Oriental Ghost StoriesLafcadio Hearn
horror > gothic horror + weird fiction, short stories
‘ – and the man saw that she had no eyes or nose or mouth – and he screamed.’
Lafcadio Hearn’s fascinating and unsettling ghost stories are a reinterpretation of oriental legends, and folktales. They are a potent blend of weird beauty and horror.
Hearn, who referred to his narratives as ‘stories and studies of strange things’, believed that the spectral world was part of the oriental landscape. Lakes, mountains, ruined castles and terraced fields were the natural locale of ghostly spirits, and their intervention in human affairs was part of the natural order of things. Hearn’s apparitions are not a violent intrusion upon everyday reality; they are already a part of that reality, co-existing with the living.
This collection contains the best of the work of this neglected master of the supernatural tale. Prepare to be charmed and chilled in equal measure.
Introduction by David Stuart Davies
The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hōïche
The Story of O-Tei
Of a Mirror and a Bell
A Dead Secret
The Story of Aoyagi
The Dream of Akinosuke
A Story of Divination
A Passional Karma
The Soul of the Great Bell
The Story of Ming-Y
The Legend of Tchi-Niu
The Return of Yen-Tchin-King
The Tradition of the Tea-Plant
The Tale of the Porcelain-God
Born on the Greek island of Lefkada, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was brought up in both Ireland and England. At nineteen he emigrated to the United States where he became a journalist. After a sojourn in the French West Indies, he sailed for Japan in 1890. Hearn wrote extensively about his new homeland, its tales, customs, and religions, acting as a bridge between Japan and the Western world. He died in Tokyo where he is buried under his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo.