Otherworldly October Tale #3: “How Fear Departed From The Long Gallery.” (1912)
Author: E.F. Benson (1867-1940)
The Tale: The Peveril Family is used to hauntings around their ancestral home—after all, they know the ghosts! But there are two ghosts they dare not speak of, ghosts connected to a terrible incident in the family’s past, who do unspeakable harm to those unfortunate enough to see them. When poor Madge Dalrymple finds herself trapped after dark in the long gallery, will she share the fate of those before her?
Background: Benson was an extremely talented jack-of-all-trades as a writer, authoring novels, biographies, and other materials on top of his ghostly tales. If that wasn’t enough to make you envious, he looks like someone straight out of My Daguerrotype Boyfriend (sorry ladies, but he most likely played for the other team). Benson’s Long Gallery tale is at turns humorous and frightening, a true feat of authorial skill to rival his friend and contemporary, M.R. James. It was also his personal favorite, and is now one of mine as well.