I previously wrote an article looking at William Fryer Harvey where I gave a little of his background and looked at some of stories. That post can be found here: https://horrordelve.com/2014/01/19/w-f-harvey/. Seeing as I consider “The Beast With Five Fingers” an absolute masterpiece of the genre, I wanted to check out a few more of his stories. None of these reach the brilliance of “The Beast With Five Fingers”, but “The Tortoise” and “The Clock” are particularly excellent stories.
1. “The Tortoise” (1910) – A servant admires an unusually large tortoise that was found in the garden and taken into the house to serve as a pet for the children. He names it and tries to find things for it to eat. The final line of this tale is brilliantly chilling.
2. “Midnight House” (1910) – A traveler has strange dreams while staying at a remote inn involving an evil man trying to deceive his way into enemy fortifications.
3. “The Clock” (1928) – A man is asked by an elderly woman, who’s been staying with his aunt after her servants abruptly left her, to retrieve a travel clock from her house since he’s preparing to travel close to it. He agrees, but when he arrives he finds the place unnerving and discovers the wind-up clock still running despite no one being inside for nearly two weeks. He then begins to hear something coming up the stairs toward him. This is a thoroughly unsettling tale of the supernatural, told in a few short pages.
4. “Atmospherics” (1951) – This non-supernatural tale deals with a nurse who learns about the subtle, malicious manipulations of a rich family. This story shows how things aren’t always as they first seem.
5. “The Arm of Mrs Egan” – A young doctor is cursed by an old widow after he misdiagnosed her son who died as a result. Afterwards, his patients continue dying while under his care, forcing him to change careers and move, but more deaths continue to follow him.
Article by Matt Cowan
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