The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel

by Wilkie Collins
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date: 20/11/2020

First published in Belgravia Magazine in 1878, "The Haunted Hotel" (complete title: "The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice") is a sort of gothic ghost story-come-mystery.

"The Haunted Hotel" opens in England, where a wild-eyed Countess Narona visits Doctor Wybrow in a state of distress, convinced that she is going mad. Her husband-to-be, Lord Montbarry has jilted his kind-hearted fiancé, Agnes for her. The Countess is convinced that Agnes will somehow bring about her downfall. After the marriage, the Countess and Lord Montbarry move to Venice where they stay in a decaying palace. The plot thickens when Lord Montbarry dies, leaving £10,000 insurance money which is claimed by his widow, and simultaneously the wife of Montbarry’s close servant, a courier named Ferrari, receives an anonymous note containing £1,000. The courier has also mysteriously disappeared.

The plot then moves inexorably towards how Agnes, the Countess and various members of the Montbarry end up in the palace in Venice that has been turned into a fashionable (but haunted) hotel where ghostly goings on occur in room number 13A...

"The Haunted Hotel" is full of gothic elements: a missing servant, a veiled mourner and a body found in a fireplace. Somehow Collins manages to make it all believable and, as usual, the romance in the book has a realistic touch to it.

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date:
Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins was born in London in 1824, the son of a successful and popular painter. On leaving school, he worked in the office of a tea merchant in the Strand before reading law as a student at Lincoln's Inn. However his real passion was for writing and, in 1850, he published his first novel, Antonina.

In 1851, the same year that he was called to the bar, he met and established a lifelong friendship with Charles Dickens. While Collins' fame rests on his best known works, The Woman in White and The Moonstone, he wrote over thirty books, as well as numerous short stories, articles and plays. He was a hugely popular writer in his lifetime. An unconventional individual, he never married but established long-term liaisons with two separate partners. He died in 1889.

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