Category Archives: Nightmares

Horror In Abasteron House

Abasteron House  (author to be revealed)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   March 26, 2013

Abasteron House is a dark tale. We begin with the shy light of a girl under a beachy summer sun. We end in the purple of the bedchamber, a women in her dream, darkness filled and winged.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. Most recognize this line from Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “A Dream Within a Dream.” Literary experts debate the poem’s full intent, but many can agree Poe is saying all is an illusion—all we see here and all we seem to be. Really?

Illusion versus reality. What a haunting dilemma.

Imagine you are Davida Kip Livingston, a young artist, just an ordinary girl, living with your grandfather in Abasteron House by the sea. Grandfather is a dear sweet man who loves poetry and mythology and prefers to sit for long hours locked inside his attic study. But what he sees versus what he seems to be is no dream within a dream.

Listen outside Grandfather’s attic door and hear the maniacal scratching; imagine a bitter claw ripping into your flesh. Is there a growling now? Is that the flap of a winged beast? Davida wants to know what’s living inside Grandfather’s attic. Do you?

Abasteron House is published at Every Day Fiction in the March issue. The story is flash fiction (1000 words). The author is not a dead author like the other 19th- and 20th-century horror writers featured on this blog site. The author is me, Paula Cappa, and Abasteron House is the prequel to my novel Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural, where Davida Kip Livingston lives through the horror in Abasteron House.

Read the short story here:  http://www.everydayfiction.com/abasteron-house-by-paula-cappa/

Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural on Amazon.com

I love to hear comments from my readers, so please dash off a word or two if you enjoyed Abasteron House.

Stop back next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror. Follow me here, on Twitter or Facebook.

HellHorror.com 

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Filed under dark fantasy, demons, fiction, ghost stories, Hauntings, horror, Nightmares, quiet horror, supernatural, tales of terror

The Wintry Gloom of a Haunted Mind

The Haunted Mind  by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, January 15, 2013

The NIghtmare HenryFuimages

Is there a state of mind, a supernatural zone, between the real and unreal? Examine the dream. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Haunted Mind, we enter a “midnight slumber.” If we were to dream of ghostly inhabitants, they would certainly be unreal yet we perceive these dream ghosts to be startlingly real, “wide awake in that realm of illusions,” as Hawthorne describes.

The Haunted Mind is probably one of the gloomiest stories Hawthorne’s ever written because he brings us into the subterranean psychodrama of sleep with pervasive phantoms and then blurs the wakefulness. A cunning device. And, to set his stage for deeper emotion, he uses of the second person you, “You think how the dead are lying in their cold shrouds and narrow coffins, through the drear winter of the grave ….”  This forces us to think we are feeling this dreadful experience with the narrator.

A most extraordinary story, the prose requires a slow read as each sentence, each chilling word holds a great deal of imagery, realism, and insight. We need to read it slowly as if every line is a delicious bite.

We are introduced to the single character alone in his bed on a winter night, frost patterns on the window glass, snow-covered roofs, streets frozen, perhaps like this dream we are in. Symbolisms abound. While the character slips in and out of dreaming and half-waking, Hawthorne gives us intense descriptions of funereal ghosts passing by—wrinkled, fiendish, evil. A train of regret and sorrow follows, disappointments, shame, despair. What a pervasive eerie mood. We begin to wonder… are we dreaming of the underworld? Are we awake? Are we in some psychological prison of the mind? I think it was Poe who compared sleep to death, calling sleep “little slices of death.”

Hawthorne holds us captive when his character believes he cannot be persuaded that the dead “… neither shrink nor shiver, when the snow is drifting over their little hillocks, and the bitter blast howls against the door of the tomb.” The deathly isolation in this story made me shiver, wishing for a warm fire to appear. And when the hearth’s embers do shed a bit of gleam, as the flames vanish, we are left to wonder what is real, the cold or the gloom.

“Yesterday has already vanished from the shadows of the past, to-morrow has not yet emerged from the future.” Where is this poor soul? Does he awake fully in his warm bed? Do we?

If we know Hawthorne at all, we know that the supernatural and self-discovery are common themes in his works. You must read The Haunted Mind (a quick read at only 1700 words) for an extraordinary experience into the wilderness of sleep between reality and dreams from a true master of literature.

Read it here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9209/9209-h/9209-h.htm

Stories about dreaming and alternate realities (the inner world) are my favorite, so The Haunted Mind ranks very high for me. That is probably why I wrote Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural. I’m no Hawthorne, not near his talents, but my novel delves into the dreaming mind, into the fears that often emerge when we are immobile and frozen in our sleep. You’ll find that Hawthorne brings his story to a disturbing destiny, not just merely waking up to start a new day after unsettling dreams. In Night Sea Journey, my character, Kip Livingston, journeys in her dreams to find a new destiny—a reality that defies the expected and enters the supernatural realm of angels and demons.

Which brings me to the obvious question: Why do we dream? What are these secret nighttime journeys with strange faces and imaginary events? Is there some supernatural power going on here? If you’ve had a dream that has affected you or your life in some way (A ghostly one, maybe? Or a dream with the spirit of a dead loved one?) please post.

And stop by next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror.

Artwork  is The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli, 1781.

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Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, ghost stories, haunted mind, Hauntings, Hawthorne, horror, mysteries, Nightmares, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Dreams in the Witch House … Lovecraft

Dreams in the Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft (1933)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,   November 30, 2012

hauntedhouseimages

PICTURE THIS:  A bleak winter’s night. One candle light flickers. You are in the gabled attic bedroom of a 235-year-old house in Arkham, Massachusetts, not far from Salem.  The sinister scratching of scurrying rats from the wormy walls keeps you awake. Above is a cobwebbed sealed loft. A triangular gulf of darkness hangs to your left from the odd angles of the garret roof: slanted walls, peaked ceiling like a witch’s hat,  red, sticky fluid is smeared on a wall above a chewed out rat hole.

Now really, could you fall asleep? Don’t we love to be afraid like this? Well, at least in the safe confines of fiction, we do.

Walter Gilman, the main character in  Dreams in the Witch House  by H.P. Lovecraft, knows his garret bedroom in the old Witch House is likely haunted. That’s why he moved there. Mathematics and quantum physics are his studies; magic, legend, and three-dimensional space much occupy his mind. But more than that is his attraction to the story of old Keziah Mason’s witch trial back in the 1600s and how she vanished from that very attic room by casting her spells on the walls’ lines and curves  into points that created a dark spinning passage into the beyond.  Poof!

A dark passage into a fourth- or even a multi-dimensional reality, you ask? Walter believes this is possible, and he wants to find it. What he doesn’t count on is old Keziah and her darting sharp-tooth furry rodent with a bearded face, and tiny sets of human hands, who sucks the witch’s blood and relays messages between Keziah and the devil.

I ask again, why do we like this grisly stuff? Aren’t you dying to know what happens to our poor Walter?

When the nightmares begin, Walter is certain it is due to his brain-fever. Well, of course! But soon these dreams go far beyond ordinary nightmares:  Walter dreams of unspeakably menacing darkness with wild shrieking and roaring confusion, a labyrinth of hideous bubbling and choking, which plunge him into muddy abysses.  Oddly enough, when he wakes he finds this disgusting mud inside his bed. The dream becomes reality?

In another dream he actually meets Kaziah. The old crone is bent back, her face long-nosed with a shriveled chin. She drags him away by his pajama sleeve into a “violent-litten” peaked space.

Does Walter succeed in his exploration of space and dimensions? What sphere of points does he enter? Does the old witch and her fanged furry horror win? There’s no spoiler going to happen here. You’ll have to read The Dream in the Witch House yourself.

Dreams and nightmares will continue to puzzle and haunt us.  But fiction about nightmares can create deliciously scary tales that we really can’t resist. For another classic short about the supernatural power of nightmares, try The Leather Funnel by Arthur Conan Doyle. You won’t be disappointed in this chilling adventure.

Below is a link to The Dream in the Witch House.  And please take a look at my page of published short story links on another blog page; none are about nightmares. But my novel, Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural, certainly is.

The Dreams in the Witch House by Lovecraft: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/dwh.asp

The Leather Funnel by A.C. Doyle: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700561h.html#s2

Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural by Paula Cappa

http://www.amazon.com/Night-Journey-Tale-Supernatural-ebook/dp/B009ONWSC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350058974&sr=1-1&keywords=Night+Sea+Journey+paula+cappa

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Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, Ghosts, horror, mysteries, Nightmares, occult, short stories, supernatural

The Supernatural Powers in Dreams: Psychic Reality

Greetings:

Have you ever had a ghostly cold dream? A nightmare with the chill of death in it? Carl Jung (20th century Swiss psychiatrist) says a dream speaks for itself.  Are nightmares telling us something important? Jung believed there is a psychic reality to dreams. He even went so far as to say they carry a supra-luminous level of frequency that exceeds the speed of light. That in itself is frightening.

As dreamers pass into this passage of sleep, they might feel like a heavy dark spot spreading out. This is akin to the fear of losing consciousness. And this fear is so great that—rather than become unconscious—we dream.  We create images and action, stories, to maintain our identity. These are the thoughts of Dr. Laz Merlyn, psychiatrist, in Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural. A novel about nightmares, dreaming, and a supra-luminous frequency.

Laz Merlyn is a Jungian therapist. He sees a dream as a dance of alternate energy, an event that is actually a psychic reality taking action in our lives.

Let’s say you dream of a bird. A phoenix, lush with grand feathers and with wings pushing out. Merlyn will tell you that a phoenix, in Jungian theories, symbolizes the human spleen that protects against infection and cleanses the blood. Maybe in normal life, some bacteria or person or event is poised to attack you in some way. Merlyn will tell you that when you wake up, this phoenix will linger over your life. The psychic energy of the phoenix is present, day upon day, redirecting you, watching over. Are you becoming more guarded as the days pass? Suspicious? Cautious? For some people, this frequency goes unnoticed. For others who are alert to it, they are deeply affected.

But, what if you dream of a raging firehawk? A shadowy winged creature with a flaming chest, shedding ash, who captures you in your sleep and drags you into the bottom of an icy sea. This nightmare comes again and again and each night, you go deeper beneath the choking waves as the firehawk grows more fierce. What would Dr. Laz Merlyn say about that?

Merlyn isn’t the cliché handsome type. He has a rather hard face but with kind eyes. His patients find his voice to be tender, like a stream of blue smoke streaming through the air. He might tell you “The flow of psychic dream energy has the power to move inward and outward. In this dream of the firehawk, there is a negative psychic frequency. Likely caused by intense night terrors. What are you afraid of?”

Kip Livingston, an artist who lives alone on Horn Island in a house named Abasteron, dreams of this firehawk. She paints her dreams, bringing them into the physical world for all to see. With Merlyn, Kip explores her fears and the raging firehawk in the opening chapters of Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural.

But the exploration takes a turn, as the firehawk reveals it doesn’t just live in Kip’s dreams.

On Amazon.com,  LOOK INSIDE to read the opening of Night Sea Journey.  Meet Kip Livingston and experience her dreaming firehawk inside Abasteron House on Horn Island.  Price: $2.99. Ebook.

http://www.amazon.com/Night-Journey-Tale-Supernatural-ebook/dp/B009ONWSC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350058974&sr=1-1&keywords=Night+Sea+Journey+paula+cappa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, Ghosts, horror, mysteries, Nightmares, novels, paranormal, Psychic energy, soft horror, supernatural, suspense