Gothic Short Stories

Edited by David Blair.

Gothic Short Stories is an anthology of short horror stories by writers from the UK and America published from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. The stories have all the usual hallmarks of the genre – dark and stormy nights; ruined castles; babes in peril; the odd monk or two; insanity; suicides; haunted rooms; and demons. Authors in the collection include Edgar Allan Poe (whose story, Berenice, ends with a grave being desecrated and the corpse having its teeth removed; Stay away from strong coffee, Edgar!), Charles Dickens (an extract from The Pickwick Papers), Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson (a tale based on the infamous body snatchers, Burke and Hare), Ambrose Bierce, Sheridan le Fanu, and Elizabeth Gaskell (creepy child ghost which leads to the revelation of a dark family secret).

My next stop is the original Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole.

[24.07.14. Not the most useful review I’ve ever written. It’s probably a decent enough introduction to the genre, and after that, it’s a matter of avoiding too many repeats in other Gothic anthologies. There are probably too many stories in the book to comment on them individually, but I could perhaps have commented on one or two of them.]

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