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Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense

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The ghost story has long been a staple of world literature, but many of the genre's greatest tales have been forgotten, overshadowed in many cases by their authors' bestselling work in other genres. In this spine-tingling anthology, little known stories from literary titans like Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton are collected alongside overlooked works from masters of horr The ghost story has long been a staple of world literature, but many of the genre's greatest tales have been forgotten, overshadowed in many cases by their authors' bestselling work in other genres. In this spine-tingling anthology, little known stories from literary titans like Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton are collected alongside overlooked works from masters of horror fiction like Edgar Allan Poe and M. R. James. Acclaimed anthologists Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes) and Lisa Morton (Ghosts: A Haunted History) set these stories in historical context and trace the literary significance of ghosts in fiction over almost two hundred years—from a traditional English ballad first printed in 1724 through the Christmas-themed ghost stories of the Victorian era and up to the science fiction–tinged tales of the early twentieth century.  In bringing these masterful tales back from the dead, Ghost Stories will enlighten and frighten both longtime fans and new readers of the genre.   Including stories by: Ambrose Bierce, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Olivia Howard Dunbar, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, M. R. James, Arthur Machen, Georgia Wood Pangborn, Mrs. J. H. Riddell, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Walter Scott, Frank Stockton, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. 


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The ghost story has long been a staple of world literature, but many of the genre's greatest tales have been forgotten, overshadowed in many cases by their authors' bestselling work in other genres. In this spine-tingling anthology, little known stories from literary titans like Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton are collected alongside overlooked works from masters of horr The ghost story has long been a staple of world literature, but many of the genre's greatest tales have been forgotten, overshadowed in many cases by their authors' bestselling work in other genres. In this spine-tingling anthology, little known stories from literary titans like Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton are collected alongside overlooked works from masters of horror fiction like Edgar Allan Poe and M. R. James. Acclaimed anthologists Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes) and Lisa Morton (Ghosts: A Haunted History) set these stories in historical context and trace the literary significance of ghosts in fiction over almost two hundred years—from a traditional English ballad first printed in 1724 through the Christmas-themed ghost stories of the Victorian era and up to the science fiction–tinged tales of the early twentieth century.  In bringing these masterful tales back from the dead, Ghost Stories will enlighten and frighten both longtime fans and new readers of the genre.   Including stories by: Ambrose Bierce, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Olivia Howard Dunbar, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, M. R. James, Arthur Machen, Georgia Wood Pangborn, Mrs. J. H. Riddell, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Walter Scott, Frank Stockton, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. 

30 review for Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense by Leslie Klinger and Lisa Morton is a 2019 Pegasus Books publication. This is a small collection of classic ghost stories written by some very recognizable influences, such as Dickens, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Wilkie Collins, and Charlotte Riddell just to name a few. Some of the stories have been passed around for ages and are well known, while others are far more obscure. The most interesting tidbit, to me, is that ghost stories were commonly Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense by Leslie Klinger and Lisa Morton is a 2019 Pegasus Books publication. This is a small collection of classic ghost stories written by some very recognizable influences, such as Dickens, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Wilkie Collins, and Charlotte Riddell just to name a few. Some of the stories have been passed around for ages and are well known, while others are far more obscure. The most interesting tidbit, to me, is that ghost stories were commonly told at Christmas, not Halloween as they are today. The best part of this collection is that they are centered around spirits and legends. The title, however, suggests the book is filled with horror stories, but while ghost stories are a part of that genre, these are not horror stories written in the vein in which people have become accustomed. Perhaps they were considered such back in the 1800’s- early 1900s, though. Because some readers might feel a little mislead- although I don’t know why they would, because the title clearly states these are GHOST stories- these tales were right up my ally. I like ghost stories over horror stories any day, and am often very upset when a collection of stories is labeled as ghost stories but are in fact horror stories. So, maybe the publishers need to learn how to label these stories appropriately so people are not confused or disappointed. I had not read most of the stories included in the collection and was pleased to see such well known names included, but I have to confess, I was taken aback by the lack of quality of writing in some of the stories, especially from a collection featuring this many heavy hitters- or maybe it's just a difference it style than I'm used to. Still, I was happy to discover this collection and recommend it to fans of classic ghost stories and tales of the supernatural. It’s worth a look for no other reason than to read these mostly forgotten tales written by such great literary greats. 3.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    After reading Charles Dickens short ghost story The Signalman, I looked forward to other tales of that nature in this book with it's subtitle of this compilation: Classic Tales of Horror & Suspense. The majority did not quite meet my definition of horror & suspense. Eerie, creepy, spine-tingling was not any of the descriptors I would give to these stories. Almost all were written in the mid-late 1800's when spiritualism, mesmerism etc. were popular and the stories reflected that. Many focused on After reading Charles Dickens short ghost story The Signalman, I looked forward to other tales of that nature in this book with it's subtitle of this compilation: Classic Tales of Horror & Suspense. The majority did not quite meet my definition of horror & suspense. Eerie, creepy, spine-tingling was not any of the descriptors I would give to these stories. Almost all were written in the mid-late 1800's when spiritualism, mesmerism etc. were popular and the stories reflected that. Many focused on those living in the afterlife contacting someone in the present to achieve a specific goal. One of my favorites was by an author that I had never heard of Johann August Apel. The story "The Family Portrait" (1805) More traditional story arc. Supposedly the infamous party of Percy & Mary Shelley, & Lord Byron read this story which inspired the challenge to write their own ghost stories. Apel's story is full of long held family secrets, curses & deathly ends attributed to certain portraits & ghostly figures. Sir Walter Scott's "The Tapestried Chamber" (1828) seemed a more traditional ghostly haunting but the ending left me wanting. Edith Wharton's "The Lady's Maid's Bell" 1904 also fell into a traditional haunting. Two of the stories involved heroes of the past invoked to help those in dire straits now- Nathaniel Hawthorne's "the Gay Champion" 1835 & Arthur Machen's "The Bowman" 1914. Edgar Allan Poe seemed to go on ad nauseum in describing the beloved wife of the narrator. Once passed those pages "Ligeria" (1838) did have Poe's dense gothic atmosphere and creepiness ensued. There were some lovely stories as well such as Wilkie Collins' "Mrs. Zant and the Ghost"; Olivia Howard Dunbar's "The Shell of Sense", and Georgia Wood Pangborn's "The Substitute". The stories in the collection: "Since I Died" 1873 by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" 1886 by Ambrose Bierce "The Last of Squire Ennismore" 1887 by Charlotte (Mrs. JH) Riddell "The Philosophy of Relative Existences" 1892 by Frank Stockton "The Real Right Thing" 1892 by Henry James "A Ghost Story" 1875 by Mark Twain "oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad" 1904 by M.R. James

  3. 5 out of 5

    Милен Димитров

    Изключително приятна компилация от истории с призраци от класически автори. Някои от читателите много добре знаят какво да очакват, особено ако вече са чели подобните сборници на издателство Изток-Запад "Призраци за Хелоуин", "Призрачният Дилижанс" и "Глас в Нощта". Лиза Мортън и Лесли С. Клингър са съставителите на този сборник, а преди всеки разказ има кратка интродукция за атора, творчеството му и конкретната история. Самите разкази са доста разнообразни, като един от тях (сигурно се досещате Изключително приятна компилация от истории с призраци от класически автори. Някои от читателите много добре знаят какво да очакват, особено ако вече са чели подобните сборници на издателство Изток-Запад "Призраци за Хелоуин", "Призрачният Дилижанс" и "Глас в Нощта". Лиза Мортън и Лесли С. Клингър са съставителите на този сборник, а преди всеки разказ има кратка интродукция за атора, творчеството му и конкретната история. Самите разкази са доста разнообразни, като един от тях (сигурно се досещате чий) дори пародира жанра. Бих препоръчал на почитателите на този вид литература, както и на харесващите По, Дикенс, Джеймс и прочее класически автори.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    For those who read ghost stories on the regular, this collection is perhaps marred slightly by the fact that a good 50% of it is comprised of regularly collected works, or at least the sorts of works that you would have seen. Then, again, for those who do not read a lot of ghost stories and are looking for a collection to give a nice, firm introduction to the sub-genre, I do not know if it would precisely suit because the story choice is somewhat odd, which I will get into towards the end of thi For those who read ghost stories on the regular, this collection is perhaps marred slightly by the fact that a good 50% of it is comprised of regularly collected works, or at least the sorts of works that you would have seen. Then, again, for those who do not read a lot of ghost stories and are looking for a collection to give a nice, firm introduction to the sub-genre, I do not know if it would precisely suit because the story choice is somewhat odd, which I will get into towards the end of this review, but nevertheless again leaving you with about 50% of the stories being more valuable than others. That is not to say that it is a bad collection, in fact it is a quite good collection with a couple of caveats, it is just a bit out-of-place in some ways. I personally was interested in this collection because of my previous experience with Klinger collections and his sometimes over-exuberance of footnotes. Which, in this case, is not the reason to track down this book. The footnotes are there, and sometimes helpful and interesting, but rarely do they truly inform and they are unevenly distributed. M.R. James' "Oh Whistle," for instance, has some nice ones and the final story, Georgia Pangborn's "The Substitute," has a pair of helpful ones, but others seemingly have sparse footnotes for footnotes' sake. Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Grey Champion," has some of the historical elements explained, such as who King James II was, but not others. Charles Dickens' "The Signal-Man," only warrants a single footnote, effectively telling us what a railroad signalman even is...which is fair, but smacks of filling an imaginary quota rather than actually informing the reader. This editorial quibble aside, and with the assumption that few other readers actually come into the collection for the footnote-value, we can mostly now focus on the choice of the stories. As said, these are mostly fair to great choices. On the great side of things would definitely include Johann August Apel's "The Family Portraits," which is fairly rare collection to be anthologized and yet is directly cited by Mary Shelly in the context of Frankenstein's inspiration. Frank Stockton's "The Philosophy of Relative Experience," which is more speculative fiction than ghost story but nevertheless brings up interesting things to say about the ghostly story. Many of the others are informative of the ghost story experience. M.R. James is a definite for inclusion, and honestly any number of his stories would have made sense to have here. Edith Wharton's "The Lady Maid's Bell" is a strong story of the "gentle" type that only gets better upon repeat readings (it is easy to miss the humor and how carefully Wharton stages certain topics on a first pass). Morton and Klinger provide a good mix of ghost story types: some involving tragedy and horror and others involving spiritualism or romance. You get a good sampling of baroque and gothic writing, as well as more plain and more literary takes. They also give several examples of ghost stories used to promote certain causes or ideals such as feminism. As for missteps, I think there are a few. For one, Wilkie Collins' story, "Mrs. Zant and the Ghost," is one of the longer stories and is overall less interesting in the context of a ghost story. It does provide an example of what might be called a romance-with-ghosts-as-a-catalyst type tale, but there are other, shorter ones that could have provided more room to fill some gaps this book has to be a proper overview type. You then have a pair of pairs, as it were, where they did not need to repeat certain tropes. There are two ghost-stories-as-propaganda tales—Hawthorne's "Champion" and Arthur Machen's "The Bow-men"—where either would have sufficed. Hawthorne's is less repeated, though Machen's is better written. A flip of the coin, perhaps. You also have two stories from the spiritualist viewpoint featuring the ghost/spirit as the POV character, "Since I Died" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and "Shell of Sense" by Olivia Howard Dunbar. Again, either/or would have been enough to provide a sample of the style (I prefer Dunbar's story, because I feel like it more encapsulates the philosophy of spiritualism, though Phelps is a better writer, here). The overall misstep, which would actually be a boon for some readers, can be spotted relatively easily by looking at the table of contents. When you have an overview of the ghostly tale and the authors are Edith Wharton, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Mark Twain, Sir Walter Scott...etc etc...you get the feeling that this is meant less to be an overview of the ghost story, and especially not meant to be one made up of "forgotten classic tales," but instead is meant to be an editorial jab to say, "See, ghost stories are literature, too!" Which is a shame, because anyone new to the sub-genre will come away with a nearly perfectly wrong picture of the ghost story (which is assuredly more M.R. James than Henry) and will perhaps think they have read some obscure stories instead of generally reading many of the better known ones. Even putting aside "forgotten," where are the even slightly more in-genre writers like E.F. Benson, J. Sheridan le Fanu, Oliver Onions, Bithia Croker, and so on, that would have allowed the editors to paint a more accurate picture of the historical development of the genre? These complaints aside, though, it still does have several points to its merit, and several things to say.* It is definitely not a perfect collection of forgotten tales, but there are several that it brings to light that even the more die-hard genre fans might miss. It fails to truly show the ghost story in its own light, but does help to show how far reaching the ghostly tale is throughout literature as a whole. It suffers trying to find a precise reader, but provides everyone with some good stories and makes an enjoyable excursion. ======= * Just not, as it were, in the footnotes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trico Lutkins

    My wife (shoutout to Tracy) got this book for me because I love literature from the 1800's and early 1900s. Plus, I love short horror stories. So this should have been a complete win. Some of the stories were good, but some of them didn't hit the target well. It was about half and half. Overall I've read better collections of old horror short stories, but this one is okay. I felt like the editor was trying to find stories that people haven't seen or that not everyone has read, but the overall qu My wife (shoutout to Tracy) got this book for me because I love literature from the 1800's and early 1900s. Plus, I love short horror stories. So this should have been a complete win. Some of the stories were good, but some of them didn't hit the target well. It was about half and half. Overall I've read better collections of old horror short stories, but this one is okay. I felt like the editor was trying to find stories that people haven't seen or that not everyone has read, but the overall quality of the stories suffered (many of the stories are probably obscure for a reason). I wouldn't necessarily recommend going out and buying it, but you won't hate it if you read it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Terzah

    With Halloween coming, I switched from Christmas stories for a millisecond to read this excellent collection of classic ghost stories. If you think you need loads of gore and violence to be scared, try this out. It will scare you old-school. There's some fine general story-telling here, too. My favorite was the Edith Wharton selection, "The Lady's Maid's Bell." Spooky, yes, but also a commentary on marriage and female friendships. With Halloween coming, I switched from Christmas stories for a millisecond to read this excellent collection of classic ghost stories. If you think you need loads of gore and violence to be scared, try this out. It will scare you old-school. There's some fine general story-telling here, too. My favorite was the Edith Wharton selection, "The Lady's Maid's Bell." Spooky, yes, but also a commentary on marriage and female friendships.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Noted Sherlockian and celebrity annotator (yes, that's a thing) Les Klinger teams up with ghost historian (also, apparently, a thing) Lisa Morton to produce Ghost Stories, a slim collection of eighteen stories of varying levels of fame which trace the development of the eponymous literary form from the early 19th to the early 20th century. After a very brief introduction by the authors outlining the history of the genre, the book opens with the traditional ballad "Sweet William's Ghost" before mo Noted Sherlockian and celebrity annotator (yes, that's a thing) Les Klinger teams up with ghost historian (also, apparently, a thing) Lisa Morton to produce Ghost Stories, a slim collection of eighteen stories of varying levels of fame which trace the development of the eponymous literary form from the early 19th to the early 20th century. After a very brief introduction by the authors outlining the history of the genre, the book opens with the traditional ballad "Sweet William's Ghost" before moving into the stories proper, which appear here in chronological order. There are several literary heavy hitters on Klinger and Morton's team - Scott, Poe, Dickens, Hawthorne, James, Wharton - and a few more like Machen and Bierce who will likely be familiar to horror or weird fiction fans. All of which is to say that if you've read widely in this genre, you're likely to be familiar with several of these tales, though Dickens's "The Signalman" is good enough that I'd argue you could read it in every ghost anthology and still find it compelling. The authors do throw in some uncommon choices, of which I most enjoyed James's take on the perils of biography ("The Real Right Thing") and Wharton's ghostly Gothic ("The Lady's Maid's Bell). There were several more tales influenced by the Spiritualist movement (Phelps's "Since I Died," Dunbar's "The Shell of Sense) which I found more interesting from a cultural than a literary perspective, and which - while technically ghost stories - do not perhaps meet the subtitle's criteria of "tales of horror and suspense." It's worth noting that, since this volume presents a progression of the form across time, the type of story that most modern readers would consider a "ghost story" - which developed toward the end of the 19th century - doesn't appear until the latter part of the book. In other words: It's all very interesting, but you probably won't need a nightlight after reading this. Given Klinger's cred as an annotator and Morton's background I would have expected this volume to have a bit more contextual footnoting, but perhaps the editors wanted the dead to speak for themselves. What they have to say may or may not send a shiver up your spine, but it definitely offers a fascinating history of how the modern ghost story came into being.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I'm not sure why another anthology of classic ghost (or perhaps, more correctly, supernatural) stories was needed, but hey, why not? Included are some of the most important writers in the genre - M. R. James, Machen, Bierce, Poe, Hawthorne for example. A few of the stories were re-reads for me, but very much worth it for fans of ghost/supernatural/weird stories. I'm not sure why another anthology of classic ghost (or perhaps, more correctly, supernatural) stories was needed, but hey, why not? Included are some of the most important writers in the genre - M. R. James, Machen, Bierce, Poe, Hawthorne for example. A few of the stories were re-reads for me, but very much worth it for fans of ghost/supernatural/weird stories.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Downing

    The ghost story has long been a staple of world literature, but many of the genre's greatest tales have been forgotten, overshadowed in many cases by their authors' bestselling work in other genres. In this anthology, little known stories from authors like Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton are collected alongside overlooked works from masters of horror fiction like Edgar Allan Poe and M. R. James. As I've said before I love anthologies, they give you a quick look at different authors and how they The ghost story has long been a staple of world literature, but many of the genre's greatest tales have been forgotten, overshadowed in many cases by their authors' bestselling work in other genres. In this anthology, little known stories from authors like Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton are collected alongside overlooked works from masters of horror fiction like Edgar Allan Poe and M. R. James. As I've said before I love anthologies, they give you a quick look at different authors and how they write. The stories in this anthology have been around for awhile but I have never read any of them, but I'm glad I was able to. I don't think stories like these will ever get old, they will still send chills up the spines of many generations to come. SWEET WILLIAM'S GHOST is a classic ballad about a ghost visiting his love who is still alive. I read this out loud to myself and it really had more of an impact then when I just read it in my head, it's definitely a great story. THE FAMILY PORTRAITS by Johann August Apel is a story about a man traveling to check out his marriage prospects, when he is invited to join a group of women telling ghost stories. He hears the story of Juliana, a girl who is terrified by a family portrait. This is a story that gives you a very uneasy feel but you can't put it down, this is one of my favorites in the collection. LIGEIA by Edgar Allan Poe his story follows an unnamed man and his wife Ligeia, she ends up ill and dies. The man remarries but his second wife ends ill and dies also, guys pretty unlikely. He decides to stay with his wife's body, that's when things get strange. I've always liked Poe but this is the first time I've read this story. I really liked this one, it's right up there as one of my favorite stories in the collection. THE SUBSTITUTE by Georgia Wood Pangborn is about a woman getting a surprise visit from an old friend, a story that proves a mother's love is endless. It was very well written and had great descriptions. There are many more great stories in this anthology, if I were to write about each this would be a very long review. I really enjoyed every story and think it is a must read for anyone who likes ghost stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John J Questore

    The ghost story – standard fare of sleepovers and camping trips, and was probably one of the first stories told when man started communicating. From the day humans learned of death, they have looked for ways to understand it, and to hope that it isn’t really the end. The thought of loved ones coming back to silently (or not so silently) visit us provides some with hope, while scares the hell out of others. Many have claimed to see these specters of the dead (myself included), while many turn to The ghost story – standard fare of sleepovers and camping trips, and was probably one of the first stories told when man started communicating. From the day humans learned of death, they have looked for ways to understand it, and to hope that it isn’t really the end. The thought of loved ones coming back to silently (or not so silently) visit us provides some with hope, while scares the hell out of others. Many have claimed to see these specters of the dead (myself included), while many turn to science to disprove such claims. Regardless, the ghost story will be around in various forms for as long as humans have the capability to tell them. What we have forgotten is that some of the best ghost stories were written centuries ago, lost to either time, or just forgotten among the plethora of other stories the author may have written. For example, we all know of Dickens’ most famous ghost story, “A Christmas Carol”, but how many can recall reading (or even hearing about), “No. 1 Branch Line: The Signalman”? Not many, I’m willing to bet; and that’s a shame. Apparently Lisa Morton and Leslie Klinger thought so as well, because they took it upon themselves to put together this collection of eighteen eerie, creepy, atmospheric tales of the dead coming back – sometimes to help, sometimes to hinder, sometimes to pass on wisdom, or just to scare the bejeezus out of someone. Lisa, and Leslie, did a fantastic job of finding these treasures, and managed to get just the right mix of terror, heartache, and yes, even humor (thank you Mark Twain). I’d love to write a review of every story, but due to the nature of the stories, I would be doing the authors, and the readers a serious injustice. These gems are meant to be savored and enjoyed, with no knowledge of what to expect. You’re going to want to read this in the daytime, with the lights on; and preferably not in a house inhabited by the spirit of a woman who died in your reading room before you moved in. Just saying.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ella (The Story Collector)

    Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense is an anthology of lesser-known stories from literary masters, including the likes of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and many more. Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger have collected these stories and set them in historical context, with an explanation of the significance of ghosts in literary fiction over the past two hundred years, It should be noted that the stories in this collection are truly classic ghost stories: They are shor Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense is an anthology of lesser-known stories from literary masters, including the likes of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and many more. Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger have collected these stories and set them in historical context, with an explanation of the significance of ghosts in literary fiction over the past two hundred years, It should be noted that the stories in this collection are truly classic ghost stories: They are short, atmospheric tales of ghostly and spiritual encounters – definitely NOT modern horror. They aren’t gory or shocking, and in my opinion aren’t exactly scary, but they are creepy and rather spine-tingling. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy every story. The writing quality of a couple of them was surprisingly questionable considering who the authors are, and one or two (particularly The Family Portraits by Johann August Apel) really dragged on despite being so short. Also, some of them are pretty old, which obviously isn’t a bad thing in itself, but this meant that the language used was sometimes quite difficult to follow. My favourite stories were definitely The Signalman by Dickens which was the one I found the scariest and probably the best-written, and Sweet William’s Ghost which is actually a classic ballad. I enjoyed the opening essay on ghost stories in literature, and the contextual description at the beginning of each story. This book is a definite must-read for lovers or ghost stories and classic paranormal fiction. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    "My name is Ditmar; they surnamed me The Rich, though I was then only a poor knight, and my only possession was a very small castle." 😂 I found all these stories to be entertaining with beautiful writing, although the translations a little funky. I really liked Mrs Zant and the ghost by Wilkie Collins. A man and his daughter meet a woman in the park and he becomes concerned for her well being. He goes out of his way to see she's looked after despite being "put out" after his inquiries...I know i "My name is Ditmar; they surnamed me The Rich, though I was then only a poor knight, and my only possession was a very small castle." 😂 I found all these stories to be entertaining with beautiful writing, although the translations a little funky. I really liked Mrs Zant and the ghost by Wilkie Collins. A man and his daughter meet a woman in the park and he becomes concerned for her well being. He goes out of his way to see she's looked after despite being "put out" after his inquiries...I know it's just a story but you just don't see concern or kindness like that today. The philosophy of relative existences by Frank Stockton was pretty unique. A ghost story by Mark Twain (who knew he disliked the supernatural so much) was very funny and reading about the Cardiff Giant was interesting..The tapestried chamber or the lady in the square was also, in a way, pretty funny. The family portraits was probably the most interesting. I loved the footnote at the end that mentioned Lord Byron Mary Shelley and the lot (look now I'm talking like I'm from the 18th century) spent summer evenings reading tales aloud (this one included) when Byron challenged them to write their own ghost stories, this resulting in her Frankenstein (what a visual!). Another fun fact I learned was ghost stories were told around Christmas, not Halloween..interesting. None of these are very scary just eerie, but atmospheric, short and sweet!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Berens

    The authors have compiled a fine collection of well-written tales by top-notch authors. However, contrary to the subtitle, I would not classify these as tales of horror and/or suspense. They are more what I would call tales of the supernatural in which the living are visited or affected by the presence or actions of those who have "passed over." They are all very good examples of that genre, but if you are looking for tales that will send a shiver up your spine or make you want to leave the ligh The authors have compiled a fine collection of well-written tales by top-notch authors. However, contrary to the subtitle, I would not classify these as tales of horror and/or suspense. They are more what I would call tales of the supernatural in which the living are visited or affected by the presence or actions of those who have "passed over." They are all very good examples of that genre, but if you are looking for tales that will send a shiver up your spine or make you want to leave the lights on after finishing one before bedtime, this is not the collection for you. In their day, these may have been spooky tales for their intended audiences. By contemporary standards, though, they are fairly mild.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.

    Collection of magazine fiction and short stories during the spiritualists movements that usually follow wars. All the stories are public domain and the compilers only provide a somewhat tedious introduction and the briefest of biographies on the authors. That strikes me as a publishing house just out for the buck. It is the choice of stories, however, that is worthwhile and redeems them, especially if you have an interest in either the time periods or ghost stories as a genre. There are themes h Collection of magazine fiction and short stories during the spiritualists movements that usually follow wars. All the stories are public domain and the compilers only provide a somewhat tedious introduction and the briefest of biographies on the authors. That strikes me as a publishing house just out for the buck. It is the choice of stories, however, that is worthwhile and redeems them, especially if you have an interest in either the time periods or ghost stories as a genre. There are themes here that are no longer used in popular fiction and others that might appear to have been a basis for author's works of today. Put it by your bedside, nothing too scary here, but well written stories by Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce and others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    *3.25 stars. "'...and my only possession was a very small castle'" (34). *I just thought this was a funny thing to say. Poor guy. "Theirs is the fullest joy that the dwellers in the shell of sense can know. Mine is the transcendent joy of the unseen spaces" (239). *Title of the story is "The Shell of Sense" and is taken from a play, I learned from a footnote. It refers to living humans. We are shells that perceive through the senses. I like this description. "One child is never like another, yet pe *3.25 stars. "'...and my only possession was a very small castle'" (34). *I just thought this was a funny thing to say. Poor guy. "Theirs is the fullest joy that the dwellers in the shell of sense can know. Mine is the transcendent joy of the unseen spaces" (239). *Title of the story is "The Shell of Sense" and is taken from a play, I learned from a footnote. It refers to living humans. We are shells that perceive through the senses. I like this description. "One child is never like another, yet people who do't know try to treat them all alike "(252). *This speaks volumes to me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Trussoni

    Spiritualism may have gone the way of sniffing salts, but the ghost stories in this collection are as enjoyable now as they were for the Victorians. Some of my favorite 19th- and early-20th-century writers — Edith Wharton, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins — are found in this collection, along with Charles Dickens, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sir Walter Scott and a slew of other well-known authors. But the real fun of reading this book was in discovering writers I had not known before.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I was a little disappointed with this book since most of the stories featured were confusing and not very well written. The overall feeling with most of them was that they were a continuing story of a previous work. There were a few that I really enjoyed and felt that they made the anthology worth reading. Overall, I'm not sure I'd recommend this if you are looking for a truly classical ghost story. However, if you like the genre and have some extra time it would be a good time filler. I was a little disappointed with this book since most of the stories featured were confusing and not very well written. The overall feeling with most of them was that they were a continuing story of a previous work. There were a few that I really enjoyed and felt that they made the anthology worth reading. Overall, I'm not sure I'd recommend this if you are looking for a truly classical ghost story. However, if you like the genre and have some extra time it would be a good time filler.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hal

    A decent survey of ghost stories, which feel like they were selected to form a lineage leading to the final few which are roughly in the Edwardian era classic ghost stories. I particularly enjoyed the translated The Family Portraits as a more distant form, and among the more modern The Lady's Maids Bell was a great story that felt of a piece with The Turn of the Screw in having leaving so much of the story submerged. A decent survey of ghost stories, which feel like they were selected to form a lineage leading to the final few which are roughly in the Edwardian era classic ghost stories. I particularly enjoyed the translated The Family Portraits as a more distant form, and among the more modern The Lady's Maids Bell was a great story that felt of a piece with The Turn of the Screw in having leaving so much of the story submerged.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janika Puolitaival

    Voiko kauhukokoelmasta käyttää sanaa viehättävä? Lumous tulee vanhanaikaisuudesta, näissä ei mässäillä väkivallalla tai moottorisahamurhaajilla. Kauhua se ei suinkaan vähennä. Osassa tarinoissa arvoitusdekkareiden tuntua. Osa tuttuja muista yhteyksistä, osa uusia tuttavuuksia. Sopivan monipuolinen kokoelma, kiitosta tarinoiden taustoittamisesta. Huolellista työtä.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber Terry

    Dusty old ghost stories, a few of which I had already read before reading this particular book, and ALL of which were a little dull, purely because they were written during a time (late 1800s-early 1900s) when gory, demented ghost stories just weren't much a thing yet... Good stories, but I like to a feel at least a little creeped out by my ghost stories and I didn't find that here. Dusty old ghost stories, a few of which I had already read before reading this particular book, and ALL of which were a little dull, purely because they were written during a time (late 1800s-early 1900s) when gory, demented ghost stories just weren't much a thing yet... Good stories, but I like to a feel at least a little creeped out by my ghost stories and I didn't find that here.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Wonderful tales written by great authors over a vast time span. Very interesting to learn what passed for a "ghost tale" in various times in history. Wonderful tales written by great authors over a vast time span. Very interesting to learn what passed for a "ghost tale" in various times in history.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Wiley

    there were some good stories and some not so good stories. All in all I enjoyed them

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Fugate

    Because, like Halloween spirit, ghost stories are year-round.! Nice collection from famous authors. Edith Wharton remains my favorite.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Jayne Tricker

    Old ghost stories by prolific writers. I enjoyed the introduction to each author and how they contributed to this kind of literature. Unfortunately the stores were hit and miss... and mostly miss.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Manda

    A very good collection of stories, only a few of which I had read before.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daneel Lynn

    編者有意識地挑選恐怖類型奠基前或初期的名家作品,由於都還算早期,所以大多數還停留在有鬼/有詭、初步人鬼互動和鬧鬼傳說的層次,口味清淡許多。或許整本最有價值的地方在於編者的前言。 然後開卷的民謠 “Sweet William's Ghost" 配唱的版本真的很多,果然用聽的會更有感覺。 編者有意識地挑選恐怖類型奠基前或初期的名家作品,由於都還算早期,所以大多數還停留在有鬼/有詭、初步人鬼互動和鬧鬼傳說的層次,口味清淡許多。或許整本最有價值的地方在於編者的前言。 然後開卷的民謠 “Sweet William's Ghost" 配唱的版本真的很多,果然用聽的會更有感覺。

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    An anthology of ghost stories written by great authors of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The list of authors is impressive (Hawthorne, Poe, Dickens, Wharton, Twain). However, I feel it's a misnomer to call them tales of horror and suspense because the stories fell short in that area. Only once did I get goosebumps. Memorable quote: The Gray Champion, page 10: The whole scene was a picture of the condition of New-England, and its moral, the deformity of any government that does not grow out of An anthology of ghost stories written by great authors of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The list of authors is impressive (Hawthorne, Poe, Dickens, Wharton, Twain). However, I feel it's a misnomer to call them tales of horror and suspense because the stories fell short in that area. Only once did I get goosebumps. Memorable quote: The Gray Champion, page 10: The whole scene was a picture of the condition of New-England, and its moral, the deformity of any government that does not grow out of the nature of things and the character of the people.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather K

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Aurelia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Danielle B.

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