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Great Ghost Stories

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers


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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers

30 review for Great Ghost Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    I wasn't going to read this book until we were snug in our cabin next week (there's nothing like outdoor forest night noise to add ambiance to a collection of ghost stories) but it kept calling to me whenever I'd pass by it on the shelves so I had to. Joseph Lewis French did not author any of the stories in this book; he was more like a collator, putting together twelve ghostly/supernatural tales in this collection which was published by Dodd Mead in 1918. I had no clue what I was getting when I I wasn't going to read this book until we were snug in our cabin next week (there's nothing like outdoor forest night noise to add ambiance to a collection of ghost stories) but it kept calling to me whenever I'd pass by it on the shelves so I had to. Joseph Lewis French did not author any of the stories in this book; he was more like a collator, putting together twelve ghostly/supernatural tales in this collection which was published by Dodd Mead in 1918. I had no clue what I was getting when I bought this book, so you can imagine my delight when I looked over the table of contents for the first time (* - my first time with this story): "The House and the Brain," by Edward Bulwer-Lytton "The Roll-Call of the Reef," by A.T. Quiller-Couch * "The Open Door, " by Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (one of my all-time favorite ghost stories) "The Deserted House," by ETA Hoffman* "The Mysterious Sketch," by Erckmann-Chatrian* "Green Branches," by Fiona Macleod (who was really William Sharp, also author of The Sin-Eater and Other Tales which I bought after finishing this story)* "The Four-Fifteen Express," by Amelia B. Edwards * "The Were-Wolf," by HB Marryat, which I recently read in Valancourt's Terrifying Transformations "The Withered Arm," by Thomas Hardy * "Clarimonde," by Theophile Gautier "The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral," by MR James and last but not least, "What Was It?" by Fitz-James O'Brien, which has one of the greatest lines ever: "Harry .... you've been smoking too much opium." This book is a treasure trove of supernatural tales, and I recommend it highly to people who appreciate ghostly literature of yesteryear. ps/ to call these stories "dated" is ridiculous. They weren't "dated" at the time. Consider them a window into the past and they work very well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Derek Davis

    This 1918 collection is very much a child of its time, though it includes ancestors reaching back 100 years. It's most interesting as a study of what a "ghost" or generally supernatural story was thought to be at the tag-end of the era of spiritualism and rampant scientific optimism. As a signpost, the foreword was written by the secretary of the British Society for Psychical Research. The stories in themselves are mostly a lot of fun to read, and you'll run across quite a few interesting authors This 1918 collection is very much a child of its time, though it includes ancestors reaching back 100 years. It's most interesting as a study of what a "ghost" or generally supernatural story was thought to be at the tag-end of the era of spiritualism and rampant scientific optimism. As a signpost, the foreword was written by the secretary of the British Society for Psychical Research. The stories in themselves are mostly a lot of fun to read, and you'll run across quite a few interesting authors you're unlikely to stumble over otherwise – Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Mrs. Margaret Oliphant, Fiona MacLoed – as well as a couple, such as Thomas Hardy, that you wouldn't normally identify with this kind of subject. The best piece, not surprisingly, is by E.T.A. Hoffman, "The Deserted House." What I found most interesting, though, is the assumptions behind the roughly contemporary stories (those around the turn of the 20th century): that "ghosts" are real, but not spooky haunts. They're psychic phenomena that can be explained through careful scientific observation, though hardly by what we would classify as scientific methods today. It was a time when many of the leading minds of the day (such as William James) felt that the truths of the world were about to be unravelled, that religion would become a subset of science and that progress, especially progress of the mind, was moving along an inevitable upward curve. It's hard to conceive now what the horrors of the Great War did to dash this intellectual hope.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim Petersik

    I'm guessing these stories all date from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. If you can place yourself in the period and its way of thinking, they're not bad at all. Some are even creepy by today's standards. I downloaded it free from Amazon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Kevern

    I know better than to read ghost stories late at night. The thing is, during the day I have enough energy and self control that I don't read ghost stories, and this means that at night, I've used up all my self-denial, so I do read the ghost stories. And then this happens.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    A nice collection of classic, supernatural short stories. The title is misleading because a number of the tales have nothing to do with ghosts, such as THE WERE-WOLF by H. B. Marryatt. I found them to be entertaining, nonetheless. I'd only read one of the stories previously, THE HOUSE AND THE BRAIN which I recalled under a different title, THE HAUNTED AND THE HUNTERS. It opens the book and is definitely a chilling tale. Being public domain stories, they do not feature the brisk pace that may be A nice collection of classic, supernatural short stories. The title is misleading because a number of the tales have nothing to do with ghosts, such as THE WERE-WOLF by H. B. Marryatt. I found them to be entertaining, nonetheless. I'd only read one of the stories previously, THE HOUSE AND THE BRAIN which I recalled under a different title, THE HAUNTED AND THE HUNTERS. It opens the book and is definitely a chilling tale. Being public domain stories, they do not feature the brisk pace that may be expected by many modern readers. Several of them have a very slow build-up, such as GREEN BRANCHES and CLARIMONDE. Their purpose wasn't to launch readers into terrific frights, but to acquaint them with the characters, the settings, and some narrative backgrounds. Then the tale unfolds, providing a deeper insight into the heart of the story and making the resolutions more compelling. Don't expect graphic descriptions of spilt entrails here! To be completely honest, some of the entries took some effort to complete on my part. I am a patient reader, yet there was the occasion that I wanted to call out, "Get on with it!" That said, I always enjoyed the chilling moments when they appeared, so even the slower tales were ultimately rewarding. I recommend it for readers who do not need to race for the finish, and prefer their chills to be of the lingering variety.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Kadwell

    Dated but a couple good stories. Many of these stories... ok all of them are quite dated but some were ok reads. I did enjoy a couple of them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    Old-timey ghost stories for sure, I love the foreword by a respectable LL.D. People back then believed this stuff for realz. I wasn't scare even once. Not to say that I don't enjoy some of the style, but it was somewhat of a let down, I've read tons of ghost stories from the likes of M.R James that were much scarier. One of the highlights was ETA Hoffman, I love his manic style that paints a weird atmosphere for no real purpose other than being a big weirdo.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jewell Moreno

    All these stories were written in the late eighteen hundreds early nineteen hundreds. Book was originally published in 1918, and can only be found in Kindle now. Recognized some of the authors, such as M. R. James,,,but most were new to me. Wasn't only ghost stories, but also, were wolfs, vampires, and such. A well rounded collection of old fashioned horror. There wasn't a bad story in the group, and I have a special appreciation for older literature.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Kral

    Great ghost/paranormal stories All of the stories are worthwhile and different. I especially liked the last one, but that favoritism does not diminish my esteem for and enjoyment of the others. The language is antiquated but added to the charm of the narration of such absurd events.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Kopyc

    Loved it! A very good selection of stories. I highly recommend to everyone to buy this book. You shall definitely enjoy it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    faith Cazares

  12. 5 out of 5

    Auth Laurie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul Barth

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kiyah Herbin

  15. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Binkley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Peyton

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cheri Lang

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Levine

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Emsaytif

  20. 4 out of 5

    E

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erick

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joy Whitacre

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephenie Priest

  24. 5 out of 5

    morrissa valasek

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie Gagnon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dixie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charles T. Bennett

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aphrodite

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