British author Algernon Blackwood was a prolific writer who is usually remembered for his numerous ghost stories; however, he also wrote on many other supernatural themes and was an influence on many later writers, including H. P. Lovecraft. This collection of 13 stories includes: “The Wendigo”, “The Olive”, “The Goblin’s Collection”, “The Sea Fit”, “Ancient Lights”, “The Prayer”, “The Wood of the Dead”, “An Egyptian Hornet”, “The Other Wing”, “The Singular Death of Morton”, “Entrance and Exit”, “The Kit Bag”, “The Damned”.

I love horror stories and if they’re written well, I can read on and on and on and on. But Algernon has a pretty peculiar way of writing and the tales are dry and not so frightful as say Clive Barker’s or Stephen King’s.

Many of my sensations that night were too vague for definite description and analysis, but the main feeling that will stay with me to the end of my days is the awful horror of it all, and the miserable sensation that if the strain had lasted a little longer than was actually the case my mind must inevitably have given way.

I was bored to tears but I still managed to finish all stories and all I can think of was – how much has horror style advanced in the last few decades (or perhaps we need stronger prompts to make us feel afraid!

One of those moments then came to me that are said to come sometimes under the stress of great emotion, when in an instant the mind grows dazzlingly clear. An abnormal lucidity took the place of my confusion of thought, and I suddenly understood that the two dreams which I had taken for nightmares must really have been sent me, and that I had been allowed for one moment to look over the edge of what was to come; the Good was helping, even when the Evil was most determined to destroy.

Yawn

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