THE DEEP ONES: "The Haunted and the Haunters: Or the House and the Brain" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
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Discussion begins on April 1, 2020.
First published in the August 1859 issue of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
SELECTED PRINT VERSIONS
Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural
H. P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror
The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories
The Dracula Book of Great Horror Stories
The Eighth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories
You're not thinking of "The Dreams in the Witch House"?
How prophetic is the narrator's description of the sorcerer's end? The north polar setting made me think of Frankenstein.
No, I'm pretty sure I wasn't thinking of "Witch-House," but I wonder if we're looking at a case of conscious influence there.
I don't know how much I would have liked it if I hadn't been sort of primed by the book I read just before the story: Brian Stableford's Yesterday Never Dies which also deals (as do many of the stories in Stableford's August Dupin series) with mesmerism and how the "supernatural" is just a rare occurrence of natural, if unrationalized, laws working.
>6 AndreasJ: I don't if it's the influence of Frankenstein or not. I suspect just more evidence of a general interest in polar settings that you see in English and French literature from about 1800 through at least 1860. (And, when this story was written, the search was still on for the Franklin Expedition.)
While I've never seen it listed as partial inspiration for Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, we know Lovecraft read this story. It does mention palingenesis as does the Lovecraft story, and both also have a long-lived sorcerer frequently shifting identities.
I did like the humor, intended or not, of the narrator settling his nerves by reading Macauley's Essays.
>5 paradoxosalpha: Is this scene also in "A Strange Story"? (even though this one has been rewritten) and would that be why it's familiar to you? Or, it's just occurred to that that there's Richard Matheson's much, much later Hell House, with
Edited to add: The online version in >1 KentonSem: must be the original version and is indeed different - in its ending at any rate - to the version I read.
Also edited to correct "toy" to "to you".
The secret room is discovered and the magician's personal effects are discovered. All we learn of him (after the miniature is discovered), is "Withinside the lid were engraved, 'Mariana to thee - Be faithful in life and in death to -'. Here follows a name that I will not mention, but it was not unfamiliar to me. I had heard it spoken of by old men in my childhood as the name borne by a dazzling charlatan who had made a great sensation in London for a year or so, and had fled the country on the charge of a double murder within his own house - that of his mistress and his rival." The phenomena are brought to an end when the saucer and needle are accidentally upset. The implication here, i think, is that the magician's will haunted the house after his death via this magical apparatus.
When I got to this part of the story, it brought t mind the "monster from the id" from Forbidden Planet.