Tartarus Press


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The Collected Ghost Stories


Oliver Onions



Credo, The Beckoning Fair One, Phantas, Rooum, Benlian, The Ascending Dream, The Honey in the Wall, The Rosewood Door, The Accident, IO / The Lost Thrysus, The Painted Face, The Out Sister, “John Gladwyn Says...”, Hic Jacet, The Rocker, Dear Dryad, The Real People, The Cigarette Case, The Rope in the Rafters, Resurrection in Bronze, The Woman in the Way, The Smile of Karen.


From the Introduction by Rosalie Parker:

OLIVER ONIONS has long been acknowledged by aficionados of supernatural writing as an elegant and accomplished practitioner; the eerie and beautifully-crafted 'The Beckoning Fair One' is perhaps the best known and certainly the most anthologised of his stories. But Onions’ wider work has, until now, generally eluded republication. The early collections of supernatural tales, especially the first and perhaps best, Widdershins (1911), but also Ghosts in Daylight (1924) and The Painted Face (1929) are now rare, while The Collected Ghost Stories (1935), and even its subsequent US paperback reissue (1971), are as good as unavailable to aspiring readers.

This is more than a pity because, at his best, Onions surely rates as one of the most poetic and original writers of the strange tale.... One of Onions’ great strengths, but perhaps also one of the reasons why the majority of his ghost stories have been overlooked, is that they are not easy to categorise; their settings vary greatly, they have a broad frame of reference and the traditionally 'supernatural' content is sometimes minimal. Nor do similarities with other writers spring readily to mind, although it can be argued that there is a correspondence with those other twentieth-century masters of the psychological ghost story, Walter de la Mare and Robert Aickman.




'This is a reason to rejoice, for those who missed the first edition: Tartarus press offers a second printing of Oliver Onions' Ghost Stories, a generous collection of supernatural invasion, psychological unease, and transitory shifts between the commonplace and the surreal.' - William Simmons, All Hallows


'Ghost Stories by Oliver Onions gives afficionados of suggestive horror a cause for celebration. Tartarus Press offers in its second printing of Oliver Onion's Ghost Stories a generous collection of superbly written tales of supernatural invasion, psychological unease, and transitory shifts between the everyday and supernatural - reality and the surreal both concepts presented by the author as paradoxical effects of the same cause . . . and the cause of similar events.' - 'Fine Frights' column from The Horror Within


'In this new book, Tartarus press has gathered all Onions' significant short weird fiction, eliminating a couple of very minor tales from the canon, but including several previously left out . . . He remains very much worth reading, because of the many arresting and unusual aspects of his work, the frequent passages of shining prose, and those two or three stories, amomng the best written in the genre of supernatural fiction, which make us lament that no more stories of their calibre were written.' - Don Tumasonis, All Hallows.


Copyright Tartarus Press 2020