$gHost, an Anthology Pitch

Creative team: Cal Black (writing) and Taylor Reynolds (art)
Pitched to for “Gothic Tales Vol. 2”, Jul 2019

Google’s Deep Dream AI interpretation of the Butler


$gHost is a story about haunted houses and the ghosts we leave behind.


A teenager in the post-digital world where humanity has rejected the pervasive/invasive world of Machine learning and AI programs, Cory lives in a small town in southern Quebec where an analog lifestyle has replaced the digital one.

As in many small towns, options for fun are limited when you’re too young to drive. When Cory’s friends dare her to spend a full night in the Haunted House outside of town, she agrees and boasts that she’ll do it without her hearing aids.

The house’s door opens at Cory’s approach, and once she’s inside, a glitching hologram ‘ghost’ appears. Unable to hear what the ghost is saying, Cory tries to leave but notices a holographic arrow is now pointing to a shelf where a pair of (AR) glasses sit. Once she puts them on, she can see the ‘ghost’ more clearly. An inhuman Butler offers her tea via text displayed on the AR glasses and is able to understand Cory when she signs to him.

Cory learns the home used to belong to a tech mogul from nearby Montreal, but it’s been ‘some time’ since they had anyone visit. Other programs arrive, all lonely after being programmed to serve humanity that has since shunned them. Cory, no longer afraid and happy to be able to understand what is being said without her hearing aid, agrees to stay the night and keep the programs’ company. The Butler suggests they watch one of the old movies and the programs and Cory pile onto a couch, much to Cory’s friends’ dismay, who are watching glowing ghosts gather around her from outside.