THE HAND

by Guy De Maupassant. Originally Published in The Works of Guy de Maupassant 1909. Why does Sir John Rowell keep a severed hand attached to the wall of his drawing room? They had gathered in a circle around Monsieur Bermutier, the magistrate, who was expressing his opinion of the mysterious Saint-Cloud affair. For a month this inexplicable crime had been the talk of all Paris. Nobody could make head or tail of it. Standing with his back to the fireplace, Monsieur Bermutier was talking away, marshaling evidence, discussing the various theories, but not reaching any conclusion. Several women Continue reading

IN THE YEAR 2889

by Jules Verne. from The Forum, Sept 1888-Feb 1889. One man gains vast power and wealth in the 29th century. Little though they seem to think of it, the people of this 29th century live continually in fairyland. Surrounded with marvels, they are indifferent to marvels. To them all seems natural. Could they but appreciate the refinements of civilization in our day; could they but compare the present with the past, and recognize the advances we have made! How much fairer they would find our modern towns, with populations exceeding 10,000,000 souls; steets 300 feet wide, houses 100 feet high; Continue reading

STOLEN CENTURIES

by Otis Adelbert Kline. Originally Published in Fantastic Story, September 1953. A simple help wanted ad leads an expert climber to the elixir of life --- or is it? Bleary-eyed and unkempt, with a three days' growth of beard covering his lean jowls, his threadbare suit unpressed and baggy, Fred "Fly" Jorgeson shuffled to the park bench, sat down heavily, and sighed dejectedly. Jorgeson had seen better days--much better. For years he had made a splendid living with his "Human Fly" act, climbing the sides of skyscrapers as an advertising stunt while crowds gaped, watching for him to fall. He Continue reading

THE WITCH A LA MODE

by D. H. Lawrence. Originally Published in Lovat Dickson's Magazine, June 1934. An intricate web is woven when Bernard Coutts decides to stop for the night at East Croydon instead of traveling on to see his betrothed! When Bernard Coutts alighted at East Croydon he knew he was tempting Providence. "I may just as well," he said to himself, "stay the night here, where I am used to the place, as go to London. I can't get to Connie's forlorn spot to-night, and I'm tired to death, so why shouldn't I do what is easiest?" He gave his luggage to a porter. Again, as he faced the approaching tram-car: Continue reading

WHAT SORGHUM SAYS

by Cecil Corwin. From Cosmic Science Fiction, Volume 1, Number 3, May 1941. It's a mighty strange yarn that's going around in the hill-billy country. Sorghum says foreigners are "behind the times." UP IN THE FOOTHILLS of the Cumberlands they have something new in the way of folk-lore. If you're lucky and haven't got the professorial gleam in your eye, the tale is unfolded something like this: Sorghum Hackett lived by himself up by Sowbelly Crag, not because he was afraid for his still but because when he was a young man some girl blighted his life by running off to Nashville with a railroad Continue reading

THE RETURN

by Fernando Sorrentino. A dead man returns to exact revenge.      In 1965, I was twenty-three years old and was studying to become a high school language and literature teacher. An early, September spring was in the air, and very, very early one morning, I was studying in my room. My house was the only apartment building in that block, and we lived on the sixth floor..      I was feeling sort of lazy, and every now and then I'd let my gaze wander out the window. From there I could see the street and, just beyond the sidewalk across the street, the Continue reading

WOOD OF THE DEAD

by Algernon Blackwood. Originally Published in The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories, 1906. The living should not fear the Wood of the Dead --- or should they? One summer, in my wanderings with a knapsack, I was at luncheon in the room of a wayside inn in the western country, when the door opened and there entered an old rustic, who crossed close to my end of the table and sat himself down very quietly in the seat by the bow window. We exchanged glances, or, properly speaking, nods, for at the moment I did not actually raise my eyes to his face, so concerned was I with the important Continue reading

THE WITCH

by Anton Chekhov. from Novoe Vremia, 1886. Savely Gykin has strong suspicions that his wife Raissa is a witch! IT was approaching nightfall. The sexton, Savely Gykin, was lying in his huge bed in the hut adjoining the church. He was not asleep, though it was his habit to go to sleep at the same time as the hens. His coarse red hair peeped from under one end of the greasy patchwork quilt, made up of coloured rags, while his big unwashed feet stuck out from the other. He was listening. His hut adjoined the wall that encircled the church and the solitary window in it looked out upon the open Continue reading

THE WEREWOLVES

by Henry Beaugrand. from The Century, Aug. 1898. Soldiers have to contend not only with Indians, but werewolves as well.   A motley and picturesque-looking crowd had gathered within the walls of Fort Richelieu to attend the annual distribution of powder and lead, to take part in the winter drills and target practice, and to join in the Christmas festivities, that would last until the fast-approaching New Year.   Coureurs des bois from the Western country, scouts, hunters, trappers, militiamen, and habitants from the surrounding settlements, Indian warriors from the Continue reading

THE WENDIGO

by Theodore Roosevelt . FromFamous Animal Stories, 1932. Frontiersmen are stalked by a voracious creature of the forest! FRONTIERSMEN are not, as a rule, apt to be very superstitious. They lead lives too hard and practical, and have too little imagination in things spiritual and supernatural. I have heard but few ghost stories while living on the frontier, and these few were of a perfectly commonplace and conventional type. But I once listened to a goblin story which rather impressed me. It was told by a grizzled, weather-beaten old mountain hunter, named Bauman, who was born and had passed Continue reading