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Happy Halloween, Day 14

Link of the Day: The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies

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Check out this terrific publication! Each online issue includes articles, book, film and television reviews, and a special "Lost Souls" section dedicated to resurrecting the neglected and underrated personages of horror (from the 19th-century Gothic novelist Francis Lathom to 1950s "Scream Queen" Susan Cabot).

Literature of the Day: Today's spooky short story is one I particularly enjoy and reread every Halloween season.

“Dickon the Devil”
by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873)

The host of the "Three Nuns," which was the sign under which he entertained wayfarers, had not a great deal to tell. It was twenty years, or more, since old Squire Bowes died, and no one had lived in the Hall ever since, except the gardener and his wife.

"Tom Wyndsour will be as old a man as myself; but he's a bit taller, and not so much in flesh, quite," said the fat innkeeper.

"But there were stories about the house," I repeated, "that they said, prevented tenants from coming into it?"

"Old wives' tales; many years ago, that will be, sir; I forget 'em; I forget 'em all. Oh yes, there always will be, when a house is left so; foolish folk will always be talkin'; but I hadn't heard a word about it this twenty year."

It was vain trying to pump him; the old landlord of the "Three Nuns," for some reason, did not choose to tell tales of Barwyke Hall, if he really did, as I suspected, remember them.

Read the complete story here.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing! I like the Dickon The Devil story a lot. And I love that writing style. Once in a while, US folks tell me that my sentences are too long, but I like to challenge my readers a little. Writing should still be about interesting language too, and not just sound like techwriting IMO *G*
Oct. 15th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it, too! I agree wholeheartedly about writing style; language has a flow and rhythm and aesthetic all its own, and you can lose a great deal of the feeling and texture of a story of you always just say things as briefly and quickly as possible. I really enjoy Le Fanu's style.
Oct. 14th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
I can't read leFanu, his language is too archaic. So is Poe, but for him I make the effort.
Oct. 15th, 2007 10:32 am (UTC)
I'm sorry! His vampire story "Carmilla" is remarkable. Maybe you'd enjoy his work more if you heard it as an audiobook. Some authors are easier on the ears than the eyes. :) At any rate, I hope you enjoy some of the posts this week more.
Oct. 15th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry! His vampire story "Carmilla" is remarkable.

I've read that (as a teenager), The Familiar, and Squire Toby's Will.
Possibly others.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy some of the posts this week more.

Oh, I'm not complaining. This is a great Journal!
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
This is a great Journal!

Thank you so much! :) That makes my day.
Oct. 15th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for the cool links:)

PS--Drac society also has their own publication. Dr. Miller has a blog. Check her out if you'd like. She's on my flist:)
Oct. 15th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC)
PS--Drac society also has their own publication.

Ooh! I didn't know about this group. Is it this one? (I just Googled it.) I've heard of Dr. Miller. How exciting! Thanks for the heads up.
Oct. 16th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Oct. 16th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Re: Nope........
Oh, great! I see this has the Journal of Dracula Studies and everything. I thought I was missing something there. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I'm anxious to explore this site now. Thank you!
Oct. 16th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
Re: Nope........
you're welcome:)

Oct. 15th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
Now there's a chilling tale. I do like Le Fanu and have noted down phrases like 'not so much in flesh' and 'I can make oath of that' for future use.
Oct. 15th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)
Aren't they great? :) I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )