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Hugh Lamb – Victorian Nightmares

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – Victorian Nightmares (W.H. Allen, 1977, Coronet, 1980)


Bob Haberfield

H. B. Marriott-Watson – The Devil of the Marsh
G. R. Sims – A Tragic Honeymoon
Morgan Robertson – The Battle of the Monsters
R. Murray Gilchrist – The Return
Dick Donovan – The Corpse Light
Frank Norris – The Ship That Saw a Ghost
Ambrose Bierce – A Bottomless Grave
Ambrose Bierce – One Summer Night
J. K. Bangs – Ghosts That Have Haunted Me
George Mandeville Fenn – Haunted by Spirits
J. Keightley Snowdon – A Ghost Slayer
Guy de Maupassant – The Tomb
Rhoda Broughton – The Man with the Nose
Dorothea Gerard – My Nightmare
Georgina C. Clark – A Life-watch
Richard Marsh – The Haunted Chair
W. Carlton Dawe – Coolies
Erckmann-Chatrian – The Three Souls
Guy Boothby – A Strange Goldfield
Robert Barr – An Alpine Divorce
E. and H. Heron – The Story of Baelbrow

H. B. Marriott-Watson – The Devil of the Marsh: The narrator keeps his late night tryst with the beautiful lady of the marsh. Through the mist, he glimpses his predecessor, a skeletal, toad-like thing that once was a man before she drained the life from him. But still he wants her. It is only after he’s watched his beloved gloatingly drown the wretch in the swamp that he comes to his senses.

G. R. Sims – A Tragic Honeymoon : When he learns that the woman he loves is to marry another, the young man books a room in the London hotel where she and her husband will stay the night before setting off on honeymoon. Then he slits his throat. By chance, the happy couple are in the room below when his blood starts seeping through the ceiling …

Guy de Maupassant – The Tomb: Courbataille, a young lawyer, is apprehended in Bezier’s cemetery one night as he removes his lover’s corpse from her grave. Before an initially hostile court he tells how his anguish at never being able to see the beautiful twenty-year old again had driven him to it. Then he describes the condition of the rotting body he held in his arms …

Ambrose Bierce – One Summer Night: Henry Armstrong is a victim of premature burial. Lucky for him, within hours of being planted in the soil, two medical students hire big negro Jess the cemetery caretaker to dig him up to furnish their dissecting table. On second thoughts, maybe “lucky” isn’t the right word …

Robert Barr – An Alpine Divorce: John Bodman and his wife are united in mutual loathing. He resolves to murder her, and books a vacation in the Swiss Alps with this in mind. He leads her up on Hanging Outlook and “a sheer drop of a mile straight down, and at the distant bottom … ragged rocks.” Mrs. Bodman has already guessed his intentions and has a nasty counter-revenge lined up for him.

E. and H. Heron – The Story of Baelbrow: Baelness, East Anglia. The Swaffams’ family mansion has been haunted for several generations. The present day owners are rather fond of their spook – until it turns malevolent and frightens a maid to death. Low discovers that the mansion was built on the site of an ancient barrow, and an evil spirit has animated a mummy brought home by one of the family. To make matters worse, the mummy displays classic vampire behaviour. Haunting terminated when Swaffam blows it’s face off and the remains are set alight and cast adrift in a canoe.

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