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Handheld Classics

Strange Relics : Stories of Archaeology & the Supernatural 1895-1954 by Amara Thornton

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Strange Relics is an anthology of classic short stories in which the supernatural and archaeology are combined, originally published from 1895 to 1954. Never before have so many relics from the past caused such delicious and intriguing shivers down the spine.

Archaeological historian Amara Thornton of the University of London, and Classical archaeologist Katy Soar from the University of Winchester have curated a selection of twelve outstanding short stories encompassing horror, ghosts, hauntings, and possession, all from archaeological excavation. From a Neolithic rite to Egyptian religion to Roman remains to medieval masonry to some uncanny ceramic tiles in a perfectly ordinary American sun lounge, the relics in these stories are, frankly, horrible.

Cover endorsement from well-known UK archaeologist Mike Pitts.

The stories in Strange Relics are:

  • ‘The Ape’, by E F Benson (at his command)
  • ‘Roman Remains’, by Algernon Blackwood (bestial rites in Wales)
  • ‘Ho! The Merry Masons’, by John Buchan (a haunted medieval house)
  • ‘Through the Veil’, by Arthur Conan Doyle (Roman ghosts)
  • ‘View From A Hill’, M R James (beastly binoculars)
  • ‘Curse of the Stillborn’, by Margery Lawrence (Egyptian death rites)
  • ‘Whitewash’, by Rose Macaulay (the death caves of the Emperor)
  • ‘The Shining Pyramid’, by Arthur Machen (prehistoric survival)
  • ‘Cracks of Time’, by Dorothy Quick (the tiles are possessed)
  • ‘The Cure’, by Eleanor Scott (Viking rituals)
  • ‘The Next Heir’ by H D Everett (inherit at peril)
  • ‘The Golden Ring’ by Alan J B Wace (Mycenaean treasure)