Today marks the 150th birthday of British writer Algernon Blackwood, one of the great authors of supernatural fiction, whose work influenced the likes of William HopeHodgson, H.P. Lovecraft, C.A. Smith, Ramsey Campbell and many others.
Born in 1869, Blackwood was a member of the Golden Dawn, and had a versed interest in matters mystical and supernatural
My fundamental interest, I suppose, is signs and proofs of other powers that lie hidden in us all; the extension, in other words, of human faculty. So many of my stories, therefore, deal with extension of consciousness; speculative and imaginative treatment of possibilities outside our normal range of consciousness…. Also, all that happens in our universe is natural; under Law; but an extension of our so limited normal consciousness can reveal new, extra-ordinary powers etc., and the word “supernatural” seems the best word for treating these in fiction. I believe it possible for our consciousness to change and grow, and that with this change we may become aware of a new universe. A “change” in consciousness, in its type, I mean, is something more than a mere extension of what we already possess and know.Algernon Blackwood
Today, Algernon Blackwood is remembered chiefly for his short story The Willows, that is considered a classic of weird fiction, The Wendigo, that is the definitive story about this creature from Native American folklore, and for the John Silence stories featuring an early occult detective.
All these, and a lot more, can be found on the pages of Project Gutenberg.
To me, Blackwood will forever remain the author of The Valley of the Beasts, another story based on Native American folklore and one that caused me quite a scare when I was about ten or eleven years old.
Blackwood died in 1951, and here is something from 1949, when he related one of his strange stories, on film. Enjoy!
(and lookout – as the opening card says, this is for adult audiences)