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THE EMPTY HOUSE Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil. In the case of the latter, no particular feature need betray them; they may boast an open countenance and an ingenuous smile; and yet a little of their company leaves the unalterable conviction that there is something radically amiss with their being: that they are evil. Willy nilly, they seem to communicate an atmosphere of secret... more...

CASE I: SECRET WORSHIP Harris, the silk merchant, was in South Germany on his way home from a business trip when the idea came to him suddenly that he would take the mountain railway from Strassbourg and run down to revisit his old school after an interval of something more than thirty years. And it was to this chance impulse of the junior partner in Harris Brothers of St. Paul's Churchyard that John Silence owed one of the most curious cases... more...

CASE I: A PSYCHICAL INVASION I "And what is it makes you think I could be of use in this particular case?" asked Dr. John Silence, looking across somewhat sceptically at the Swedish lady in the chair facing him. "Your sympathetic heart and your knowledge of occultism—" "Oh, please—that dreadful word!" he interrupted, holding up a finger with a gesture of impatience. "Well, then," she laughed, "your wonderful clairvoyant gift... more...

Chapter I I As a boy he constructed so vividly in imagination that he came to believe in the living reality of his creations: for everybody and everything he found names—real names. Inside him somewhere stretched immense playgrounds, compared to which the hay-fields and lawns of his father's estate seemed trivial: plains without horizon, seas deep enough to float the planets like corks, and "such tremendous forests" with "trees like tall... more...

I A considerable number of hunting parties were out that year without finding so much as a fresh trail; for the moose were uncommonly shy, and the various Nimrods returned to the bosoms of their respective families with the best excuses the facts of their imaginations could suggest. Dr. Cathcart, among others, came back without a trophy; but he brought instead the memory of an experience which he declares was worth all the bull moose that had... more...


IT will surprise and at the same time possibly amuse you to know that I had the instinct to tell what follows to a Priest, and might have done so had not the Man of the World in me whispered that from professional Believers I should get little sympathy, and probably less credence still. For to have my experience disbelieved, or attributed to hallucination, would be intolerable to me. Psychical investigators, I am told, prefer a Medium who takes... more...

I After leaving Vienna, and long before you come to Budapest, the Danube enters a region of singular loneliness and desolation, where its waters spread away on all sides regardless of a main channel, and the country becomes a swamp for miles upon miles, covered by a vast sea of low willow-bushes. On the big maps this deserted area is painted in a fluffy blue, growing fainter in color as it leaves the banks, and across it may be seen in large... more...

CHAPTER I. Since childhood days he had been haunted by a Wave. It appeared with the very dawn of thought, and was his earliest recollection of any vividness. It was also his first experience of nightmare: a wave of an odd, dun colour, almost tawny, that rose behind him, advanced, curled over in the act of toppling, and then stood still. It threatened, but it did not fall. It paused, hovering in a position contrary to nature; it waited.... more...

~I~ He painted trees as by some special divining instinct of their essential qualities. He understood them. He knew why in an oak forest, for instance, each individual was utterly distinct from its fellows, and why no two beeches in the whole world were alike. People asked him down to paint a favorite lime or silver birch, for he caught the individuality of a tree as some catch the individuality of a horse. How he managed it was something of a... more...

CHAPTER I THE MATERIAL Judy, Tim, and Maria were just little children. It was impossible to say exactly what their ages were, except that they were just the usual age, that Judy was the eldest, Maria the youngest, and that Tim, accordingly, came in between the two. Their father did his best for them; so did their mother; so did Aunt Emily, the latter's sister. It is impossible to say very much about these three either, except that they were... more...