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As a child in Britain in the 1980s I remember reading a ghost story in a (1970s?) British compilation which went roughly like this:

  • It is set in Ireland, or at least mentions an Irish city.
  • The protagonist misses a ferry, and has to stay at a full hotel.
  • There is one room, but the hotel keeper is reluctant to give it to him.
  • The room contains a mirror.
  • The protagonist falls asleep, but wakes during the night.
  • He goes to the mirror. There is something wrong about his reflected image. It may be something to do with condensation or drops of water on the glass.
  • ??? [I do not recall what happens; either I did not understand, or I skipped it because I was scared.]
  • Much later, the protagonist is back in his own house. He passes a mirror, and notices that there are drops of water on it. [I did not understand the significance.]

The compilation may have been by Aidan Chambers; at any rate, it was 1960s-70s and of the same sort. I don't believe the story can be hopelessly obscure, but Google has not given the remotest clue. I just want to know what the story was actually about.

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    Maybe Room 18 by Aidan Chambers? Haven't been able to find much on it except for a random quote: "The large looking glass above the fireplace was pockmarked with damp, as though huge flies had blown on it." – Trish Ling Mar 26 '15 at 21:34
  • It sounds like that must be it. I think it had a simple title. Thank you very much! I'll have to see if I can buy a copy and fill in the missing details! – Andrew Woods Mar 26 '15 at 21:48
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Perhaps Room 18 by Aidan Chambers (also credited under Malcolm Blacklin), first published in 1969. Has been in a few Aidan Chambers ghost stories anthologies.

Details are hard to come by, I have found only the the random quote in the comments of merriam-webster.com's definition of "flyblown":

reading short story "Room 18" by Aiden Chambers: "The large looking glass above the fireplace was pockmarked with damp, as though huge flies had blown on it."

And also a couple places that had a short blurb accompanying the story title (like this one):

Room 18 - where a man sees Something in a mirror ....

  • Thank you again. I will accept this answer as soon as I find a copy to make absolutely sure. – Andrew Woods Mar 26 '15 at 22:13

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