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Carnacki The Ghost-Finder is a collection of short stories by William Hope Hodgson, all concerning the exploits of the eponymous Thomas Carnacki, an Occult Detective. The original 1913 edition contained six stories, which had been separately published in The Idler magazine over the preceding few years; a 1948 edition added three more.
Carnacki brought an empirical attitude to his investigations, as well as several high-tech (for 1913) gadgets, ranging from photography to an protective device of his own invention called the electric pentacle. Unlike many occult detectives, his cases included a mix of hoaxes and genuine hauntings.
One Carnacki story, "The Horse of the Invisible", was adapted for television in 1971, in the British TV series The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes; Carnacki was played by Donald Pleasence.
- The Exotic Detective
- Framing Device: Each story had one in which Carnacki invited some friends to dinner and told them about his latest case.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Carnacki gets all his info on the supernatural from the fictional Sigsand Manuscript.
- Matron Chaperone: In "The Horse of the Invisible", while Beaumont and his fiancee Miss Hisgins are together, they're chaperoned by her aunt.
- Noodle Incident: Carnacki often refers to earlier cases that didn't get written up and published. Usually it's just an evocative title, but sometimes he'll also drop a tantalising detail.
"The Black Veil case, when young Aster died. You remember, he said it was a piece of silly superstition and stayed outside. Poor devil!"
- Paranormal Investigation
- Post-Modern Magik: Carnacki is possibly the first protagonist to fully embrace this trope, devising updated versions of medieval-era protective wards that incorporate electrical wires and multicolored neon lighting.
- Public Domain Character: Carnacki himself is one now, and has appeared as a character in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the Doctor Who spin-off novel Foreign Devils, and been name-checked in Nightside and in Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories.
- Real After All: In at least one of the stories, a haunting is revealed as a hoax, and then as the hoaxer is being confronted, the real ghost puts in an appearance.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: One case has smugglers faking a haunting so they can use an abandoned building.
- Something Completely Different: The Find regards Carnacki investigating a book forgery and has no supernatural elements whatsoever.
- Summoning Artifact: In "Gateway of the Monster," the title being (a giant strangling hand) enters our world through the Luck Ring of the Andersons -- a small pentagonal ring. It was originally activated by being worn, but continued to summon the monster afterward.
- Who You Gonna Call?