December 24, 2011 3:23 PM Subscribe
posted by Artw (13 comments total)
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Since the time of Dickens
there has been a long-standing tradition of telling spooky stories on Christmas Eve... Who better to be a guide to a selection of ghostly tales than faux-Edwardian and author of Supernatural Horror in Literature
, Mr. Howard P Lovecraft? Scaretastic suggetions from some of his favourite authors
From Ambrose Bierce
The Death of Halpin Frayser
- "[A] permanent mountain-peaks of American weird writing... a body skulking by night without a soul in a weird and horribly ensanguined wood"
From Edgar Allan Poe
and The Fall of the House of Usher
"[The] very summits of artistry whereby Poe takes his place at the head of fictional miniaturists. Simple and straightforward in plot, both of these tales owe their supreme magic to the cunning development which appears in the selection and collocation of every least incident."
From Algernon Blackwood
- "...the nameless presences on a desolate Danube island are horribly felt and recognised by a pair of idle voyagers. Here art and restraint in narrative reach their very highest development, and an impression of lasting poignancy is produced without a single strained passage or a single false note."
- "we are confronted by horrible evidences of a vast forest daemon about which North Woods lumbermen whisper at evening. The manner in which certain footprints tell certain unbelievable things is really a marked triumph in craftsmanship."
From Matthew Phipps Shiel
The House of Sounds. This story ... deserves a place among the foremost things of its kind. It tells of a creeping horror and menace trickling down the centuries on a sub-arctic island off the coast of Norway; where, amidst the sweep of daemon winds and the ceaseless din of hellish waves and cataracts, a vengeful dead man built a brazen tower of terror.
From Arthur Machen
The Great God Pan
- "No one could begin to describe the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds without following fully the precise order in which Mr. Machen unfolds his gradual hints and revelations."
The White People
- Mr. Machen’s narrative, a triumph of skilful selectiveness and restraint, accumulates enormous power as it flows on in a stream of innocent childish prattle; introducing allusions to strange “nymphs”, “Dôls”, “voolas”, “White, Green, and Scarlet Ceremonies”, “Aklo letters”, “Chian language”, “Mao games”, and the like.
From Walter de la Mare
- "the Gothic shudder to modern verse."
From M R James
- "There were hideous screams in the woods, and near the tomb of Count Magnus an unnatural laugh and the clang of a great door. Next morning the priest found the two men; one a maniac, and the other dead, with the flesh of his face sucked from the bones."
Less seriously, what would have happened if Ambrose Bierce, Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft all lived together in a grotty boarding house? Find out in The Spinechillers