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Hugh Lamb – Gaslit Nightmares II

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – Gaslit Nightmares II: Victorian & Edwardian Tales Of Terror (Futura, 1991)

Cover: Richard Jones

“Feel the finger of death caress your eyes”

Introduction – Hugh Lamb

Frank Frankfort Moore – The Strange Story Of Northavon Priory
William Hope Hodgson – A Tropical Horror
Lafcadio Hearn – Nightmare-Touch
E. R. Suffling – The Phantom Riders
Robert W. Chambers – Un Peu D’Amour
John C. Shannon – The Spirit Of The Fjord
S. Baring Gould – Mustapha
Alexandre Dumas – Marceau’s Prisoner
Bernard Capes – Dark Dignum
Bernard Capes – The Vanishing House
Perceval Gibbon – The King Of The Baboons
W. Bourne Cooke – The Woman With A Candle
Edward Lucas White – The Pig-Skin Belt
Raymund Allen – The Black Knight
Lewis Lister – The Terror By Night
Wirt Gerrare – The Dark Shadow
L. T. Meade & Robert Eustace – The Mystery Of The Felwyn Tunnel
Mrs. Molesworth – Old Gervais
Maurice Level – In The Light Of The Red Lamp
Maurice Level – The Test
Perceval Landon – Mrs. Rivers’s Journal
Jerome K. Jerome – The Woman Of The Saeter
S. Levett-Yates – The Devil’s Manuscript

Raymund Allen – The Black Knight: During the Indian mutiny, Colonel Bradshawe is taken prisoner and forced to play a game of chess with the chief, “the stakes, my life against a safe conduct to the English lines.” As if he’s not got enough to contend with, there’s a diabolical priest waging psychic warfare against him, forcing him to commit suicidal moves.

Lewis Lister – The Terror By Night: Maynard is fishing in a moorland stream. When he catches a tiny trout which expires before he can return it to the water, for reasons unbeknown to himself he builds a small pyre and sacrifices it to “the God of waste places.” Presently a girl on horseback, Lady Dorothy, approaches. She warns him of the local superstition that this is not a place to be wandering by night as it is haunted by a thing that hunts people to death. Maynard scoffs at the legend. When darkness falls, he finds himself pursued.

Maurice Level – In The Light Of The Red Lamp: “In the first shock of grief, you sometimes have exraordinary ideas … can you believe that I photographed her lying on her deathbed? I took my camera into the white, silent room, and lit the magnesium wire. Yes, overwhelmed as I was with grief, I did with the most scrupulous precaution and care things from which I should shrink today, revolting things … yet it is a great consolation to know she is there, that I shall be able to see her again as she looked that last day.”
Now, six months after his beloved’s death, accompanied by the narrator he prepares to develop the photographs of the dead woman. Slowly the images appear – and a horrible tragedy is revealed.

Maurice Level – The Test:Bourdin is accused of stabbing a woman to death. The magistrates have him view the corpse in an effort to break him, but he maintains his innocent. It seems he’ll get away with it until the spectacular intervention of a bluebottle …

W. Bourne Cooke – The Woman With A Candle: Autumn 1900, Knelby village. The narrator encounters an aged sexton who tells him about the haunting of the rectory, “by an old and ghastly woman … who walks the house at dead of night with a lighted candle in her hand”. In his youth the sexton had a dreadful encounter with the spectre, who led him to the skeleton of a local M beauty.

S. Levett-Yeats – The Devil’s Manuscript: John Brown, a ruined publisher, is visited by M. de Bac, a mysterious figure who knows all of Brown’s most dreadful secrets. He presents him with enough money to save his business, preventing a huge scandal. In return he wishes him to publish an excellent – if immoral – collection, The Yellow Dragon, obviously best-seller material. de Bac leaves the mark of a trident on Brown’s arm and promises him undreamt of success for the next ten years, after which time he must be prepared to join his patron on a journey.

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