Monday, October 3, 2016

Mysterious Mondays: Edward Page Mitchell's "The Clock That Went Backward"

From Natalie Kay-Thatcher.

Every week this October I will choose a theme suitable for Halloween and link to an appropriate short story (I will also use this theme for Terrifying Tuesday film picks).  Today's theme is time travel, and the story I have chosen is a lesser-known tale by Edward Page Mitchell, an American Short story writer who was a major influence in the development of the science fiction genre.
The Clock That Went Backward (1881) by Mitchell is, according to Wikipedia, the first tale to use a machine for time travel.  Two cousins inherit their deceased aunt's possessions, and one of them receives a distinctive and mysterious Dutch clock that never seems to work.  However, there are two occasions when the hands begin to move, leading to frightening consequences.  You can read the short story here.  There is also an audiobook version on YouTube (although the reader is perhaps not the most effective at first, he gets a bit better as the story progresses):


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