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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.

Tropes used in Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder include:


  • 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!"

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