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The House by the Church-Yard

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But one night, as Mr. Prosser closed his bed-chamber-door, he was struck somewhat by the utter silence of the room, there being no sound of breathing, which seemed unaccountable to him, as he knew his wife was in bed, and his ears were particularly sharp.

There was a candle burning on a small table at the foot of the bed, beside the one he held in one hand, a heavy ledger, connected with his father-in-law's business being under his arm. He drew the curtain at the side of the bed, and saw Mrs. Prosser lying, as for a few seconds he mortally feared, dead, her face being motionless, white, and covered with a cold dew; and on the pillow, close beside her head, and just within the curtains, was, as he first thought, a toad—but really the same fattish hand, the wrist resting on the pillow, and the fingers extended towards her temple.

Mr. Prosser, with a horrified jerk, pitched the ledger right at the curtains, behind which the owner of the hand might be. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A charming tale of ghosts, mystery and murder set in Ireland during the 1700s. While a touch slow in the early going, Le Fanu's careful recreation of village life at the time reaps rewards for the patient reader.

A great read – fun, dramatic and clever, with a wonderful villain.

I originally bought this book to get in the mood for Halloween thinking it was going to be a creepy story. I had read Uncle Silas and loved it. I assumed "The House by the Churchyard" would be just as good and hoped it would be especially because the book is so thick!

I felt overwhelmed by the number

I had assumed, from Sheridan Le Fanu’s reputation as a forefather of supernatural fiction, and from the gothicky title of this novel, that this would be some tasty piece of 19thC literary ghostiness à la M. R. James. The opening chapter do little to dispel this impression, with their grisly exhumati

To anyone who has the patience and application this is one of the great works of literature bringing as it does the atmosphere of having been written at the time of the Irish Holocaust-the potato famine of 1847+. Stylistically it is as near to perfect as a narrative is likely to be, the writer's att

For anyone else who likes Gothic ghost stories - especially those specifically written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu - the first thing I would want to tell you about this book is that it is not a ghost story. Granted, there is one very, very effective chapter about a haunted house, and that chapter its

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