The Folio Book of Ghost Stories

Illustrated by David McConochie

Introduced by Kathryn Hughes

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.


Winner of the Moira Gemmell Illustrator of the Year and Best Book Cover awards at the 2016 V&A Illustration Awards

‘I delight in what I fear’
  1. Shirley Jackson

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 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 in 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

Bound in printed and blocked paper

Set in Columbus with Baker Signet display

296 pages

Frontispiece and 8 colour illustrations

Plain slipcase

˝ x 6¼˝ 

About Kathryn Hughes

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 Life Writing at the University of East Anglia.

About David McConochie

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. His work for this title also won the Moira Gemmell Illustrator of the Year and Best Book Cover Illustration awards at the V&A Illustration Awards 2016.


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


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