Jack Edwards - Haunted!: (Weekly Tale-Teller #83, 3 Dec. 1910). "It touched me yesterday. It was clammy and cold and like a huge slug." Toss up between this and the likewise excellent Amid the Trees for Glimpses ...' glummest story. Artist Ernest Raydon is persecuted by a quivering phantom visible only to himself. A kindly neighbour he confides in, suggests Ernest has been targeted by an elemental. Perhaps if he were to spend a few months away on the coast? This seems to work until Raydon returns to London to marry. Matters reach a head during Christmas week.
Mary Schultze - The River’s Edge: (Weekly Tale-Teller #188, 7 Dec. 1912). "Women are jolly queer cattle." Ghost of Barbara Leslie, who drowned when the river flooded this time last year, saves her infant child from suffering the same fate. Witnessed by Major Mercer who, as a visitor to the village, was unaware of the earlier tragedy. Short, sweet, inoffensive, God is nice, etc.
Lumley Deakin - Ghosts: (The New Magazine, Oct. 1914). Mike Ashley clearly has a fondness for "puzzle stories" - here another would comfortably slip into Doorways to Dilemma. On first reading, I neither understood nor cared for Ghosts, but one rematch later and its a 'best thing ever' contender. London socialite Cyrus Sabinette has discovered that sainted philanthropist Henry Grimshaw as aka Abraham Heischmann, a human trafficker who coerces fugitives and illegal aliens to slave in his East End clothing factories. Those who dare cross him are swifty denounced to the authorities. Sabinette initially wants in on the racket, but when Grimshaw-Heischmann refuses to be blackmailed, instead offers his services to Yoli Kravinski, a beautiful Polish woman whose anarchist brother Heischmann betrayed to the police. Yoli is prepared to do anything to avenge Karl's death, which is just as well as, either I am naturally dirty minded or story implies that, in certain favourable circumstances, Cyrus is happy to negotiate payment in kind. What follows is plain weird, and I'm still none the wiser as to how the smarmy Mr. Sabinette seemingly raised a dead woman to accomplish Heischmann's destruction. Is he hypnotist, conjurer, necromancer, or just plain slippery?
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
I noticed the books in the British Library's 'Tales of the Weird' series while browsing through some Kindle books. The ones I have found are:
From The Depths: And Other Strange Tales From The Sea edited by Mike Ashley
Spirits of the Seasons: Christmas Hauntings edited by Tanya Kirk
Mortal Echoes: Encounters With The End edited by Greg Buzwell
Doorway To Dilemma: Bewildering Tales of Dark Fantasy edited by Mike Ashley
The Face In The Glass: The Gothic Tales Of Mary Elizabeth Braddon edited by Greg Buzwell
The Platform Edge: Uncanny Tales Of The Railways edited by Mike Ashley
Glimpses Of The Unknown: Lost Ghost Stories edited by Mike Ashley
I am not sure if there are any more in the series, but there are some interesting titles there. Note that some of the above are not yet released.
I just picked up copies of From the Depths, Doorway to Dilemma, The Platform Edge, Glimpses of the Unknown, and the more recent Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Botanical Gothic (edited by Daisy Butcher). I haven't had a chance to read any of them yet, but the British Library folks did a nice job on the covers and frontispieces (there's a word I've never typed before).
Based on Vault readers' comments, the books should make for fun reads. I'm also intrigued by two upcoming books in the series: Into the Darkening Fog: Eerie Tales of the London Weird (edited by Elizabeth Dearnley) and Queens of the Abyss: Lost Stories from the Women of the Weird (edited by Mike Ashley).
Thanks Dr. S. Incidentally, you sold me on Doorway To Dilemma. It's an odd one in that so many of the stories are much-anthologised but there are enough obscurities among the remainder to make it worthwhile. The Peter Haining approach.
The lineup for Doorways to Dilemma drew me in, too.
I enjoyed reading “The Woman in Red” and revisiting “The Mysterious Card,” and “The Lady, or the Tiger?” The sequels for these puzzle stories are letdowns, however. Stockton pulls the same trick again, to diminished returns, while Moffett and Dyar serve up unsatisfying explanations.
Lucy Clifford’s “The New Mother” is a gem—it takes the cruel morality of a traditional fairy tale into strange and unsettling territory.
“Fear” is another winner. Catherine Wells follows her dark premise to an even darker ending. The H. G. Wells story left me cold, though.
I’m surprised Mike Ashley didn’t pair Mary Elizabeth Counselman”s “The Three Marked Pennies” with the similarly themed “The Devil’s Lottery.”
Another 'puzzle story' from beyond the Doorway to Dilemma:
Madeline Yale Wynne - The Little Room: (Harper's New Monthly, Aug. 1895). Vermont, New England. A room on the Miss Keys' farm seemingly alternates between furnished chamber and china-closet as the mood takes it. Their newly-wed niece is determined to solve the mind-boggling mystery once and for all .....
I enjoyed revisiting this one, too. The dark edges of "The Little Room" are subtle (only one brief slip gives away the aunts), but its sharp psychology and domestic-themed horror remind me of "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "The Wind in the Rose-Bush." I don't feel that a sequel was necessary, but I'll see if Wynne handles her follow-up better than Stockton, Moffett, and Dyar did.