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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Phantom Coach

Author: Amelia B. Edwards
Originally Published: 1864
Found in Collection: Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories, edited by Rex Collings
Can also be found online

The Story

On the English moors, in the middle of winter, a lone man who had been hunting finds himself lost on his way home. For fear that he may not live through the snowstorm, he begs the closest household to let him stay until the storm is over.

His host turns out to be a crotchety old man who hasn’t spoken to another person (aside from his household staff) in close on 5 years. And oh, the story that our host tells us, about the night mail coach that drove off the edge of the road, well!

After the storm ends, our hero traipses out onto the English moor in order to find his way home… and accepts a ride from a carriage full of ghosts…

The Response

Brrr!! This would’ve been perfect to read in the middle of the night in January or February! The feel of it reminds me a lot of the atmosphere that Tim Bowler’s Frozen Fire oozed. VERY much reminded me of it.

I had to start it on about three different occasions, however, before I actually had any interest getting past the first page… but once I got past the first page, it certainly picked up. I was hoping for a little bit more from the characters our hero meets, as it seemed nothing was really happening… until the last couple of pages when he boarded the phantom night mail coach.

The Bottom Line

This was a slow moving, and yet not-boring story. Enjoyed, would recommend. Especially if it’s the middle of winter, with lots of snow about. Or if you want to feel like it’s the middle of winter, with lots of snow about.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 12:06 pm October 22, 2010.
Category: Short Stories
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