Read The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories by Wilkie Collins David Stuart Davies Online


Here is a unique collection of strange stories from the cunning pen of Wilkie Collins, author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The star attraction is the novella The Haunted Hotel, a clever combination of detective and ghost story set in Venice, a city of grim waterways, dark shadows and death. The action takes place in an ancient palazzo coverted into a modern hotHere is a unique collection of strange stories from the cunning pen of Wilkie Collins, author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The star attraction is the novella The Haunted Hotel, a clever combination of detective and ghost story set in Venice, a city of grim waterways, dark shadows and death. The action takes place in an ancient palazzo coverted into a modern hotel that houses a grisly secret. The supernatural horror, relentless pace, tight narrative, and a doomed countess characterise and distinguish this powerful tale....

Title : The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 30647752
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories Reviews

  • Eva
    2019-03-30 04:12

    3.5 stars. I can't say I was thrilled by this. It has been said that Wilkie Collins was underestimated as an author due to the fact that he was a contemporary of Charles Dickens. In fact they were friends. Personally, I can't see the comparison. It's not easy to be bored by short stories and I have to admit that I was. Maybe if I had read them when they were written I might have been more surprised by them. I certainly do not see the timeless value in the stories that exists in Dickens nor the complexity of characters such as Ms Havisham and David Copperfield to mention a few. It was a light, enjoyable read but that was it.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-12 04:55

    This is an excellent anthology from a gifted writer, with stories of the supernatural, but also stories of those perceptive enough to understand it.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-04-18 07:23

    Disclaimer: I have only read The Haunted Hotel out of this collection so far, and so I will not rate the entire book at this time. My review and rating for this story are below. I will post a rating for the entire collection when I finish it. Review of The Haunted HotelRating: Four StarsI liked this story. It was multifaceted in that it was not just a haunted house story, but also a murder mystery. Collins builds the suspense and the feeling of curiosity that keeps the reader engaged. I found the writing to be far from dated. The language was not antiquated, but felt almost modern in some ways. The print for my copy is rather small, and that's the only reason I didn't read it faster. Yesterday, I kept saying, I'll read to this point, and to that point, before I knew it, it was quite late and I had to put the book down to go to bed. I didn't find the prose melodramatic. Instead, I found that Collins is matter of fact in describing horrors. It's merely in the reading of such things that the horror is evoked. I was quite surprised at the horrible things that had occurred, and it wasn't due to that Campy Gothic or Victorian Penny Dreadful tendency to use outlandish language to evoke a dark, sinister tone. I liked his subtle but hilarious humor, particularly in the part in which Francis Westwick goes to the room in question. I was laughing out loud on that part.The Haunted Hotel starts out in an curious manner, with a false narrator. Which is quite brilliant. This beginning narrator never makes another appearance, and I was left to wonder how this plot thread would end up in the titular place. Further reading shows Collins' tendency to continuously introduce new point of views, leaving it up to the reader to see how it ties together. As I consider this novella, I wonder if this was not his way of revealing the intriguing character of the Countess through different eyes. So one cannot easily make up their mind about her. (view spoiler)[ I have to admit that I felt sympathetic to her up to almost the end of the story. While what she does is completely heinous and terrible, I felt that her allegiance to her awful brother was no small factor in her moral failing. In the end, she seemed to merely live down to everyone's expectations of her, instead of reaching higher. Instead of staying true to what I felt was an inner cord of strength, she followed that fatal path to destruction. So I admit that in the end, I still pitied her despite her actions. I was in no small way surprised that she actually was guilty. I thought perhaps she was just a victim of a bad reputation. My feelings towards the Countess make me admire this story more for the clever way in which it was written.(hide spoiler)]Now an impatient reader will wish for Collins to get to the point, but I rather enjoyed the journey. I found the characters interesting, all of which evoking sympathy to some extent (except the Baron, who I found totally repugnant). Collins has a way of writing characters that is quite appealing to me. Even the lesser important characters come to life and earn their screen time when they come into the scenes. I enjoyed the roundabout way of presenting a story that was actually quite chilling in parts. I appreciated how intricately the mystery builds to a satisfying climax for this reader. In the end, I was impressed with this novella by Mr. Collins. I will read more of his work because I think he has a way of writing mystery and suspense that is timeless, drawing me into his writing and not easily letting me go. His characters have impact and come to life for this reader, not sacrificed to a greater goal of evoking horror or terror, as can sometimes happen in this genre. I for one recommend this story to fans of classic/gothic horror and suspense. Read out of The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories.

  • Helen
    2019-03-26 06:08

    This collection published by Wordsworth Editions includes the novella The Haunted Hotel and eight other short stories, all with a ghostly, spooky or supernatural theme.Part ghost story and part gothic mystery, The Haunted Hotel begins in London but soon moves to Venice, an atmospheric setting complete with dark canals and ancient palaces. At the heart of the story is the mysterious Countess Narona, who marries Lord Montbarry after he breaks off his engagement to Agnes Lockwood. When Montbarry dies in Venice soon after insuring his life for ten thousand pounds, rumours abound that the Countess may have had something to do with his death.While I enjoyed The Haunted Hotel, I wouldn't class it among Collins' best work and the shortness of the story means the characters aren't as well developed. I did love the second half of the story in which the palace where Montbarry died is converted into a hotel. There's a very creepy sequence of events where each member of the Montbarry family who stays in the hotel feels a ghostly influence that manifests itself in a different way to each person.You can buy The Haunted Hotel on its own, but I recommend looking for this edition because the additional short stories are well worth reading too. In every story, Collins gradually builds the suspense and draws the reader into the story. One of my favourites was Miss Jeromette and the Clergyman, a short ghost story in which the ghostly happenings are accompanied by mysterious clouds of white fog. I loved the way even though the story was quite predictable, it was still a pageturner. Another favourite was A Terribly Strange Bed, an Edgar Allan Poe-like tale which creates a feeling of claustrophobia and terror as the narrator finds himself trapped in a room with a very unusual bed.I don't generally like reading short story collections straight through from beginning to end, but I didn't have a problem with this book. There are only eight stories (plus The Haunted Hotel) and most of them are less than twenty pages long.

  • trishtrash
    2019-03-22 06:01

    A collection of nine stories with varying degrees of supernatural creepiness. The title story is a neatly unfolding crime mystery with a convincingly chilling atmosphere; although it lacks something of the character of Collins’ better novels, it is easily interesting enough to keep the reader involved. Of the eight shorter stories, several rely on coincidence rather more heavily than Collins’ straightforward mysteries seem to – or perhaps coincidence is simply more obvious in a shorter setting – but there are one or two gems in here that absolutely must be read by fans of gothic, Victorian or supernatural literature. I speak of The Devil’s Spectacles, the last and shortest, most particularly, if only because the premise is so bizarre at the end of a book of straightforward ghostliness, that it made me sit up and gape with that worried happiness that applies when something gets under the skin of a hardened reader of creepy tales. Mrs Zant and the Ghost is lovely, and The Dream Woman, despite the singularly dull title, is one of my favourite short ghost stories by virtue of having a strongly written, if pitiable, protagonist.Not the best collection in the genre, but far from being a waste of the reader’s time!

  • Benjamin Stahl
    2019-03-23 02:11

    A Heartbreak Hipster ReviewHaving read various other reviews of this book, I tend to agree with the general consensus, in that the title story was excellent, and the "other stories" entertaining, but essentially average. Before I read this book, my knowledge of Wilkie Collins went no further than that he was the lady who penned that old classic, The Woman In Black.But I've since been sent to St Agatha's Institute for the Mentally Unacceptable, and had a large portion of my brain removed, and have therefore now realized that not only was Wilkie Collins but a man, but he also wrote The Woman In WHITE, for God's sake.I decided to read this book because I didn't really feel like it. And if that makes no fucking sense, then refer to the picture above.You see, I had read one of these tales about two years ago - twas A Terribly Strange Bed - and I hadn't thought much of it. I think the main reason I decided to read this was because it was taking up space on my bookshelf - and because, as I write this, I am working on my own short horror story, and so I thought this book might provide some useful tips on how to do it properly. But enough about me. If anyone wants to read about my life, then you can order my book on Amazon. It's called I Only Wanted To Be Friends: The Tiresome Tribulations Of A Fucking Idiot And now before we continue, let's have a picture of Mr. Collins:Its always strikes how different all these classic authors really look, compared to the way I picture them, based on their writing. Has anyone not been surprised, when they first saw what Charles Dickens really looked like?Anyway, there really isn't much I can say about this book. And I won't bother going through each story individually, cause that wold be unnecessary. As I said before, The Haunted Hotel was the only great story. That one was so awesome, in fact, that it raised my expectations a little too high, and thus all the other stories - which were still more than competent - just felt a little underwhelming to me.It sounds like a clichéd thing to bring up in a book review. But I was most impressed by how flawless the pacing is. If there was ever a perfect example of that universal rule to storytelling ... That every single word should placed with a purpose ... that every line should either add to the narrtaive, or the development of its characters ...Then I would not hesitate in suggesting The Haunted Hotel. With every single chapter, McCollins propels the story forward in the most literate sense. No that me astand this werd. When Miss Lockwood tells Henry Westwick of her plans to move into Ireland, and serve governess duties for the Montbarrys, the next paragraph takes us several months further into the story, by which time she is comfortably settled into her new Irish home. The story spans quite a large amount of time ... involving various characters in various places ... except it never once feels boringly paced or tedious in any way. Collins has a wonderful ability to ... let's see ... to whittle interest out of the most mundane things. This guy approves. But then, he also gets excited when his granddaughter puts on her swimmers. Because of the hysteria aroused in this post-Saville era, I am not inclined to consider this sick man's opinion.But this guy also approves, so I guess it's okay.Especially during the early parts of the story, you could almost say the story isn't a horror at all. If anything, it's more a tragic drama, with hints of romance and mystery sprinkled over it. The "haunted" hotel looms quietly in the background. The only thing the reader is allowed to gather is that something strange - perhaps even terrible - happened in the building while the ailing Lord Montbarry lived there. And, that it's steadily, misguidedly, being refurbished for modern accommodation. The characters really do a lot to keep this story interesting also. You find yourself siding with the Countess - and then with Miss Lockwood - and then with the Countess again. And this shit goes on until the surprisingly surprising conclusion. Contrary to the rest of the stories in this book, the ending to The Haunted Hotel - while not altogether unheard of - was still quite creepy, and it really took me off guard. Kind of in the same way as if I was hanging around the library ... trying my charms on some unattended girl ... and she told me to just back off, otherwise her brother would come and get me, and I said, "well, bring it on!!" And then this shit walked in ... ...As for the other stories: Well, let's just say they are not anything special, though they were more or less entertaining.There was the occasional story that was exceptionally good. For instance, I enjoyed A Terribly Strange Bed much more than the last time I read it. And then, there was also the fascinating Nine o'Clock, which was, no doubt, the creepiest story of the lot. Both of these will stay in my mind for some time to come. But most of the others just lacked the supernatural punch in the groin that assholes like thee come to expect from such a prolific writer. They were quite well-written, but they weren't very scary, or particularly notable. I guess I would simply call them average. Except for The Dead Hand, which started with an excellent idea - identical to that of Ambrose Bierce's A Watcher By The Dead - but then completely ruined it (also identical to Bierce's story) by ending with a ridiculous and disappointing conclusion. In the end, this book was just like most other Gothic collections I have come across. While I totally love Gothic Horror at its best - to the extent that I'll often stalk it on Facebook, just to be sure it hasn't found a boyfriend yet - I also know one must be prepared for all those many others, which just fail to hit that scare-factor, that our desensitized generation now expects. (Hence the unnecessary commas). Like Rudyard Kipling's Strange Tales - which I'd read last year - the overall feeling this book gave me was that of holding a mixed bag. Like when you were young and you went Trick-Or-Treating: while most people gave you things like Lolly Teeth and Sherbies, there was always going to be that occasional smartarse who gave you a fucking apple instead. Apples annoy me, regardless of the occasion. But yes, this book did have its fair share of creepiness. For the most part, however, I would still say it was merely good. Something to help you pass the time, when Goodreads gives you some shit about how it's currently"over-capacitated", and you're halfway through editing your review. More of these reviews here:

  • H.E. Bulstrode
    2019-03-22 08:23

    Although the named novella takes up almost half the length of this volume, a further eight tales can be found between its covers, a number of which I found more satisfying than ‘The Haunted Hotel’ itself. This is not to say that I did not enjoy the latter, for I did, but it struck me as being less polished than some of the shorter works. Whereas Collins is best known for his mystery novels ‘The Woman in White’ and ‘The Moonstone’, with the second title being widely hailed as the first detective novel written in English, he was also rated highly as a writer of ghost stories, and ‘The Haunted Hotel’ is, unsurprisingly, just such a story. However, the reader has to wait a long time before any form of ghostly manifestation materialises, with much of the novella reading more as a conventional mystery. Although I may be mistaken in taking this view, it struck me that Collins had, perhaps, originally intended his novella to be a full-length novel, but had grown tired of it, and thus decided to abridge it. Thus, the author appears to have employed the device of allowing one of his leading characters to divulge the hidden course of events by passing off his own unrealised notes in the form of notes for an as yet unwritten play. It left me feeling that it could have become something greater than it was.It was, therefore, the short stories that I found most to my taste in this collection, particularly ‘The Dream Woman’, ‘A Terribly Strange Bed’, ‘Nine O’Clock!’, and ‘The Devil’s Spectacles’. Only the first of these four can be described as a true ghost story, although ‘Nine O’Clock!’ does feature a doppelganger and deathly prophecy. ‘The Dream Woman’ centres upon a premonitory haunting, in which the tale of an unfortunate ostler is recounted by his current employer – the landlord of an inn – to the narrator. It is an atmospheric classic, in which Collins builds an eerie tension that is sure to hook the attention of any lover of a good ghostly yarn. The concluding story in this collection – ‘The Devil’s Spectacles’ – is a supernatural oddity, and all the better for it. In this, the protagonist is gifted a pair of spectacles by the most unsavoury of characters, and the powers that they bestow upon the wearer prove to be of a suitably Mephistophelian nature; they are not what could be termed ‘rose tinted’. Still, this engaging morality tale possesses a somewhat mythic quality, as well as a devilish dose of humour, and is my joint favourite in this collection. Overall, I would rate this book as 3.5 out of 5 if the choice were there, but as I found some of the tales a little overly melodramatic for my taste, I’ll award it a solid three. As this Wordsworth edition is so cheap, I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in classic mysteries with a dash of the supernatural.

  • Lobna
    2019-04-16 03:58

    The haunted hotel story that was really good and with no complicated english words, it was like reading Dickens with a gothic flare, so the longest story in the book was really good I will give it 5 stars !I expected many useless details but I was intrigued by the for the other short stories some of them was 2 stars others was 4 and I didn't like dead hand story !but I liked the way it was written Collins is really good writer and I am definitely going to read woman in white, what I admired most is the way he writes.

  • Anna Luce Smyth
    2019-03-25 07:13

    Rating: 3.5 StarsThere is something incredibly endearing about Collins' stories. His narratives can seem – at a first glance – 'frivolous' but they are so much more complicated than that. It is his subversive mimicry of melodrama that allows him to criticise certain aspects of his society. To me, Collins' is in fact humours: he plays around with his characters by endorsing and or challenging the norms of his society. Curiously, unlike two of his most famous novels, these stories contain 'supernatural' elements which somehow makes them less impressive.

  • C Valeri
    2019-04-03 01:18

    Awesome drama, fun characters, great pacing, and the right amount of spookiness! Classic Wilkie! I love how he manages to insert little digs at lawyers!The ending was a little anti-climactic I thought but it didn't matter much because the whole plot was so awesome and readable. "The Dream Woman" was also an eery short story.

  • Suzie Wilde
    2019-04-15 07:14

    I prefer The Woman in White, which only suggests a haunting then delivers much more.

  • AnnaMarie
    2019-04-19 06:07

    it will not work!

  • Laura S
    2019-03-26 02:22

    The stories in this collection are very well written, but I felt they are let down a bit by their conclusions. (They are also somewhat lacking in 'spookiness', in my opinion!)

  • Kelsey
    2019-03-25 06:06

    Solidly three stars. I love Wilkie Collins, but these short stories fell flat from his other novels. Though some kept my interest, my biggest disappointment was the fact that the writing wasn't up to par with what I've read from him previously. There were barely any descriptions, unless it was about a character's appearance, and "The Haunted Hotel," the first short story in this book, went on way too long. The resolve of the mystery takes place in less than 100 pages of the story, but the build up took over 70 pages. By the time I (the reader) was introduced to the actual haunted hotel, I didn't really care about the story anymore.However, there were some stories in this book that I really like. "The Dream Woman" was a great psychological short story that features a powerful Victorian woman (which Collins is known for writing), dreams that may or may not be actually happening in real life, and the constant fear of death which is so damaging that a man feels as though he cannot even fall asleep."A Terribly Strange Bed" didn't have the best writing in it, but I liked the premise. A man gets drunk and wins a lot of money, and is coerced to stay in a hotel so that he won't lose his money on the street. At night, he notices some strange happenings with his bed, and jumping out the window, notices what's actually going on. He calls the police who arrest the hotel keeper. I wish I could give away more without spoiling the actual story, but I can't. However, things like this have happened in reality, and that's why I liked the story. It's a psychological scare, especially when you know that people have done this before."The Devil's Spectacles" was also a great short story, and was my favorite within this book. The writing was excellent, and at times funny, the premise is original and creative, and the plot works on people's fear of the Devil and of doing bad things. This story follows a man who, in order to survive in the wilderness, did something unthinkable. The Devil comes to him and gives him his glasses, which lets him see people's real thoughts. However, the man quickly learns that the glasses are actually a curse, and the only way to get rid of them are to give them to someone else. He gives them to the narrator, who uses the glasses to uncover a devious marriage plot within his family. At the end, he realizes that the glasses are no good either, even though they helped him, and he passes them on to someone else.I really wish I liked these short stories better, because Collins is one of my favorite authors, but like I said, compared to his other works, these fall a little flat. If you're interested in reading these stories but don't want to pay the price for the book, or only want to read a couple of stories, they are published online, so you could quickly look them up and read them. Here is a list of the stories in the order they appear in this book:The Haunted HotelThe Dream WomanMrs. Zant and the GhostA Terribly Strange BedMiss Jeromette and the ClergymanThe Dead HandBlow Up with the Brig!Nine O'ClockThe Devil's Spectacles

  • Sarah
    2019-04-19 08:07

    Not sure what drew me to this book - Wilkie Collins 'The Moonstone' is one of my favourite books but I don't generally care for ghost stories....The Haunted Hotel - ** far too long and I had to speed read bits to get through it. The only reason I might keep going is that this was half the book so all the other stories must be shorter.The Dream Woman - *** this was quite good although still a bit verbose.Mrs Zant and the Ghost - *** very amusing.A Terribly Strange Bed - * dreadfulMiss Jeromette and the Clergyman - started well, continued well and then fizzled out with a really poor ending.The Dead HandBlow Up with the Brig!Nine o'ClockThe Devil's SpectaclesCouldn't be bothered to finish this....

  • Nicole
    2019-04-10 03:22

    Snippet; This was a suspenseful and thoroughly enjoyable page turner about the inevitable and relentless power of fate and the struggle against it.Collins' writing is straight-forward and travels in a fast pace which often added to the thrill of the story. The most enticing thing about this book was the way in which Collins generates and holds the suspense. Throughout the story Collins asks the reader questions which draw the reader into the story.Full Review;

  • Alban Unsworth
    2019-04-13 07:13

    Wilkie Collins is famous for The Moonstone and The Lady in White. The Moonstone is often described as the first thriller novel. Collins was a close friend of Dickens. The Haunted hotel is an interesting combination of thriller and ghost story and is an enthral long read. The other short stories in this collection are similar supernatural/thrillers. If you enjoy nineteenth century short story in this genre e.g M R James, Conan Doyle you will enjoy this collection

  • Susana
    2019-04-16 08:12

    It is always a pleasure to read any Wilkie Collins book. This collection of ghost stories is very entertaining, and the tales range from the scary to the terrifying. Some of them I already knew because they were already compiled in other collections, but this doesn't mean that I didn't have a good and thrilling time reading them anew. I recommend this book if you enjoy a good classic ghost story

  • Harriet
    2019-04-03 05:17

    I loved some of the stories but was super bored by others in the collection. The Haunted Hotel and The Devil's Spectacles were my favourites. They were both a lot more intriguing than I anticipated with this being classic literature. If you're looking for something a little bit different to read, this is it.

  • Martha
    2019-04-16 00:57

    I'd give the novella "The Haunted Hotel" a 4/5 stars. It made me want to read more Collins in the future. The other stories in this collection are nothing special, though.

  • Paqui
    2019-04-05 06:05

    Es un libro que se vuelve interesante justo cuando queda poco para el desenlace. Sin embargo,tanto jugar a la intriga y empieza a ser algo evidente. No me ha gustado,esperaba mucho más.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-27 07:03

    I try to get into Wilkie Collins but I'm not a fan of his writing. Yet, I will keep trying.

  • a
    2019-04-11 04:59

    'Is the tie that once bound us completely broken? Am I as entirely parted from the good and evil fortune of his life as if we had never met and never loved?'

  • Mirta
    2019-04-08 00:06

    Great tales of mystery to read.

  • Abby
    2019-04-11 03:14

    Gothic horror at its best.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-18 05:15

    Plucked from my TBR mountain after a timely reminder

  • Racheal
    2019-04-20 02:18

    Not as suspenseful as I was led to believe of Collins, and really a drag.

  • Nickoletta
    2019-04-20 06:54

    4 stars for "the Dream Woman" & "the Devil's Spectacles"