In the Murky Twilight

Smoke Ghost  by Fritz Leiber (1941)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 14, 2015



Robert Aickman (supernatural fiction author) said that a successful ghost story must open a door where no one else had seen a door to exist, and then at the end of the story, leave that door open.

In Smoke Ghost by Leiber, Catesby Wran is an advertising executive sitting in his office and chatting about ghosts with his secretary Miss Millick. Not a ghost from books, Mr. Wran explains, “the kind that would haunt coal-yards and slip around at night through deserted office buildings like this one. A real ghost.”

Miss Millick knows there’s no such thing as a ghost and “science and psychiatry all go to prove it.” Who wouldn’t agree with that? On his way home, Mr. Wran is riding the elevated train past rooftops and smoky brick buildings. He sees an abandoned shapeless black sack on the rooftop… and a face in the murky twilight.


Do you think there is a supernatural edge between the alienated  feelings we have and the unexplained sources of ghosts? And perhaps that door that remains open.




Fritz Lieber’s fiction was highly influenced by Lovecraft and Carl Jung. He was a poet, playwright, and actor. He has written novels, novellas, and over 100 short stories.











Read the short story Smoke Ghost at .




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, Ghosts, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, short stories, supernatural

2 responses to “In the Murky Twilight

  1. Brian, your description tempts me to read Our Lady of Darkness. I will definitely put this one into my queue. Thanks!


  2. One of Leiber’s characteristic themes I enjoy is his trying to cross the boundary between reason and superstition. “Our Lady of Darkness,” which cover you show, features a malevolent spirits explained by number theory and architecture, maybe. And “Conjure Wife” applied folklore studies and symbolic logic to coming up with good magical spells.

    Liked by 1 person

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