Thursday, September 22, 2016

"The Case of Frank Hampden"

"The Case of Frank Hampden" 
from The E.F. Benson Megapack
by E.F. Benson

A doctor suspects that his young cousin suffers from a type of possession.

My Reaction:
This is one of Benson's "scientific-spiritual" tales.  Though they're often based on interesting ideas, they tend not to be my favorites, and this was no exception.  The germ of the story reminded me a little of the movie Fallen (which I'm pretty sure I've referenced in other book reviews, because it made a strong impression on me), but this short story is not even in the same galaxy, as far as the sense of fear or horror goes.  There are a few creepy moments, but nothing to keep you up at night.

Silly Tidbit:
There are a couple instances of spiritual manifestation, and I found it particularly amusing that even the evil spirit is so concerned with decency that it appears "swathed" in some sort of spiritual (ectoplasmic?) version of clothing-- "some misty and opaque vesture".  It's funny enough that the spirit should necessarily take the shape of the body it inhabited, but that it should even be provided with clothing was the icing on the cake!