s that rot in heaps around; and the witnesses to our union, the lazy worms that revel on the carious bones of the dead. Come, my young bride, the priest is impatient for his victim.' As they proceeded, a dim blue light moved swiftly before them, and displayed at the extremity of the churchyard the portals of a vault. It was open, and they entered it in silence. The hollow wind came rushing through the gloomy abode of the dead; and on every side were piled the mouldering remnants of coffins, which dropped piece by piece upon the damp mud. Every step they took was on a dead body; and the bleached bones rattled horribly beneath their feet. In the centre of the vault rose a heap of unburied skeletons, whereon was seated, a figure too awful even for the darkest imagination to conceive. As they approached it, the hollow vault rung with a hellish peal of laughter; and every mouldering corpse seemed endued with unholy life. The stranger paused, and as he grasped his victim in his hand, one sigh burst from his heart -
The Spectre Bride was written by William Harrison Ainsworth (1805–1882) a rather prolofic English historical novelist.
This morbid little gothic tale lacks charm, a point, and any redeeming qualities unless you like your stories depressing bully pulpits of nihilism and rants on the total ineffectiveness of goodness and purity.
Nonetheless, if you find yourself happy and carefree, I cannot think of a better story to change your mood, so sit in a dark room with a tall glass of absinthe at hand, and read this morose, unredeemed tale by candlelight.
Just be sure to hide all the sharp objects beforehand.