I like scary stories, but only a particular kind. I don’t like bloody gory fair. I don’t like stories that try to gross me out, and I certainly do not like stories that are deliberately meant to be cruel and violent. I am not into monsters or madmen, witches or demons. What I like is a creepy supernatural story: a ghostly story, and I found a whole collection of them free to download to your Kindle.
Despite the title of the book being Famous Modern Ghost Stories, that word “Modern” is a bit misleading, since the book was first published in 1921. They may have been modern when they were first published, but by todays standards they are definitely “Classics,”and all of these authors are well know to ghost story enthusiasts.
I have not read all of these stories before, but I can comment on a few of them. Blackwood’s story is one of the first, and best, to set the supernatural in the outdoors instead of a haunted house. Freeman is a classic ghost story writer and one of the first American women to write in a supernatural mode. Chambers is famous for his collection of stories: The King on Yellow, which is a landmark of the genre. The story here is from a different collection that I am not familiar with.
The story that really stands out to me is Andreyev’s story “Lazarus.” It’s this creepy existential story about meaninglessness told about Lazarus after he was raised from the dead by Jesus. This story is one of my all time favorites, and the kind of story I wish I could write myself. This piece creeps me out, and has got to be a masterpiece in its own right.
The remaining stories, some which I have read, some I have not, are by authors who are well know today with well established reputations in the genera, names that most people will recognize: Bierce, Poe, Machen, de Maupassant. Some of the authors are more obscure today: Harvey, Dunbar, O’Brien. And a few I have not heard of before, but look forward to reading.
Here is the complete table of contents. If you click on any of the story links, they will take you to the Project Gutenberg ebook collection for that story. Below is the link for the Amazon Kindle page.
The Willows By Algernon Blackwood
The Shadows on the Wall By Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The Messenger By Robert W. Chambers
Lazarus By Leonid Andreyev
The Beast with Five Fingers By W. F. Harvey
The Mass of Shadows By Anatole France
What Was It? By Fitz-James O’Brien
The Middle Toe of the Right Foot By Ambrose Bierce
The Shell of Sense By Olivia Howard Dunbar
The Woman at Seven Brothers By Wilbur Daniel Steele
At the Gate By Myla Jo Closser
Ligeia By Edgar Allan Poe
The Haunted Orchard By Richard Le Gallienne
The Bowmen By Arthur Machen
A Ghost By Guy de Maupassant
If this collection grabs your interest, you can download it for free on Amazon to your Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Famous-Modern-Stories-Nikolayevich-Andreyev-ebook/dp/B004UIUU9Y.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can also download this collection as a .pdf file at Project Gutenberg eBook, Famous Modern Ghost Stories http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15143/15143-h/15143-h.htm.
Do you like scary stories? What do you like or dislike? Tell me what you think in the comments below.