In addition to being a prolific writer of Theosophical and occult teachings, Madame Blavatsky also penned a few tales of short fiction; although, she often claimed the events of her tales to be true, for added effect. This one recounts the tale of a traveler abroad, while searching for her lost dog and with aid of the whirling dervishes, encounters a strange humanoid creature known as the Oracle of Damascus, which they attempt to subdue.
Originally published in 1922 and translated by Takashi Kojima, this classic short story was the inspiration for Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, about the murder of a samurai. Told from the perspective of multiple witnesses.
"A Rashoman Imitation..."
Originally published in 1911, this account perhaps more accurately belongs in our series of occult fiction, but it is one of many stories Leadbeater published as being true. This particular tale is the retelling of a story relayed to him by Helena Blavatsky, about two travelers who discover a remote, old house that is haunted by the spirit of a baron who committed suicide. Enjoy this "true story".
Edward Plunkett, better known as Lord Dunsany, published this tale of the Wild Things in 1908. In this story one of the creatures desires to obtain a soul in order to partake in the joy of human music and worship, which she can't experience without it.
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.
In addition to being a prolific writer of Theosophical and occult teachings, Madame Blavatsky also penned a few tales of short fiction, although she often claimed the events of her tales to be true, for added effect. This, one of her more famous short stories, is a tale of an inheritance, a mysterious cave, and supernatural events.
Originally published in 1891, it may be difficult for modern readers to accept that there was still a relatively strong belief in vampires, in what might usually seem like an age of blossoming spiritual enlightenment. But the author, an otherwise celebrated figure in Theosophy, discusses not just the folklore of this famed monster, but he recounts first-hand tales of reported vampire attacks.
Algernon Blackwood was a writer of weird, occult, and ghost tales. He was also a contemporary of Arthur Machen, both of whom were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It was his interest in esoteric studies that likely served as the inspiration for strange stories such as this one. In this tale Blackwood tells the story of a student up all night studying for his exams when a childhood friend he hasn't thought about in many years unexpectedly pays him a visit.
Author of the Wizard of Oz series, L. Frank Baum, gives us this tale: The elderly chief of a tribe of buffalo falls victim to the usurper of his throne. When the chief's son, and heir to the throne, steps up and attempts to take over as leader of the tribe, sides are drawn and magical things begin to happen.
Published in 1905, A Tropical Horror takes place on the high seas, where a creature takes over a ship, preying on the frightened sailors and ravaging the vessel.
Algernon Blackwood was a prolific writer of weird and occult tales. This short ghost story from 1906 tells the tale of a traveler, who encounters an elderly man known as the Father of the Village, with precognition of when townspeople will die.
This is an early piece by Lovecraft, and likely inspired by Arthur Machen. It is a tale of two sculptors, named Kalos and Musides, in a garden of Pan, in ancient Greece. After Kalos dies, an olive tree begins to overtake his tomb, and Musides finds his own thoughts to be increasingly haunted.
William Hope Hodgson was an early British writer of supernatural and fantasy fiction, becoming an inspiration for later writers such as Clark Ashton Smith and others. Dating to 1904, this was his first published story, and it tells the tale of a mysterious marble statue coming to life and murdering the townspeople.
From the author of the Wizard of Oz, this story is the tale of a lone Giraffe in the land of Jomb. When the other animals offer their friendship and sanctuary to the Giraffe, the Panther has other ideas.
Cummins was an American short story writer. This piece of his from 1902 tells the tale of four old college friends getting together on a cold winter's evening, when a friendly wager determines if any of them are brave enough to enter a nearby crypt at midnight.
A light-hearted ghost-story from 1895, by the author of "The Little Room". A writer is assigned a small ghost as a muse, to help him finish the story he is having trouble writing. Humorous.
"Written in late 1800's"
In addition to the children's tales that he is usually known for, Frank R. Stockton also wrote some ghost stories. This particular piece is from 1900. After a gentleman purchases an abandoned mansion, he begins to fall in love with the ghost of a young woman who returns to her old home once a year, on Christmas Eve, for a single hour. But what happens when he soon meets her, not as a specter but in real life?
Originally published in 1888, this short piece by Richard Garnett offers the reader a light-hearted approach to Lucifer becoming the Pope for a day, after approaching a young man, who would grow up to become Pope Sylvester II, and offering to purchase his soul.
Originally published in 1896, this is the story of a debaucherous older man who roams the streets of London at night, under the influence. He encounters a mysterious woman who slowly reminds him of a lover from his past. As more wine is consumed, he seems to descend into madness, until...
Originally published in 1906, this is the tale of a man who, while out on a leisurely drive, crashes his car. After he awakens he finds he is being watched by an unsettling young boy, whom he is forced to lodge with for the night.