31 Shots of Shock: #29 – ‘The Upper Berth’ by F. Marion Crawford

31 Shots of Shock *Title: The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford
Date Read: 29 October 2009
Available Online?: YES (Note – this page contains two stories. It’s only the first one that’s The Upper Berth)
Briefly: With a ‘meeting’ having reached its stale and uneventful twilight, Brisbane decides to liven up proceedings by recounting the tale of his passage across the Atlantic in room 105, aboard the Kamtschatka.
Afterthoughts: I’m rather pleased with myself for choosing this tale as one of my Shots of Shock, because it certainly had me looking over my shoulder and shivering a couple of times. It really shouldn’t have done that because this is after all a tale set aboard a boat. But Crawford’s spectral description is pretty intense and not a little unsettling. Another tale I dare you to read on your own, in the dark, last thing at night.
Notable Quote: “If you please, sir,” faltered Robert, “there’s nobody on board as can keep this ‘ere port shut at night. You can try it yourself, sir. I ain’t a-going to stop hany longer on board o’ this vessel, sir; I ain’t, indeed. But if I was you, sir, I’d just clear out and go and sleep with the surgeon, or something, I would. Look ‘ere, sir, is that fastened what you may call securely, or not, sir? Try it, sir, see if it will move a hinch.”

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).


  1. I read this one last year and it solidified my dread of all things “damp”. 😉 Glad you enjoyed it as well!

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      I really get what you mean about the whole damp thing Kristen. Enough to send a shiver down the spine.

  2. I am going to try reading this Rob! I have not read anything Horror – type..and maybe this will be good!

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      This is indeed a good one Veens – very haunting!
      Let me know how you get on with it if you do decide to read it