The Judge’s House by Bram Stoker

Apparently, I am still in the mood for another Perilous challenge 😉

As I have written in my introduction of R.I.P Challenge, I will be reading 2 books, watch some movies (I have watched 2 but have only reviewed 1 so far) and read some short stories. This is my first short story.

I tried reading Dracula by Bram Stoker long ago and somehow I found it difficult to read. I ended up feeling sleepy after reading few paragraphs…in the end, I spent few weeks to read less than 5 pages. That kind of slowness only meant one thing, I have to stop reading it and changed to another book. Well, that was long time ago…I know I have to try reading that book again simply because Stephen King likes it so much and if he likes it that much it must be a good book because the book inspired him in many ways.

Before I give another shot at Dracula, I think trying his short story could be a nice trying out step 😉

The Judge’s House is a 17 pages story. It’s the only short story by Bram Stoker in The Wordsworth Collection of Irish Ghost Story. I didn’t know he was an Irish till I bought this book. It didn’t take long for me to finish it.  The language is not as nowadays kind of book language. It has that old rhyme which often takes you round and round to get to the real meaning.

The story is quite simple, you can easily find this kind of story everywhere. It was about a haunted or cursed house. A big house belonged to a cruel Judge who loved to execute people had been empty for years. No one wanted to live in that house. One day, a young educated man wanted to rent it because he needed a quite place to finish his study. He was a mathematician. The people warned him about the house but as a well educated man, he didn’t believe all those nonsense. His housekeeper told him that it was nothing but rats. He believed his housekeeper more than anyone else in town.

As he busied himself with his study, he became accustomed with the sound of the rats. Somehow, he felt he wasn’t alone when hearing them. However, their sound ceased when a big rat with malignant eyes sat on a chair beside the fireplace. He threw books at it and when it ran away the sound of the other rats could be heard again. It happened for several nights. The big rat always ran away through a bell rope, a rope which was once used as a rope to hang people.

Someone warned him and told him to ring the bell if anything bad happened. People would come to his aid. Something horrible did come.

The story was quite easy to predict but it was still fun. The way Stoker described the house and the situation was very gripping. He managed to give the young man a personality within that 17 pages story. Somehow, it felt more like a long story rather than just short story. It’s not gruesome but still scary. I love to write something like that one day.

This is part of my Peril Of  The Short Story.

If I still have time, I will try reading a short by Oscar Wilde.…but I might write a short story from audio book first.

Have you read Bram Stoker’s short before?

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