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The Beckoning Fair One

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The Beckoning Fair One is sometimes called the greatest ghost story in the English language; it may well be. Certainly it is one of the questest and most beautiful supernatural tales ever written. It reminds the reader of Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" -- and that is huge praise indeed. The story tells of British novelist Paul Oleron, who lives restlessly i ...more
Paperback
Published March 1st 2006 by Wildside Press (first published 1911)
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(showing 1-30 of 390)
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Johnny Waco
This 1911 ghost story is an impressive example of suggestion and atmosphere, as a struggling novelist, Paul Oleron, rents a floor of a dilapidated house and is slowly seduced by something ghostly. Onions unfolds the story languidly, beginning with incidents that could just as easily be Oleron's imagination as a supernatural presence: an ancient melody he can't stop humming, a visitor scratched by a nail he swore he removed. Uncovering the hidden, nailed-down window boxes gives us our first clue ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holly Cagney
I decided to read this novella because of a painting I own. It was given to me by my father, and it previosly belonged to my great-grandmother. She'd been given this strange painting of a woman by an artist friend, and on the back it has the title The Beckoning Fair One. I wanted to find out more about the painting so I Googled it and found this story. It's quite an intriguing read, full of suspense that kept me up half the night wanting to see how it ended.
Jeff Miller
This novella is a pretty decent Ghost story written in 1911 that is really quite good and includes elements more common today in horror stories - though not gore wise.

A writer buys a house to finish his book and his personality starts to change as the house influences him and tries to get rid of others.

What a name Oliver Onions is and not surprisingly it is not a pseudonym.
Julie Davis
I can't believe I never reviewed this novella. I read it on Forgotten Classics in three parts as it is rather long.

We will be discussing it on SFFaudio where Jesse very kindly put all the pieces together into one complete audiobook for those who want to listen before hearing our discussion.

Many people complain of this being a slow, meandering tale but I found this explained by the author's own forward which explains his approach to the ghost story. These are just a few snippets but I hope they c
...more
Sirensongs
It seems as if there is somewhat of a gap in my experience of ghost stories if it has taken me this long to finally read this classic by Oliver Onions. Better late than never, however, and I must say it is one of the finest spectral tales that I have ever read! It contained all the elements that I find most enticing in a ghost stories: a tortured artist, obsession, madness, unrequited love and passion, the subtlest hints of lust, ambiguity... I truly found this to be a masterpiece of this partic ...more
Jonas Wilmann
A very alternative ghost story that may serve as a sort of precautionary tale for those who delve TOO deeply into the darkest recesses of their creativity. While reading, one wonders if the so called 'haunted' apartment author Paul Oleron moves into, is not in fact haunted by himself ... A spinechilling meta-story thematically exploring the 'gift of writing' as an unbearable curse.
Laura Garner
My favorite ghost story of all time. Subtle yet terrifying, in a Victorian way. And the idea of a man (or woman) preferring some romanticized, probably non-existent ideal over a real, solid, flawed woman (or man) ... I'd call that a timeless theme.
Suzy Nash
This is perhaps the scariest haunted house story I have ever read.
Elizabeth
Really an unnerving, very effective ghost story. I loved this.
JoAnn
Odd, yet compelling.
Mizuki
It's a 3.5 stars read, I like the writing and the characters, but the very, very faint ending is a bit of a letdown.
Sylvester
Onions does an excellent job of leading us readers into the twilight zone. Especially liked the part in which Oleron becomes ultra-aware of the minutest sounds going on in the house, and begins to realize that the house is like a mirror-being of himself. Deliciously creepy. In my opinion he could have gone farther with it than he did, but it was good nonetheless. One of those books that is so obviously the basis for this entire genre of horror\ghost\gothic. (The book I really want to read of Oni ...more
Latasha
I listened to a Librivox recording for this story. the reader did very well. the story started out so slow. i didn't think it picked up until desperate friend started getting hurt then it slowed back down. overall it was ok. it could have been A LOT shorter, though.
Debra
Dec 20, 2012 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended story "The Beckoning Fair One" in his "Forenote to the Paperback Edition" from King's Berkley's 1983 edition of Danse Macabre (revised).
Mark McLaughlin
Oliver Onions was a great writer of the supernatural. His ghost stories are perfectly crafted and profound.
Lawrence Carpin
if you want a creepy story then this you have to read.
Jenn Li
Possibly the best horror short story ever written.
Chris
Rather strange. Great ending.
Derek Dittner
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Apr 30, 2015
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Oliver Onions was born in Bradford in 1873. Although he legally changed his name to George Oliver in 1918, he always published under the name Oliver Onions. Onions originally worked as a commercial artist before turning to writing, and the dust jackets of his earliest works included illustrations painted by Onions himself.

Onions was a prolific writer of short stories and novels and is best remembe
...more
More about Oliver Onions...
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