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. HarperCollins Publishers. Publication date. November 28, See all details. Next. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Special offers and product promotions Amazon Business: Make the most of your Amazon Business with exclusive tools and savings.
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Top reviews from the United States. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. Through the s, Fontana published a remarkable skein of ghost story collections, piloted by R. Aikman and later by R. Chetwynd-Hayes, no mean supernatural authors themselves. Some of the paperbacks in this series, which winds its way up to the "20th Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories" are now collectors' items and worth over a hundred dollars apiece.
I'm still kicking myself for not saving all of the volumes I bought while we were on an extended stay in Great Britain. Each volume contains a mixture of 19th and 20th century authors--at least those who published through the late s. I believe this to be the finest multi-volume set of ghost stories ever issued. The only publications that can compete with Fontana are the 36 and counting thrice-yearly issues of "All Hallows: The Journal of the Ghost Story Society. In the introduction, R. Chetwynd-Hayes says that most people prefer three ingredients in a collection of ghost stories: fear; pathos; and humor.
I disagree with the latter two ingredients, as they dilute the first. Unfortunately, "A House in the Woods" is one of those stories that exudes pathos. Wren--A dirty, derelict, tumble-down bungalow serves as a rest-house for travelers on route to Angkor Wat. When a visitor turns down his lantern and tries to go to sleep, he soon learns why his native bearers would not stay in the bungalow. Henry--A young man seeking his runaway lover tracks her to a shabby furnished room on the West Side of New York.
She is no longer there, but somehow he senses her presence. Not quite a ghost story, but once read it is impossible to forget. Pathos, yes, but masterfully handled. They pick up a hitch-hiker: a young man dressed in RAF-blue and heavy flying-boots who directs them to an abandoned airfield. Burrage --A candidate for my top-fifty greatest ghost stories list.
A jolly Christmas gathering is spoiled when an extra guest keeps showing up for a game of 'hide and seek. His Royalist uncle had named him as heir to an estate deep in the West Country. There is a catch. It's haunted. His father then disappears from his boy's sight on a moonlit road. Dated humor concerning etheric communication. There's a funnier article in "New Scientist" about a man who claims to have invented a technology for communicating with the dead, called 'necrophony. He even snuffs out her corpse candle before it is fully burned and is roundly cursed by his wife's mourners.
Hartley--A man has the strange habit of creeping down cold, dark passageways to ensure that all of the fires have been properly banked and the gas taps turned off. His safety precautions are a source of humor among his house guests, until one of them learns of an old monkish curse. Ellis--In a small Cornish village, two bitter rivals compete for the office of circuit steward.
One is chosen, but drowns in a gale after someone tampers with his fishing boat. His rival perishes under mysterious circumstances shortly after the new steward's body is recovered from the sea. After the old man's death, Martin uses his powers to locate a missing will. However, he's in for a nasty surprise. Chetwynd-Hayes--Percy Fortesque sees "the face of his dead wife staring at him from a window of the five-forty-five train" and decides to consult a medium. What did his deceased spouse mean when she accused him of 'being late? Unfortunately, "A House in the Woods" is one of the stories that exudes pathos.
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