Dec. 9, 2017

Carnacki's Back!

Carnacki: The Lost Cases edited by Sam Gafford

New tales of the Ghost-Finder!

Thomas Carnacki, the Ghost Finder, was the creation of William Hope Hodgson. The original stories were published in 1913! The version most people are familiar with was published in 1947, and include three stories that were not in the original book.

The stories are written to a specific formula. Carnacki invites four friends to his home at 472 Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. These men are only known by their last names: Arkright, Jessop, Taylor, and Dodgson (obviously Hodgson in disguise!) who writes up the stories. They have a meal during which the guests must not ask questions. After eating, they retire to what Dodgson calls “their usual chairs and nooks” while Carnacki settles into his great chair and begins to recount an adventure.

Carnacki works cases of the outré. Sometimes the strange cases are actual haunting or supernatural occurrences. Sometimes they are from some human agency counterfeiting the haunting. Carnacki is prepared for both. His wards and electric pentacle, the various manuscripts such as the  "Sigsand Manuscript" and the "Saaamaaa Ritual" that has an unknown last line that saves Carnacki in “The Whistling Room.”

I will give a SPOILER alert but try not to give too much away.

These are the new stories:

•         In “The Darkness” by AF Kidd, a suffocating silence and deep darkness are causing trouble for one of Carnacki’s clients…

•         In “The Silent Garden” by Jason C Eckhardt, Carnacki takes a case for a man whose maiden aunt has a garden where no sound can be heard and birds will not fly over…

•         In “The Shadow Suns” by John Howard, Carnacki is called to a rural retreat with spooky problems and strange woven straw plates suspended in the front windows…

•         “The Steeple Monster Case” by Charles R Rutledge finds Carnacki facing something in the bell tower of a church… This one breaks the story format, but the tale redeems itself!

•         In “The Moving Fur Case” by Paul R McNamee, Carnacki goes to Wales to examine a haunt that revolves around howling noises and an old grey animal pelt…

•         “The Delphic Bee” by Josh Reynolds brings Carnacki face to face with haunted beehives… This one is worst in book—it breaks the story format and the creepy events ring a bit hollow…

•         In “A Hideous Communication” by James Gracey, Carnacki deals with an apparent ghost in a graveyard and a grieving father…

•         “The Dark Trade” by John Linwood Grant is about a horrible room that smells of the sea and unwashed human bodies…  This one takes Best in Book! Encore!

•         In “The Grunting Man” by William Meikle, the landlady of a small inn or guesthouse is having problems with her best room…

•         “The Dark Light” by Robert M Price deals with a blind man who disappears…

•         “The Yellow Finger Experiments” by James Bojaciuk, is perhaps the strangest tale in the book…

•         “The Grey Dog” by John Linwood Grant is a first-person Carnacki story, but not as told to his four friends…

I am glad to see Carnacki the Ghost Finder in these new cases! I give the book four out of five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>