A Gothic Cabinet of Curiosities and Mysteries header image

≡ Menu

It could be argued that our fascination with horror and the occult is based primarily on our culture. It this is true, the gothic horror story of literature is the birthplace of this fascination. Herein you’ll find some of the classics of the genre, curated especially to give the reader an introduction to this fascinating field of literature.

Classic Gothic Ghost Stories

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen thumbnail

The Great God Pan, a novella by Welsh born Arthur Machen (3 March 1863 – 15 December 1947), was cited by Stephen King as maybe the best horror story in the English Language. Originally decried for its strong sexual and horror content, it is almost tame in comparison to today’s literature of the same genre - Click to read more

Christmas Ghost Stories: The Ghost of Christmas Past Goes Further Back Than You Might Realize thumbnail

  Philipsburg Manor in Winter, Sleepy Hollow, New York "When I returned to the drawing-room, I found the company seated around the fire, listening to the parson, who was deeply ensconced in a high-backed oaken chair, the work of some cunning artificer of yore, which had been brought from the library for his particular accommodation - Click to read more

The Mezzotint thumbnail

From Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M. R. James M.R. James had a knack for compressing a chilling tale into a short space. Which is very refreshing, considering some writers, yes, I'm speaking to you Stephen King, has a tendency to stretch out their short stories almost to novel length. Montague Rhodes James was born in - Click to read more

Sleepy Hollow Forest Landscape

When we say Ambrose Bierce was a western writer, we aren't referring to western civilization. Rather, Bierce lived and wrote in the western United States, based in San Francisco for much of his career. A journalist by trade, Bierce left his indelible stamp on the short story with the twist at the end, and found - Click to read more

Gothic Horror Stories: J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thumbnail

When we think of the Marie Celeste, we might be surprised to know that much of our facts are based upon a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which is heavily fictional. Published anonymously in 1884 by a pre-Sherlock Holmes Doyle, it was thought to be the work of among others, Robert Louis Stevenson - Click to read more

Gothic Horror Stories: The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood thumbnail

Algernon Blackwood was one of the most prolific writers of gothic horror stories, particularly ghost stories, including both novels and short stories. No less a personage than H.P. Lovecraft named Blackwood as one of his inspirations. As a young man he moved from his native England to the United States, working in a variety of - Click to read more

Glassic Gothic Ghost Stories: Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H.P. Lovecraft thumbnail

  Growing up in the seventies, we were more likely to equate the title of this short story to Black Sabbath than to H.P. Lovecraft. A song by that same title appeared on their debut album, Black Sabbath in 1970. Much has been written about a thread of white supremacy in Lovecraft's work, but with - Click to read more

On the Brighton Road thumbnail

Richard Middleton gave up the staid life of a banker for a bohemian lifestyle in his tragically short life. His suicide in 1911 robbed the world of a talented contributor to the canon of gothic ghost stories. This one from a Gothic Curiosity Cabinet.

Gallow’s Hill, Salem, Massachusetts

By Nathaniel Hawthorne The great-great-grandson of the only judge in Salem's witch trials who never publicly regretted his role, Nathaniel Hawthorne spent much of his life dealing with his family's past through his writing. Whilst The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables get all the notoriety, perhaps none of his works deal as - Click to read more

Into Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, Tarrytown, Westchester County, New York

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is perhaps America's best known and most loved ghost story, told by the first great American author, Washington Irving. The Gothic Cabinet of Curiosities and Mysteries traces the route of Ichabod Crane that fateful night, in modern-day Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

An excerpt from Return to Sleepy Hollow. Click here to read the full essay.