TalesofTerrorfromtheTunne54411_fSo, more Gothic creepiness from the wonderful Mr Priestley in Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth, and a good read for RIP IV.

Robert Harper is returning to school, desperate to get away from his stepmother with whom he has been spending his time while his father is fighting the Boers in South Africa. Robert is travelling by train, and we first meet him on the platform with said stepmother, an emotional woman who has a premonition that something will happen to Robert, involving a tunnel and a kiss. Robert shakes her off, gets on the train and finds himself in a  carriage which slowly fills up with a number of gentlemen also travelling to London.

Robert dozes off, and when he wakes up he finds that all the other passengers are asleep except for a young woman with red hair, dressed completely in white, who is sitting opposite him. The train has stopped at the mouth of a railway tunnel, and to while away the time the mysterious woman tells Robert a number of sinister stories, while he struggles to keep awake…..

Another really enjoyable collection, with a little mystery at its heart – who is the woman in white? What (if anything) does she want with young Robert? Why is everyone else solidly asleep?

Favourites in this collection are:

  • The Glasshouse – you really shouldn’t get too close to some of those plants….
  • The Crotach Stone – beware the auld folk….
  • Sister Veronica – art appreciation and nuns…

And the illustrations by David Roberts are equally creepy.

This is my second read for RIP IV