Tag Archives: The Windigo

The Willows, a Chilling Tale for Halloween

The Willows   by Algernon Blackwood (1907)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  October 16, 2018


What better story for the Halloween season than a haunted forest?  A haunted river, perhaps? In Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows there is a prevailing secret in nature. Even the landscape here is haunted. In this story, our narrator takes on a canoe trip down the Danube River. Two men come upon a location of fierce desolation and loneliness and yet everything is alive here. Even the Danube is personified—and full of tricks.  Once set up with tent and fire, the two friends settle in, until the first thing they see is something odd floating on the Danube.

“Good heavens, it’s a man’s body!” he cried excitedly. “Look!”

A black thing, turning over and over in the foaming waves, swept rapidly past. It kept disappearing and coming up to the surface again. It was about twenty feet from the shore, and just as it was opposite to where we stood it lurched round and looked straight at us. We saw its eyes reflecting the sunset, and gleaming an odd yellow as the body turned over.  Then it gave a swift, gulping plunge, and dived out of sight in a flash.


This mystery lends its own power about nature, humanity, and good old-fashion fear. I challenge the readers here not to feel a high amount of dread in the reading. This is so evocative, so sinister—an excellent mix of terror. Classic ‘quiet horror’ for Halloween reading time!



Algernon Blackwood had a persistent interest in the supernatural and spiritualism. He is famous for his occult tales and a master at chilling you to the bone. He firmly believed that humans possess latent psychic powers. His writing soars with an acute sense of place. All his fiction is charged with hidden powers. He published over 200 short stories and dozens of novels.

“All my life,” he said, “I have been strangely, vividly conscious of another region–not far removed from our own world in one sense, yet wholly different in kind–where great things go on unceasingly, where immense and terrible personalities hurry by, intent on vast purposes compared to which earthly affairs, the rise and fall of nations, the destinies of empires, the fate of armies and continents, are all as dust in the balance”  Blackwood. The Willows



Read the short story at Algernonblackwood.org




Listen to the audio on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN_bbDrW7_M




More Blackwood short stories here at Reading Fiction Blog in the above INDEX.

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, and mainstream fiction.

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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


Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, fiction bloggers, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Halloween, Halloween stories, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, occult, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, supernatural tales, supernatural thrillers, tales of terror

Ghost People

Case I: A Psychical Invasion (Dr. John Silence) by Algernon Blackwood (1908)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  June 28, 2016


“Thought is dynamic and can accomplish material results.”

“All perception is the result of vibrations; and clairvoyance simply means becoming sensitive to an increased scale of vibrations.”

—Dr. John Silence

If you as a reader are at all fascinated by the psychic byways of life, Dr. John Silence is the guy for you. He was one of the first psychic detectives in fiction, a doctor of psychical research who works pro-bono. How convenient, right? Case 1, A Psychical Invasion is a murky supernatural tale. We are in Algernon Blackwood style here where time and space blur and evil entities prevail.


When an author of humor, Felix Pender, loses his ability to laugh, when his laughter turns evil and menacing, Dr. Silence is on the scene. Is the house of the author haunted by a former tenant? Or is the author a victim of psychical invasion?  Animal clairvoyance plays nicely in this suspense where human thought is a dynamic that can exist in our world for 100 years.



Algernon Blackwood, born in England, was a reporter for the New York Times in 1895 and is best known for his novella The Willows (1907). Here Blackwood is quoted in Peter Penzoldt’s The Supernatural in Fiction (1952):

old_blackwood“My fundamental interest, I suppose, is signs and proofs of other powers that lie hidden in us all; the extension, in other words, of human faculty. So many of my stories, therefore, deal with extension of consciousness; speculative and imaginative treatment of possibilities outside our normal range of consciousness. … Also, all that happens in our universe is natural; under Law; but an extension of our so limited normal consciousness can reveal new, extra-ordinary powers etc., and the word “supernatural” seems the best word for treating these in fiction. I believe it possible for our consciousness to change and grow, and that with this change we may become aware of a new universe.”  Algernon Blackwood


Read the John Silence short story at Ebooks.adelaide.edu.

Listen to the Librivox Recording at Librivox.org.

Also audio is available on YouTube.com


Visit the Algernon Blackwood website for more free short stories.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror blogs, occult, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural mysteries, tales of terror