Horror Story Review: "The Burned House" by Vincent O'Sullivan

@msiduri (5749)
United States
July 22, 2016 8:11am CST
While traveling aboard ship across the Atlantic, one of a group of passengers notes they are passing the place where the Lusitania was sunk a year earlier. Whether he was correct or not, a somber mood comes over the passengers. They speak of ghosts—could the spirits of those unfortunates linger at the scene of their deaths? Most laugh this off, but one small man says strange things happen. No, he has never seen a ghost. Later, he and the narrator share a smoke on desk and the small man tells his tale. He was in a part of the country he didn’t know well and decided to take a walk. He found himself in a deserted area (yes, you’re right, @JohnRoberts, they never learn) and unsure of the way back. He finally saw a house, though it seemed unoccupied. A man walked by him, ignoring his greeting. He noticed a flicking light in the house. To his horror, he realized the house had caught fire. His attempts to save the people—a man and a woman—inside the house fail. That’s not the end of the horrors. Only later does he realize the fire was not hot. This is a sad, spooky little story. The revelation of what was the meaning of all this was spoiled only by it being several steps removed from the reader. I don’t know how it could have been executed other than it was, but when the reader learns the truth, both the victims and the witness are anonymous. A readable pdf of the story is available below: _____ Title: “The Burned House” Author: Vincent O’Sullivan (1868-1940) First published: The Century Magazine, October 1916 Source: ISFDB
4 people like this
4 responses
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
22 Jul 16
Can't open it. My love-hate relationship with this phone has turned into a hate relationship!
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5749)
• United States
22 Jul 16
Dang! That's a shame. I thought for sure your could. It's a webpage. Nothing to download.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
23 Jul 16
@msiduri - It's just a green box on my end, that downloads to a .pdf file. Agggh.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5749)
• United States
23 Jul 16
@teamfreak16 Well, that's not very helpful.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (20097)
• India
23 Jul 16
@msiduri Not a bad story,but of a a different kind.It was easy enough to access.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5749)
• United States
23 Jul 16
I'm glad you were able to read it and liked it. Again, I feel like a job well done. I just wish Scott hadn't run into trouble.
1 person likes this
@ilocosboy (34377)
• Philippines
22 Jul 16
5 words I say, I don't watch horror movies...
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5749)
• United States
22 Jul 16
I don't watch horror movies either. This is written. I understand, though. Not everyone likes this sort of stuff.
@JohnRoberts (59754)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Jul 16
This sounds like a solid ghost story and yes, when will people ever learn not to wander off the beaten path.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5749)
• United States
22 Jul 16
Thought you might notice that. Actually, the small man says he's never seen a ghost. It's something else. This would make a great "Twilight Zone" episode. Even better "Outer Limits."