The Great God Pan By Arthur Machen

The Great God Pan is a supernatural mystery story written by Arthur Machen in the late 1800’s .

It stats off with a man named Clarke agreeing to watch an experiment performed by his friend Dr. Raymond on an innocent young lady named Mary . The goal of said experiment is to open up the human mind to be able to experience a spiritual world , something our ancestors referred to as ” They called it seeing the god Pan ” , so of course it requires some brain surgery. Everything starts off well enough but when she sees the other side she begins to show signs of terror and struggles against an unseen source. She becomes in Dr. Raymond’s words ” … a hopeless idiot ” . The story then switches ahead years later when Clarke hears the story of a sinister little girl named Helen Vaughan whom seems to be connect to a few strange happenings in the town . The story once again skips forward a few years where a man named Villiers finds an old friend of his named Herbert , Herbert was once a well off man but he has now become a vagrant . When asked how he became this way , he replies his wife has ” Corrupted body and soul “. The story from there goes into an investigation of a string of strange suicides . Are all these incidents related ? Are you brave enough to seek  ” The Great God Pan ” ?

This story is great , it’s a dark and mysterious atmospheric story which relies on suggestion most of the time . I can clearly now that I’ve read it how much influence his style had on H. P. Lovecraft ( most notably ” The Dunwich Horror” ) . Is this story for everyone ? No , I would not recommend it to people who can’t stand 19th century English prose nor can I recommend it for those whom don’t have a taste for the weird and macabre . However , if those aren’t a problem for you and you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft , I’d recommend this without hesitation .

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