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Old 01-06-2022, 12:36 PM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Blackwood, Algernon: The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories. v1. 07 Jan 2022

This is Blackwood’s first collection of horror stories, and his first published book. Many of these stories feature an unsuspecting protagonist thrown into a situation with some inexplicable supernatural force at work.

Brief summaries of the stories:
Spoiler:
The Empty House
“Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil.”
This is one of the most famous haunted house stories in the English language, with carefully crafted gathering of tension and dread inference of terrors lurking at the end of every corridor, around every corner, through every half-opened door. This is not really a story about ghosts, however; it is a story about fear.

A Haunted Island
A tale of a lonely vacation cottage on an uninhabited island. His companions have departed, with warnings to “beware of Indians” (a common fear when the story was written in 1899). The lone remaining occupant, in the dead of night, sees a canoe heading towards him carrying two figures…

A Case of Eavesdropping
Young Jim Shorthouse arrives in New York City from England, moves into a room with noisy neighbours, and overhears a conversation in the rooms next to his – but are the participants of this earth?

Keeping His Promise
A story of two friends who strike up a macabre agreement to prove the existence of the supernatural and the afterlife…

With Intent to Steal
A barn is haunted by a spirit with the power to possess the living.

The Wood of the Dead
A traveller who has stopped at a village inn during a walking holiday has a strange and almost epiphanic encounter with an old man who joins him in the dining room.

Smith: An Episode In A Lodging-House
Mr. Smith, the rather mysterious and shady tenant in the room below our narrator, summons up beings which he cannot control.

A Suspicious Gift
A poor journalist is visited by a strange man who says he’s been sent to deliver ten thousand dollars from a mysterious benefactor, who gives it because of the journalist’s great need.

The Strange Adventures
of a Private Secretary in New York

A Gothic short story of a butler, a reporter, and a possibly lycanthropic would-be chemist…

Skeleton Lake: An Episode in Camp
A story about murder: men on a moose-hunting trip in Canada find a dead man washed ashore at Skeleton Lake. The companion of the dead man seems desperate to tell the tale of Jake’s death by drowning. A Poe-like examination of how guilt plays out in the human mind and behavior.

============
One of the foremost British writers of supernatural tales in the twentieth century, Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951) wrote stories in which the slow accumulation of telling details produced a foreboding atmosphere of almost unendurable tension. Though he wrote a number of horror stories, his most typical work seeks less to frighten than to induce a sense of awe. The literary critic S. T. Joshi stated, “His work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer’s except Dunsany’s.”

Blackwood’s literary renown began in 1908 with the publication of a highly successful collection of stories, John Silence — Physician Extraordinary, featuring a “psychic doctor.” His two best known stories are probably “The Willows” and “The Wendigo”.

============
The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories, by Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951), was first published in 1906. This ebook is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.
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Old 05-31-2022, 02:24 AM   #2
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