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The Watcher, and other weird stories

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .at the door, drew the blinds, and drove away, while Dr. Macklin returned to his chamber, to ruminate at leisure upon the strange interview which had just interrupted his studies.

It was not to be expected that Captain Barton’s changed and eccentric habits should long escape remark and discussion. Various were the theories suggested to account for it. Some attributed the alteration to the pressure of secret pecuniary embarrassments; others to a repugnance to fulfil an engagement into which he was presumed to have too precipitately entered; and others, again, to the supposed incipiency of mental disease, which latter, indeed, was the most plausible, as well as the most generally received, of the hypotheses circulated in the gossip of the day.

From the very commencement of this change, at first so gradual in its advances, Miss Montague had, of course, been aware of it. The intimacy involved in their peculiar relation, as well as the near interest. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Demon hauntings, menacing midnight visitors to the castle, evil uncles - such fun on a snow day!

Stories rich in suspense, mystery, dread. Never a dull moment. Contemporary horror authors have a lot to learn from this old master.
My personal favourite - "Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter": a deal-with-the-devil type story, abounding in mysterious, disturbing, cinematographic sce


I enjoyed reading this collection of short stories. The first story gave me the creeps. Was he haunted by a demon or not? The painting story was pretty good too. My favorite was about the wife finding out her husband might have had some dark secrets.

The Watcher and Other Weird Stories collects six gothic stories, all of which are interesting and enjoyable. While five of them are excellent and the other one slighter, there be ghosts, villains all well worth perusing in this volume. This kindle version of the 1894 book is introduced and illustrat


Beautifully written, with a style reminiscent of James Hogg. If only there were better resolution for some of the stories, it would be perfect. As such it's a good rainy day read.

Great gothic horror stories. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Watcher," "A Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter," "A Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess" (A predecessor of one of my favorite novels, Uncle Silas), and "A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family." The last story