Irish Ghost Stories: The Aged Hand With Clenched Knuckles

Narrative of the Ghost of a Hand   by Sheridan Le Fanu (1870s)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   March 10, 2015



With St. Patrick’s Day nearly upon us, reading Irish ghost stories is perfect with Irish Breakfast tea and piping hot soda bread. Curl up with author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. He was the leading ghost story writer of the nineteenth century, and no St. Patrick’s Day is authentic without reading one of his stories. Le Fanu fans will claim his demonic monkey in Green Tea  is his best work. But today I chose the Narrative of the Ghost of a Hand, one of his stories that has been less read (and painfully absent from most of his literary collections) but full of the ghostly presence that Le Fanu is so admired for.




cottageimagesWe are in the “Tiled House” in Dublin. Mrs. Prosser is sitting alone in her parlour when she spies a white hand, somewhat aged, and lying outside upon the window sill. This disembodied hand sends her screaming. Later that same night there are hasty tappings at the kitchen window. Thumpings. Angry rappings. Clenched knuckles at the back door. One night the hand is no longer wildly rapping to break a window pane outside. Instead, Mrs. Prosser begins to have nightmares. Irishhouseimages










Le Fanu builds a crescendo of hauntings, spooky moments, and chilling scenes of mystery. Don’t look for shock horror here. Le Fanu is famous for his style of eerie tones and disquieting ghosts.

Joseph Sheridan Le Fan

I could not find an online text version of this story but did find the audio version and it’s very well done. This story is published in Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories by Rex Collings  and in Classic Ghost Stories by David Pickering  and Horrific Fables by Thomas Huff on Or check if your local library has it.









Listen to the audio short story online at YouTube here.

More audios of Le Fanu’s novels and stories are at  here.

Selections of Le Fanu’s stories available online at ReadBookOnline.


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 fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, soft horror, supernatural, tales of terror

4 responses to “Irish Ghost Stories: The Aged Hand With Clenched Knuckles

  1. Nige

    It’s chapter 12 of “The House by the Church-Yard”, which can be found here:
    – it’s also sometimes combined with chapter 11, the two together being titled “Ghost stories of the Tiled House”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A Le Fanu story I didn’t know about and don’t have. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Liked by 1 person

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