untitled by MapleStars on Flickr.


Looking for a good spook? Here’s a directory of some Victorian ghost stories available for free online, many of which also appear in compilations like the Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories. Many of the horror, mystery, and supernatural tropes which we see today in fiction and film originated in the Victorian era. Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone is considered the first detective novel in the English language, Mary Shelley wrote the precursor to the science fiction genre at the age of 18 with Frankenstein and John Polidori, participating in the same supernatural fiction challenge as Shelley, originated the vampire genre with his novella, The Vampyre. Not only are a lot of these stories top-notch in creepiness, they’re also a vital lesson in why we fear what we do and how we’ve reacted to that fear for centuries.