Couching at the Door by D. K. Broster
Dorothy Kathleen Broster (1877-1950) is best known for her historical novels. But there is a darker side to her writing, glimpsed in her early poems - 'The Second of September 1792' is a fine example - and finding full expression in the stories she wrote after she had become a highly successful novelist. Sometimes - as in 'The Window' or 'The Pestering', or 'All Soul's Day' these are what we might call 'explainable' ghost stories: apparitions or hauntings whose origin is to be found in some violent or unjust action in the past. Other stories, 'Couching at the Door' and 'From the Abyss', have little or no explanation, even in supernatural terms. Add to these an elegant reworking of the 'Persephone' myth, 'The Taste of Pomegranates', the downright bloodthirsty 'Clairvoyance', and the psychological studies, 'The Promised Land' and 'The Pavement' which so well merit the heading 'Madness and Obsession', and you have a collection to disturb and unsettle the strongest nerves.