Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural

Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural PDF Û of


    Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural PDF Û of of the appetite for tales of horror Represented in the anthology are such distinguished spell weavers as Edgar Allen Poe The Black Cat , Wilkie Collins A Terribly Strange Bed , Henry James Sir Edmund Orme , Guy de Maupassant Was It a Dream , O Henry The Furnished Room , Rudyard Kipling They , and HG Wells Pollock and the Porroh Man Included as well are such modern masters as Algernon Blackwood Ancient Sorceries , Walter de la Mare Out of the Deep , EM Forster The Celestial Omnibus , Isak Dinesen The Sailor Boys Tale , HP Lovecraft The Dunwich Horror , Dorothy L Sayers Suspicion , and Ernest Hemingway The Killers There is not a story in this collection that does not have the breath of life, achieve the full suspension of disbelief that is so particularly important in this type of fiction, wrote the Saturday Review With an introduction and notes by Phyllis Cerf Wagner and Herbert Wise."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 1056 pages
  • Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural
  • Phyllis Fraser
  • English
  • 17 March 2019
  • 0679601287

10 thoughts on “Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural

  1. Jonathan Janz Jonathan Janz says:

    Why have only about 1,200 people added this one Folks, Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is essential reading for any horror, suspense, thriller, or mystery fan There are several stories in here that would, by themselves, would make the purchase price a steal I could talk about the real shiners in this collection, but I ll instead rattle off some of the writers I encountered here for the first time back in my early twenties Algernon BlackwoodM.R JamesE.F BensonOliver OnionsSakiArth Why have only about 1,200 people added this one Folks, Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is essential reading for any horror, suspense, thriller, or mystery fan There are several stories in here that would, by themselves, would make the purchase price a steal I could talk about the real shiners in this collection, but I ll instead rattle off some of the writers I encountered here for the first time back in my early twenties Algernon BlackwoodM.R JamesE.F BensonOliver OnionsSakiArthur MachenJohn CollierWilkie CollinsAnd these are just the ones that were previously unfamiliar to me Add to that amazing list writers like Poe, Lovecraft, Hemingway, Faulknerdo I need to go on Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is one of the finest collections of all time Buy it now P.S My very favorites are The Great God Pan, Casting the Runes, and Confession


  2. Joe Joe says:

    A previous reviewer called this collection a beast and they were right This collection of terror supernatural stories is over 1000 pages I read the vast majority of them but I ll be honest, it one of them began to bore me or was just flat out bad, I would just cut my losses and move on I had a long journey ahead of me and couldn t get hung up on duds.It s a very strong collection of relatively short scary stories As with all anthologies, there were some strong and some weak but the good de A previous reviewer called this collection a beast and they were right This collection of terror supernatural stories is over 1000 pages I read the vast majority of them but I ll be honest, it one of them began to bore me or was just flat out bad, I would just cut my losses and move on I had a long journey ahead of me and couldn t get hung up on duds.It s a very strong collection of relatively short scary stories As with all anthologies, there were some strong and some weak but the good definitely far outweighed the bad here.That being said, if you do want to read this book you will need to start and stop it many times I think I about 5 different novels while I was reading this You can only read so many scary stories in a row before your mind rejects the input you re trying to give it And so, without further ado, here are some highlights and low lights of this collection La Grande Breteche by Balzac Classic cheated lover revenge tale The best tales are told at a certain hour The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe Very enjoyable Poe is the master of having an insane, murderous 1st person protagonist who speaks and acts as if their craziness is the most normal thing in the world Poe justice at its best.The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe Meh Poe clearly didn t understand hypnosis but was quite freaked out by it all the same.A Terribly Strange Bed by Wilkie Collins The story starts out promising enough with a young man finding himself on a great lucky streak in a gambling house of ill repute but the ending leaves much to be desired But I will grant the story thisit does contain a terribly strange bed so here s to truth in advertising.The Three Strangers by Thomas Hardy A fantastic tale of a remote country party during a storm The modern reader will see many of the twists coming but not all of them Very disturbing Very satisfying.The Interruption by W.W Jacobs A man kills his wife and then his maid attempts to blackmail him over it He attempts to even the score in a very dangerous wayThe Sea Raiders KILLER OCTUPI SAVE YOURSELVES Sredni Vashtar by Saki A fascinating tale A young boy creates a fantasy world in which he worships his quasi wild pet Ferret as a god Truly unlike anything I ve ever read Incredibly dark and wonderful story.Moonlight Sonata by Alexander Woollcott This one felt like a camp fire story Very brief but it has one of those great scary story endings Would have liked to see this fleshed out.Silent Snow, Secret Snow by Conrad Aiken Macabre story of a 12 year old boy becoming schizophrenic The way the author writes the boy s thoughts make the story feel so real as the boy s life becomes increasingly less so He is slowly transforming intosomething someonedifferent At whatever cost to himself, whatever pain to others Suspicion by Dorothy L Sayers I read my first Sayers earlier this year She s primarily known for her Lord Peter Wimsey stories This is a great who dun it revolving around British cuisine, hired help, and some well placed poison Good stuff.The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell One of my favorite short stories growing up A man is hunted on an island by a crazy General A tense thriller that is a must read.Leiningen Versus The Ants by Carl Stephenson A fantastic man vs nature horror story A cocky plantation owner in South America thinks he can outwit a 20 mile long wide swarm of man eating ants The amount of strategy and back and forth between he and the ants is every bit as engrossing as any military battle I ve ever read about This was honestly the movie Zulu but with ants I wasn t surprised to find out this was made into a movie with Charlton Heston which I now HAVE to see A truly wonderful story and a highlight of the book.The Gentleman from America by Michael Arlen This one was EXTREMELY overwritten Yeesh, 20 words where one would do Also, it was clear that Michael Arlen has never even met an American and was definitely not able to write in the voice of an American That being said, the set up was interestingthe classic spend a night in a haunted house story and I always like a story in which multiple characters are driven to madness but come on Arlenwrite what you know, buddy A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner Man, after reading a story like this, I have to take back some of the mean things I said about Faulker after reading The Sound and The Fury Some of the things, but not all of the things This was a great tale that shows how one unfortunate effect of Southern Hospitality is that it may inadvertently allow something dark and horrible to exist just below the surfacesomething that isn t confronted until it is too late A great read More like this and I ll stop using Faulker as an insult.The Killers by Ernest Hemingway I ve read a lot of Hemingway over the years but nothing recently It was good to be back, although I wouldn t really characterize this as horror or terror I suppose it is horrible knowing that organized crime exists and if such an organization decides to kill you, you re eventually going to die A short, sad story in the classic Hemingway style.Back for Christmas by John Collier A dark, comedic piece Another well worn trope Husband kills wife and attempts to get away scot free Great ending with writing every bit as tense as it is funny.Taboo by Geoffrey Household A great werewolf story with a terrifically disturbing ending I thought I saw the twist but I was way off and most satisfying of all, the author didn t cheat All the information you need is right there in front of you the whole time Good stuff.The Haunters and the Haunted or The House and the Brain by Edward Bulwer Lytton Creepy haunted house story with a suitably strange ending Had a Shirley Jackson feel to it.Rappaccini s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Evil botanist has a beautiful daughter with a deadly secret Spoiler alert It has something to do with botany Shh The only other work I ve ever read by Hawthrone was, of course, The Scarlet Letter I read this story and that one for that matter as one large sexually repressed metaphor Man, was this guy repressed He was the Stephanie Meyer of his day in that regard Pretty decent story all around.Green Tea by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu In the process of writing a religious book on metaphysics, a religious scholar focuses too much, and yes, drinks too much green tea, and begins to see a shadow spirit monkey with glowing red eyes that only he can see Quite unsettling but I read this asof a xenophobic metaphor than anything else Reminded me of Lovecraft in that everyone were constantly going completely mad at the drop of a hat.What was it by Fitz James O Brien Invisible demon monster Everybody run Sir Edmund Orme by Henry James The second work I ve read by James the first being The Turn of the Screw Holy crap, does this guy over right The editor says this guy is the opposite of Hemminway s minimalist style and, uh, yeah, I totally agree What s frustrating is this is an interesting story A mysterious figure haunts a young lady and her suitor can only see it after he falls in love with her Interesting stuff, but could have been much, much shorter.The Horla or Modern Ghosts by Guy De Maupassant This one was great It was told in a journal style and appears at first to be another haunted house story but eventually shows itself to be muchIt asks a question frequently not asked in these type of stories, namely, if these horrible monsters really existed, why wouldn t they try and take over the world and if they decided to, could we stop them Some great quotes in this one Certainly solitude is dangerous for active minds We need men who can think and can talk, around us When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms Still, it is very foolish to make merry on a set date, by Government decree People are like a flock of sheep, now steadily patient, now in ferocious revolt Say to it Amuse yourself, and it amuses itself Say to it Go and fight with your neighbor, and it goes and fights Say to it Vote for the Emperor, and it votes for the Emperor then say to it Vote for the Republic, and it votes for the Republic Those who direct it are stupid, too but instead of obeying men they obey principles, a course which can only be foolish, ineffective, and false, for the very reason that principles are ideas which are considered as certain and unchangeable, whereas in this world one is certain of nothing, since light is an illusion and noise is deception Was it a dream by Guy De Maupassant I m really digging on this author It s like reading a horror story written by Oscar Wilde This story is super short but levels the reader like a punch in the gut A guy loses his girlfriend and after she has been buried, he spends the night in the graveyard When the witching hour arrives, all the corpses rise from their graves and write their true epitaph on their own tombstones and let s just say the truth is less than flattering The climax of the story is what is written on his beloved s and I ll be honest, it completely leveled me Very effective and heartbreaking storytelling.The Screaming Skull by F Marion Crawford This may be the best name of any short story I ve read since H.P Lovecraft s The Rats in the Walls which is also included in this anthology Super spooky story written as a conversation from the protagonist to his friend explaining the strange goings on at his house and the terrible curse he bears This story is really an example of the slow boil Crawford slowly walks you down the path and you don t realize how invested and terrified you are until it s too late Great setting of tone and mood.The Furnished Room by O Henry I d never read any thing by O Henry before I mostly just knew there was a candy named that and not much else This one wassad than scary Two star crossed lovers unknowingly share the same shabby furnished room and it ends in about the most downtrodden way you could imagine.Oh, Whistle, and I ll Come To You, My Lad by M.R James A very good story Tourist finds a stranger whistle on the beach with an inscription that he can t read The mystery of just what is going on here and the reveal is superbly done and terrifying.Afterward by Edith Wharton A young couple moves into a very old house that is said to be haunted The catch is, you see a ghost and don t know until much later that it was, in fact, a ghost you saw With this information, my radar was ready for any suspicious characters so I mostly guessed the ending but it was still a great story of spooky goings on and justice done from beyond the grave.The Monkey s Paw by W.W Jacobs A classic that I and I m sure everybody else read back in grade school I almost skipped this one but am so glad I didn t We all know the storya family has a monkey s paw that grants 3 wishes but always in horrible ways that they can t anticipate But I thought I had remembered the family being bad and deserving what they got On the contrary, they seemed very sweet and innocent and that makes the horrible, bleak ending all thedevastating If you haven t picked this one up since childhood, it s definitely work a second look.The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen This story was one of the big reasons I even picked up this collection H.P Lovecraft always referred to him as a major influence and after reading this I can definitely believe it All the classic Lovecraft touches are there Horrible things that cannot be described, fear of the unknown, knowledge of the ancient and or unknown proving fatal or driving characters to madness, xenophobic undertonesyou know, Lovecraft.This story was magnificent and absolutely lived up to it s reputation as one of the scariest stories of all time But it hadthan scares, it had great characterization, dialogue and a complex and complicated structure that reminded me of a Tarantino movie I honestly don t know whether I enjoyed itfor the beauty of the writing or for the deep psychological scares which stick with the reader long after the book has been placed back on the nightstand High, high, recommend.How Love Came to Professor Guildea by Robert Hichens A great slow burn story An unlikely friendship develops between a priest and a professor They are a charming odd couple that is beautifully fleshed out with realistic dialogue and naturalistic pacing We learn the professor doesn t want to love anyone or anything and would appreciate if the world treated him likewise One night something takes a liking to our dear professorsomething that won t take no for an answer for increasingly disturbing reasons This story uses an interesting device I ve never seen employed before A parrot can seesomethingsomething that no one else can see The parrot begins to mimic the physical and verbal characteristics of this entity with very creepy results.Lukundoo by Edward Lucas White This one has a healthy dose of the dynamic duo often seen in turn of the century literature Colonialism and Racism Two of the most awkward ism s to read If you can get past those, this is actually a fairly entertaining and short story about the search for African Pygmiesno, not those Pygmiesreally, really tiny ones Like, disturbingly tiny This was has some Cronenbergian physical horror in the mix Not for the squeamish.Caterpillars by E.F Benson A story that suffers from hindsight It begins with our protagonist noticing strange Caterpillars in strange places in a creepy mansion The big twist is that these Caterpillarscause cancer Clearly written during that sweet spot of time after we discovered cancer but before we had the foggiest idea about what caused it Laughable ending to an otherwise short and ominous tale.Mrs Amworth by E.F Benson Very good vampire story No surprises to anyone who has ever read a story like this but there is something to be said for something done right It hits every beat and doesn t disappoint If you need a short story that encapsulates the essence of what a true vampire story isyou can t do better.Ancient Sorceries by Algernon Blackwood I really wanted to like thisthan I did I ve read a few short stories by him before and was impressed This one read like a much less subtle version of Lovecraft s The Shadow Over Innsmouth The protagonist randomly gets off a train in France and ends up cats in a strange village they re all cats where strange things begin happening CATS CATS DO YOU GET THAT THEY ARE CAT PEOPLE YET It s honestly about that subtle There are some good spots but not enough to justify the longer length.Confession by Algernon Blackwood A very interesting psychological tale The main character begins the story wandering London in dense fog and is completely lost We find out that he has shell shock from being in war and it s never clear how much of the fog is real and how much is in his head Our guy ends up at a strange house, sees something he shouldn t and wanders back into the fog But something has followed himThe Celestial Omnibus by E.M Forster An interesting premise that ends disappointingly A small dark alley has a mysterious handmade sign saying To Heaven Our protagonist is a little boy who goes exploring and finds an old Omnibus horse drawn carriage that promises to take him to a distant land but warns he must buy his return ticket now or else he can t come back It s all suitably creepy but the payoff doesn t deliver I say we just have Stephen King re write an ending.The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton A funny little tale about a small English village who is overrun with ghosts precisely because they don t mind having them about Enjoyable and silly The lightness of the tale stands in stark contrast to the fact that the author later committed suicide Overrun with ghosts indeedThe collection finishes out with a one two punch of H.P Lovecraft The Rats in the Walls and The Dunwich Horror These are two of my all time favorite Lovecraft stories and I ve previously reviewed them.Well, if you ve managed to read this whole review, you see what I mean about this collection being a beast However, it s well worth the effort but by all means you must be patient and don t try to read everything all at once So just remember, inside horror stories, you sprint When reading a huge collection of them, you jog and take many breaks


  3. Kimberly Kimberly says:

    I first read this book years ago, but I ve since read through the majority of the stories several times each A great collection the old time, atmospheric tales are my personal favorites A great book to have on your shelves.


  4. lark benobi lark benobi says:

    This anthology was my favorite book of all time from the age of 10 until the age of 12 I spent the weekend re reading it There are many favorite stories here that almost everyone has heard of and read The Most Dangerous Game, Leiningen Versus the Ants, Shredni Vashtar, The Open Window, The Monkey s Paw. Many here are still widely read because they were anthologized here first For the most part the stories still thrilled me Even so I could not get over how many of them used the framing devi This anthology was my favorite book of all time from the age of 10 until the age of 12 I spent the weekend re reading it There are many favorite stories here that almost everyone has heard of and read The Most Dangerous Game, Leiningen Versus the Ants, Shredni Vashtar, The Open Window, The Monkey s Paw. Many here are still widely read because they were anthologized here first For the most part the stories still thrilled me Even so I could not get over how many of them used the framing device of a bunch of white Englishmen at the club who are just lighting their cigars and settling down to hear one man s hair raising yarnor something very close to it A few are culturally offensive, relying on witch doctor tropes and colonial points of view that jar, but mostly their frame of reference is stiff upper lippish, rather than unreadably inappropriate I still love them all albeit nostalgically at times rather than for their currency


  5. Lissa Lissa says:

    I actually have an original, 1944 edition that was passed down to me by my father when I was just entering into my teens Many of the great classic authors grace these pages, from Faulkner, Hemingway, Hawthorne, Dickens, and Forster to Poe, Wells, and Kipling, among many others My only disappointment is that I can no longer read through the book without worrying that I will break the binding Perhaps I should be looking for a newer copy


  6. Werner Werner says:

    As the above description notes, the tales in this anthology by 27 19th and 20th century authors, mostly British or American Edgar Allan Poe, H G Wells, M R James, Rudyard Kipling, Guy de Maupassant, H P Lovecraft, E F Benson, and Algernon Blackwood are each represented twice depict both naturalistic and supernatural themes the two are separated into two distinct sections 20 Tales of naturally caused Terror, and 32 Tales of the Supernatural which are not necessarily terrifyin As the above description notes, the tales in this anthology by 27 19th and 20th century authors, mostly British or American Edgar Allan Poe, H G Wells, M R James, Rudyard Kipling, Guy de Maupassant, H P Lovecraft, E F Benson, and Algernon Blackwood are each represented twice depict both naturalistic and supernatural themes the two are separated into two distinct sections 20 Tales of naturally caused Terror, and 32 Tales of the Supernatural which are not necessarily terrifying in intent, though they usually are Which are which, of course, can be a matter of editorial opinion I would have placed Wells Pollock and the Pooroh Man in the latter section, for instance, and both Lovecraft stories in the former When I first read the book a couple of years ago, I d read only the supernatural section since that interested me the most but I recently decided to read the whole thing in order to review it here, and the first section proved fully worth the read as well The plot arcs of the stories run the gamut from tragedies, through tales of evil punished, to happy endings the tone is usually dark and serious, but a few are actually dryly humorous.Some of the naturalistic terrors are science fictional in nature murder and madness are of course staples, in many and varied permutations and Carl Stephenson s Leiningen Versus the Ants is one of the greatest tales of the man vs nature, theme ever penned, and evokes a genuine terror from it that remains suspenseful right down to the end And some of these stories offer serious thought content The Most Dangerous Game, for instance, forces the reader to confront the question, does human life have intrinsic value as human life Connell, in defiance of much modern philosophy, answers with an unequivocal Yes Ghost stories are the staple of the supernatural section but E F Benson s Mrs Amworth is an outstanding vampire story and one of those which features the theory that the vampire is not actually the deceased person, but an evil spirit that inhabits the deceased person s body , and such themes as demons, African tribal magic, and shape shifting sorcery make an appearance, too Blackwood s Ancient Sorceries posits reincarnation, and The Great God Pan is an exercise in existential horror but neither of these ideas are very common in this book Besides those mentioned in the above description, some of the best stories here include Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu s Green Tea, Oliver Onions The Beckoning Fair One, and F Marion Crawford s The Screaming Skull


  7. Shawn Shawn says:

    So, this came up in my to read list and, yes, I do not actually own a copy of this classic collection I ve got my The Dark Descent and my Dark Forces and my Black Water The Book of Fantastic Literature and Black Water 2 More Tales of the Fantastic and the recent, very nice American Fantastic Tales Boxed Set Heck, I ve even got a first edition of Summers The Supernatural Omnibus and I m not a book collector in that way at all This is one of those cornerstone anthologies and it s possible So, this came up in my to read list and, yes, I do not actually own a copy of this classic collection I ve got my The Dark Descent and my Dark Forces and my Black Water The Book of Fantastic Literature and Black Water 2 More Tales of the Fantastic and the recent, very nice American Fantastic Tales Boxed Set Heck, I ve even got a first edition of Summers The Supernatural Omnibus and I m not a book collector in that way at all This is one of those cornerstone anthologies and it s possible that if I ran across it in a used book store I may have declined a purchase simply due to the fact that I ve read and own a copy of everything in it EXCEPT eleven of the fifty two stories.Now, usually I would use this as an excuse to re read all these classics and take the opportunity to present a formal review on Goodreads But this is a thick book 1079 pages and,importantly, it s an inter library loan So there was no way I was going to be able to read and review it all in time Instead, I decided to simply read and review the eleven stories here.There s a nicely succinct introduction that lays out the basic structure of the collection the first half is Tales Of Terror that is to say, naturalistic , the second is Tales Of The Supernatural self explanatory.Thomas Hardy s The Three Strangers is less of a terror tale andof an ironic suspense story, while also having the feel of a local legend or bit of folklore Three strangers turn up at an isolated homestead on a stormy night when the farmer is celebrating the christening of his daughter but this is not a religious allegory at all, and the tale turns on identification and mis identification I enjoyed it for the authentic and interesting portrayal of rural gatherings and the accepted rules of social etiquette of the time, but less as a supposed scary story.The famed author of The Monkey s Paw hands down one of the greatest scare stories ever written and if you think you re too familiar with it to find it effective, go ahead a re read it sometime soon It s a masterpiece , W.W Jacobs, only had fair to middling success with his other tales although I did like The Well , which I reviewed in Ghost Stories Here we are given his piece The Interruption , which is a tightly written tale in which a man succeeds at murdering his wife, only to realize that the overlooked housemaid now has muchpower in the household I dug it like something from a later Alfred Hitchcock anthology Pollock And The Porroh Man is an H.G Wells story that s long been on my to be read lists and, having now read it, I can see why The white man stumbles against tribal magic story trope may be old hat by now see also Kipling s Mark Of The Beast , White s Lukundoo , and endless pulp and EC comics stories, etc etc but Wells does an amazing job here making it very exciting indeed This may possibly be my favorite story of the 11 I read or it at least ties with the Aiken piece A British soldier is cursed by a tribal witch doctor and takes a nightmare plunge down into the classic scenario of flight, terror, rationalizing and anthropological reinforcement It s brilliantly handled Wells has such a great touch for detail like the character and dialogue of the Portuguese Jew, Perea, or the initial upside down look the witch doctors casts backwards at the soldier, and how it resonates throughout the tale and thoroughly entertaining and I wonder why no one has even made a short film of it it s a very visual tale at least as far as I know of Its placement in the book is an interesting and valid choice as well and what a last line Wells appears again with The Sea Raiders , a monster story in which he mixes a number of writing styles scholarly science, journalistic distance and snappy, realistic action all feature in this recounting of mankind s first encounters with an aggressive new breed of cephalopod Fun stuff.Conrad Aiken s Mr Arcularis is a personal favorite of mine but I ve never read his justifiably acclaimed Silent Snow, Secret Snow until encountering it here although I do remember the adaptation of it on Rod Serling s NIGHT GALLERY, narrated by Orson Welles A deceptively simple story in his mind a young boy begins to withdraw from the world behind an imaginary layer of snowfall that has been widely interpreted analogies of sensitivity, creativity, escapism, adolescence, even deafness but I believe the introduction to the story gives the most likely reading the onset of mental illness possibly schizophrenia or autism or obsession in a young mind, the drawing further and further away from the real world and deeper and deeper into imagination, the fascination with repetition and a calm, controllable environment It s a fascinating, at times lyrical piece.Next up is Ernest Hemingway s The Killers a stripped down noir piece without the hysterical trappings of, say, Cornell Woolrich that has echoes forwards in time to, for example, Cronenberg s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE We get a simple setting a small town diner and two threatening thugs come to deliver a message It s all clipped, small phrases and repetition because it s Hemingway, but the best part of it outside of the thug s mannerisms is that the target of the threat, when finally warned, is resigned to his fate In that, it s very much like Woolrich, the unknown and unknowable human machinations of fate that grind away behind the facade of society, waiting to chew up people who step over lines Back For Christmas by another personal favorite writer, John Collier, is familiar to me as it was adapted a number of times on old radio dramas SUSPENSE, etc That s understandable as its a slick, whittled down murder story not a mystery or even much of a crime story, like the Jacobs piece earlier it sin the line of an ironic ending ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS episode not a whodunnit but a willhegetawaywithit Another slight but fun read.Moving into the Supernatural portion of the book, I ll always look forward to an unread Henry James ghost story as I consider The Jolly Corner an absolute masterpiece of his work in the area The editors bemoan their inability to include The Turn of the Screw due to length and so here present Sir Edmund Orme It s kind of bracing to come from Hemingway into James so quickly they have completely opposite styles and approaches exterior versus interior and yet both are masters of their chosen mode James dense style builds an entire culture around the characters through specific word choice, phrasing and detail of action it s heady stuff Orme is a ghost story but not a horror story, a very proper ghost story, actually, about a very proper and well behaved ghost who existsas a sins of the parent visited on the children than any actual malevolent force I wonder if all those DOWNTON ABBEY fans realize there s worlds of manners and courting and great reading awaiting them in James Rudyard Kipling s The Return Of Imary sometimes presented as The Recrudescence Of Imray is another India set ghost story this time dealing with a mysterious disappearance from and a bothersome poltergeist in a bungalow It s fairly straight ahead, plot wise, but I liked the very practical military characters and their handling of the disturbance.Walter de la Mare is another very subtle writer who rewards close reading and Out Of The Deep is an enjoyable story but somewhat hard to crack, as the author sometimes surrenders narrative clarity to British upper class colloquialisms of the time The basic plot is simple a young wastrel inherits the home of the deceased family who rescued him as a child He has a morbid fear of the attic bedroom where he once slept, and of the various pull ropes used to summon servants As there are no servants left in the house, at least at night, he s very surprised when his deliberate attempt to overcome his fear and pull the bell rope does actually summon someone and then something I enjoyed it but, as I said, I m not entirely sure I grasped the psychological detail due to the playful language at times with de la Mare, a single word in a short line could turn the whole meaning of a paragraph on end I ll have to see if there s any secondary analysis on the web somewhere.And finally, The Sailor Boy s Tale by Isak Dinesen is a fable like story of a good deed, an accidental murder and debt repaid by a Norwegian witch It flows along lightly, with some wonderful scene setting in a port town and some blunt dialogue on the part of the witch Entertaining.And that s it I ll have to say that the terror tale first section seems to me to be amuddled definitional slough than the second supernatural one how does one distinguish mystery from crime from conte cruel, for example I know how I distinguish them, but lumping all these types into a terror category seems a bit of a hard swallow Still, this is a classic volume and deserves to be on any fans shelf simply for the vast variety and opportunity it contains


  8. Zach Zach says:

    Basically a collection of the acknowledged classics of the ghost and or thriller genres Aclassics oriented approach or mainstream, one might even say than the VanderMeer s The Weird, but that makes the two of them excellent companions Arranged, supposedly, into a natural and a supernatural section, and since I greatly prefer supernatural to non supernatural horror, it gets most of the filler out of the way in the beginning Some of the choices are rather inexplicable Pollock and the Basically a collection of the acknowledged classics of the ghost and or thriller genres Aclassics oriented approach or mainstream, one might even say than the VanderMeer s The Weird, but that makes the two of them excellent companions Arranged, supposedly, into a natural and a supernatural section, and since I greatly prefer supernatural to non supernatural horror, it gets most of the filler out of the way in the beginning Some of the choices are rather inexplicable Pollock and the Porroh Man can be read either way, but is near the beginning of the book, while Saki s The Window is explicitly not a supernatural story, but that s where the editors put it.Almost entirely English American with the exceptions of De Maupassant and Dinesen, I believe, and the gender balance is sadly tilted in the usual direction.La Grande Bret che 1832 Honor de BalzacThe one where a haunted house is created not by ghosts, but by the memory of some unpleasantries involving a cheating wife and her would be lover being walled into a closet by the husband very proto Poe Framed by a man staying in the town s inn after the death, years later, of the wife in question 3 5The Black Cat 1843 Edgar Allan PoeThe one where an alcoholic tortures his cat to death, which gets revenge from beyond the grave by tricking him into murdering his wife and then revealing the fact that he sealed her up in a wall shades of La Grande Breteche, but also of The Tell Tale Heart and every other Poe story that involves premature burial Framed as the confession of the murderer If this story is not supernatural, it is predicated on a lot of bizarre and unlikely coincidences 2 5The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar 1845 Edgar Allan PoeThe one where mesmerism is used to forestall the moment of death giving us the first grey area now, what is mesmerism but supernaturalism, but does science fiction, proven untrue, pass into fantasy, or would that be ahistorical 3 5A Terribly Strange Bed 1852 Wilkie CollinsThe one where a man, after a night of debauchery, stays the night in the gambling den where he just won a fortune, only to nearly be murdered by means of a terribly strange bed The scheme didn t make much sense, but the story was written well enough and the scene with the attempted suffocation was suitably jarring 3 5The Boarded Window 1889 Ambrose BierceThe one where an American frontiersman keeps one window boarded up after the death of his wife either from disease or a panther attack, it s an Ambrose story, so the unreliable narration never makes it clear Short and bitter 5 5The Three Strangers 1883 Thomas HardyThe one where a rural party is interrupted by the staggered arrival of the titular gentlemen, one of whom is an escaped convict A slight tinge of suspense, but certainly no terror 3 5The Interruption 1925 W W JacobsThe one where a man has murdered his wife but not any of those others where a man has murdered his wife , and is then blackmailed by the servant into increasing her lot in life I was entirely sympathetic to the servant, although I don t think I was supposed to be 2 5Pollock and the Porroh Man 1895 H G WellsThe one where a white British colonialist runs afoul of a shaman in Africa, has him killed, and pays the price whether this is a supernatural price or a psychological one is explicitly unclear Could be read productively in tandem with Lukundu or the works of Henry S Whitehead in terms of the supernatural costs of colonialism Perhaps Richard Matheson s much later Prey could be thrown into the mix too 4 5The Sea Raiders 1896 H G Wells The one where monstrous octopi devour a bunch of pleasure seekers on the English shore Nothing , nothing less, but whatcould you need 4 5Sredni Vashtar 1911 SakiThe one where a lonely boy keeps and worships a ferret in the back yard, who eventually gets revenge on the boy s abusive caretaker supernaturally, or naturally Shades of Pollock I enjoyed this onehere than in The Weird, which seems to ring true for my second readings of most old Weird tales 4 5Moonlight Sonata 1931 Alexander WoollcottThe one where a visitor to a supposedly haunted castle thinks he saw a ghost, but it was really just a muchmundane monstrosity 2 5Silent Snow, Secret Snow 1932 Conrad AikenThe one where Conrad Aiken proves once again to be a master of a very melancholic and beautiful descent into uncertainty and the surreal, this time via the story of a boy who sees and hears encroaching snow where no one else does 5 5Suspicion 1933 Dorothy L SayersThe one where a domestic has been poisoning her employers, and our protagonist begins to feel mighty suspicious about his new cook 2 5 Most Dangerous Game 1924 Richard Edward Connell The one where a man hunts another man A famous story, for no reason at all that I can tell 1 5Leiningen Versus the Ants 1938 Carl Stephenson The one where a colonialist defends his Brazilian plantation against a ravenous horde of army ants Not particularly interesting, and frightfully patronizing toward the Brazilians The ants were indeed mighty, but not so mighty as the boss , but at least it was better than the previous story 2 5The Gentleman from America 1924 Michael ArlenThe one where two British knaves trick an American caricature a hilarious American caricature into thinking he was being attacked by ghosts Things don t work out well for any of them I actually really enjoyed this one 4 5A Rose for Emily 1930 William FaulknerThe one where Southern gentility is a mask for something rather gruesome One of the all time greats, of course 5 5The Killers 1927 shortstory by Ernest HemingwayThe one where some killers threaten an ex boxer in a small town Even as the non supernatural stories go, this was not terrifying or even really tense at all 1 5Back for Christmas 1939 shortstory by John CollierThe one where a man murders his meddling wife and finds that her meddling extends from beyond the grave Ho hum I expectedfrom Collier 2 5Taboo 1939 Geoffrey HouseholdThe one where a town is convinced they have a werewolf problem It turns out they have a cannibal problem, which is even worse 5 5The Haunters and the Haunted or, The House and the Brain 1859 Edward Bulwer Lytton The one where Bulwer Lytton makes painfully clear he doesn t know when to stop we go from rather excellent haunted house story, to bizarre pseudo scientific explanation of said haunting, to downright inexplicable wizard s revenge story This is the first of the supernatural stories, although it is kind of the epitome of the use of fringe science to explain its supernatural activity 2 5 Rappaccini s Daughter 1844 Nathaniel HawthorneThe one where a young man in an archaic Italy falls for the poisonous daughter of his scholarly neighbor Often reprinted, but justifiably so 4 5The Trial for Murder 1865 Charles DickensThe one where a murder victim gets justice by tampering with the jury 2 5Green Tea 1869 Joseph Sheridan Le FanuThe one where a scholar is driven to madness and suicide by the stalking of a demonic monkey, perhaps a hallucination created by his consumption of green tea Another classic to be fair, most of the stories in this book are considered classics of the field , but another that just never really coheres for me A large part of this might be my inability to take a demonic monkey seriously 2 5What Was It 1859 Fitz James O BrienThe one where an invisible monster attacks a man in bed in the middle of the night Another often reprinted classic, this one has never done all that much for me, although I do appreciate the inability of modernity to preserve or make anything of the monster 3 5 Sir Edmund Orme 1891 Henry JamesThe one where a young man can see the ghost of his girlfriend s mother s dead boyfriend Said ghost is not menacing, just kind of despondently present sometimes Doesn t amount to much of anything 2 5The Horla, or Modern Ghosts 1886 Guy de MaupassantThe one where a man is haunted by some sort of invisible, malevolent entity from beyond the stars or else he s just insane Pre Lovecraft Lovecraft 4 5Was It a Dream 1910 Guy de MaupassantThe one where a grieving widower sees the dead rise up from their graves to correct the banalities written on their tombstones Short, simple, excellent 5 5The Screaming Skull 1908 F Marion CrawfordThe one where an aging sea captain has to live with the skull of his dead friend s dead wife The skull blames him for her death Written, unusually, as the sea captain s half of a conversation, with his conversant s responses omitted Also in the _The Weird_ but, as always, I enjoyed thisthe second time 5 5The Furnished Room 1904 O HenryThe one where a man, searching for his missing girlfriend, commits suicide, only for the reader to discover that the girlfriend had killed herself in the same room shortly before Incoherent and pointless 1 5Casting the Runes 1911 M R JamesThe one where I have read it often enough recently and didn t have the desire to read it again right now.Oh, Whistle, and I ll Come to You, My Lad 1904 M R James The one where a historian uncovers an antiquarian whistle that would have been better left covered Much, much better than Casting the Runes effectively mysterious and suffused with dread, whereas Casting hangs mostly on the rather cartoonish villain 5 5Afterward 1910 Edith WhartonThe one where the ghostly presence in a haunted house makes itself known only long after the fact Like the James, this is a rather staid and bloodless in both ways ghost story, but the narrative foreshadowing is excellent, and the protagonist s hopelessness is captured exceedingly well 5 5The Monkey s Paw 1902 W W JacobsThe one where well, you know 5 5The Great God Pan 1894 Arthur MachenThe one where a scientist seeking to expand the human mind sends his test subject through the veil to see the Great God Pan , leaving her mindless and pregnant Her daughter later wreaks havoc throughout London and the world, drawing her husband s into an orgiastic and heretical lifestyle that leads to their suicides A disappointment next to Machen s beautiful and otherworldly The White People More fixated on the unveiling of cosmic horror than are most of the works here, which buys it a few points in my book, although what Machen does with the aftermath here interests me very little 2 5How Love Came to Professor Guildea 1897 Robert HichensThe one where a resolutely unemotional man of science becomes haunted by a mewling invisible thing that wants only to love him Includes an incredibly creepy scene involving a parrot The narrator protagonist, Guildea s best friend and a man of God, watches this all unfold with great sadness for the inability of the rational mind to cope with emotion the supernatural One of the best 5 5The Return of Imray 1891 Rudyard KiplingThe one where a British colonialist runs afoul of his primitive, superstitious Indian servant, who then runs afoul of a snake 1 5 They 1904 Rudyard KiplingThe one where a motorist finds, by accident, an isolated house where children always seem to be playing just out of the corner of his eye Much of it is implicit rather than explicit, which I like, but it s also a bit on the twee side, which I don t 3 5Lukundoo 1907 Edward Lucas WhiteThe one where a British colonialist runs afoul of an African shaman, who runs afoul of nothing 5 5Caterpillars 1912 E F BensonThe one where spectral caterpillar crabs stand in for cancer contagion 4 5Mrs Amworth 1922 E F BensonThe one where the titular vampire is dispatched I read this expecting some sort of twist or surprise, to no avail but, as it goes, it worked well enough I guess it is unusual for the vampire to be a kind of suburban housewife type 3 5 Ancient Sorceries 1908 novelette by Algernon BlackwoodThe one where an Englishman gets off a train at a mysterious French village, only to find that this idyllic community is masking a darker reality The foreshadowing is a bit heavy handedConfession 1921 Algernon Blackwood and Wilfred Wilson The one where a gentleman strolling through a foggy afternoon in London is distracted by a ghostly woman who leads him into a house where her husband confesses to having killed her All rather nightmarish and surreal Seems rather urban for a Blackwood story, so you have to wonder how much he had to do with it 3 5The Open Window 1911 SakiThe one where a man visits a country estate, where the young daughter of the house tells him a ghost story, tricking him into believing it s true This one is explicitly not supernatural, and also not really much of a story 2 5The Beckoning Fair One 1911 Oliver OnionsThe one where an author moves to a new house and either falls under the spell of a ghost or just loses his mind A bit too much happened off screen for it to be entirely satisfying 4 5Out of the Deep 1923 Walter de la MareThe one where a young man comes back to the dreaded house of his childhood to live out his final days Some spectral visitations involving ghostly servants take place Against what I just said about the Onions, just enough happens off screen to make it entirely satisfying Definitely asks to be re read 5 5Adam and Eve and Pinch Me 1921 A E CoppardThe one where a man seems to have become a ghost, intangible and invisible to his wife, servant, and three children.Off to a great start, things get derailed when he wakes from his dream and remembers he has only two children but his wife, previously unbeknownst to him, is pregnant 2 5The Celestial Omnibus 1908 E M ForsterThe one where a boy takes a taxi carriage from the end of an alleyway to a magical kingdom of literary figures When a spoilsport adult later accompanies him, he falls to his death The worst kind of sentimental tripe 1 5 The Ghost Ship 1912 Richard MiddletonThe one where a ghostly ship washes up in an English village and proceeds to ruin the morals of all the local boys Light hearted, whimsical, utterly uninteresting 1 5The Sailor Boy s Tale 1942 Karen Blixen as by Isak Dinesen The one where a sailor boy saves a bird, murders a drinking companion, and is saved in turn The murder is oddly glossed over, but I suppose that works with the mythic unworldly tones of the story, which reminded me a bit of Valente s Orphan s Tales 4 5The Rats in the Walls 1924 H P LovecraftThe one where a typically stuffy Lovecraft protagonist moves from New England to Old England to restore the ancestral estate, much to the distress of the locals Once moved in, the noise of the titular creatures draws him underground, where he makes a gruesome although relatively small fry for Lovecraft discovery Perhaps the quintessential Lovecraft story creepy, well plotted, and marred evenexplicitly than usual by racism 3 5The Dunwich Horror 1929 H P LovecraftThe one where a miscegenetic monster terrorizes Dunwich until it s defeated by a band of hearty academics I ve never understood the anthologization of this one over any number of other Lovecraft stories it overstays its welcome, the ending makes it a bizarre outlier, and it doesn t do anything that Lovecraft doesn t do better elsewhere 2 5


  9. Sharon Barrow Wilfong Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    This was a good book The first half were stories of high suspense and the second half, scary tales involving the supernatural.Actually not all the stories were scary or suspenseful Some of the suspenseful stories, areaccurately described as horror stories, like A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner or Geoffrey Housefold s Taboo And of course it would not be a complete analogy without some Edgar Allen Poe.One of the most suspenseful stories is by Carl Stephenson titled, Leiningen and This was a good book The first half were stories of high suspense and the second half, scary tales involving the supernatural.Actually not all the stories were scary or suspenseful Some of the suspenseful stories, areaccurately described as horror stories, like A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner or Geoffrey Housefold s Taboo And of course it would not be a complete analogy without some Edgar Allen Poe.One of the most suspenseful stories is by Carl Stephenson titled, Leiningen and the Ants , where a group of Europeans and Native South Americans try to stop a siege of local, giant killer ants.The section of the supernatural has a couple of stories by well known writers of ghost stories, like M.R James, Algernon Blackwood and F Marion Crawford But also by classic writers like Saki, Isak Dineson, E.M Forester, Walter de la Mare and also the father of the weird, H.P Lovecraft.The book was published in 1944 and gives a brief biography of the authors, most of whom were still living at the time of the book s publication


  10. Juushika Juushika says:

    Review Murderous spouses, ancient curses, talking corpses, seductive ghosts over a thousand pages long, presenting 52 stories from 33 authors, this collection is massive and dated, halfway a historical fragment and halfway a resource, fascinating but deep enough to drown in It s so vast that it s almost impossible to review no single opinion can reflect so many stories There are a few classics here, just as many minor offerings from famous authors, and plenty of forgettable selections Half Review Murderous spouses, ancient curses, talking corpses, seductive ghosts over a thousand pages long, presenting 52 stories from 33 authors, this collection is massive and dated, halfway a historical fragment and halfway a resource, fascinating but deep enough to drown in It s so vast that it s almost impossible to review no single opinion can reflect so many stories There are a few classics here, just as many minor offerings from famous authors, and plenty of forgettable selections Half the joy is simply seeing what s included, because not all of these authors or stories would be considered genre now and as such, this collection is a fascinating snapshot of the creation of canon and genre The exclusions are also telling there s only one vampire story because these stories all tend to be very much alike 760 , and only three female authors which seems to be a fault of the general climatethan the book s enthusiastic editors.As pleasure reading is concerned, the introduction recommends slow going and I concur Volumes like this are longterm bedside companions try to hurry through them, and the stories become so many bricks in a wall Classic horror has a different pace from modern horror, often finding an uneasy balance between atmospheric subtlety and heavy handed themes such that it both bores and batters But then along will come a story like Hawthorne s Rappaccini s Daughter with its haunting, insidious beauty, or Lovecraft s superbly crafted imaginings of the unknown, or even Blackwood s tales, deeply flawed but rewarding patience with fantastic atmosphere There are also authors and stories which helped create the genre but are now forgotten, and pleasant surprises such as Benson s skin crawling Caterpillars There semphasis on action than modern readers may expect, and a sprinkling of gallows humor There are too many duds to recommend it to a casual reader, and the selections are too arbitrary to make it the only classic horror anthology you own, but Great Tales is often fascinating and occasionally great fun It s an enjoyable, if random, overview for fans of the genre, and I loved it To my surprise, the anthology is still in print so if you stumble upon it, I well recommend you pick it up and read a few tales


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Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural[PDF / Epub] ☂ Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural ✐ Phyllis Fraser – Polishdarling.co.uk When this longtime Modern Library favorite filled with fifty two stories of heart stopping suspense was first published in , one of its biggest fans was critic Edmund Wilson, who in The New Yorker app When this longtime of Terror ePUB ¹ Modern Library favorite filled with fifty two stories of heart Great Tales Epub / stopping suspense was first published in , one of its biggest fans was critic Tales of Terror PDF/EPUB ✓ Edmund Wilson, who in The New Yorker applauded what he termed a sudden revival of the appetite for tales of horror Represented in the anthology are such distinguished spell weavers as Edgar Allen Poe The Black Cat , Wilkie Collins A Terribly Strange Bed , Henry James Sir Edmund Orme , Guy de Maupassant Was It a Dream , O Henry The Furnished Room , Rudyard Kipling They , and HG Wells Pollock and the Porroh Man Included as well are such modern masters as Algernon Blackwood Ancient Sorceries , Walter de la Mare Out of the Deep , EM Forster The Celestial Omnibus , Isak Dinesen The Sailor Boys Tale , HP Lovecraft The Dunwich Horror , Dorothy L Sayers Suspicion , and Ernest Hemingway The Killers There is not a story in this collection that does not have the breath of life, achieve the full suspension of disbelief that is so particularly important in this type of fiction, wrote the Saturday Review With an introduction and notes by Phyllis Cerf Wagner and Herbert Wise.


About the Author: Phyllis Fraser

Is a well of Terror ePUB ¹ known author, some of his books are a fascination for Great Tales Epub / readers like in the Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural book, this is Tales of Terror PDF/EPUB ✓ one of the most wanted Phyllis Fraser author readers around the world.



10 thoughts on “Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural

  1. Jonathan Janz Jonathan Janz says:

    Why have only about 1,200 people added this one Folks, Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is essential reading for any horror, suspense, thriller, or mystery fan There are several stories in here that would, by themselves, would make the purchase price a steal I could talk about the real shiners in this collection, but I ll instead rattle off some of the writers I encountered here for the first time back in my early twenties Algernon BlackwoodM.R JamesE.F BensonOliver OnionsSakiArth Why have only about 1,200 people added this one Folks, Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is essential reading for any horror, suspense, thriller, or mystery fan There are several stories in here that would, by themselves, would make the purchase price a steal I could talk about the real shiners in this collection, but I ll instead rattle off some of the writers I encountered here for the first time back in my early twenties Algernon BlackwoodM.R JamesE.F BensonOliver OnionsSakiArthur MachenJohn CollierWilkie CollinsAnd these are just the ones that were previously unfamiliar to me Add to that amazing list writers like Poe, Lovecraft, Hemingway, Faulknerdo I need to go on Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is one of the finest collections of all time Buy it now P.S My very favorites are The Great God Pan, Casting the Runes, and Confession


  2. Joe Joe says:

    A previous reviewer called this collection a beast and they were right This collection of terror supernatural stories is over 1000 pages I read the vast majority of them but I ll be honest, it one of them began to bore me or was just flat out bad, I would just cut my losses and move on I had a long journey ahead of me and couldn t get hung up on duds.It s a very strong collection of relatively short scary stories As with all anthologies, there were some strong and some weak but the good de A previous reviewer called this collection a beast and they were right This collection of terror supernatural stories is over 1000 pages I read the vast majority of them but I ll be honest, it one of them began to bore me or was just flat out bad, I would just cut my losses and move on I had a long journey ahead of me and couldn t get hung up on duds.It s a very strong collection of relatively short scary stories As with all anthologies, there were some strong and some weak but the good definitely far outweighed the bad here.That being said, if you do want to read this book you will need to start and stop it many times I think I about 5 different novels while I was reading this You can only read so many scary stories in a row before your mind rejects the input you re trying to give it And so, without further ado, here are some highlights and low lights of this collection La Grande Breteche by Balzac Classic cheated lover revenge tale The best tales are told at a certain hour The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe Very enjoyable Poe is the master of having an insane, murderous 1st person protagonist who speaks and acts as if their craziness is the most normal thing in the world Poe justice at its best.The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe Meh Poe clearly didn t understand hypnosis but was quite freaked out by it all the same.A Terribly Strange Bed by Wilkie Collins The story starts out promising enough with a young man finding himself on a great lucky streak in a gambling house of ill repute but the ending leaves much to be desired But I will grant the story thisit does contain a terribly strange bed so here s to truth in advertising.The Three Strangers by Thomas Hardy A fantastic tale of a remote country party during a storm The modern reader will see many of the twists coming but not all of them Very disturbing Very satisfying.The Interruption by W.W Jacobs A man kills his wife and then his maid attempts to blackmail him over it He attempts to even the score in a very dangerous wayThe Sea Raiders KILLER OCTUPI SAVE YOURSELVES Sredni Vashtar by Saki A fascinating tale A young boy creates a fantasy world in which he worships his quasi wild pet Ferret as a god Truly unlike anything I ve ever read Incredibly dark and wonderful story.Moonlight Sonata by Alexander Woollcott This one felt like a camp fire story Very brief but it has one of those great scary story endings Would have liked to see this fleshed out.Silent Snow, Secret Snow by Conrad Aiken Macabre story of a 12 year old boy becoming schizophrenic The way the author writes the boy s thoughts make the story feel so real as the boy s life becomes increasingly less so He is slowly transforming intosomething someonedifferent At whatever cost to himself, whatever pain to others Suspicion by Dorothy L Sayers I read my first Sayers earlier this year She s primarily known for her Lord Peter Wimsey stories This is a great who dun it revolving around British cuisine, hired help, and some well placed poison Good stuff.The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell One of my favorite short stories growing up A man is hunted on an island by a crazy General A tense thriller that is a must read.Leiningen Versus The Ants by Carl Stephenson A fantastic man vs nature horror story A cocky plantation owner in South America thinks he can outwit a 20 mile long wide swarm of man eating ants The amount of strategy and back and forth between he and the ants is every bit as engrossing as any military battle I ve ever read about This was honestly the movie Zulu but with ants I wasn t surprised to find out this was made into a movie with Charlton Heston which I now HAVE to see A truly wonderful story and a highlight of the book.The Gentleman from America by Michael Arlen This one was EXTREMELY overwritten Yeesh, 20 words where one would do Also, it was clear that Michael Arlen has never even met an American and was definitely not able to write in the voice of an American That being said, the set up was interestingthe classic spend a night in a haunted house story and I always like a story in which multiple characters are driven to madness but come on Arlenwrite what you know, buddy A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner Man, after reading a story like this, I have to take back some of the mean things I said about Faulker after reading The Sound and The Fury Some of the things, but not all of the things This was a great tale that shows how one unfortunate effect of Southern Hospitality is that it may inadvertently allow something dark and horrible to exist just below the surfacesomething that isn t confronted until it is too late A great read More like this and I ll stop using Faulker as an insult.The Killers by Ernest Hemingway I ve read a lot of Hemingway over the years but nothing recently It was good to be back, although I wouldn t really characterize this as horror or terror I suppose it is horrible knowing that organized crime exists and if such an organization decides to kill you, you re eventually going to die A short, sad story in the classic Hemingway style.Back for Christmas by John Collier A dark, comedic piece Another well worn trope Husband kills wife and attempts to get away scot free Great ending with writing every bit as tense as it is funny.Taboo by Geoffrey Household A great werewolf story with a terrifically disturbing ending I thought I saw the twist but I was way off and most satisfying of all, the author didn t cheat All the information you need is right there in front of you the whole time Good stuff.The Haunters and the Haunted or The House and the Brain by Edward Bulwer Lytton Creepy haunted house story with a suitably strange ending Had a Shirley Jackson feel to it.Rappaccini s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Evil botanist has a beautiful daughter with a deadly secret Spoiler alert It has something to do with botany Shh The only other work I ve ever read by Hawthrone was, of course, The Scarlet Letter I read this story and that one for that matter as one large sexually repressed metaphor Man, was this guy repressed He was the Stephanie Meyer of his day in that regard Pretty decent story all around.Green Tea by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu In the process of writing a religious book on metaphysics, a religious scholar focuses too much, and yes, drinks too much green tea, and begins to see a shadow spirit monkey with glowing red eyes that only he can see Quite unsettling but I read this asof a xenophobic metaphor than anything else Reminded me of Lovecraft in that everyone were constantly going completely mad at the drop of a hat.What was it by Fitz James O Brien Invisible demon monster Everybody run Sir Edmund Orme by Henry James The second work I ve read by James the first being The Turn of the Screw Holy crap, does this guy over right The editor says this guy is the opposite of Hemminway s minimalist style and, uh, yeah, I totally agree What s frustrating is this is an interesting story A mysterious figure haunts a young lady and her suitor can only see it after he falls in love with her Interesting stuff, but could have been much, much shorter.The Horla or Modern Ghosts by Guy De Maupassant This one was great It was told in a journal style and appears at first to be another haunted house story but eventually shows itself to be muchIt asks a question frequently not asked in these type of stories, namely, if these horrible monsters really existed, why wouldn t they try and take over the world and if they decided to, could we stop them Some great quotes in this one Certainly solitude is dangerous for active minds We need men who can think and can talk, around us When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms Still, it is very foolish to make merry on a set date, by Government decree People are like a flock of sheep, now steadily patient, now in ferocious revolt Say to it Amuse yourself, and it amuses itself Say to it Go and fight with your neighbor, and it goes and fights Say to it Vote for the Emperor, and it votes for the Emperor then say to it Vote for the Republic, and it votes for the Republic Those who direct it are stupid, too but instead of obeying men they obey principles, a course which can only be foolish, ineffective, and false, for the very reason that principles are ideas which are considered as certain and unchangeable, whereas in this world one is certain of nothing, since light is an illusion and noise is deception Was it a dream by Guy De Maupassant I m really digging on this author It s like reading a horror story written by Oscar Wilde This story is super short but levels the reader like a punch in the gut A guy loses his girlfriend and after she has been buried, he spends the night in the graveyard When the witching hour arrives, all the corpses rise from their graves and write their true epitaph on their own tombstones and let s just say the truth is less than flattering The climax of the story is what is written on his beloved s and I ll be honest, it completely leveled me Very effective and heartbreaking storytelling.The Screaming Skull by F Marion Crawford This may be the best name of any short story I ve read since H.P Lovecraft s The Rats in the Walls which is also included in this anthology Super spooky story written as a conversation from the protagonist to his friend explaining the strange goings on at his house and the terrible curse he bears This story is really an example of the slow boil Crawford slowly walks you down the path and you don t realize how invested and terrified you are until it s too late Great setting of tone and mood.The Furnished Room by O Henry I d never read any thing by O Henry before I mostly just knew there was a candy named that and not much else This one wassad than scary Two star crossed lovers unknowingly share the same shabby furnished room and it ends in about the most downtrodden way you could imagine.Oh, Whistle, and I ll Come To You, My Lad by M.R James A very good story Tourist finds a stranger whistle on the beach with an inscription that he can t read The mystery of just what is going on here and the reveal is superbly done and terrifying.Afterward by Edith Wharton A young couple moves into a very old house that is said to be haunted The catch is, you see a ghost and don t know until much later that it was, in fact, a ghost you saw With this information, my radar was ready for any suspicious characters so I mostly guessed the ending but it was still a great story of spooky goings on and justice done from beyond the grave.The Monkey s Paw by W.W Jacobs A classic that I and I m sure everybody else read back in grade school I almost skipped this one but am so glad I didn t We all know the storya family has a monkey s paw that grants 3 wishes but always in horrible ways that they can t anticipate But I thought I had remembered the family being bad and deserving what they got On the contrary, they seemed very sweet and innocent and that makes the horrible, bleak ending all thedevastating If you haven t picked this one up since childhood, it s definitely work a second look.The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen This story was one of the big reasons I even picked up this collection H.P Lovecraft always referred to him as a major influence and after reading this I can definitely believe it All the classic Lovecraft touches are there Horrible things that cannot be described, fear of the unknown, knowledge of the ancient and or unknown proving fatal or driving characters to madness, xenophobic undertonesyou know, Lovecraft.This story was magnificent and absolutely lived up to it s reputation as one of the scariest stories of all time But it hadthan scares, it had great characterization, dialogue and a complex and complicated structure that reminded me of a Tarantino movie I honestly don t know whether I enjoyed itfor the beauty of the writing or for the deep psychological scares which stick with the reader long after the book has been placed back on the nightstand High, high, recommend.How Love Came to Professor Guildea by Robert Hichens A great slow burn story An unlikely friendship develops between a priest and a professor They are a charming odd couple that is beautifully fleshed out with realistic dialogue and naturalistic pacing We learn the professor doesn t want to love anyone or anything and would appreciate if the world treated him likewise One night something takes a liking to our dear professorsomething that won t take no for an answer for increasingly disturbing reasons This story uses an interesting device I ve never seen employed before A parrot can seesomethingsomething that no one else can see The parrot begins to mimic the physical and verbal characteristics of this entity with very creepy results.Lukundoo by Edward Lucas White This one has a healthy dose of the dynamic duo often seen in turn of the century literature Colonialism and Racism Two of the most awkward ism s to read If you can get past those, this is actually a fairly entertaining and short story about the search for African Pygmiesno, not those Pygmiesreally, really tiny ones Like, disturbingly tiny This was has some Cronenbergian physical horror in the mix Not for the squeamish.Caterpillars by E.F Benson A story that suffers from hindsight It begins with our protagonist noticing strange Caterpillars in strange places in a creepy mansion The big twist is that these Caterpillarscause cancer Clearly written during that sweet spot of time after we discovered cancer but before we had the foggiest idea about what caused it Laughable ending to an otherwise short and ominous tale.Mrs Amworth by E.F Benson Very good vampire story No surprises to anyone who has ever read a story like this but there is something to be said for something done right It hits every beat and doesn t disappoint If you need a short story that encapsulates the essence of what a true vampire story isyou can t do better.Ancient Sorceries by Algernon Blackwood I really wanted to like thisthan I did I ve read a few short stories by him before and was impressed This one read like a much less subtle version of Lovecraft s The Shadow Over Innsmouth The protagonist randomly gets off a train in France and ends up cats in a strange village they re all cats where strange things begin happening CATS CATS DO YOU GET THAT THEY ARE CAT PEOPLE YET It s honestly about that subtle There are some good spots but not enough to justify the longer length.Confession by Algernon Blackwood A very interesting psychological tale The main character begins the story wandering London in dense fog and is completely lost We find out that he has shell shock from being in war and it s never clear how much of the fog is real and how much is in his head Our guy ends up at a strange house, sees something he shouldn t and wanders back into the fog But something has followed himThe Celestial Omnibus by E.M Forster An interesting premise that ends disappointingly A small dark alley has a mysterious handmade sign saying To Heaven Our protagonist is a little boy who goes exploring and finds an old Omnibus horse drawn carriage that promises to take him to a distant land but warns he must buy his return ticket now or else he can t come back It s all suitably creepy but the payoff doesn t deliver I say we just have Stephen King re write an ending.The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton A funny little tale about a small English village who is overrun with ghosts precisely because they don t mind having them about Enjoyable and silly The lightness of the tale stands in stark contrast to the fact that the author later committed suicide Overrun with ghosts indeedThe collection finishes out with a one two punch of H.P Lovecraft The Rats in the Walls and The Dunwich Horror These are two of my all time favorite Lovecraft stories and I ve previously reviewed them.Well, if you ve managed to read this whole review, you see what I mean about this collection being a beast However, it s well worth the effort but by all means you must be patient and don t try to read everything all at once So just remember, inside horror stories, you sprint When reading a huge collection of them, you jog and take many breaks


  3. Kimberly Kimberly says:

    I first read this book years ago, but I ve since read through the majority of the stories several times each A great collection the old time, atmospheric tales are my personal favorites A great book to have on your shelves.


  4. lark benobi lark benobi says:

    This anthology was my favorite book of all time from the age of 10 until the age of 12 I spent the weekend re reading it There are many favorite stories here that almost everyone has heard of and read The Most Dangerous Game, Leiningen Versus the Ants, Shredni Vashtar, The Open Window, The Monkey s Paw. Many here are still widely read because they were anthologized here first For the most part the stories still thrilled me Even so I could not get over how many of them used the framing devi This anthology was my favorite book of all time from the age of 10 until the age of 12 I spent the weekend re reading it There are many favorite stories here that almost everyone has heard of and read The Most Dangerous Game, Leiningen Versus the Ants, Shredni Vashtar, The Open Window, The Monkey s Paw. Many here are still widely read because they were anthologized here first For the most part the stories still thrilled me Even so I could not get over how many of them used the framing device of a bunch of white Englishmen at the club who are just lighting their cigars and settling down to hear one man s hair raising yarnor something very close to it A few are culturally offensive, relying on witch doctor tropes and colonial points of view that jar, but mostly their frame of reference is stiff upper lippish, rather than unreadably inappropriate I still love them all albeit nostalgically at times rather than for their currency


  5. Lissa Lissa says:

    I actually have an original, 1944 edition that was passed down to me by my father when I was just entering into my teens Many of the great classic authors grace these pages, from Faulkner, Hemingway, Hawthorne, Dickens, and Forster to Poe, Wells, and Kipling, among many others My only disappointment is that I can no longer read through the book without worrying that I will break the binding Perhaps I should be looking for a newer copy


  6. Werner Werner says:

    As the above description notes, the tales in this anthology by 27 19th and 20th century authors, mostly British or American Edgar Allan Poe, H G Wells, M R James, Rudyard Kipling, Guy de Maupassant, H P Lovecraft, E F Benson, and Algernon Blackwood are each represented twice depict both naturalistic and supernatural themes the two are separated into two distinct sections 20 Tales of naturally caused Terror, and 32 Tales of the Supernatural which are not necessarily terrifyin As the above description notes, the tales in this anthology by 27 19th and 20th century authors, mostly British or American Edgar Allan Poe, H G Wells, M R James, Rudyard Kipling, Guy de Maupassant, H P Lovecraft, E F Benson, and Algernon Blackwood are each represented twice depict both naturalistic and supernatural themes the two are separated into two distinct sections 20 Tales of naturally caused Terror, and 32 Tales of the Supernatural which are not necessarily terrifying in intent, though they usually are Which are which, of course, can be a matter of editorial opinion I would have placed Wells Pollock and the Pooroh Man in the latter section, for instance, and both Lovecraft stories in the former When I first read the book a couple of years ago, I d read only the supernatural section since that interested me the most but I recently decided to read the whole thing in order to review it here, and the first section proved fully worth the read as well The plot arcs of the stories run the gamut from tragedies, through tales of evil punished, to happy endings the tone is usually dark and serious, but a few are actually dryly humorous.Some of the naturalistic terrors are science fictional in nature murder and madness are of course staples, in many and varied permutations and Carl Stephenson s Leiningen Versus the Ants is one of the greatest tales of the man vs nature, theme ever penned, and evokes a genuine terror from it that remains suspenseful right down to the end And some of these stories offer serious thought content The Most Dangerous Game, for instance, forces the reader to confront the question, does human life have intrinsic value as human life Connell, in defiance of much modern philosophy, answers with an unequivocal Yes Ghost stories are the staple of the supernatural section but E F Benson s Mrs Amworth is an outstanding vampire story and one of those which features the theory that the vampire is not actually the deceased person, but an evil spirit that inhabits the deceased person s body , and such themes as demons, African tribal magic, and shape shifting sorcery make an appearance, too Blackwood s Ancient Sorceries posits reincarnation, and The Great God Pan is an exercise in existential horror but neither of these ideas are very common in this book Besides those mentioned in the above description, some of the best stories here include Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu s Green Tea, Oliver Onions The Beckoning Fair One, and F Marion Crawford s The Screaming Skull


  7. Shawn Shawn says:

    So, this came up in my to read list and, yes, I do not actually own a copy of this classic collection I ve got my The Dark Descent and my Dark Forces and my Black Water The Book of Fantastic Literature and Black Water 2 More Tales of the Fantastic and the recent, very nice American Fantastic Tales Boxed Set Heck, I ve even got a first edition of Summers The Supernatural Omnibus and I m not a book collector in that way at all This is one of those cornerstone anthologies and it s possible So, this came up in my to read list and, yes, I do not actually own a copy of this classic collection I ve got my The Dark Descent and my Dark Forces and my Black Water The Book of Fantastic Literature and Black Water 2 More Tales of the Fantastic and the recent, very nice American Fantastic Tales Boxed Set Heck, I ve even got a first edition of Summers The Supernatural Omnibus and I m not a book collector in that way at all This is one of those cornerstone anthologies and it s possible that if I ran across it in a used book store I may have declined a purchase simply due to the fact that I ve read and own a copy of everything in it EXCEPT eleven of the fifty two stories.Now, usually I would use this as an excuse to re read all these classics and take the opportunity to present a formal review on Goodreads But this is a thick book 1079 pages and,importantly, it s an inter library loan So there was no way I was going to be able to read and review it all in time Instead, I decided to simply read and review the eleven stories here.There s a nicely succinct introduction that lays out the basic structure of the collection the first half is Tales Of Terror that is to say, naturalistic , the second is Tales Of The Supernatural self explanatory.Thomas Hardy s The Three Strangers is less of a terror tale andof an ironic suspense story, while also having the feel of a local legend or bit of folklore Three strangers turn up at an isolated homestead on a stormy night when the farmer is celebrating the christening of his daughter but this is not a religious allegory at all, and the tale turns on identification and mis identification I enjoyed it for the authentic and interesting portrayal of rural gatherings and the accepted rules of social etiquette of the time, but less as a supposed scary story.The famed author of The Monkey s Paw hands down one of the greatest scare stories ever written and if you think you re too familiar with it to find it effective, go ahead a re read it sometime soon It s a masterpiece , W.W Jacobs, only had fair to middling success with his other tales although I did like The Well , which I reviewed in Ghost Stories Here we are given his piece The Interruption , which is a tightly written tale in which a man succeeds at murdering his wife, only to realize that the overlooked housemaid now has muchpower in the household I dug it like something from a later Alfred Hitchcock anthology Pollock And The Porroh Man is an H.G Wells story that s long been on my to be read lists and, having now read it, I can see why The white man stumbles against tribal magic story trope may be old hat by now see also Kipling s Mark Of The Beast , White s Lukundoo , and endless pulp and EC comics stories, etc etc but Wells does an amazing job here making it very exciting indeed This may possibly be my favorite story of the 11 I read or it at least ties with the Aiken piece A British soldier is cursed by a tribal witch doctor and takes a nightmare plunge down into the classic scenario of flight, terror, rationalizing and anthropological reinforcement It s brilliantly handled Wells has such a great touch for detail like the character and dialogue of the Portuguese Jew, Perea, or the initial upside down look the witch doctors casts backwards at the soldier, and how it resonates throughout the tale and thoroughly entertaining and I wonder why no one has even made a short film of it it s a very visual tale at least as far as I know of Its placement in the book is an interesting and valid choice as well and what a last line Wells appears again with The Sea Raiders , a monster story in which he mixes a number of writing styles scholarly science, journalistic distance and snappy, realistic action all feature in this recounting of mankind s first encounters with an aggressive new breed of cephalopod Fun stuff.Conrad Aiken s Mr Arcularis is a personal favorite of mine but I ve never read his justifiably acclaimed Silent Snow, Secret Snow until encountering it here although I do remember the adaptation of it on Rod Serling s NIGHT GALLERY, narrated by Orson Welles A deceptively simple story in his mind a young boy begins to withdraw from the world behind an imaginary layer of snowfall that has been widely interpreted analogies of sensitivity, creativity, escapism, adolescence, even deafness but I believe the introduction to the story gives the most likely reading the onset of mental illness possibly schizophrenia or autism or obsession in a young mind, the drawing further and further away from the real world and deeper and deeper into imagination, the fascination with repetition and a calm, controllable environment It s a fascinating, at times lyrical piece.Next up is Ernest Hemingway s The Killers a stripped down noir piece without the hysterical trappings of, say, Cornell Woolrich that has echoes forwards in time to, for example, Cronenberg s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE We get a simple setting a small town diner and two threatening thugs come to deliver a message It s all clipped, small phrases and repetition because it s Hemingway, but the best part of it outside of the thug s mannerisms is that the target of the threat, when finally warned, is resigned to his fate In that, it s very much like Woolrich, the unknown and unknowable human machinations of fate that grind away behind the facade of society, waiting to chew up people who step over lines Back For Christmas by another personal favorite writer, John Collier, is familiar to me as it was adapted a number of times on old radio dramas SUSPENSE, etc That s understandable as its a slick, whittled down murder story not a mystery or even much of a crime story, like the Jacobs piece earlier it sin the line of an ironic ending ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS episode not a whodunnit but a willhegetawaywithit Another slight but fun read.Moving into the Supernatural portion of the book, I ll always look forward to an unread Henry James ghost story as I consider The Jolly Corner an absolute masterpiece of his work in the area The editors bemoan their inability to include The Turn of the Screw due to length and so here present Sir Edmund Orme It s kind of bracing to come from Hemingway into James so quickly they have completely opposite styles and approaches exterior versus interior and yet both are masters of their chosen mode James dense style builds an entire culture around the characters through specific word choice, phrasing and detail of action it s heady stuff Orme is a ghost story but not a horror story, a very proper ghost story, actually, about a very proper and well behaved ghost who existsas a sins of the parent visited on the children than any actual malevolent force I wonder if all those DOWNTON ABBEY fans realize there s worlds of manners and courting and great reading awaiting them in James Rudyard Kipling s The Return Of Imary sometimes presented as The Recrudescence Of Imray is another India set ghost story this time dealing with a mysterious disappearance from and a bothersome poltergeist in a bungalow It s fairly straight ahead, plot wise, but I liked the very practical military characters and their handling of the disturbance.Walter de la Mare is another very subtle writer who rewards close reading and Out Of The Deep is an enjoyable story but somewhat hard to crack, as the author sometimes surrenders narrative clarity to British upper class colloquialisms of the time The basic plot is simple a young wastrel inherits the home of the deceased family who rescued him as a child He has a morbid fear of the attic bedroom where he once slept, and of the various pull ropes used to summon servants As there are no servants left in the house, at least at night, he s very surprised when his deliberate attempt to overcome his fear and pull the bell rope does actually summon someone and then something I enjoyed it but, as I said, I m not entirely sure I grasped the psychological detail due to the playful language at times with de la Mare, a single word in a short line could turn the whole meaning of a paragraph on end I ll have to see if there s any secondary analysis on the web somewhere.And finally, The Sailor Boy s Tale by Isak Dinesen is a fable like story of a good deed, an accidental murder and debt repaid by a Norwegian witch It flows along lightly, with some wonderful scene setting in a port town and some blunt dialogue on the part of the witch Entertaining.And that s it I ll have to say that the terror tale first section seems to me to be amuddled definitional slough than the second supernatural one how does one distinguish mystery from crime from conte cruel, for example I know how I distinguish them, but lumping all these types into a terror category seems a bit of a hard swallow Still, this is a classic volume and deserves to be on any fans shelf simply for the vast variety and opportunity it contains


  8. Zach Zach says:

    Basically a collection of the acknowledged classics of the ghost and or thriller genres Aclassics oriented approach or mainstream, one might even say than the VanderMeer s The Weird, but that makes the two of them excellent companions Arranged, supposedly, into a natural and a supernatural section, and since I greatly prefer supernatural to non supernatural horror, it gets most of the filler out of the way in the beginning Some of the choices are rather inexplicable Pollock and the Basically a collection of the acknowledged classics of the ghost and or thriller genres Aclassics oriented approach or mainstream, one might even say than the VanderMeer s The Weird, but that makes the two of them excellent companions Arranged, supposedly, into a natural and a supernatural section, and since I greatly prefer supernatural to non supernatural horror, it gets most of the filler out of the way in the beginning Some of the choices are rather inexplicable Pollock and the Porroh Man can be read either way, but is near the beginning of the book, while Saki s The Window is explicitly not a supernatural story, but that s where the editors put it.Almost entirely English American with the exceptions of De Maupassant and Dinesen, I believe, and the gender balance is sadly tilted in the usual direction.La Grande Bret che 1832 Honor de BalzacThe one where a haunted house is created not by ghosts, but by the memory of some unpleasantries involving a cheating wife and her would be lover being walled into a closet by the husband very proto Poe Framed by a man staying in the town s inn after the death, years later, of the wife in question 3 5The Black Cat 1843 Edgar Allan PoeThe one where an alcoholic tortures his cat to death, which gets revenge from beyond the grave by tricking him into murdering his wife and then revealing the fact that he sealed her up in a wall shades of La Grande Breteche, but also of The Tell Tale Heart and every other Poe story that involves premature burial Framed as the confession of the murderer If this story is not supernatural, it is predicated on a lot of bizarre and unlikely coincidences 2 5The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar 1845 Edgar Allan PoeThe one where mesmerism is used to forestall the moment of death giving us the first grey area now, what is mesmerism but supernaturalism, but does science fiction, proven untrue, pass into fantasy, or would that be ahistorical 3 5A Terribly Strange Bed 1852 Wilkie CollinsThe one where a man, after a night of debauchery, stays the night in the gambling den where he just won a fortune, only to nearly be murdered by means of a terribly strange bed The scheme didn t make much sense, but the story was written well enough and the scene with the attempted suffocation was suitably jarring 3 5The Boarded Window 1889 Ambrose BierceThe one where an American frontiersman keeps one window boarded up after the death of his wife either from disease or a panther attack, it s an Ambrose story, so the unreliable narration never makes it clear Short and bitter 5 5The Three Strangers 1883 Thomas HardyThe one where a rural party is interrupted by the staggered arrival of the titular gentlemen, one of whom is an escaped convict A slight tinge of suspense, but certainly no terror 3 5The Interruption 1925 W W JacobsThe one where a man has murdered his wife but not any of those others where a man has murdered his wife , and is then blackmailed by the servant into increasing her lot in life I was entirely sympathetic to the servant, although I don t think I was supposed to be 2 5Pollock and the Porroh Man 1895 H G WellsThe one where a white British colonialist runs afoul of a shaman in Africa, has him killed, and pays the price whether this is a supernatural price or a psychological one is explicitly unclear Could be read productively in tandem with Lukundu or the works of Henry S Whitehead in terms of the supernatural costs of colonialism Perhaps Richard Matheson s much later Prey could be thrown into the mix too 4 5The Sea Raiders 1896 H G Wells The one where monstrous octopi devour a bunch of pleasure seekers on the English shore Nothing , nothing less, but whatcould you need 4 5Sredni Vashtar 1911 SakiThe one where a lonely boy keeps and worships a ferret in the back yard, who eventually gets revenge on the boy s abusive caretaker supernaturally, or naturally Shades of Pollock I enjoyed this onehere than in The Weird, which seems to ring true for my second readings of most old Weird tales 4 5Moonlight Sonata 1931 Alexander WoollcottThe one where a visitor to a supposedly haunted castle thinks he saw a ghost, but it was really just a muchmundane monstrosity 2 5Silent Snow, Secret Snow 1932 Conrad AikenThe one where Conrad Aiken proves once again to be a master of a very melancholic and beautiful descent into uncertainty and the surreal, this time via the story of a boy who sees and hears encroaching snow where no one else does 5 5Suspicion 1933 Dorothy L SayersThe one where a domestic has been poisoning her employers, and our protagonist begins to feel mighty suspicious about his new cook 2 5 Most Dangerous Game 1924 Richard Edward Connell The one where a man hunts another man A famous story, for no reason at all that I can tell 1 5Leiningen Versus the Ants 1938 Carl Stephenson The one where a colonialist defends his Brazilian plantation against a ravenous horde of army ants Not particularly interesting, and frightfully patronizing toward the Brazilians The ants were indeed mighty, but not so mighty as the boss , but at least it was better than the previous story 2 5The Gentleman from America 1924 Michael ArlenThe one where two British knaves trick an American caricature a hilarious American caricature into thinking he was being attacked by ghosts Things don t work out well for any of them I actually really enjoyed this one 4 5A Rose for Emily 1930 William FaulknerThe one where Southern gentility is a mask for something rather gruesome One of the all time greats, of course 5 5The Killers 1927 shortstory by Ernest HemingwayThe one where some killers threaten an ex boxer in a small town Even as the non supernatural stories go, this was not terrifying or even really tense at all 1 5Back for Christmas 1939 shortstory by John CollierThe one where a man murders his meddling wife and finds that her meddling extends from beyond the grave Ho hum I expectedfrom Collier 2 5Taboo 1939 Geoffrey HouseholdThe one where a town is convinced they have a werewolf problem It turns out they have a cannibal problem, which is even worse 5 5The Haunters and the Haunted or, The House and the Brain 1859 Edward Bulwer Lytton The one where Bulwer Lytton makes painfully clear he doesn t know when to stop we go from rather excellent haunted house story, to bizarre pseudo scientific explanation of said haunting, to downright inexplicable wizard s revenge story This is the first of the supernatural stories, although it is kind of the epitome of the use of fringe science to explain its supernatural activity 2 5 Rappaccini s Daughter 1844 Nathaniel HawthorneThe one where a young man in an archaic Italy falls for the poisonous daughter of his scholarly neighbor Often reprinted, but justifiably so 4 5The Trial for Murder 1865 Charles DickensThe one where a murder victim gets justice by tampering with the jury 2 5Green Tea 1869 Joseph Sheridan Le FanuThe one where a scholar is driven to madness and suicide by the stalking of a demonic monkey, perhaps a hallucination created by his consumption of green tea Another classic to be fair, most of the stories in this book are considered classics of the field , but another that just never really coheres for me A large part of this might be my inability to take a demonic monkey seriously 2 5What Was It 1859 Fitz James O BrienThe one where an invisible monster attacks a man in bed in the middle of the night Another often reprinted classic, this one has never done all that much for me, although I do appreciate the inability of modernity to preserve or make anything of the monster 3 5 Sir Edmund Orme 1891 Henry JamesThe one where a young man can see the ghost of his girlfriend s mother s dead boyfriend Said ghost is not menacing, just kind of despondently present sometimes Doesn t amount to much of anything 2 5The Horla, or Modern Ghosts 1886 Guy de MaupassantThe one where a man is haunted by some sort of invisible, malevolent entity from beyond the stars or else he s just insane Pre Lovecraft Lovecraft 4 5Was It a Dream 1910 Guy de MaupassantThe one where a grieving widower sees the dead rise up from their graves to correct the banalities written on their tombstones Short, simple, excellent 5 5The Screaming Skull 1908 F Marion CrawfordThe one where an aging sea captain has to live with the skull of his dead friend s dead wife The skull blames him for her death Written, unusually, as the sea captain s half of a conversation, with his conversant s responses omitted Also in the _The Weird_ but, as always, I enjoyed thisthe second time 5 5The Furnished Room 1904 O HenryThe one where a man, searching for his missing girlfriend, commits suicide, only for the reader to discover that the girlfriend had killed herself in the same room shortly before Incoherent and pointless 1 5Casting the Runes 1911 M R JamesThe one where I have read it often enough recently and didn t have the desire to read it again right now.Oh, Whistle, and I ll Come to You, My Lad 1904 M R James The one where a historian uncovers an antiquarian whistle that would have been better left covered Much, much better than Casting the Runes effectively mysterious and suffused with dread, whereas Casting hangs mostly on the rather cartoonish villain 5 5Afterward 1910 Edith WhartonThe one where the ghostly presence in a haunted house makes itself known only long after the fact Like the James, this is a rather staid and bloodless in both ways ghost story, but the narrative foreshadowing is excellent, and the protagonist s hopelessness is captured exceedingly well 5 5The Monkey s Paw 1902 W W JacobsThe one where well, you know 5 5The Great God Pan 1894 Arthur MachenThe one where a scientist seeking to expand the human mind sends his test subject through the veil to see the Great God Pan , leaving her mindless and pregnant Her daughter later wreaks havoc throughout London and the world, drawing her husband s into an orgiastic and heretical lifestyle that leads to their suicides A disappointment next to Machen s beautiful and otherworldly The White People More fixated on the unveiling of cosmic horror than are most of the works here, which buys it a few points in my book, although what Machen does with the aftermath here interests me very little 2 5How Love Came to Professor Guildea 1897 Robert HichensThe one where a resolutely unemotional man of science becomes haunted by a mewling invisible thing that wants only to love him Includes an incredibly creepy scene involving a parrot The narrator protagonist, Guildea s best friend and a man of God, watches this all unfold with great sadness for the inability of the rational mind to cope with emotion the supernatural One of the best 5 5The Return of Imray 1891 Rudyard KiplingThe one where a British colonialist runs afoul of his primitive, superstitious Indian servant, who then runs afoul of a snake 1 5 They 1904 Rudyard KiplingThe one where a motorist finds, by accident, an isolated house where children always seem to be playing just out of the corner of his eye Much of it is implicit rather than explicit, which I like, but it s also a bit on the twee side, which I don t 3 5Lukundoo 1907 Edward Lucas WhiteThe one where a British colonialist runs afoul of an African shaman, who runs afoul of nothing 5 5Caterpillars 1912 E F BensonThe one where spectral caterpillar crabs stand in for cancer contagion 4 5Mrs Amworth 1922 E F BensonThe one where the titular vampire is dispatched I read this expecting some sort of twist or surprise, to no avail but, as it goes, it worked well enough I guess it is unusual for the vampire to be a kind of suburban housewife type 3 5 Ancient Sorceries 1908 novelette by Algernon BlackwoodThe one where an Englishman gets off a train at a mysterious French village, only to find that this idyllic community is masking a darker reality The foreshadowing is a bit heavy handedConfession 1921 Algernon Blackwood and Wilfred Wilson The one where a gentleman strolling through a foggy afternoon in London is distracted by a ghostly woman who leads him into a house where her husband confesses to having killed her All rather nightmarish and surreal Seems rather urban for a Blackwood story, so you have to wonder how much he had to do with it 3 5The Open Window 1911 SakiThe one where a man visits a country estate, where the young daughter of the house tells him a ghost story, tricking him into believing it s true This one is explicitly not supernatural, and also not really much of a story 2 5The Beckoning Fair One 1911 Oliver OnionsThe one where an author moves to a new house and either falls under the spell of a ghost or just loses his mind A bit too much happened off screen for it to be entirely satisfying 4 5Out of the Deep 1923 Walter de la MareThe one where a young man comes back to the dreaded house of his childhood to live out his final days Some spectral visitations involving ghostly servants take place Against what I just said about the Onions, just enough happens off screen to make it entirely satisfying Definitely asks to be re read 5 5Adam and Eve and Pinch Me 1921 A E CoppardThe one where a man seems to have become a ghost, intangible and invisible to his wife, servant, and three children.Off to a great start, things get derailed when he wakes from his dream and remembers he has only two children but his wife, previously unbeknownst to him, is pregnant 2 5The Celestial Omnibus 1908 E M ForsterThe one where a boy takes a taxi carriage from the end of an alleyway to a magical kingdom of literary figures When a spoilsport adult later accompanies him, he falls to his death The worst kind of sentimental tripe 1 5 The Ghost Ship 1912 Richard MiddletonThe one where a ghostly ship washes up in an English village and proceeds to ruin the morals of all the local boys Light hearted, whimsical, utterly uninteresting 1 5The Sailor Boy s Tale 1942 Karen Blixen as by Isak Dinesen The one where a sailor boy saves a bird, murders a drinking companion, and is saved in turn The murder is oddly glossed over, but I suppose that works with the mythic unworldly tones of the story, which reminded me a bit of Valente s Orphan s Tales 4 5The Rats in the Walls 1924 H P LovecraftThe one where a typically stuffy Lovecraft protagonist moves from New England to Old England to restore the ancestral estate, much to the distress of the locals Once moved in, the noise of the titular creatures draws him underground, where he makes a gruesome although relatively small fry for Lovecraft discovery Perhaps the quintessential Lovecraft story creepy, well plotted, and marred evenexplicitly than usual by racism 3 5The Dunwich Horror 1929 H P LovecraftThe one where a miscegenetic monster terrorizes Dunwich until it s defeated by a band of hearty academics I ve never understood the anthologization of this one over any number of other Lovecraft stories it overstays its welcome, the ending makes it a bizarre outlier, and it doesn t do anything that Lovecraft doesn t do better elsewhere 2 5


  9. Sharon Barrow Wilfong Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    This was a good book The first half were stories of high suspense and the second half, scary tales involving the supernatural.Actually not all the stories were scary or suspenseful Some of the suspenseful stories, areaccurately described as horror stories, like A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner or Geoffrey Housefold s Taboo And of course it would not be a complete analogy without some Edgar Allen Poe.One of the most suspenseful stories is by Carl Stephenson titled, Leiningen and This was a good book The first half were stories of high suspense and the second half, scary tales involving the supernatural.Actually not all the stories were scary or suspenseful Some of the suspenseful stories, areaccurately described as horror stories, like A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner or Geoffrey Housefold s Taboo And of course it would not be a complete analogy without some Edgar Allen Poe.One of the most suspenseful stories is by Carl Stephenson titled, Leiningen and the Ants , where a group of Europeans and Native South Americans try to stop a siege of local, giant killer ants.The section of the supernatural has a couple of stories by well known writers of ghost stories, like M.R James, Algernon Blackwood and F Marion Crawford But also by classic writers like Saki, Isak Dineson, E.M Forester, Walter de la Mare and also the father of the weird, H.P Lovecraft.The book was published in 1944 and gives a brief biography of the authors, most of whom were still living at the time of the book s publication


  10. Juushika Juushika says:

    Review Murderous spouses, ancient curses, talking corpses, seductive ghosts over a thousand pages long, presenting 52 stories from 33 authors, this collection is massive and dated, halfway a historical fragment and halfway a resource, fascinating but deep enough to drown in It s so vast that it s almost impossible to review no single opinion can reflect so many stories There are a few classics here, just as many minor offerings from famous authors, and plenty of forgettable selections Half Review Murderous spouses, ancient curses, talking corpses, seductive ghosts over a thousand pages long, presenting 52 stories from 33 authors, this collection is massive and dated, halfway a historical fragment and halfway a resource, fascinating but deep enough to drown in It s so vast that it s almost impossible to review no single opinion can reflect so many stories There are a few classics here, just as many minor offerings from famous authors, and plenty of forgettable selections Half the joy is simply seeing what s included, because not all of these authors or stories would be considered genre now and as such, this collection is a fascinating snapshot of the creation of canon and genre The exclusions are also telling there s only one vampire story because these stories all tend to be very much alike 760 , and only three female authors which seems to be a fault of the general climatethan the book s enthusiastic editors.As pleasure reading is concerned, the introduction recommends slow going and I concur Volumes like this are longterm bedside companions try to hurry through them, and the stories become so many bricks in a wall Classic horror has a different pace from modern horror, often finding an uneasy balance between atmospheric subtlety and heavy handed themes such that it both bores and batters But then along will come a story like Hawthorne s Rappaccini s Daughter with its haunting, insidious beauty, or Lovecraft s superbly crafted imaginings of the unknown, or even Blackwood s tales, deeply flawed but rewarding patience with fantastic atmosphere There are also authors and stories which helped create the genre but are now forgotten, and pleasant surprises such as Benson s skin crawling Caterpillars There semphasis on action than modern readers may expect, and a sprinkling of gallows humor There are too many duds to recommend it to a casual reader, and the selections are too arbitrary to make it the only classic horror anthology you own, but Great Tales is often fascinating and occasionally great fun It s an enjoyable, if random, overview for fans of the genre, and I loved it To my surprise, the anthology is still in print so if you stumble upon it, I well recommend you pick it up and read a few tales


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