Let me at once set down that this is not the story of a haunted house. It is, or was, a beleaguered house; strangely besieged as was Prague in the old legend, when a midnight army of spectres unfurled pale banners and encamped around the city walls.
circle! The spell has been spoken; the spell of Hai, son of Set, first man to slay man by the Dark Art!
"The man is at the door of the woman's house. Yes, he who came in pride to woo, and proved traitor to the love won--he is at her door in weakness and pain.
"As the wax wastes, the man wastes! As the mannikin is gone, the man dies!
"On her doorstep, he begs for life. He is coward and broken. He suffers and is consumed. He calls to her the love-names they both know. And the woman laughs, and the door is barred.
"The door is barred, but what shall bar out the Enemy who creeps to the nine lamps?
"See, the fire shines through the wax! The image is grown thin and wan. Three days, three nights, it has shrunk before the flames. Three days, three nights, the woman has watched. As the fire is not weary, she is not weary. As the fire is beautiful, she is beautiful.
"The man is borne to her door again. He lifts up his hands and cries to her. But now he begs for death. Now he k
A composer buys a house and begins to have mysterious visits from a phantomlike lady and a haunting horror. Are both as supernatural as they seem? It all starts to get a little sappy after a while, and then it becomes difficult to maintain suspension of disbelief.
One of the joys of ManyBooks.Com is they introduce me to books that have been lost through the ages. As a fan of early 20th century dark romantic fantasy, Eleanor M. Ingram’s The Thing From The Lake is a priceless find and until I found it available here, I never knew of the author or her work.
The Thing From The Lake makes an interesting triumvirate with Abraham Merritt’s The Moon Pool and William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland, all available from Manybooks.com. In each story, a man battles an otherworldly horror for the love of an otherworldly woman. Though Ingram’s story is the weakest of the three because of its literal deus ex machina ending, by no means should one hesitate to add this pearl to your collection.
Interestingly, though Ingram only lived to her mid-30’s (1886-1921), she was a prolific author with at least four novels and over 20 short stories to her credit. She lived to see four of her works made into films (one directed by Cecil B. DeMille) yet surprisingly, the researcher will have great difficulty in finding any biographical information on her. Therefore, kudos to Many books.com for playing an important part in rescuing this writer from a death by obscurity. She deserves to be read and enjoyed.
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