Monday, October 17, 2011
Best Ghost Story 12 from 1800-1849 is "The Spectre-Smitten" by Samuel Warren
We are into the Top 12, the scary dozen, ghost stories for the first half of the nineteenth century. Number 12 was penned by Samuel Warren (1807-1877), a practicing lawyer and former medical school student. His haunting short story "The Thunderstruck and the Boxer" was included in The Best Horror Short Stories 1800-1849: A Classic Horror Anthology and you can find analysis of it there. From 1831-1837 Warren anonymously published a series of stories in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, which were later collected in "Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician." This popular collection was claimed by other authors, which forced Warren to come clean as to its authorship.
But this is a ghost stories countdown and Warren penned one of the best for the period under review. The scary story is The Spectre-Smitten. It is one of the finest ghost stories of insanity and the supernatural. The protagonist is a law student and Warren certainly drew on his experience as a law student in February 1831 when the story was published in Blackwood's. Enjoy!