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The Phantom of the Opera: Historical Inspirations, Literary Analysis, & Film Adaptations -- a Spooky Spotlight on the Gothic Novel

9 Jun 2019

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CLASSIC HORROR BLOG

Illuminating Supernatural Fiction, Horror, and the Gothic

from Mary Shelley to H. P. Lovecraft

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He was the godfather of modern horror, weird fiction, and fantasy, an inestimable influence on Poe, Dickens, and Hawthorne, de Maupassant, Stevenson, and James, left his fingerprints on “Frankenstein,” “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” “Dracula,” and “The Turn of the Screw,” an...

He was the greatest American writer of his time: mentor to Poe, Dickens, and Hawthorne, his country’s first professional author, and a writer of uniqely American ghost stories about growth, change, and identity. His was the complex personality of an existentially anxio...

With only a few exceptions, Arthur Machen rarely reveled in gore, Gothic clichés, or moments of horror. He hosts no chattering skeletons, moldering corpses, or headless ghosts. Nor does he often turn to the more sophisticated horrors of Lovecraft, Hodgson, or Chambers...

6 Sep 2017

Best known for his mind-blasting “King in Yellow” mythos – a series of five stories published in the eponymous 1895 anthology – Robert W. Chambers doesn’t get much more attention for his other weird fiction, ghost stories, and fantasy – and it’s a damn shame. Chambers...

Most famous for his monumental vampire novel, Dracula, Bram Stoker was hardly a one hit wonder: he was responsible for two other supernatural novels and around two dozen short stories and poems. Largely inspired by the gothic aesthetics of Edgar Allan Poe, E. T. A. Hof...

F. Marion Crawford has probably the most “bang-for-your-buck” of any of the classic horror writers: his entire oeuvre consists of about a dozen stories of which five are well-seasoned masterpieces and two are underrated classics. While Crawford was made rich and famous...

Most famous as a children's book writer who influenced J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and P.L. Travers, Edith Nesbit has a second, darker reputation as the writer of some of the English language's most powerful supernatural horror. Nesbit’s writing is absolutely crisp, evoc...

J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Victorian master of shadowy terrors, is the undisputed prince of ghost story writers. While M. R. James may be their king, even Monty paid homage to his Irish inspiration, reviving Le Fanu’s reputation (by reprinting his stories in a 1923 anthology...

The very first literary ghost story that I ever read was “The Turn of the Screw.” I had loads of books about hauntings, phantom hitchhikers, cryptozoology, and supernatural folklore, but Henry James was the first writer who engaged my intellect as well as my imaginatio...

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