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The Haunted Looking Glass

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  550 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The Haunted Looking Glass is the late Edward Gorey's selection of his favorite tales of ghosts, ghouls, and grisly goings-on. It includes stories by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, M. R. James, W. W. Jacobs, and L. P. Hartley, among other masters of the fine art of making the flesh creep, all accompanied by Gorey's inimitable illustrations.

ALGERNON BLACKWOOD, "The Empty H
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 28th 2001 by NYRB Classics (first published 1959)
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137th out of 366 books — 328 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,690)
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Josh
Jan 28, 2013 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes spooky stories
This is one of the most interesting books I've read of late, I must say. It's a collection of short fiction from the turn of the last century, writer Edward Gorey's favorites, and they range from odd to downright spooky. It begins with explorers in a haunted house, and over 250 pages manages to cover much of the breadth of late Victorian English ghost stories.

Each tale is definitely unique. A couple involve haunted houses, some demons from hell, mysterious magic, ancient curses, strange events,
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Miriam

My favorite stories were M.R. James' "Casting the Runes" and E. Nesbit's "Man-Size in Marble," although the latter was a bit sad -- I liked her newlyweds so much that I really wanted them to have a happy ending. I could've read a ghost-free novel about them writing and painting and studying folklore and being sweet in their odd little cottage. Kind of a funny coincidence: I felt the same way about Patricia McKillip's short story The Kelpie, which also featured turn-of-the-century artistic types.
Carissa
This was a good read. The stories weren't terribly long and I passed the autumn day away reading. The stories are older or they have an old quality about them. They're thrilling in a different sense, I suppose, than horror books that are produced nowadays. My favorites are "The Empty House" and "The Dream Woman". I also enjoyed reading "The Signalman" which I had previously heard as an audio-recording. The recording was called "Classic Ghost Stories" and all of the works had been written either ...more
Dawn
A selection of ghost stories by the likes of Algernon Blackwood, Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Wilkie Collins, etc., all selected by Edward Gorey. What's NOT to love?

Excellent collection of gothic Victorian ghost stories - it's the perfect read for late fall / early winter nights.
Elizabeth
A set of fun gothic horror stories with a picture by Edward Gorey for each one. I might have to track down one or two of the authors to see what else they've done.
Georgie
A great collection of classic chillers from a variety of authors. The collection includes three of my favourite tales - 'Casting the Runes' by M.R. James, 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens, and 'The Monkey's Paw' by W.W. Jacobs. Other favourites and new discoveries (for me) were 'The Empty House' by Algernon Blackwood, 'August Heat' by W.F. Harvey, 'The Shadow of a Shade' by Tom Hood, and 'The Body Snatcher' by R.L. Stevenson. All the stories were good though. What makes this collection extra s ...more
Michelle
This is a collection of short stories selected by Edward Gorey, covering the genre of ghost stories. Each tale is illustrated by him. These are in the classic mode of leaving most of the true horror "off screen" in the mind of the reader. Authors included in the collection range from Charles Dickens (The Signalman), Robert Louis Stevenson (The Body-Snatcher), Bram Stoker(The Judge's House), E. Nesbit (Man-size in Marble) and Wilkie Collins (The Dream Women), among others. Each brings their own t ...more
Andres
This is an odd collection of ghost stories, chosen by Edward Gorey himself. I guess a lot has changed in the 50+ years since this particular mix of stories was chosen since only a few really worked for me. Since I grew up reading the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker, in addition to being a fan of 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The X-Files', I found most of the stories quaintly spooky, with only a couple of them goosebumps worthy.

Usually with anthologies I only point out the ones I liked but ther
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Quincy
2.5 stars

An collection of ghost stories from some of the most famous Victorian Era writers. Edward Gorey's collection includes Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Wilkie Collins, and more. While that sounds impressive in reality the collection barely registers a chill or two. The first two tales did produce minor shivers and Bram Stoker's The Judge's House was a well written piece. Plus it was nice to see The Monkey's Paw included but having read it in eighth grade it wasn't th
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Shawn Thrasher
A mixed bag, but overall some pretty good ghost stories. As the book progressed, the stories got better. E. Nesbit's Man Sized Marble was probably my favorite; it started with Nesbit's quirky style, with humorous asides, but became an altogether different kind of horrifying tale at by the end. I hadn't read The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs since I was in high school (where everyone probably last read it) - I was pleasantly surprised at how good the short story actually is. Bram Stoker's The Judge ...more
Mindi
An excellent collection of ghostly tales, gathered together by the immensely popular artist and master of the macabre, Edward Gorey. Gorey sketched an illustration for each story, thus making this superb collection a must for every lover of a good scary story, and certainly any collector of Gorey's art.
Ann
Anything written and/or illustrated by Edward Gorey is automatically a good read in my opinion. This anthology of classic ghost stories is no exception.
Lucinda
There are some real gems in this collection. Masterful in pacing and suspense, leading your imagination to their terrible conclusions (some of this is quite chilling, really). These stories are very Victorian in that they are not gruesome and gory, but merely suggestive of the terrifying supernatural. I will definitely be looking up these authors for their work particularly Montague R. James (his first name is Montague - how British can you get!?!) and William W. Jacobs. There is also Wilkie Col ...more
Tim
Excellent collection of ghost stories/horror fiction curated by the heroic and cat-loving Edward Gorey, including a one-page illustration for each story. The stories are mostly early 1900s horror and feature some of the greats (Dickens, Stoker, MR James) as well as some other authors I wasn't familiar with. All of the stories were completely top notch.
Elizabeth
Delightfully creepy!
Nancy
Edward Gorey chose a wonderful series of ghost stories for Haunted Looking Glass with some familiar ones and some new -- at least to me.
There are Algernon Blackwood's The Empty House, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Body-Snatchers and Wilkie Collins's The Dream Woman.
Other authors include W.F. Harvey, Dickens, R.H. Malden, Bram Stoker, Tom Hood, E. Nesbit, W.W. Jacobs and M.R. James.
This is a perfect little book for ghost story fans at any time or for those looking for a good Halloween read at
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Amy
Some of these stories were better than others (ahem, The Empty House) but I knew Edward Gorey and the Victorians (the name of my future band) wouldn't let me down. The Victorians wrote the best ghost stories; they truly excel at 1) setting an atmosphere, and 2) conveying a creepy or scary story with minimal bloodshed. It's all very tastefully done.

My favorites were Casting the Runes and, surprisingly, given how much I detest Dracula, The Judge's House. Who knew Bram Stoker didn't always suck? W
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Heman
A collection of not at all scary stories circa 19th century. The better ones, from the point of view of the plot and penmanship, are not surprisingly written by the three more famous authors of the bunch: Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker. The three other good ones are Tom Hood's "The Shadow of a Shade", William Jacobs' "Monkey's Paw" and Montague James' "Casting the Runes." The most ridiculous one is the "Dream Woman"
Erik
Nov 06, 2008 Erik rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the horror or classics genre
I read this in anticipation of Halloween and was pretty impressed with the the collection of stories. I haven't read many classics, but it was intriguing to read horror or suspenseful shorts by classic authors like Bram Stoker, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Robert Louis Stevenson to name a few. While I liked some stories more than others, this was a good collection that I'd recommend for horror fans.
Allen Perry
Some of the stories were not to my taste but I read this more because they were the favorites of Edward Gorey more then anything. Don't get me wrong though. Many of the stories are quite good and the book is well worth reading wether you are a Gorey fan or not.
Margaret
I know that I can scare easily and I get into books easily, but some of these ghost stories were really scary/creepy. The Wilkie Collins one was a disappointment and one I didn't get because I don't know enough about British nursery rhymes, but the rest A+.
Pearl Yusuf
I love E. Gorey and wanted to read what he found interesting. Most of the 12 stories are just well written gothic spooky tales. More pleasure in the writing than the story. A couple were "leave the light on" scary, which were great pleasures.
Holland
After reading this, I have read nothing but ghost stories!! Im addicted!! This collection is definitely one of the best, and what I would give a friend who wanted to venture down this dark & spooky path with me ... Muwahaha!!
Deb
Jul 19, 2007 Deb rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ye olde short story fans
Shelves: dystopian-gothic
The stories in this book didn't really catch my attention, and I gave up after about 3 or 4 attempts to find an engaging tale. Gorey's drawings may be lovely, but his editorial skills leave quite a bit to be desired.
Austen to Zafón
I ate this up. I love gothic ghost stories and Edward Gorey really knows how to pick them. You can't really go wrong with authors like E. Nesbit, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Bram Stoker.
Yvonne
Makes me nostalgic for high school, reading these tales. So far, in most tales tension builds and begins to feel scary, then the conclusion brings it down to a "well, isn't that nice?"
Kaethe
I just received a replacement copy for the missing-who-knows-how-long hardcover from my collection. Guess what I'm looking forward to for All Hallow's Read?
Melissa
This is the book that created my interest in gothic tales. All the stories were chosen by Edward Gorey and I really enjoyed reading every one.
kyliemm
A fabulous collection of eerie Victorian-era short stories. I loved all of them. You go, Edward Gorey. I'm sad that you're dead.
Ryan
I'm a big fan of Edward Gorey, but I was a bit disappointed by his selection of mostly mediocre ghost stories.
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  • Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural
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Born in Chicago, Gorey came from a colorful family; his parents, Helen Dunham Garvey and Edward Lee Gorey, divorced in 1936 when he was 11, then remarried in 1952 when he was 27. One of his step-mothers was Corinna Mura, a cabaret singer who had a brief role in the classic film Casablanca. His father was briefly a journalist. Gorey's maternal great-grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, was a popular ...more
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