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Halloween Countdown, Day 23

I'm a big fan of Librivox.org and the unabridged narrations its volunteers offer for free download. If you feel like going "old school" this Halloween, here are some of the 18th-century Gothic works Librivox has available for your Halloween listening:
* The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764)
* The History of the Caliph Vathek by William Beckford (1786)
* A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe (1790)
* The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (1794)


This photo hails from Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, USA:

Broken


Text of the Day: Here's another classic Gothic novel - a short one, I should note - that's available at Librivox: The Old English Baron (1777) by Clara Reeve (1729-2807).

Excerpt:
Markham cried out, "For Heaven's sake, let us in!"

Upon hearing his voice, the door was opened, and Markham approached his Uncle in such an attitude of fear, as excited a degree of it in the Baron. He pointed to Wenlock, who was with some difficulty recovered from the fit he was fallen into; the servant was terrified, he rung the alarm-bell; the servants came running from all parts to their Lord's apartment; The young gentlemen came likewise, and presently all was confusion, and the terror was universal. Oswald, who guessed the business, was the only one that could question them. He asked several times,

"What is the matter?"

Markham, at last, answered him, "We have seen the ghost!"

All regard to secrecy was now at an end; the echo ran through the whole family—"They have seen the ghost!"


Read the complete novel.

Download an unabridged narration at Librivox.org.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
vyrdolak
Oct. 24th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
The statue reminds me a bit of Freda Jackson in Die Monster Die.




It must be the nose.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 24th, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
Oh my! I see the resemblance! *lols and shivers*
vyrdolak
Oct. 25th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
I used to be sooooooo scared of seeing her at the end of the long upstairs hall in my aunt's house, with an intervening glass door halfway down. I think I had her conflated with a leper ghost story recounted in John Macklin's Orbits of the Unknown, "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream". Or maybe that is what a leper ghost would actually look like, hope I never find out.

She also had a portrait of a woman with a harp on the landing, with eyes that followed you. I don't know the title or artist but it is the painting in the scene in Alfed Hitcock's "Saboteur" where the hero confronts the Nazi spymaster in a Philadelphia mansion. For all I know it's original and my aunt bought it at an auction after the shooting, she lived in Harrisburg PA and the era (1940s) would be right.

When I mentioned this to my cousin who now has the picture, she seemed less than thrilled.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )