The Upper Berth

The Upper Berth

”‘It is very singular,’ he continued, ‘that thing about ghosts. People are always asking whether anybody has seen a ghost. I have.’”

Several of [Francis Marion Crawford’s] short stories, such as “The Upper Berth” (1886; written in 1885), “For the Blood Is the Life” (1905, a vampiress tale), “The Dead Smile” (1899), and “The Screaming Skull” (1908), are often-anthologized classics of the horror genre.

An essay on Crawford’s weird tales can be found in S. T. Joshi’s The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004); there are many other essays and introductions. The collected weird stories were posthumously published in 1911 as Wandering Ghosts in the U.S. and as Uncanny Tales in the UK, both without the long-forgotten “The King’s Messenger” (1907). The present definitive edition is that edited by Richard Dalby as Uncanny Tales and published by the Tartarus Press (1997; 2008). Crawford’s novella Man Overboard! (1903) is often overlooked, but belongs with his supernatural works. Widipedia


  • Adapted from the story The Upper Berth
  • Written by Marion Crawford
  • Performed by Rod Mehling
  • Recorded by Warren Smith
  • This work is published under a CC-BY 4.0 license. You are free to share this recording. Credit should be attributed to
  • Presented in association with: The Public Domain Foundry with special thanks to our volunteers.
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About Warren Smith
Warren enjoys, reading, writing, recording audio, working with public domain resources, and generally having a good day.