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.
Intrigued by Occult Detective Fiction?
If this kind of fiction interests you, consider purchasing From Eerie Cases to Early Graves: 5 Short-Lived Occult Detective Series. It serves as a eerie yet perfect companion to Ghostly Clients & Demonic Culprits.Discover the details here.
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
- After the End of the Line: Railroad Hauntings in Literature and Lore
- From Eerie Cases to Early Graves: 5 Short-Lived Occult Detective Series