Machen's novella The Great God Pan is often cited as one of Lovecraft's most notable influences. In it, Dr. Raymond's ultimate goal is to devise a way to open the mind of man so that he may experience all the world has to offer. He calls this "seeing the great god Pan". After much study of the human mind, he devises an experiment that involves minor brain surgery. He performs this experiment on a young woman named Mary, but when she awakens she is terrified and mentally crippled.
The Three Impostors is a series of convoluted horror tales about three individuals who are searching for a "young man with spectacles" who has inadvertently stolen something of great importance to a secret society of which they are members. The story then goes back in time before the opening scene where the three impostors assume various personas and roles, weaving stories about their prey in an effort to attract attention to him and gain the aid of unsuspecting people.
"Best Horror Ever Written"
Volume 7 starts off with Edgar Allan Poe's story of a gifted boy hounded by his shadow, "William Wilson". We take to the sky's with a pilots investigation into unexplainable events thousands of feet above ground in Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Horror of the Heights". Next up, Ambrose Bierce plays with time in "The Suitable Surroundings".
"Not just for Halloween"
Arthur Machen has been cited as an influence to many writers of supernatural horror. He was also a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This story, originally from 1888, is about a monk, in charge of the wine cellar at his abbey, who finds a strange jar and decides to take a drink.
A young woman, Helen Leicester, becomes concerned about her brother Francis when he begins spending all of his time locked in his room studying. At first Francis insists that he is fine, but eventually admits that he is not feeling well and agrees to see the family physician. The doctor prescribes a medication - a white powder which is mixed with water - and Francis begins to feel better. However, this "cure" doesn't last very long and Francis begins exhibiting peculiar and disturbing behavior.
"Great short for a drive!"
Considered Machen’s most important and moving work, The Hill of Dreams tells the story of aspiring author Lucian Taylor and his fascination with a relic Roman fort near his hometown in Wales. The story follows Taylor’s real-life explorations, through dream-like memories, and finally obsession and fantasy that will lead to Taylor’s ultimate doom. Arthur Machen was a major influence on many early-20th Century fantasy and horror writers, including H. P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, and David Lindsay.
"Major work by Arthur Machen"
If you have an appetite for the occult, consider this a feast. All of the authors in this collection have penned tales that deal with the supernatural and the supernormal. These include two novellas, "The Great God Pan" by Arthur Machen and "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood and 10 short stories.
Where does fantasy end and horror begin? Is there beauty in terror? Does horror possess a spiritual dimension? In these five classic tales written by acknowledged masters of the supernatural, these haunting questions are explored, but not fully answered.