Horror Author Aria Cain

A Trio of Free Horror Classics

Free Horror Classics

A few weeks ago, I offered a trio of my favorite pulp horror magazine classics — all free for downloading online. If you’re looking for a longer tract, try one of these three early horror novels. Each resides in the public domain, so you needn’t worry about copyright issues. Simply download your faves, dim the lights, and curl up in the darkest corner of your room for a good read.

Incredible Adventures by Algernon Blackwood

A prolific author of more than a dozen novels and three times as many story collections, Algernon Blackwood elevated the ghost story to a literary art form. His earliest collection, The Empty House & Other Ghost Stories established his dominance in the genre, while 1914’s Incredible Adventures accelerated this evolution. I don’t want to give anything away, but acclaimed Lovecraft and weird fiction academic S. T. Joshi considers Adventures to be “the premier weird collection of this or any other century.”

View Incredible Adventures on Project Gutenberg > 

The Upper Berth by H. Marion Crawford

If creeping dread is more your cup of tea, settle in with The Upper Berth by H. Marion Crawford. An author of the weird and fantastical, Crawford is well anthologized, with titles like Berth, The Screaming Skull, and The Dead Smile (all three of which appear in Wandering Ghosts) appearing in many curated collections. A compelling setting (a trans-Atlantic steamship) and Crawford’s legendary narrative style make this a slow burn that emphasizes style over jumps cares.

View The Upper Berth on Project Gutenberg > 

The Room in the Tower & Other Stories by E. F. Benson

A collection of 17 atmospheric horror tales, The Room in the Tower highlights Edward Frederic (E. F.) Benson’s talent for building suspense and delivering on the payoff. While some of the stories may feel a little mild or dated to modern readers, the majority stand up to the years. The title tale offers an unusual twist on a familiar trope (no spoilers, please). The Thing in the Hall shares a narrative style with the later Lovecraft, but age wears well on this one. The story has a distinctly Edwardian feel, and the London setting heightens the sense of impending doom.

View The Room in the Tower & Other Stories on Project Gutenberg > 

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Horror Author Aria Cain

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