31 Shots of Shock: #28 – ‘An account of some strange disturbances in Aungier Street’ by J. S. Le Fanu

31 Shots of Shock *Title: An account of some strange disturbances in Aungier Street by J. S. Le Fanu
Date Read: 28 October 2009
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: To save on rent and to reside closer to their lecture venues, two cousins – both medical students – chose to live in one of the cousin’s father’s property purchases in the centre of Dublin. It turns out to be the former home of a judge who had hanged himself in the very same house, and it’s not long before one of the cousins is stripped of his skepticism for ghosts, forever
Afterthoughts: As is often the case with Victorian tales like this it took a while to get used to the nuances of the language. Once that’s cracked though, this turns out to be a great little ghost story; one which shows why Le Fanu was considered a premier writer of ghostly short stories. There’s some nice little touches of humour in this tale too, and a pleasing dose of ‘Emerald Isle’ culture too. In his opening paragraph the narrator invites the reader to read this tale after nightfall. For effect I suggest the same thing. Sleep well fellow reader *evil grin*
Notable Quote: An effort had, indeed, been made, to the extent of papering the drawing-rooms; but, somehow the paper looked raw and out of keeping; and the old woman, who kept a little dirt-pie of a shop in the lane, and whose daughter–a girl of two and fifty–was our solitary handmaid, coming in at sunrise, and chastely receding again as soon as she had made all ready for tea in our state apartment;–this woman, I say, remembered it, when old Judge Horrocks (who, having earned the reputation of a particularly “hanging judge,” ended by hanging himself, as the coroner’s jury found, under an impulse of “temporary insanity,” with a child’s skipping-rope, over the massive old banisters) resided there, entertaining good company, with fine venison and rare old port. In those halcyon days, the drawing-rooms were hung with gilded leather, and, I dare say, cut a good figure, for they were really spacious rooms.

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my 31 Shots of Shock reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).