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Horror and Ghost Stories

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By: H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

Collected Public Domain Works of H. P. Lovecraft by H. P. Lovecraft Collected Public Domain Works of H. P. Lovecraft

H. P. Lovecraft’s name is synonymous with horror fiction. His major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally alien. This collection contains 24 Lovecraft works that are in the public domain.

By: Thomas Preskett Prest (1810-1859)

The Varney Vampyre by Thomas Preskett Prest The Varney Vampyre

This is volume 1 of 3. Originally published as a penny dreadful from 1845 until 1847, when it first appeared in book form, Varney the Vampyre is a forerunner to vampire stories such as Dracula, which it heavily influenced. Flora Bannersworth is attacked in her own room in the middle of the night, and although her attacker is seemingly shot dead, the body is nowhere to be found. The discovery of two small bite marks on Flora’s neck leads Mr Marchdale, an old friend of the family, to the conclusion that she was bitten by a vampire...

By: Montague R. James (1862-1936)

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R. James Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

An English tourist in a small, rural town in the South of France discovers an ancient manuscript with a strange illustration on the last page. A young orphan is sent to live with his elderly cousin, a secretive man who is obsessed with immortality. A picture that tells stories that change according to who is viewing it. These and other delicious, goose bump evoking tales are part of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R James. A master of his craft, MR James was an academic and administrator of King's College, Cambridge and later of Eton...

By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

Book cover Enchanted Typewriter

The Enchanted Typewriter is a collection of short stories by the American author John Kendrick Bangs, written in 1899 in the style that has become known as Bangsian fantasy. Bangs attributes many of the stories to the late (and invisible) James Boswell, who has become an editor for a newspaper in Hades, and who communicates with the author by means of an old typewriter. The fantasy stories in this book are part of the author's Hades series, named for the stories' setting.

Book cover Water Ghost and Others

Eight ghost stories by a master story teller and humorist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

By: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Zastrozzi, A Romance by Percy Bysshe Shelley Zastrozzi, A Romance

“Would Julia of Strobazzo’s heart was reeking on my dagger!”From the asthmatic urgency of its opening abduction scene to the Satanic defiance of the villain’s departure “with a wild convulsive laugh of exulting revenge”, this first of Shelley’s Gothic novelettes recycles much sensational boyhood reading and also points to some of his more mature concerns.It is the ego-driven pursuit of passionate extremes, revenge included, which consigns figures like Zastrozzi and the murderous Matilda to an isolation which is socially destructive as well as self-annihilating...

By: Charles Brockden Brown

Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown Arthur Mervyn

Kicked out of his parental home by his scheming young stepmother, a young country boy, Arthur Mervyn arrives in Philadelphia. Here he finds the city in the throes of a deadly yellow-fever epidemic. However, he finds a small job as a clerk and is determined to make his way in the world. He soon discovers that his employer is a con man and a murderer. One night, Arthur helps him dispose of a body in the river. While they're struggling with the corpse, the employer is swept away by the current... If you haven't encountered American Gothic before, Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown is a great introduction to this genre...

By: Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933)

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80’s and early 90’s, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of “The King In Yellow”. This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author’s life as an artist in France...

By: Robert Smythe Hichens

The Return of the Soul by Robert Smythe Hichens The Return of the Soul

Can the soul of the dead come back to haunt the one who was responsible for its death? What would happen if the responsible one did not believe it could be so, and yet was in love with the returned soul? The Return of the Soul is a horror story of a man who is visited by the returning soul of a deceased, and who has some very perplexing issues to deal with upon that return. (Introduction by Roger Melin)

Book cover Tongues of Conscience

Tongues of Conscience (1898) is a collection of five thought-provoking stories where an innocent, but selfish, action leads to horrific consequences. Robert Hichens writes some wonderfully evocative descriptions of nature: from a raw and exposed violent seascape, to the serene and idyllic countryside “…the violets seemed to sing in odours…” , to a train pushing through the white-out of a blizzard. In Sea Change an artist with a dark secret (“…I painted for him in words, the varying colors of waves in different seas… I drowned little Jack in the sea...

By: Walter De la Mare (1873-1956)

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

By: Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)

The Willows by Algernon Blackwood The Willows

A tale of horror in which a pleasant sojourn down the Danube tumbles terrifyingly awry as the veil between this world and an unfathomably weird dimension is inadvertently pierced by an innocent pair of vacationers, “The Willows”, arguably Algernon Blackwood’s seminal contribution to supernatural literature, has had a lasting influence on the field. No less a personage than H. P. Lovecraft describing it as “…the greatest weird tale ever written.” A reading will reveal a clear influence to one familiar with Lovecraft’s work...

The Camp of the Dog by Algernon Blackwood The Camp of the Dog

A party of campers on a deserted Baltic island is terrorized by a huge wolf… or is it?

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood The Wendigo

Another camper tale, this time set in the Canadian wilderness. A hunting party separates to track moose, and one member is abducted by the Wendigo of legend. Robert Aickman regarded this as "one of the (possibly) six great masterpieces in the field".

Book cover Four Weird Tales

Four stories: The Insanity of Jones, The Man Who Found Out, The Glamour of the Snow, and Sand. Tales by one the greatest practitioners of supernatural literature. Reincarnation, the Occult, and mystery.

Book cover John Silence

Six stories about Dr. John Silence if you want the shivers to run up your back, this is the right place to be

By: Émile Zola (1840-1902)

Therese Raquin by Émile Zola Therese Raquin

An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.

By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Carmilla

Published in 1872, Carmilla is an early work in the vampire literature genre and is incidentally one of the most influential of its type. The gothic novella accounts the tale of Laura, a young woman who becomes susceptible to the friendship and seductive charms of the mysterious Carmilla. A gripping tale of coincidence, mystery, compulsion, dark romance, and deception, Le Fanu’s classic is regarded as having paved the way for modern takes on vampires. Narrated by Laura, the novel opens with a recount of her childhood, as she depicts growing up in a beautiful, yet solitary castle encompassed by a forest in Styria, Austria...

By: Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936)

Red Shadows by Robert Ervin Howard Red Shadows

Red Shadows is the first of a series of stories featuring Howard’s puritan avenger, Solomon Kane. Kane tracks his prey over land and sea, enters the jungles of Africa, and even faces dark Gods and evil magic — all to avenge a woman he’d never met before.

By: W. W. Jacobs (1863-1943)

The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs The Monkey's Paw

An eerie supernatural story, The Monkey's Paw follows the White family as they come to realize that nothing in life comes without a price or at the simple push of a button. First published in 1902, the short story powerfully suggests that one should not interfere with the course of nature, as cheating fate can result in unforeseen consequences that leave one with more than they bargained for. Set in England, the tale opens on a dark and stormy night inside Laburnam Villa, home to Mr. and Mrs...

By: Arthur Machen (1863-1947)

The White People by Arthur Machen The White People

Literary critics see Arthur Machen’s works as a significant part of the late Victorian revival of the gothic novel and the decadent movement of the 1890s, bearing direct comparison to the themes found in contemporary works like Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The White People is a highly influential horror story of a young girl’s discovery of ancient magic. It was written in the late 1890s as part of a longer unfinished novel, some sketches from which went into his book Ornaments in Jade. Fans of supernatural fiction often cite this story as a classic in the genre.

Book cover Hill of Dreams

The novel recounts the life of a young man, Lucian Taylor, focusing on his dreamy childhood in rural Wales, in a town based on Caerleon. The Hill of Dreams of the title is an old Roman fort where Lucian has strange sensual visions, including ones of the town in the time of Roman Britain. Later it describes Lucian's attempts to make a living as an author in London, enduring poverty and suffering in the pursuit of art. Generally thought to be Machen's greatest work, it was little noticed on its publication in 1907 save in a glowing review by Alfred Douglas...

By: Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823)

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe The Mysteries of Udolpho

Considered a change agent in early Gothic romance; oft-referenced in later literary works or paid homage to by such authors as Jane Austen (influential novel ready by her heroine, Catherine Morland, in Northanger Abbey); Edgar Allen Poe (borrowed plot elements for the short story The Oval Portrait); and Sir Walter Scott. In The Mysteries of Udolpho, one of the most famous and popular gothic novels of the eighteenth century, Ann Radcliffe took a new tack from her predecessors and portrayed her heroine’s inner life, creating an atmosphere thick with fear, and providing a gripping plot that continues to thrill readers today...

By: Elliott O’Donnell (1872—1965)

Animal Ghosts by Elliott O’Donnell Animal Ghosts

Summary: This is a collection of ghost stories in which the antagonists are various animals. Divided up into chapters of ghost sightings by each group of animals, you will hear of hauntings by dogs, cats, birds, jungle animals, etc. (Summary by Allyson Hester)

By: William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson The House on the Borderland

In 1877, two gentlemen, Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, head into Ireland to spend a week fishing in the village of Kraighten. While there, they discover in the ruins of a very curious house a diary of the man who had once owned it. Its torn pages seem to hint at an evil beyond anything that existed on this side of the curtains of impossibility. This is a classic novel that worked to slowly bridge the gap between the British fantastic and supernatural authors of the later 19th century and modern horror fiction. Classic American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft lists this and other works by Hodgson among his greatest influences.

Book cover Night Land

The Sun has gone out and the Earth is lit only by the glow of residual vulcanism. The last few millions of the human race are gathered together in a gigantic metal pyramid, nearly eight miles high – the Last Redoubt, under siege from unknown forces and Powers outside in the dark. These are held back by a Circle of Energy, known as the "air clog", powered from a subterranean energy source called the "Earth Current". For millennia, vast living shapes—the Watchers—have waited in the darkness near the pyramid...

Book cover Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'

Eighteenth-century sailors adrift in a lifeboat encounter strange lands and weird creatures in their search for home. A creepy tale of nautical adventure.

Book cover Ghost Pirates

The Ghost Pirates is a powerful account of a doomed and haunted ship on its last voyage, and of the terrible sea-devils (of quasi-human aspect, and perhaps the spirits of bygone buccaneers) that besiege it and finally drag it down to an unknown fate. With its command of maritime knowledge, and its clever selection of hints and incidents suggestive of latent horrors in nature, this book at times reaches enviable peaks of power.

By: John Meade Falkner (1858-1932)

The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner The Lost Stradivarius

The Lost Stradivarius (1895), by J. Meade Falkner, is a short novel of ghosts and the evil that can be invested in an object, in this case an extremely fine Stradivarius violin. After finding the violin of the title in a hidden compartment in his college rooms, the protagonist, a wealthy young heir, becomes increasingly secretive as well as obsessed by a particular piece of music, which seems to have the power to call up the ghost of its previous owner. Roaming from England to Italy, the story involves family love, lordly depravity, and the tragedy of obsession

By: Eleanor M. Ingram (1886-1921)

The Thing from the Lake by Eleanor M. Ingram The Thing from the Lake

To get away from city life periodically, New Yorker Roger Locke purchases an abandoned farm house in rural Connecticut, and with the assistance of his cousin Phillida and her beau Ethan Vere, he sets about fixing up the place. Immediately however, an unseen mysterious woman begins giving him warnings during nocturnal visits to leave the house at once. Soon he begins hearing strange ominous sounds emanating from the tiny lake at the back of the house coupled with a permeation of sickly odors. An evil presence then begins to visit him during the witching hours of the late night, challenging him to a battle of wits from which there can be only one victor...

By: Abraham Merritt

The Moon Pool by Abraham Merritt The Moon Pool

Dr. David Throckmartin’s scientific expedition to the South Sea Islands discovers among ancient ruins a portal into Muria, an unknown underground world. After the disappearance of Throckmartin, his wife and two companions, his old friend Dr. Walter Goodwin enters Muria with a rescue party, only to confront an fantastic world filled with incredible beings, astounding scientific advances, and the worship of the most evil of all creatures, The Dweller. (Introduction by Mark Nelson)


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