A Witch is a Witch

The Witch  by Anton Chekhov (1918)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   March 3, 2015

images

The lovely and young Raissa, adorned with hair plaits that touch the floor, is a witch. Or maybe not. Her husband Savely is a red-haired, grouchy and repulsive  older man who believes his wife is a witch and blames her for the wicked snowstorm and cold they must endure in their little house in the countryside.

Our story opens in true Chekhovian style with descriptive atmospherics.

 

imgres“A plaintive lament sobbed at the window, on the roof, or in the stove. It sounded not like a call for help, but like a cry of misery, a consciousness that it was too late, that there was no salvation.”

A postman and his partner become lost in the storm and knock at their cabin door. Raissa opens the door to these strangers. And the postman becomes enchanted, or should I say bewitched, by Raissa’s lovely neck.

 

 

741740

Watch for the fascinating dark imagery that is the star of this story. Sexual and spiritual desires are themes in this fiction by the long acclaimed master of the short story, Anton Chekhov. He is famous for his anti-climactic endings that leave a reader to ponder Chekhov’s messages. And his prose! We can still marvel today at his talents.  Eudora Welty  said “Reading Chekhov was just like the angels singing to me.” For my writer followers here, in case you’ve not read Chekhov’s Six Principles of a Good Story, here they are. My favorite is #6. Chekhov certainly fulfilled that one.

  1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature
  2. Total objectivity
  3. Truthful descriptions of persons and objects
  4. Extreme brevity
  5. Audacity and originality: flee the stereotype
  6. Compassion

 

150px-Anton_Chekhov_and_Olga_Knipper,_1901Chekhov’s death has been a well-known story in literary history. Raymond Carver fictionalized it in his short story Errand (read it here). If you’re a Chekhov fan, you must read Errand. Chekhov’s wife Olga  tells it like this.  “Anton sat up unusually straight and said loudly and clearly (although he knew almost no German): Ich sterbe (“I’m dying”). The doctor calmed him, took a syringe, gave him an injection of camphor, and ordered champagne. Anton took a full glass, examined it, smiled at me and said: “It’s a long time since I drank champagne.” He drained it and lay quietly on his left side, and I just had time to run to him and lean across the bed and call to him, but he had stopped breathing and was sleeping peacefully as a child.” [From Olga Knipper, Memoir, in Benedetti, Dear Writer, Dear Actress, 284]

 

anton-chekhov-by-serov-1903

 

Read The Witch at the Classic Reader http://www.classicreader.com/book/394/1/

Unfortunately I could not find an audio of this story but there are many others here at Chekhov Audio.

[Art of nude witch is by Albert Joseph Penot, “Sabbat,” 1910]

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

 Bibliophilopolis

Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

2 Comments

Filed under Anton Chekhov, fiction, horror, horror blogs, literature, psychological horror, short stories, suspense, tales of terror, witches

The Chill Hand of Death

The Lifted Veil   by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)  (1859)

Classic Tales of Terror From Women In Horror

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  February 24, 2015  WIHM

everett-small

Author George Eliot will not be appearing on anybody’s Women In Horror Month posts. Most horror and supernatural readers don’t read her work. But did you know that Eliot wrote one story that qualifies as supernatural? I’m featuring her this month because I look for authors who reach beyond their  fictional category and dabble in supernatural. The Lifted Veil  is nothing like Eliot’s traditional style of portraying provincial life in her popular novel and literary masterpiece Middlemarch. Henry James reviewed The Lifted Veil as “woefully somber.” Eliot herself described it as a “dismal story.”

george-eliot-avatar-2097-147x175

 

george1-232x300

 

This Gothic tale, a dash more science fiction than horror, is about extrasensory perception, fate, telepathy, reviving the dead, and the unmasking of illusions. How frightening is it to foresee your own murder on a specific date: September 20 at 10 pm? Our narrator Latimer is a rather overwrought young man who has a vision of his own death; he sees his last moments as he gasps, his heart contracting. Fear, alienation, guilt, doubt, and false hope all play into this plot. And it’s not without a vaulting love story as Latimer falls for the lovely Bertha, a “slim willowy figure with luxuriant blonde hair,” but she possesses far more than just beauty. Evil is present.

357px-Smedley_maid_illustration_1906

//

488px-Bartolomeo_Veneto_001

 

 

Watch how cleverly Eliot uses a portrait of the infamous Lucrezia Borgia as an omen to warn Latimer of his opponent. Poetic passion at its finest.

“In the same instant a strange intoxicating numbness passed over me, like the continuance or climax of the sensation I was still feeling from the gaze of Lucrezia Borgia.”

 

 

 

I especially like how Eliot uses supernatural devices to illustrate the cynicism of human nature. She hits on the misestimates we all make during the dark places in relationships and the unknown presences that direct and redirect our lives.

What veils are we willing or unwilling to lift to see the harsh reality?

 

imgres

 

Read the short story (not quite the length of a novella)

at Gutenberg.org

 

Listen to the audio version of The Lifted Veil at Librivox.org

 

 

 

 

If you are a Goodreads member, check out this review of The Lifted Veil  by Werner Lind:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/70703171

 

promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

Leave a comment

Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

NIGHT SEA JOURNEY by PAULA CAPPA – BOOK REVIEW

Paula Cappa:

Latest Book Review, 5 -stars, from Amies Book Reviews:
Night Sea Journey

Originally posted on Amie's Book Review Blog:

cappanightseajourneysmallimage

NIGHT SEA JOURNEY: A Tale of the Supernatural
By: Paula Cappa

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kip Livingston is an artist living in an isolated cottage on Horn Island. Every night she experiences vivid nightmares. But her nightmares are much more extreme than other people’s. In fact, it seems that her nightmares follow her into real life and she has no idea how to make them stop.

Father Garcia is a Street Preacher in Chicago who is anything but traditional and whose goal is to help the inner city’s youth to escape the cycle of drugs and violence. Father Garcia is not a traditional Catholic priest. He covertly runs a needle exchange for addicts. He preaches in parks and on the street. And he is secretly married and the father of an infant son. During the course of…

View original 736 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction

Devils Club

The Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly  by Rosa Mulholland (1891)

Classic Tales From Women in Horror , WIHM

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 17, 2015

McKimAndersonlarge

We are in the midst of a wild thunderstorm in the village of Hurly Burly. July roses hang their blossoms under the torrents. A great house sits a mile from the local shops. In the vast drawing room, Mistress and Master Hurly rest with a hot tea urn and muffins when a visitor arrives—and on such a dreadful night. Lisa, a small lovely creature claims she’s arrived to play music for them on their beautiful organ. The Hurlys’ are perplexed. Lisa tells them that their son has sent her.

“Our son—“ began Mistress Hurly, but her mouth twitched, her voice broke, and she looked piteously towards her husband.

 “Our son,” says Master Hurly, making an effort to conquer the quavering in his voice, “our son is long dead.”

 

imagesSo begins this haunted tale of supernatural music and evil power of the Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly. I am especially interested in supernatural music and working on a novel of how music can possess  and exhibit evil powers. E.T.A. Hoffman believed that music could lead into the “dark abysses of the soul.” What do you think? Have you ever had a mysterious experience while listening to music?

Try this haunted organ music at YouTube: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J.S. Bach

 

 

 

imgresWIHM author Rosa Mulholland is an Irish poet and novelist (1841-1921). The Princess Grace Library lists over fifty novels, novellas, and short stories of this forgotten author. So many of her stories are out of print now, it’s no wonder. She was highly favored by Charles Dickens who encouraged her to write. Dickens, in fact, published a good deal of Mulholland’s stories in his All the Year Round in the 1860s. Some of her best known titles were The Wild Birds of Killeevy, Banshee Castle, Mystery of Hall-In-The-Wood, The Wicked Woods of Toobereevil, Spirit and Dust (poems).

 

 

mulholland2

 

You can read the Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly at SearchEngine.org.UK/ebooks/PDF.

Listen to the audio version on YouTube. Nicely done!

I expect you are more likely to find Mulholland’s stories in libraries than on Amazon, although there are a few available here.

ntlg

[Sketch above by Sam McKim of Ken Anderson’s original sketch (Shipley-Lydecker House, Baltimore, Maryland]

 promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/

 Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth

 ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GOTHIC POETRY? CHECK THIS OUT ON GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2198596-tale-of-terror-a-study-of-the-gothic-romance-by-edith-birkhead

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

4 Comments

Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, horror, horror blogs, Reading Fiction, short stories, tales of terror, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

Valentine’s Day Ghostly Romance, Short Story

99 cents!!! This weekend only on Amazon, KINDLE. “Beyond Castle Frankenstein” for Valentine’s Day.  A Ghostly Romance.
Fact: Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, kept her husband’s calcified heart in a silk handkerchief for years after he died. What a romance she had with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Do you know who removed P.B. Shelley’s heart from the cremation fires because the organ refused to burn? Read the fictionalized short story of the author and the poet, a perfect Valentine’s Day romance with a ghostly twist.

fournier

 

[Image is “The Funeral” by Louis Edward Fournier, 1889, a rendering of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s cremation.]

“Beyond Castle Frankenstein” is my short story published in JOURNALS OF HORROR, FOUND FICTION ANTHOLOGY, PUBLISHED BY PLEASANT STORM ENTERTAINMENT, EDITOR TERRY M. WEST.

images

Percy_Bysshe_Shelley_by_Alfred_Clint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the anthology on Amazon.com for 99 cents this Valentine’s weekend only.

Lots of horror stories for your weekend reading.

 

JOURNALShorror51z6n2fVkHL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

 

 

MaryShelleyPercyhqdefault

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural

Beyond Victorian Vampirism

Good Lady Ducayne   by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1896)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    February 9, 2015    Classic Tales from Women In Horror 

imgres

This is the second week of celebrating Women in Horror Month. Are you ready to explore the short stories of Mary Elizabeth Braddon?

 

They were dreamers—and they dreamt themselves into the cemetery.

Young and healthy Bella Rolleston takes a job as a companion with Old Lady Ducayne. Bella quickly learns that Ducayne’s previous two companions became ill and died while caring for her. Mosquito bites? Or something more sinister? When Bella begins to show the same symptoms, dreams of whirring of wheels, sinking into an abyss, and struggling to regain consciousness, she is too innocent to see the truth of her employer and the local physician Dr. Parravicini.

6a00d8341c464853ef01901c067109970b

What is curious in this story is how the author Mary Elizabeth Braddon uses science and medicine instead of the supernatural to build a chilling story of suspense. Aging and vanity vs. youth and beauty are the hallmarks of this story not to mention poverty vs. money. The subtext runs a lovely quiet horror tone that is smoothly written by a master writer.

300px-Mary_Elizabeth_Maxwell_(née_Braddon)_by_William_Powell_Frith

Mary-Elizabeth-Braddon-horse-228x300Mary Elizabeth Braddon, born in London in 1835, wrote some ninety books, short stories, essays, and plays and was revered for her ‘sensation novels.’ She was rated alongside Wilkie Collins and admired by Charles Dickens and Henry James. Lady Audley’s Secret was her most popular novel. She introduced one of the first female detectives Eleanor Vane in Eleanor’s Victory (1863) and then again in 1864 created sleuth Margaret Wilmot in Henry Dunbar. At Chrighton Abbey, Dead Love Has Chains, and The Doctor’s Wife are worthy of rediscovery.

 

 

theatre-208x300

 

You can read Good Lady Ducayne online at Gutenberg.net.au. Scroll down to the title.

Listen to audio versions of Braddon’s short stories (Sorry, Lady Ducayne is not among them but other short stories here are quite good) at Librivox.org Library.

 

I can highly recommend Braddon’s At Chrighton Abbey. This is Downton Abbey with a ghost. Sarah Chrighton returns to her homestead Chrighton Abbey, to the wintery “fairy forests and snow wreathed trees.” The abbey  is a stately grey stone, ivy- and moss-covered estate. Carriage rides, drawing room firesides,  hunts and hounds, a servant’s ball, and of course the Butler Truefold and Housekeeper  Mrs. Marjurum make this short story a snuggle-up read. Not to mention the family curse coupled with shadowy presences that only Sarah can see. I found this story to be one of Braddon’s most gracefully written ghost stories ever. Read it here at Gutenberg.net.au.

 

 

promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

 

http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/

 Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas ghost stories, fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, quiet horror, short stories, soft horror, supernatural, tales of terror, vampires, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

The Feet of the Dead

Bewitched  by Edith Wharton (1926)

 Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 3, 2015   Classic Tales from Women In Horror

 

It’s February, Women in Horror Month. This is the time to recognize your favorite women horror writers, buy their books, read their stories, comment, and give your support. As a horror reader and author myself, especially ghost stories, I so enjoy sharing my favorite women authors in our history with you this month.

 

6165890_1071303709Today we are recognizing Edith Wharton. She wrote 38 novels, some 50 short stories, and wrote her first novel at age 11. Did you know that Wharton could not sleep in a room with a book containing a ghost story? She was that haunted. I think we can say that a good deal of her ghost stories evolved from a true and immediate sense of the supernatural. She is one of our most prestigious Women of Horror.

 

Bewitched is a story that has everything for a winter’s bleak reading experience. We are on the dark side of New England. A stinging wind with snow is falling thickly upon the old and isolated Rutledge house in Starkfield, an abandoned stretch of land between North Ashmore and Cold Corners.

Prudence Rutledge is dressed in black calico and a grey woolen shawl. She tells her three visitors at the door …

“There’s a spell been cast over Mr. Rutledge.”

The Deacon looked up sharply, an incredulous smile pinching his thin lips. “A spell?”

“That’s what I said: he’s bewitched.”

Mrs. Rutledge is accusing her husband Saul of adultery with the dead woman Ora Brand.

This is more than just any old haunting. We’ve got adultery and necrophilia and insanity going on. And more.

images-1

 

This Pulitzer-prize winning (The Age of Innocence) author is known for her patterns of imagery and psychological insights. What is so amazing about Wharton’s writing is that you can read her stories again and again and still find them deliciously haunting. You can read more about her ghostly history at The Mount, her home in Lennox, Massachusetts, where ghosts are said to still haunt her property: http://www.edithwharton.org/programs-and-events/ghosts/

 

 

index

 

Read Bewitched at Ebook.Adelaide.edu

 

wharton

 

I couldn’t find an audio version of Bewitched but did find Tales of Men and Ghosts, which includes several of Wharton’s ghost stories. I can personally recommend “The Eyes” and “Afterward.”

Listen to the audio version of Bewitched at Librivox.org

 

 

 

 

promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

For more about Women in Horror Month, visit their web site

http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/

 

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth

TalesOfTerrorWomanHorror

 

 

Stop by the Horror Society this month to see their tribute to Women In Horror

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

7 Comments

Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror