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All Things Eerie

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Paul

Paul Smethers, a former high school English teacher, is an Associate with the Adult Services Team at Main. His special interests are poetry, ghost stories, and the French Bourbon dynasty.

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Welcome back to All Things Eerie.  You may not recognize the name of tonight’s author, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, but you have surely heard some of the more famous ideas from his writings.
 

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Welcome back to All Things Eerie.    When we last met, our protagonist had secured for his curiosity a night in a house reputed by several sources to be haunted.  

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Known for his Gothic or Victorian Gothic tales, Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 – 1873) was the leading horror or ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century.  You may remember some of his excellent storytelling here on All Things Eerie in the tale of Carmilla, one of the earliest vampire stories.  

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"The Furnished Room"                        O. Henry

We introduce this evening another O. Henry story, "The Furnished Room," which gives us a nice taste of O. Henry's "other worldly" interests brought to bear in his most famous medium, the American short story, of which he is said to be one of its leading and most influential practitioners.  
 

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“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.  

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Welcome back to our little dark celebration of ghost stories by Edith Wharton.

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This evening we are presenting a ghost story by the esteemed and renowned American author Edith Wharton, who was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

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When we last met, Mary Boyne’s husband had been missing for two weeks already, and we re-enter our story this evening as a rush of searching and inquiry as to his whereabouts spreads loudly throughout the environs of Lyng. 

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Although more renowned as an illustrator for children than as an author, Howard Pyle, nonetheless, greets us this evening with an eerie tale about witchcraft in colonial America.
 

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In this evening’s story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” we follow our protagonist, the homely Ichabod Crane, through the peaceful vales of Sleepy Hollow, a place swarming with the memories of ghosts, and one in particular –a headless horseman.
 

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In our last encounter with our protagonist Ichabod Crane, we find him en route to visit the Van Tassels—and one in particular, their daughter Katrina—for an evening of celebration and perhaps—perhaps not—a little romance.  

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Tonight we revisit one of our old friends, H.G. Wells, who spins a tale about a man and his young son who find a magic shop in their foot travels about town, where each one gets an unforgettable experience at the hands of the shopman, who insists upon the reliability of the goods in his shop.
 

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“The Tapestried Chamber,” by Sir Walter Scott, is believed by many scholars to be the first “modern” ghost story, published in 1828.

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Mary Elizabeth Braddon  was an English popular novelist of the Victorian era. She was a prolific writer, producing more than eighty novels with inventive, sensational plots, but it was Lady Audley's Secret which won her recognition and a fortune as a bestseller.

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The poem "Goblin Market" is one of Christina Rossetti’s best known poems. 

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One of the great works of revenge fiction, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” has been so widely anthologized that it is considered required reading for many a high schooler,  to whom the narrator imparts two requirements for satisfactory vengeance--one, that the act must be committed with impunity, and two, that the victim must be unmistakably certain as to the identity of the avenger.
 

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula, while not the earliest, is perhaps the best known of all vampire tales.

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If you’ve never read or heard of the Japanese ghost stories of Lafcadio Hearn, you are in for a real ghost story lover’s treat.  These stories are so dearly loved by the Japanese that they have come to be regarded in Japan as classics in their own right.

 

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Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, whom we know simply as Mrs. Gaskell, wrote the following short story, “The Old Nurse’s Story,” at the invitation of Mr. Charles Dickens – whom we know to be a thoroughgoing aficionado of the ghostly tale.  

 

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The story of Tom Walker is a variation on the legend of Doctor Faust, a 16th century magician and astrologer, well known to have sold his soul to the devil for wisdom, money, and power.

 

 

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“The Canterville Ghost" is a short story by Oscar Wilde about an American family who move to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead nobleman who killed his wife and was starved to death by his wife’s brothers.

 

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An English writer nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times, H.G. Wells was prolific in many genres and is often called the Father of Science Fiction. But wasn’t Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the book that really launched the genre of science fiction?

 

 

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Tonight we draw our attention to one of the stories of Algernon Blackwood, a former Commander of the British Empire, who was one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre.
 


 

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We interrupt the twilight to bring you another ghost story by Mr. Charles Dickens, “The Trial for Murder.”  

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The tale you are about to hear is one of the most famous of vampire stories and predates Bram Stoker’s Dracula by over quarter century.  
 

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Welcome back to All Things Eerie and Part IV of Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla.
 

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Welcome back to All Things Eerie and Part II of Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla.

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Welcome back to All Things Eerie and the conclusion of Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla.

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Welcome back to All Things Eerie and Part III of Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla.

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We introduce our new podcast with a very special ghost story, this one by a Mr. Dickens, whom we all know as one of the most prolific and beloved authors of the 19th century.

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The Irish author Bram Stoker is perhaps best known to us for the story of Dracula, a vampire with a thirst for both blood and vengeance.

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We shall only spend a brief moment introducing the controversy over the attribution of tonight’s story to Daniel Defoe.  The reason for this question of attribution lies in two facts: Daniel Defoe was well known to publish many works anonymously, and many anonymously-published works were casually attributed to him.  Because of those two reasons, literary scholars have found endless ways to argue this matter, none of which matter much to us.  But there you have it.

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This evening’s author, Frederick George Loring, was an English naval officer and writer, and an early expert in wireless telegraphy.