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@Read Pdf ¸ The Supernatural Omnibus: Volume 1: Hauntings and Horror æ Cover Illustration Justin Todd This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here The first of two Penguin paperback releases of Montague Summers THE SUPERNATURAL OMNIBUS, originally released in the 1930s The hardback was so massive that the anthology had to be split into two so it could be in line with similar horror paperback fare in the 1970s There are still no less than 24 tales collected here, the majority from Victorian writers with one or twomodern authors thrown into the mix Reading it is something of a mammoth undertaking for the horror fan.Things kick off The first of two Penguin paperback releases of Montague Summers THE SUPERNATURAL OMNIBUS, originally released in the 1930s The hardback was so massive that the anthology had to be split into two so it could be in line with similar horror paperback fare in the 1970s There are still no less than 24 tales collected here, the majority from Victorian writers with one or twomodern authors thrown into the mix Reading it is something of a mammoth undertaking for the horror fan.Things kick off with a pair of stories by J Sheridan Le Fanu The first is NARRATIVE OF THE GHOST OF A HAND, a traditional haunted house story with a good ghoulish apparition The story neatly prefigures the events of THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS The second is AN ACCOUNT OF SOME STRANGE DISTURBANCES IN AUNGIER STREET, a fiendishly evil effort which is tightly written and extremely emotive The macabre atmosphere is second to none and as a whole these two stories mark a great start to the anthology.MAN SIZE IN MARBLE is a tale by Evelyn Knight concerning the statues of knights in a local church which come to life on Halloween It s traditionally written and utilises the rural setting to evoke feelings of isolation and despair Bram Stoker s THE JUDGE S HOUSE was pillaged by Lovecraft for his RATS IN THE WALLS and a fine example of haunted house horror Perceval Landon s THURNLEY ABBEY is about the titular haunted location and equally disturbing, chilling, and downright scary.E and H Heron are well represented here by their Flaxman Low tale THE STORY OF THE SPANIARDS, HAMMERSMITH which sees the psychic sleuth exploring the apparition of a bladder, of all things It s an exceptional mix of Holmesian detection and classic supernatural material, with a delightfully nasty explanation THE PHANTOM COACH is by Amelia B Edwards and does exactly what it says on the tin The writing style is very Dickensian and the climax is exciting Amyas Northcote s BRICKETT BOTTOM is all about the atmosphere and tells of something haunting the ruins of an old house It ll put you off walking in the countryside forever.THE COLD EMBRACE sees Miss Braddon contributing an engaging tale of love from beyond the grave It s predictable enough and somewhat dated, but stillthan competent Amelia B Edwards is back for HOW THE THIRD FLOOR KNEW THE POTTERIES, but it s a lesser story this time andof a murder mystery than anything else, slightly reminiscent of THE CONE by H.G Wells Another old fashioned one is NOT TO BE TAKEN AT BED TIME, by Rosa Mulholland The isolation is good, the dated style less so Surprisingly, Dickens is represented by TO BE TAKEN WITH A GRAIN OF SALT and it s one of theminor efforts in the book, with overworked prose and an abundance of unnecessary description to slow it down.The good news is that Dickens is back for THE SIGNAL MAN and it s a real classic and genuinely frightening to boot The tale was superbly adapted by the BBC in 1976 in a short film starring Denholm Elliott, so if you like this story I d recommend watching that too THE COMPENSATION HOUSE, by Charles Collins, is a psychological twist on the usual sort of story, although rather too subtle for my tastes Amelia B Edwards returns for a third and final time with THE ENGINEER, a story detailing a love triangle and emotional torment The ghostly element is a mere afterthought in this one.Vincent O Sullivan s WHEN I WAS DEAD is unusual in that it tells the story from the point of view of a ghost a plot device later borrowed heavily, particularly in TV shows and film anthologies Flaxman Low returns for THE STORY OF YAND MANOR HOUSE, investigating a haunted room that leaves occupants with a weird taste in the mouth It s splendid stuff again, showing that the Herons were consistently good in their prose writing THE BUSINESS OF MADAME JAHN is the second story by Vincent O Sullivan and typical Victoriana, although the sexual aspect surprised me given the repressive attitudes of the era.Vernon Lee contributes a double bill of AMOUR DURE and OKE OF OKEHURST Both are very good The first is a tragic love story across the ages and has a great physical description of Italy in the 1890s The second is about a family scandal involving adultery and murder and it s very long and slow moving, but easy to read at the same time Miss Braddon s back for EVELINE S VISITANT, an exceedingly subtle story and clever with it JOHN CHARRINGTON S WEDDING is by Evelyn Nesbit again and is simply written and told Roger Pater s DE PROFUNDIS is the one dud in this book subtle to the point of boredom and drily written Thankfully, Wilkie Collins shows up for THE DREAM WOMAN, athan effective demonstration of the powers of suspense building and ambiguity Great mixture of old and new Varied plots and styles A fun read A compendium of stories that could be as real as they are false Truth is stranger than fiction Plenty to think about and keep one awake at night.