Thursday, October 31, 2013

"The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood

Here's a little Halloween treat by way of one of the best of the classic "weird" short stories, "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951). First published in 1907, it is considered by many--including H.P. Lovecraft--to the be on the finest stories of supernatural dread:

"Creeping with silent feet over the shifting sands, drawing imperceptibly nearer by soft, unhurried movements, the willows had come closer during the night. But had the wind moved them, or had they moved of themselves? I recalled the sound of infinite small patterings and the pressure upon the tent and upon my own heart that caused me to wake in terror. I swayed for a moment in the wind like a tree, finding it hard to keep my upright position on the sandy hillock. There was a suggestion here of personal agency, of deliberate intention, of aggressive hostility, and it terrified me into a sort of rigidity."

Read the entire story at Project Gutenberg.

And here's a recommended soundtrack by the great Ghost Box label band Belbury Poly:

Related: Interview with Jim Jupp of Ghost Box Recordings

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