The Ninth Skeleton

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"The Ninth Skeleton" is a short story written by Clark Ashton Smith. It was first published in the September 1928 issue of Weird Tales.[1]

The story tells of the experience of a man, Herbert, on his way to meet his girlfriend Guenevere, who experiences what seems to be a macabre vision of various skeletons, each of whom advances with a skeleton child in its arms. The ninth skeleton (of the title) has no infant skeleton, but is still in the grave, and attempts to pull the narrator in. However, he awakes to normal reality, apparently due to the touch of Guenevere on his arm.

The opening of the story features an accurate description of the area of Boulder Ridge in Auburn, California where Smith lived most of his early life.


  • Smith, Clark Ashton (2006) [1928]. "The Ninth Skeleton". In Scott Connors & Ron Hilger. The End of the Story Vol. 1 (First ed.). San Francisco, USA: Nightshade Books. ISBN 978-1-59780-028-0.  Definitive version.


  1. ^ The Ninth Skeleton publication history at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

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