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#1 - 01 -- Section 01, The Beckoning Fair One, Parts I-IV

Widdershins

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Download 01 -- Section 01, The Beckoning Fair One, Parts I-IV audio
Download 02 -- Section 02, The Beckoning Fair One, Parts V-VIII audio
Download 03 -- Section 03, The Beckoning Fair One, Parts IX-XII audio
Download 04 -- Section 04, Phantas audio
Download 05 -- Section 05, Rooum audio
Download 06 -- Section 06, Benlian audio
Download 08 -- Section 08, The Accident audio
Download 09 -- Section 09, The Cigarette Case audio
Download 10 -- Section 10, The Rocker audio
Download 11 -- Section 11, Hic Jacet, Introduction-Part III audio
Download 12 -- Section 12, Hic Jacet, Parts IV-VI audio
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Summary

Onions wrote several collections of ghost stories, of which the best known is Widdershins (1911). It includes the novella The Beckoning Fair One, widely regarded as one of the best in the genre of horror fiction, especially psychological horror. On the surface, this is a conventional haunted house story: an unsuccessful writer moves into rooms in an otherwise empty house, in the hope that isolation will help his failing creativity. His sensitivity and imagination are enhanced by his seclusion, but his art, his only friend and his sanity are all destroyed in the process. The story can be read as narrating the gradual possession of the protagonist by a mysterious and possessive feminine spirit, or as a realistic description of a psychotic outbreak culminating in catatonia and murder, told from the sufferer's point of view. The precise description of the slow disintegration of the protagonist's mind is terrifying in either case. Another theme, shared with others of Onions' stories, is a connection between creativity and insanity; in this view, the artist is in danger of withdrawing from the world altogether and losing himself in his creation.

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