Thursday, January 5, 2012

Elliott O'Donnell (1872-1965)

Author, Actor, Soldier, and Ghost Hunter
Born February 27, 1872, Clifton, Bristol, England
Died May 8, 1965

Author and ghost hunter Elliott O’Donnell was born on February 27, 1872, in Bristol, England, but claimed descent from Irish chieftains. At age five, he saw a ghost, a portent perhaps of his interests later in life. O'Donnell worked in the United States as a young man, then returned to his native country where he was employed as a school master. In his spare time, he wrote his first novel, For Satan's Sake, published in 1904. That set him on the path of the writer's life. Over the course of the next half-century, O'Donnell authored hundreds of articles and stories and more than three dozen novels and works of non-fiction. Ghosts and haunted houses were his specialty. His magazine credits include works for Hutchinson Story MagazineThe Novel MagazineThe IdlerWeekly Tale-TellerHutchinson's Mystery-Story MagazinePearson's MagazineLilliput, and Weird Tales, for which he wrote three stories between 1928 and 1934. O'Donnell was also an actor on stage and film, and he served in World War I. Elliott O’Donnell died on May 8, 1965, in a place unknown to me and apparently everyone else on the Internet.

Elliott O'Donnell's Stories in Weird Tales
"The Ghost-Table" (Feb. 1928)
"The Haunted Wood of Adoure" (July 1930)
"One Christmas Eve" (July 1934)

Further Reading
"The Haunted Wood of Adoure" was reprinted in 100 Wild Little Weird Tales, edited by Robert Weinberg, Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, and Martin H. Greenberg (Barnes and Noble, 1994). Many of O'Donnell's works are still available on the Internet and in books out of print.

"The Ghost-Table," Elliott O'Donnell's cover story for the February 1928 issue of Weird Tales, art by C.C. Senf. If you were to drive through a haunted landscape (Greye La Spina) in your haunted car (David Bernard) past a ghost guard (Bryan Irvine) to a ghost farm (Susan A. Rice or Dulcie Brown) and sat down in a haunted chair (Gaston Leroux) at a ghost table (Elliott O'Donnell) and partook of a ghost (thereby becoming a ghost eater [C.M. Eddy, Jr.])--WATCH OUT! You might become ghost for a night (Robert Arthur). After all, you are what you eat. 
Text and captions copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley

1 comment:

  1. does anyone know where hes buried