Sir Edmund Orne by Henry James (1891)
Tuesday’s Ghost Story for Halloween October 27, 2020
Reading a ghost story during Halloween week is always a good idea. Sometimes it’s fascinating to go back to the classic authors who are so different from, and I dare say refreshing, our modern ghost writers. And who better to read than author Henry James. He’s known for his psychological realism and emotionally powerful ghost stories. Reading his novels and short stories is often an experience as in the famous Turn of the Screw. In 1903, James gave advice on how to read his work. He suggested you read a few pages a day and not break the thread “The thread is really stretched quite scientifically tight. Keep along with it step by step — & the full charm will come out.”
There is literary magic in his stories. Reading his work slowly so the imagination can peak and run is a worthwhile effort.
In Sir Edmund Orne, we have a lovely coquette named Charlotte Marden and her mysterious mother Mrs. Marden who has “intuitions.” The story opens on a quiet sunny Sunday in Brighton, is full of romance, intrigue, and of course a ghost on a mission. The story is more quiet mystery than horror but unsettling and holds the suspense all the way through.
From our determined and charming narrator …
“I felt beneath my feet the threshold of the strange door, in my life, which had suddenly been thrown open and out of which unspeakable vibrations played up through me like a fountain. I had heard all my days of apparitions, but it was a different thing to have seen one and to know that I should in all probability see it familiarly, as it were, again.”
Read the story at East of the Web:
Listen to audio at Librivox Recordings:
Henry James was an American novelist and critic. He wrote 20 novels, 112 tales, and 12 plays and volumes of travel writing and criticism. He is best remembered for his The Portrait of a Lady (1881) and the novella The Turn of the Screw (1898).
The Haunting of Bly Manor, a Netflix anthology series is a twist on Turn of the Screw.
Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.
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