A macabre tale is a horrific and disturbing story generally concerned with a fear of death.
Ruskin Bond’s story “A Face in the Dark” is a macabre tale as it deals with paranormal happenings with the protagonist Mr. Oliver who was terrified at the sight of a boy who had no feature on his face on his way back to school from the Simla bazaar one night. He started to run blindly through the trees calling for help and stumbled upon the watchman in the middle of the path who turned out to be another paranormal figure just like the boy he had come across moments ago. In the story the author creates an atmosphere of suspense, fear and mystery and makes the readers concerned with the life of Mr. Oliver. The way Bond ends the story even makes us wonder whether Mr. Oliver survived the shock or not and what might have happened to him in the end. Thus, the story “A Face in the Dark” may be termed as a macabre tale with all the suspense, mystery and fear of death.
On the other hand, many readers are reluctant to call “A Face in the Dark” a macabre tale as the story does not directly involve any death, injury or violence. It is always safe to call it a horror story though.