Ghost Stories - Cover

Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary – Volume II

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is an upcoming graphic novel. An Adaptation of four of M.R. James’ supernatural tales of terror. By the way of Leah Moore and John Reppion, under Self Made Hero in fact but published by Abrams Books. M.R. James has been cited as being an influence on the works of both H.P. Lovecraft as well as Stephen King.

Ghost Stories - M.R. James

The esteemed M.R. James – medievalist scholar as well as writer of ghost stories!

With it being October of course, what better way to celebrate the season than with some of James’ stories? Because with the second volume of Ghost Stories of an An Antiquary you get a nice selection from the author’s work.

With Number 13, illustrated by George Kambadais. We are introduced to a young man named Mr. Anderson. Who has arrived at the Golden Lion inn in Viborg, Denmark. A researcher who certainly uncovers something startling. Whilst checking on his fellow lodgers he discovers there is no room numbered 13 listed in the available rooms. Except if that is the case…why does Mr. Anderson pass a room marked 13? As well as the mystery of the singing and laughing from behind a door to a room that isn’t supposed to exist?

Next up in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is Count Magnus! Illustrated by Abigail Larson it is the tale of one Mister Wraxall. A travel guide writer. Mr. Wraxall is visiting Sweden for research on an upcoming book. However the man instead learns of the bloody handed legacy of the titular Count Magnus. A fearsome man who it was rumored was to be on a ‘Black Pilgrimage’. In addition to causing enough fear to warrant three large padlocks on his place of rest. What might happen if those padlocks were to be opened?

Ghost Stories - Count Magnus

Some doors are not meant to be open!

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad is the third entry. In addition this is a story by M.R. James that I know well thanks to a television adaptation. This story which is illustrated by Al Davison concerns Professor Parkins, who is on holiday. While the Professor might intend to spend time playing rounds of golf, he uncovers an odd item located in a burial site. What was once a Templar preceptory hides a whistle. Being an educated man and scorning of what some might deem superstitious. Parkins blows the whistles. Twice. Being a ghost story it shouldn’t surprise you that something answers the call, right?

Ghost Stories - Oh Whistle

Professor Parkins is going to learn to keep an open mind!

The last story presented in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is The Treasure of Abbot Thomas. Illustrated by Meghan Hetrick. In this tale we meet Antiquarian, Mr. Somerton, who follows the trail of a coded message. Which in fact is hidden within a stained glass window in the Abbey of Steinfeld in Germany. Furthermore the reason for this coded message is it is said to lead to a hidden treasure. Somerton and his trusted servant, Mr. Brown – are able to decipher the clues which lead to an abandoned well that once belonged to Abbot Thomas. A well that curiously indeed contains steps that lead down into the darkness…as well as a guardian.

It is the fourth tale that is very much like the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, friends. It is probably my favorite of them all. But each one does represent a wonderful type of ghost story by the way. If you find you need a little something to help you get into the spirit of the season. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II comes out this Tuesday. Or instead you can order a copy for yourself by following the link to Abrams books.

Now that you now what to expect from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Why not watch the 1968 television adaptation for Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad?

[Via] Montague James

Visit The Kretcher Motel In The Horror Anthology ‘Forever Vacancy’!

In literature, the horror anthology is one of my favorite things. In particular I enjoy the buffet like quality that a horror anthology can offer. Case in point, Forever Darkness where we are introduced to The Kretcher Motel. A seedy type of establishment that one would do well to avoid when visiting Atlanta . Certainly there are those who are drawn to the special…amenities…that the Kretcher Motel offers. Those lost souls down on their luck or those seeking souls as a matter of fact.

The Kretcher offers cheap rates because the motel has a unique hunger. As does its proprietor, the beautiful and equally dangerous Sybline Kretcher. Quick to lend a helpful hand as well as manipulating guests, letting them find their deserved punishments. Moreover the proprietor in some cases even offers redemption. Yes, indeed, Sybline has been tending to the motel since the early 1960’s…but she has been around for a lot longer than that. A lot longer than you might imagine.
Horror Anthology - Sybline Kretcher

Sybline Kretcher as well as the Kretcher Motel are the two constants in the new horror anthology from Colors in Darkness. Forever Vacancy collects 13 diverse stories, ranging from hauntings to the wickedly humorous. All manner of characters find their way to the run down Kretcher Motel and their tales are the perfect fit for an anthology. Having said that I will add that I’m rather fond of the format in general. In addition to books I have similarly thrilled to those horror anthology in film and TV format however few they might be in number. A few of my favorites being 1972’s Tales from the Crypt, 1982’s Creepshow, and 2007’s Trick ‘r Treat of course.

Are you a fan of Creepshow? You might want to take a moment and listen to when we covered it on the Saturday Frights podcast!

With 13 different styles of stories presented in Forever Vacancy a few naturally stand out. While it all comes down to a matter of taste, I found Karma Suture by Tawanna Sullivan, The Honeymoon Suite: Jacob’s Reunion by Sumiko Saulson, and A Devil Of A Deal by David O’Hanlon to really shine amongst the other fine stories presented.

With Karma Suture, we are introduced to a location scout named Stephanie. Actually she has desires to be an actress but has taken a position with her ex-boyfriend, helping him on a film he is producing. For Stephanie the Kretcher Motel offers a bit of comeuppance for those that have wronged her…or she feels have wronged her.

A Devil Of A Deal I found to be the most fun. David O’Hanlon has crafted a rowdy as well as bawdy leading man. Or fallen angel in the case of Mr. Scratch. A raconteur who finds himself mixed up with a young woman who is being extorted by an unsavory character. There are all manner of surprises for Mr. Scratch and the reader. By the time you finish the story you just might find you have Sympathy for the Devil…or devils in this case.

[Via] The Rolling Stones HQ

The Honeymoon Suite: Jacob’s Reunion is hands down the most moving of the stories. In it we learn of the grief of Jess whose love Jacob was killed in a train-car collision. Deep feelings of survivor’s guilt due to not joining Jacob to attend his class reunion haunt Jess. But can forgiveness be found in a place like the Kretcher Motel?

While this anthology collection from Colors in Darkness is the first to feature Sybline Kretcher and her motel. I can only hope that we will be given new chances to…temporarily…visit that establishment. The setting is absolutely perfect and if you too are a fan of the horror anthology I highly suggest you pick it up. You can grab your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble in addition to the Colors in Darkness website.

I would also like to thank author David O’Hanlon. As he was the one who contacted me on the Saturday Frights Facebook page, asking if I would be interested in reviewing Forever Vacancy. Furthermore we were both delighted to learn that we had something in common beyond our love of horror. As a result of providing my mailing address we learned that we live in the same neck of the woods, a mere ten minutes away from each other in fact!

With Forever Vacancy being such a great horror anthology. Is it too much to hope for a television adaptation in the near future?


Additionally I believe I have fond the perfect actress to play the role of Sybline Kretcher!
Horror Anthology