Fantastic and Horrific Stories is a collection of short fiction by Arthur Machen. Condemned as decadent and obscene upon publication, Machen's writing earned praise from Oscar Wilde and H. P. Lovecraft.
Throughout the years, Machen's work has been referenced and adapted by such figures as Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, and Josh Malerman for its masterfully unsettling blend of science, myth, and magic. The Great God Pan, perhaps Machen's most celebrated work, is the story of an occult experiment gone horribly wrong. Clarke has always taken an interest in occult matters, so when a friend offers him a chance to witness an experimental procedure intended to access the spirit realm, he cannot refuse. When the young patient Mary awakens, she shows signs of terror and soon falls into a catatonic state. Convinced of their success in discovering the world of "the great god Pan," Clarke and Raymond agree to keep their discovery a secret. Years later, a nearby town begins reporting the mysterious disappearances of young children, all of whom have been seen in the forest with a young woman named Helen Vaughn.
In "The White People," originally published in Horlick's Magazine in 1904, a Welshman receives the diary of a young girl introduced to witchcraft. Surprisingly well-kept for its age, the green book accompanies Cotgrave on a journey through the lush countryside. Its pages contain the diary of a young girl who, encouraged by her nurse, immerses herself in the world of magic. As she grows adept in the ways of witchcraft, the girl begins referring to strange beings and unknown places, all while doing her best to conceal her secret life from friends and family.
The Hill of Dreams is a semi-autobiographical novel about a young man who begins having strange visions after visiting an ancient Roman fort near his rural Welsh home. Published alongside "The Inmost Light," "The Shining Pyramid," The Terror, "Out of the Earth," and Ornaments in Jade, these tales by Arthur Machen showcase his gift for illuminating the presence of the supernatural in everyday life.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Arthur Machen's Fantastic and Horrific Stories is a classic of British horror fiction reimagined for modern readers.