31 Shots of Shock: #13 – ‘When I Was Dead’ by Vincent O’Sullivan

*Title: ‘When I Was Dead’ by Vincent O’Sullivan.
Date Read: 13 October 2010
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Determined to make a ghost transpire in front of him, the tables are turned on the narrator one evening when he finds himself on the other side of a ghostly experience.
Afterthoughts: In what turns out to be a very short literary affair, the reader gets to see something of the life of a ghost from the other side. And although in essence very little happens in terms of plot, this late nineteenth-century story is worth reading for its charm alone. Charm, from a story whose theme is ghosts and death? Oddly, yes! Read it yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
Notable Quote: All that night I sat in the library. Strangely enough, I had no wish to sleep nor during the time that followed, had I any craving to eat. In the morning the men came, and although I ordered them out, they proceeded to minister about something I could not see. So all day I stayed in the library or wandered about the house, and at night the men came again bringing with them a coffin. Then, in my humour, thinking it shame that so fine a coffin should be empty I lay the night in it and slept a soft dreamless sleep — the softest sleep I have ever slept. And when the men came the next day I rested still, and the undertaker shaved me. A strange valet!

Rating: ★★★½☆

*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).