I love “old dark house” stories! Such stories, which involve a group of people gathered or trapped in a sinister house and subjected to horrors, include haunted house stories but are not limited to stories about ghosts. I first learned the term “old dark house” via Orrin Grey’s introduction to the excellent 1927 novel Benighted, which led to the 1932 film “The Old Dark House.”
This short 32-page book is a real estate guide for old dark houses, with illustrations of each house given by Corley and written descriptions given by Grey. The drawings are beautiful, and the descriptions utterly charming, involving forbidden experiments, vampirism, ghosts, and more. It is not a long read — I read it in its entirely one night before bed — but it is well-worth looking at. A sample house from the book can be seen on M.S. Corley’s website.
The print version, which is pictured above, was released in a limited edition of only 100, which sold out about the same time that I received my copy! You might wonder why I’m blogging about something which is already sold out, but fortunately an e-book version is now available, for those unable to get a print edition.
One reason I really love Gardinel’s Real Estate is that it shows the wonderful possibilities for horror when artists and authors collaborate! I don’t think I’ve seen a book quite like it before, but I hope to see more like it in the future.
Fans of haunted houses and authors looking for something to inspire their imagination will find Gardinel’s a lovely investment.