Category Archives: ghouls

Gone Haunting

The Inexperienced Ghost  by H.G. Wells (1903)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    November 24, 2015



This is a macabre story with a high intensity suspense. Clayton is telling his friends a story, as they sit fireside and drink whiskies at the Mermaid Club. The story is when Clayton caught a ghost in a passage in an old shadowy house.


“Caught a ghost, did you?” said Sanderson. “Where is it?”

Clayton describes the ghost as scrubby with bad ears; and then he invites the ghost into his bedroom. A lively and amazing conversation takes place between Clayton and this ghost. Clayton takes pity on the sorry thing and tries to assist the ghost in returning to the ‘world of shades.’



Incantations, passes, gestures and the power of the world beyond make this a well-plotted and entertaining story. What begins as an amusing ghost tale becomes classic HG Wells adventure–clever, colorful, and chilling.













Did you know that H.G Wells’ first published book was a biology textbook in 1893? He thought of lasers in The War of the Worlds years before Einstein’s quantum theory would even make lasers feasible. Wells came up with automated doors in his 1899 novel When the Sleeper Wakes.

Read The Inexperienced Ghost at

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Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, ghouls, Hauntings, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror

French Zombies, Anyone?

Was It A Dream? by Guy De Maupassant (188-s)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 9, 2013

The drama factor in Was It A Dream is at the high end. And the chill factor, yeah, this one will get you.

There is something about De Maupassant’s writings that make me feel like I’m living the events with the character—a right-in-the-moment quality. And this story was written over a hundred years ago but it still delivers. De Maupassant was a best-selling author in his day; he wrote over 300 short stories and received much acclaim and praise.

The theme of this shortie is love and death. Such a combination cannot fail to affect with the skills of this author.

The story opens with the exclamation, “I had loved her madly!”  I dare you to stop reading.

By the fourth paragraph, tragedy strikes and our narrator laments his lost love. There is quite a lot of exclamation here, clear prose, a heavy dose of reality, and vivid descriptions that our author is known for—quite sensuous, I might add (Flaubert was De Maupassant’s mentor so of course there’s quite a bit of flair).

The central action of the story takes place in a cemetery. I will tell you, I’m not a zombie fan but these zombies are my kind of zombies! After reading this story, you won’t likely forget it.

Try this exhilarating short read, less than 2000 words at The Literary Gothic:

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Next week’s Tale of Terror will by Henry James in honor of his birth date.


Filed under Dreams, fiction, ghouls, horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Ghoultide Greetings! Christmas Ghost Stories

The Snow by Hugh Walpole


The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton by Charles Dickens

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, December 18, 2012

Is it Christmas yet? Not quite, but here’s a holiday story to get you in the merry mood for those of us who love Christmas ghosts.

It’s Christmas Eve in The Snow by Hugh Walpole (bestselling author of 1930s but one of those forgotten authors fairly neglected these days). Walpole published five volumes of short stories and 36 novels and was thought of as an equal to Henry James. Virginia Woolf praised his gifts for telling details. The Snow is no jolly Christmas tale with family gathering round for festivities; this story is deeply haunting, leaving the reader in a wintry cold that will surely chill your holiday spirits.

In the dusk of the passage of a Cathedral, Mrs. Ryder, a rather sweet woman, sees an image, ‘…old-fashioned grey cloak, the untidy grey hair and the sharp outline of the pale cheek and pointed chin.’ Mrs. Ryder can’t quite decide if this sinister woman is from her imagination, her increasing madness, or in fact truly real with the ‘… sweep of the grey dress, falling in folds to the ground, the flash of a gold ring on the white hand.’

Whose white hand is this?

The terror she feels is certainly real. A voice faintly comes to her ears: “I warned you. This is for the last time. . . .”

Shivering with this threat, Mrs. Ryder flees to her home and stands in her drawing-room at the window, ghostly snow falling over the great hulk of the Cathedral next door. One gets the dreadful feeling of confinement, a heavy white lid coming down.

When we meet Mr. Ryder, we find him a rather cross, brooding husband who admits to their failed marriage and speaks of a separation. He likes to call that Cathedral next door a flying ship. But to Mrs. Ryder the Cathedral is more like ‘a crouching beast licking its lips over the miserable sinners that it was forever devouring.’

Can fear really whisper in your ear? Mrs. Ryder flees to the Cathedral on Christmas Eve in the thick muffling snow and discovers … the ghost.

You can experience this sinister little Christmas treat at

[This link was functioning originally but of late had some problems. If you can’t access the story here, you can find it in the book The Best Supernatural Stories of Hugh Walpole, or A Century of Creepy Stories by Hugh Walpole, probably at your local library or online purchases.]

The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton by Charles Dickens

Gabriel Grub is a gravedigger, walking at twilight with his lantern, spade, and wicker bottle. He treads the hard crisp snow inside the graveyard on Christmas Eve. A wild frozen voice speaks.


Read it at (Chapter 29 in Dickens’ Pickwick Papers):

Also here at


Merry, merry!




Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.


Filed under Christmas ghost stories, Christmas stories, fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, ghouls, horror, mysteries, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror