The Feet of the Dead

Bewitched  by Edith Wharton (1926)

 Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 3, 2015   Classic Tales from Women In Horror


It’s February, Women in Horror Month. This is the time to recognize your favorite women horror writers, buy their books, read their stories, comment, and give your support. As a horror reader and author myself, especially ghost stories, I so enjoy sharing my favorite women authors in our history with you this month.


6165890_1071303709Today we are recognizing Edith Wharton. She wrote 38 novels, some 50 short stories, and wrote her first novel at age 11. Did you know that Wharton could not sleep in a room with a book containing a ghost story? She was that haunted. I think we can say that a good deal of her ghost stories evolved from a true and immediate sense of the supernatural. She is one of our most prestigious Women of Horror.


Bewitched is a story that has everything for a winter’s bleak reading experience. We are on the dark side of New England. A stinging wind with snow is falling thickly upon the old and isolated Rutledge house in Starkfield, an abandoned stretch of land between North Ashmore and Cold Corners.

Prudence Rutledge is dressed in black calico and a grey woolen shawl. She tells her three visitors at the door …

“There’s a spell been cast over Mr. Rutledge.”

The Deacon looked up sharply, an incredulous smile pinching his thin lips. “A spell?”

“That’s what I said: he’s bewitched.”

Mrs. Rutledge is accusing her husband Saul of adultery with the dead woman Ora Brand.

This is more than just any old haunting. We’ve got adultery and necrophilia and insanity going on. And more.



This Pulitzer-prize winning (The Age of Innocence) author is known for her patterns of imagery and psychological insights. What is so amazing about Wharton’s writing is that you can read her stories again and again and still find them deliciously haunting. You can read more about her ghostly history at The Mount, her home in Lennox, Massachusetts, where ghosts are said to still haunt her property:





Read Bewitched at




I couldn’t find an audio version of Bewitched but did find Tales of Men and Ghosts, which includes several of Wharton’s ghost stories. I can personally recommend “The Eyes” and “Afterward.”

Listen to the audio version of Bewitched at






For more about Women in Horror Month, visit their web site






Stop by the Horror Society this month to see their tribute to Women In Horror


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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


Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

7 responses to “The Feet of the Dead

  1. Pingback: Classic Tales from Women In Horror (Blog Series) | Women in Horror Month

  2. Jay

    Interesting background info on Wharton (that I wasn’t aware of). Couldn’t sleep in a room with books that had ghost stories?! Wow. Yet she wrote many herself – how strange. I’ve always been fascinated by her photographs too, and in many she does have the look of one who is haunted. There’s one of her with two lap dogs that’s my favorite. Her expression in that one is so … I don’t know what. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jay: Wharton was definitely haunted and her fiction proves it. I’m drawn to writers who have ghosts in their lives. I’m dying to go to Lennox and tour Wharton’s house. Maybe I’ll get there this summer. I’ve seen that photo with the dog. A poodle!


  3. Hi Cathy. Joyce Carole Oates is considered the grande dame of the New Gothic and she is (I think still is) the only woman to achieve the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from Horror Writers Association. But Wharton’s ghost stories are even better when I read them a second time.


  4. I’ve only started to read Wharton in the last year and her horror stories sound fabulous! I love the horror stories of Joyce Carol Oates too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All I know of Edith Wharton is Age of Innocence – had no idea she wrote horror. Have to get this.

    Liked by 1 person

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