Victorian Tales of Terror


Hardcover – Published in 1974 by W. H. Allen.

In this anthology the very popular editor of A Tide of Terror has gathered fifteen rare supernatural tales from the days of gaslight and gore, hansoms and horrors, music halls and mayhem. So here are fifteen classically macabre stories from the era when Victoria reigned and the Empire rose, when beer was a penny a pint and murders ten a penny.

Featuring eerie selections by masters of the genre including Maupassant, Dickens, Bierce, and Sheridan le Fanu, the collection is supported by helpful introductory and biographical notes by Mr. Lamb whose A Wave of Fear was praised by Publishers Weekly as “deft and chilling.”


Foreword – Hugh Lamb
Xélucha – M. P. Shiel
The Black Veil – Charles Dickens
The Mystery at Fernwood – Elizabeth Braddon
The Black Lady of Brin Tor – Guy Boothby
The Mother of Monsters – Guy De Maupassant
The Murderer’s Violin – Erckmann-Chatrian
The Mask – Richard Marsh
The Dead Man of Varley Grange – Anonymous
My Favourite Murder – Ambrose Bierce
The Shadow in the Moonlight – Mrs. Molesworth
The Last of Squire Ennismore – Mrs. J. H. Riddell
The Red Warder of the Reef – J. A. Barry
Wolverden Tower – Grant Allen
Madam Crowl’s Ghost – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Cave of Blood – Dick Donovan


The original story list for Victorian Tales of Terror contained Clemence Housman’s tale The Were-wolf, but it was eventually removed (most likely for page count reasons). The story was included in the Kingsbrook Publishing edition in 2019.

Victorian Tales of Terror was actually the first Hugh Lamb anthology to contain only vintage stories, rather than a mix of vintage and contemporary. The book was a big success, and led to others in a similar vein, such as Terror by Gaslight, Victorian Nightmares, Gaslit Nightmares and Gaslit Nightmares 2.


What can I say? A great collection of some of the best in Victorian horror, all the leading lights of the day are included, Dickens, Braddon, Maupassant, Mrs. Molesworth and Le Fanu including some lesser known authors that deserve more acclaim than they have had.

If you like your horror tales in the classic vein then this compendium is a must for all horror fans.

Goodreads Reviewer

“…[Charles] Dickens might be creating a genteel frisson or two with such tales as The Black Veil, now reprinted in a horror anthology by Hugh Lamb in Victorian Tales of Terror.

Mr. Lamb has skilfully avoided the over-anthologised. As well as such curiosities as M. P. Shiel’s Xelucha, which is all breathless suggestion in a Poe-and-Huysmans style, there is a choice of solid… no that’s not the word… ghost stories, and other authors represented include Ambrose Bierce, le Fanu, de Maupassnt and Guy Boothby.”

Southern Evening Echo
January 1975

“HUGH LAMB is an experienced and wide-ranging anthologist of the macabre, and his latest collection is of 15 stories culled from writers of the Victorian era. He sees in it a reflection of the dichotomy of the period between the pomp and circumstance of growing empire and the shocking social conditions at home; between wealth and poverty; science and disease; knowledge and hypocrisy.

Some of his authors are well known—Dickens, De Maupassant, Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs Molesworth. But he has performed a useful service in rescuing from oblivion others such as Emile Erckman, Pierre Chatrian, whose work no less a connoisseur than Dr M. R. James admired; Grant Allen, Guy Boothby and Richard Marsh.

Warmly commended to aficionados of the genre in search of the seductive sensations of the sinister.”

A. B. Mathews
The Argus Cape Town
January 1975

Other Editions

Paperback – Published by Kingsbrook Publishing in 2019

Paperback – Published by Coronet in 1976

Hardcover – Published by Taplinger in 1975

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