Review: The Tired Sounds, A Wake, a Creepy Novella by Michael Wehunt, 2017

The Sanguine Woods

IMG_1527 Story and cover art by Justine Jones. Publisher: Dark Regions Press, 2017.

I am only sorry I didn’t read this novella by Michael Wehunt sooner! I bought it then slipped it onto my bookshelf. It’s so thin, I didn’t see it, snuggled up to that big fat hardback by a very popular horror novelist, whose fiction is good, but not as good as the fiction Wehunt is writing here.

I am not only in awe of the sharp, lean prose style and insight into character the story shows. It is also entertaining, enjoyable to read, creepy, haunting, a sneaker-upper on you; and it seems craftily self-aware of the dark nature of its own beauty. You can sense this in the story’s misleadingly mild tone, and in the careful descriptions—and thoughts and behaviors of—characters Lorne and his wife, Gwen, both of whom tell the story along with a peripheral narrator who…

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Dracula…But, Have You Read the Book?

The Sanguine Woods

IMG_4195Dracula, the novel from 1897, is one of my favorite books. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, it’s filled with passages such as this one, which may have been caught visually, on film, but not with the atmosphere Bram Stoker stirs up, like cold fog. This is one of these passages. Barker is supposed to meet Count Dracula at the Borgo pass, but, the stage driver got Harker there an hour early, no doubt so he could save Harker and himself, the doom that may befall them on this night (it is May the fourth or St. George’s Day and at midnight, evil things are permitted to walk the earth unobstructed). But as we see here, the dead-undead are not easily fooled…

Jonathan Harker’s Journal, May 4…

‘When it grew dark there seemed to be some excitement amongst the passengers, and they kept speaking to him, one…

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The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James

The Sanguine Woods

loneanimatorArt by Loneanimator (Deviantart.com)

The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James

Montage Rhodes James

“M.R. James joins the brisk, the light, & the commonplace to the weird about as well as anyone could do it—but if another tried the same method, the chances would be ten to one against him. The most valuable element in him—as a model—is his way of weaving a horror into the every-day fabric of life & history—having it grow naturally out of the myriad conditions of an ordinary environment…”

– H. P. Lovecraft in a Letter to Emil Petaja, March 1935)


tumblr_mynba2N4q11syfoijo4_500From BBC edition of James’ story, “The Tractate Middoth”.

Table of Contents

Preface
Canon Alberic’s Scrap-book
Lost Hearts
The Mezzotint
The Ash-Tree
Number 13
Count Magnus
“Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad”
The Treasure of Abbot Thomas
A School Story
The Rose Garden
The Tractate Middoth

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All Soul’s Night, a Collection of Ghost Stories by Hugh Walpole, 1933

 

All Soul’s Night, a Collection of Ghost Stories

Hugh Walpole, 1933

 


Midnight has come, and the great Christ Church Bell,
And many a lesser bell, sound through the room;
And it is All Souls’ Night,
And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel
Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come;
For it is a ghost’s right. . . .

– W. B. Yeats


Table of Contents

The Whistle
The Silver Mask
The Staircase
A Carnation for an Old Man
Tarnhelm; or, The Death of my Uncle Robert
Mr. Oddy
Seashore Macabre. A Moment’s Experience
Lilac
The Oldest Talland
The Little Ghost
Mrs. Lunt
Sentimental but True
Portrait in Shadow
The Snow
The Ruby Glass
Spanish Dusk

Source: All Soul’s Night, a Collection of Ghost Stories by Hugh Walpole, 1933

“The Soul of Marse Ralph”—A Ghostly Tale by Mary A. P. Stansbury, 1890

The Sanguine Woods

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The Soul of Marse Ralph

Mary A. P. Stansbury, 1890


First published in The New England Magazine, November 1890.


Revisiting Black Point after an interval of several years, I found that  little seaside hamlet no longer an “undiscovered country.” The familiar path to the cliffs wound past a hotel of considerable architectural pretensions, a row of smart cottages overlooked the blue waters of the bay, and our own dear, old-fashioned boarding-house had thrust out sundry awkward additions, protruding like the arms of a growing boy from the sleeves of his last year’s jacket.

But the sea, — the sea was the same! The tide ran up the gray sands in the old shining ripples, the little white-breasted sandpipers alternately advancing and retreating before it, and beyond, along the surf-beach, the splendid breakers came racing in shore, tossing their white crests in defiance of human curbing.

A crowd of bathers, in…

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