Saturday, April 30, 2011

The 38th Best Ghost Story 1800-1849


Let's get on with my countdown of the Top 40 best ghost stories published in the English language from 1800-1849. I am still early in the countdown, but some solid ghost stories have already made the list. The classic ghost story filling slot 38 is no exception. As you know from my last post it was published anonymously. If you like ghost stories on the sea, this is the ghost tale for you. Without giving any too much of the story, it centers around The Flying Dutchman--the infamous ghost ship that is doomed to continually round the Cape of Good Hope in a storm with Vanderdecken as its captain. I found the story in the May 1821 issue of Blackwood's. The awkward title of the story (Vanderdecken's Message Home; or, the Tenacity of Natural Affection) does not diminish the strong storyline and "creep factor." It is perhaps the first ghost story that focuses on the futility of the dead when trying to contact the living and deserves to be remembered. As late as 1860 horror author brothers, William and Robert Chambers, included this story in their collection titled: Shipwrecks and Tales of the Sea. Enjoy!

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