The Folio Book of Ghost Stories

Introduced by Kathryn Hughes
Illustrated by David McConochie

A collection of blood-curdling ghost stories destined to haunt the reader, presented with spookily atmospheric illustrations by David McConochie, winner of the 2015 Book Illustration Competition.

Published price: US$ 67.95


The Folio Book of Ghost Stories

David McConochie won Best Book Cover Illustration and Moira Gemmell Illustrator of the Year awards at the V&A Illustration awards 2016

‘I delight in what I fear’

In this collection, newly compiled by The Folio Society, ghost stories by well-known raconteurs of the paranormal such as Dickens and M. R. James sit alongside a selection of tales by modern writers, all of whom use the best-loved hallmarks of the ghost story with precision: dilapidated houses and taciturn servants; creaking floorboards and mysterious figures; hair-raising sightings of beings by turns benevolent, evil, or so alien as to defy comprehension. All shades of the dark are explored here, from the crawling horror of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Captain of the ‘Pole-Star’’ to Shirley Jackson’s pleasantly chilling ‘A Visit’. With stories from writers such as Ambrose Bierce, Vladimir Nabokov, A. S. Byatt and F. Marion Crawford, this is a collection indeed destined to haunt its readers.

Illustrating a story where terrors are implied by a distant noise or a failing light is a unique challenge. David McConochie won the commission to illustrate this edition through the 2015 Book Illustration Competition. He has created a remarkable series of images that are both beautiful and unsettling, while journalist and historian Kathryn Hughes provides an introduction that examines the Victorian tradition and its modern-day inheritors.

Production Details

The Folio Book of Ghost Stories book
  • Bound in paper, printed with a design by David McConochie
  • Set in Columbus with Baker Signet display
  • 296 pages
  • Frontispiece and 8 colour illustrations
  • 9½" x 6¼"


  • The Signalman – Charles Dickens
  • The Captain of the ‘Pole-Star’ – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Upper Berth – F. Marion Crawford
  • The Eyes of the Panther – Ambrose Bierce
  • The Monkey’s Paw – W. W. Jacobs
  • The Watcher – R. H. Benson
  • The Treasure of Abbot Thomas – M. R. James
  • August Heat – W. F. Harvey
  • The Cigarette Case – Oliver Onions
  • Bone to His Bone – E. G. Swain
  • Mr Jones – Edith Wharton
  • A Tale of an Empty House – E. F. Benson
  • One Who Saw – A. M. Burrage
  • The Visit to the Museum – Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Demon Lover – Elizabeth Bowen
  • A Visit – Shirley Jackson
  • The Axe – Penelope Fitzgerald
  • The July Ghost – A. S. Byatt
  • Andrina – George Mackay Brown

About the introducer

Kathryn Hughes is a biographer, literary critic and academic with a particular interest in Victorian literature and culture. Her books include George Eliot: The Last Victorian (1999), which won the James Tait Black Award, and The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton (2005). She is a columnist and critic for the Guardian newspaper, and is currently Professor of Lifewriting at the University of East Anglia.

About the illustrator

David McConochie was born in County Durham in 1981. He studied graphic design at the University of Teesside and subsequently completed an MA in illustration at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. He is now based in East London where he works as a freelance artist. His illustrations for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories won the annual Book Illustration Competition, run by the House of Illustration and The Folio Society.


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