Australian Gothic: An Anthology of Australian Supernatural Fiction
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Australia has a long tradition of weird fiction, stretching back to colonial times. The stories in this anthology showcase the richness and variety of Australia horror and supernatural stories in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Among the authors included are: Mary Fortune, Lionel Sparrow, Marcus Clarke, Guy Boothby, B. L. Farjeon, J. E. P. Muddock, Ernest Favenc, Hume Nisbet, Rosa ("Mrs. Campbell") Praed, Fergus Hume, James Francis Dwyer, and Dulcie Deamer. Editor James Doig has unearthed a rare and compelling collection of Australian horror classics that have remained largely undisturbed in the pages of old books and periodicals. With settings that range from the Australian Outback to Europe, India, and the South Pacific, these 23 unique and imaginative tales feature horrors and hauntings that are sure to appeal to lovers of the macabre everywhere!
nodded their tops at her, though the night was airless. About the open belfry, spiked with an iron cross, where the church bell hung as if the bell-rope had been turned to rigid stone, a ring of linked impets circled swiftly as a top spins, and on the church roof they were thick as starlings. A figure moved on the road, but after the manner of no living thing, and Hevar checked to watch. It was a woman, or what had once been a woman, in the brown shroud of her burial. She was yellow-grey—the
in the morning for meat and flour, the people there didn’t suspect we had been walking all the previous night. I was pretty well the whole day getting back, for I had to be cautious, to prevent being followed. Within half a mile of our gully I met Bill, with a ghost’s face on him, and looking as if he had gone mad in my absence. Running towards me, he said wildly, “Tom, for God’s sake answer me quickly! Have you seen Lizzie?” “Not since last night,” I said, with an uncomfortable feeling at
female skeleton and the mouldering remnants of a robe, the victim, probably, of some monasterial discipline. I know, moreover, that no one has lived in the house since, and that it is now ruinous and deserted. I expect no one to share my belief as to what I saw, but I know as well that the two children, over whom that “perturbed spirit” moaned and wailed, are now in the land where such secrets are revealed, and I feel sure that once in my life there was lifted for me the veil between the Seen
big cloak, it would seem, to come out in; but the frolicsome wind had blown it all awry, and left her skinny, withered arms exposed. Her petticoats, too, were all too short for her sapless old bones, that stood out from a pair of enormous shoes, like the handles from two churns. What a face she had! Puckered into a thousand wrinkles—as many as seem the bark of an old elm tree—and set with two red, sunken, carbuncles of eyes that glowed with a most unnatural fire through the shadows. She laid a
force—though it could concentrate itself at times;—it was excessively imaginative, and the gift of a true imagination confers a pleasure which is perennial and exhaustless. This I know, by the memory of my youthful existence. But, many years ago, I experienced an adventure of such a fearful nature—I suffered the torture of such appalling moral horrors—that my nerves were unstrung for ever; and that vivid imagination which had once been a pleasure to me was now twisted and warped out of all