ALL HALLOWS (1926) – Written by Walter de la Mare. In recent decades Walter de la Mare’s horror stories have begun to get as much attention as his poetry. This particular tale is about a haunted cathedral but there is also a blatant subtext.
Our narrator has walked for several miles to reach remote All Hallows Cathedral. The once-prominent place has fallen into disrepair and has become so rarely used for religious services that it has become more of a curious tourist attraction than “holy” site.
Appropriately for a horror story our protagonist has arrived as the sun is going down. The odd, perhaps half-crazed Verger (Anglican Church Caretaker) impatiently leads the new arrival on a tour of the degenerating interior. Almost like a Halloween Funhouse host the Verger emphasizes the creepy lore about All Hallows.
Nightfall is well along by the time he tells the narrator about the temporary disappearance of the previous chief clergyman, who was later found in a dark corner. The Holy Man was weeping and crazed and never recovered his sanity. Continue reading