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.
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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