Dead Howls of the Vourdalak

The Family of Vourdalak   by Aleksei Tolstoy ( published 1884)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 19, 2015

 vampire

Let’s go to the castle of the Dowager Princess of Schwarzenberg in Hitzing, in the dark and silent woods of Vienna. We’ve dined on a rich meal with tasty wine; the kindly Princess has seated us around a hot fire; we are all in the mood for thrilling story telling.

The Marquis de Urfe, a womanizing French diplomat speaks:

“As for me, gentlemen, I have had but a single adventure … so strange, so horrible, and yes, true, that it will strike terror in even the most incredulous among you.” He takes a pinch of sniff and begins to recount his adventure.

“I should explain to you, mesdames, that vourdalaks, as the Slavic people call vampires, are believed in those countries to be dead bodies that come out of their graves to suck the blood of the living. Their habits are similar to those of all vampires, from any country, but they have one characteristic that makes them even more dreadful. The vourdalaks, mesdames, prefer to suck the blood of their closest relatives and dearest friends who, once dead, become vampires in turn. … The commissioners tell of exhuming bodies engorged with blood, which they stake in the heart and then burn in the village squares. The magistrates who were present at these executions attest — with oaths and signed statements — that they heard the dead howl at the moment that the stake was plunged into their heart.”

karloff bava looking back

The Marquis recounts his travel to a Serbian village where he finds lodging at the home of a man named Dorde and his wife and children. The Marquis learns that Dorde is awaiting the return of his father Gorcha who has gone off hunting. Gorcha left a warning to his son Dorde that if he does not return in ten days, do not let him into the house as he will have turned into a vourdalak. Meantime the Marquis falls in love with Sdenka, the lovely young  sister of Dorde. When Gorcha does return, the story takes a wicked turn into delicious encounters with the vourdalaks.

This short story was adapted for a film in 1963 titled The Black Sabbath that included three short stories: The Telephone (sexy ghost story about a prostitute, Rosie), The Drop of Water (by Chekhov, classic dark and shadowy ghost story), and Wurdalak (vampires) starring Boris Karloff as Gorcha. I watched the film. Vintage horror at its best. Loved it.

cvt_La-famille-du-Vourdalak--Suivi-de-La-Dame-pale-et_9976vourdalak

 

//

80px-A.K.Tolstoy_by_Repin Alexei Tolstoy (1817-1875)  was a poet, playwright and novelist, second cousin to Leo Tolstoy. His historical drama trilogy The Death of Ivan the Terrible , Tsar Fiodor Iannovich, Tsar Boris are considered to be a part of the classic Russian literature of the 19th century. His first work of fiction was in 1841, The Vampire.

 

 

Read the Family of Vourdalak at AmericanLiterature.com

 

Listen to the audio at Weirdtales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOcjg6iPRRM

 

Watch the film The Black Sabbath (Wurdalak with Boris Karloff on YouTube at DailyMotion.com).

Comparison_between_American_and_Italian_version_of_Black_Sabbath

//

Photo Credit: First image above is by Edvard Munch, The Vampire, 1893.

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 Anton Chekhov, fiction, horror, horror blogs, occult, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, vampires

Night Sea Journey Earns Eric Hoffer Book Awards

To All My Readers,

The Eric Hoffer Book Awards has named Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural as a Finalist in their Grand Prize Competition, and, placed as a winner in Commercial Fiction. I am so pleased and honored to be recognized by such a prestigious award program and to be among some of the newest and leading writers of our time.

The award program is one of the largest international awards for academic, small, and independent presses and  honors free-thinking  writers and independent books of exceptional merit.

Eric Hoffer was an American philosopher, author of ten books (The True Believer) and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  His writings are often compared to  Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Paine. His unpublished notebooks are part of the Hoover Institution Archives to be available for scholarly study.

You can find more award information and reviews of the winners’ books in

The U.S. Review of Books: http://www.theusreview.com/USRhoffer.html

Here is their review of Night Sea Journey

Night Sea Journey, Paula Cappa, Crispin Books of Chickhollow Books – This romantic fantasy is propelled by gorgeous language and imagery. In the gothic world of this novel, dreams bleed into reality, as protagonists Kip Livingston, a painter, and Raymond Kera and Father Garcia, two Roman Catholic priests are drawn into a clash between the angels and demons of Hebrew mythology. Each of these characters has visions—either nightmarish or heavenly—which seem to graft themselves into their waking lives. The grime of inner city Chicago, the tranquility of the Rhode Island coastline, and the depths of a phantasmagoric ocean are the stages for this conflict, which is as much about finding inner forgiveness as it is about finding outward peace.

 

Eric-Hoffer-Finalist-SealEric-Hoffer-Award-Seal

cappanightseajourneysmallimage

 

 

I owe a great deal of thanks to  my readers  here who have commented and emailed me not only about my weekly blog on supernatural fiction but also my novels and short stories. Cheers to you, my loyal readers! And to my family, my husband Ron (the first believer in my fiction since college days) whose patience deserves medals, my daughter Gina and son-in-law Todd who have been valuable eager supporters of all my needs, and my son JP a faithful reader who shares his sparkling enthusiasm.

 

EricHofferimages

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction, Night Sea Journey, Reading Fiction

I Will Haunt You When I Die

The Village Ghosts  by William Butler Yeats (1889)

 Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 12, 2015

Balestrino-Italy

“Here are ghosts.” Come into the in-between world: demons, fairies, and Irish ghosts. Yeats writes this as an essay but it reads like fiction. A  gloomy mix of myth and literature. We are in Leinster, an ancient village with crooked lanes, old abbeys and “where he who watches night after night may see a certain rare moth fluttering along the edge of the tide, just at the end of evening or the beginning of dawn.”  That’s Yeats–he likes to bring his readers to that mysterious edge.  In this village are headless ones near the churchyard, water, and quays; fairies near Hospital Lane; spirits in the bogeen (bog), a dead sea captain hides in the plaster of a cottage wall.

ghost-club-uk

Yeats, one of our most famous romantic poets, was a member of The Ghost Club (1911) and was influenced by mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg.

yeats

 

“The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.”

 

Read The Village Ghosts at ReadBookOnline.net.

 

Listen to the audio on YourTube.

 

 

 

For more supernatural stories by Yeats you might like Mythologies with over twenty-five stories.  Available at your local library or at Amazon.com.

 

51S8Qr6Pm6L

Blog Note: Do you like to listen to music while reading? I’m big on  piano music while I read fiction . Because I’ve been writing another supernatural mystery novel about the supernatural power of music, I’ve been listening to eerie music. While reading The Village Ghosts I listened to Beethoven’s “Ghosts” Piano Trio Op. 70 in D Major No. 1 (composed in 1808), a piece that Beethoven wrote to illicit ghostly images. The  first movement is not terribly gloomy but there are deeper dimensions. You can listen to Beethoven’s “Ghosts” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGbQ41Zqpy4

 

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 fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, short stories, supernatural

All You Zombies

All You Zombies  by Robert Heinlein (1958)

Tuesday’s Tale of  Terror    May 5, 2015

51xSs2rHBRL._SS500_

Times zones,  a hermaphrodite, a barkeep that is a temporal agent for the “bureau,” and a time machine. This sci-fi short story by Robert Heinlein is a mesmerizing one. The title “zombies” didn’t mean the same thing in 1958 that it does these days.  We are at Pop’s Place in 1970 and in walks  a man who identifies himself as a magazine writer of true confessions by the name of “unmarried mother.”  The barkeep is fascinated, but he clearly knows more than he’s willing to reveal about “unmarried mother.”

time-travel2

Read this story once and you’ll have lots of questions. Read this story twice and you find it has layered mysteries.  The action loops (that is not to say it’s loopy although I  wanted to call it that during the second reading). A third reading,  and yeah some things began to fall into place. I am not an avid sci-fi reader but this one was amazing.

Here’s a line that really got me:  “The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever. I know where I came from – but where did all you zombies come from?

Try watching the film Predesination with Ethan Hawke.

13196167

imgres

 

 

Robert Heinlein is said to be one of the best fiction writers of all time. He was awarded the first SFWA Grand Master Nebula Award in 1975.

 

 

 

Read the short story at Online PDF Books. Go to “Click Here” to access story:

http://onlinepdfbooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/all-you-zombies-by-robert-heinlein.html

 

images

 

 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 fiction, horror, horror blogs, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Ghostly and Mournful Mists

The Voice in the Night  by William Hope Hodgson (1907)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    April 28, 2015

//
“It was a dark, starless night. We were becalmed in the Northern Pacific.”

 Ghost-ship

So opens this sea adventure into a lurking and mysterious world. We have two sailors in a schooner in the Pacific. It’s dark and misty and they are unsure of their position. A singular voice—inhuman but throaty—comes across the sea. Poor soul, is he shipwrecked and starving? That may be true and much more as unknown forces descend and this nautical yarn unravels. What greater horror is there than to be stranded in the dark ocean with weird powers lurking? This atmospheric tale was adapted into a 1963 film (The Attack of the Mushroom People) and was an episode in the TV series Suspicion in 1958. The story originally appeared in The Blue Book Magazine in 1907.

5182474854_a0a03b189b

 

//

images

 

 

William  Hope Hodgson is considered to be the famous but forgotten master of cosmic horror.  He is well known for his occult detective Thomas Carnacki in the novel The Whistling Room, and for numerous stories of weird, fantastic, and science fiction. H.P. Lovecraft said that Hodgson “was second only to Algernon Blackwood in his serious treatment of unreality.”

Are you a fan of the unreality?blue_book_1907-11-redux

 

 

 

Read the full text at Gaslight.mtroyal.ca

 

 

Listen to the audio at Pseudopod.org.

 

4 Comments

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

Contagion of Evil in the Air

A Short Trip Home  by F. Scott Fitzgerald  (1927)

 

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    April 21, 2015

images

We are in Fitzgerald’s radiant world of a Cotillion Club dance, raccoon coats and high-buttoned shoes, chauffeurs, trains, and billiard palours. So what’s a ghost story doing here? And a story with a slash of glamour instead of the dark and dreary? A Short Trip Home is not one of Fitzgerald’s most notable short stories like The Ice Palace or Benjamin Button. Why would Fitzgerald want to write a ghost story? I’ll let you stab a guess after you read this odd but entertaining adventure.

gatsby-car

Eddie is our narrator, a college sophomore, home on Christmas break. He is falling for the romantic Ellen Baker, described as having a “bewitchment.” When a thin-faced man in a derby hat appears, poor Ellen becomes dazed by him. Maybe it’s his “air of being scarred” or his sinister but soundless huffy laugh. Whatever, Eddie is determined to save the mesmerized Ellen from this stranger and decides to find out exactly who the man is.Shadow_Ghosts_hat_man_221456784 250x200

 

Some critics speculate that Fitzgerald was trying to imitate Poe with this first person narrative. I found the story to be more Hitchcockian. What do you think?

2940015856224_p0_v1_s260x420

 

 

Read A Short Trip Home at Gutenberg.net.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

In the Murky Twilight

Smoke Ghost  by Fritz Leiber (1941)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 14, 2015

 

smokeghosts168x300

Robert Aickman (supernatural fiction author) said that a successful ghost story must open a door where no one else had seen a door to exist, and then at the end of the story, leave that door open.

In Smoke Ghost by Leiber, Catesby Wran is an advertising executive sitting in his office and chatting about ghosts with his secretary Miss Millick. Not a ghost from books, Mr. Wran explains, “the kind that would haunt coal-yards and slip around at night through deserted office buildings like this one. A real ghost.”

Miss Millick knows there’s no such thing as a ghost and “science and psychiatry all go to prove it.” Who wouldn’t agree with that? On his way home, Mr. Wran is riding the elevated train past rooftops and smoky brick buildings. He sees an abandoned shapeless black sack on the rooftop… and a face in the murky twilight.

imgres

Do you think there is a supernatural edge between the alienated  feelings we have and the unexplained sources of ghosts? And perhaps that door that remains open.


FLeiber

 

 

Fritz Lieber’s fiction was highly influenced by Lovecraft and Carl Jung. He was a poet, playwright, and actor. He has written novels, novellas, and over 100 short stories.

ladyofdarknessimages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the short story Smoke Ghost at UNZ.org .

 

images

 

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.

2 Comments

Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, short stories, supernatural