Two friends are midway on a canoe trip down the Danube River. Throughout the story Blackwood personifies the surrounding environment—river, sun, wind—and imbues them with a powerful and ultimately threatening character. Most ominous are the masses of dense, desultory, menacing willows, which "moved of their own will as though alive, and they touched, by some incalculable method, my own keen sense of the horrible."
"The Willows" is one of Algernon Blackwood's best known short stories. American horror author H.P. Lovecraft considered it to be the finest supernatural tale in English literature.[1] "The Willows" is an example of early modern horror and is connected within the literary tradition of weird fiction.