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The House of Souls   By: (1863-1947)

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The House of Souls by Arthur Machen is an intriguing and captivating collection of supernatural stories that will leave readers with a sense of mystery and unease long after they have finished reading. Machen's mastery of the eerie and the unknown is on full display in this collection, as he weaves together tales of the supernatural, folklore, and mythology to create a truly haunting reading experience.

The book is divided into several distinct stories, each with its own unique charm and chilling narrative. Machen effortlessly transports readers into worlds where the line between reality and the supernatural is blurred. With a writing style that is at once vivid and poetic, he manages to create an atmosphere that is both enchanting and deeply unsettling.

One of the standout stories in the collection is "The White People," a haunting tale that explores the nature of evil through the diary entries of a young girl. Machen skillfully builds up an atmosphere of growing dread as the girl explores forbidden knowledge and the boundaries of her own imagination. The sense of claustrophobia and psychological horror is palpable, making this story one of the most memorable in the entire collection.

Another notable story is "The Great God Pan," which delves into the themes of otherworldly powers, forbidden experiments, and the consequences of meddling with nature. Machen's ability to intertwine the supernatural with themes of science and moral ambiguity is truly remarkable. The story keeps readers on the edge of their seats, as they follow the characters' descent into madness and the uncovering of ancient secrets that threaten to destroy everything they hold dear.

One aspect that sets The House of Souls apart is its exploration of pagan rituals, folklore, and mythology. Machen draws from the rich tapestry of ancient beliefs and customs, infusing his stories with a haunting sense of the past coming back to haunt the present. This blend of historical and supernatural elements adds depth and complexity to the narratives, elevating them beyond mere ghost stories.

While some may find Machen's writing style a bit dense and flowery, it undoubtedly adds to the overall atmosphere of the collection. His vivid descriptions and attention to detail transport readers to the dark and mysterious worlds he has created, and his ability to evoke a sense of dread and wonder is unparalleled.

In conclusion, The House of Souls is a captivating collection of supernatural stories that will send chills down your spine. Arthur Machen's masterful storytelling, coupled with his exploration of the unknown and the ancient, make this collection a must-read for fans of horror and literary fiction alike. Prepare to be enchanted, unsettled, and utterly enthralled by the mysteries that lie within these pages.

First Page:

The House of Souls

By Arthur Machen

Short Story Index Reprint Series


First Published 1922

Reprint Edition, 1999 AYER Company Publishers, Inc. Lower Mill Road North Stratford, NH 03590




Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. The oe ligature is shown as [oe].


A Fragment of Life 1

The White People 111

The Great God Pan 167

The Inmost Light 245


It was somewhere, I think, towards the autumn of the year 1889 that the thought occurred to me that I might perhaps try to write a little in the modern way. For, hitherto, I had been, as it were, wearing costume in literature. The rich, figured English of the earlier part of the seventeenth century had always had a peculiar attraction for me. I accustomed myself to write in it, to think in it; I kept a diary in that manner, and half unconsciously dressed up my every day thoughts and common experiences in the habit of the Cavalier or of the Caroline Divine... Continue reading book >>

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