"Let me tell you a tale so astonishing as to make you understand. A friend of mine met a fellow from York who had been traveling in the countryside when he came upon a farmhouse. The owner invited him in and told him a story of a man, a solicitor I recall, who came into possession of strange diary that related the last days of a young medical student who had discovered a previously unknown substance of such horrible properties that he began an investigation into its origins. Of these inexplicable happenings that came as a result I dare not say another word"
The House of Souls is one of the greatest collections of weird horror stories ever committed to paper.
By the estimate of many, it is considered Arthur Machen's masterwork.
Machen, arguably one of the greatest Welsh authors of all time, was also an essayist, journalist, Shakespearean actor, occultist (a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn along with Algernon Blackwood, William Butler Yeats, and Aleister Crowley, and a translator of Cassanova's Memoirs.
ARTHUR MACHEN (1863-1947) was a Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. His novella The Great God Pan has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Stephen King called it "Perhaps the best horror story in the English language. He went on to say, "How many sleepless nights has The Great God Pan caused? God knows, but a few of them were mine." Machen's influence is not limited to genre fiction, however. Jorge Luis Borges recognized Machen as a great writer, and through him Machen has had an influence on magical realism.