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Tales of the Undead: Vampires and Visitants…

Tales of the Undead: Vampires and Visitants (1947)

by Elinore Blaisdell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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I've read seven of the twenty-three stories in Tales of the Undead in other collections, but that's not quite a third of them. I like to have at least half of the stories in an athology not be in my other books before I buy it. Some of the stories are much better than others, but none of them are complete duds. As one might expect from a book with 'undead' in the title, there are plenty of ghosts and vampires. Some of those vampires are quite unusual. If you're like me, you'll want a list of the stories before you buy it online, so here it is:

'Carmilla' by J. Sheridan LeFanu
When I was young I got very tired of this classic horror story because it appeared in so many anthologies. The experienced horror fan who meets it for the first time will have no difficulty figuring out what's going on long before young Laura and her father do.

'Brother Lucifer' by Chandler W. Whipple
Why is there no mention of Brother Lucifer in the abbey records after 1218? Will our antiquarian vicar find the reason?

'The Metronome' by August W. Derleth
It's hard to have sympathy for the stepmother who took his beloved metronome from her young stepson.

'Uncanonized' by Seabury Quinn
Lovely Gertruda has a choice between rape or death. Can her beloved Wolfgang save her?

'The Feast in the Abbey' by Robert Bloch
A man seeks shelter from a storm. He would have done better to court pneumonia outside.

'Clay-Shuttered Doors' by Helen R. Hull
A lovely wife and mother is never the same after an accident.

'Amour Dure' by Vernon Lee
From the diary of young historian who develops a most unhealthful obssession.

'School for the Unspeakables' by Manly Wade Wellman
A teen sent off to school is met by the kind of student it's best to avoid.

'The Adventure of the German Student' by Washington Irving
Another classic horror story, this one set during the French Revolution. Is it still taught in US schools?

'The Tomb' by H. P. Lovecraft
The last of his line is obsessed about his infamous ancestors' tomb.

'Second Night Out' by Frank Belknap Long
A cruise ship has a repulsively nasty and deadly haunt in stateroom 16D.

'Clarimonde' by Theophile Gautier
A courtesan loves a priest and vice-versa.

'The Seed From the Sepulcher' by Clark Ashton Smith
Orchid hunter tries treasure hunting in a ruined jungle city and doesn't want to talk about it.

'For the Blood Is the Life' by F. Marion Crawford
(Another horror classic) For heaven's sake, don't go on that mound after dark!

'The Story of Ming-Y' by Lafcadio Hearn
This is a charming story set in Ming dynasty China. The young scholar is in better mental health than several we've seen in this book.

'The Quick and the Dead' by Vincent Starrett
A French poet's mistress has died. How he suffers!

'Satan's Circus' by Eleanor Smith
Why do the animals go wild with fear whenever a certain woman is near?

'Miss Mary Pask' by Edith Wharton
A man pays a very uncomfortable visit.

'Septima' by Marcel Schwob
A slave is already the servant of a god who is love's adversary when she falls in love.

'Count Magnus' by M. R. James
A travel writer gets too curious about one of his subjects.

'And He Shall Sing...' by H. R. Wakefield
A Japanese man brings beautiful poems to a publisher.

'Doom of the House of Duryea' by Earl Peirce
Father and son reunite 20 years after the murders of the younger sons.

'The Room in the Tower' by E. F. Benson
That tower room is a dream come true.

Ms. Blaisdell's illustrations were made with what I believe is called the 'scratchboard' or 'scraperboard' technique. Almost all of them are white lines on a black background, which gives them an eerie look. Her depiction of an African woman is much more attractive than the author's description. Her two Chinese characters are very nice looking. Is it because this book is copyrighted 1947 that a Japanese character is the only one that looks like a cartoon?

Do I recommend this anthology? I hadn't finished a library copy when I found one in a used book store and still I bought it. ( )
  JalenV | Oct 14, 2012 |
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elinore Blaisdellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blaisdell, ElinoreIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benson, E. F.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bloch, RobertContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crawford, F. MarionContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Derleth, AugustContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gautier, TheophileContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hearn, LafcadioContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hull, Helen R.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irving, WashingtonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, M. R.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, VernonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LeFanu, J. SheridanContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Long, Frank, BelknapContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lovecraft, H. P.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peirce, EarlContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quinn, SeaburyContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwob, MarcelContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Clark AshtonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Lady EleanorContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Starrett, VincentContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wakefield, H. R.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wellman, Manly WadeContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wharton, EdithContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whipple, Chandler W.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
UPON A PAPER attached to the Narrative which follows, Doctor Hesselius has written a rather elaborate note, which he accompanies with a reference to his Essay on the strange subject which the MS. illuminates. ['Carmilla']
IN THE BOOK-LINED study of the little cottage which stood beside the ancient church, John Druten, Vicar of Wenley, sat peering at the illuminated volume before him. ['Brother Lucifer']
AS SHE LAY in bed, with the pleasant, concealing darkness all around her, her lips parted in a smile that was the only expression of her relief that the funeral was over at last. ['The Metronome']
GRAY-BLUE AND pungent-sweet, the scent of leaf smoke floated on the breeze that wandered lazily across the valley; from the larches growing on the farther hills the cuckoo's call, a little sad, a little mocking, drifted softly as the echo of a half-heard echo. ['Uncanonized']
A CLAP OF thunder in the sullen west heralded the approach of night and storm together. and the sky deepened to a sorcerous black. ['The Feast in the Abbey']
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