I Came Back Haunted! Don’t Miss Stories #1, #2, #3 AND #4! in Our New Rare/Vintage Ghost Story Anthology! You have to read these!

FINALCOVERDon’t forget to read my new ghost story anthology! FOUR stories have already been posted…these are rare vintage stories by lesser-known but very high quality writers. They are among the creepiest oddly haunting stories I have ever encountered, and that’s saying a lot.

Sanguine Woods Books(sm) will be offering a full ebook in late fall 2017 that will include along with these stories, a handful of new ghost stories written in that old-fashioned vein by some of the great modern writers of ghostly fiction.

So stay tuned! And, thank you so much for your support!

Click here to read Story #1 “How Love Came to Professor Guildea” by Robert Smythe Hichens, 1900…

Click here to read Story #2 “What Did Miss Darrington See?” by Emma B. Cobb, 1881…

Click here to read Story #3 “The Woman at Seven Brothers” by Wilbur Daniel Steele, 1888…

Click here to read Story #4 “The Lianhan Shee” by Will Carleton, 1830…

We Came Back Haunted: An Essay on the Ghostly by Ernest Rhys (1921)

We Came Back Haunted

Ernest Rhys, 1921


In my recent Ghost Book (The Haunters and the Haunted,1921), M. Larigot, himself a writer of supernatural tales, collected a remarkable batch of documents, fictive or real, describing the one human experience that is hardest to make good. Perhaps the very difficulty of it has rendered it more tempting to the writers who have dealt with the subject. His collection, notably varied and artfully chosen as it is, yet by no means exhausts the literature, which fills a place apart with its own recognised classics, magic masters, and dealers in the occult. Their testimony serves to show that the forms by which men and women are haunted are far more diverse and subtle than we knew. So much so, that one begins to wonder at last if every person is not liable to be “possessed.” For, lurking under the seeming identity of these visitations, the dramatic differences of their entrances and appearances, night and day, are so marked as to suggest that the experience is, given the fit temperament and occasion, inevitable.

One would even be disposed, accepting this idea, to bring into the account, as valid, stories and pieces of literature not usually accounted part of the ghostly canon. There are the novels and tales whose argument is the tragedy of a haunted mind. Such are Dickens’ Haunted Man, in which the ghost is memory; Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, in which the ghost is cruel conscience; and Balzac’s Quest of the Absolute, in which the old Flemish house of Balthasar Claes, in the Rue de Paris at Douai, is haunted by a dæmon more potent than that of Canidia. One might add some of Balzac’s shorter stories, among them “The Elixir”; and some of Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales, including “Edward Randolph’s Portrait.” On the French side we might note too that terrible graveyard tale of Guy de Maupassant, La Morte, in which the lover who has lost his beloved keeps vigil at her grave by night in his despair, and sees—dreadful resurrection—“que toutes les tombes étaient ouvertes, et tous les cadavres en étaient sortis.” And why? That they might efface the lying legends inscribed on their tombs, and replace them with the actual truth. Villiers de l’Isle Adam has in his Contes Cruels given us the strange story of Véra, which may be read as a companion study to La Morte, with another recall from the dead to end a lover’s obsession. Nature and supernature cross in de l’Isle Adam’s mystical drama Axël—a play which will never hold the stage, masterly attempt as it is to dramatise the inexplainable mystery.

Among later tales ought to be reckoned Edith Wharton’s Tales of Men GHSTSGRBXN1937and Ghosts, and Henry James’s The Two Magics, whose “Turn of the Screw” gives us new instances of the evil genii that haunt mortals, in this case two innocent children. One remembers sundry folk-tales with the same motive—of children bewitched or forespoken—inspiring them. And an old charm in Orkney which used to run:

“Father, Son, Holy Ghost!
Bitten sall they be,
Bairn, wha have bitten thee!
Care to their black vein,
Till thou hast thy health again!
Mend thou in God’s name!”

Continue reading

Rue Morgue #176! Are You Reading It?




TWILIGHT OF THE GODS Series creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green bring Neil Gaiman’s American Gods to network television. Plus: Vincenzo Natali on directing Crispin Glover, Dark Horse’s American Gods comic and a look back at Gaiman’s novel. By Andrea Subissati, Pedro Cabezuelo and Jess Peacock

THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOWMAN The life and legacy of cultural boogeyman Anton Szandor LaVey on the 20th anniversary of his death. Plus: the occult in fashion and a few words with 3teeth frontman Lex. By Sean Plummer, Benoit Black and Andrea Subissati

THE WONDER FEARS The Watcher in the Woods director John Hough takes us back to the Disney movie that traumatized a generation of tots. Plus: a look at Disney’s dark side. By Amy Seidman and Paul Corup

CHAINSAW AND DAVE’S CLASS REUNION Summer School’s lovable gorehounds celebrate 30 years of the characters who made being a horror fan cool. Plus: a dossier of horror devotees. By Jeff Szpirglas and Tal Zimerman


NOTE FROM UNDERGROUND Andrea says hello.

POST-MORTEM Letters from fans, readers and weirdos

DREADLINES News highlights, horror happenings

THE CORONER’S REPORT Weird stats, morbid facts and more

NEEDFUL THINGS Strange trinkets from our bazaar of the bizarre

CINEMACABRE The latest films, the newest DVDs and reissues feat. The Void


BOWEN’S BASEMENT The Horror of Party Beach

BLOOD IN FOUR COLOURS Comics feat. Not Drunk Enough

THE NINTH CIRCLE Book reviews feat. John Cornell’s Chalk

THE FRIGHT GALLERY The spooky works of Eric Millen

THE GORE-MET Human Pork Chop and Dr. Lamb

AUDIO DROME Music reviews feat. new album from Ghoultown

PLAY DEAD Game reviews feat. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

CLASSIC CUT The Cat and the Canary

Source and Buying Info:


“The Fascination of the Ghost Story” by Arthur B. Reeve, 1919


The Fascination of the Ghost Story

An Essay by Arthur B. Reeve, 1919

What is the fascination we feel for the mystery of the ghost story?

Is it of the same nature as the fascination which we feel for the mystery of the detective story?

Of the latter fascination, the late Paul Armstrong used to say that it was because we are all as full of crime as Sing Sing–only we don’t dare.

Thus, may I ask, are we not fascinated by the ghost story because, no matter what may be the scientific or skeptical bent of our minds, in our inmost souls, secretly perhaps, we are as full of superstition as an obeah man–only we don’t let it loose?

Who shall say that he is able to fling off lightly the inheritance of countless ages of superstition? Is there not a streak of superstition in us all? We laugh at the voodoo worshiper–then create our own hoodooes, our pet obsessions.

It has been said that man is incurably religious, that if all religions were blotted out, man would create a new religion.

Man is incurably fascinated by the mysterious. If all the ghost stories of the ages were blotted out, man would invent new ones.

For, do we not all stand in awe of that which we cannot explain, of that which, if it be not in our own experience, is certainly recorded in the experience of others, of that of which we know and can know nothing?

Although one may be of the occult, he must needs be interested in things that others believe to be objective–that certainly are subjectively very real to them.

Continue reading

“The Psychic in Literature” by Dorothy Scarborough, PhD, 1920


The Psychic in Literature

Dorothy Scarborough, PhD

War, that relentless disturber of boundaries and of traditions in a spiritual as well as a material sense, has brought a tremendous revival of interest in the life after death and the possibility of communication between the living and the dead. As France became nearer to millions over here because our soldiers lived there for a few months, as French soil will forever be holy ground because our dead rest there, so the far country of the soul likewise seems nearer because of those young adventurers. The conflict which changed the map of Europe has in the minds of many effaced the boundaries between this world and the world beyond. Winifred Kirkland, in her book, The New Death, discusses the new concept of death, and the change in our standards that it is making. “We are used to speaking of this or that friend’s philosophy of life; the time has now come when every one of us who is to live at peace with his own brain must possess also a philosophy of death.” This New Death, she says, is so far mainly an immense yearning receptivity, an unprecedented humility of brain and of heart toward all implications of survival. She believes that it is an influence which is entering the lives of the people as a whole, not a movement of the intellectuals, nor the result of psychical research propaganda, but arising from the simple, elemental emotions of the soul, from human love and longing for reassurance of continued life.

“If a man die, shall he live again?” has been propounded ever since Job’s agonized inquiry. Now numbers are asking in addition, “Can we have communication with the dead?” Science, long derisive, is sympathetic to the questioning, and while many believe and many doubt, the subject is one that interests more people than ever before. Professor James Hyslop, Secretary of the American Society for Psychical Research, believes that the war has had great influence in arousing new interest in psychical subjects and that tremendous spiritual discoveries may come from it.

Literature, always a little ahead of life, or at least in advance of general thinking, has in the more recent years been acutely conscious of this new influence. Poetry, the drama, the novel, the short story, have given affirmative answer to the question of the soul’s survival after death. No other element has so largely entered into the tissue of recent literature as has the supernatural, which now we meet in all forms in the writings of all lands. And no aspect of the ghostly art is more impressive or more widely used than the introduction of the spirit of the dead seeking to manifest itself to the living. No thoughtful person can fail to be interested in a theme which has so affected literature as has the ghostly, even though he may disbelieve what the Psychical Researchers hold to be established.

Continue reading

Vintage “Horror Lit”: The Supernatural in Modern Literature by Dr. Dorothy Scarborough, 1927


Table of Contents

I • The Gothic Romance, 6Untitled

II • Later Influences, 54

III • Modern Ghosts, 81

IV • The Devil and His Allies, 130

V • Supernatural Life, 174

VI • The Supernatural in Folk Tales, 242

VII • Supernatural Science, 251

VIII • Conclusion, 281

ghost-stories-famous-modern-ghost-stories_-humorous-ghost-stories_-the-supernatural-in-modern-fiction_7040348About Dr. Scarborough

Dorothy Scarborough, PhD was a professor of English, a novelist, and a respected folklorist. She called herself a “song catcher.” She believed radio threatened the survival of folk songs, and she traveled around the Appalachian Mountains recording centuries-old ballads with a hand-powered Dictaphone. She collected as many of these songs as she could before those who sang them died¹. Scarborough believed these folksongs told stories about a community’s values and its collective history.

Novelist, folklorist, a catcher of songs, this conscientious, brilliant woman has left a legacy of great literary value; but, perhaps, her most enduring and valuable work, was her work recording the oral history of songs from America’s regional cultures and, in doing so, preserving the creative expressions of ordinary people from times past.


Is There Really a Portal to Hell?

the-path-towards-a-portal-to-hellEditor: Woody Dexter. Photo credit: flickr/steviesteves. Text source: TheLineUp.

“What I am about to share is more real than any of the haunted stories you might hear – it’s much worse! Some might say that it was a hallucination, others might say that I’m insane. Maybe it’s both, but it did happen. I nearly didn’t share this story as I’m concerned about the effects it may have on those who may ever find themselves in the same position I was. But, I know it will serve to help them, should that be the case.

So, here goes…

Having isolated myself from friends and family after losing a job many years ago, I morphed into an angry woman. Slowly and surely, I descended into a mental state where fury and hatred colored all my interactions with other people.

It started when I had another argument with my neighbor, during which I ‘blew my stack’ and swore I’d ‘deal’ with him. I had become very threatening without a hint of remorse. I felt like I’d been possessed by a demon. I’m usually quite mild mannered. So I left the house after the argument to take a ‘cooling off’ walk.

There’s a greenway close to where we live; and soon I was trodding along its path, fuming and storming, swearing all sorts of negativity into the air. I was angry and self-focused, that I failed to notice that the path, which gradually curved at a point that I was coming to, in fact didn’t curve there as it should have. I just get going straight following what must have been some kind of hallucination—ater all I was asking for it, the way I was carrying on so preoccupied with venomous hate.

Every step filled my mind with obsessive, murderous thoughts—like I was forming a mental ‘hit-list’ about who I wanted to destroy. That’s some powerful juju. And I wish now that I had known better that day.

I went walking along in my own little cyclone, watching my feet stomp on the dirt path, when I suddenly looked up. Straight ahead of me, something seemed to be burning. Out of curiousity, I assume, I slowed, but kept walking, squinting my eyes in disbelief.

I know there will be skeptics, but what I saw was a round burning opening at the ‘end’ of the path (where no end should be). I stopped. I could feel the devastating heat spewing out of this fiery portal, and I shielded my eyes from it with my arm. It was like a hole in the air, and it was on fire—no doubt about that. It was a perfect hellish circle!

I should have stopped, turned, and run the other way. Or stay still out of shock if nothing else. Wasn’t it just the sun setting through the treeline at the end of the path? I wasn’t myself though, as I ave already mentioned, and my anger and hate felt more and more like apathy and I remember feeling as though I was slipping out of reality and into some horrifying trance. My dark mind propelled me forward. It was like being drawn into the pit of Hell; it was so hot that I felt the sweat beading on and dripping own my forehead and back. Just then, images of torture, horror and murder began to fill my head in ways I do not think I was capable of imaging. And that scared me. I tried to block them out, but I felt drugged.

As I got closer, I could see actual balls of fire being flung from out of the portal, one of them landing only a couple yards in front of me. When it landed, it moved, like it was standing up, and growing, a flame at first that quickly formed into a hideous shape! I have heard of demons before, since I had been a child, since we had been avid church-goers. Whatever this was, it seemed to be waving me TOWARD it, encouraging me to keep going, moving its way closer and closer to the burning portal. I could even see it leaping from the ground and twisting its flaming face into a look of sheer glee, when I noticed I was moving toward it! And I couldn’t stop this time!

Getting closer to the fiery circle, I began seeing the detailed, horrific images in my mind of all the people on which I had wanted to inflict serious pain and suffering. I saw one neighbor scream in terror as flames consumed him. And my boss crying and writhing on the office floor in torturous agony. Laughing like a madwoman, I watched as all the people that had done me wrong in my life were picked off one by one – and destroyed in flames.

I could feel my slathering mouth hanging agape at all the hellish imagery and my hands rubbing together excitedly. I looked into the portal and felt the blistering heat on my face as millions of screaming souls echoed within what sounded like a giant cavern. Then, I saw a face there in the fire. It was the face of my mother. She was crying, calling out for me by name; she was pleading with me to turn the other way, to get away before I, too, was dragged into the infernal void.

Everything became crystal clear to me. I tried to pull away, but I felt burning hands pushing me forward from behind, and pulling me from inside the portal. A voice that sounded monstrous, warbled, like more than one voice being played simultaneously, but each on a different tapeplayer: ‘YOU WILL ENTER.’ it said. And it repeated those three words multiple times. Just before everything went dark I swear I saw the most horrifying face I’d ever seen. In my gut, I knew whose face it had been. I will never forget the sound of the laughter surrounding those last couple moments. And that face, charred dark as ash.

I must have lost consciousness. I didn’t know how long I had been laying there on the dirt path, when a fellow walker, found me. I screamed to the heavens, pleading for help and forgiveness! I promised to change my ways! The walker looked at me win disbelief. Thirty minutes later, I was back home, resting thanks to that kindhearted neighbor. I knew that I had to make amends and forgive those who trespassed and hurt me. And so I started with her.

Later that night, I had a dream. I saw everyone that I had seen burning in those horrid day-nightmares before the burning hole (which, ironically was never seen by another, and never appeared to me again) now covered in light. I saw light lift them up and out of my murderous thoughts, as out of deep, dark wells in the earth. And when they were gone, I felt a coolness spread through me.

You can, of course, believe what you choose to believe. When I came to, I, however, realized that I had just barely escaped a living hell—of my own making perhaps; but a hell nonetheless; and instead of succumbing, I was granted grace…a Heavenly reprieve; and realizing the sheer terror and mercy involved in the experience, I lay there in the darkness of my bedroom, weeping tears of joy.”

– Anonymous