Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Frankenstein begins in epistolary form, documenting the correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and his sister, Margaret Walton Saville. Walton sets out to explore the North Pole and expand his scientific knowledge in hopes of achieving fame and friendship. The ship becomes trapped in ice, and, one day, the crew sees a dog sled in the distance, on which there is the figure of a giant man. Hours later, the crew finds a frozen and emaciated man, Victor Frankenstein, in desperate need of sustenance. Frankenstein had been in pursuit of the gigantic man observed by Walton's crew when all but one of his dogs died. He had broken apart his dog sled to make oars and rowed an ice-raft toward the vessel. Frankenstein starts to recover from his exertion and recounts his story to Walton. Before beginning his story, Frankenstein warns Walton of the wretched effects of allowing ambition to push one to aim beyond what one is capable of achieving. In telling his story to the captain, Frankenstein finds peace within himself.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Shelley's 1818 novel presents the Faustian story of a man who aspires to create life out of death, with disastrous results. The novel is constructed as a series of first-person narratives, delivered by Captain Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and his Creature, which makes it perfect for a dramatic reading.
Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.
Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire story, but he popularized it with his classic 1897 novel. In form Dracula is an epistolary novel, told through a series of journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and telegrams. It begins with lawyer Jonathan Harker's perilous journey to Castle Dracula in Transylvania, and chronicles the vampire's invasion of England, where he preys upon the lovely Lucy Westenra and Harker's fiancee, Mina. Harker and Mina join forces with lunatic asylum proprieter Dr. Seward, Lucy's fiance Arthur Holmwood, Texas man of action Quincey Morris, and Dutch vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing to try and defeat their powerful adversary.
The classic vampire story by Bram Stoker revolves around a struggle between good and evil, tradition and modernity, and lust versus chastity. The author didn’t invent vampires, but his novel has so captured the public’s imagination that he is rightly considered their popularizer. Listen and you will meet not only the Count himself, but heroes Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing, plus an array of madmen, psychiatrists, and fair maidens who cross paths with the fanged menace.
Dorian Gray, a young man of wealth and stature in late 1800's London, meets Lord Henry Wotton while posing for a portrait by his friend Basil Hallward. Once the painting is complete, Dorian realizes that it will always be young and attractive, while he will be forced to age and wither with the years. Carelessly, he wishes the opposite were true. What happens is a treatise on morals, self-indulgence and how crucial personal responsibility is towards one's self.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. London lawyer Utterson is driven to investigate Edward Hyde, the unlikely protégé of his friend Dr Henry Jekyll, suspecting the relationship to be founded on blackmail. The truth is worse than he could have imagined. Jekyll’s ‘full statement of the case’, the final chapter of the book, explores the idea of dual personality that led him to his experiments, and his inexorable and finally fatal descent into evil.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
After hearing Mr. Enfield's account of a distressing event involving Edward Hyde, the heir of his friend, Henry Jekyll, John Utterson is convinced that Jekyll's relationship with Hyde is built on something sinister. Utterson's concern for his friend is not unfounded but the reasons aren't quite what he, at first, believes.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novel written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll and the misanthropic Edward Hyde. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an immediate success and is one of Stevenson's best-selling works. Stage adaptations began in Boston and London within a year of its publication and it has gone on to inspire scores of major film and stage performances.
The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-hearted man of business and has little time for the good humor and charity of the Christmas season. But that's about to change. A visit from his deceased business partner sets in motion a night in which Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Will his listen to their messages? Will he heed their warnings? Ebenezer Scrooge is about to take a Christmas journey that he won't soon forget.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This is a collection of 12 creepy stories by that master of creepiness, Poe. The Black Cat; The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven; The Tell Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, the Premature Burial and six others that are a shuddering delight to read and listen to. Turn off the lights, settle down and hear these stories read to you as only readers can perform them.
Poe, Edgar Allan
Monday, January 19, 2009 marked Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. Though these tales need no introduction, the rationale for starting with volume two is threefold: many of the best-loved (and best) tales are included, the vast majority run from 15 to 30 minutes, and the other volumes can then be recorded without repetition, if there is interest in doing so.
Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu. First published in 1872, it tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by over twenty years, had a strong influence on Stoker's famous novel.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Laura grew up on a castle in the Austrian mountains with her father, slightly lonely as there are no potential companions around. Her loneliness is at an end when a carriage accindent close by their castle brings a mysterious visitor: Carmilla was injured in the accident, and remains at the castle to heal. But there is something dark about Carmilla. Is Laura in danger?
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Carmilla is an 1872 Gothic novella by Irish author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, originally published as a serial in the London-based literary magazine The Dark Blue. It is one of the early works of vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) by 26 years. The story is narrated by a young woman who falls under the spell of the mysterious Carmilla. The story is often anthologized and has been adapted many times in film, theatre, radio, and television.
(description adapted from Wikipedia by Louise J. Belle)
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. It was based on a German folktale set in the Dutch culture of Post-Revolutionary War in New York State. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", it is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.
Henry James' classic ghost story comprises the written testimony of a young governess, charged with looking after two small children at an isolated country estate, who believes they are being haunted. As the story progresses, the governess' increasingly frenetic narration provokes the question: is she insane, or are the ghosts real?
The Turn of the Screw is a novella written by Henry James. It is a ghost story that was originally published in 1898. A nameless governess reports the events of two ghosts who stalk the young children she has charge over. Is she reliable, or an imaginative neurotic?
Northanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many “horrid” gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror — but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This, the first of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 8 of his short stories as well as reflections, critiques, and eulogies by others.
H. G. Wells
In 1896 HG Wells produced the Island of Doctor Moreau. After a fateful shipwreck, a chance rescue, and offer of safe harbor, Edward Prendick must contend with a dark science. A man of science, Prendick must wrestle with the ethics of its passions. His inner struggle is illuminated by the island's outward horrors. Central to the themes are ethics, principles, and the extent of human compassion. This science fiction icon argues the true question of science: Could the cure be more dangerous than the disease?
An old theatre under new management; a diva who thinks she can sing; a young ingenue who really can; a masked man who wreaks havoc if he doesn't get his own way. Secrets, intrigues, falling chandeliers! The Phantom of the Opera is here!
Here's a Mark Twain story that's very unlike those he became famous for, but when I read it back in Catholic high school, it left a deep impression. It concerns the deeply religious residents of a small village in Austria during the late sixteenth century, and what happened to several of them when a strange man began to visit their insulated homeland. There's little of Twain's humor here; this is a horror story, a parable. . . and a warning.
Another camper tale, this time set in the Canadian wilderness. A hunting party separates to track moose, and one member is abducted by the Wendigo of legend. Robert Aickman regarded this as "one of the (possibly) six great masterpieces in the field".
Jacobs, W. W.
The Monkey's Paw is a classic "three wishes" story that doubles as a horror story and a cautionary tale; reminding us that unintended consequences often accompany the best intentions. This widely read story is a favorite in classrooms around the world. The story was first published in 1902 and then featured in The Lady of the Barge, published in 1911.
H. P. Lovecraft
Horror stalks the earth. There are many dimensions that coexist with our universe and, unfortunately, overlap it in very special places. The horrific beings that live in these other dimensions are ancient, terrifying and very malign. This story is about one of these overlapping spots in a decaying community in the USA where these beings can interact with our world and where humans succeed in calling them forth in all of their stench, fetor and power with the intent of destroying all life on our planet. Mere humans cannot resist their power. Is there any hope?
H. P. Lovecraft
In a rundown farmhouse near isolated, rural Dunwich, a bizarre family conjures and nurtures an evil entity from another realm, with the purpose of destroying the world and delivering it to ancient gods to rule, and only an aged university librarian can stop them. The Dunwich Horror was first published in 1929 in Weird Tales.
Nine Gothic Horror Tales by the author of Dracula.
Shaw, George Bernard
Don Juan in Hell is an excerpt (Act 3, Scene 2) from George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. It is often performed as a stand-alone play. In it, three characters from Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Don Juan, Dona Ana, and the statue of the Commendatore, Dona Ana’s father) meet in Hell and, joined by the Devil, have a philosophical debate on a variety of subjects, including Heaven and Hell, men, women and marriage. In the end, they all decide where they will spend eternity.
William Hope Hodgson
This story helped propel 19th Century gothic fiction in the direction of “cosmic” horror. In fact, H.P. Lovecraft lists it as among his greatest influences. It begins simply enough: with two friends stumbling upon a ruined and curious house while vacationing in a remote village. After reading the tattered journal of the old recluse who lived there, they are shocked to discover an interdimensional, reality-bending nightmare full of nearly-indescribable horrors that range from demons, to bestial (somewhat Lovecraftian) monsters, and devastating parasitic fungal diseases.
Hodgson, William Hope
In 1877, two gentlemen, Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, head into Ireland to spend a week fishing in the village of Kraighten. While there, they discover in the ruins of a very curious house a diary of the man who had once owned it. Its torn pages seem to hint at an evil beyond anything that existed on this side of the curtains of impossibility. This is a classic novel that worked to slowly bridge the gap between the British fantastic and supernatural authors of the later 19th century and modern horror fiction. Classic American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft lists this and other works by Hodgson among his greatest influences.
Poe, Edgar Allan
Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his famous short horror stories; however, horror is not the only genre in which he wrote. How To Write a Blackwood Article and its companion piece A Predicament are satirical works exploring the pieces of the formula generally seen in short horror stories ("articles") found in the Scottish periodical "Blackwood's Magazine" and the successful misapplication of said formula by - horrors! - a woman author! - respectively.
Originally paired together as The Psyche Zenobia and The Scythe of Time, Poe first published these pieces in the American Museum based in Baltimore, Maryland in November 1838. The names of the works as we currently know them were attached when they were published in Poe's collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque and in the fourth volume of his Collected Works.
As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read/listen.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This, the third of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 6 of his short stories as well as Poe's only complete novel, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. In it, Arthur Gordon Pym stows away on a whaling vessel and experiences shipwreck, mutiny, and other adventures in typical Poe fashion.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories in "Tales of Terror and Mystery", a suppressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror. In others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to a horrific conclusion.
Sit back in the comfort of your armchair and let yourself be transported to the strange but compelling world created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
In the six volumes of the Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories, Julian Hawthorne presents us thrilling and mysterious short stories from all corners of the world. Some of the stories appeared in this collection for the first time translated into English, and many of them come from unexpected sources, such as the letters of Pliny the Younger, or a Tibetan manuscript. In this fourth volume, we find stories originally written in French, Italian, Spanish and Latin.
Tales of Old Japan by Lord Redesdale is a collection of short stories focusing on Japanese life of the Edo period (1803 - 1868). It contains a number of classic Japanese stories, fairy tales, and other folklore; as well as Japanese sermons and non-fiction pieces on special ceremonies in Japanese life, such as marriage and harakiri, as observed by Lord Redesdale. The best know story of these is "The Forty-seven Ronins" a true account of samurai revenge as it happened at the beginning of 18th century Japan.
Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837 - 1916) was a British diplomat, collector and writer. He worked in Japan as second secretary to the British Legation at the time of the Meiji Restoration. He wrote Tales of Old Japan in 1871.
An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to
haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.
"The Jolly Corner," published in 1908, is considered by many to be a ghost story ranking second only to "The Turn of the Screw." James’s protagonist, Spencer Brydon, is an American of 56, returned to New York after 33 years in Europe, where he has apparently accomplished little while living off his New York rentals. His friendship with Alice Staverton, and his engagement in the development of a property awaken him to the possibilities that might have been his, had he chosen a different course of life. The "ghost," if that’s what it is, is that other self that might have been, and his confrontation with that self and its possibilities leads to a deeply unsettling, yet ambiguous, conclusion.
Green, Anna Katharine
Violet Strange, a clever petite detective, is called upon to solve the mystery of a page gone missing from an important document. The futures of several people, including an eccentric misanthrope, a chemical scientist, a bride and groom, depend on the quick resolution of this problem. In solving one mystery, she uncovers another which dates back many years.
A kind, good-hearted genteel young woman jilted, a suspicious death or two that only a few think could be murder, strange apparitions appearing in an hotel all combine to create a horrifying conundrum. Who was the culprit and will finding out finally put an end to the mystery?
The Lifted Veil is a novella by George Eliot, first published in 1859. Quite unlike the realistic fiction for which Eliot is best known, The Lifted Veil explores themes of extrasensory perception, the essence of physical life, possible life after death, and the power of fate. The novella is a significant part of the Victorian tradition of horror fiction.
The Jewel of Seven Stars (also published under the name: The Jewel of the Seven Stars) is a horror novel by Bram Stoker first published in 1903. The story is about an archaeologist's plot to revive Queen Tera, an ancient Egyptian mummy.
Fifteen short stories by Algernon Henry Blackwood, CBE (1869 – 1951), an English short story writer and novelist, one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre. He was also a journalist and a broadcasting narrator. S. T. Joshi has stated that "his work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer's except Dunsany's…"
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn
A "Bluebeard" story in which a young woman marries a man whom she discovers has killed his previous wives and is trying to kill her as well.
Viereck, George Sylvester
Not only is The House of the Vampire (1907) one of the first known gay vampire stories, but it is also one of the first psychic vampire stories—where a vampire feeds off more than just blood.
This is the story of a priest named Romauld, and his all-consuming love for the beautiful courtesan, Clarimonde.
Dr. David Throckmartin’s scientific expedition to the South Sea Islands discovers among ancient ruins a portal into Muria, an unknown underground world. After the disappearance of Throckmartin, his wife and two companions, his old friend Dr. Walter Goodwin enters Muria with a rescue party, only to confront an fantastic world filled with incredible beings, astounding scientific advances, and the worship of the most evil of all creatures, The Dweller.
A collection of gentle stories that draw us into that hidden world where fear is just around the next corner, and where loving hands can touch across the boundaries of death.
William Hope Hodgson
Eighteenth-century sailors adrift in a lifeboat encounter strange lands and weird creatures in their search for home. A creepy tale of nautical adventure.