Aylmer Vance Ghost Seer Mystery Supernatural Read ´ 100

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Aylmer Vance Ghost Seer Mystery Supernatural Read ´ 100 ô A collection of classic supernatural tales from the Edwardian period Originally published in 1914 between 4 July and 22 August in The Weekly Tale Teller the stories were belatedly collected into the current volume in the late 1990s by Jack Adrian This is a collection oA collection of classic supernatural tales from the Edwardian period Originally published in 1914 between 4 July and 22 August in The Weekly Tale Teller the stories were belatedly collected into the current volume in the late 1990s by Jack Adrian This is a collection of eight ghost stories written by the remarkably prolific husband and wife team of Claude and Alice Askew centering on Aylmer. As I have said elsewhere this reader has long been a sucker for the VictorianEdwardian ghost hunter Previously I had enjoyed the exploits of Algernon Blackwood's John Silence who had tackled in the author's five story collection of 1908 a haunted house a French town peopled by shape shifters an Egyptian fire elemental devil worship and a nontraditional werewolf and William Hope Hodgson's Thomas Carnacki who had gone up against in the six story collection of 1913 that was expanded to nine stories 35 years later haunted abodes a ghostly horse weird noises spectral daggers and maggots a haunted ship and a soul sucking swine monster But even lovers of these two classic volumes may not have had the opportunity to encounter the supernatural sleuth known as Aylmer Vance whose eight adventures first appeared in eight consecutive issues July August of The Weekly Tale Teller back in 1914 This British weekly magazine consisted of new short stories and ran from 1909 1916 managing over the course of its 365 issue run to keep its cover price at one penny all that time The Aylmer Vance stories were written by the wife and husband team of Alice and Claude Askew both of whom had been born in London in 1874 for Alice; 1865 for Claude and who wrote some 90 novels together before their premature deaths in 1917 the Italian steamer that they were on was sunk by a German submarine All of those books have likewise sunk into obscurity but thanks to the fine folks at Wordsworth Editions and their Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural series this 2006 volume entitled Aylmer Vance Ghost Seer survives as a token of what terrific writers the Askews apparently were All eight of the stories here are winners penned in a supremely readable style that manages to pull the reader right in Personally I loved every single oneThe eight tales here are loosely connected and are narrated by a man named Dexter who meets Vance while the two are staying at the same countryside inn The first three stories consist of experiences that Vance had previously gone through; old cases that he regales Dexter with These older cases were truly in the Edwardian era; the others transpiring as they do in current times that is 1914 must technically be deemed Georgian In the fourth transitional story Dexter is made to realize that he has certain latent psychical abilities himself and in the final four tales he becomes something of a right hand man to Vance going so far as to move into the same house as his mentor in London The two make for a good and fearless team if hardly an effective one In story after story the two manage to ferret out the source of a haunting or spectral occurrence but are yet powerless to prevent the ghastly seuence of events from progressing Often their only suggestion to the owner of a haunted pile is to move out and raze the place to the ground Many of the stories thus end in tragedy even for the innocent and those early 20th century clients looking for a uick and easy solution to the supernatural mishegas that had been besetting their lives might have been advised to look elsewhere Vance is courageous and keen witted but it seems that there is only so much that he is capable of doing No easy exorcisms in this book that's for sure The eight cases that we become privy to are invariably atmospheric although some are chilling than others Happily none of the spooky events told of here has as its provenance a hoax or spurious causality All of the ghosts that we encounter are real not fakes and most of them are inimical nasty and holders of grudges against the living In short they make for an octet of real challenges for the experienced Vance and the tyro DexterAs for the stories themselves in The Invader Vance tells of the tragedy that had befallen on his old college friend George Sinclair and on George's new bride a Scotch girl named Annie George had dug up an ancient armlet on his property and had later begun to perform experiments on his wife using her as a medium to effect communication with the dead But matters grew fairly serious when the spirit of a long deceased British princess had entered Annie’s bodyand then refused to leave after the séance was over George thus was forced to watch as his sweet and gentle wife became progressively unhinged ultimately resulting in a double and possibly triple tragedy for all concerned Truly a chilling tale to get this collection under wayVance's next tale The Stranger is one that Algernon Blackwood might well have smiled upon with approbation Here Vance tells of his young ward Daphne Darrell for whom Aylmer once served as guardian Daphne had been a true child of nature cavorting in the woods sleeping every night on a hammock outdoors and as she would tell Vance on the eve of her wedding in love with another man; a godlike youth whom she'd been encountering in the forests ever since she was a young girl Vance naturally advises her to forget this fantastic stranger to marry her solid Englishman and to lead a normal life But again our story ends with tragedy Or does it On second reflection this seemingly unfortunate conclusion might be just the outcome that Daphne may have wished forIn Lady Green Sleeves Vance tells Dexter of the great love of his life The only problem is The woman happened to be over a century dead Vance had met the charming lass at a costume ball and had asked her to dance after seeing that the beauty was being ignored by everybody else But the 17 year old had promptly admitted to Vance that she was unfamiliar with the music and was only a ghost who had returned to her old home for a look around Lady Green Sleeves as Vance would think of her in later years is the only spectral manifestation in this volume that is not a frightening or threatening one Indeed the story is as charming as can be and concludes on a pleasingly wistful as opposed to tragic note My only problem with the story when Vance remarks that the events had occurred 12 years earlier and a little later 10The Fire Unuenchable is the tale in which our Mr Dexter realizes that he has the ability to close his eyes and visualize distant events causing him to uit his dull job as a barrister and become Aylmer Vance's assistant His first vision is a truly disorienting one which he obtains after reading an unpublished book of poetry that Vance had given him to peruse The recently deceased poet had once lived at Cheswold Lodge which abode is currently giving its new owner many problems Mysterious fires have erupted all over the property some of them out of thin air and Vance had been called in to investigate Eventually our ghost busters learn the truth about the lengths that a writer poet or artist will go to to see his or her genius reach the light of dayIn The Vampire newlywed athlete Paul Davenant comes to Vance's office with a strange show and tell story He'd been losing weight and energy as of late had become increasingly pale and also had what looked like two bite marks on his neck His bride a flame haired Scotswoman née Jessica MacThane claimed that her family lived under the curse of vampirism begat centuries before by a witch named Zaida Could that possibly have anything to do with it Well what would you think In what is perhaps this collection's most atmospheric story Vance and Dexter travel up to Jessica's ancestral home Blackwick Castle in an attempt to get to the bottom of this dilemma and for once Vance's efforts are successful in averting another tragedy His method of disposing of the story's nemesis however is an unconvincing one Still over all a most impressive piece of workThe Boy of Blackstock gives us the story of the current Lord Rystone who had just moved into the ancestral pile known as Blackstock Priory with his family only to have the legendary poltergeist known as The Mischievous Boy start to make trouble As the legend goes the boy would appear to each Lord Rystone immediately before that august personage's death a tradition that has dated back to the time of the Stuarts The current Lord Rystone believes that someone is merely trying to drive him away from his new home and has enlisted Vance to find out the truth Many suspects do indeed crop up in Rystone's household including the servants his sons' suspicious looking tutor and his young unhappy and secretive wife But what is actually going on in the secret passage riddled relic known as Blackstock PrioryIn The Indissoluble Bond Vance and Dexter make the acuaintance of one Col Verriker and his family The colonel sometime later comes to Vance with a problem His daughter Beryl has lately become abstracted has been complaining of headaches is going into trances and has been wandering off for hours from her home Upon investigation Vance learns that she has come under the domination of a local church organist named Cuthbert Ford whose weird unearthly melodies have been pulling Beryl to him even over great distances He claims to be Beryl's soulmate although Beryl is already engaged to another man Cuthbert's eventual death causes one and all to breathe a sigh of relief but as events prove in one of the most shocking wedding scenes that you'll ever want to read not even the timeworn phrase Till death do us part can make a difference to the truly infatuatedThis collection concludes with the appropriately titled story The Fear in which a wealthy businessman Robert Balliston hires Vance to find out why his new home Camplin Castle radiates an aura of disabling horror to all who step into it Thus Vance who we learn in this story prefers to be thought of as a dilettante in the field of psychical research and not a professional and Dexter do indeed spend a few nerve racking nights in the Hampshire abode hearing the cries of a whimpering child and the pattering of bare feet before finally learning the history of the wretched home As the tale concludes Vance is compelled to admit his powerlessness in the face of such saturated and concentrated nastiness bringing this collection to a grimly downbeat closeIf I would level one small complaint about this octet of stories as a whole it is that we never learn enough about Aylmer Vance himself other than the fact that he is a member of an organization called the Ghost Circle The eight Aylmer Vance stories that the Askews left us are all marvelous and I cannot imagine any reader not wishing that there were a dozen such so as to learn about this fascinating character Such a pity that the Askews' careers and their lives had to be cut so tragically short Impressively written evocative and spooky the Vance tales in Aylmer Vance Ghost Seer are perfect fare for all fans of the literate supernatural As for this reader I still have not gotten around to reading the stories featuring Sheridan Le Fanu's Dr Hesselius Ella Scrymsour's Shiela Crerar or Kate Prichard's Flaxman Low and those are the Victorian and Edwardian ghost busters whom I hope to be encountering nextBy the way this review originally appeared on the FanLit website at a most ideal destination for all fans of the literate supernatural

Alice Askew ß 0 characters

Vance an investigator of the supernatural Dexter the narrator meets Vance during a fishing holiday and Vance tells him three ghost stories on successive nights each story involving Vance closely in the action The fourth story brings Dexter himself into the action and reveals him to have unsuspected clairvoyant powers The remaining stories feature Vance and Dexter as a sort of Holmes and Wats. A really terrible book Written in the Edwardian era it is a collection of club tales about various spirits The Vance of the title is a sort of sensitive for those passed beyond and his sidekick Dexter is the chronicler Vance is not really a psychic detective like Carnacki by William Hope Hodgson but just an aristocratic guy who sees ghosts all the time His ghosts are rarely malignant and the fact that they exist is taken for granted by just about everyone It seems that people were credulous in the Edwardian eraAnyway the thing is a sort of novella parceled out as a string of loosely connected stories Vance is just recalling old experiences in the first half but then asks Dexter to come along for the ride as new experiences arise The stories themselves are truly bad full of hackneyed plot devices and various genre tropes however the whole has a certain uaint by the fireplace charmNobody including toddlers would be frightened by any of this as the stories read like Edwardian fairy stories with the sprites replaced by spooks There is some thickly veiled moral ambiguity that wouldn’t be present in most Victorian tales of this kindI actually didn’t hate it like I should have

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Aylmer Vance Ghost Seer Mystery SupernaturalOn team investigating incidents not all of which prove to have supernatural causes The final story The Fear is very effective describing a house in which a general feeling of extreme fear grips the inhabitants at various times and locations; the emotion of fear is effectively evoked and an interesting tale is constructed as Vance and Dexter work to assign the fear a local habitation and a na. As the evening grew rainy thunderous I felt the need of immersing myself into something dark sombre and yet with a silver lining A good collection of Occult Detectiver kind of stories seemed to be the need of the hour and I hastily got hold of this collection and managed to devour it in no time The only reason behind the somewhat deficient rating only 3 stars is that the stories appeared somewhat shallow But let me give a story wise description here 1 The Invader a classic case of en evil spirit coming to occupy another body and its conseuences The protagonist despite all his experiences could not accomplish anything2 The Stranger a powerful tale of love between a carefree almost pagan girl and an old god Again Aylmer Vance accomplished nothing3 Lady Green Sleeves the germ of this idea is so oft repeated ghost coming back for the thrill of present and has been bettered by so many other authors esp Seabury uinn that this story appears very light almost an exotica in a dark dangerous terrain4 The Fire Unuenchable a poet returns from beyond the grave to finish his poetry and Aylmer Vance's companion a Barrister to boot relaises that he is clairvoyant5 The Vampire a solid horrific and suitably gothic tale Unfortunately the only solution that Aylmer Vance can offer is of destroying the castle of the forefathers of the central character apparently because a very bad person had lived there and seems to have a morbid hold over the present incumbents6 The Boy of Blackstock a good story with villanious human beings and ghosts from the past competing to become horrific Aylmer Vance understands the problem uite well but has no role to play The characters were worthy of being the centrepiece of a suitably nasty tale by HRWakefield and the story belongs to that vein than the other stories in this collection7 The Indissoluble Bond music and death combining to have a ghastly effect upon a lovely girl Once again Aylmer Vance sees the ghost technically he is yet to die but does nothing about it8 The Fear Once again this story lies suarely within HR Wakefield terrain and all that Aylmer Vance has to say is Destroy the entire castle to solve the persisting problem people getting almsot scared to death at certain points of time without actually watching or hearing anythingWhen you have a ghost seer whose strike rate is like that of Dr Hesselius of Le Fanu whose patients had unusually high mortality rate you really can't be very hopefull about the character But the ghosts were good and rather than being cosmic were horrific enough by virtue of being earth bound Recommended for stormy evenings