The Phantom Coach and Other Stories

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The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur’s Collection of the Best Victorian Ghost Stories

Different scientific ideas are discussed directly and indirectly throughout The Phantom Coach. The way the narrator judges that the stranger strikes him as more of a poet than a philosopher from the shape of his head even after much clear evidence that the man is a philosopher is genuinely laughable by modern standards. Although it is clearly 19th-century in style, the casual phrenology dates it more than anything else. The story starts off with the narrator telling us that it will be a true story from his life, one that he has kept quiet.

It starts off with a creepy vibe that gives the impression of impending danger, at least until he is taken in by strangers.

The Phantom Coach: Collected Ghost Stories by Amelia B. Edwards | LibraryThing

At that point, the tone eases back into a creepy undertone beneath the safe setting. The walk to the coach builds in tension until the final climax of the story. It has the tone, the style, and the general outcome that one expects from this kind of story. Compared to modern stories, it definitely contrasts in a noticeable way.

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It relies more on the mood and tone of the story to creep you out than it does on the actual events to be scary although to a certain extent, this is largely just because what we view as scary now is not the same as it was a hundred and fifty years ago.

It relies on the reader to anticipate the events with a feeling of chills, which is what one typically hopes for from stories of the period. Edwards does everything is should as a gothic ghost story. I hope everyone who participated by reading the story and following along on social media enjoyed the story. Week fifty-nine begins tomorrow, October 6, with a brand new short story selection, chosen as another spooky fall read.


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You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Especially in rural areas, homeowners opened their doors to lost and weary travellers, providing a warm meal and shelter for the night. It was an understood rule that this hospitality was expected — indeed you might need to call upon it yourself one day.


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  4. Thus, the frightening turn that a friendly night takes is all the more chilling. It is also laced with unexplained details. Perhaps red herrings? Or simply meant to be mysterious and therefore unsettling? After the traveller and narrator pushes his way into the house, he notes its contents. After listing off a dozen farm-related items, he takes special notice of an unlikely object:. In the center of the floor stood some huge object gauntly dressed in a dingy wrapping-cloth, and reaching halfway to the rafters.

    Lifting a corner of this cloth, I saw, to my surprise, a telescope of very considerable size, mounted on a rude movable platform, with four small wheels.

    The tube was made of painted wood, bound round with bands of metal rudely fashioned; the speculum, so far as I could estimate its size in a dim light, measured at least fifteen inches in diameter. While I was yet examining the instrument, and asking myself whether it was not the work of some self-taught optician, a bell rang sharply. A young lady, living with her aunt in Edinburgh, finds her idle curiosity about a window across the street become obsession.


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    Innocently enough, the narrator unnamed wonders about a window opposite her own. Is it a window? Or has it been boarded up because of the Scottish window taxes?

    Does she really see a man hard at work behind a desk? Or is the light affecting her imagination? And it is the light that is so otherworldly. The sun barely dips below the horizon and evening stretches well into night, giving a soft glow to the entire city. When I visited a couple of summers ago, I was amazed for it to be bright as day at or 11 at night. These descriptions of the deceptive light are so atmospheric:.

    It was a night in June; dinner was long over, and had it been winter the maids would have been shutting up the house, and my Aunt Mary preparing to go upstairs to her room.

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