“The Haunted and the Haunters” (1859)
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (writer).
Read in 2017.
Contemporary primary-world fantasy, interesting solely for its clumsy attempt to infuse a traditional, explicitly vague and self-inconsistent ghost story with a purportedly sceptical inquiry into the same, before Lytton rushes off into obsessive fantasy worldbuilding to explain it all. The ultimate answers, about a magician having lived for at least three centuries and apparently doomed to die near the north pole in the distant future, are boring and have no explanatory value. As was customary at the time, the writer pretends to be protecting real identities by abbreviating almost all the names, including the name of the historical, supposedly very famous magician, which is ridiculous.
References here: “The Gateway of the Monster” (1910).