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Engraving from a later edition of Vol.1 with an illustration of "Der Freischütz"

The Gespensterbuch was a collection of German ghost and folk stories collected and rewritten by Johann August Apel and Friedrich Laun and published in five volumes between 1811–1815.


The first tale in the first volume was the story of a magic marksman, "The Freischütz", which became the basis of Weber's opera Der Freischütz.[1]


In 1812, Jean-Baptiste Benoît Eyriès translated eight German ghost stories into French as Fantasmagoriana, including five of the tales from the first and second volumes of the Gespensterbuch. The following year, Sarah Elizabeth Utterson translated five of the stories from Fantasmagoriana into English as Tales of the Dead (along with a story of her own), including three of the Gespensterbuch tales. The stories she omitted were translated into English by A. J. Day together with Utterson's translation in Fantasmagoriana: Tales of the Dead (2005).[2]


  1. ^ Bridgwater, Patrick (2004). De Quincey's Gothic Masquerade. p. 51.  "The mistake is understandable, for the tale first appeared in the Gespensterbuch, edited by Apel and Laun (6 vols, Leipzig: Goschen, 1811–17), to which I have already referred. It was Laun's contributions to the Gespensterbuch that caught ..."
  2. ^ Day, A. J. (2005). Fantasmagoriana: Tales of the Dead. ISBN 1-4116-5291-6.