Tales from a Talking Board, a Horror Story Anthology, ed. by Ross E. Lockhart, Word Horde, 2017: Introduction & TOC

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Cover Art & Design by Yves Tourigny.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.”

— Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verses 10–12, Holy Bible (New International Version)

“Ages 8 to Adult.”

— Ouija board packaging, 1972

Table of Contents

  • Other books by Ross E. Lockhart
  • Full Title Page
  • Frontmatter
  • Dedication
  • Epigram
  • A Brief History of Talking Boards – Ross E. Lockhart
  • “YesNoGoodbye” – Kristi DeMeester
  • The Devil and the Bugle Boys – J. M. McDermott
  • Weegee Weegee, Tell Me Do – Anya Martin
  • When The Evil Days Come Not – Nathan Carson
  • Grief – Tiffany Scandal
  • Spin the Throttle – David James Keaton
  • Pins – S.P. Miskowski
  • Deep into the skin – Matthew M. Bartlett
  • The Burnt Sugar Stench – Wendy N. Wagner
  • Worse than Demons – Scott R Jones
  • The Empress and the Three of Swords – Amber-Rose Reed
  • Questions and Answers – David Templeton
  • Haruspicate or Scry – Orrin Grey
  • May You Live In Interesting Times – Nadia Bulkin
  • Copyright Acknowledgments
  • About the Editor

Introduction: A Brief History of Talking Boards by Ross E. Lockhart

Not long before the Civil War, a movement swept across the United States, one that held the belief that not only did the soul continue to exist after the death of the body, but that these souls, these spirits, could be communicated with, and could impart wisdom, warnings, and pathways to better connect the living with a supernatural, infinite intelligence. This movement, known as Spiritualism, flourished, boasting nearly eight million followers worldwide by the turn of the twentieth century, despite holding no central doctrine, no canonical texts, and no formal organization. Initially appearing in upstate New York, birthplace of religious movements such as Millerism, Adventism, and Mormonism, Spiritualism boasted its celebrities—the Fox Sisters, Cora L. V. Scott, Achsa W. Sprague, and Paschal Beverly Randolph, to name a few—but a big part of its appeal was its promise to put the power of spirit communication into the hands of its adherents. Advancing technology and American entrepreneurial spirit intervened, and complex divinatory systems like spirit cabinets, table turnings, and alphabetical knockings soon gave way to simpler, more foolproof methods. First came the planchette in 1853, a “little plank” of heart-shaped wood with a pencil incorporated, a means of channeling spirits through automatic writing.

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The Darker Side, Generations of Horror, an Anthology ed. by John Pelan, 2002

BC1C2641-E2E8-4182-8B36-BF85C346C980Table of Contents

  1. Do You See What I Fear • short story by Edo van Belkom
  2. Demon Me • short story by Simon Clark
  3. Spirits of the Flesh • short story by Seth Lindberg
  4. The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair • short story by Tom Piccirilli
  5. Pull • short story by Brian Hodge
  6. Mamishka and the Sorcerer • short story by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
  7. Pets • short story by James S. Dorr
  8. The Lamb • short story by Paul Finch
  9. The Mannerly Man • short story by Mehitobel Wilson
  10. Just Someone Her Mother Might
  11. Know • short story by Michelle Scalise
  12. The Ocean • short story by Poppy Z. Brite
  13. The Origin • (2001) • short story by David B. Silva
  14. After the Flood • short story by Joel Lane
  15. The Night City • short story by W. H. Pugmire and Chad Hensley [as by Wilum Pugmire and Chad Hensley]
  16. The Plague Species • short story by Charlee Jacob
  17. Ten Bucks Says You Won’t • short story by Richard Laymon
  18. Armies of the Night • short story by John Pelan
  19. Unspeakable • (2002) • short story by Lucy Taylor
  20. Standing Water • short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan [as by Caitlín Kiernan]
  21. Grave Song • (2001) • short story by Brian A. Hopkins and Richard Wright
  22. Twenty Mile • [Cassie Barrett] • short story by Ann K. Schwader
  23. All the World’s a Stage • (2001) • short story by Brian Keene
  24. What God Hath Wrought • short story by Randy D. Ashburn
  25. We’re All Bozos on This Bus • short story by Peter Crowther
  26. The Whirling Man • short story by David Niall Wilson
  27. Asian Gothic • short story by Shikhar Dixit
  28. Hell Came Down • short story by Tim Lebbon

Shadows Over Baker Street, New Tales of Terror! as Sherlock Holmes Enters the Nightmare World of H. P. Lovecraft, ed. by Michael Reaves and John Pelan, 2003

C7BE17F3-B3D8-44C5-86C8-423E3C06160FTable of Contents

xi • Introduction (Shadows Over Baker Street) • essay by John Pelan and Michael Reaves
1 • A Study in Emerald • novelette by Neil Gaiman
25 • Tiger! Tiger! • short story by Elizabeth Bear
48 • The Case of the Wavy Black Dagger • short story by Steve Perry
60 • A Case of Royal Blood • novelette by Steven-Elliot Altman
94 • The Weeping Masks • novelette by James Lowder
116 • Art in the Blood • novelette by Brian Stableford
138 • The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone • short story by Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson
158 • The Adventure of the Antiquarian’s Niece • novelette by Barbara Hambly
189 • The Mystery of the Worm • short story by John Pelan
205 • The Mystery of the Hanged Man’s Puzzle • novelette by Paul Finch
243 • The Horror of the Many Faces • novelette by Tim Lebbon
268 • The Adventure of the Arab’s Manuscript • novelette by Michael Reaves
295 • The Drowned Geologist • short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan
313 • A Case of Insomnia • novelette by John P. Vourlis
342 • The Adventure of the Voorish Sign • novelette by Richard A. Lupoff
372 • The Adventure of Exham Priory • short story by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
392 • Death Did Not Become Him • novelette by David Niall Wilson and Patricia Lee Macomber
420 • Nightmare in Wax • short story by Simon Clark
439 • Contributors (Shadows Over Baker Street) • essay by Michael Reaves and John Pelan

The Best Horror Short Stories 1800 – 1849, A Classic Horror Anthology, ed. by Andrew Barger, 2010

AD6AE112-2A5C-41C6-B01D-E9BC93066E91Table of Contents

A Long List of Shorts • essay by Andrew Barger
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar • (1845) • short story by Edgar Allan Poe
The Severed Hand • [Die Karawane / The Caravan] • (1888) • short story by Wilhelm Hauff (trans. of Die Geschichte von der abgehauenen Hand 1825)
The Thunder-Struck and the Boxer • (1832) • novelette by Samuel Warren
The Deserted House • (1817) • short fiction by E. T. A. Hoffmann (trans. of Das öde Haus) [as by Ernst T. A. Hoffmann]
The Tell-Tale Heart • (1843) • short story by Edgar Allan Poe
El Verdugo • non-genre • (1900) • short story by Honoré de Balzac (trans. of El Verdugo 1830)
The Minister’s Black Veil • (1836) • short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne (variant of The Minister’s Black Veil: A Parable)
The Pit and the Pendulum • (1842) • short story by Edgar Allan Poe
The Mysterious Mansion • non-genre • (1934) • short story by Honoré de Balzac (trans. of La Grande Bretèche 1832)
The Fall of the House of Usher • (1839) • novelette by Edgar Allan Poe
The Old Man’s Tale About the Queer Client • (1836) • short fiction by Charles Dickens
The Lighthouse • (1826) • short fiction by George Soane

Forgotten Ghost Stories: The Mystery of the Dancing Coffins…A True Story by Robert W. Sneddon, 1926


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The Night Wind Howls a Vintage Creepy Story Collection by Frederick Cowles

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“When the night wind howls in the chimney cowls, and the bat in the moonlight flies And inky clouds, like funeral shrouds, sail over the midnight skies— When the footpads quail at the night-bird’s wail, and black dogs bay at the moon, Then is the spectres’ holiday—then is the ghosts’ high-noon…”

– Sir W. S. Gilbert

Table of Contents

  1. Rendezvous
  2. The House of the Dancer
  3. Wood Magic
  4. Twisted Face
  5. June Morning
  6. The Witch-Finder
  7. The Florentine Mirror
  8. The Vampire of Kaldenstein
  9. Lavender Love
  10. The Mask of Death
  11. King of Hearts
  12. Voodoo
  13. The Little Saint of Hell
  14. Confession
  15. The Lamasery of Beloved Dreams
  16. The Cadaver of Bishop Louis
  17. Out of the Darkness
  18. The Lover of the Dead
  19. The Caretaker
  20. Gypsy Violin
  21. Death in the Well
  22. <spRetribution
  23. Lady of Lyonnesse
  24. Rats

“The Upper Berth” — A Creepy Ghost Story by F. Marion Crawford

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I

Somebody asked for the cigars. We had talked long, and the conversation was beginning to languish; the tobacco smoke had got into the heavy curtains, the wine had got into those brains which were liable to become heavy, and it was already perfectly evident that, unless somebody did something to rouse our oppressed spirits, the meeting would soon come to its natural conclusion, and we, the guests, would speedily go home to bed, and most certainly to sleep. No one had said anything very remarkable; it may be that no one had anything very remarkable to say. Jones had given us every particular of his last hunting adventure in Yorkshire. Mr. Tompkins, of Boston, had explained at elaborate length those working principles, by the due and careful maintenance of which the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad not only extended its territory, increased its departmental influence, and transported live stock without starving them to death before the day of actual delivery, but, also, had for years succeeded in deceiving those passengers who bought its tickets into the fallacious belief that the corporation aforesaid was really able to transport human life without destroying it. Signer Tombola had endeavoured to persuade us, by arguments which we took no trouble to oppose, that the unity of his country in no way resembled the average modern torpedo, carefully planned, constructed with all the skill of the greatest European arsenals, but, when constructed, destined to be directed by feeble hands into a region where it must undoubtedly explode, unseen, unfeared, and unheard, into the illimitable wastes of political chaos.

It is unnecessary to go into further details. The conversation had assumed proportions which would have bored Prometheus on his rock, which would have driven Tantalus to distraction, and which would have impelled Ixion to seek relaxation in the simple but instructive dialogues of Herr Ollendorff, rather than submit to the greater evil of listening to our talk. We had sat at table for hours; we were bored, we were tired, and nobody showed signs of moving.

Somebody called for cigars. We all instinctively looked towards the speaker. Brisbane was a man of five-and-thirty years of age, and remarkable for those gifts which chiefly attract the attention of men. He was a strong man. The external proportions of his figure presented nothing extraordinary to the common eye, though his size was above the average. He was a little over six feet in height, and moderately broad in the shoulder; he did not appear to be stout, but, on the other hand, he was certainly not thin; his small head was supported by a strong and sinewy neck; his broad, muscular hands appeared to possess a peculiar skill in breaking walnuts without the assistance of the ordinary cracker, and, seeing him in profile, one could not help remarking the extraordinary breadth of his sleeves, and the unusual thickness of his chest. He was one of those men who are commonly spoken of among men as deceptive; that is to say, that though he looked exceedingly strong he was in reality very much stronger than he looked. Of his features I need say little. His head is small, his hair is thin, his eyes are blue, his nose is large, he has a small moustache, and a square jaw. Everybody knows Brisbane, and when he asked for a cigar everybody looked at him.

“It is a very singular thing,” said Brisbane.

Everybody stopped talking. Brisbane’s voice was not loud, but possessed a peculiar quality of penetrating general conversation, and cutting it like a knife. Everybody listened. Brisbane, perceiving that he had attracted their general attention, lit his cigar with great equanimity.

“It is very singular,” he continued, “that thing about ghosts. People are always asking whether anybody has seen a ghost. I have.”

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