Saturday, March 5, 2016

Narrative of the Ghost of the Hand

J. Sheridan Le Fanu
This being the month my Irish ancestors no doubt celebrated I put forth a classic 19th century Irish ghost tale.

In this era, a go-to writer was J. Sheridan Le Fanu. He is known for his story about a demonic monkey. 

The full text of this tale entitled Green Tea can be found here. I also like another one of his novels, Narrative of the Ghost of the Hand published in the 1870s.

Green Tea
This story takes place on a small estate in Dublin, a family by the name of Prosser move into a cottage called the Tiled House on the property. It isn’t long before a relative of the couples-- Lord Castlemallard is demanding they be let out of their lease.

He takes the case to court stating the house is haunted and should be torn down as “a nuisance.”

Loud raps and bangs on the cottages’ doors and windows have plagued the Prosser couple and their servants night after night. The cause seemingly is a pale, old disembodied hand with clenched knuckles.

Le Fanu skillfully leads the reader down an ever-increasing path of alarm and mystery as his story winds to a terrifying death.

A text of this story is not published online, but it is included in these three anthologies. Classic Ghost Stories by David Pickering, Classic Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories by Rex Collings and Horror Fables by Thomas Huff. All three can be found at Amazon.

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