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The Crimson Blind and Other Ghost Stories

1 rating: 3.0
A book by H.D. Everett

Mrs H.D. Everett was the last in a long line of gifted Victorian novelists who knew how to grip the reader through the invasion of everyday life by the abnormal and dramatic, leaving the facts to produce their special thrills without piling on the agony. … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: H.D. Everett
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
1 review about The Crimson Blind and Other Ghost Stories

Workmanlike stories, with a few inventive touches

  • Oct 2, 2010
Rating:
+3
The sixteen supernatural stories in this book are workmanlike without any spectacular standouts. The best story, "The Death Mask" is grimly humorous, and has been anthologized elsewhere. I haven't been able to learn much about the Victorian authoress, who sometimes wrote under the pen name 'Theo Douglas'. A few of her stories take place during World War I and involve victims of this ghastly carnage.

"The Death Mask"--The ghost of his first wife thwarts Enderby's attempts to remarry, in a rather ingenious fashion.

"Parson Clench"--The ghost of Stoke-St Edith's previous rector does not care for his successor.

"The Wind of Dunowe"--A jewel thief is supernaturally beset when she attempts to steal her host's family heirloom.

"Nevill Nugent's Legacy"--A financially-strapped young family receives an unexpected legacy from a deceased cousin, who was not particularly fond of his relatives. Unfortunately, their new house is haunted.

"The Crimson Blind"--A boy is teased by his cousins into keeping watch on a haunted house. Later in life, he stays in the actual house where his cousins had tried to pull a ghostly trick on him.

"Fingers of a Hand"--A family is warned to leave their holiday lodgings by increasingly dire supernatural messages. This story has an interesting resolution.

"The Next Heir"--A young Canadian soldier learns that he has been chosen as heir to a distant relative--if he will fulfill certain conditions regarding the estate. This story could be a take-off on Machen's "The Great God Pan" barring the fact that Pan is equated to the Biblical Cain!

"Anne's Little Ghost"--A bereaved couple rent a house where they begin to see the ghost of their deceased daughter.

"Over the Wires"--A man receives telephone messages from his fiancée, who had gone missing in Belgium after the German invasion (WWI).

"Water Witch"--Two women in a vacation house on the Scottish moors are haunted by a water witch, even though one refuses to admit it.

"The Lonely Road"--A man must walk several miles to the railroad station on a road that has witnessed several robberies. Luckily, his cousin's wolfhound decides to accompany him. For some reason, the dog refuses to be touched.

"A Girl in White"--A man rents a riverside cottage for his mother and sister, but finds that he cannot bear to sleep there himself. Instead, he sleeps in his small boat and dreams of a girl in white.

"A Perplexing Case"--Two shell-shocked soldiers are discovered to have exchanged identities.

"Beyond the Pale"--An English couple rent a small adobe shack on a Wild West ranch, and the wife soon gets cursed by an Indian shaman. What can she do but hire a second shaman to remove the curse? This story has some fairly spooky scenes.

"The Pipers Of Mallory"--The inhabitants of a Scottish manse hear pipers if one of their relatives dies. Things get especially noisy if the heir dies.

"The Whispering Wall"--A skeptical friend hears the family ghost himself, and its words seem nonsensical until much later, after a battle near the French village of Armentières.

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