Ghost in the Machine

Midnight   by Jack Snow  (1946)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   August 5, 2014


images-1Do you believe in the theory of a ‘Ghost in the Machine,’ as British philosopher Gilbert Ryle coined the term in describing Descartes’ mind-body dualism (mind distinct from the body)? This is the belief that there is a non-biological entity underlying consciousness (the soul or spirit). Neuroscientists will argue that we are solely our physical brains trapped inside our own heads and nothing more than that. Jack Snow’s story Midnight brings up the questions: Are we sometimes operated by otherworldly phantoms—if we desire to call them up? Is there an immaterial realm we might tap into—if we desire to enter?


What if there is a ghost in the human machine? And what if that ghost has evil powers?



Meet John Ware who believes that the stroke of midnight has otherworldly powers and he wants in. He has an insatiable craving to know and experience evil directly. Ancient cults and their powerful secrets do not frighten him. So, he adventures into the darkest of realms. In his chamber is an old clock as tall as any person and owned by various Satanists, wizards, and alchemists. John stands before this clock at the stroke of midnight, his body etched with cabalistic markings, chanting unhuman phrases, and dancing grotesque gyrations as he steps into this mysterious band of time.

Do you think time ever stops?

Or are the grains of time an eternal abyss of madness? Tick-tock.











Jack Snow (1907-1956) has written some twenty short stories and spectral tales as well as a fiction series called Oz Universe.

You can read Midnight at StoryOfTheWeek: scroll to download the PDF.



Every once in a while I come across a newly released anthology that I really like. Most of the time I’m in the old books but here a new anthology edited by Richard Thomas, The New Black. The selection of authors is impressive if  you’d like to experience some of today’s dark fiction writers.

The New Black is a collection of twenty neo-noir stories exemplifying the best authors currently writing in this dark sub-genre. A mixture of horror, crime, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, and the grotesque—all with a literary bent—these stories are the future of genre-bending fiction.

REVIEW: “The New Black ought to be the New High Standard for dark fiction anthologies. It’s loaded with intelligence and talent. Every one of the pieces in this extraordinary compilation is worthy of your full attention.”   —Jack Ketchum



Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications  The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic Authors.


Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, occult, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

7 responses to “Ghost in the Machine

  1. Pingback: “Dial Tone” by Benjamin Percy | Bibliophilopolis

  2. Jay

    Hi Paula,
    You know I like to read short story anthologies. 🙂 Thanks for making me aware of The New Black. I’m making a note of that one for potential use with my annual short story project next year.

    I love the “ghost in the machine” concept – its one of the great ponderables I think. And the music album of that name by The Police “helped get me through high school” back in the day.

    Love that cover picture of the of the Dark Music book. Very “Brother Jerome-ish” (of “The Howling Man” fame)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay, because I read so many classic stories, reading contemporary shorts gives me a refreshing contrast and The New Black is especially cutting edge fiction. I’m actually thinking of adding a contemporary short to my weekly posts (when I can find them free online). Yeah, that Dark Music cover is an eye catcher.


      • Jay

        I was happy to see Roxane Gay & Kyle Minor among the authors included in The New Black. They were the only two I’d read before but both are good IMHO. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope you enjoy, Lisa. Some of the stories are quite offbeat. I love anthologies because of their range of variety.


  4. Tom Jarus

    Paula – I’m on Social security now. My first check arrives on my birthday Aug. 20th. Talk kabout horror stories!   Tom J sr

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa Dee

    Excellent post, as always! The New Dark looks so intriguing (literary horror? yes, please!) that I have to buy it on Kindle.


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