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The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories Box Set- Five Hard Covers

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The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories Box Set- Five Hard Covers

The Valancourt Book of
​Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories
Volume One

Edited by Tara Moore

Book Description

The first-ever collection of Victorian Christmas ghost stories, culled from rare 19th-century periodicals

During the Victorian era, it became traditional for publishers of newspapers and magazines to print ghost stories during the Christmas season for chilling winter reading by the fireside or candlelight. Now for the first time thirteen of these tales are collected here, including a wide range of stories from a diverse group of authors, some well-known, others anonymous or forgotten. Readers whose only previous experience with Victorian Christmas ghost stories has been Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” will be surprised and delighted at the astonishing variety of ghostly tales in this volume. 

“In the sickly light I saw it lying on the bed, with its grim head on the pillow. A man? Or a corpse arisen from its unhallowed grave, and awaiting the demon that animated it?” – John Berwick Harwood, “Horror: A True Tale”

“Suddenly I aroused with a start and as ghostly a thrill of horror as ever I remember to have felt in my life. Something—what, I knew not—seemed near, something nameless, but unutterably awful.” – Ada Buisson, “The Ghost’s Summons”

“There was no longer any question what she was, or any thought of her being a living being. Upon a face which wore the fixed features of a corpse were imprinted the traces of the vilest and most hideous passions which had animated her while she lived.” – Walter Scott, “The Tapestried Chamber”

Contents:

Walter Scott, “The Tapestried Chamber”
Elizabeth Gaskell, “The Old Nurse’s Story”
John Berwick Harwood, “Horror: A True Tale”
Anonymous, “Bring Me a Light!”
Anonymous, “Old Hooker’s Ghost”
Ada Buisson, “The Ghost’s Summons”
Anonymous, “Jack Layford’s Friend”
Anonymous, “How Peter Parley Laid a Ghost”
Ellen Wood, “A Mysterious Visitor”
W. W. Fenn, “The Haunted Rock”
Margaret Oliphant, “The Lady’s Walk”
Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Captain of the Pole-Star”
F. Marion Crawford, “The Doll’s Ghost”

 

The Valancourt Book of
​Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Volume Two

Edited by Allen Grove

Book Description

Fifteen more chilling tales of Yuletide terror, collected from rare Victorian periodicals

Following the popularity of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843), Victorian newspapers and magazines frequently featured ghost stories at Christmas time, and reading them by candlelight or the fireside became an annual tradition. This second volume of Victorian Christmas ghost stories contains fifteen tales, most of which have never been reprinted. They represent a mix of the diverse styles and themes common to Victorian ghost fiction and include works by once-popular authors like Grant Allen and Eliza Lynn Linton as well as contributions from anonymous or wholly forgotten writers. This volume also features a new introduction by Prof. Allen Grove.

“At first I was aware only of a bluish, misty, phosphorescent light, and then a ghastly terror, that froze the very blood in my veins, seized me, for suddenly I saw rise up out of the inky darkness the form of a man—the eyes of a hideous red, fixed on mine with a look of hate …” – Coulson Kernahan, “Haunted!”

“As I stood in breathless horror, unable to stir a limb, the figure raised its arm, a skeleton hand emerged from the heavy folds of the cloak, and touched my elbow. A scorching pain shot through me, I uttered a shriek——” – Emily Arnold, “The Ghost of the Treasure-Chamber”

“Again that shudder passed through his body, and again he unwillingly met the glance of those diabolical eyes upon the scroll. Horror of horrors! was the face alive, or was he going mad?” – Anonymous, “The Weird Violin”

Contents:

Albert Smith, “A Real Country Ghost Story”
Emily Arnold, “The Secret of the Treasure Chamber”
Theo Gift, “Number Two, Melrose Square”
Anonymous, “The Weird Violin”
E. Morant Cox, “Walsham Grange”
Coulson Kernahan, “Haunted!”
W. W. Fenn, “The Steel Mirror”
Anonymous, “White Satin”
Alfred Crowquill, “Nicodemus”
Grant Allen, “Wolverden Tower”
Eliza Lynn Linton, “Christmas Eve at Beach House”
Isabella F. Romer, “The Necromancer”
James Grant, “The Veiled Portrait”
Anonymous, “The Ghost Chamber”
​A. S.,  “The Terrible Retribution”

The Valancourt Book of
​Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Volume Three

Edited by Simon Stern

Book Description

A new collection of twenty ghostly tales of Yuletide terror, collected from rare Victorian periodicals

Seeking to capitalize on the success of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843), Victorian newspapers and magazines frequently featured ghost stories at Christmas time, and reading them by candlelight or the fireside became an annual tradition, a tradition Valancourt Books is pleased to continue with our series of Victorian Christmas ghost stories. This third volume contains twenty tales, most of them never before reprinted. They represent a mix of the diverse styles and themes common to Victorian ghost fiction and include works by once-popular authors like Ellen Wood and Charlotte Riddell as well as contributions from anonymous or wholly forgotten writers. This volume also features a new introduction by Prof. Simon Stern.

“Before me, with the sickly light from the lantern shining right down upon it, was—a cloven hoof! Then the awfulness of the compact I had made came to my mind with terrible force …” – Frederick Manley, “The Ghost of the Cross-Roads”

“By the fireplace there was a large hideous pool of blood soaking into the carpet, and leaving ghastly stains around. I am not ashamed to confess that my brain reeled; the mysterious horror overcame me …” – Lillie Harris, “19, Great Hanover Street”

“A fearful white face comes to me; a horrible mask, with features drawn as in agony—ghastly, pale, hideous! Death or approaching death, violent death, written in every line. Every feature distorted. Eyes starting from the head. Thin lips moving and working—lips that are cursing, although I hear no sound.” – Hugh Conway, “A Dead Man’s Face”

Contents:

Frederick Manley, “The Ghost of the Cross-Roads”
Lillie Harris, “19, Great Hanover Street”
G. B. Burgin, “Sir Hugo’s Prayer”
Mrs. J. H. Riddell, “Walnut-Tree House”
Anonymous, “Haunted Ashchurch”
Anonymous, “The Haunted Tree”
Hugh Conway, “A Dead Man’s Face”
L. F. Austin, “The Ghost’s Double”
E. H. Rebton, “The Haunted Manor”
J. E. Thomas, “The Nameless Village”
Anonymous, “Old Simons’ Ghost!”
J. W. Hollingsworth, “Miriam’s Ghost”
Lucy Farmer, “The Vicar’s Ghost”
Mrs. Henry Wood, “The Ghost of the Hollow Field”
Alice Mary Vince, “The Wicked Editor’s Christmas Dream”
Anonymous, “The Barber’s Ghost”
Andrew Haggard, “A Spirit Bride”
W. L. Blackley, “The Haunted Oven”
Lilian Quiller Couch, “The Devil’s Own”
​Anonymous, “A Christmas Ghost Story”

The Valancourt Book of
​Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Volume Four

Edited by Christopher Philippo

Book Description

Victorian-era Christmas ghost stories are associated primarily with Charles Dickens and other British writers, but for this new volume, editor Christopher Philippo has discovered that the tradition of telling and publishing ghostly tales at Christmas flourished in the New World as well. These tales are set in places that are familiar and yet foreign to us—Gold Rush-era San Francisco, old New Orleans, the barren and frozen plains of Iowa and the Dakotas, the early days of the Puerto Rican commonwealth. Like their British cousins, these stories make perfect winter reading by candlelight or the fireside. This selection includes more than a dozen rare tales, most never before reprinted, along with a number of macabre Christmas-themed poems, and features a number of contributions by women and African-American authors.

“He turned and beheld a low black figure, with a body no higher than his knees, with a prodigious head, in the brow of which was set a single eye of green flame like a shining emerald, and with hands and arms of supernatural length.”—Joseph Holt Ingraham, “The Green Huntsman; or, The Haunted Villa: A Christmas Legend of Louisiana”

“There was a crash of the outer door​—then a staggering and uncertain step in the outer room. It approached the sick-room​—the latch lifted​, the door swung open​—and then​—my God! what a spectacle! Through the open door there stepped a figure​, not of Mrs. Hayden, not of her corpse, not of death, but a thousand times more horrible​, a thing of corruption, decay, of worms and rottenness.”–Anonymous, “Worse than a Ghost Story”

Contents:

The Green Huntsman (1841) •  Joseph Holt Ingraham
Burt Pringle and the “Bellesnickle” (1853) •  Bill Bramble
Worse Than a Ghost Story  (1857) •  Anonymous
The Christmas Ghost  (1857) •  Lucy A. Randall
The Frozen Husband  (1869)  •  Frank Ibberson Jervis
A Sworn Statement (1881) •  Emma Frances Dawson
The Snow Flower of the Sierras (1884) •  Anonymous
The Devil’s Christmas  (1885) •  Julian Hawthorne
Harlakenden’s Christmas (1887) •  Thomas Wentworth Higginson
The Ghostly Christmas Gift (1887)  •  F. H. Brunell
The Blizzard (1888) •  Luke Sharp
Warned by the Wire (1895) •  Louis Glass
Poor Jack (1892) •  H. C. Dodge
Christmas Wolves (1897) •  Pierre-Barthélemy Gheusi
The Werwolves (1898) •  Henry Beaugrand
The Haunted Oak (1900) •  Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Anarchist’s Christmas (1901) •  Anonymous
Camel Bells (1903) •  Hezekiah Butterworth
The Ravings  (1903) •  Anonymous
Out of the Depths  (1904) •  Robert W. Chambers
Old Nick and Saint Nick (1906) •  Wallace Irwin
The Cremation of Sam McGee (1907) •  Robert W. Service
Xmas (1908) •  Amorel Sterne
A Cubist Christmas (1913) •  Kate Masterson
Desuetude: A Ghost Story (1914)  •  Anonymous
The Christmas Ghost (1915) •  Anna Alice Chapin
Merry Christmas  (1917)  •  Stephen Leacock

The Valancourt Book of
​Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Volume Five

Edited by Christopher Philippo

Book Description

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time for more rare ghostly tales of Yuletide terror from Victorian England!

For this fifth Valancourt volume of Christmas ghost stories, editor Christopher Philippo has dug deeper than ever before, delving into the archives of Victorian-era newspapers and magazines from throughout the British Isles to find twenty-one rare texts for the Christmas season – seventeen stories and four poems – most of them never before reprinted.

Featured here are gems by once-popular but now-forgotten 19th-century masters of the supernatural like Amelia Edwards, Barry Pain, and Florence Marryat, alongside contributions by totally obscure authors like James Skipp Borlase, a writer of penny dreadfuls who specialized in lurid Christmas horror stories, and Harry Grattan, who made history by writing the first ghost story recorded by Edison for the phonograph. Also included are an introduction and bonus materials, such as 19th-century news articles and advertisements related to Christmas ghosts.

“I endeavoured to call out; I could not utter a sound. As I gasped and panted, there stole into my nostrils a deadly, terrible, overpowering stench . . . It was the dread odour of decomposing mortality . . . I felt that I must break the spell, or die.” – John Pitman, “Ejected by a Ghost”

“It was a coach made of dead men’s bones . . . Behind the awful vehicle stood two fleshless skeletons in place of footmen, the driver was a horned and tailed fiend, and the six coal–black steeds that he drove had eyes of fire, and snorted flame from their nostrils as they tore madly along.” – James Skipp Borlase, “The Wicked Lady Howard”

Contents:

Introduction by Christopher Philippo
John Gibson Lockhart, “Little Willie Bell” (1827)
Thomas Haynes Bayly, “The Mistletoe Bough” (c. 1830)
Amelia Edwards, “My Brother’s Ghost Story” (1860)
Anonymous, “Old Hell Shaft” (1865)
John Pitman, “Ejected by a Ghost” (1869)
Mrs. S. R. Townshend Mayer, “The Netherstone Mystery” (1878)
Florence Marryat, “That Awful Face!” (1882)
Howell Davies, “Two Christmas Eves” (1885)
Mabel Collins, “A Tale of Mystery” (1885)
“Phœnix”, “The Ghosts of the Bards” (1886)
Jessie Saxby, “Hel-Ya-Water: A Shetland Legend of Yule Time” (1886)
Barry Pain, “The Undying Thing” (1893)
Magister Monensis, “The Siren” (1898)
Baroness de Bertouch, “The Tryst, An Old Yule Legend” (1898)
Adeline Sergeant, “The Mummy Hand” (1901)
Skipp Borlase, “The Dead Hand” (1903)
James Skipp Borlase, “The Wicked Lady Howard” (1905)
Huan Mee, “Ghost of the Living” (1905)
Harry Grattan, “A Christmas Ghost Story” (1905)
Arthur Walter Berry, “Woden, the Wild Huntsman” (1911)
F. G. Grundemann, “Squire Humperdinck and the Devil” (1913)

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