Born in Wiltshire, England on September 27, 1887, Lady Cynthia Asquith would become known for her diaries during World War I. In 1918 she would become the personal secretary to J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan. She stayed in this role until his death in 1937, after which she inherited a good portion of his estate. A writer in her own right, she published novels, biographies, screenplays, short story collections, and works for children.

A popular anthologist, Lady Asquith edited many collections for children. In 1926, Lady Asquith compiled what was widely considered the first literary attempt to collect non-traditional ghost stories in the twentieth century and titled it The Ghost Book. She included authors who were friends, like D.H. Lawrence; literary stars, such as Algernon Blackwood; and included one of her own written under the pseudonym C.L. Ray. She would return to the series 25 years later to compile and edit The Second Ghost Book in 1952 and The Third Ghost Book in 1955. She would write and publish many other works of short fiction until her death on March 30, 1960.

The Ghost Book edited by Lady Cynthia Asquith

Widely considered as the first collection of non-traditional ghost stories, The Ghost Book combines twisted tales from some of the literary greats of the early 1900s: Algernon Blackwood, D.H. Lawrence, Oliver Onions, Enid Bagnold, and Arthur Machen.

Settle in by the fire for these classic, influential tales, where ghosts roam the woods, the roads, and possibly the room where you sleep. Some ghosts want redemption, some revenge, and some simply want peace and quiet. Some aren't real ghosts after all.

A woman comes face to face with the terrifying killer of her fiancé's first bride. A young boy learns the names of winning race horses in an unexpected way. A man's vast wealth can't save him from his past sins. When a lost play is discovered, the ghost of Shakespeare will do anything to keep it forgotten.

Settle in, settle in. And discover which ghost is creeping up the stairs.

Now with a foreword from Kevin J. Anderson, bestselling author of over 175 novels, who may still see ghosts after reading this collection as a kid.




He had arranged it all for her. She was to stay a week in Cannes with her aunt and then to go on to Roquebrune by herself, and he was to follow her there. She, Mildred Eve, supposed he could follow her anywhere, since they were engaged now. There had been difficulties, but Louis Carson had got over all of them by lending her the Villa Désirée. She would be all right there, he said. The caretakers, Narcisse and Armandine, would look after her: Armandine was an excellent cook; and she wouldn't be five hundred yards from her friends, the Derings. It was so like him to think of it, to plan it all out for her. And when he came down? Oh, when he came down, he would go to the Cap Martin Hotel, of course. He understood everything without any tiresome explaining. She couldn't afford the hotels at Cap Martin and Monte Carlo; and though the Derings had asked her to stay with them, she really couldn't dump herself down on them like that, almost in the middle of their honeymoon. Their honeymoon; she could have bitten her tongue out for saying it, for not remembering. It was awful of her to go talking to Louis Carson about honeymoons, after the appalling tragedy of his. There were things she hadn't been told, that she hadn't liked to ask: Where it had happened? And how? And how long ago? She only knew it was on his wedding night, that he had gone in to the poor little girl of a bride and found her dead there, in the bed. They said she had died in a sort of fit. You had only to look at him to see that something terrible had happened to him some time. You saw it when his face was doing nothing: a queer, agonized look that made him strange to her while it lasted. It was more than suffering; it was almost as if he could be cruel, only he never was, he never could be. People were cruel, if you liked; they said his face put them off. Mildred could see what they meant. It might have put her off, perhaps, if she hadn't known what he had gone through. But the first time she had met him he had been pointed out to her as the man to whom just that appalling thing had happened. So, far from putting her off, that was what had drawn her to him from the beginning, made her pity him first, then love him. Their engagement had come quick, in the third week of their acquaintance. When she asked herself, "After all, what do I know about him?" she had her answer, "I know that." She felt that already she had entered into a mystical union with him through compassion. She liked the strangeness that kept other people away and left him to her altogether. He was more her own that way. There was (Mildred Eve didn't deny it) his personal magic, the fascination of his almost abnormal beauty. His black, white, and blue. The intensely blue eyes under the straight black bars of the eyebrows, the perfect, pure, white face suddenly masked by the black moustache and small, black, pointed beard. And the rich vivid smile he had for her, the lighting up of the blue, the flash of white teeth in the black mask.