Tag Archives: ghosts

Dead Still Here on All Hallows Eve

All Hallows      Walter de la Mare (1926)

Sunday’s Gothic Short Story, October 30, 2022


Here is a perfect story to read aloud for Halloween.  Walter de la Mare is a dazzling author famous for his ghost stories and psychological drama. This is a fast short story and absolutely classic. We have a traveler visiting a deserted cathedral. The cathedral is not just haunted.

Devils are creatures made by God, and that for vengeance.

Why would devils haunt a deserted cathedral?

We then turned inward once more, ascending yet another spiral staircase. And now the intense darkness had thinned  a little, the groined roof above us becoming faintly discernible. A fresher air softly fanned my cheek; and then trembling fingers groped over my breast, and, cold and bony, clutched my own.”


You got to read this one. Author de la Mare is one of the finest writers of the supernatural.



Walter de la Mare  (1873 – 1956) was an English poet, short story writer, and novelist. He is probably best remembered for his works for children, for his poem “The Listeners”, and for a highly acclaimed selection of subtle psychological horror stories, amongst them Seaton’s Aunt and The Return. He was considered one of modern literature’s chief exemplars of the romantic imagination.


Read All Hallows  at Gutenberg.ca (page 288 in Table of Contents):



Listen to the audio at BBC Radio:


Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.


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Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange

Selecting a Ghost: The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange (aka The Secret of Goresthorpe Grange)

by Arthur Conan Doyle  (1883)


Tuesday’s Tale of Ghosts     May 1, 2018     May is National Short Story Month!  Week One.



Readers here are fond of ghost stories and this one by Arthur Conan Doyle is a must read for ghost lovers. Mr. Silas D’Odd buys a feudal mansion named Goresthorpe Grange.  The man loves the historical trimmings inside the castle filled with armors and ancestral portraits.  But, he desires a ghost, for what is a castle without a daily haunting for entertainment? He soon discovers that by the use of potion, he can conjure a ghost for Goresthorpe Grange.  D’Odd drinks the potion and the apparitions begin.



A 15-minute read and great fun! Read the short story at Adelaide.edu:


Audio of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes at Librivox:







A. C. Doyle and Houdini


Arthur Conan Doyle was a friend of Houdini, Bram Stoker, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Doyle was a born storyteller and revered for his high-quality fiction, especially his Sherlock Holmes detective fiction. His style of writing is clear, clever, and direct. On July 7, 1930, Doyle died in his garden,  clutching his heart with one hand and holding a flower in the other. His last words were to his wife. He whispered “You are wonderful.”


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories,  suspense, crime, sci-fi, and ‘quiet horror.’ Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month.

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Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

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Filed under fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Ghosts, Gothic fiction, haunted houses, Hauntings, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural fiction, tales of terror

Ghosts on Mt. Greylock

If mountains had eyes, what would they see?

Ghosts? Have you ever met a mountain ghost? Ghosts associated with Mt. Greylock are still the fascination of many hikers and nature lovers. And also for those of us who just plain love ghosts.  Here’s something from Mt. Greylock and the story of The Old Coot of Greylock on Bellows Pipe Trail.

As the Civil War began, a North Adams farmer named William Saunders left home in 1861 to fight for the Union. About a year later, his wife, Belle, received a report that her husband had been gravely wounded and was in a military hospital. That was the last she heard of him. Alone and in need of help, she hired a local man to work the farm with her; later she married the man and he adopted her children. In 1865, a bearded, ragged man, wearing a Union blue uniform, stepped off the train in North Adams. You can guess who had finally returned home. Saunders walked to his farm, and while standing outside he saw his wife and happy family, his children calling another man “daddy.”

Crushed, he turned on his heels and walked away, heading toward Mt. Greylock, where he built a shack in the remote Bellows Pipe. He lived the rest of his days there, almost a hermit, hiring himself out occasionally to farms, known to locals only as the “Old Coot.” War and time had ravaged his appearance and no one recognized him. It’s said that he even worked his old spread on occasion, perhaps sitting down to meals with his family, only he knowing the truth. Folks say the Old Coot was insane, but whether it was caused by the horrors of war or grief at losing his family, no one knows. One winter’s day, hunters came upon the shack to find the Old Coot cold dead. But they were startled to see his spirit fly from his body and head up the mountain. That was the first sighting of the Ghost of the Old Coot, but certainly not the last.


To this day, his bedraggled spirit is sometimes seen on Mt. Greylock, always heading up the mountain, but never coming down. You might say you don’t believe it, but are you brave enough to walk the Bellows Pipe Trail after dark?  [Source: IBerkshires.com, article by Anthony Fyden]



Are mountains haunted? They certainly possess mysterious powers.


“Greylock is a stunning mountain, the terrain rolling like a series of

hunchbacks with secret clefts.

Makes one wonder what secrets are buried here.”

 Alexei Georg, Greylock.


Watch for more posts here about the spirits that haunt Mt. Greylock.

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Hunting for Smee in the Dark

Smee   by A. M. Burrage (1900s)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,  January 12, 2015




Picture this, if you will. The wind-blown English countryside. A peaked house with glossy windows. A party of twelve. You enter. Inside you see passages winding in darkness. The guests speak of hidden staircases. Most guests prefer to sit by the fire and play a friendly game of cards. This night, they decide to play a different kind of game. Hide and seek … in the dark.


The game is called “Smee.” The person who is “it” is Smee. Everybody hides. The hunt begins. But you don’t know who Smee is. And Smee is a game of silence. So, even if you find Smee, he or she can’t tell you. Unless … the ghost says “It’s me.”



This ghost story has a chilling feel to it. I especially liked the audio as it gave me an old-fashioned story-telling atmosphere. Turn out the lights and listen to A.M. Burrage’s most famous ghost story.

Read it at Scaryforkids.com

Listen to the audio of Smee, narrated by David Lewis Richardson on ChillingTalesForDarkNight.com.




Alfred McLelland Burrage (1889 – 1956), a British writer of speculative fiction and ghost stories wrote two novels: Seeker to the Dead and Don’t Break the Seal. You can find more of his titles at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.









Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror.  This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery and supernatural.

Join me in reading one short story every week! Comments are welcome.


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

The Lost Ghost

The Lost Ghost by Mary Wilkins Freeman (1903)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    July 28, 2015



Stephen King once said, “We need ghost stories because, in fact, we are ghosts.”

It was a dreadful little face, with something about it which made it different from any other face on earth, but it was so pitiful that somehow it did away a good deal with the dreadfulness. And there were two little hands spotted purple with the cold, holding up my winter coat, and a strange little far-away voice said: ‘I can’t find my mother.’

“‘For Heaven’s sake,’ I said, ‘who are you?’

 “Then the little voice said again: ‘I can’t find my mother.’ ”


Two sisters are living in an old country house with a ghost. But this is not your usual ghostly apparitions.  Mary Wilkins Freeman wrote the most emotional and hypnotic ghost story in The Lost Ghost. Our story begins with two women in rocking chairs discussing their beliefs about ghosts. Mrs. Meserve recounts a story of when she was a student and boarded with two spinsters in a lovely but haunted house. I challenge you to read this and not weep. The audio below is the best!


Read The Lost Ghost at East of the Web.com


Listen to the audio by Librivox on YouTube.com




In The Southwest Chamber, we have two sisters, Amanda and Sophia, who are running a boarding house. Aunt Harriet has died in the southwest bed chamber. This is a homespun, charming, and yet sinister little tale. Again, Mary Wilkins Freeman lures you in with a comfortable and enchanting setting that turns wicked.


Read The Southwest Chamber at Readbookonline.com



imgresMary Wilkins Freeman lived in Brattleboro, Vermont during the late 1800s-1930 and became famous for depicting women living in rural villages of New England. After years of writing with no financial payment, she sold her first story The Beggar for $10.  She became a prolific writer, published fifteen volumes of short stories, fifty uncollected stories and essays, fourteen novels, three plays, three volumes of poetry, and eight children’s books. In 1926 she was awarded the William Dean Howells Gold Medal for Fiction by the American Academy of Letters, and later that year she was inducted into the prestigious National Institute for Arts and Letters.


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


Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror blogs, literature, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror, Women In Horror

Ghosts Who Wander

The Wood of the Dead by Algernon Blackwood (1906)

 Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    September 9, 2014



Let’s think that time has no existence. Past and future exist in the present. Pain and pleasure are one in the same. Author Algernon Blackwood brings us to this timelessness in The Wood of the Dead. A traveler is wandering the countryside and comes across an “old rustic” man and a maiden of loveliness. He pursues the mystery  about the village ghost who lives in the woods.



“Instantly the shadows closed in upon me and “something” came forward to meet me from the centre of the darkness. It would be easy enough to meet my imagination half-way with fact, and say that a cold hand grasped my own and led me by invisible paths into the unknown depths of the grove …”


If you’ve been following this blog, you know how much I appreciate a well-written ghost story. And if you have read any of my own ghost short stories or my ghostly novel The Dazzling Darkness, you know how important ghosts are to me personally. Blackwood is truly a mentor for me because he explores human consciousness, not just the ghost of humans.



Algernon Blackwood is an author who writes artfully of fear and ghostly beauty at the same time. He is likely one of the most prolific  and impressive writers of  ghost stories that you’ll find. I read Blackwood whenever I want a moody story that will conjure vivid images and provide a supernatural adventure with compelling ghosts. He knocks on the ghostly thoughts within all of us and leaves impressions that  last long after you’ve closed the book.



Come into the Wood of the Dead and you’ll see what I mean.

Victoiran Ghost


Read The Wood of the Dead at ReadBookOnline.net


A Woman’s Ghost Story is another of Blackwood’s stories that I liked. Read A Woman’s Ghost Story at Gutenberg.org (scroll to choose page 108)




Librivox Recordings of Algernon Blackwood short stories (The Woman’s Ghost Story, The House of the Past, The Empty House, Wendigo, The Occupant of the Room, and other shorts). Choose “Short Ghost and Horror Story Collection 020” at bottom of page for title selections for audio versions:



Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       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, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, supernatural, tales of terror

The Ghost Within

Afterward by Edith Wharton (1910)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   March 5, 2013

-EdithWharton_in_hat_with_fur_muffEdith Wharton

Are you drawn to haunted house stories? Would you consider living in one for just the experience of meeting a ghost? Edith Wharton’s Afterward  is a haunted house story, but it’s got a different spin on the old cliche.

Come to the House at Lyng in the countryside of Dorsetshire, “known to be full of ghosts.” Mary and Edward (Ned) Boyne move to Lyng because it’s so remote and because it has a resident ghost—a predictably shy ghost. How delightful, right? But this story doesn’t start off as juicy as you’d expect: there are no ghoulish stories about this ghost at Lyng, no historical facts to feast upon, no frightening legends.

Darn! Wharton is such a tease. She is a writer that likes to turn the tables on what the reader expects in the traditional ghosts of evil doings and hot revenge.

Mary finds the House at Lyng quite enchanting with English gardens, grass terrace, fish pond, drawing room, and library. The couple have no financial worries due to Ned’s highly successful business dealings.

Wharton describes the house meticulously and with elegance …  the pear trees drawing complicated patterns on the walls, pigeons on the silvery slated roof, tea at breakfast from a charming Edwardian teapot. Isn’t life lovely!

But where is this ghost and why isn’t it haunting?

When Mary and Ned see a “figure of a man in loose grayish clothes” walking slowly up the lime entrance, they are certain it is their resident ghost. With great anticipation, Ned dashes out to the lime drive. Later Mary finds him in the library where he explains it wasn’t a ghost at all, just Peters, one of the servants (hmmm, really?)

Soon after, Mary finds that Ned doesn’t join her for luncheon …  or dinner.

This is a ghost story that hinges on old money, the old aristocratic values, and another driving desire—greed. You can be sure this ghost is a clever power. I began to wonder if the ghost was secretly watching, waiting for the just the right moment to strike. I was wrong, but far from disappointed.

You’ll find this psychological ghost story will keep you turning the pages as Afterward will haunt you with a last faint breath.

Read Afterward here:


P.S.  Click on the tab above, Short Stories, to experience my latest supernatural tale just published at Fiction 365,  Hildie at the Ghost Store.

Stop back next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror.

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Filed under fiction

Spirits of the Dead, Poe’s Most Mysterious Poem

Greetings Poe Fans:

In honor of Poe’s anniversary birth date, January 19, I’ve selected  his poem, “Spirits of the Dead”  to mark  my Tales of Terror blog for this day. The full text of the poem is below.  This, in hopes that his spirit will rally forth as you read it, is my deepest desire—to truly feel the spirits of the dead authors we read.

This poem is moody and wonderfully atmospheric with dark thoughts on a windy night.

If you’d prefer a read aloud, click the link. This is a YouTube 2-minute dramatic reading, with phantasmic organ music that is sure to haunt.


Spirits Of The Dead

Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness- for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne’er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Edgar Allan Poe

Please stop in every Tuesday for more Tales of Terror,  free short stories by the classic horror masters of literature. I invite you to poke around my blog to read other tales by Hawthorne, Lovecraft, MR James and more.


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The Wintry Gloom of a Haunted Mind

The Haunted Mind  by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, January 15, 2013

The NIghtmare HenryFuimages

Is there a state of mind, a supernatural zone, between the real and unreal? Examine the dream. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Haunted Mind, we enter a “midnight slumber.” If we were to dream of ghostly inhabitants, they would certainly be unreal yet we perceive these dream ghosts to be startlingly real, “wide awake in that realm of illusions,” as Hawthorne describes.

The Haunted Mind is probably one of the gloomiest stories Hawthorne’s ever written because he brings us into the subterranean psychodrama of sleep with pervasive phantoms and then blurs the wakefulness. A cunning device. And, to set his stage for deeper emotion, he uses of the second person you, “You think how the dead are lying in their cold shrouds and narrow coffins, through the drear winter of the grave ….”  This forces us to think we are feeling this dreadful experience with the narrator.

A most extraordinary story, the prose requires a slow read as each sentence, each chilling word holds a great deal of imagery, realism, and insight. We need to read it slowly as if every line is a delicious bite.

We are introduced to the single character alone in his bed on a winter night, frost patterns on the window glass, snow-covered roofs, streets frozen, perhaps like this dream we are in. Symbolisms abound. While the character slips in and out of dreaming and half-waking, Hawthorne gives us intense descriptions of funereal ghosts passing by—wrinkled, fiendish, evil. A train of regret and sorrow follows, disappointments, shame, despair. What a pervasive eerie mood. We begin to wonder… are we dreaming of the underworld? Are we awake? Are we in some psychological prison of the mind? I think it was Poe who compared sleep to death, calling sleep “little slices of death.”

Hawthorne holds us captive when his character believes he cannot be persuaded that the dead “… neither shrink nor shiver, when the snow is drifting over their little hillocks, and the bitter blast howls against the door of the tomb.” The deathly isolation in this story made me shiver, wishing for a warm fire to appear. And when the hearth’s embers do shed a bit of gleam, as the flames vanish, we are left to wonder what is real, the cold or the gloom.

“Yesterday has already vanished from the shadows of the past, to-morrow has not yet emerged from the future.” Where is this poor soul? Does he awake fully in his warm bed? Do we?

If we know Hawthorne at all, we know that the supernatural and self-discovery are common themes in his works. You must read The Haunted Mind (a quick read at only 1700 words) for an extraordinary experience into the wilderness of sleep between reality and dreams from a true master of literature.

Read it here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9209/9209-h/9209-h.htm

Stories about dreaming and alternate realities (the inner world) are my favorite, so The Haunted Mind ranks very high for me. That is probably why I wrote Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural. I’m no Hawthorne, not near his talents, but my novel delves into the dreaming mind, into the fears that often emerge when we are immobile and frozen in our sleep. You’ll find that Hawthorne brings his story to a disturbing destiny, not just merely waking up to start a new day after unsettling dreams. In Night Sea Journey, my character, Kip Livingston, journeys in her dreams to find a new destiny—a reality that defies the expected and enters the supernatural realm of angels and demons.

Which brings me to the obvious question: Why do we dream? What are these secret nighttime journeys with strange faces and imaginary events? Is there some supernatural power going on here? If you’ve had a dream that has affected you or your life in some way (A ghostly one, maybe? Or a dream with the spirit of a dead loved one?) please post.

And stop by next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror.

Artwork  is The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli, 1781.


Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, ghost stories, haunted mind, Hauntings, Hawthorne, horror, mysteries, Nightmares, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Captain Murderer by Dickens, Forgotten Tale of Old

Captain Murderer by Charles Dickens

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,   December 11, 2012 

Captain Murderer is a short story written by Charles Dickens (1000 words, flash fiction before flash was trendy–Dickens was so cool!) and was published in All the Year Round, A Weekly Journal in 1860.  During this Christmas season, we often talk about a Dickens’ Christmas and read or watch A Christmas Carol, delighting in the ghosts of the past. Captain Murderer is  not as popular a story as A Christmas Carol, but definitely fits into the realm of Tales of Terror. And this one is an especially forgotten tale of old.

This wretched character, the Captain, has immense wealth, is an offshoot of the Bluebeard family, and likes to show off his coach driven by a pack of glorious milk-white steeds. But Captain Murderer has a sinister preoccupation with matrimony. His horrific appetite for young brides opens this story when he gives his new wife a golden rolling pin and a silver pie board. He instructs her to bake him a pie. Seems harmless enough, right?

“Dear Captain Murderer, what pie is this to be?” his wife, of exactly one month after the wedding day, asks as she turns up her laced-silk sleeves.

“A meat pie,” the captain replies.

A meat pie? Captain Murderer, known for his ever-sharp teeth that he has professionally filed regularly, has a gruesome secret suggestion for the meat filling. His bride rolls out the crust, curls it into the baking pan and as she looks up into the looking glass, she sees the Captain cutting her head off.


Can you imagine the view in that mirror? I’ll let Dickens reveal in his own creepy style about the baking and eating, the subsequent brides who met similar destinies, and the rather juicy ending. But I will add one note: dessert is a sweet revenge.

You can read Dickens’ Captain Murderer at the link below. For myself, I don’t think I shall look at another meat pie quite the same ever again.

Don’t hesitate to comment! I would love to hear from you.


TUESDAY’S  TALE OF TERROR will appear weekly.


Filed under Charles Dickens, fiction, horror, mysteries, occult, short stories, supernatural, suspense, tales of terror