Ghost Story Review: "The Haunted Photograph" by Ruth McEnery Stuart

@msiduri (5757)
United States
April 20, 2016 7:22pm CST
The photograph in question was of cheap summer hotel. It hung, sumptuously framed, over the Widow Morris’s mantel in her otherwise unremarkable home in a typical Queen Anne village. The hotel was also where Mr. Morris died in a fire some months after the picture arrived. In her grief, the Widow Morris comes to believe she sees her husband in the hotel, lowering or raising window shades as is appropriate for the weather. Once she thinks he’s beckoning her to join him and she’s willing to do so, though she’s only in her 30s, but then she realizes—he wasn’t beckoning to her. He was only swatting flies. This could have been a maudlin little ghost story or a story of a woman who was just psycho. Instead, the story pokes gentle fun at her while never doubting her grief. The Widow Morris actually takes business advice from her departed husband. Is the ghost real, or just a figment of a grieving woman’s imagination? There’s room for doubt. But there is sadness, as one might expect. According to Wikipedia, author Ruth McEnery Stuart was an American author, producing some 75 published works between 1888 and 1917. She was also known for performances of her work. The present story seems to be her only venture into speculative fiction, however. This short story is available for download. _____ Title: “The Haunted Photograph” Author: Ruth McEnery Stuart (legal name Mary Routh McEnery Stuart) (1852-1917) (There seems to be some question about the year of her birth) First published: Harper’s Bazaar June 1909 Source: ISFDB *An earlier version of this review was posted at another site. It has been expanded and updated for its inclusion at myLot. *
Book digitized by Google from the library of Harvard University and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb.
4 people like this
3 responses
@JudyEv (118538)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Apr 16
This sounds a very readable book. Thanks for the review.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
21 Apr 16
It's a short story. Thanks for your note.
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@JudyEv (118538)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Apr 16
@msiduri Sorry. I did read short story at the time then forgot when I wrote the comment. Egg on face.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
21 Apr 16
@JudyEv Oh, no! Not at all!
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@JohnRoberts (52118)
• Los Angeles, California
21 Apr 16
This sounds like an intriguing Victorian era ghost story when photography was relatively young.
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@msiduri (5757)
• United States
21 Apr 16
You have a point. The picture was probably bigger than what we're use to.
@JohnRoberts (52118)
• Los Angeles, California
21 Apr 16
@msiduri Back then the photo might been a tintype or daguerrotype.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
21 Apr 16
@JohnRoberts All of which would add to its oddness.
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
21 Apr 16
My phone won't open the link. I'll have to go get on a real computer at the library in order to read it.
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
21 Apr 16
@teamfreak16 I had to check it. I does open, really. It looks odd, but it does open.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
21 Apr 16
@msiduri - I got a blank, black screen. I'll have to try it again. Updated: I got it. I'll start reading it in a bit.
1 person likes this