This selection of forty-two stories written between 1829 and 1968 is the first to present the full range and vitality of the English tradition of literary ghost fiction. Fully satisfying what Virginia Woolf called `the strange human craving for the pleasure of being afraid', it demonstrates the traditions historical development as well as its major themes, and characteristics. The fictional ghost story is dominated by English authors, from J. S. Le Fanu and M. R. James to Walter de laMare and Robert Aickman, and by American authors, such as Edith Wharton, writing in the English tradition. As the editors stress in their informative introduction, a good ghost story, though it may raise many profound questions about life and death, entertains as much as it unsettles us. Featuring such authors as Algernon Blackwood, H. Russell Wakefield, Henry James, and Elizabeth Bowen, this anthology combines a serious literary purpose with the plain intention of arousing pleasing fear at thedoings of the dead.