Overall Rating of the Short Story Collection: 3 Stars
These short stories are classics for a reason. Their themes have been used and reused a lot. Which is why it was difficult for me to truly enjoy them. None of the twists were surprising. They probably were in Blackwood’s day, but now they sound a lot like stories teenagers tell themselves around a campfire.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad. They are perfectly fine ghost stories. They just lost a bit of their magic with the twist.
Still, an enjoyable collection of ghost stories to get you in the mood for Halloween.
The Empty House
A young man and his aunt spend the night in a haunted house where a young woman was thrown off a banister.
A Haunted Island
A young man stays back on an island in the middle of a lake to study. Everything is fine until one night, two men approach the island in the middle of the night…
A Case of Eavesdropping
While staying in a boarding house, a young reporter witnesses a conversation in the next room. Suddenly, it takes a very bad turn.
Keeping His Promise
A student is studying deep into the night for his exams when the bell sounds and an old friend appears – ghostly pale and not saying a single word.
With Intent to Steal
There is a barn where a dark magician is rumoured to have hanged himself. Strange things go on in there and an old hunter and a young sceptic, decide to investigate.
The Wood of the Dead
A traveller, reposing in a country inn, is asked by a stranger to meet him at midnight in the Wood of the Dead.
Smith: An Episode in a Lodging-House
A medical student is forced to move above the lodgings of a man murmured to be dabbling with dark forces.
A Suspicious Gift
Blake is desperate for funds. He shares an appartment with two roommates, even more destitute than him. One night, when he’s alone, a stranger knocks on the door, offering him a huge amount of crisp 1-Dollar bills, curtesy of a mysterious well-wisher.
The Strange Adventures of a Private Secretary in New York
Jim Shorthouse works as private secretary for a man rumoured to have made his money in not entirely savoury ways. When his employer entrusts him to bring some documents to his old partner and – more importantly – get them back safely, he is apprehensive. But nothing prepares him for what he finds in that lonely house.
Skeleton Lake: An Episode in Camp
A hunter comes back to the rest of the group exhausted, rambling – and without his partner. He then spins a tale of accident and misfortune. But nothing is as it seems.