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The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  993 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil. In the case of the latter, no particular feature need betray them; they may boast an open countenance and an ingenuous smile; and yet a little of their comp
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published April 15th 2007 by 1st World Library (first published 1906)
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Sean
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horror fiction. A genre that does not nearly get all the credit that it deserves. A genre dominated by Stephen King and Dean Koontz. A genre that has so much to offer but much of it is marginalized by these two famous authors. Granted, King and Koontz have written some pretty frightening and powerful stories that are beloved by millions of readers. But outside of the works of these two bestselling authors, not much is known to mainstream readers. This is unfortunate. There was, in fact, a time w ...more
Maciek
Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil. In the case of the latter, no particular feature need betray them; they may boast an open countenance and an ingenuous smile; and yet a little of their company leaves the unalterable conviction that there is something radically amiss with their being: that they are evil.

First published in 1907, this is Algernon Blackwood's first collection of short stories, and it takes on what is probably the olde
...more
C.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I keep reading the same phrase on the reviews for Algernon Blackwood's, The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories - "This was free on my Kindle...". Yes, and what an extraordinary gift for the Kindle it is. Many of Algernon's works are Free for the Kindle, and aren't we blessed and ecstatic about that? I am - because Algernon Blackwood is the master of the ghost story and of things that go bump in the stormy night.

Back in the day when these stories were written, you know, around the time of the Sa
...more
Blair
I didn't intend to read this book properly; I just wanted to sample a few stories to get a feel for the author's style, in preparation for a blog post about ghost stories I'm in the process of writing. I did, however, end up reading all ten stories, although I skimmed over a few of them a little more quickly than I usually would. The edition I read, one of many available on Kindle (this is a public domain work, which you can download for free at Project Gutenberg) has the provocative and rather ...more
Kathryn
I am usually not a big fan of ghost stories but Blackwood is an exception, not to say that only ghosts were involved in these tales. Blackwood is the epitome of fear, a true master at making hearts beat faster with deceptively simple ease. Most people tend to compare Blackwood to Poe but I never felt the same intense reactions to Poe's work as I do Blackwood's. Maybe this partially has to do with reading all of Poe's works at a much younger age. The only other writer I can think of who creates t ...more
Shaun
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Though slightly dated, this collection still warrants 5 stars if only because of its role in the history of the horror genre. Along with Poe, Machen, and Lovecraft, Blackwood's significance can not be minimized and neither can his style of storytelling.

I doubt this will appeal as much to the modern reader unless, like me, you happen to appreciate the subtle side of horror which ultimately derives its power from fear of the unknown,a fear whose limits exist only within the confines of our imagina
...more
Lori
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing how scary simple ghosts can be!! Blackwood is a masterful storyteller, and has just the right touch of drama without being heavy-handed. I made a point to read these stories at night. I actually found myself a little scared in the dark after reading "The Haunted Island." Delicious!!
Scott
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edwardian, horror, 1900s
A haunted house in an English seaside town, a solitary cabin on a Canadian lake, lonely rooms in a boarding house late at night, a dilapidated mansion, an old barn out in the woods ... these are the trite but effective settings Algernon Blackwood draws upon in his first collection of weird tales, The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories (1906). The chilling events that take place in these buildings are often left murky: Blackwood’s not one to burden his tales with Dickensian descriptions or lengt ...more
José Nebreda
Blackwood tiene algunos cuentos sobrenaturales que son verdaderas cumbres de la literatura de terror: "El Wendigo", "Los sauces" (ambos casi insuperables), "Antiguas brujerías", "A haunted island", "El campamento del perro"..., y luego tiene un montón de relatos que el tiempo no ha tratado demasiado bien, en los que se da vueltas y más vueltas a ideas y tramas demasiado manidas, y que Blackwood, desgraciadamente, tarda más de lo necesario en desarrollar.

En este libro hay muchos de estos últimos,
...more
Canavan
✭✭✭

“The Empty House” (1906) ✭✭✭✭
“A Haunted Island” (1899) ✭✭✭✭
“A Case of Eavesdropping” (1900) ✭✭✭
“Keeping His Promise” (1906) ✭✭✭
“With Intent to Steal” (1906) ✭✭
“The Wood of the Dead” (1906) ✭✭
“Smith: An Episode in a Lodging-House” (1906) ✭✭✭
“A Suspicious Gift” (1906) ✭✭
“Skeleton Lake: An Episode in Camp” (1906) ✭
“The Strange Adventures of a Private a Secretary in New York” (1906) ✭✭✭
...more
Ignacio Senao f
Transición (5/5): un hombre simplón viaja hacia su casa contento con los regalos que ha comprado para estos. Tiene un accidente, y está a punto de morir… Muchas películas que nos han impactado han cogido la idea de este relato.

La casa vacía (4/5): un cuento de casa encantada. Con un fantasma muy diferente a lo visto.

Cumplió su promesa (3/5): Típico relato de apariciones.

Puede telefonear desde aquí (4/5): Ya leí un relato muy parecido por King. Presenciamos como una casada recibo llamadas mister
...more
Mary
Dec 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories
Don't get me wrong: I do like Blackwood, especially when he writes about starving journalists and easily distracted students. But too often he falls into the Cthulhu trap ("it was so hideous/eerie/scary that I can't describe it") or says things like "somehow I knew I was in danger," both of which feel like horror-writer outs. Also, just cultural changes, it's a bit awkward when the Other who is American Indian, or Jewish, is the horror. Not that minorities haven't a right to be blood curdling, b ...more
Nikki May
Empty house is described as a horror but more to me it's a horror fiction, it seems more about the feel of suspense and thrill than about the gore and the death count for which a lot of people dislike I for one am not one of those people I love the feel the jitteriness of a real ghost story to wonder, to look over my shoulder and feel nervous, this book did that and I loved it for it.

The language in this book is although eloquent and sometimes overly descriptive it doesn't detract from the horro
...more
Eduardo Rincon
The Empty House, a house with great terror and a nasty back story, a young man and his Aunt cheerfully go inside to explore. This story is about an empty house that has been deserted because the residents were feeling a chill up their spines and goose bumps climbing their arm. The house seemed like any other house, if you look at it directly it would have the same features that the houses on either side has. Same number of windows, same white stairs that lead up to a heavily black door, same ba ...more
Pedro Ponce
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The short story I have read today is called The Empty House by Algernon blackwood. This book is a short horror story. The main characters in this horror story are Aunt Julia and a guy named Shorthouse. The setting takes place in Aunt julia's home on a sea-front in the other side of there town. Aunt julia is a apple skin wrinkled lady mentioned by shorthouse. The author doesn't really describe shorthouse but i assume that he is a strong man mentally and emotionally due to stuff he does through in ...more
Bernabe
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The short story i read was “The Empty House” by Algernon Blackwood. The genre of the story is horror.The setting of this story took place in a haunted house. The two major characters in this story are Shorthouse and his aunt Julia. Shorthouse came to visit his aunt Julia, when she telegraphed him to come pay her a visit. Julia is an elderly woman that lives alone in her house.

Julia telegraphed shorthouse to come to her house so that he can accompany her to a house in the other side of town. Thi
...more
Scott
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: flat-capped
The vocabulary is what really draws you into this ghost story far more than the events themselves. A simple walk around a haunted house is spooky but the chilling fear is in the descriptive narration of our author. Quick flashes of panic by our duo and shocking glimmers of a face in shadow are meticulously drawn out to full visions of absolute horror by a mesmerizing string of graphic sentences. I could feel my blood chill with every word feel my heart freeze as the cold crept up my spine with e ...more
Amy
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really starting to love the descriptions in Blackwood's writing. There are some really classic ghost stories in this book and one that gives modern horror authors a serious run for their money. Many more recent stories and movies might be surprised to find that their ideas had been already been executed over 100 years previously in "The strange adventures of a Private Secretary in New York." It was also so fascinating for such a talented author to describe in great detail life and land in ...more
Allana
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories is an atmospheric read. Particularly with The Empty House itself, I was immediately taken to an age of dim street lamps and fog, where men had to be strong and upstanding and women were allowed to be weak and suffer palpitations at the slightest fear.
Nevertheless, on closer inspection, the young Jim Shorthouse has real problems maintaining his strength of purpose in an allegedly haunted house, whilst his elderly aunt, despite her frailty, strikes me as a v
...more
Kari
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
For the most part, I did enjoy these spooky tales. They are reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House. Although, that was written much later. I wouldn't say these were "scary", not compared to what horror and ghost stories are like today, but they are definitely creepy. The best one is the first story, "The Empty House". It definitely gave me chills. "A Case of Eavesdropping" was pretty creepy as well.

I did listen to all 10 stories in a row, but if I had to do it again, I probabl
...more
Natalie
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book starts when two people go to a house that had a murder that happened centuries ago the guy who committed the murder got The death penalty so they started walking around the house and they fought they saw a ghost of a girl but they decided their minds were just playing tricks on them but this wasn't the last ghost encounter they had A goat of an angry man came up to his face but even though they had bumped into several goals they kept on going up the stairs to the next floor and then th ...more
Tocotin
Interesting stories, if a little bit faded. The ones which deal with the wilderness and dangers waiting for the unwary hunters or travelers are the best, especially A Haunted Island (Lovecraft comes to mind; I'll be reading The Wendigo soon, which is the most famous of Blackwood's stories), but my favorite is The Strange Adventures of a Private Secretary in New York. Furries, you should check out this one, I think contemporary authors writing about werewolves could learn a lot.
Alma Carol Odell
A deliciously scary collection of stories that often kept me on the edge of my seat. Today when I was thoroughly engrossed in the story "The Adventures of a Private Secretary in New York" my husband opened the front door and I nearly jumped out of my skin! The (often really creepy) tales in this book have the feel of scary camp stories told late at night around a crackling fire while miles from nowhere with dark woods all around.
Shawn Fairweather
Typical writing for its period however many of the included stories put me to sleep rather then kept me up at night, a couple however were pretty good. Unfortunately this makes it hard to rate a collection. Again I must say, I prefer to be told the scary story and not necessarily read someones iterpretation of events if that makes any sense. These stories read more like someone memories rather than trying to place the reader there in the moment.
Nancy Butts
The ghosts in this book are subtle, not just incorporeal but making themselves known primarily by an influence on the mind and spirits of the characters they haunt. These are ghost stories in the classic 19th-century mode, with odd, abrupt endings. And unfortunately there is a strong streak of anti-Semitism in one story that I found repugnant. I realize that wasn’t unusual at the time that Blackwood wrote these tales, but I still loathe it.
Chiefdonkey Bradey
Reading this book was like entering what appeared to be a sound, well constructed, Edwardian house - but then discovering that - under the elegant sweep of stone stairs - was a labyrinth of rooms, each room hung with strange carpets and tapestries, with bizarre and icy figures, just on the edge of vision ....
arg/machine
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of fine ghostly tales from one of the masters of the genre, this book is now in the public domain, with a free electronic copy available here.
Sem
I'd like to give this collection 4 stars but for the most part the stories end with breathtaking abruptness and little explanation. I don't for a second believe that Shorthouse is a recurring character - I suspect that Blackwood simply couldn't be bothered when it came to names - and I'm tired of protagonists being sapped of their will and strength. All that aside, a solid collection.
Frank
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The empty house is one of the best ghost stories I have ever read. This is the type of the house the TAPS group would love to find. And it is presented very well. You get to share the real ghostly moment of the death that occured in the house.
Allison
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good

Sometimes the stories were more strange than frightening, and I personally could have used a less abrupt ending to the last story,but overall I enjoyed these stories. The author is fond of the name Shorthouse and the word lugubrious
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Blackwood was born in Shooter's Hill (today part of south-east London, but then part of northwest Kent) and educated at Wellington College. His father was a Post Office administrator who, according to Peter Penzoldt, "though not devoid of genuine good-heartedness, had appallingly narrow religious ideas".Blackwood had a varied career, farming in Canada, operating a hotel, as a newspaper reporter in ...more
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“The dark side of life, and the horror of it, belonged to a world that lay remote from his own select little atmosphere of books and dreamings.” 19 likes
“Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil. In the case of the latter, no particular feature need betray them; they may boast an open countenance and an ingenuous smile; and yet a little of their company leaves the unalterable conviction that there is something radically amiss with their being: that they are evil. Willy nilly, they seem to communicate an atmosphere of secret and wicked thoughts which makes those in their immediate neighbourhood shrink from them as from a thing diseased.” 11 likes
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