Thursday, September 06, 2012


Anthologies: Best Ghost Stories, The Haunted Hour, and Devil Stories by various authors

These anthologies are my meagre contribution to Friday's Forgotten Books over at Patti Abbott's blog Pattinase.

"Mortal, mock not at the devil, life is short and soon will fail, and the 'fire everlasting' is no idle fairy-tale." — Heine (a reference to the 19th century German poet Heinrich Heine, I think.)

I haven't done a serious review of a forgotten book since Friday, August 10. I have been taking the easy way out by reading and writing about vintage comic-books, in the main the economy series by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (August 23) and To The Last Man by Zane Grey (August 31) and, more recently, a historical work, The Story of the Outlaw, by western author Emerson Hough (September 3). Varied stuff, nonetheless.

This Friday is going to be no different because I still haven't read a forgotten novel. I just finished reading Gun Man by Loren D. Estleman, am nearing the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, have read the initial ten pages of Black Dice by Mack Bolan (Don Pendleton), and am tempted to pick up a Lawrence Block, either A Walk Among the Tombstones or Like A Lamb to Slaughter.

Mack Bolan and his allies, Able Team and Phoenix Force, can be considered as forgotten books except for one thing: people like me still read them. Together with Nick Carter, Ian Fleming, Carter Brown, and James Hadley Chase.

So then, this week I bring you previews of three anthologies I discovered at Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks, which have been kind enough to reserve a permanent seat for me over at their ebook libraries. The anthologies by various authors pertain to ghost stories and they are Best Ghost Stories (1919) with an introduction by Arthur B. Reeve, the American mystery writer; The Haunted Hour (1920), a collection of ghost poems compiled by Margaret Widdemer who doesn’t require an introduction; and Devil Stories (1921) edited by Maximilian J. Rudwin who, I think, is a German writer of fantasy and horror.

All three anthologies have contributions by some of the finest writers known to you and me. Here’s how each of the collections stack up…

Best Ghost Stories
Man is incurably fascinated by the mysterious. If all the ghost stories of the ages were blotted out, man would invent new ones.
Arthur B. Reeve in his introduction

01. The Apparition of Mrs. Veal by Daniel Defoe
02, Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book by Montague Rhodes James
03. The Haunted and the Haunters by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
04. The Silent Woman by Leopold Kompert
05. Banshees
06. The Man Who Went Too Far by E.F. Benson
07. The Woman's Ghost Story by Algernon Blackwood
08. The Phantom Rickshaw by Rudyard Kipling
09. The Rival Ghosts by Brander Matthews
10. The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce
11. The Interval by Vincent O'sullivan
12. Dey Ain't No Ghosts by Ellis Parker Butler
13. Some Real American Ghosts

The Haunted Hour
I have not considered as ghost-poems anything but poems which related to the return of spirits to earth.
— Margaret Widdemer in her preface

The Far Away Country by Nora Hopper Chesson

“The Nicht Atween The Sancts An' Souls”
All-Souls Katherine by Tynan
All-Saints' Eve by Lizette Woodworth Reese
A Dream by William Allingham
The Neighbors by Theodosia Garrison
A Ballad of Hallowe'en by Theodosia Garrison
The Forgotten Soul by Margaret Widdemer
All-Souls' Night by Dora Sigerson Shorter
Janet's Tryst by George Macdonald
Hallows' E'en by Winifred M. Letts
On Kingston Bridge by Ellen M.H. Cortissoz
All-Souls' Night by Louisa Humphreys

“All The Little Sighing Souls”
Mary Shepherdess by Marjorie L.C. Pickthall
The Little Ghost by Katherine Tynan
Two Brothers by Theodosia Garrison
The Little Dead Child by Josephine Daskam Bacon
The Child Alone by Rosamund Marriott Watson
The Child by Theodosia Garrison
Such are the Souls in Purgatory by Anna Hempstead Branch
The Open Door by Rosamund Marriott Watson
My Laddie's Hounds by Marguerite Elizabeth Easter
The Old House by Katherine Tynan

Shadowy Heroes
Ballad of the Buried Sword by Ernest Rhys
The Looking-Glass by Rudyard Kipling
Drake's Drum by Henry Newbolt
The Grey Ghost by Francis Carlin
Ballad of Douglas Bridge by Francis Carlin
The Indian Burying Ground by Philip Freneau

“Rank On Rank Of Ghostly Soldiers”
The Song of Soldiers by Walter De La Mare
The Blockhouse on the Hill by Helen Gray Cone
Night at Gettysburg by Don C. Seitz
The Riders by Katherine Tynan
The White Comrade by Robert Haven Schauffler
Ghosts of the Argonne by Grantland Rice
November Eleventh by Ruth Comfort Mitchell

Sea Ghosts
The Flying Dutchman by Charles Godfrey Leland
The Phantom Ship by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Phantom Light of the Baie Des Chaleurs by Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton
The Sands of Dee by Charles Kingsley
The Lake of the Dismal Swamp by Thomas Moore
The Flying Dutchman of the Tappan Zee by Arthur Guiterman
The White Ships and the Red by Joyce Kilmer
Featherstone's Doom by Robert Stephen Hawker
Sea-Ghosts by May Byron
Fog Wraiths by Mildred Howells

Cheerful Spirits
Cape Horn Gospel by John Masefield
Legend of Hamilton Tighe by Richard Harris Barham
The Supper Superstition by Thomas Hood
The Ingolds Penance by Richard Harris Barham
Pompey's Ghost by Thomas Hood
The Ghost by Thomas Hood
Mary's Ghost by Thomas Hood
The Superstitious Ghost by Arthur Guiterman
Dave Lilly by Joyce Kilmer
Martin by Joyce Kilmer

Haunted Places
The Listeners by Walter De La Mare
Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Beleaguered City by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Newport Romance by Bret Harte
A Legend by May Kendall
A Midnight Visitor by Elizabeth Akers Allen
Haunted by Amy Lowell
The Little Green Orchard by Walter De La Mare
Fireflies by Louise Driscoll
The Little Ghost by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Haunted by Louis Untermeyer
Ghosts by Madison Cawein
The Three Ghosts by Theodosia Garrison

“You Know The Old, While I Know The New”
After Death by Christina Rossetti
The Passer-By by Edith M. Thomas
At Home by Christina Rossetti
The Return by Minna Irving
The Room's Width by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
Haunted by Don Marquis

“My Love That Was So True”
One Out-Of-Doors by Sarah Piatt
Sailing Beyond Seas by Jean Ingelow
Betrayal by Aline Kilmer
The True Lover by A.E. Housman
Haunted by G.B. Stuart
The White Moth by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
The Ghost by Walter De La Mare
Luke Havergal by Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Highwayman by Alfred Noye Noyes
The Blue Closet by William Morris
The Ghost's Petition by Christina Rossetti
He and She by Sir Edwin Arnold

Shapes Of Doom
The Dead Coach by Katherine Tynan
Deid Folks' Ferry by Rosamund Marriott Watson
Keith of Ravelston by Sydney Dobell
The Fetch by Dora Sigerson Shorter
The Banshee by Dora Sigerson Shorter
The Seven Whistlers by Alice E. Gillington
The Victor by Theodosia Garrison
Mawgan of Melhuach by Robert Stephen Hawker
The Mother's Ghost by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Dead Mother by Robert Buchanan

Legends And Ballads Of The Dead
The Folk of the Air by William Butler Yeats
The Reconciliation by A. Margaret Ramsay
The Priest's Brother by Dora Sigerson Shorter
The Ballad of Judas by Iscariot Robert Buchanan
The Eve of St. John by Walter Scott
Fair Margaret's Misfortunes, Anon.
Sweet William's Ghost, Anon.
Clerk Saunders, Anon.
The Wife of Usher's Well, Anon.
A Lyke-Wake Dirge, Anon.

Devil Stories
The reader will find between the covers of this book Devils fascinating and fearful, Devils powerful and picturesque, Devils serious and humorous, Devils pathetic and comic, Devils phantastic and satiric, Devils gruesome and grotesque. I have tried, though, to keep them all in good humour throughout the book, and can accordingly assure the reader that he need fear no harm from an intimate acquaintance with the diabolical company to which he is herewith introduced.
Maximilian J. Rudwin in his introduction

01. The Devil in a Nunnery: A Mediaeval Tale by Francis Oscar Mann
02. Belphagor, Or The Marriage of the Devil by Niccolò Machiavelli
03. The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving
04. From the Memoirs of Satan by Wilhelm Hauff
05. St. John's Eve by Nikolái Vasilévich Gógol
06. The Devil's Wager by William Makepeace Thackeray
07. The Painter's Bargain by William Makepeace Thackeray
08. Bon-Bon by Edgar Allan Poe
09. The Printer's Devil, Anon.
10. The Devil's Mother-In-Law by Fernán Caballero
11. The Generous Gambler by Charles Pierre Baudelaire
12. The Three Low Masses: A Christmas Story by Alphonse Daudet
13. Devil-Puzzlers by Frederick Beecher Perkins
14. The Devil's Round: A Tale of Flemish Golf by Charles Deulin
15. The Legend of Mont St. Michel by Guy De Maupassant
16. The Demon Pope by Richard Garnett
17. Madam Lucifer by Richard Garnett
18. Lucifer by Anatole France
19. The Devil by Maxím Gorky
20. The Devil and the Old Man by John Masefield

Since I haven’t reviewed the anthologies here, as I should have, the least I can do is provide you with the links to all three, at Manybooks, right here—Best Ghost Stories, The Haunted Hour and Devil Stories. You can download them in any format you like. Hurrah for Creative License!


  1. Some good ones there. I've read many of these, though not in these specific collections.

    1. Charles, an absolute treasure. I have read a few myself, mostly during office lunch breaks. The ghost poems edited by Margaret Widdemer are a terrific compilation.

  2. Some really intriguing content there Prashant and I am only familiar with abotu half the authors listed so thanks very much. Incidentally, A Walk Among the Tombstones is a great read, Block (and Scudder) at his best.

    1. Sergio, you're welcome as always. The whole purpose of listing anthologies here is to introduce them to readers who may not know of their existence, especially among readers in India. I too am familiar with only half the authors and am getting acquainted with the rest. I'm still debating which Block novel to read given that I'm reading three books currently. I might take you up on "A Walk Among the Tombstones" though.

  3. Thanks for these. Carol Buchanan just transformed a ho-hum title for a new book, BEAVERHEAD ROCK, into a grabber: THE GHOST AT BEAVERHEAD ROCK. Amazing the power that one word wields.

    1. Ron, thanks for the heads-up. I recall reading your interview with writer Carol Buchanan recently. I agree, THE GHOST AT BEAVERHEAD ROCK does make you want to read the book more than perhaps you'd without the spirit-ed word.

  4. I've read all three books and there's some good stuff in each one. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Jerry, you're most welcome. It's amazing that you've read all three books. Have you reviewed them over at your blog?

  5. Some solid anthos there, though I've not seen them before (but have read a number of the stories and most of the writers). A slight typo on Alfred Noyes's name in the TOC for the “My Love That Was So True” section of THE HAUNTED HOUR...I spelled out your anthology titles and editors in the lists I've circulated to YahooGroups and the librarians' list I'm on...


    1. Todd, thanks for the appreciation. A leaf out of your own blog where you have reviewed some formidable anthologies over the past several months. Thanks again for correcting me on Alfred Noyes' spelling, which I have done accordingly, as well as for including these anthos at Yahoo Groups and library lists...that was very thoughtful of you. As you can see, I'm gathering these e-collections faster than I can read them. The good thing is you don't have to read them from cover to cover like a novel.

  6. An anthology of ghost poems! That's the first time I am hearing for one. Thanks for the links. I'll head there asap. The quote at the beginning about the devil being true is terrifying. All that hellish fire just waiting for us...

    1. Neer, you're welcome. I have read a few stories and poems from these anthologies and they are absolutely fascinating, both in substance and narration. I'm sure you're going to enjoy reading them.

  7. Hi-this to give you my link to my post for Book Blogger Appreciation week in which I mention your blog

    1. What can I say, Mel, except thank you very much. I'll hop across and have a look.

  8. A great list, I've thought of a Devil related one Dr Mephisto By Chris Emery, this is a book of poetry, here's a link
    Another that may be of interest is Japanese & Chinese Ghost stories: 5 books by Lafcadio Hearn

    1. Parrish Lantern, thanks for the kind words. I'm familiar with "Dr. Mephisto" by Chris Emery though I haven't read it. Thanks for the link to this as well as mentioning the "Japanese and Chinese Ghost Stories." I enjoy reading stories from the Orient so long as they are translated well.