unless either Miss Stacy or Mrs. Allan thinks it is a proper book for a girl thirteen and three quarters to read. Miss Stacy made me promise that. She found me reading a book one day called
The Mystery of the Hall (begin superscript)The Lurid Mystery of the Haunted Hall(end superscript)(begin superscript).(end superscript) It was one Ruby Gillis had lent me and, oh, Marilla, it was so fascinating and creepy. It just curdled the blood in my veins. But Miss Stacy said it was a very silly unwholesome book and she asked me not to read any more of it or any like it. I didn’t mind promising not to read any more like it, but it was agonizing to give back that book without knowing how it turned out. But my love for Miss Stacy stood the tees test and I did. It’s really wonderful, Marilla, what you can do when you’re truly anxious to please a certain person.”
"Lurid Mystery of the Haunted Hall": An invented title suggesting any number of gothic novels that, while wildly popular beginning in 17(begin superscript)th(end superscript) century, were frowned upon by more discerning readers. Gothic fiction was usually set in castles and abbeys and featured supernatural or religious themes and sensational or melodramatic prose. Jane Austen's parody of the genre, Northanger Abbey (1818), shows the (humorous) effect of too much gothic reading on its young heroine. Austen was influenced by many other novels, including one called Horrid Mysteries (1796).