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Horror and Ghost Stories

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By: Frank Norris (1870-1902)

Book cover Vandover and the Brute

Vandover is a student who succumbs to a gambling addiction. This addiction causes him to divest himself of his cherished possessions and to lose his status in life, whilst his friends prosper. Eventually he is transformed by a strange degenerative lycanthropy, reduced to running back and forth across his apartment, naked, on all-fours. The novel was Norris' first, though published posthumously. Characteristically, it explores the themes of habit and addiction in a heightened "naturalistic" style.

By: Gaston Leroux (1868-1927)

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux The Phantom of the Opera

A masterly mix of romance, drama, mystery, suspense, love and jealousy, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux will haunt you long after you've turned the last page. Today the world knows it by Andrew Lloyd-Webber's long running musical on stage and its 2004 film adaptation, and earlier from Lon Chaney's screen portrayal of the dark intruder who roams the Paris Opera House. However, Gaston Leroux's novel was first released as a serial in the French magazine, La Gaulois over four months in 1909-10...

By: George du Maurier (1834-1896)

Trilby by George du Maurier Trilby

Trilby, published in 1894, fits into the gothic horror genre which was undergoing a revival during the Fin de siècle and is one of the most popular novels of its time, perhaps the second best selling novel of the Fin de siècle period after Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The story of the poor artist’s model Trilby O’Ferrall, transformed into a diva under the spell of the evil musical genius Svengali, created a sensation. Soap, songs, dances, toothpaste, and Trilby, Florida were all named for the heroine, and a variety of soft felt hat with an indented crown (worn in the London stage production of a dramatization of the novel) came to be called a trilby...

By: George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962)

The House of the Vampire by George Sylvester Viereck The House of the Vampire

The House of the Vampire is a 1907 novella that is a very unusual vampire story. A young writer comes under the powerful influence of a mysterious older master, who seems to have left a trail of ruined proteges in his wake. The story is as much about the nature of artistic creation as it is a chilling vampire tale.

By: Gerald Biss (1876-1922)

Book cover Door of the Unreal

An early werewolf novel, praised by H.P Lovecraft. The only weird fiction from an author of mainly crime fiction. Two strange disappearances occur on a road in Sussex. The second involved a member of the aristocracy and a famous actress, so a large, but fruitless investigation is held by Scotland Yard. An American, visiting an old friend, who is of the local gentry, suspects something horrible and begins to investigate to verify his fears..

By: Gertrude Barrows Bennett (1883-1948)

Book cover Citadel of Fear

Gertrude Barrows Bennett was the first major female writer of fantasy and science fiction in the United States, publishing her stories under the pseudonym Francis Stevens. Bennett wrote a number of highly acclaimed fantasies between 1917 and 1923 and has been called "the woman who invented dark fantasy". Citadel of Fear is considered Francis Stevens' masterpiece, by Lovecraft's acclaim. Two adventurers discover a lost city in the Mexican jungle. One is taken over by an evil god while the other falls in love with a woman from the ancient Mexican city of Tlapallan...

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.

Book cover The Dunwich Horror

In a rundown farmhouse near isolated, rural Dunwich, a bizarre family conjures and nurtures an evil entity from another realm, with the purpose of destroying the world and delivering it to ancient gods to rule, and only an aged university librarian can stop them. The Dunwich Horror was first published in 1929 in Weird Tales.

By: Harold MacGrath (1871-1932)

The Drums of Jeopardy by Harold MacGrath The Drums of Jeopardy

The Drums of Jeopardy is a 1920 American novel by Harold MacGrath. The story was serialized by the The Saturday Evening Post beginning in January of 1920.In 1922 the book was made into a Broadway play and the following year a motion picture. A second film version appeared in 1931.It is said that a young Boris Karloff, who previously had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name for his first screen credit in 1920 from a Russian mad scientist character named “Boris Karlov” in this novel...

By: Henry James (1843-1916)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James The Turn of the Screw

Christmas Eve. Guests round a fireside begin telling each other ghost stories. One of them relates a true incident involving the governess of his little nephew and niece. Strange events begin to take place, involving the housekeeper, a stranger who prowls round the grounds, a mysterious woman dressed in black and an unknown misdemeanor committed by the little nephew. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James was published in 1893 and it remains one of the best-known and admired works of this great American writer...

The Jolly Corner by Henry James The Jolly Corner

“The Jolly Corner,” published in 1908, is considered by many to be a ghost story ranking second only to “The Turn of the Screw.” James’s protagonist, Spencer Brydon, is an American of 56, returned to New York after 33 years in Europe, where he has apparently accomplished little while living off his New York rentals. His friendship with Alice Staverton, and his engagement in the development of a property awaken him to the possibilities that might have been his, had he chosen a different course of life...

The Last of the Valerii by Henry James The Last of the Valerii

An unnamed American painter resident in Rome serves as narrator in this story, watching as his god-daughter Martha, becomes the wife of Prince Marco Valerio. The young bride is eager to use some of her American fortune in the service of archeology at the Villa Valerio, her husband's somewhat run down Roman house. Archeology can be, her god-father suggests, a rather expensive hobby, but to his (and her) surprise, the dig brings to light a lovely marble statue of Juno. Martha is overjoyed, but it is soon clear that her husband is overcome by the discovery, and overcome in ways that are to be disquieting...

Sir Edmund Orme by Henry James Sir Edmund Orme

Henry James wrote a number of ghost stories -- The Turn of the Screw being the most famous. Did he believe in ghosts himself, as did many of his contemporaries? It's generally possible to find earthly interpretations, Freudian and other, for his ghosts. Sir Edmund Orme, though, is unquestionably a real ghost -- except of course that James's unnamed narrator tells the story in the voice of yet a third man, and the narrator himself passes no judgments on the factual nature of what he is reporting (there's a resemblance here to The Turn of the Screw)...

By: Herman Landon

Book cover The Gray Phantom

A woman is apparently murdered in a New York auditorium under very suspicious circumstances one evening during a performance. Helen Hardwick happened to be in attendance that evening, as she had written the play that was being performed, and she was the only person to have caught a glimpse of something peculiar just before the murder. She also heard an ominous laughter which would continue to haunt her. Was it coincidence that the 'retired' Gray Phantom arrived in the city immediately after the murder...

By: Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a book about the life of Catherine Morland and her romantic relationships. The novel is divided into two parts; the first part begins with Catherine’s visit to Bath and her relationship with Henry Tilney and the other people she met there, and the second part starts with the arrival of Frederick Tilney and her visit to Northanger Abbey. This book alongside Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility is considered one of the major works of Jane Austen. The novel had undergone many revisions before its publication and it was even originally titled “Catherine...

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome Told after Supper

It is Christmas Eve, and the narrator, his uncle and sundry other local characters are sitting round the fire drinking copious quantities of whisky punch and telling ghost stories until bedtime, when… But no, I won’t spoil the fun. This is a little gem: Jerome at his tongue-in-cheek best.

By: John C. Hutcheson (1840-1897)

The Ghost Ship by John C. Hutcheson The Ghost Ship

This book intentionally veers in and out of the supernatural, as the title implies. The officers get more and more bewildered as they work out their position, and yet again encounter the same vessel going in an impossible direction. Having warned you of this, I must say that it is a well-written book about life aboard an ocean-going steamer at about the end of the nineteenth century.

By: John Charles Dent (1841-1888)

The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales by John Charles Dent The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales

John Charles Dent, the author of the following remarkable stories, was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England, in 1841. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after that event, bringing with them, of course, the youth who was afterwards to become the Canadian author and historian. Mr. Dent received his primary education in Canadian schools, and afterwards studied law, becoming in due course a member of the Upper Canada Bar. He only practised for a few years, then returned to England to pursue a literary career, writing mostly for periodicals...

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: 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: 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...

The Room in the Dragon Volant by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu The Room in the Dragon Volant

J. Sheridan LeFanu's Gothic mystery novel is narrated by Richard Beckett, a young Englishman abroad in Napoleonic-era France. He falls instantly in love with a mysterious and imperiled Countess, whom he glimpses momentarily behind her black veil. In order to be near her, he takes a room in the Dragon Volant (the Flying Dragon), a haunted inn that has been the site of mysterious disappearances.

By: Lacy Collison-Morley

Greek and Roman Ghost Stories by Lacy Collison-Morley Greek and Roman Ghost Stories

A non-fiction work, comparing and collecting ghost stories by Classical Greek and Republican or Imperial Roman authors.

By: Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn In Ghostly Japan

This collection of 14 stories collected by Lafcadio Hearn, contains Japanese ghost stories, but also several non-fiction pieces. Hearn tries to give a glimpse into the customs of the Japanese, by giving examples of Buddhist Proverbs and explaining the use of incense and the nation wide fascination with poetry. Furthermore, he has again translated several hair-rising ghost stories, like "A Passional Karma" about the truly undying love of a young couple.

By: Lagerlöf, Selma (1858-1940)

The Treasure by Lagerlöf, Selma The Treasure

Selma Lagerlöf was born in Vaermland, Sweden, in 1858 and enjoyed a long and very successful career as a writer, receiving the Nobel-Prize in Literature in 1909. She died in Vaermland in 1940. The Treasure (Herr Arnes penningar) is a fairly short Novel, both a Drama and a Ghost Story. Published in 1904 and the English translation in 1923. The story is set in Bohuslaen on the West coast of Sweden in the middle of the 16th Century. Herr Arne, the old Parson in Solberga and all his household are brutally murdered, and his great Treasure stolen...

By: Lloyd Eshbach (1910-2003)

Book cover The Gray Plague

End of the world sci-fi tale borrows heavily from H.G. Wells' WOTW and In The Days of the Comet -- looks like fun !

By: Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)

Manfred by Lord George Gordon Byron Manfred

Manfred is a dramatic poem in three acts by Lord Byron, and possibly a self confessional work. A noble, Manfred, is haunted by the memory of some unspeakable crime. In seeking for forgetfulness and oblivion, he wanders between his castle and the mountains. He has several encounters with the people who try to assist him, as well as spirits that rule nature and human destiny. The poem explores themes of morality, religion, guilt and the human condition.

By: Lord Redesdale (1837-1916)

Tales of Old Japan by Lord Redesdale Tales of Old Japan

Tales of Old Japan by Lord Redesdale is a collection of short stories focusing on Japanese life of the Edo period (1603 - 1868). It contains a number of classic Japanese stories, fairy tales, and other folklore; as well as Japanese sermons and non-fiction pieces on special ceremonies in Japanese life, such as marriage and harakiri, as observed by Lord Redesdale. The best know story of these is "The Forty-seven Ronins" a true account of samurai revenge as it happened at the beginning of 18th century Japan...

By: Louisa May Alcott

The Abbots Ghost or Maurice Treherne Temptation by Louisa May Alcott The Abbots Ghost or Maurice Treherne Temptation

Louisa May Alcott enthusiasts would be delighted to read this short novel published in 1867, just a year before the grand debut of her most famous Little Women trilogy. This is one of three books she wrote under the pseudonym AM Barnard. She used this name to pen tales that were meant more for adult readers, though younger people will find them quite interesting too. The Abbot's Ghost or Maurice Treherne's Temptation is a romance, mystery, ghost-story and novel of manners all rolled into one...

By: Luigi Capuana

A Vampire by Luigi Capuana A Vampire

A suspenseful vampire tale. Translated from the original Italian text by Erin O'Rourke.

By: Mary Elizabeth Hawker (1848-1908)

Book cover Cecilia de Noël

Cecilia de Noël is an original and cleverly told ghost story, published in 1891. The story is told, Rashomon-like, from six different viewpoints.


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