Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ Review

A review I wrote for

Horror Novel Reviews

Written by: Daniel W Cheely                          

Of all the supernatural entities within the horror genre, ghosts are my favorite.  There’s something enigmatic about the specter that I find appealing.  Free from the constraints of solidity, it is able to take on many shapes and appearances. It can be visible or invisible, symbolic or literal; as sightful as a passing shadow or as elusive as disembodied emotions.  A well-written ghost story should foster its specters within this complexity so that the mystery surrounding their nature is important to the story’s scare factor.  The ghost stories of Joseph Sheridan LeFanu succeed on these measures.  He is often considered the best when it comes to ghost stories of the Victorian period.

Carmilla by LeFanu is a story about a vampire, not a ghost.  However, I loved it, partially because LeFanu uses much of the same criteria for this vampire novella as he does for…

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