178 episodes

A weekly podcast which reads out ghost stories, horror stories and weird tales every week. Classic stories from the pens of the masters. Occasionally we feature living authors, but the majority, are dead. Some perhaps are undead.

Classic Ghost Stories Tony Walker Ghost Stories

    • Fiction
    • 4.8 • 24 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
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A weekly podcast which reads out ghost stories, horror stories and weird tales every week. Classic stories from the pens of the masters. Occasionally we feature living authors, but the majority, are dead. Some perhaps are undead.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    S0301 The Fair Family by Tony Walker

    S0301 The Fair Family by Tony Walker

    A timid man and his worried wife take a trip through Wales. The weather is awful and they worry they will be late for a Christening. That is the least of their worries. A story of the fairy folk and the Welsh gods and the Welsh weather. One of my own. In the afterword I reveal that this whole podcast was a trojan horse to get you to buy my stories. But hang on.... this one's free. My plan failed! Never mind.

    • 48 min
    S0303 Number 13 by M R James

    S0303 Number 13 by M R James

    Number 13 by M R James
    Number 13 by M R James is a spooky story of a missing room and its missing inhabitant. Including old churches, musty documents, secrets, the occult and bookish blokes rummaging around
    Unlucky for some, but not really for Mr Anderson though it gave him quite a shock. This story was commissioned by Gavin Critchley who kindly has allowed me to broadcast it to you all.
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    Babylonish Church. I wonder whether this was James’ own view or he is merely representing the view of his character. James was an Anglican and the protestant view of the Catholic Church was not and in some circles remains not wholly tolerant or kind.
    I read an article arguing that because James was so drawn to the medieval period that he must be in possession of a Catholic sensibility, in which the whole world is in some sense sacred. I am not sure this correctly represents Catholic dogma or the Medieval European World View. But it’s fun to read about such things.
    James leaves things out. For example the red light, the dancing figure that might be a man or a woman. I think he deliberately leaves unresolved threads. I think he does the same in Story of a Disappearance And an Appearance in which we have to try to reconstruct the narrative ourselves to figure out what actually went on, rather than James spoon-feeding us the rational explanation (rational though perhaps also supernatural. The two things aren’t exclusive). In this again I think he is a little like David Lynch who allows images to emerge from his subconscious and uses them leaving us to try and make sense like a Rorschach image. I’m not against, this, and I might be wrong.
    In the end, we might walk away from this story wondering: eh?
    The dancing, singing androgynous spirit, the portmanteau that vanishes and then reappears with apparently no significance. I think he just throws this weird stuff in to unsettle us. This is eerie (by Mark Fisher’s definition) in that it has an agent who has a purpose, but both are obscure to us therefore unsettling us.
    The weird arm that reaches out is one of a string of weird arms: Grendel’s arm in Beowulf, the arm that takes the baby Pryderi in the tale of Pwyll in the Mabinogi. I also heard via Jon Gower about some farmers in Carno who believed there was a house where a monstrous arm appeared.
    The number of windows is a clue. I take from this that there was a Room 13, but that Room 12 and Room 14 were enlarged to gobble it up. Perhaps because of its bad reputation.
    Nicholas Francken is a bit of a red herring. He is an occultist and I’ve said elsewhere that James’s interest in the occult suggests he knew more about it than he lets on in common with his contemporaries, Arthur Machen, W B Yeats etc who were members of the Golden Dawn. But he leads us to believe that we are going to find Francken’s body buried below the planks and then we just find some kind of occult document that no one can read. Another unresolved riddle.

    • 54 min
    S0304 Beyond The Door by J. Paul Suter

    S0304 Beyond The Door by J. Paul Suter

    Beyond the Door is a story of a haunting. A man is haunted by visions of something coming out of the well in his cellar and by the scratching sounds in the passages of his old house.
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    Beyond The Door by J. Paul Suter
    This story was recommended by Terry Illikainen and this version was from Weird Tales volume 01 number 02, 1923-4.
    Jospeh Paul Suter wrote pulp tales during the early to middle part of the 20th Century for the magazines that specialised in genre fiction. He wrote mystery, detective, and supernatural stories. He was prolific and had more than two hundred stories published in these magazine.
    He was an American author born in 1884 who died in 1970. And that’s about all I can find about him.
    Beyond the Door
    It seems to me that Beyond The Door is one of those stories that leaves it up in the air whether the narrator is insane or haunted. In this it is like The Yellow Wallpaper or The Horla or The Beckoning Fair One. It’s a common sub-type of the ghost story genre.
    My feeling is that this eccentric driven, bookish man who is focused on his interests in the scientific study of insects cannot tolerate deviation from his routine. He sees the love interest of his Australian lady as a threat to his work, and the anxiety thus provoked drives him to hill her and throw her down the well.
    If I was meeting him today, I would probably think he had Asperger’s Syndrome and that he couldn’t remember his murder due to dissociation.
    Clues to the fact it’s a murder not a haunting are that he keeps having visions of a dog and he comments how she nuzzled his hand like a dog. No one else sees or hears anything supernatural, though the freaky house decorated with bugs dose unsettle them. The body is bruised again supporting the coroner’s theory that the stone slab of the well came down on him when his guilt just wouldn’t let him leave the crime scene alone.
    The coroner’s theory that the slab somehow paralysed him is a nasty end for anyone. Apparently the stone caused an injury that left him paralysed for two days, head down the well and thus he died. He screamed, but no one heard.
    Suter wrote a whole bunch of crime thrillers, so perhaps he preferred a criminal to a supernatural explanation in this story too.
    Although listening it again, it seems that the girl killed herself, but then entomologist blamed himself for her death because he had refused to marry her. I don’t think it’s his fault. He apparently covers her up with dirt at the bottom of the well. Out of guilt? The coroner talks about people rarely being punished accurately for his sins, though the entomologist was.
    I still think it’s a lot to blame him for her suicide.
    Ghosts however are often the agents or retribution and the paying out of sins. So even if this is a ghost that only appears mentally, it still has the same role. Not supernatural retribution but some psychological expression of karma.
    As well as the pulp genre, this story reminds me strongly of Edgar Allan Poe, particularly The Tell-Tale Heart, where the subconscious pressure of a crime won’t let the criminal rest until a confession comes out.
    It is told as is very common in older stories through a frame: we don’t hear the protagonist themselves, but have the story related through a witness or documents. This is much less fashionable these days: I don’t think Steven King or Neil Gaiman for example use this structure, but it was very common in older stories and lots we’ve read on The Classic Ghost S tories Podcast follow this pattern: The Turn of The Screw. H G Well’s The Door In The Wall.
    The young narrator has a final passage where he tells how similar he must have been to his uncle. I think this is an attempt to put us closer to the horror, but it’s rather after the fact.
    The door in the...

    • 55 min
    S0305 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Chapters 1-3)

    S0305 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Chapters 1-3)

    The beautiful story of a beautiful man living a beautiful life that starts in a beautiful garden and ends this week at a rather splendid lunch with a duchess and a few lesser nobles not giving a fig for the lower orders but enjoying themselves immensely. Beautifully witty and beautifully camp. I hope you enjoy it.
    This is the first part of Oscar Wilde's famous novel. It has chapters 1-3. Nuff said.

    • 1 hr 39 min
    S0306 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Chapters 4-6

    S0306 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Chapters 4-6

    Here's another hour of Dorian Gray in which Dorian is very excited, Lord Harry is languid, Basil the Painter disapproves, Sibyl Vane is ecstatic, her mother ashamed and her brother cross.
    Get a pencil and paper. You will want to write down some of Lord Harry's wisdom to deploy yourself when you're speaking to your neighbours.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    S0307 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Chapters 7-9

    S0307 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Chapters 7-9

    The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian is rather unpleasant and comes home to see his portrait knows what he's done. More wit and malice from Oscar Wilde

    • 1 hr 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

nxpxfan182 ,

Excellent curation and production

This podcast does a fantastic job of choosing classic stories and recording compelling narrations. I love reading horror fiction but often find it hard to pay attention to audio recordings. Many of these stories are best experienced in a book format, but the podcast host has a special talent for bringing these text to life. Highly recommended for those looking for an entry point into the best of classic horror fiction.

cheri bumblebee ,

So good!

Beautiful narration and interesting story analysis. I am so happy I found this podcast! I can’t believe people complain about Tony commenting about the story at the end. Usually that is my favourite part! Thanks Tony I love your wonderful voice and lovely rambles.

Baker 12, 2020 ,

Amazing podcast!

Mr. Walker does an excellent job of presenting ghost stories that keeps the listener wanting more! I’m glad that I have found this amazing podcast.

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