Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849: Story 28 is Solange by Alexander Dumas
The 28th best ghost story for the first half of the nineteenth century is Solange by the esteemed Alexander Dumas (1802-1870). This is the best ghost story by Dumas given its plot, style and characters. It is also his scariest ghost story with the plot building to its climatic end, which I won't give away here. The full title of the tale is "Solange: Dr. Ledu's Story of the Reign of Terror" and it was published in 1849. Most of the Top 40 ghost stories I have picked for this countdown have a ghostly presence throughout. In Solange, however, the ghost appears near the end, but it's effect is horrific just the same.
The portly Alexander Dumas is best known for creating such memorable characters as the Three Musketeers and Quasimodo. He is not considered a player in the realm of supernatural tales. None of his stories made my list of the Top 40 horror stories for the period in review and, obviously, none of them reached the level of the dozen picked for The Best Horror Stories 1800-1849 that I edited. He did pen "The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains," which is thought to be the first vampire story set in the ominous mountain range of Europe. He also wrote a werewolf story by the title of "The Wolf Leader" in 1857.