Tag Archives: Robert Aickman

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 UNZ.org .




Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

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