I knew I couldn't resist getting this for long; these latest tantalizing summaries have pushed me over the edge. Thanks Dem!
I very much doubt you'll thank me as you snooze through the likes of 'An Unbidden Guest,' 'The Ghost of the Count,' and 'How He Caught A Ghost.' Really, I'm surprised to have stuck the selection through, even more so to have rather enjoyed doing so, as a number of these stories are .... not up to much. A combination of period charm and sporadic outbursts of gory violence kind of redeems it. Or, as editor W. Bob Holland would have it:
Guy de Maupassant, the clever Frenchman, is also represented by two effective bits of work, and other less widely known writers have also contributed stories that are worth reading, and when once read will be remembered. There is not a story among the twenty-five that is not worthy of close reading.
Personal favourites: From The Tomb, The Vengeance of a Tree, The Phantom Hag, The Phantom Woman, A Spectre Bride, Mrs. Davenport's Ghost and, for sheer audacity, A Fight with a Ghost (though I very much doubt this is the same 'Q.E.D.' Steve mentions in a positive light).
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.
As you say, it has "periodic charm" and spontaneous outbursts of gory violence" (a perfect description) which is why I've enjoyed most of the stories so far (I did skip a few). My favorites are about the same as yours, with The Flayed Hand as well. I'm about to start the Baring-Gould story which I have high (well, slightly raised) hopes for...