Mark Your Calendar–My new book is coming soon! The Greatest Ghost Stories Ever Told, Vol. I…Visit my publisher and show your support with a Like and a Follow!

Here it is, friends and fellow readers and lovers of all things ghostly! News Release for my new anthology of rare  ghost stories with notes, annotations, articles, and artwork—in addition to some of the most amazing ghost stories almost lost to history!

Pleas visit Wick Press, here, and show your support with a Like and a Follow, won’t you?
Thank you, friends.
🌱SW

https://wickpressblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/the-greatest-ghost-stories-ever-told-in-two-volumes-ed-sanguine-woods-volume-i-eta-december-2017/

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“Laying a Ghost”—A Vintage Short Story by George Manville Fenn, from The Strand Magazine, 1891

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(theepochtimes.com)

Laying a Ghost

George Manville Fenn, 1891

First appeared in The Strand Magazine, Vol. II, No. 10, July-December, 1891.

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“It is of no use for you to talk, Mary,” I said, quite angrily; “a professional man has no right to sit still taking his patients’ fees without constantly striving after higher knowledge for their benefit.”

“Of course not, dear,” said my wife, gently—by the way, she always does speak gently—”but you study too much.”

“Nonsense!”

“Indeed, dear, but you do. Your forehead is growing full of lines, and your hair is turning quite grey.”

“All the better. People do not like young-looking doctors.”

“But you do work too hard, dear.”

“Absurd! I feel as if I must be a mere idler, Mary; and at a time, too, when it seems as if medicine was quite at a stand. Surgery has made wonderful strides, but the physician is nowhere.”

“What nonsense, dear, when everybody says that you are the cleverest doctor for fifty miles round; and at such times I feel as if I could kiss the person who said so.”

“Everybody is a goose; and, goose or no, don’t you let me catch you kissing them. There, be off, little one, and let me get on with my work.”

“Work, work, always work,” she said, with a pretty pout of the lips which invited what they received, with the result that my happy young wife went out smiling whileI sat down to think.

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“The Red Chamber”—A Victorian Ghost Story by George Manville Fenn

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Art by Jake and Dino Chapman (Pinterest).

The Red Chamber

George Manville Fenn

From Christmas Penny Readings, Original Sketches for the Season by George Manville Fenn, 1867

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“…there is not a soul living within ten miles of this place, that would not give you a long account of the horrors of the Red Chamber: of spots of blood upon the bedclothes coming down in a regular rain; noises…shrieks and groans; skeletons or transparent bodies.”

“But what an out-of-the-way place to get to,” I said, after being most cordially received by my old school fellow and his wife, one bitter night after a long ride. “But you really are glad to see me, eh?”

“Now, hold your tongue, do,” cried Ned and his wife in a breath. “You won’t get away again under a month, so don’t think it. But where we are going to put you I don’t know,” said Ned.

“Oh I can sleep anywhere, chairs, table, anything you like; only make me welcome. Fine old house this seems, but however came you to take it?”

“Got it cheap, my boy. Been shut up for twenty years. It’s haunted, and no one will live in it. But I have it full for this Christmas, at all events, and what’s more I have some potent spirits in the place too, but they are all corked down tightly, so there is no fear at present. But I say, Lilly,” cried Ned, addressing his wife, “why we shall have to go into the haunted room and give him our place.”

“That you won’t,” I said. “I came down here on purpose to take you by surprise, and to beg for a snack of dinner on Christmas-day; and now you are going to give me about the greatest treat possible, a bed in a haunted room. What kind of a ghost is it?”

“You mustn’t laugh,” said Ned, trying to appear very serious; “for there is not a soul living within ten miles of this place, that would not give you a long account of the horrors of the Red Chamber: of spots of blood upon the bedclothes coming down in a regular rain; noises; clashing of swords; shrieks and groans; skeletons or transparent bodies. Oh, my dear fellow, you needn’t grin, for it’s all gospel truth about here, and if we did not keep that room screwed up, not a servant would stay in the house.”

“Wish I could buy it and take it away,” I said.

“I wish you could, indeed,” cried Ned, cordially.

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“Reality or Delusion?”–A Victorian Ghost Story by “Johnny Ludlow” (Mrs. Henry Wood), 1868

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Art by Fred LeBlanc (Pinterest).

Reality or Delusion?

“Johnny Ludlow”, 1868*

Edited by Sanguine Woods, 2018
First appeared in The Argosy (UK) in December 1868**

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People like ghost stories at Christmas, so I’ll tell one. It is every word true. And I don’t mind confessing that for ages afterwards some of us did not care to pass the place alone at night.

We were staying at Crabb Cot. Lena had been ailing during the Autumn, and in October Mrs. Todhetley proposed to the Squire that they should remove her there for a change. Which was done.

The Worcestershire people call North Crabb a village; but one might count the houses in it, little and great, and not find four-and-twenty. South Crabb, half a mile off, is larger; but the church and school are at North Crabb. And I need not have mentioned South Crabb at all, for what there is to tell has nothing to do with it.

John Ferrar had been employed by Squire Todhetley as a kind of over-looker of the estate, or working bailiff. He had died the previous winter; leaving nothing behind him except some debts, for he was not provident, and his handsome son Daniel. Daniel Ferrar disliked work: he used to make a show of helping his father, but it came to little. Old Ferrar had not put him to any trade or particular occupation; and Daniel, who was as proud as Lucifer, would not turn to it himself. He liked to be a gentleman. All he did now was to work in his garden, and feed his fowls, ducks, rabbits, and pigeons, of which he kept a great quantity, selling them to the good houses and sending them to market.

But, as everybody said, poultry would not maintain him. Mrs. Lease, in the pretty cottage hard by, grew tired of saying it. He used to run in and out of there at will since he was a boy, and was now engaged to be married to Maria. She would have a little money, and the Leases were respected in North Crabb. People began to whisper a query as to how Ferrar got his corn for the poultry; he was not known to buy much; and he would have to go out of his house at Christmas, for the owner of it, Mr. Coney, had given him notice. Mrs. Lease, anxious about Maria’s prospects, asked him what he intended to do then, and he answered, “Make his fortune: he should begin to do it as soon as he could turn himself round.” But the time had gone on, and the turning round seemed to be as far off as ever.

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Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories—A Fascinating New Book of Stories by World Fantasy Award-Winning Author, Kelley Barnhill—A Must-Read!

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I just started this book and I am amazed at its quality and style, intelligence, and sophisticated sense of humor. I love the first story, “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch”, so much, I had to say now: this story alone is worth the price of the book! So go, quick, buy it! 😊

Stories, good short stories with wit and creativity, are hard to find nowadays. I have always seen them as the best fruit, way at the top of the highest trees. The lower stuff is OK. Some of it is very good, even. But, it’s the upper-most fruit that is the sweetest and the sustenance you will remember most often.

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Art by Chris Buzelli for Tor.com.

From “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch”…

The day she buried her husband—a good man, by all accounts, though shy, not given to drink or foolishness; not one for speeding tickets or illegal parking or cheating on his taxes; not one for carousing at the county fair, or tomcatting with the other men from the glass factory; which is to say, he was utterly unknown in town: a cipher; a cold, blank space—Agnes Sorensen arrived at the front steps of Our Lady of the Snows. The priest was waiting for her at the open door. The air was sweet and wet with autumn rot, and though it had rained earlier, the day was starting to brighten, and would surely be lovely in an hour or two. Mrs. Sorensen greeted the priest with a sad smile. She wore a smart black hat, sensible black shoes, and a black silk shirt belted into a slim crepe skirt. Two little white mice peeked out of her left breast pocket—two tiny shocks of fur with pink, quivering noses and red, red tongues.
The priest, an old fellow by the name of Laurence, took her hands and gave a gentle squeeze. He was surprised by the mice. The mice, on the other hand, were not at all surprised to see him. They inclined their noses a little farther over the lip of the shirt pocket, to get a better look. Their whiskers were as pale and bright as sunbeams. They looked at one another and turned in unison toward the face of the old priest. And though he knew it was impossible, it seemed to Father Laurence that the mice were smiling at him. He swallowed.
“Mrs. Sorensen,” he said, clearing his throat.
“Mmm?” she said, looking at her watch. She glanced over her shoulder and whistled. A very large dog rounded the tall hedge, followed by an almost-as-large raccoon and a perfectly tiny cat.
“We can’t—” but his voice failed him.
(2018, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

Read Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch, free, here, at Tor.com:

https://www.tor.com/2014/10/08/mrs-sorensen-and-the-sasquatch-kelly-barnhill/

I’m on Story 2 now: “Open the Door and the Light Pours Through”, and it’s wonderul, too! I’m very glad to have discovered Kelly Barnhill, and I was eager to share her with you. You’ll love the authoritative voice, the thoughtful prose, the lovely characterization. And damn is that a cool cover!

I love to support great writers. Won’t you join me?

Here is Barnhil’s website and her post re: Dreadful Young Ladies. Following that link, is some info on the author and an interview, story synopses, &tc.—oh, and where to buy the book.

Magical.

🌱

Read Kelly Barnhill’s post about the new book, via Oh. Right. I have a new book.


About the Author

Books Newbery Caldecott

Kelly Barnhill is an American author of children’s literature, fantasy, and science fiction. Her novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon was awarded the 2017 Newbery Medal. Barnhill has received writing fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board and was a 2015 McKnight Writing Fellow in Children’s Literature.

She is the winner of the Parents Choice Gold Award, the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet award, and a Charlotte Huck Honor. She also was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton Award and the PEN/USA literary prize. In 2016, her novella The Unlicensed Magician received the World Fantasy Award for Long Fiction.

In 2017, her novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon was awarded the John Newbery Medal by the American Library Association.

Barnhill’s books include The Unlicensed Magician, The Witch’s Boy, Iron-Hearted Violet, The Mostly True Story of Jack, and The Girl Who Drank The Moon, and several non-fiction titles for children.

Read more, here:

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Reblog: Naked As Nature Intended? Victorian Author & Spiritualist, Catherine Crowe in Edinburgh, 1854

You might call it parapsychology’s greatest mystery…

Did Catherine Crowe–the at-the-time sixty-something literary stalwart of the mid-nineteenth century, passionate advocate of the German ghost story, and author of that runaway best-seller The Night Side of Nature (London, 2 vols.: Newby, 1848)–really tear through the streets of Edinburgh toward the end of February 1854, naked but for a handkerchief clutched in one plump hand, and a visiting card in the other? And, if she did, was it because she had experienced a nervous breakdown, or because the spirits had convinced her that, once her clothes were shed, she would become invisible?

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Author & Spiritualist, Catherine Crowe in her only extant image (Public Domain).

Crowe’s name may not ring too many bells today, but a century and a half ago she was famous. Born in 1790, she was noted as a novelist (she wrote Susan Hopley, an intricately plotted crime procedural that was some way ahead of its time) and as a friend of the great and good (she knew Thackeray, Dickens and Charlotte Brontë, among many others). Nowadays, however, she is best remembered as a pioneer parapsychologist–“a hugely important figure in the emergence of modern ghost-seeing culture chiefly because of her relentless calls for society to turn its attention to the unexplained phenomena in its midst and investigate them in an objective manner.” [McCorristine p.10]

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Reblog: The Black Monk of Pontefract, Yorkshire—The True Story of England’s “Most Haunted” Poltergeist Incident!

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A decade before the world famous Amityville, New York, and Enfield, England poltergeist cases came to public attention, a little heard of, but acknowledged as Europe’s most violent haunting, took place in the town of Pontefract, Yorkshire.

Number 30 East Drive, on the Chequerfields Estate, East Yorkshire, stood on a corner at the top of a hill, close to what was once the site of the town gallows. Living at number 30 were Jean and Joe Pritchard; their son Philip, aged 15; and their daughter Diane, aged 12.

The poltergeist, later to become known as the Black Monk of Pontefract, began disturbing the Pritchard family in 1966 with a wide variety of paranormal activity. Water pools, lights turning off and on again, furniture overturning, pictures being slashed, objects flying or levitating, knocking sounds, objects disappearing and appearing again, foul smells, farmyard noises, heavy breathing sounds, sudden drops of temperature, and a mysterious black-robed figure, whose appearances became more and more frequent were all reported at the house!

Read the full post, here:

via Reblog: The Black Monk of Pontefract, Yorkshire—The True Story of England’s “Most Haunted” Poltergeist Incident!