St. Andrews Ghost Stories
is a collection of tales of the supernatural set in and around the town of St. Andrews in Scotland. The book was first published in 1920 and has since become a classic of Scottish folklore and ghost story literature.
The collection includes stories by a number of different authors, including J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Elizabeth Gaskell. The stories vary in tone and style, but all share a common thread of mystery and the supernatural.
The town of St. Andrews, located on the east coast of Scotland, has a long and storied history, with roots dating back to the medieval era. It is home to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, which was once one of the largest and most magnificent churches in Scotland, as well as the historic University of St. Andrews, founded in the early fifteenth century.
The stories in the collection draw on this rich history, weaving tales of hauntings, apparitions, and otherworldly occurrences around the town’s landmarks and historic sites. They range from eerie and unsettling to outright terrifying, and showcase the skill and imagination of some of Scotland’s most famous writers.
One of the most famous stories in the collection is “Thrawn Janet” by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story tells of a man who hires a local woman, Janet, to help him with his farm work. As they work together, the man begins to notice strange and disturbing things about Janet, including her habit of muttering to herself and the presence of strange marks on her body. When he discovers that Janet is believed to be a witch, he becomes convinced that she is in league with the devil and is haunted by the fear that she will turn on him. The story is a masterful example of psychological horror and has become a classic of the genre.
Another notable story in the collection is “The Grey Man” by John Buchan. The story tells of a man who becomes lost in the hills above St. Andrews and is pursued by a mysterious figure known as the Grey Man. As the man tries to find his way back to civilization, he becomes increasingly convinced that the Grey Man is a supernatural being and is haunted by the fear that he will never escape his clutches.
Other stories in the collection include “The Watcher by the Threshold” by John Buchan, which tells of a man who becomes convinced that his house is haunted by a malevolent spirit; “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which tells of a minister who becomes an outcast in his community after he begins wearing a black veil to hide his face; and “The Open Door” by Margaret Oliphant, which tells of a woman who discovers a hidden door in her house that leads to a mysterious and terrifying world beyond.
Throughout the collection, the authors use the setting of St. Andrews to great effect, evoking the town’s history and landscape to create a sense of eerie otherworldliness. The stories are also notable for their exploration of psychological themes, including fear, guilt, and the thin line between reality and the supernatural.
“St. Andrews Ghost Stories” remains a classic of Scottish literature and a testament to the enduring power of the ghost story. The collection has inspired generations of writers and readers, and continues to captivate and terrify audiences today.