Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New Year!


I’d just like to take a moment to wish everyone a happy and joyful New Year!

This blog has only been active for a little over 6 months but I feel we’ve done a lot of good work here in bring Hodgson to a wider audience.  Next year holds the promise of even more publications!  Not only will 2013 bring SARGASSO, the first magazine devoted to the life and work of WHH, but I know of several important Hodgson projects that are also in the pipeline for the coming year.  I can’t really talk about them at the moment but they are all very exciting and one particular anthology promises to put Hodgson on the scholarly map once and for all!  It’s going to be an amazing year!

1913 was, of course, an important year for Hodgson.  Not only did it see the first book publication of his Carnacki stories but it was the year of his marriage to Bessie Farnworth.  The happy couple moved to France soon after and would be there until the threat of war sent them back to England in 1914.  Sadly, we do not know what Hodgson thought of the war but his patriotism is evident by his insistence upon rejoining the British army after several injuries that could have allowed him to go back home.

With 1913, Hodgson enters the final stage of his life.  His greatest works are behind him by this point with all four novels, Carnacki, and major short stories having been written.  Although he would continue writing, nothing would equal the vibrant imagination of his earlier work.

And so we enter a New Year full of possibilities and opportunities.  I’d like to thank all of you for reading this blog, contributing your thoughts and material, and look forward to another year of all things Hodgsonian!

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“The Sailor of the Seas of Time” by Phillip Ellis


From poet Phillip Ellis comes this fine tribute to Hodgson.  As we come near the end of 2012, it feels appropriate to post this in remembrance of Hodgson.  Many thanks to Phillip for contributing this lovely poem.

“The Sailor of the Seas of Time”

by Phillip Ellis

I saw the coasts of the unknown world
–William Hope Hodgson, “The Morning Lands” line 1

The sailor has retired from the known seas:
upon that darker shore he’s built his manse,
with widow’s walk so that he knows the ocean,
and, in a sheltered room when night intrudes,

he soon retires with lanthorn and a book,
a tome of tales unwritten in these lands,
and pauses while he ponders on his death
within a Nightland torn by human war.

The sailor has retired, yet does not mourn
the seas we sail upon, bound by our time,
and looks instead upon the seas still mapless,
stretching through archipelagos of dimness;

the sailor has retired, and rests in silence
among the silent, knowing neither clock
nor chaunty of the death watch beetle; stop
passer-by, read his name, remember him.

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My new column about Weird Fiction!


Although this is not specifically Hodgson related, I wanted to let everyone know that I have just started writing a new column on weird fiction for NAMELESS Magazine!  You can read it online at:

http://namelessmag.jasunni.com/2012/12/22/sam-gaffords-alternate-words-examining-weird-fiction/

In this first installment, I talk about what “weird fiction” actually is and my response may surprise you.  I’m sure that, at some point, I’ll ramble on about Hodgson unless editor Jason Brock wises up and shuts me down first!  😉

I hope that you all will check out the column and let me know what you think.  You should also take the time to check out their regular website as well!  NAMELESS is a really great magazine which I am proud to be associated with them.  I am sure that it will be around for quite some time and, if you miss out on any issues, you will really regret it!

—Sam Gafford

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William Meikle’s CARNACKI


1 meikleFew authors have done as much to keep Carnacki alive as William Meikle.  In addition to publishing a fine collection of short stories (CARNACKI: HEAVEN AND HELL), Meikle has contributed several other stories about the ‘ghost-finder’ to various anthologies and magazines.  Here is a list of Meikle’s Carnacki stories in print to date:

Coming Soon

  • The Island of Dr. Monroe (Steampunk Cthulhu anthology / Chaosium)
  • The Beast of Glamis (Weird Detection anthology / Prime )

And Meikle has not stopped there!  Word has recently reached us here at the Last Redoubt that he has written a new Carnacki story teaming the ‘ghost-finder’ with Hodgson’s other serial character, none other than amoral smuggler Captain Gault!  We are trembling with anticipation at what spectral adventures these two could get into and hope that it is published very soon.

(The bulk of the information contained here has been copied, with permission, from William Meikle’s website: http://www.williammeikle.com/  Go check it out and see all the other excellent books available from this talented writer.)

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CARNACKI #6: “The Thing Invisible”


carnacki 1(Spoiler warning!  This blog posts discusses plot details in the story, “The Thing Invisible”.  If you have not read this story yet, you can do so here.)

We come now to the sixth, and final, Carnacki story to appear in a magazine during Hodgson’s lifetime.  “The Thing Invisible” was published in the January, 1912, issue of The New Magazine.   It was also the last story to be included in the book collection of Carnacki stories that first appeared in 1913.   It is significant to note that there was a space of 18 months between the publication of this story and June, 1910’s, appearance of “The Searcher of the End House” (which was the last Carnacki story to appear in The Idler).  I have several theories as to why this may have been so which I will take up after the story recap.

After dinner with his friends, Carnacki reveals that he has just returned from South Kent where he was called for a most interesting case.  Sir Alfred Jarnock’s estate has a chapel which has a reputation for being haunted.  There is a legend that if any enemy were to enter the chapel after nightfall, they would be attacked by a dagger which rests over the altar.  Just another curious folktale that would have been ignored had a recent, dangerous, incident not have happened.

One Sunday, after service, the Rector had been talking with Sir Jarnock and Jarnock’s eldest son while the butler was going about extinguishing the candles.  Remembering that he had left his small prayer book on the Communion table, the Rector called to the butler to retrieve it.  As the three men looked towards the butler, he opened the small chancel gate and, before their eyes, was struck by the dagger.

“The Rector’s version was clear and vivid, and he had evidently received the astonishment of his life. He pictured to me the whole affair—Bellett, up at the chancel gate, going for the prayer book, and absolutely alone; and then the blow, out of the Void, he described it; and the force prodigious—the old man being driven headlong into the body of the Chapel. Like the kick of a great horse, the Rector said, his benevolent old eyes bright and intense with the effort he had actually witnessed, in defiance of all that he had hitherto believed.”

The butler survived the attack as the blade missed his heart but broke his collarbone.  It was then that Jarnock’s eldest son, George, had sent for Carnacki.  Sir Jarnock’s nerves had gotten the better of him and he appeared unable to deal with the situation.

After arriving, Carnacki makes his usual exact examination of the place and even spends three days painstakingly inspecting the roof.  He comes to the conclusion that there is no way for someone to hide in the chapel which is problematic as all witnesses, including the butler, claim that there was no one at all near him when the attack occurred.

“Above the altar hangs the ‘waeful dagger,’ as I had learned it was named. I fancy the term has been taken from an old vellum, which describes the dagger and its supposed abnormal properties. I took the dagger down, and examined it minutely and with method. The blade is ten inches long, two inches broad at the base, and tapering to a rounded but sharp point, rather peculiar. It is double-edged.

“The metal sheath is curious for having a crosspiece, which, taken with the fact that the sheath itself is continued three parts up the hilt of the dagger (in a most inconvenient fashion), gives it the appearance of a cross. That this is not unintentional is shown by an engraving of the Christ crucified upon one side, whilst upon the other, in Latin, is the inscription: ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will Repay.’ A quaint and rather terrible conjunction of ideas. Upon the blade of the dagger is graven in old English capitals: I WATCH. I STRIKE. On the butt of the hilt there is carved deeply a Pentacle.”

Finally speaking to Sir Jarnock, Carnacki proposes that he spend the night in the chapel to which Sir Jarnock completely refuses.  It is Sir Jarnock’s habit to lock the chapel every evening so that none would risk harm and he would not yield on this point especially after what had happened to the butler.

Undaunted, Carnacki decides to make an impression of the key when he borrows it the following day and have a duplicate made in secret.  He sets up his camera and takes a picture of the quite chapel in daylight.  Carnacki then goes into town to develop the plate and have the duplicate key made.

That night, Carnacki sneaks into the chapel.  In preparation, he dons several pieces of plate mail over which he wears a shirt of chain mail ‘borrowed’ from the Jarnock’s Armory.  He carries with him a lantern and his gun.

“Now it would be silly to say I did not feel queer. I felt very queer indeed. You just try, any of you, to imagine yourself standing there in the dark silence and remembering not only the legend that was attached to the place, but what had really happened to the old butler only a little while gone, I can tell you, as I stood there, I could believe that something invisible was coming toward me in the air of the Chapel. Yet, I had got to go through with the business, and I just took hold of my little bit of courage and set to work.”

Carnacki resets his camera and re-examines the chapel again to no avail.  He takes another picture of the chapel with the use of his flash and then sits down in one of the pews to wait.  As the evening wears on, he hears odd noises like the sound of a metallic ‘clank’ from the direction of the altar and soft steps near him.  The dark and the quiet bear down on him:

“Suddenly my courage went. I put up my mailed arms over my face. I wanted to protect it. I had got a sudden sickening feeling that something was hovering over me in the dark. Talk about fright! I could have shouted if I had not been afraid of the noise…. And then, abruptly, I heard something. Away up the aisle, there sounded a dull clang of metal, as it might be the tread of a mailed heel upon the stone of the aisle. I sat immovable. I was fighting with all my strength to get back my courage. I could not take my arms down from over my face, but I knew that I was getting hold of the gritty part of me again. And suddenly I made a mighty effort and lowered my arms. I held my face up in the darkness. And, I tell you, I respect myself for the act, because I thought truly at that moment that I was going to die. But I think, just then, by the slow revulsion of feeling which had assisted my effort, I was less sick, in that instant, at the thought of having to die, than at the knowledge of the utter weak cowardice that had so unexpectedly shaken me all to bits, for a time.”

When nothing happens, Carnacki recovers his courage.  He turns on his lantern but sees nothing amiss or worrying so shuts it off and sits for awhile more in the dark.

His nerves fading, Carnacki becomes convinced that he is hearing a slithering sound near the camera and shines his lantern to find nothing there.  Standing up, he is determined to see if the dagger has moved and walks up to the chancel gate to find that the dagger is no long in the scabbard above the altar.

Afraid that it might be floating about somewhere near, he steps up the gate and, as he opens it, is struck mightily in the chest by the dagger!  Thrown backward, he loses his gun and the lantern smashes on the floor.  Panic stricken, Carnacki runs blindly down the aisle, knocking over his camera and out the door.

In his room, Carnacki regains his calm and examines his armor.  The dagger had pierce both the chain and plate armor and left a scratch on his chest.  With a chill, Carnacki realizes that it had been pointed at his heart.

At dawn the next morning, Carnacki returns to the chapel and examines his equipment.  The lantern is shattered but his gun is untouched and the camera only  slightly damaged.  The dagger is lying in the aisle.

With a sudden, unreasoned action, I jumped forward and put my foot on it, to hold it there. Can you understand? Do you? And, you know, I could not stoop down and pick it up with my hands for quite a minute, I should think. Afterward, when I had done so, however, and handled it a little, this feeling passed away and my Reason (and also, I expect, the daylight) made me feel that I had been a little bit of an ass. Quite natural, though, I assure you! Yet it was a new kind of fear to me. I’m taking no notice of the cheap joke about the ass! I am talking about the curiousness of learning in that moment a new shade or quality of fear that had hitherto been outside of my knowledge or imagination. Does it interest you?

Carnacki cleans up and takes the plates out of the camera before heading back to town.  He wakes up the local photographer who grants Carnacki access to his darkroom.  The first plate he develops is of the chapel, taken with the flash but there is nothing unusual in the picture.  The second plate is of what had been in the camera at the time of the attack with the lens open.  It is Carnacki’s hope that something might have imprinted upon the unexposed plate.  Although the second plate shows some shapes which could have been the dagger, they are too vague to be sure.  It is while examining the other photo that Carnacki makes an exciting discovery.

Arriving back at the castle, Carnacki is told that Sir Jarnock is unwell and would prefer that no one enter the chapel without him.  George Jarnock states that it is in keeping with his father’s personality as he would never allow anyone into the chapel.

Carnacki sneaks off and conducts some experiments in the chapel which confirm his suspicions.  He gets George to come with him and they bring a dummy dressed in plate armor to the chapel.  Although surprised when Carnacki produces a key, George says nothing.

16_thingThey place the dummy in the same position where the butler had been attacked.  When George makes a motion to open the chancel gate, Carnacki warns him that he is in danger and to step away.  George steps away to the left and Carnacki, well to the right of the dummy, leans it forward so that it presses on the chancel gate which springs open.  Suddenly, the dummy is stuck by a tremendous blow and thrown to the floor where it lays with the dagger buried in the armor.

Carnacki shows George how the trick was done.  A section of the left hand gatepost has a hinge which, when pressed down, opens a gap in the floor into which the post fits snugly with a click.  Carnacki then takes the dagger and places it in a hole in the post, point upward.  Then, pressing further, the section lifts back up, covering the dagger and closing the hole in the floor.  It is nothing more than a trap set for an unsuspecting enemy.

The case is resolved when Sir Jarnock confesses to setting the trap every night out of habit and that, the day of the butler’s injury, had set it too early.  The hole, Carnacki surmises, was used in previous ages to hide valuables and, indeed, that is where Sir Jarnock has hidden his late wife’s jewelry.

As there was no permanent injury with the butler recovering, the affair is hushed up and the chapel retains it’s ‘haunted’ reputation.

“The Thing Invisible” is definitely one of Carnacki’s weakest cases as written by Hodgson.  Not only is there no supernatural cause but the ‘haunting’ itself is handled poorly and is hardly interesting.  Compare this to other stories where even the manufactured hauntings are more dramatic and we can see why this story lacks.   The only ‘fear’ comes as Carnacki sits alone in the chapel and even this is not as effective as in other stories.

In addition, there is no mention of any of Carnacki’s previous cases (like there are in other stories), the Sigsand Manuscript, or even the SaaaMaaa Ritual.  In some ways, it seems as if this case happened to a completely different Carnacki!  None of his investigative techniques are used here such as sealing the doors or placing wires to determine if anyone else is walking nearby.

It is for this reason that I feel that this is quite possibly the first Carnacki story written by Hodgson.  The story feels as if Hodgson is working his way towards the ‘Carnacki’ that we grow to know in the other stories and even some of his prose style is reminiscent of early works.  In addition, the beginning is written in such as way as to set up the formula for the later stories.  It explains the narrative frame far more than the later tales do and reads like an introduction to the series.

I believe that it was for this reason that August Derleth chose this story to lead the 1947 collection whereas, in the original 1913 edition, it is the last story in the book.  Although I can understand this reasoning, I feel that, in some ways, it is a mistake to lead with this weaker story.  Someone new to Carnacki might read this tale and wonder what all the fuss is about and not bother to read any further.  Far better to maintain either the original collection’s order (with the three additional stories added) or place this story closer to the middle when the strength of the other stories will prop up it’s deficiencies.

I feel that it is likely that The Idler rejected this story and maybe even for the same reasons I’ve just noted.  Perhaps they also felt that this was a ‘weaker’ story.  This would explain the time gap between the Idler appearances and this story later in The New Magazine.  My conclusion is that Hodgson had to shop this story around before finding it a home and that would not happen until 1912.  This was the last Carnacki story to appear in Hodgson’s lifetime.  We don’t know exactly when Hodgson stopped writing stories about his “ghost-finder” but others, like Sam Moskowitz, believe that at least “The Hog” was written closer to Hodgson’s death in 1918.  It is yet another Hodgson question that we will never be able to fully answer.

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A Blog Post and Bits & Pieces


There is a very excellent post about Hodgson at the blog, “Roles, Rules & Rolls“.  Although the blog is devoted to role-playing games, the author provides a wonderful essay titled: “Fungi and Swine: William Hope Hodgson’s Disgust Morality”.   This is very informative reading and highly recommended.  I wonder if there might be any RPG modules out there that are Hodgson based or influenced?  Thanks to Andy Robertson for pointing out this great article and make sure you read the comments there too!

DID YOU KNOW…

That there was a character on the popular TV show LOST who was named “Captain Gault”?  Reportedly a shady ship captain, did he owe more than his name to Hodgson’s smuggler?

That the only son born to infamous Satanist Anton LaVey was named Satan Xerxes CARNACKI LaVey?

That, according to one source, Hodgson once proposed to his publisher that they build a life size boat, fill it with pirates and use it on the streets of London as a promotional campaign for one of his books?

CARNACKI, THE GHOST-FINDER was the only book to get more than one printing during Hodgson’s lifetime?

Hodgson’s widow never remarried?

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Checklist of Hodgson’s Poetry


Here, courtesy of Phillip Ellis, is a checklist of WHH’s poetry.  This extensive listing shows where Hodgson’s poems have been published.  This will be a great aid to those looking to find copies of these works as most of them have not had much exposure.  Many thanks to Phillip for compiling this listing and sharing it with us here.

A checklist of Poems by William Hope Hodgson / Compiled by Phillip A. Ellis

01: “After the Years”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

02: “Amanda Panda”
a. Captain Gault: Being the Exceedingly Private Log of a Sea-Captain. London: Eveleigh Nash, 1917.
b. Captain Gault: Being the Exceedingly Private Log of a Sea-Captain. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1921.

03: “Ballade”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

04: “Beyond the Dawning”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

05: “Billy Ben”
a. Captain Gault: Being the Exceedingly Private Log of a Sea-Captain. London: Eveleigh Nash, 1917.
b. Captain Gault: Being the Exceedingly Private Log of a Sea-Captain. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1921.

06: “Boy Billy Boo-Hoo”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

07: “The Bridge of Melody”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

08: “Bring Out Your Dead”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

09: “The Calling of the Sea”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

10: “The Conqueror”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

11: “Conquest”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

12: “The Cynic in Hell”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

13: “Death”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

14: “The Death Cry of Young Genius”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

15: “Down the Long Coast”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

16: “Drowned”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

17: “Dying”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

18: “Eight Bells”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

19: “Fame”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

20: “Farewell”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

21: “Foot Falls”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

22: “Gone”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

23: “Grey Seas Are Dreaming of My Death”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
d. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
e. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
f. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

24: “Grief”
a. The House on the Borderland. London: Chapman & Hall, 1908.
b. The House on the Borderland. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1921.
c. The House on the Borderland: and Other Novels. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1946.
d. The House on the Borderland. New York: Ace, 1962.
e. The House on the Borderland. New York: Freeway Press, 1974.
f. The House on the Borderland. Westport, CT: Hyperion Press, 1976.
g. The House on the Borderland. New York: Manor, 1978.
h. The House on the Borderland. London: Sphere, 1980.
i. The House on the Borderland. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1983.
j. The House on the Borderland. London: Grafton, 1990.
k. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
l. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

25: “Gun Drill”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

26: “The Heart Cry”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

27: “The Hell! Oo! Chaunty”
a. The Ghost Pirates, A Chaunty, and Another Story. New York: R. H. Paget, 1909.
b. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

28: “How it Happened”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

29: “The Hunger Land”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

30: “I Come Again”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

31: “I Have Bourne My Lord a Son”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

32: “If I Were Dead”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

33: “In Eternity”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

34: “Inspiration”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

35: “Listening”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

36: “Little Feet of Maggie Lee”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

37: “Little Garments”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

38: “Lost”
a. Carnacki, The Ghost Finder and a Poem. New York: P. R. Reynolds, 1910.
b. Carnacki, The Ghost Finder and a Poem. London: [No publisher given], 1910.
c. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
d. Arkham Collector 5 (Summer 1969): 134.
e. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
f. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI :
Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
g. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

39: “Love”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

40: “Love Song to the Dead”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

41: “Lost Years”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

42: “Madre Mia”
a. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
b. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

43: “Mimosa.”
a. Jonathan Bacon and Steve Troyanovich, eds. Omniumgathum: An Anthology of Verse by Top Authors in the Field of Fantasy. Lamoni, Iowa: Stygian Isle Press, 1976. 35.
b. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

44: “Monsieur les Vidoques”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

45: “The Morning Lands”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

46: “Mors deorum”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

47: “My Babe, My Babe”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

48: “My Son! My Son!”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

49: “The Mystery of Life”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

50: “Nevermore.”
a. Jonathan Bacon and Steve Troyanovich, eds. Omniumgathum: An Anthology of Verse by Top Authors in the Field of Fantasy. Lamoni, Iowa: Stygian Isle Press, 1976. 57.
b. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
c. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

51: “Night”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

52: “Night and Day”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

53: “The Night Wind”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

54: “O Parent Sea”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

55: “The Ocean of Eternity”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

56: “Ode to a Vase”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

57: “Old-Time Hands”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

58: “One Nation Are we”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press,
2005.

59: “Over there”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

60: “Passing”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

61: “Pillars of the Empire”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

62: “The Pirates”
a. The Luck of the Strong. London: Eveleigh Nash, 1916.
b. The Luck of the Strong. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1920.
c. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
d. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
e. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

63: “The Place of Storms”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

64: “Rest”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

65: “Scent”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

66: “The Sea of Silence”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

67: “Sea Revelry”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

68: “The Ship”
a. The Luck of the Strong. London: Eveleigh Nash, 1916.
b. The Luck of the Strong. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1920.
c. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
d. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
e. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

69: “Shoon of the Dead”
a. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
b. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

70: “The Shore of Desolation”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

71: “The Smoke of the Blast”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

72: “The Sobbing of the Freshwater”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. London Magazine. 28:3 (May 1912): 374.
d. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
e. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
f. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
g. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

73: “The Song of the Great Bull Whale”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Grand Magazine. 85 (March 1912): 57.
d. Men of the Deep Waters. London: Eveleigh Nash, 1914.
e. Men of the Deep Waters. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1921.
f. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
g. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
h. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.

74: “Song of the Ship”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

75: “Southern Lights”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

76: “Speak Well of the Dead”
a. Poems; and, The Dream of X. New York: R. H. Paget, 1912.
b. Poems; and, The Dream of X. London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1912.
c. Jonathan Bacon and Steve Troyanovich, eds. Omniumgathum: An Anthology of Verse by Top Authors in the Field of Fantasy. Lamoni, Iowa: Stygian Isle Press, 1976. 33.
d. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
e. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

77: “Storm”
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

78: “Thou and I”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

79: “Thou Living Sea”.
a. The Calling of the Sea. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

80: “Thou, who Art Jesu’s Mother!”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

81: “The Thresher”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

82: “Thy Wandering Soul”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

83: “To God”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

84: “To my Father”
a. The House on the Borderland. London: Chapman & Hall, 1908.
b. The House on the Borderland. London: Holden & Hardingham, 1921.
c. The House on the Borderland: and Other Novels. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1946.
d. The House on the Borderland. New York: Ace, 1962.
e. Arkham Collector. 5 (Summer 1969): 136.
f. The House on the Borderland. New York: Freeway Press, 1974.
g. The House on the Borderland. Westport, CT: Hyperion Press, 1976.
h. The House on the Borderland. New York: Manor, 1978.
i. The House on the Borderland. London: Sphere, 1980.
j. The House on the Borderland. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1983.
k. The House on the Borderland. London: Grafton, 1990.

85: “Tramp! Tramp!”
a. Jane Frank, comp. The Wandering Soul: Glimpses of a Life: A Compendium of Rare and Unpublished Works by William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

86: “[Unknown Poem(s)]”
a. Cargunka; and, Poems; and, Anecdotes. New York: R. Harold Paget; London: A. P. Watt & Son, 1914.

87: “(Untitled)”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

88: “The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

89: “The Voice of the Ocean”
a. The Voice of the Ocean. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1921.
b. Poems of the Sea. London: Ferret Fantasy, 1977.
c. Sam Gafford, ed. Beyond the Dawning: The Poems of William Hope Hodgson. Bristol, RI : Hobgoblin Press, 1995.
d. The Voice of the Ocean. [No Place] : Wildside Press, [No Date].

90: “Who Make Their Bed in Deep Waters.”
a. Fantasy Crossroads. 12 (November 1977): .

91: “The World of Dreams”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

92: “Wrecked”
a. Jane Frank, ed. The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson. Hornsea : PS Publishing; Leyburn : Tartarus Press, 2005.

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Filed under Hodgson, William Hope Hodgson

Lose Yourself in SARGASSO!


Ok, so I’m not the greatest when it comes to slogans!  I’m open to any suggestions!

I’ve just received the logos for the SARGASSO magazine and I couldn’t wait to share them with everyone.  They are amazing!  More excellent work from famed artist Jason Eckhardt, they will grace the cover and contents page of every issue.  I will also feature them in the SARGASSO webpage which I am currently working on and hope to get up and running by the end of the year.

Here is Jason’s cover logo:

Image

I love the color and the skull!  This will be featured prominently on every cover in color!

For the inside, contents page, Jason has done something more elaborate:

Image

Another excellent job by Mr. Eckhardt!

Regarding SARGASSO, I’d like to remind those that have promised material that time is moving ever forward.  While I have gotten many superb pieces of art and a few stories, I am still waiting on articles.  So, remember, the deadline is March 30th and that will be here sooner than you know it!  I want this magazine to be a repository of premiere scholarship about WHH but that won’t happen without your support!  Sorry, but I gotta crack the whip a bit here!  SARGASSO depends on your support not just as readers but contributors.  Let’s show all those upstarts out there that ol’ WHH is worthy of serious attention too!

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Filed under Hodgson, William Hope Hodgson

CARNACKI #5: “The Searcher of the End House”


carnacki 1(Spoilers Note:  This post will discuss plot elements of the story, “The Searcher of the End House”.  If you have not read this story, you can do so here. )

Now we come to the last of the Carnacki stories to be printed in The Idler magazine.  This story first appeared in the June, 1910, issue of the periodical and there was no indication that this would be Carnacki’s last appearance in their pages.  We can only speculate why this is so when there was at least one other story that could have appeared and possibly at least two more.  Perhaps the response to the series had not been as great as the publishers had hoped for or perhaps Hodgson may have withdrawn the other stories.  We have no way of knowing at this time.

One of the unique aspects of this story is that it takes place in Carnacki’s past and involves a case that affected him personally.  Speculation could be made that it was this case which prompted Carnacki to become a “ghost-finder”.  In any event, it is a story that doesn’t always fulfill it’s promise.

After hearing the short recitation of the case of “The Three Straw Platters”, Carnacki’s friends think that perhaps the evening is coming to a quick close.  There are surprised, then, when Carnacki proceeds to tell them a story of his own past, some years ago.

At the time, Carnacki and his mother are staying in a small house on the South Coast.  They had been living in this cottage for about two years without incident when something happens.

13_srchOne night, as Carnacki is writing letters at 2 a.m., he hears his mother’s door open and her knocking on the upstairs bannister.  Thinking that it is his mother admonishing him for being up so late, he calls out to her but gets no response.  When he goes upstairs, he finds her door open and his mother asleep.  Thinking she had just dozed off, he closes her door and goes to bed but notices an odd smell in the passageway.

But the next morning, Carnacki’s mother has no memory of the incident.  He lets the matter drop but is still slightly disturbed by it.  That night, the same thing happens again.  He hears his mother’s door open and then the sound of rapping on the bannister.

Thinking that perhaps she is sleepwalking, Carnacki goes out to the hall but does not see anyone on the landing.  Going upstairs, he sees that she is sleeping peacefully in her bed but the smell from the previous night is in her room and much more powerful.

He decides to search her room and she awakens.  Although trying not to alarm her, Carnacki’s mother notices the smell herself and calls it to his attention.  Growing concerned, Carnacki makes a search of the house but finds nothing.  They attempt to convince themselves that it is nothing and “but finally we agreed that it might easily be the queer night-smell of the moist earth, coming in through the open window of my mother’s room, from the back garden, or — for that matter — from the little churchyard beyond the big wall at the bottom of the garden.”

None of these explanations fully satisfy them but they go to sleep as well as possible.  That night, Carnacki’s mother’s door is slammed shut.  Awakened by the noise, he runs to her room to find her wide awake and frightened.  The smell has returned and is much stronger.

As they puzzle out the details, they hear the sound of a door being slammed shut downstairs.  Carnacki takes a fire poker and goes downstairs.  “The culminative effect of so many queer happenings was getting hold of me; and all the apparently reasonable explanations seemed futile.”  But again he can find nothing.

A few hours later, he is awakened by the sounds of many doors being slammed shut downstairs.  Just as he is about to go investigate, his own door begins to creep open.

” ‘Who’s there?’ I shouted out, in a voice twice as deep as my natural one, and with a queer breathlessness, that sudden fright so often gives one. ‘Who’s there?'”

14_srchIt is only his mother, coming to him for comfort, but already Carnacki’s nerves are weakening.   Another thorough search of the house and the cellar reveals nothing but Carnacki can no longer deny that there is something wrong with the house.  In the morning, he sends his mother away and is determined to get at the bottom of it.

Carnacki’s first stop is the landlord.

“From him, I found that twelve or fifteen years back, the house had got rather a curious name from three or four tenants; with the result that it had remained empty a long while; in the end he had let it at a low rent to a Captain Tobias, on the one condition that he should hold his tongue, if he saw anything peculiar. The landlord’s idea — as he told me frankly — was to free the house from these tales of ‘something queer,’ by keeping a tenant in it, and then to sell it for the best price he could get.”

Captain Tobias spends ten years in the house with no complaint and there seems to have been an end of the bad talk so when Carnacki shows up, the landlord happily rents the place.  When pressed, the landlord reveals that some of the older tenants had complained about seeing a woman walking through the rooms but others had never seen anything.  “Some tenants never saw anything; but others would not stay out the first month’s tenancy.”

Carnacki gets the landlord to come back and stay the night.  The two men search the house and, again, nothing is found.  The landlord has brought his gun and Carnacki is armed with a bayonet from one of the rooms.  All is quite until about 2 a.m. when Carnacki feels an odd sensation that something is about to happen.  The darkness takes on a violet hue that seems to highlight the metal around them.

“And then, coming through this violet night, through this violet-coloured gloom, came a little naked Child, running. In an extraordinary way, the Child seemed not to be distinct from the surrounding gloom; but almost as if it were a concentration of that extraordinary atmosphere; as if that gloomy colour which had changed the night, came from the Child. It seems impossible to make clear to you; but try to understand it.”

Carnacki watches the spectral child which seems to be trying to hide from something.  Soon, he realizes that although he sees the child quite clearly, the landlord does not.  Suddenly, the landlord grabs Carnacki’s arm and exclaims, “The Woman!”  And yet, when Carnacki looks where the landlord is pointing, he sees nothing.  The woman seems to be searching for something or someone.

“What did it mean? He had seen a Woman, searching for something. I had not seen this Woman. I had seen a Child, running away, and hiding from Something or Someone. He had not seen the Child, or the other things — only the Woman. And I had not seen her. What did it all mean?”

Then, suddenly, comes the sound of a downstairs down being slammed shut and the mysterious odor returns with a vengeance.  Even the landlord can no longer deny the stench.  Carnacki fairly drags the other man downstairs where they find all of the doors closed but a mat that Carnacki had placed on the cellar down has been disturbed.  Shining the lantern, he sees the wet outline of a bare foot!

15_srch“As I came to the bottom step, I saw patches of wet all up and down the passage. I shone my lantern on them. It was the imprint of a wet foot on the oilcloth of the passage; not an ordinary footprint, but a queer, soft, flabby, spreading imprint, that gave me a feeling of extraordinary horror.”

Frightened, the landlord inadvertently fires his gun which attracts the attention of a passing policeman who comes to investigate the matter and is joined by an Inspector.  Carnacki shows them the wet footprints but does not tell them about the ghostly Woman or Child.  The Inspector decides to leave the patrolman to guard the cellar door while the rest of them, again, search the house.  After finding nothing, they return and the patrolman states how he had seen a ghostly woman walk through the cellar door.

The Inspector tells the patrolman to open the door and, when the man does, the smell assaults the group and they find a maggot on the steps.  When the patrolman refuses to go down the stairs, the inspector throws the patrolman down the stairs.  A search of the cellars finds nothing amiss.

“In the third cellar the prints ended at the shallow well that had been the old water-supply of the house. The well was full to the brim, and the water so clear that the pebbly bottom was plainly to be seen, as we shone the lights into the water. The search came to an abrupt end, and we stood about the well, looking at one another, in an absolute, horrible silence.”

Spooked, the men leave the cellar.  The Inspector agrees to return the next night and sit watch with Carnacki and the landlord at the well.  The next day, Carnacki makes arrangements with a wire-smith to have a ‘special’ cage made and delivered to the house later.  As night approaches, Carnacki and the landlord return to the house and this time Carnacki takes unique steps by placing piano wire a foot above the cellar floor and sealing every door and window in the house except for the front and cellar doors.  When the cage arrives, Carnacki rigs it over the well so that, at the release of a rope, it will fall into the well and trap anything there.

After the Inspector arrives with a burly detective, the four men take their place in the well about midnight.  Carnacki cautions them all to shield their lanterns and to say nothing.  For hours, nothing happens.  Then, about half past one, Carnacki feels the familiar sense of ‘something about to happen’.  The light changes to violet again and the child reappears.  Once more, Carnacki realizes that he is the only one who can see the Child as it again attempts to hide from something.  A few short minutes later, the landlord gasps, “The Woman!” but Carnacki still cannot see her.

All Carnacki can see is the Child trying to hide and the violet light mirrored in anything metallic in the room.  Suddenly, the Child bolts and runs from the room and the violet light fades away.  Then there is the sound of soft splashing and the odor hits them again.  Carnacki quickly drops the trap into the well and is greeted by the loud sounds of someone in pain.

“As my light struck the cage, I saw that about two feet of it projected from the top of the well, and there was something protruding up out of the water, into the cage. I stared, with a feeling that I recognised the thing; and then, as the other lanterns were opened, I saw that it was a leg of mutton. The thing was held by a brawny fist and arm, that rose out of the water. I stood utterly bewildered, watching to see what was coming. In a moment there rose into view a great bearded face, that I felt for one quick instant was the face of a drowned man, long dead. Then the face opened at the mouth part, and spluttered and coughed. Another big hand came into view, and wiped the water from the eyes, which blinked rapidly, and then fixed themselves into a stare at the lights.”

The policemen break out laughing and the man is identified as Captain Tobias, the former tenant of the house.  It turns out that Tobias has been in prison for the last few years because of smuggling and, when finding the house rented upon his return by Carnacki and his mother, was attempting to scare them away so that he could find something he had hidden in the building.  The smell had been caused by a rancid leg of mutton that the Captain had brought with him and the sounds from him moving through a secret passage.

Oddly enough, no charges are filed against the Captain who is allowed to take the house after Carnacki quits it.  However, the matter of the ghostly Woman and Child are still unexplained.  When questioned, Tobias admits that he had seen a spectral Woman in the house from time to time but never a child.

Carnacki concludes that the supernatural force in the house was triggered by fear from the people.  When there was no fear, the house was quiet.  But, when fear exists, the hauntings occur.  Then, he gives a very unique explanation:

 “To give you a root-idea, however, it is held in the Sigsand MS. that a child ‘still-born’ is ‘Snatyched back bye thee Haggs.’ This is crude; but may yet contain an elemental truth. Yet, before I make this clearer, let me tell you a thought that has often been made. It may be that physical birth is but a secondary process; and that prior to the possibility, the Mother-Spirit searches for, until it finds, the small Element — the primal Ego or child’s soul. It may be that a certain waywardness would cause such to strive to evade capture by the Mother-Spirit. It may have been such a thing as this, that I saw. I have always tried to think so; but it is impossible to ignore the sense of repulsion that I felt when the unseen Woman went past me. This repulsion carries forward the idea suggested in the Sigsand MS., that a still-born child is thus, because its ego or spirit has been snatched back by the ‘Hags.’ In other words, by certain of the Monstrosities of the Outer Circle. The thought is inconceivably terrible, and probably the more so because it is so fragmentary. It leaves us with the conception of a child’s soul adrift half-way between two lives, and running through Eternity from Something incredible and inconceivable (because not understood) to our senses.”

“The Searcher of the End House” is interesting in that it is another story with both a logical and supernatural explanation.  The logical explanation is not terribly satisfying.  Once again, one thinks of any number of SCOOBY-DOO episodes and the careless resolution rings false.  As to the supernatural, it remains one of Hodgson’s most curious ‘explanations’.  Mention has been made by other critics that this story may have been influenced by Hodgson’s own mother who had lost several children in their infancy.  The sight of a ghostly ‘Mother’ looking for a hiding ‘Child’ is striking but we are not sure if the ‘Mother’ is playing or dangerous.  Clearly, the death of her children weighed heavily on Hodgson’s mother so was this another effort to ease her pain by showing that the children she lost were waiting for her?  No one can say for sure.

In this story, we finally learn Carnacki’s first name: “Thomas”.  This is never revealed in any other story as, indeed, very few facts about Carnacki’s life are actually known.  Even here, we do not know if he has any siblings (living or dead) or even what his Mother looks like!

The house in which Carnacki and his mother live is curiously close to a group of houses once owned by Hodgson’s grandfather and which were passed down through the family.  They eventually ended up with Hodgson’s sister, Lissie, who sold them off.  Undoubtedly, this provided the inspiration for the setting of the house and maybe Hodgson himself had seen or stayed in one of his grandfather’s rental properties at some time.

In this story, we learn of several new, untold, tales.  They are “The Three Straw Plates”, “The Dark Light Case” and one only identified as “that trouble of Maaetheson’s, which you know about.”  We know nothing of these stories other than that they must have involved some alteration of light in some way.

Although serviceable, “The Searcher of the End House” is not one of Carnacki’s best cases.  The Ghost-Finder did not exactly leave The Idler with a bang and it is probable that few requests were made for his return.

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That Darn Carnacki!


Kind of sounds like an old sit-com, doesn’t it?

Well, it seems that the rascal has ended up in other places besides Hodgson’s fiction and even outside of those commonly known like William Meikle’s works.  So let’s take a quick look at what this indefatigable ghost-breaker has been up to!  (I should express that, unless otherwise stated, I have not read these books.)

1 breathSherlock Holmes: The Breath of God by Guy Adams. (Titan Books, 2011)

Here’s the synopsis:

When several leading society figures begin acting out of character, Holmes is enlisted on an investigation that will see him team up with famed ghost hunter Thomas Carnacki, and the famous occultist Aleister Crowley. As London fills up with mindless zombies, possessed by the spirits in the air, Holmes must descend beneath the city via the new underground train network to combat the source. A brand-new original novel, detailing a thrilling new case for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless creation.

Sounds great, right?  Well, maybe not.  Most of the reviews on Amazon have not been particularly favorable for this tale.  But if you still want to give it a shot, here’s the Amazon link.  Although the printed book is not available, you can get it on Kindle.

1 fallsThe Shadow of Reichenbach Falls by John King (Forge Book, 2008)

Yet another pairing of Carnacki and Holmes!  Here’s the synopsis for this one:

Probably the most infamous story in the Sherlock Holmes canon is “The Final Problem” as it relates the facts of the death/murder of the master detective at Reichenbach Falls. On May 4, 1891, the detective met his archenemy Professor Moriarty on a ledge above the falls; the two became locked in a titanic hand-to-hand struggle before both tumbled over the precipice, presumably to their deaths, as witnessed afar by Dr.Watson. The outcry against the death of such a popular character was so great that in 1901 Conan Doyle was forced to give in to the pressure of his fan mail. He resurrected the detective by claiming that Holmes had managed to grab a tuft of grass during the fall into the “dreadful cauldron” and so had lived to solve another mystery. But what really happened that infamous day at Reichenbach Falls and why did Holmes disappear in the aftermath? And what of the infamous Moriarty? How did a noble mathematician become the Napoleon of Crime? The Shadow of Reichenbach Fallsprovides these answers and more. It turns out that the events were not just witnessed by Watson but by another young detective of the Victorian eraCarnacki the Ghost Finder. Carnacki rescues an amnesiac gentleman from the base of the falls only to find himself and his companion doggedly pursued by an evil mastermind whose shadowy powers may reach from the bloody crime scenes of White Chapel to far beyond the grave. Filled with Holmesian lore and thrilling encounters evocative of Doyle’s work in the Strandmagazine, The Shadow of Reichenbach Fallswill undoubtedly join the ranks of such successful Holmesian pastiches as The Seven Percent Solution, The West End Horror, and Murder by Decree.

This one, unfortunately, does not fare much better with a number of howling reviews posted on Amazon.  Here’s the link if you care to order the book or just want to chuckle at the reviews.

1 gravelGravel by Warren Ellis, Mike Wolfer & Oscar Jimenez (Avatar Press, 2005)

I’m not sure if Carnacki appears in this but apparently his haunted grimoire, The Sigsand Manuscript, does!  Here’s the summary:

William Gravel carves a bloody path of death in his first full-color collection! Gravel Volume 1 features the first eight issues (#0-7) of this on-going series from Warren Ellis and co-writer Mike Wolfer with art by Raulo Caceres and Oscar Jimenez, as well as a special cover gallery! Long-buried and lost in antiquity, a unique book of magic once existed, filled with such extraordinary and arcane spells, supernatural rites and inherent power that its possessor would be either unequaled, or driven irrevocably insane. Recently unearthed, the Sigsand Manuscript has been divided into six pieces and distributed among the Minor Seven, Britain’s great Occult Detectives. With the Sigsand in their grasp, the Seven now wield more power than they were ever meant to possess… And William Gravel is not happy about it. Once a member of their Order but unceremoniously replaced within their ranks, the SAS Sergeant Major and Combat Magician is on a mission of revenge, redemption and quite possibly rebirth, as he takes on the members of the Minor Seven one-by-one… And God help each of Gravel’s former colleagues should they decide not to relinquish their sections of the Sigsand to the one man who might have the supernatural skills and restraint to use the reconstituted manuscript without accidentally destroying the Earth in the process. They all promised to use the unholy power wisely, but Gravel knows they are all Bloody Liars!

I’ve no idea if this is any good or not.  Ellis is usually a pretty good writer and the art looks effective.  This time, the Amazon reviews are not very helpful.  In any case, perhaps The Sigsand Manuscript will give the Necronomicon a run for it’s money some day!  You can order this book here.

1greenGhost of a Chance (A Ghost Finders Novel) by Simon Green (Ace, 2010)

I truly don’t know what to even think about this book.  This is the first in a series, apparently, about a “Carnacki Institute” that… well, let the synopsis speak for itself:

The Carnacki Institute exists to “Do Something” about Ghosts-and agents JC Chance, Melody Chambers, and Happy Jack Palmer will either lay them to rest, send them packing, or kick their nasty ectoplasmic arses with extreme prejudice.

Words fail me.

I thought that maybe this was YA but the description in Amazon places it at “18 and up”.  And there have been two MORE of these in the series!  Ghost of a Smile came out in 2011 while Ghost of a Dream came out this year.  This is kind of like “Scooby Doo meets Hodgson”, I guess.  Reviews on Amazon seem somewhat mixed.  If you want to order this book, follow this link.

1 meikleOf course, William Meikle’s fine Carnacki book, CARNACKI: HEAVEN AND HELL is still available from Dark Regions Press here as well as a Kindle version here.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  (Yes, I have read this one!)

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