The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle

I really loved the premise of this book in which an old manuscript of ghost stories is found in the abandoned London Criterion Club once popular with the glitterati of the stage and literary world as well as prominent members of parliament.

The manuscript contains ghost stories from many well know writers from the illustrious Victorian Age. It was here where Henry James formed his exclusive ghost club. Membership could be bought by telling a ghost story.

This book contains these very stories expertly retold by William Meikle;

  • Wee Davie Makes a Friend - Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The High Bungalow - Rudyard Kipling
  • The Immortal Memory- Leo Tolstoy
  • The House of the Dead - Bram Stoker
  • Once a Jackass - Mark Twain
  • Farside - Herbert George Wells
  • To the Manor Born - Margaret Oliphant
  • The Angry Ghost - Oscar Wilde
  • The Black Ziggurat - Henry Rider Haggard
  • Born of Ether - Helena P Blavatsky
  • The Scrimshaw Set - Henry James
  • At the Molenzki Junction - Anton Checkov
  • To the Moon and Beyond - Jules Verne
  • The Curious Affair on the Embankment - Arthur Conan Doyle

I was really impressed with just how many different styles Miekle writes in, he really does imitate all these literary legends with brilliant accuracy. I have enough enough trouble trying to find my own style to write in but Meikle has loads to choose from! I particularly enjoyed the little details in these tales. A lot of research and care has been put into this highly ambitious project, and it has really paid off.

I really enjoyed all these tales but my absolute favourites in this wonderful collection include;

Wee Davie Makes a Friend by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is the tale of a lonely sick boy who is sent away from his home by his stern father in order to gain better health. Whilst recuperating at his Uncle's house by the sea he makes a friend but this is no ordinary friend. However despite their differences they form a very strong bond one that will never die.

The House of The Dead by Bram Stoker.

As a huge Dracula fan I loved this tale. There was a great tension building up through the story and the ending was very bittersweet and macabre. Told through letters and journal entries a young man details his longstanding best friend's grief from losing his beloved wife Lizabet and their unborn child to consumption. But things take a turn for the worst when his friend refuses to accept that his wife and child are dead.

The Angry Ghost by Oscar Wilde

A young boy is determined to believe in ghosts after his stern Aunt forbids it. However the boy persists to find the ghost in his old Aunt's house that he was sure he'd seen. This tale had a comic side to the classic Victorian gothic tale.

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle is out now, from Crystal Lake Publishing.

About the Author

William Meikle is a Scottish writer with ten novels published in the genre press and over 200 short story credits in thirteen countries. He is the author of the ongoing Midnight Eye series among others, and his work appears in a number of professional anthologies. He lives in a remote corner of Newfoundland with icebergs, whales and bald eagles for company. In the winters he gets warm vicariously through the lives of others in cyberspace.


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