Monthly Archives: May 2015

Dead Howls of the Vourdalak

The Family of Vourdalak   by Aleksei Tolstoy ( published 1884)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 19, 2015

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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.”

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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

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“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.

 

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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

 

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 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.

 

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