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Edward Gorey's Haunted Looking Glass: A collection of ghost stories chosen and illustrated by Edward Gorey
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Edward Gorey's Haunted Looking Glass: A collection of ghost stories chosen and illustrated by Edward Gorey

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  830 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews

Edward Gorey's Haunted Looking Glass contains twelve classic, haunting tales about ghosts and the supernatural. The book's contents reads like a who's who of outstanding writers in the genre, with contributions from such authors as Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James, Wilkie Collins, L. P. Hartley, E. Nesbit, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, and others. No

Hardcover, 301 pages
Published September 5th 1984 by Avenel Books (first published 1959)
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So the great Gorey and I have some of the same tastes in fiction. And we both like cats.

Some of these stories are well known - such as "The Monkey's Paw", which is one of those stories that never grows stale at all. Others are not, such as "August Heat", a rather chilling tale. What is interesting is that Blakwood's story "The Empty House" and Wilkie Collins' "The Dream Woman" make use of rather strong women, where as the others don't. In fact, Nesbit's story seems to be also poking fun at the c
Sep 19, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghosts, short-stories

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.
Jul 09, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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? Perfect!

personal copy
Jan 28, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Oct 06, 2010 Carissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2014 Mindi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 29, 2010 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 12, 2014 Georgie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2015 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Wonderfully chilling book. These are all horror classics, stories that I've seen referenced or parodied by modern writers, but never read in the original. Except for the Dickens story (I've never enjoyed Dickens), each one was thoroughly absorbing. The number of Gorey illustrations is the only disappointing part - there's only one per story and some of them really don't do justice to the spine-tingling qualities of the story they depict. Fabulous collection!
Nov 09, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I can't think of a book that has brought me more pleasure. These stories are very English and very direct. The ghosts featured in this story aren't shy about making their presence known. But what I loved about these stories was the sharp contrast between the warm cozy indoors of the parlor, library or club compared to the wet and gloomy atmosphere outdoors. I will definitely be seeking out more stories by some of these lesser-known (to me anyway) authors, particularly Algernon Blackwell.
Nov 05, 2016 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boo! Scary good collection of ghost stories, with unsettling illustrations by Edward Gorey. Very few I hadn't read before, but features two of my all-time favorites ("The Signalman" and "The Monkey's Paw"), two of the best by Bram Stoker and M. R. James ("The Judge's House" and "Casting the Runes"), plus good ones by E. Nesbit and Robert Louis Stevenson, and two creepy ones I'd never heard of ("August Heat" by W.F. Harvey, and "The Thirteenth Tree" by R.H. Malden). Eek!
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.
Feb 06, 2017 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. The stories get better as you step through them, but too many are simply plot driven and the plot is predictable. The last several stories are better at setting a mood, but I'm not sure they make up for the poorer stories.
Feb 08, 2017 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most short story collections, a mixed bag. Happily, this mix was of 3 to 5 star worthy stories, so I settled on 4 stars. Being a Gorey fan, it's interesting reading what he enjoyed.
It can be difficult for ghost stories to hold up over time, and that occasionally proves true here, but it's still a nice collection from writers mostly not know for their horror and supernatural writings. The Dickens and Louis Stevenson stories are highlights
Sep 14, 2012 Andres rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Lucy Somerhalder
Edward Gorey's illustrations are great but most of the stories were pretty average, with the exception of 'August Heat', which was wonderfully creepy, and has really stuck with me.
Jul 10, 2013 Myles rated it really liked it
A collection of Victorian and Edwardian ghost stories each with an illustration by the ever-pleasing Edward Gorey. All of the stories fit into Gorey's peculiar aesthetic, and several such as Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Body-Snatcher" and W.W. Jacob's "The Monkey's Paw" have become ubiquitous without losing their power. There was one or two that failed to do anything for me.

I'm looking at you "The Thirteenth Tree".

R.H. Malden's story of a man's vision at a friend's country estate has an eerie
Thoroughly enjoyable, mildly chilling.

Definite standouts: A visitor from down under by L.P. Hartley, and Casting the runes by M.R. James.

I don't think it's a coincidence that these two didn't follow the very traditional first-person narrated story that generally starts with an earnest assertion of truth despite impossibility, which describes most of the others stories here. Both of those stories took a more novel-like structure, with chapters, different viewpoints, and even some character develo
Oct 22, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural
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
Oct 30, 2013 Quincy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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
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
Aug 12, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of classic (mostly late 1800s, early 1900s) creepy tales. Nothing actually written by Gorey in here unfortunately, but he curated the collection and made an illustrated title page for each. Favorites: The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood (ends suddenly, but builds tension well), A Visit From Down Under by L.P. Hartley (kinda weird in a dreamy way, unexpected and different), Man-Size in Marble by Edith Nesbit (straightforward unfortunate tale), and the swiftly gut-churning class ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013
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
Jan 28, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 05, 2012 Heman rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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"
Oct 27, 2008 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 19, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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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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