Tag Archives: haunted

It Is the Haunted Who Haunt

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) for Women In Horror Month 2018

Tuesday’s Tales of Terror   February 13, 2018

Followers of this blog know that ghosts draw us together. We choose to be haunted by reading ghost stories. We are all haunted houses in our own minds. Elizabeth Bowen was a distinguished author of ghost stories, often compared to Henry James and Virginia Woolf for craft.  Some liken her to Alfred Hitchcock. You will find a moral vision and social commentary in all her fine fiction. One thing is certain, whether you think ghosts are not real or ghosts are real nonphysical consciousness, Bowen had total acceptance of the reality of ghosts and the occult—a woman I can certainly identify with for that belief.


“Ghosts exploit the horror latent behind reality …. Our irrational darker selves demand familiars …. We are twentieth century haunters of the haunted.”


Elizabeth Bowen is my Women In Horror Month selection for 2018, which always includes the finest ghost tale writers. Bowen’s stories are a legacy to the Gothic, Sapphic,  psychological, and the ghostly realms in our minds.  She knew how to use the idea of a ‘living ghost’ a ghost who could appear in one place  and at the same time be a living person walking around in another place. I consider her required reading for any ghost story lover.


“Each time I sat down to write a story I opened a door; and the pressure against the other side of that door must have been very great, for things — ideas, images, emotions — came through with force and rapidity, sometimes violence …. Odd enough in their way — and now some seem very odd — they were flying particles of something enormous and inchoate that had been going on. They were sparks from experience—an experience not necessarily my own.”

If you want to read about how she handled cracks in the psyche, read The Demon Lover—paranoia or paranormal in wartime London. You be the judge.



Her three most famous ghost stories are the following. The Cat Jumps (1934 ), a country house, a previous murder, new owners. The Happy Autumn Fields (1941), a dreamy psychologically damaged young woman’s story akin to Turn of the Screw. Green Holly (1941), the ghost of a woman speaks out on Christmas Eve.

Read the short story The Demon Lover at BiblioKlept.org. 






Listen to the audio of The Demon Lover

here on YouTube.com.




You can download her famous novel The Last September. The  story depicts the tensions between love and the longing for freedom, between tradition and the terrifying prospect of independence, both political and spiritual. Life in the 1920s at the country mansion  in Cork during the Irish War of Independence. A young woman’s coming of age in a brutalized time and place, where the ordinariness of life floats like music over the impending doom of history.

Get the FREE ebook here at MaconCountyPark.com.




The 1999 British film, screenplay by John Banville, starring Maggie Smith.



Do you think it is the haunted who haunts?

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 FREE short stories every month. Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

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

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under Book Reviews, fiction, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Ghosts, Gothic fiction, Gothic Horror, haunted houses, Hauntings, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, murder mystery, mysteries, paranormal, psychological horror, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural fiction, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

“Run! Run! It is after me.”

The Haunters and the Haunted  by Edward Bulwer-Lytton  (1859)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 30, 2013

“The house is haunted; and the old woman who kept it was found dead in her bed with her eyes wide open. They say the devil strangled her.”

Well, this is a provocative beginning to the story, isn’t it? Being strangled in your bed by the devil? I’ve had nightmares like that so this line really lured me in.

Our author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton was well known in the horror genre from the 1850s, but he also had a political career and wrote historical novels. Mary Shelley called him “a magnificent writer,” but he is probably one of the most neglected authors of our time. Some called him the British “Poe,” while other literary contemporaries at the time proclaimed him a terrible writer (he penned the much ridiculed “It was a dark and stormy night.”). I chose him because The Haunters and the Haunted is one of the earliest haunted house stories, immensely readable, suspenseful, and probably one of the first “psychic phenomena” stories at that time. And, the story carries a certain diabolical reverence.

The House and the Brain is the alternate title and important to note because this story hinges on the scientific elements of the human brain meshed with the spiritual elements. The narrator reporting theses events believes that apparitions or ghosts are not supernatural but within the laws of nature (“our nature” that is), the laws of nature that we do not fully understand yet.

Okay, so here we go. Our narrator decides to spend the night in this haunted house where the woman was strangled by the devil.  Does he in fact see a ghost? He does: “livid face, long drowned … bloated, bleached, sea-weed tangled in its dripping hair … shadows, malignant serpent eyes.”

Our calm and objective narrator explains that he believes there is a power that extends over the dead, over certain thoughts and memories that reside in the brain of the dead.  And this brain “is of immense power, that it can set matter into movement …”

Exactly what power is this? Are you ready for this material force and what it is capable of doing to our narrator … or should I say, do to you as the reader?

Listen … can you hear the sinister laughing in the dark chink of your brain?

This story is a must read for those of us who adore the classic ghost story that goes beyond the supernatural.

Read it here on Read Book Online:


One more quick note. My second novel, The Dazzling Darkness, was just released April 27th by KDP on Amazon (ebook). Can I tempt you into taking a look at my own supernatural mystery? Click on the link:

The Dazzling Darkness by Paula Cappa on Amazon



Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, Hauntings, horror, occult, paranormal, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror