A Half-Choked Scream

Man Overboard   by Winston S. Churchill (1899)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    January 6, 2015


True or false: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill wrote a horror story. Most people know that Churchill, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, won the Pulitzer Prize for The Second World War. He has a long list of publications from 1896 to 1961 but few know that in 1899, The Harmsworth Magazine published his short story Man Overboard.



I call it a horror story because even though there is no supernatural power going on, it is a grueling emotional account where fear and despair play leading roles as does the will to survive. Suspenseful and chilling, you will not forget this tale of terror. Churchill was a painter and he paints this story vividly with his words. This is a story about dying. And the grim ghostly approach.

images-2We are on a steamer ship in the Red Sea. There is music and gayety among the passengers. A man falls overboard. A loud splash … but no one hears.




Read Churchill’s  Man Overboard, PDF of The Harmsworth Magazine (a brief 1087 words) with illustrations by Henry Austin at SkullsInTheStars on WordPress.com:









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Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, suspense, tales of terror

6 responses to “A Half-Choked Scream

  1. Reblogged this on YOURS IN STORYTELLING… and commented:
    Okay – so, as I mentioned in my book HALIFAX HAUNTS, Winston Churchill is TECHNICALLY of Nova Scotia ancestry – but I did not know that he also wrote horror!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this is a surprise to many of us, Steve. Being a horror/ghost story writer myself, I find it exciting that someone like Churchill dabbled in fiction and especially suspense like this story of fear and surrender to the more powerful entity.


  2. Jay

    I didn’t know he wrote any fiction, but his History of World War II has long been on my shelf. (Unread, I’m sorry to say)

    I do have a couple favorite Churchill anecdotes, though… One is his allegedly stating that “There is nothing in life so exhilarating as being shot at without result.” (Ha ha – and I’m probably paraphrasing that a lot) the other is his encounter with a woman who was a harsh critic of his. When she stated “If you were MY husband, I’d put poison in your coffee!” and he replied,”Madam, if YOU were my wife, I’d drink it!”)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s hilarious! Love it, Jay. Churchill actually wrote a novel “Savrola” a tale of the revolution in Laurania. I understand the first printings sold about 8000 copies and was then translated into Chinese.


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