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The Empty House: and Other Ghost Stories Paperback – January 10, 2012
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Back in the day when these stories were written, you know, around the time of the Saber Tooth Tiger and T Rex, horror wasn't about blood, gore and shock value, the modern day ghost story, written then, was about nuance. A strange creak in the floor board, a cold wind sending chills down your spine, voices coming from an empty room. These stories are made of events that spawn imagination, and everyone knows imagination is more powerful than gore and violence and shock treatment. That's what makes these stories so delightfully good to read. And again, we are so lucky to have them, Free for the Kindle! The original works of Algernon Blackwood in book form can be very expensive.
Take this morsel from The Empty House, where Jim Shorthouse and his elderly auntie plan to spend the night in a known haunted house - "for there is nothing more desolate in all the abodes of men than an unfurnished house dimly lit, silent, and forsaken, and yet tenanted by rumour with the memories of evil and violent histories." And if that can't get your imagination reeling, check your pulse.
Yes, these are much more than mere campfire stories. These are stories to be read at night under the light of the candle, late, while the winds howl at the window.Read more ›
Algernon Blackwood has incredible powers of description. He doesn't miss any important details which fill the mind with great imagination. When reading it is almost like a movie is playing in your head. All the stories are pleasant to read and are only slightly scary.
There is a story about a midnight ghostly adventure in an haunted house. Then there is a story about a man sleeping alone on an island who sees two ghosts. Then two friends make a blood pact and when one dies he visits the other. In another story tragedy is averted as a ghost tries to get men to hang themselves.
I thought The Woods of the Dead was the best story as it had such beautiful imagery in it. It is the type of story you'd want to read again. One story in this collection is more of a dream or nightmare than a ghost story. Another is about a murder which someone tries to cover up. So mostly ghost stories.
So if you are longing for more classic ghost stories which won't leave you with a bad case of nyctophobia these might be for you.
~The Rebecca Review
First is "The Empty House." Summoned by his Aunt Julia, Jim Shorthouse agrees to spend the night with her in a haunted house to provide the sane courage she feels she needs to be able to complete her quest. They arrive at the house in the dark of night and check it out from basement to upper level to be sure no one is inside. Fingers fumbling for matches, walking "arm in arm" while "holding the dripping candle and the stick," flickering candle light, drafts ... filtered moonlight, scenes draped in shadows, scurrying black beetles, agonized screams of terror, ... you get the picture! Aunt Julia was not disappointed! The author was able to bring me right into the scene, and I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style. As an example, he writes as part of his description of the dark, empty house: "And it was dreary enough in all conscience, for there is nothing more desolate in all the abodes of men than an unfurnished house dimly lit, silent, and forsaken, and yet tenanted by rumour with the memories of evil and violent histories." (pg 11)
The second story, "A Haunted Island," takes place on a small, secluded island in a large Canadian lake in late September. The reader becomes an invisible witness to an act of terror and murder which takes place in the two-story cottage on the island. I got drawn into the story so much that it was hard not to hold my breath during the terror of the climax scene. All of my senses got involved!
All of these stories drew me in and made me feel like I was right there in the room witnessing the events along with the characters. This would be a great book to read while wrapped up in a blanket and cozying up to a fire on a cold, rainy night, . . .Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not the type of book I usually read. All the stories were interesting and suspenseful, but each had too many identical parts . Read morePublished 1 month ago by carol
Sometimes it got a bit repetitive, but overall this was a good read, and I'd recommend it.Published 2 months ago by Allison
I'm going to give it a three star because it was just OK not horrible just fine I believe.Published 3 months ago by karinareyes
Algernon Blackwood inspired a lot of great authors including HP Lovecraft and Stephen King, and this is the book with one story that is definitely one that HP was impressed with;... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Author Jerriann Law