Short Story #34: The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson
Title: The Whistling Room
Author: William Hope Hodgson
Short Story #34 out of 365
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 1/30/2014
Source: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories for Late at Night edited by Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Arthur. The story can also be found on this website for free.
SummaryThe narrator is invited over to Carnacki (a reoccuring character of Hodgson's) for dinner and discussion. Carnacki shares a tale of his most recent adventures wherein he was asked to investigate a room in a castle that howls at night. He explains how his friend believes it's the local folk trying to play a trick on him but as Carnacki investigates it, it seems uncertain. He is eventually witness to the shrieking that occurs and decides he needs to do more research on it. He returns a few weeks later only to find the castle entirely quiet. He uses a latter to get up and see into the "whistling room". He eventually sees a giant mouth in the room that looks to consume him entirely. He falls from the latter and tells the owner to tear down the room entirely. Upon researching further, they discover that the room was haunted by cursed jester from centuries before. They also discover that soon-to-be wife of the owner who would be moving in was a descendant of the king who had tortured the jester. The final thought of the story is to wonder what would have happened if she had step foot into that room.
This felt like the standard ghost story. It was enjoyable in a "tell the story around a campfire" kind of way but it did not offer a lot of punch. Some of the descriptions were captured the moment but I don't think nothing seemed more haunting than the question left at the end as to what would have happened to the fiance if she had gone into that room.
For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.
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