Printer’s Devil Court—A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, 2014 (Cover + Excerpt + Link)

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Tonight’s Read: A ghost story/novella by the author of The Woman in Black: Susan Hill. It’s only $2.56 right now on Amazon for Kindle. (Link below).

Hill is a writer with some serious chops.

Here’s Part One (Note: the first panel is a letter that ends with the title of a book. The second panel is missing the header The Book—as what follows on the remaining panels is excerpted from Dr Hugh Meredith’s book.):

About the Author

Susan Hill, CBE (1942- ) is the winner of numerous literary prizes including the Somerset Maugham award for her novel I’m the King of the Castle (1971). She is the author of the Simon Serrailler crime/mystery series and numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction. Hill has written two literary/reading memoirs: Howards End is on the Landing, and Jacob’s Room Is Full of Books; and she is well known for her ghost-story novellas and novels: Dolly, The Man In The Picture, The Small Hand, The Man in the Mist, Printer’s Devil Court, Ms DeWinter (a sequel to Dumaurier’s Rebecca), and her most famous book, The Woman in Black—which was made into a 2012 feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. (A play based on The Woman in Black has been running continuously in London’s West End for more than 20 years.) In 2012, Hill was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her service to literature.

Other Books by Susan Hill

Buy the Book…

The Amazing Gertrude Straight (1914 – 2001)

We were watching Poltergeist (the original) and I noticed again how much I like this actress…she has that theatre / Shakespearean aire about her work. Her name is Gertrude Whitney Straight. She comes from a very wealthy old colonial family the Whitneys that came from London and settled in Massachusetts in the 1600s. When I saw some pics of her online, I remembered that she’d starred in some of the 1970s Wonder Woman episodes alongside Cloris Leachman and Lynda Carter. I didn’t realize though how well known she’d been. Among her accolades were Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy nominations…Here are some pics and wiki text. She passed away in 2001. RIP lovely lady.

Beatrice Whitney Straight (August 2, 1914 – April 7, 2001) was an American theatre, film and television actress and a member of the prominent Whitney family. She was an Academy Award and Tony Award winner as well as an Emmy Award nominee.

Straight made her Broadway debut in 1939 in The Possessed. Her other Broadway roles included Viola in Twelfth Night (1941), Catherine Sloper in The Heiress (1947) and Lady Macduff in Macbeth (1948). For her role as Elizabeth Proctor in the 1953 production of The Crucible, she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. For the 1976 film Network, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was on screen for five minutes and two seconds, the shortest performance to win an Academy Award for acting. She also received an Emmy Award nomination for the 1978 miniseries The Dain Curse. Straight also appeared as Mother Christophe in The Nun’s Story (1959) and Dr. Lesh in Poltergeist (1982).

“I know that bent-neck lady is pretty scary…but that’s all she is…just a little spill.”

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“Remember what we talked about before? About our dreams?”

“They can spill.”

“That’s right. Yeah. Just like a cup of water can spill sometimes. But kids dreams are special. They’re like…”

”An ocean.”

”An ocean. That’s right. And the big dreams can spill out sometimes….Now I know that bent-neck lady can be pretty scary. But that’s all she is. She’s just a little spill.”

”How long do we have to live here, Daddy?”

”Well, your mother and I, we have to finish fixing this house. And then, someone has to buy it.”

“Then we can go?”

“Yep. Then we can go.”


No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily. against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

—Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House, 1959

 

 

“The Screaming Skull”—A Vintage Ghost Story by F. Marion Crawford, 1908

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Art by Devin Francisco (deviantart.com).

The Screaming Skull

F. Marion Crawford, 1908


Below: “The Screaming Skull originally appeared in Volume 41 of Collier’s National Weekly Magazine—in two parts—in the July 11 and July 18, 1908 issues. (Click thumbnails to enlarge.)

Top-left: The 1911 book cover for F. Marion Crawford’s story collection Wandering Ghosts, which included “The Screaming Skull”; and top-right: Original story illustration for the 1911 edition (caption reads: “What? . . . It’s gone, man, the Skull is gone!!”); artist unknown. (Images: Wiki; Pinterest; Haithi Trust; Public Domain.)

I have often heard it scream. No, I am not nervous, I am not imaginative, and I have never believed in ghosts, unless that thing is one. Whatever it is, it hates me almost as much as it hated Luke Pratt, and it screams at me.

If I were you, I would never tell ugly stories about ingenious ways of killing people, for you never can tell but that someone at the table may be tired of his or her nearest and dearest. I have always blamed myself for Mrs Pratt’s death, and I suppose I was responsible for it in a way, though heaven knows I never wished her anything but long life and happiness. If I had not told that story she might be alive yet. That is why the thing screams at me, I fancy.

She was a good little woman, with a sweet temper, all things considered, and a nice gentle voice; but I remember hearing her shriek once when she thought her little boy was killed by a pistol that went off, though everyone was sure that it was not loaded.

It was the same scream; exactly the same, with a sort of rising quaver at the end; do you know what I mean? Unmistakable.

The truth is, I had not realized that the doctor and his wife were not on good terms. They used to bicker a bit now and then when I was here, and I often noticed that little Mrs Pratt got very red and bit her lip hard to keep her temper, while Luke grew pale and said the most offensive things. He was that sort when he was in the nursery, I remember and afterward at school. He was my cousin, you know; that is how I came by this house; after he died, and his boy Charley was killed in South Africa, there were no relations left. Yes, it’s a pretty little property, just the sort of thing for an old sailor like me who has taken to gardening.

One always remembers one’s mistakes much more vividly than one’s cleverest things, doesn’t one? I’ve often noticed it. I was dining with the Pratts one night, when I told them the story that afterwards made so much difference. It was a wet night in November, and the sea was moaning. Hush! – if you don’t speak you will hear it now…

Do you hear the tide? Gloomy sound, isn’t it? Sometimes, about this time of year – hallo! – there it is! Don’t be frightened, man – it won’t eat you – it’s only a noise, after all! But I’m glad you’ve heard it, because there are always people who think it’s the wind, or my imagination, or something. You won’t hear it again tonight, I fancy, for it doesn’t often come more than once. Yes – that’s right. Put another stick on the fire, and a little more stuff into that weak mixture you’re so fond of. Do you remember old Blauklot the carpenter, on that German ship that picked us up when the Clontarf went to the bottom? We were hove to in a howling gale one night, as snug as you please, with no land within five hundred miles, and the ship coming up and falling off as regularly as clockwork – ‘Biddy te boor beebles ashore tis night, poys!’ old Blauklot sang out, as he went off to his quarters with the sail-maker. I often think of that, now that I’m ashore for good and all.

Yes, it was on a night like this, when I was at home for a spell, waiting to take the Olympia out on her first trip – it was on the next voyage that she broke the record, you remember – but that dates it. Ninety-two was the year, early in November.

The weather was dirty, Pratt was out of temper, and the dinner was bad, very bad indeed, which didn’t improve matters, and cold, which made it worse. The poor little lady was very unhappy about it, and insisted on making a Welsh rarebit on the table to counteract the raw turnips and the half-boiled mutton. Pratt must have had a hard day. Perhaps he had lost a patient. At all events, he was in a nasty temper.

Continue reading

A Suggestion of Ghosts, Supernatural Fiction by Women 1854 – 1900, ed. by A. J. Mains, from Black Schuck Books

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Table of Contents

  • A Veritable Ghost Story by Susanna Moodie
  • The Spectral Rout by Frances Power Cobbe
  • A Legend of All-Hallow Eve by Georgiana S. Hull
  • The Ghost of the Nineteenth Century by Phoebe Pember
  • The Ghost Room by Clara Merwin
  • Miss Massereene’s Ghost by E.A. Henty
  • Vindication of the Supernatural by Manda L. Crocker
  • The Warneford Abbey Ghost by Ada Maria Jocelyn
  • A Speakin’ Ghost by Annie Trumbull Slosson
  • The Closed Cabinet by Lady Gwendolen Gascoyne-Cecil
  • The Little Green Door by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman
  • The Death Spancel by Katharine Tynan
  • The House That Wouldn’t Let by Mrs Hattie H. Howard
  • At the Witching Hour by Elizabeth Gibert Cunningham-Terry
  • The Oakleigh Ghost by Annie Armitt

About the Book

British Fantasy Award-winning editor J.A. Mains presents an all-female anthology of supernatural stories, first published between 1854 and 1900. Mains has trawled the archives to find fifteen tales which have not seen print since their original publications. Featuring cover art from multiple time British Fantasy Award-winner Les Edwards, and an introduction by Lynda Rucker, A Suggestion of Ghosts is an important volume for those interested in the Victorian era of supernatural tales.

Black Shuck is very proud to announce the first of two ghost story anthologies from Johnny (A J) Mains, an all-female anthology of ghost stories written from 1826 – 1897. Johnny has been deep in the cobwebbed archives of decaying periodicals, collections and newspapers and has found British, Irish, American and Australian stories that have never been anthologized since their original publication up to 190 years ago. Mains is thrilled that he can also attribute the correct authorship to ‘The Closed Cabinet’ to Lady Gwendolyn Gascoyne-Cecil, which has been continuously published under the by-line ‘Anon’ since its original appearance in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine in January of 1895.

Mains feels that A Suggestion of Ghosts will be an invaluable book for those desperately seeking to read and research supernatural tales which have long faded away and have been forgotten about.

There will be a limited hardback edition of 100 numbered copies, with artwork by Edward Miller (Les Edwards) and Mike Mignola. The book will also be signed by Mains and Edwards. A Suggestion of Ghosts will also contain original publication dates of stories and biographies of the authors.

Two months after the publication of the hardback, there will be a simultaneous paperback and e-book release, this will contain two stories less than the hardback.

Read more: http://vaultofevil.proboards.com/thread/6591/suggestion-ghosts-mains#ixzz5TjqFSWHV

Link to Buy the Paperback

https://blackshuck.greatbritishhorror.com/a-suggestion-of-ghosts/

An Obscurity of Ghosts, ed. by J. A. Mains Hardback Coming Late 2018! (TOC + Link)

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Table of Contents

  • The Pin Ghost by E T Corbett
  • The Mysterious House by Mrs M C Despard
  • Not Exactly a Ghost Story by Mary Louisa Molesworth
  • A Bristol Ghost Story by Alice Horlor
  • The American Ghost by Lucretia P Hale
  • The Ghostly Lady by Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford
  • The Room with the Staircase by Mrs E Fitzmaurice
  • Miss Tweed’s Ghost Story by Sarah Doudney
  • A Night in a Haunted House by (Mattie) May Jordan
  • The White Priest by Hélène Gingold
  • Grannie’s Ghost Story by Lucy Hardy
  • The Ghost of My Dead Friend by Wilhelmina Fitzclarence, Countess of Munster
  • Playing the Ghost by Mrs Edith E Cuthell
  • A Chestnutting Ghost by Margaret Barringer
  • The Phantom Ride by Lyllian Huntley

About the Book

Following the success of A Suggestion of Ghosts, British Fantasy Award-winning editor J.A. Mains presents a second all-female anthology of ghost stories written between 1876 and 1902. Mains has once again been trawling the archives to find another fifteen tales, fourteen of which have not been anthologised since their original publications.

Featuring cover art from multiple time British Fantasy Award-winner Les Edwards, and an introduction by Melissa Edmundson, AN OBSCURITY OF GHOSTS will be another important volume for those interested in the Victorian era of supernatural tales.

This hardback edition of AN OBSCURITY OF GHOSTS will be limited to 50 numbered copies, each signed by editor J.A. Mains and artist Les Edwards.

Link to Preorder

https://blackshuckbooks.co.uk/obscurity/

 

HALLOWEEN READING LIST VI (2018)

Click link following the list below to read the original post from HorrorDelve.com…

I’ve added below, beneath the story names and blurbs,, a link to where you can read the stories online–if they are in the public domain or available free to read elsewhere on the Internet. If not, I’ve added a link to where you purchase a book the has the story in it.

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“The Story of the Spaniards, Hammersmith” by E. And H. Heron (1898) – Legendary occult detective Flaxman Low investigates a friend’s haunted house. The spectral entity seems to take an odd, amorphous form which attempts to suffocate people who sleep in one of its rooms. The house is called the Spaniards, and when Flaxman sleeps in its haunted room, he experiences the ghost’s attack first hand. You can listen to an excellent reading of this one over at the Hypnogoria podcast: http://hypnogoria.blogspot.com/2018/07/great-library-of-dreams-57-story-of.html

Read the story in its original format from Pearson’s Magazine (VOl. V, January – June 1898), here: https://thesanguinewoods.com/2018/10/10/46681/

“Look Up There!” By H.R. Wakefield (1929) – While attempting to convalesce away from work on orders from his doctor due to mental stress, a man encounters a strange pair of men, one large and the other small. The small one keeps looking high up on the wall of any room he’s in, even though there’s nothing there. He eventually learns the smaller man’s story of the time when he spent New Year’s Eve at a house rumored to be the site of a terrible ghostly manifestation on that night every year. What he saw there has deeply scarred him ever since. This is another fantastic ghost story by Wakefield.

Read the story here: https://thesanguinewoods.com/2018/10/10/look-up-there-a-ghost-story-by-h-russell-wakefield-1929/

“The Fly-By-Night” by R. Chetwynd-Hayes (1975) – A father’s adult daughter becomes attached to a strange, bat-like little creature their cat brings into the house. The father notices the creature seems to enjoy whenever he argues with his daughter. He tries to convince her to get rid of it, but she refuses leading to another big fight. The creature quickly grows larger and flies into the town where acts of violence skyrocket. This is a fun tale which introduces a unique monster.

“Lonely Train A’Comin” by William F. Nolan (1981) – This story follows a rugged cowboy who’s driven to discover what happened to his beloved younger sister who disappeared just after sending him a letter excitedly telling him about the old steam locomotive she was about to board on her way to the big city. No one else seems to have seen this train and no one uses steam powered engines anymore either. His investigations into the case leads him to discover a series of strange disappearances. He’s able to determine when and where this mysterious train will appear again in its search for new prey and positions himself to ensure he can board it when it returns. This is a fantasticly creepy tale which would have made for a fun Night Gallery or Tales From the Darkside adaptation.

“Masks” by Douglas E. Winter (1985) – At the funeral for his mother, a young boy insists that the body in the casket isn’t really her but something masked to appear as her. After his father meets and marries someone new, the boy struggles with her demanding rules and the way she treats him. As Halloween night roles around, he finds himself confined to his room while his father is working late again and his brother is out trick-or-treating with friends, leaving only he and the new woman who insists he calls her Mom, in the house. When repeated knockings at the door go unanswered, he investigates, finding the house empty and no one at the door, but eventually he learns that something is indeed actually there.

“Happy Hour” by Ian Watson (1990) – Two married couples meet with a beautiful but secretive woman named Alice at an old bar called The Roebuck every Friday night to share drinks and jokes with each other. The men of the group suspect Alice is something more than human — an ancient supernatural being, such as a fae, or a witch, or perhaps a lamia (a female spirit that preys on travelers), but she never uses her powers on them because she likes them. The group sits beneath a device in the ceiling called an Xtractall which activates to suck up cigarette smoke out of the air. It also isn’t what it seems to be. In my opinion, this is a true masterpiece of horror. It starts off as a subtle, but intriguing exploration of ancient forces exerting their influence on a modern world that has largely forgotten them, but it quickly becomes a terrifying story with a truly horrific monster.

“Treats” by Norman Partridge (1990) – A mother lives in fear of her son whose eyes have gone black and who now leads an army of tiny creatures intent on carrying out an evil plan during Halloween night.

“Hallowe’en’s Child” by James Herbert (1991) – After struggling for years to have a child together, the day finally arrives when a man has been sent home from the hospital to await their call, as his wife is in labor, but the birth is still several hours away. It’s late on Halloween night when he gets the call to head back for the delivery. On the frantic drive, he has a terrifying encounter on the road with a hideous goblinoid creature that threatens dire things to come to for him.

“Her Face” by Ramsey Campbell (2015) – A young boy is sent by his mother to help a woman named June who’s taken over running her family store following the recent death of her mother. It’s close to Halloween, so there are several creepy masks in the front window that sometimes appear to move of their own accord. June seems unnerved in the place and somewhat frightened to be left alone as she deals with not having her domineering mother to rule things anymore. This is a good, creepy Halloween tale that incorporates the inherent creepiness of masks.

“White Mare” by Thana Niveau (2018) – After being forced to move from her hometown in America to a remote village in England for a few months with her father, Heather struggles to be accepted by the locals. She and her father, who’s been raising her alone following the mysterious disappearance of her mother, are only going there for a few months to sell an old farmhouse full of antiques they inherited from a recently departed aunt. Heather’s misgivings about the move are swiftly eased once she discovers the place has a beautiful horse with which she instantly falls in love. When she asks around about Halloween, she is mocked by the local kids and is told that what they have is very different than what she’s used to, but that she’ll find out for herself soon enough. The arrival of Halloween night brings a terrifying horde to their door, where a bizarre ritual takes place. This is another great story with a superbly eerie play-on-words involved which I don’t want to give away here.

Click on the original post’s link below to see links to other reading recommendation lists from HorrorDelve …

(HorrorDelve text in this post by Matt Cowan.)

Horror Delve

As the season of my favorite holiday rolls around again, another list of fitting suggested stories has been assembled for your enjoyment. Each of these tales captures the spirit of Halloween, even if some may not be set during it. The final two selections on this list can be found in the recent anthology The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories edited by Stephen Jones ( The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories ).

THE STORIES:

  1. “The Story of the Spaniards, Hammersmith” by E. And H. Heron (1898) – Legendary occult detective Flaxman Low investigates a friend’s haunted house. The spectral entity seems to take an odd, amorphous form which attempts to suffocate people who sleep in one of its rooms. The house is called the Spaniards, and when Flaxman sleeps in its haunted room, he experiences the ghost’s attack first hand. You can listen to an excellent reading of…

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