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The winter holidays are quickly approaching, so what better time for a quick “Storytime Edition” of the Horrible Imaginings Podcast? “Storytime Edition” episodes are readings of classic horror, Gothic, or paranormal short stories in the public domain. Today’s story takes place in the holiday season, though that has little bearing on the horrors within. The title is “The Kit Bag” and it was first published in 1908 in Pall Mall Magazine. The author was Algernon Blackwood, a British author renowned for his prolific collections of weird and supernatural stories.

algernon blackwood

Algernon Blackwood portrait by Howard Coster, half-plate film negative, July 1929

What I like about this particular story is that Blackwood makes several asides during the narrative to discuss the nature of fear itself, various stages of fear, and, most importantly, the effects that fear can have on an otherwise rational person. This story is as much about fear killing reason as it is about anything paranormal. But don’t worry, there is some paranormal stuff going on! So make some hot chocolate (or some egg nog with bourbon) and enter Blackwood’s haunted world with me!

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