Welcome back to our little dark celebration of ghost stories by Edith Wharton.
For the curious, alert, and not-too-easily-frightened, we have several collections of Edith Wharton’s ghost stories here at the Nashville Public Library.
Both of the selections chosen for this showcasing of Edith Wharton’s ghost stories have in common people who are searching for a new house—a swift and easy pretext for introducing the story and beginning the action of the plot.
There are some terms in the story which the listener might find unfamiliar: a “chemin de ronde” is the walkway behind a castle battlement, where defenders would patrol the ramparts. A “sleeve dog” can refer to any small dog that can be carried on one arm, but often refers to a Pekingese. The “Pardon of Locronan” is a penitential ceremony and festival held in July, one of several such pilgrimages unique to the Catholics of Brittany.
The house in today’s story, named Kerfol, has a haunted history, not unlike many great houses formerly inhabited by very unhappy people. As the narrator protagonist visits the house and later begins to unravel the unhappy story of its occupants, we are introduced to characters rarely mentioned in a ghost story—except for the occasional howl aimed at some unearthly being—dogs, that is. Lots of dogs…but very quiet, as dogs go.
And now, turn down the lights, and join us for “Kerfol” by Edith Wharton….