'This anthology collects the best examples of Australian gothic short stories from colonial times. Demonic bird cries, grisly corpses, ghostly women and psychotic station-owners populate a colonial landscape which is the stuff of nightmares.
'In stories by Marcus Clarke, Mary Fortune and Henry Lawson, the colonial homestead is wracked by haunted images of murder and revenge. Settlers are disoriented and traumatised as they stumble into forbidden places and explorers disappear, only to return as ghostly figures with terrible tales to tell. These compelling stories are the dark underside to the usual story of colonial progress, promise and nation-building, and reveal just how vivid the gothic imagination is at the heart of Australian fiction.' (Publication summary)