Feb. 23, 2018

The Ghost-Finder files!

Carnacki: Heaven and Hell by William Meikle

In this new volume starring William Hope Hodgson’s supernatural detective, William Meikle follows the same layout. Carnacki invites his four friends Arkwright, Jessop, Taylor, and Dodgson to his home for a dinner and to listen to a tale of his adventures. The story is narrated by Dodgson.

Carnacki uses occult means to solve hauntings. His famous Electric Pentacle, the “Sigsand Manuscript," and the powerful “unknown last line of the Saaamaaa Ritual" are used by Carnacki in his battles. Sometimes the cases are real but manageable; sometimes completely fake, and sometimes so dangerous that Carnacki would have died if not for a presence that watches him.

I found these stories to be a welcome addition to the Carnacki canon. Meikle has managed to develop the character while remaining true to the original stories. If I had one complaint, it was that no story was deemed to be something manufactured and therefore not supernatural. In the original stories, some had solid earthly causes, such as the gang in "The House Among the Laurels" using a legend to cover their crimes.

Now onto the tales. A note of warning, I don’t think I spoil the tales but others may.

In “The Blooded Iklwa,” a man is attacked in the night by a weapon that is permanently attached to a wall. There is blood on the weapon in the mornings…

In “The Larkhill Barrow,” the test-firing of a military weapon awakens something dark…

In “The Sisters of Mercy,” mysterious nuns haunt an old folks hospital…

“The Hellfire Mirror” involves Carnacki with a mirror from Lord Francis Dashwood of Hellfire Club infamy…

“The Tomb of Pygea” takes Carnacki to a construction site which dug up a sepulcher with dark magic repercussions…

In “The Beast of Glamis,” Carnacki is called to Scotland where a young girl is haunted by a bogle…

“The Lusitania” features disturbances on the ship long before its fatal date with a German torpedo…

In “The Haunted Oak” a vicar has a problem with a tree in the part of the churchyard where unclaimed poor and convict bodies are buried…

“The Shoreditch Worm” has a Lovecraftian monster raised by a very unusual means! Best in Book!

“The Dark Island” is a novelette. The titular island conceals a dark past…

William Meikle has two other volumes of Carnacki tales out, which I also recommend. I think William Hope Hodgson would be very proud!

I give the book five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>