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The Spider by Hans Heinz Ewers
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 8 November, 2018 08:18AM

The other day I read a short story "U Červeného Draka" (The Inn at the Red Dragon) by the Czech author Jiří Josef Kolár (1812-1896) and was very surprised to have found a macabre piece of literary work the concept of which is virtually identical with that of one of my most favourite wierd tales “The Spider“ (1908) by Hans Heinz Ewers, though it was written in 1889, almost twenty years before publishing "The Spider".

"The Inn at the Red Dragon" tells a grim story about an inn where three individuals hung themselves in the same room while the fourth guy decides to get to the bottom of these mysterious suicides by staying in the ominous room for several nights. Little by little, he finds out there is an old and hideous hag living across the dirty street in an ancient house which is structurally identical with the inn. This old "lady" has the ability to make those who watch her from the inn across the street imitate her gestures, so they repeat her movements and at the end of this “show“ the hag hangs a dummy (or a manikin or what it is) and the watchers follow its suit by hanging themselves in the room.

It was really an interesting find (though the atmosphere is a far cry from that in The Spider which is much better at the end of the day) and I wonder if Ewers had a notion of this forgotten tale ...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 8 Nov 18 | 08:21AM by Minicthulhu.

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