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The Upper Berth   By: (1854-1909)

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The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford is a thrilling and haunting tale that will mesmerize readers from beginning to end. Set on a luxurious ocean liner, this classic ghost story takes readers on a chilling journey filled with mystery and suspense.

The story unravels as a skeptical narrator embarks on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Ignoring the warnings of fellow passengers about one specific cabin, he decides to stay in the infamous "upper berth" despite its eerie reputation. From the moment he steps into that cabin, the atmosphere becomes palpably eerie, with every creak and gust of wind adding to the suspense.

Crawford masterfully builds tension by incorporating vivid and atmospheric descriptions, making readers feel as if they are trapped in that gloomy cabin themselves. The escalating sense of dread and unease is further heightened by the narrator's vivid imagination, which conjures up haunting visuals and unnerving encounters with the supernatural.

As the nights go by, the events inside the upper berth grow increasingly spine-chilling. Strange noises in the darkness, ghostly apparitions, and unexplained phenomena create an atmosphere thick with suspense. Crawford's skillful storytelling keeps readers glued to the pages, eagerly anticipating what horror awaits them on the next turn.

What sets this ghost story apart is the intricate character development. The narrator's skepticism and rationality form a relatable and believable standpoint, making his gradual descent into fear all the more gripping. Amidst the eerie happenings, the characters shine through with their realistic reactions and emotional dilemmas, making the story feel both fantastical and grounded.

One of the most notable aspects of The Upper Berth is the author's ability to maintain the suspense until the very end. The mystery behind the cabin's dark secret is unraveled gradually, leaving readers guessing and theorizing throughout the narrative. Delightfully unpredictable, the chilling climax will surely leave readers with a lingering sense of horror and awe.

While some may argue that the pacing could be slightly slow, it ultimately contributes to the overall atmospheric and suspenseful nature of the story. Crawford's elegant prose, combined with his attention to detail, creates a setting that is both immersive and memorable.

The Upper Berth is a timeless piece of horror fiction that deserves to be recognized for its ability to captivate and terrify readers. F. Marion Crawford's skillful storytelling, coupled with the atmospheric setting and well-drawn characters, will keep readers engaged until the final spine-tingling revelation. Whether you are a fan of ghost stories or simply appreciate a well-crafted narrative, this book is definitely a captivating and shivering read.

First Page:






27 West Twenty third St.


24 Bedford St., Strand

The Knickerbocker Press




The two stories by Mr. Crawford, presented in this volume, have been in print before, having been originally written for two Christmas annuals which were issued some years back. With the belief that the stories are, however, still unknown to the larger portion of Mr. Crawford's public, and in the opinion that they are well worthy of preservation in more permanent form, the publishers have decided to reprint them as the initial volume of the "Autonym" library.


Small works by representative writers, whose contributions will bear their signatures.

32mo, limp cloth, each 50 cents.

The Autonym Library is published in co operation with Mr. T. Fisher Unwin, of London.

I. THE UPPER BERTH, by F. Marion Crawford.

II. BY REEF AND PALM, by Louis Becke. With Introduction by the Earl of Pembroke.

This will be followed by volumes by S. R. Crockett, and others.


The Upper Berth.

Somebody asked for the cigars. We had talked long, and the conversation was beginning to languish; the tobacco smoke had got into the heavy curtains, the wine had got into those brains which were liable to become heavy, and it was already perfectly evident that, unless somebody did something to rouse our oppressed spirits, the meeting would soon come to its natural conclusion, and we, the guests, would speedily go home to bed, and most certainly to sleep... Continue reading book >>

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