The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories
Victorian ghost stories have a certain flavor that is different from anything before or since. This volume collects gems from several Victorian authors, representing the best of the genre. A young man wandering in the snow finds a secluded cabin, where he has a philosophical discussion about the supernatural with the elderly scholar, then catches a coach, unaware that it is the very coach that crashed on this road many years before. Two sisters rent out their late aunt’s room, but each night the old woman’s ghost scares the occupant away. The creepiest story is about a French artist who sees a churchyard guard who looks like a corpse maggot every time he looks out the window. My favorite story, “August Heat,” relies on excellent suggestion and foreshadowing to instill a deep sense of unease, and ends with a clever twist. Of course all these stories rely on the supernatural, which is what makes them so fun. They are the grandparents of today’s horror and suspense, written with intensifying drama that will get your heart pounding. These are perfect ghost stories for a cold autumn night – and you’ll want to leave on the lights!
|Michael Sims, editor
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