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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

M.R. James nearly always appears at the top of the lists for the best gothic horror story authors, and for good reasons. His Ghost Stories of an Antiquarian (1904) is perhaps one of the best collections of spine tingling short stories ever written.  + + + Everyone who has travelled over Eastern England knows the - Click to read more

Snowfield by Cate Davies. Click to order a print of this image Now I remember those old women's words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter's tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts that glide by night Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (1589) “It always is Christmas Eve, in a ghost story.” Jerome K. Jerome - Click to read more

Algernon Blackwood (14 March 1869 – 10 December 1951) wrote more ghost stories than about anyone else, and more great ones as well. A novelist known just as much for his horrific short stories, this Londoner had the heart of a mystic. He wrote in a letter to a friend "My fundamental interest, I suppose - Click to read more

Winter Wings, by Cate Davies. To view larger or to purchase a print of this image, click here An unusual gothic horror story, written in 1912 and set in the sunlight rather than the dark and taking place on the day before Christmas. A tale of looking back and the healing power of Christmas. A - Click to read more

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