Tartarus Press


The Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions is published as two sewn hardbacks of 384+xi and 364 pages, printed lithographically, with head and tailbands, and d/w. In a slipcase.


New, revised Tartarus Press printing. "First thus."


ISBN 978-1-912586-34-9


Two volume hardback edition in slipcase: £80.


If you would like to receive your order by way of a tracked postal service please contact us directly at ray@tartaruspress.com


Ebook: £7.99

(Please note that the ebook will be sent manually, so there may be a short delay in receiving it.)


The Ghost Stories


Oliver Onions


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. Onions’ 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 very hard to find.


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 his 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 other twentieth-century masters of the psychological ghost story, such as Walter de la Mare and Robert Aickman.



Volume One: "Introduction" by Rosalie Parker, "Credo", "The Beckoning Fair One", "Phantas", "Rooum", "Benlian", "IO (The Lost Thyrsus)", "The Accident", "The Cigarette Case", "Hic Jacet", "The Rocker", "The Ascending Dream", "Dear Dryad", "The Real People", "The Woman in the Way", "The Honey in the Wall".

Volume Two: "Gambier", "‘John Gladwin Says . . .’", "The Painted Face", "The Rosewood Door", "The Smile of Karen", "The Out-Sister", "The Rope in the Rafters", "Resurrection in Bronze".



'Beautifully designed, this two-volume set will probably elicit considerable mental consternation. While the little angel perched on your right shoulder chirps, “The perfect present,” that impish red devil on your left will snakily hiss, “Keep it yourself. You know you want to.” Luckily, whatever you decide will leave someone extremely happy.' Michael Dirda, The Washington Post


Copyright Tartarus Press 2023