Wood's Supernatural Fiction

Compiled by Michael Flowers 2001-2006

My research into the best women writers of ghost stories in the Victorian period led to the discovery of several ghost stories by Wood previously undiscovered by earlier researchers. These include three novellas, nine short stories and chapters in longer works. However, these tales cannot be included in a list of Wood's uncanny fiction, until the higher degree has been awarded. In these circumstances what follows is a chronological listing of Wood's weird narratives already discovered by E.F. Bleiler & James L. Campbell, Jnr. Wood occasionally renamed her stories for their appearance in collections, and it is by their new titles that many of the tales are now easier to locate. It is for this reason that though the following list is in chronological order of composition, the titles given are actually the most recent ones.

TITLE

SUPERNATURAL CATEGORY

'Gina Montani'

Gothic ghost story - set in Renaissance Italy

'The Unholy Wish'

Supernatural curse - but handled perfunctorily

'The Surgeon's Daughters'

Séance - with prediction fulfilled violently

'A Soldier's Career'

Warning fulfilled - not strongly s/n

'A Mesmerist of Days Gone By'

Distant events of Crimean War seen accurately

'All Soul's Eve'

Pseudo-supernatural

'The Parson's Oath'

Ghost appears in a dream

Adam Grainger

Fortune-telling episode (Part II, Chapter IV)

'A Mysterious Visitor'

Ghost in UK at moment of death in India

'The Ghost' [from The Channings]

Pseudo-supernatural episode from novel

The Shadow of Ashlydyat

Ancestral curse. Ghostly bier and mourners

'Watching on St.Mark's Eve'

Ambiguous ghost, but vividly described

'Mr North's Dream'

Dream story

'Reality or Delusion?'

Ghost of suicide appears to his former lover

'David Garth's Night-Watch'

Mother telepathically hears death cries of son

'David Garth's Ghost'

Rationalised haunting of cottage

'Fred Temple's Warning'

Ancestral ghost beckons family to their death

Sandstone Torr

Apparent haunting is rationalised

'Seen in the Moonlight'

Sequel to 'Fred Temple's Warning' - similar plot

'Ketira the Gypsy'

Supernatural curse

'A Curious Experience'

Room haunted by spirit of murdered woman

The Silent Chimes

Supernatural curse - handled perfunctorily



Sources
E.F. Bleiler, Guide to Supernatural Fiction, Kent State: Kent State University, 1983.
James Campbell "Mrs. Henry Wood" in Beiler, E.F., (ed.), Supernatural Fiction Writers, New York: Scribner's, 1985.


Other Fine Victorian Women Writers of Supernatural Fiction
Louisa Baldwin, Mary Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, Bithia Mary Croker, Catherine Crowe, Amelia B. Edwards, Mrs H D Everett, Lettice Galbraith, Theo Gift (Dora Havers), 'Vernon Lee', Mary Louisa Molesworth, Rosa Mulholland, Edith Nesbit, Margaret Oliphant, Alice Perrin, Mrs Baillie Reynolds (Gertrude M. Robins) & Charlotte Riddell.


My sincere thanks to Richard Dalby for providing invaluable advice and assistance on Wood's supernatural fiction.