Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Agents Mulder and Scully, and Carl Kolchak . . .
Before Jules de Grandin, John Silence, and Carnacki the Ghost Finder . . .
The roots of occult detective fiction reach as far back as ancient Rome, where two master plots emerged. The first involves a character whose courage and intelligence solves the mystery of a troubled spirit: a ghostly client. In the second, a character must investigate and vanquish a much more wicked supernatural foe: a demonic culprit. Showcasing E.T.A. Hoffmann, Charlotte Riddell, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Machen, and other authors, Ghostly Clients & Demonic Culprits charts the history of both plots, from antiquity to fully formed occult detectives in the early 1900s.
332 pages, trade paperback
Read the Introduction
To get a sense of Ghostly Clients & Demonic Culprits, here’s a .pdf version of the introduction:
(Scholars: despite appearances, the pagination here is different from the actual book, so cite this source as a .pdf retrieved online.)
A Free Supplement
William Gilmore Simms’ “Murder Will Out” (1842) and Wilkie Collins’ “The Diary of Anne Rodway” (1856) weren’t quite right for Ghostly Clients & Demonic Culprits. The first is weak in terms of displaying traditional detective skills, and the second only has traces of the supernatural. However, given the topic of this book, I thought that they were both interesting and historically important enough to offer as a free supplement to the book. Click on the link below to download the two stories in .pdf format.
Phantom Traditions Library
Ghostly Clients & Demonic Culprits is the third volume in the Phantom Traditions Library, a series of anthologies featuring unusual and forgotten genres of fiction that flourished in the 1800s.
The other volumes are:
- Entranced by Eyes of Evil: Tales of Mesmerism and Mystery
- Echoing Ghost Stories: Literary Reflections of Oral Tradition
- Imagining Life on the Moon During the Rise of the Telescope
Future anthologies will feature tales about haunted railroads, polar journeys, and more!