building suspense layer by layer rather than punching you in the face.
All cultures have had a belief in ghosts and a fear of ghosts. People have always told stories, and everybody likes being frightened, especially when you feel safe. Personally, I find them scarier than vampires or zombies.
A lot of locked-room mysteries take time for you to pay attention and see the setup. They aren't thrillers, and they don't move along. The modern mystery story is really faster-paced, and I think modern readers tend to prefer seeing something happening on every other page.