Colonial Horrors: Sleepy Hollow and Beyond

Colonial Horrors: Sleepy Hollow and Beyond

by Graeme Davis

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The most spine-tingling suspense stories from the colonial era—including Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, and H. P. Lovecraft—are presented anew to the contemporary reader.

This stunning anthology of classic colonial suspense fiction plunges deep into the native soil from which American horror literature first sprang. While European writers of the Gothic and bizarre evoked ruined castles and crumbling abbeys, their American counterparts looked back to the Colonial era’s stifling religion and its dark and threatening woods.

Today the best-known tale of Colonial horror is Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” although Irving’s story is probably best-known today from various movie versions it has inspired. Colonial horror tales of other prominent American authors—Nathaniel Hawthorne and James Fenimore Cooper among them—are overshadowed by their bestsellers and are difficult to find in modern libraries. Many other pioneers of American horror fiction are presented afresh in this breathtaking volume for today’s reading public.

Some will have heard the names of Increase and Cotton Mather in association with the Salem witch trials, but will not have sought out their contemporary accounts of what were viewed as supernatural events. By bringing these writers to the attention of the contemporary reader, the book will help bring their names—and their work—back from the dead.

Featuring stories by Cotton Mather, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, H. P. Lovecraft, and many more. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681775906
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Graeme Davis has been fascinated by horror fiction since his teens, devouring late-night reruns of the classic Universal and Hammer movies on his parents’ black-and-white TV and stripping local thrift-stores of horror titles. He began writing for tabletop role-playing games in the early 1980s, and among many other credits he helped develop Games Workshop’s blockbuster Warhammer dark-fantasy franchise and the 90s Gothic hit Vampire: The Masquerade, as well as more than 40 electronic games. This is his second anthology for Pegasus, following on from the 2017 collection Colonial Horrors. He lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

Table of Contents

Introduction Graeme Davis ix

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving 1

An Essay for the Recording of Remarkable Providences by Increase Mather 31

Wonders of the Invisible World Cotton Mather 49

Lithobolia R.C. 61

Wieland Charles Brockden Brown 79

The Money-Diggers Washington Irving 93

Rachel Dyer John Neal 161

Moll Pitcher John Greenleaf Whittier 173

The Birth-Mark Nathaniel Hawthorne 197

A Tale of the Ragged Mountains Edgar Allan Poe 215

The Lake Gun James Fenimore Cooper 227

In the Pines W. F. Mayer 239

The Romance of Certain Old Clothes Henry James 255

An Authenticated History of the Bell Witch Martin van Buren Ingram 275

Myths and Legends of Our Own Land Charles M. Skinner 319

The Salem Wolf Howard Pyle 335

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward H. P. Lovecraft 349

Acknowledgments 381

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Colonial Horrors: Sleepy Hollow and Beyond 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DarkRavenDH More than 1 year ago
and things that go bump in the night… My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, Maia Larson, and Bowen Dunnan for my review copy of this book. You guys rock! These are stories and essays from early America. I found it incredible that stories by Washington Irving, Edgar Alan Poe, and Henry James are sharing a book with essays written by Increase and Cotton Mather! While the supernatural elements of Irving, Poe, and James are products of imagination, the Mathers, father, and son, were deadly serious in their writings. On the words of Increase and Cotton Mather people could lose their freedom and even their life! My favorite story in this volume is the story of “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving. There are several stories by Irving in the book, with “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” given the honor of starting the volume. But it is the tale of Tom Walker’s deal with the devil that tops my list of favorite Irving tales! The historical supernatural essays of the Mathers was chilling. No doubt these words were read by the ones presiding at the infamous Salem Witch Trials. The essays delve into the ideas of the time that condemned people f pacts with Satan on very little evidence. It makes the blood run cold in a man’s veins to think of innocent people who died because of these men… Other authors featured in this volume are Nathaniel Hawthorn, Charles Brockton Brown, an entire novel by John Neal, Rachel Dyer; James Fennimore Cooper, WF Mayer, Howard Pyle, and ends with an excerpt from “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” by horror legend HP Lovecraft. What I liked least in this volume was the poem “Moll Pitcher” by John Greenleaf Whittier. Whitter is known for his mastery of foot and meter, but in this case, he doesn’t hesitate to express in 15 words what he might have said in 6. The poem is extremely long winded and it just doesn’t excite me enough to enjoy plowing through 22 pages of stuffy poetry. There is certainly more here to read that can grasp a reader’s attention and pull him or her straight into the story as it unfolds. I recommend this book! I give it four stars… Quoth the Raven…