I have so many books of ghostly or macabre short stories that it's ridiculous but I couldn't part with any of them, especially as a few are no longer that easily available. Anyway, I dug out a few new stories and a couple of ones that I'd read before.
I started with a favourite book of stories of the macabre by John Connolly: Nocturnes.
I then read on and finished the four final stories in this collection - The Cycle, referring to the female 'cycle', The Bridal Bed, The Man From the Second Fifteen and my favourite, The Inn at Shillingford, a very traditional story of an inn with a nasty reputation where in Insurance man spends the night. Good one.
This collection of stories by John Connolly is fabulous and really not well known enough, which is a tragedy.
Next, inspired by Susan's post at You Can Never Have Too Many Books, I picked up The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories, a book which I read back in the early 1990s but not since.
The second story I read from the collection was The Lost Ghost by Mary E. Wilkins. It was neither set in England nor by an English author, so how it made it into the collection I'm not sure. It matters not. It was in fact set in New England and is told by a woman reflecting with a friend about the strangeness of some houses. As a younger woman she had been a school teacher and lodged in an old house with two elderly sisters. She'd got home one evening and left her wet coat in the hallway to dry out. She thought it was odd when one of the sisters advised her not to leave it there, but did it anyway. When she woke up in the night to find a young girl standing in her doorway, holding the coat and saying, 'I can't find my mother', she thought it was odder still. This was another terrific little story, very sad and thought provoking.
Next and for my final story I moved on to a slim viloume entitled A Night on the Moor and Other Tales of Dread by R. Murray Gilchrist. Don't you just love some of these titles? ;-)
So that was my weekend of ghostly short stories. Huge fun, I enjoyed some excellent writing, particularly the Victorian stories which are always so beautifully crafted. Hope to read a few more in a couple of weeks but in the meantime I'm back with Charlie Parker, chasing after Black Angels. Such fun.