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Classic Ghost Stories and Weird Tales read by Tony Walker.

Classic Ghost Stories and Weird Tales read by Tony Walker.
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Classic Ghost Stories and Weird Tales read by Tony Walker.






Episode 17: Behind the Stumps by Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk was born in 1918 in Plymouth, Michigan to a relatively modest family. He died in 1994, but between birth and death, he became arguably the foremost American theorist on Conservatism in his time. He wrote lots of books on political theory, but he also wrote ghost stories. I have a copy of his collection Ancestral Shadows. Kirk spent time in Scotland as a student at St Andrews and with a name like Kirk, he had some Scottish ancestry. A few of his stories are set in Kinross and...


Epsode 16: Carmilla by J Sheridan Le Fanu (Part 3)

#Carmilla Part 3# Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was born in Ireland in 1814. He was highly regarded both in his time and afterwards as a master of the ghost story genre. He wrote many wonderful stories, but here we focus on his vampire story Carmilla. I think it's very interesting and a little amusing, that Joseph's father -- in common with many writers of ghost stories as it happens -- was a strict Protestant churchman. I wonder whether Joseph Sheridan — or JT as I'm calling him — ever...


Episode 15: Carmilla by J S Le Fanu (Part 2)

I won't say much about Le Fanu. This is Part 2 of Carmilla after all. Normal begging letter: Thanks to my 2 Patreons! Catrin and Margaret! Please share the episode, rate the podcast on Apple or Stitcher or Listen Notes, and if you love the Podcast, please consider becoming a Patreon. We have a lot of content now on Patreon, adding all the time, including ebooks and stories not available elsewhere. Just finished doing another voiceover job, because I do...


Episode 14: Carmilla by J S Sheridan Le Fanu (Part One)

# Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Was born in Dublin to a family of mixed descent. His father’s line were French Huguenots hence the French surname. Like many horror and ghost story writers his father was actually a clergyman. He studied law as his career at Trinity College Dublin. He didn't actually live in Dublin at the time but you could do a kind of distance learning. He became editor of a literary magazine at this time. Le Fanu was active in the campaign to try and stir the British government...


Episode 13 (unlucky for some): The Tower by Marghatina Laski

Consistently rated as one of top scary stories ever... #Marghanita Laski# was an English journalist and author, born in Manchester to a family of Jewish intellectuals. She herself was an atheist and an advocate of nuclear disarmament. She was very intelligent and went to Oxford. She died in 1988 aged 67. She later lived in London at Hampstead (where I’d like to live if I lived in London: the home of psychoanalysts and left-wing intellectuals). Though popular and highly regarded in her...


Episode 12: The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

#Edgar Allen Poe# Needs no real introduction. He was in some senses the man who began the horror genre. There had been Gothic fiction before but Poe made it macabre and strange. I see some influences or commonalities between him and the French poet Baudelaire with his Flowers of Evil, or the French novelist J K Huysman’s with his studies of Satanism and Decandence. The insanity in Poe is also matched in the Austrian writer Gustav Meyrink. I must read some Meyrink for you, though I’m not...


Episode 11: The Monkey's Paw by W W Jacobs

The Monkey’s Paw The Monkey’s Paw was written by an English author #W W Jacobs# and published in 1902 in his collection The Lady of the Barge. Jacobs was born in London in 1863 and died in London during the Second World War in 1943. He was most known as a comedy writer in his time, but he also wrote #horror stories#, the most famous of which is this one: The Monkey’s Paw. As we seem to have some interest in the political views of our writers, we note that his wife was a Suffragette (votes...


Episode 10: The October Game by Ray Bradbury

#Ray Bradbury# Is the most modern author we’ve read so far in the #Classic Ghost Story# podcast. He was born in Illinois in 1920 and died in 2012 in Los Angeles. His most famous book is Fahrenheit 451 which he wrote as a young man in 1953. This story is set in a Dystopian future where books are burned and the fireman set any alight they find. The title is due to the temperature at which paper will catch fire. Bradbury hinted that Farenheit 451 was a warning against totalitarian states and...


Episode 8: The Phantom Coach by Amelia Edwards

Amelia Edwards was born in 1831 in London, England. As such she is one of the oldest writers we’ve read so far in this podcast. She died aged only 60 in Weston Supermare, a seaside resort in the west of England. She came from a wealthy background and didn’t have to work, but she was a very successful writer based on her own talents. She was in fact a very talented woman and had the potential to be a professional artist though her father, a banker, frowned on that as a career. She also made...


Episode 9: The Moonlit Road by Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce was a prominent American author in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. He is most famous for his Devil’s Dictionary. He served in the Union Army in the American Civil War and his military experience forms the background of many of his stories. He was born in a log cabin at Horse Cave Creek, Ohio. His ancestors were English puritans. By trade he began as a printer and he was later a journalist. He was a controversial figure often mired in argument and litigation. At the...


Episode 7: Man Sized in Marble by Edith Nesbit

Edith Nesbit was an English novelist born in 1858 in Kennington, which was then Surrey and is now part of London. She died in 1924 in the next county from where she was born. Nesbit is most famous for her children’s books and her most famous work The Railway Children is well beloved. I loved her Five Children and It stories which I read in a Victorian house all decked out for Christmas one year. That was splendid as the owner of the house had a great sense of interior decoration (though she...


Episode 6: The Open Door by Charlotte Riddell

Charlotte Riddell was born in 1832 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. After she married she moved to London where she lived most of her life and died in Ashford in Kent in 1906. Riddell was a very prolific novelist and well known in the Victorian period. She actually owned and ran a Literary Magazine in the second half of the 19th Century. The Open Door is considered a classic Victorian ghost story and it reminds me of some of Wilkie Collin’s stories which are more or less contemporary....


Episode 5: August Heat by W F Harvey

W F Harvey was a Yorkshireman, born in 1885 and died in 1937. He was a Quaker and suffered from ill health all his life. He joined an ambulance unit in the First World War but then went to work as a surgeon-lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He actually won a medal for saving lives but suffered from lung trouble the rest of his life from that rescue, though that didn’t stop him smoking a pipe. He published his first collection of short stories called The Midnight House in 1910 and his second in...


Episode 4: Bewitched by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton, nee Jones, (born New York 1862, died aged 75 in France) was a famous American novelist. Her nickname interestingly was Pussy Jones. She was very high society and was a debutante and socialite. She was also a very good writer. Wharton wrote best-sellers such as The Age of Innocence, which won the 1921 Pulitzer prize, and Ethan Frome. She also wrote short stories, and among those short stories were several ghost stories. I think the first scene shows Wharton's mastery of her...


Episode 3: Whistle and I'll Come to You by M R James

M R James is probably the best known English writer of ghost stories from this classic period. He was a professor at Cambridge, a medievalist, and this shows in his story. they often have archeological themes where artefacts are discovered and inscriptions need to translated. I must admit that I came to these stories via the Role Playing Game Call of Cthulhu, and a feature of many scenarios in that game is translating arcane texts. A feature that M R James shares with H P Lovecraft. I...


Episode 2: The Room in The Tower by E F Benson

This short story by E F Benson, an English author, is one of the most unnerving he wrote. It relates a recurrent dream that follows the hero throughout his youth and one day, circumstances lead him to a place that resembles the dream. More and more uncanny resemblances move him to a nightmarish realisation. It's a good one. I recorded it on a different microphone -- my old Blue Yeti, and in an untreated room so the sound of this recording isn't as good as the normal ones, though I hope...


Episode 1: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This is the first episode of the Classic Ghost Stories podcast where I will choose stories I love and which creep me out and read them! This first one is the classic American tale The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman an American writer who was born in 1860 in Connecticut and died in 1935 in California. The story is a double play: is it the story of a woman going mad, or a woman possessed by something evil? If you like the stuff I'm doing, I would be endlessly grateful for a...