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The Empty House: and Other Ghost Stories Paperback – January 10, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) was born into a well-to-do Kentish family. His parents, converts to a Calvinistic sect, led an austere life, ill-suited to their dreamy and sensitive son. During adolescence, he became fascinated by hypnotism and the supernatural and, on leaving university, studied Hindu philosophy and occultism. Later, he was to draw on these beliefs and experiences in his writing. Sent away to Canada at the age of twenty, his attempts at making a living were wholly unsuccessful and shortly after his return to England, he began to write. The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories, published in 1906, was followed by a series of psychic detective stories, featuring John Silence, 'physician extraordinary'. His reputation as one of the greatest exponents of supernatural fiction began to grow. Chiefly known for his ghost stories, Blackwood wrote in many different forms within the genre. His most personal works, however, are his 'mystical' novels, for example The Centaur, where he explores man's empathy with the forces of the universe. Blackwood also wrote children's fiction. A Prisoner in Fairyland was adapted into the play (later the musical), Starlight Express. Later in life, Blackwood turned to writing radio plays, and in 1947 he began a new career on BBC TV telling ghost stories. He received a knighthood in 1949. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HardPress Publishing (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407787411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407787411
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,845,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Irish TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I keep reading the same phrase on the reviews for Algernon Blackwood's, The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories - "This was free on my Kindle...". Yes, and what an extraordinary gift for the Kindle it is. Many of Algernon's works are Free for the Kindle, and aren't we blessed and ecstatic about that? I am - because Algernon Blackwood is the master of the ghost story and of things that go bump in the stormy night.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a perfect collection for fans of Victorian horror stories, I cannot recommend the first story: The Empty House - enough. It is my go to example of creepy, well told ghost stories!
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The stories in this book were first published in 1906. Algernon Blackwood seems to be a master of suspense and in this collection you will find ghost stories of all kinds.

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
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book contains ten delicious little ghost stories, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

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, . . .
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This is a great atmospheric & spooky read. There were good plot twists as well. There were very few typos. I usually don't care for short stories because I am interested in character development and subsequent novels with the same character, but this book was the exception. Thanks Kindle for the free book! KS 0)
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