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Three Ghost Stories

Charles Dickens

Book Overview: 

As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . hands outward across and across his temples in an extremity of feverish distress, “why not tell me where that accident was to happen,—if it must happen? Why not tell me how it could be averted,—if it could have been averted? When on its second coming it hid its face, why not tell me, instead, ‘She is going to die. Let them keep her at home’? If it came, on those two occasions, only to show me that its warnings were true, and so to prepare me for the third, why not warn me plainly now? And I, Lord help me! A mere poor signal-man on this solitary station! Why not go to somebody with credit to be believed, and power to act?”

When I saw him in this state, I saw that for the poor man’s sake, as well as for the public safety, what I had to do for the time was to compose his mind. Therefore, setting aside all question of reality or unreality between us, I represented to him that whoever thoroughly discharged his duty . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I found the first story, "The Haunted House", disappointing. It had a promising start of possible ghostly haunting but then veers off into a detailed recounting of a dream(?) of children pretending to be a seraglio. The next two stories were much more satisfying -"Trial for Murder" and "The Signal-M

Good and spooky enough for Victorian era, but not very scary for our era. :)

3.5 Stars
rounded up to 4 Stars.

The Haunted House in Two Chapters - 3.25 Stars
Chapter 1 The Mortals in the House
Chapter 2 The Ghost in Master B's Room

The Trial For Murder - 3.25 Stars

The Signal-Man - 4 Stars

This book has three ghost stories by the great Charles Dickens…

The Signal-man. Great story about a premonition.

The Haunted House. This is two chapters of a story (serial magazine originally I believe) in which Dickens and several other authors wrote ghost stories related to a haunted house they are

I thought a set of Victorian ghost stories might be a more interesting read than Dickens' longer novels, but I was disappointed to find they weren't. While each paragraph and sentence is well constructed and evocative, they are not strung together to make stories that hold any substance (and no, I d

Hmm. I like Dicken’s writing style so much (Don’t believe anyone who tells you he got paid by the word, it’s simply not true, and he really isn’t that wordy or hard to understand, give him a shot). However, I didn’t feel these stories were quite creepy enough for me to really enjoy them, though part

Signal man was pretty good. The other two, no bueno.

Sometimes it’s good to read some classics. Sometimes it just serves to remind the reader of changing times and tastes. This selection was inspired by a modern pastiche of a Victorian scary story from a book I’ve recently read. That one was lovely, actually. And these stories not so much. Maybe it’s

Read: March 2018
Overall rating: 2.5/5 stars

The Signalman - 3/5 stars
The Haunted House - 1/5 stars
The Trial for Murder - 3/5 stars

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