Category Archives: weird tales

“Have You Found the Yellow Sign?

The Yellow Sign  by Robert Chambers

(The King In Yellow Collection, 1895 first published by F. Tennyson Neely.)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 11, 2015

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[The King in Yellow (known for its legendary kingdom of Carcosa, an ancient, cursed city beyond time on the shores of Lake Hali), was a forbidden play, which was said to induce despair, strange visions, and madness in those who read it.]

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Stories have great effects on our minds, our dreams, perhaps even our very lives. Do symbols  have real power or are they just harmless images?

In The Yellow Sign, artist Scott spies a figure in the churchyard below his studio window.

At the same moment he raised his head and looked at me. Instantly I thought of a coffin-worm. Whatever it was about the man that repelled me I did not know, but the impression of a plump white grave-worm was so intense and nauseating that I must have shown it in my expression, for he turned his puffy face away with a movement which made me think of a disturbed grub in a chestnut.”

His model, Tessie, sees the churchyard figure too. She recounts a dream she had about a hearse with a driver who looks much like the figure in the churchyard. Finding affection for Scott, Tessie gives him an amulet, the “yellow sign.” Did she know this symbol was said to represent disease and decay or worse, insanity?

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Did Tessie  know that when she found a book on Scott’s shelf, The King in Yellow and read it, that she might be in danger?

“Song of my soul, my voice is dead;

Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed

Shall dry and die in

Lost Carcosa.”

 

 

 

This is probably one of the most disturbing stories yet on this blog. H.P. Lovecraft read this book in 1927 and used the motif in his Whisperers in the Dark story (Cthulhu Mythos). Countless authors (Raymond Chandler, Stephen King, Robert Heinlein to name a few) have been inspired by Chamber’s King in Yellow stories. And the highly successful True Detective HBO series ( 2014 ) had several references to The King in Yellow and Carcosa.

You can read The Yellow Sign here at EastOfTheWeb.com.

 

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The King in Yellow is Robert Chamber’s masterpiece and most famous story.  He wrote over 70 novels and other collections of short stories.  Chambers took the name Carcosa from Ambrose Bierce’s story An Inhabitant of Carcosa (originally published in 1886).  Some say the term “Carcosa” is a magically charmed name.

 

 

 

 

 

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Listen to the audio of Bierce’s An Inhabitant of  Carcosa

at Librivox audio at YouTube.com.

Or read it at South San Francisco Library at  SSF.net

 

 

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For those who wish to read short stories in The King in Yellow, go to Gutenberg.org .

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

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

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Enoch says, “Get the Hatchet!”

Enoch by Robert Bloch  (1946)

Tuesday Tale of Terror  June 16, 2015

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 Illustration by Dan Foley at Spizwackle blogspot.

 

This is a nightmare tale, little bit of black humor, and a lot of creepy business. Seth is a young man with a serious problem. A creature lives on top of his head. No one can see this creature. No one can hear him. No one can catch him. His name is Enoch. And while Enoch spends a lot of time sleeping on Seth’s head, during Enoch’s wake time he orders Seth to kill people. “Get the hatchet!”  Hmmmm, yes, this story is not only weird, but demonstrates a macabre justice with a hefty slice of gluttony.

 

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Read the short story  Enoch with illustrations in Weird Magazine at UNZ.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roberts Bloch was part of the Lovecraft circle and was heavily influence by him. Today most of us know Robert Bloch from  his novel Psycho, which inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous horror film of the same name.

 

Read Psycho online at English-e-books.net  (Download on the yellow box “Read Online Now.”)

 

 

Listen to another of Robert Bloch’s short stories, audio (30 minutes) of The Hell-bound Train, published in 1958 and won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in Fantasy:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GybC7BBrg2s

Other novels by Robert Bloch:

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Darkness of Solitude on Halloween: Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s Necromantic Literature

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   October 28, 2014

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Halloween is this week. What if you didn’t go trick-or-treating or didn’t answer your doorbell to the playful ghosts and witches? What if you stayed locked in your home, alone, and entertained the darkness on this oh-so-hallowed night. What consciousness of the dead would conspire to make your acquaintance? How brave are you?

Edgar Allan Poe knew the power of being alone. He knew the power of the imagination. He knew the power of death. His characters were masters at conjuring up palpable and mysterious presences. A Tale of the Ragged Mountains is a less popular short story from the Poe collection that I’m betting many here haven’t read. This story is about Augustus Bedloe who travels alone a mountain in Charlottesville in a thick and peculiar mist.

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“Busied in this, I walked on for several hours, during which the mist deepened around me to so great an extent that at length I was reduced to an absolute groping of the way. And now an indescribable uneasiness possessed me–a species of nervous hesitation and tremor. I feared to tread, lest I should be precipitated into some abyss. I remembered, too, strange stories told about these Ragged Hills, and of the uncouth and fierce races of men who tenanted their groves and caverns. A thousand vague fancies oppressed and disconcerted me–fancies the more distressing because vague. Very suddenly my attention was arrested by the loud beating of a drum.”

What happens to Bedloe alone on this mountain? This is a story of mesmerism, disembodiment and reembodiment, bizarre encounters, and death. Perfect for a Halloween read because there is no Halloween without the macabre adventures of Poe.

A Tale of the Ragged Mountains by Edgar Allan Poe (1844)

Read this short story at Classic Literature About.com

In keeping with this theme of solitude, Poe also wrote the following poem Alone, which I’ve posted here. Quite revealing, this poem expresses what it is to love alone and what it might bring.

Alone

images-1From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

[Above art credit:  Ashwini Shrivastava]

 

images-1Lastly, I want to give you Poe’s final story, just before his sudden death. Poe began a manuscript titled The Light-House. Unfinished and unpublished, this is the story of a man with a passion for solitude, who goes to live at the edge of the sea in a lighthouse. Poe wrote only four paragraphs.

“My spirits are beginning to revive already, at the mere thought of being — for once in my life at least — thoroughly alone …”

Read The Light-House at E.A. Poe.org.

 

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Poe’s biographies tell of his great misery and tragedies as well as loneliness. We think of solitude and loneliness as walls that shut out the world. For Poe, the aloneness may have acted as a bridge to his necromantic literature. A master of dark fiction, Poe died, October 7, 1849 at Washington Hospital. His last words, “Lord, help my poor soul.”

 

 

 

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

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Black Cups of Sleep

The Mummy’s Foot by Theophile Gautier (1840)

Clarimonde by Theophile Gautier (1836)

Tuesday’s Tales of Terror    July 29, 2014

 

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I have two stories for you by Theophile Gautier:

one to amuse, the other to terrify.

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When I first began reading The Mummy’s Foot by Theophile Gautier about the foot of a princess, I immediately settled in for an exotic fairy tale that would take me back to the amusements of my childhood readings. I was not disappointed.

Our narrator is a twenty-seven year old Frenchman who is looking for a paperweight in a curiosity shop. If you’ve ever browsed an antique store and fantasized about the objects and their histories, The Mummy’s Foot is a story that will fulfill all your imaginations. The mummified foot that our Frenchman is attracted to belonged to the 4000-year-old Princess Hermonthis, daughter of pharaoh. He purchases the charming foot, brings it home, and with great adoration sets it upon his desk.

images-3“The Dream of Egypt was Eternity: her odors have the solidity of granite, and endure as long.”

Do items from the past carry their own energies? Possibly their own force upon the mind … or even upon a life? Come meet Princess Hermonthis. She will kindle her torch and bring you into the subterranean tombs of Cheops, Chephrenes, Psammetichus, Sesostris, Amenotaph—all the dark rulers of the pyramids. By Oms, by the dog of hell, this story will enchant and charm you!

 

 

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Read The Mummy’s Foot at Gutenberg.net

Listen to the audio version at Librivox Recording, narrated by Dorothy Scarborough.

 

A Kiss Upon the Dead Lips

 

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Theophile Gautier was a dramatist, painter, poet, journalist, and novelist. His storytelling carries a great deal of entertaining qualities. He is skilled in blurring the lines of dreaming and reality, setting his suspense within the theme of eternity. He can pitch realistic settings against supernatural phenomena quite smoothly. He is quoted, “What I write is not for little girls,” although many of his stories have a fairy tale tone.

 

 

 

 

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One of his most famous short stories is La Morte Amoureuse, aka Clarimonde (1836) about a young and endearing priest, Romuald, who has the misfortune to fall in love with a mesmerizing woman of beauty on the same day he is ordained. Her name is Clarimonde. This is a bit like Sleeping Beauty but a far more twisted and dark romance. What evil lurks here?

 

Romuald opens the story: “Brother, you ask me if I have ever loved. Yes. My story is a strange and terrible one; and though I am sixty-six years of age, I scarcely dare even now to disturb the ashes of that memory… For more than three years I remained the victim of a most singular and diabolical illusion.”

Could a corpse be this ravishing?

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You can read it here in English  at Gutenberg.org under the title of Clarimonde

Listen to  audio, Clarimonde by Libivox Recordings, Parts 1  and 2 narrated by Joy Chan:

Part 1 Clarimonde

Part 2 Clarimonde

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

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     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications  The Fussy Librarian

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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Evil Plucked

Wake Not the Dead  by Johann Ludwig Tieck  (1823)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 22, 2014

 

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If you could build a bridge between the living and the dead, would you? In Tieck’s Wake Not the Dead, Walter is in despair. His loving and beautiful wife Brunhilda (love that name) is dead and buried. When we begin this story … “Wilt thou for ever sleep? … Walter’s lamentations over his wife’s death touches deeply. The prose is somewhat formal but wonderfully poetic and for those who love Gothic literature with all the traditional flavors, this is a stunning if not horrific tale.

Our melancholy Walter remarries (Swanhilda) and has children, but he is still haunted by the absence of his lovely Brunhilda. One day, in the neighboring mountains, Walter meets an old sorcerer. Desiring to bridge death with life, Walter employs the magic of this sorcerer to restore his lost Brunhilda.

Then be it even as thou wishest,” answered the sorcerer; “step back.” 

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The old man now drew a circle round the grave, all the while muttering words of enchantment. Immediately the storm began to howl among the tops of the trees; owls flapped their wings, and uttered their low voice of omen; the stars hid their mild, beaming aspect, that they might not behold so unholy and impious a spectacle; the stone then rolled from the grave with a hollow sound …”

This story is full of atmospheric conjures as Tieck (1773-1853) wrote a suspenseful and vivid tale. His work as a well-known German romantic poet colors every scene. I must mention that there is some controversy that the true author of this story was Ernst Benjamin Raupach (1784-1852), written in German Lasst die Toten ruhen. I suppose we shall never know for sure who originally wrote Wake Not the Dead or who possibly stole it. I like the mystery behind the authorship though and hunted for just the right portrait of each author. From the expression on their faces below, can you guess what they might say to us about the authorship? Hmm, what a fascinating ghost short story that might make in itself: the accursed struggle between Johann and Ernst, each claiming to be the creator of Wake Not the Dead. Maybe that’s my next short story!

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Johann Ludwig Tieck                                                                                                                               Ernst Benjamin Raupach

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Read the full text online at Gutenberg Australia.

Listen to the Librivox Recording by Morvan Scorpian.

If you want to read more of Tieck’s work (and I do recommend it), try Tales from Phantasus of Ludwig Tieck: The Mysterious Cup, The Elves, The Love-Charm and many more at Gutenberg.org.

 

 

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica.com

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Dreaming Little Traps of Horror

Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel   by Thomas Ligotti  (2005)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  March 11, 2014

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Have you been watching Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective on HBO? thomas-ligotti Pizzolatto says in an interview with The Arkham Digest  that “the work and vision of Thomas Ligotti was very influential for imagining Cohle’s (Rustin Cohle) overall worldview.” Cohle is a nihilistic and hypnotic character in this compelling crime and horror series. If you became mesmerized watching True Detective as I have, you will likely enjoy the short stories of Thomas Ligotti. His prose is luscious and the philosophy of horror one of the darkest you’ll experience. And while Ligotti is not a classic dead author as I normally feature here, I felt stimulated this week at the conclusion of True Detective to read one of Ligotti’s shorts.

Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel is about angels and demons with a dash of Gnostic theology. Add nightmares and the power of evil (favorite elements of my reading and in my own writing) and you’ve got a story intense with horror.

A young boy suffering from nightmares is brought to the long-widowed and witchy Mrs. Rinaldi for her curative methods.

“Do you know what dreams are?” she asked quietly, and then immediately began to answer her own question. “They are parasites-maggots of the mind and soul, feeding on the mind and soul as ordinary maggots feed on the body. And their feeding on the mind and soul in turn gnaws away at the body, which in turn again affects the mind and the soul, and so on until death.”

Until death. Makes one wonder if you could literally die inside of a nightmare … and then what? Does the nightmare triumph in the end? This young boy’s bodiless nocturnal adventures are not to be missed as you go with him into the blackness of old time.

Read Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel at Ligotti.net

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In keeping with today’s dream themes and for my classic horror fans …

HOUSENightmares5642762The House of the Nightmare  by Edward Lucas White (1906)

Edward Lucas White wrote stories based on his own nightmares. This story is more than fantasy or a writer’s imagination. Our narrator is a traveler in the countryside when the image of a white stone catches his eye and he crashes his motorcar. He is knocked out and awakens to find a young boy with a hideous harelip, staring intensely at him. He spends the night inside the boy’s house and drops into a nightmare.

“It had a hot, slobbering, red mouth, full of big tusks, and its jaws worked hungrily. It shuffled and hunched itself forward, inch by inch, till its vast forelegs straddled the bed.

This story will remind you of being a little kid, alone in your darkened room, afraid of the monster under the bed. White’s most famous short story collections are Lukundoo and Song of the Sirens

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Read The House of the Nightmare at Gaslight.mtroyal.ca

Listen to the audio at Librivox Recordings

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TRUE DETECTIVE LINKS YOU  MIGHT LIKE

 WSJ blog:  http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/02/writer-nic-pizzolatto-on-thomas-ligotti-and-the-weird-secrets-of-true-detective/

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/allenstjohn/2014/03/09/six-things-to-watch-for-in-the-true-detective-finale/

HBO: http://www.hbo.com/true-detective#/

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2356777/

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica.com

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

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 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications   The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

 

Art is by William Blake, Red Dragon

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Evil Eyes From India

The Realm of the Unreal  by Ambrose Bierce

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  March 4, 2014

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Our story begins with two men, Mr. Manrich and Dr. Dorrimore who is from India. The doctor is a Hindu juggler. Hindu jugglers are famous for swallowing fire and swords, charming snakes, and especially their disappearing acts. Chemistry, optics, psychology, and magnetism all play their roles. Dr. Dorrimore’s skills are quite exceptional and if you stumbled upon the good doctor on a dark night in a chill fog, you might feel unsettled sitting next to him.

Manrich begins his narrative with his traveling by horse and buggy to Newcastle  …

“The hills are wooded, the course of the ravine is sinuous. In a dark night careful driving is required in order not to go off into the water. The night that I have in memory was dark, the creek a torrent, swollen by a recent storm…. Suddenly I saw a man almost under the animal’s nose, and reined in with a jerk that came near setting the creature upon its haunches.”

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Manrich claims this is not a love story, and it is not. He is engaged to the lovely Miss Curray. But after he sees Dr. Dorrimore with Miss Corray, the juggler performs his most sinister performance in an abandoned cemetery.

Come meet thaumaturgist, Dr. Dorrimore.

The mysteriousness of this story has high suspense with disappearances and shocking presences to test any man’s sanity. I found  these themes to parallel the mysteriousness of the author’s death. Historical accounts are that Ambrose Bierce disappeared in 1914 without a trace after crossing the border into Mexico. Theories abound of his being killed in the war to committing suicide, or, as one theory fictionalized: Bierce is a wizard and still alive trapped in another world … or realm. You can read about these theories concerning his death at Biercephile.com

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As to me, I leave here tomorrow for an unknown destination.
— The last line of the last letter from Ambrose Bierce,
December 26, 1913

Read The Realm of the Unreal at Online Literature.com.

Listen to the audio at Librivox Recording

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

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 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications

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 For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

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Shapes That Haunt the Dusk

 Perdita  by Hildegarde Hawthorne  (1897)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,  February 11, 2014     Women In Horror Month

9f6fe56daf585786370676941674331414f6744Hildegarde Hawthorne (1871-1952) probably isn’t a name that comes quickly to mind to most fiction readers. Even if you are an avid classic reader, this author has been long forgotten and overlooked. Of course, you might guess she was related to the most famous Hawthorne. Hildegarde was the granddaughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, daughter of Julian. She was a short story writer, poet, essayist, biographer, and reviewer—author of some 23 books.

Her short story featured here, Perdita, was originally published in Harper’s New Monthly and in the anthology Shapes That Haunt the Dusk in 1907. She is probably most famous for her biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Romantic Rebel in 1936.  If you enjoy Perdita, you might also like The Faded Garden, which is a collection of all her ghost stories.

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I can’t call Perdita a horror story. Even “quiet horror” is a stretch. This is a ghostly love story. Picture the beauty of the prairie, rolling alfalfa fields and big sky. You are sitting on a veranda with vines of roses and sweeping clean air.  But there is a morbid quietness. There is … a young married couple, fresh from their honeymoon. There is sweet Aunt Agnes … There is … the power from beyond.

Read Perdita at Gutenberg.org (scroll down to the title)

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Have you experienced the award-winning work of Caitlin Kiernan? Kiernan is known more as a dark fantasy author than horror author, although that dividing line is pretty blurry to me. She’s written novels, comic books, novellas, and over 100 short stories. Here’s one from Subterranean Press, The Belated Burial. Yeah, you guessed it … a tale of being buried alive. But nothing is predictable in the dark realms of Caitlin Kiernan.

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Visit CaitlinKiernan Web site

The Belated Burial is short enough for a lunchtime read. I read it with a rare roast beef sandwich, tomato juice, and rich black Espresso coffee.  We are in vampire land, after all.

I would certainly be interested in seeing some comments on this story. Did you find Kiernan’s The Belated Burial kindred to Poe’s The Premature Burial? (read story here) What did you think of Kiernan’s ending? If you have any thoughts, please post.

Read The Belated Burial at Subterranean Press

Listen to the audio at PodCastle  Number 127

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Dancing the Witches’ Goat Dance

The Ensouled Violin (1892)  by Mme. Blavatsky (Helena Petrovna Blavatsky)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   October 8, 2013        Women in Horror Month

Words create images. Does this headline conjure up images of craggy women flying on goats or witches dancing back to back around fiery circles? Press refresh in your mind. What if musical notes could create thick shapes and figures right before your eyes? Imagine the dance of violin music. If you’ve ever listened deeply to Paganini’s Witches’ Dance  (La Streghe) you might know how his music can enter us in a very muscular way. But could music transform into a spell of images before our eyes? If music could perform such a supernatural event, is it the violin or the violinist that has that power?

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Mme. Blavatsky brings us a story full of musical mesmerism, and Paganini is a major character drawn in full color. Paganini’s reputation for becoming bewitched by the devil in exchange for his brilliant career holds the central theme. The Italian was revered for playing his Witches Dance “pizzicato” with the left hand directly on the gut strings—without the aid of the bow. Was his superior talent singularly human?

In The Ensouled Violin, Franz Stenio, our semi-talented, young and aspiring musician dreams with his eyes open. He daydreams of nymphs and sirens, Calliope, Orpheus, and Olympus. These muses contribute to his Bohemian and penniless life. Until an old German, Samuel Klaus, a generous and hearty music teacher, decides to take Franz into his home as his own son. Klaus instills in Franz an ambition for exceptional talent and worldly fame, fame that might compete with the great and powerful Paganini. Off they go to Paris.

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Yep, there are lots of discordant notes going on here, cacophonous cries of frenzy, a phantasmagoria, and Eastern Black Magic. Violins are mysterious instruments, singing out to us with the smallest swipe of the bow from their enchanting gut strings. One wonders, exactly whose gut strings are they that can create such beautiful sounds? Goats? Cats? Sheep? This is where the story gets especially ghastly. What kind of gut strings does Paganini use in his violin?

The old German teacher tells Franz the story of Paganini’s supernatural art and the Italian’s reputed deal with the devil. Franz is shocked but deeply curious. He asks Klaus, “Do you really believe that had I only the means of obtaining human intestines for strings, I could rival Paganini?”

Klaus unveiled his face, and, with a strange look of determination upon it, softly answered:  “Human intestines alone are not sufficient for our purpose; they must have belonged to someone who had loved us well, with an unselfish holy love.”

Unselfish holy love? Blavatsky doesn’t leave us hanging for long with this sinister turn in the story. By the witches of Thessaly and the dark arts of Circe, our young and tender Franz chooses his fate … and the fate of another.

BlatvaskyPortraitimagesBlavatsky was a seductive storyteller. She became famous for being a philosopher, spiritualist, pioneer in the occult, one of the first people to coin the phrase the sixth sense, and  was co-founder of The Theosophical Society in 1875. Her fiction is a small batch of stories in Nightmare Tales, published in 1907.

Read The Ensouled Violin at Gaslight:

http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/gaslight/ensoulvn.htm

 

May I suggest, for an added appreciation of this very extraordinary short story, you listen to Paganini’s Witches Dance at Classical Music Online. What could be better than a classic horror story and a magnificent piece of classical music to complement the experience? Well, perhaps a glass of wine, preferably in a cut-glass goblet. Magnifico!

http://classical-music-online.net/en/listen/43608

You can access more of Mme. Blavatsky’s short stories in the links below,  at the Theosophical University Press Online Edition.

CAN THE DOUBLE MURDER? — (c. 1876-77)
AN UNSOLVED MYSTERY — (c. 1876-77)
KARMIC VISIONS — (June 1888)
THE LEGEND OF THE BLUE LOTUS — (April 1890)
A BEWITCHED LIFE — (c. 1890-91)
THE LUMINOUS SHIELD — (c. 1890-91)
THE CAVE OF THE ECHOES — (c. 1890-91)
FROM THE POLAR LANDS — (c. 1890-91)

THE ENSOULED VIOLIN — (c. 1890-91)

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/nightmar/night-hp.htm

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

GoodReads     WattPad    The Story Reading Ape Blog   Interesting Literature    Bibliophilopolis.wordpress.com    Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify    Rob Around Books  

 Books on the Nightstand    GoodKindles.net

 For Authors/Writers:   The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under horror, literature, occult, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, weird tales, Women In Horror

The White Wolf and the Spirit-Hunter

The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains by Captain Frederick Marryat (1839)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 13, 2013

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Here we are … lycanthropes! These shape-shifting wolves take us to the wildest regions of the imagination. You might recall the famous An American Werewolf in Paris. American Werewolf in London. Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolfman. In Frederick Marryat’s story (this short taken from an episode in his novel The Phantom Ship), our narrator is Hermann Krantz, an endearing and healthy young man who is sailing, with his friend Philip, in a tiny ship up the Straits to Pulo Penang.  During this sail, Hermann tells Philip a story about his family from Transylvania.

Infidelity and murder drive Hermann’s father and the Krantz family to the Hartz Mountains in Germany where the desolate pine trees and vast valleys protect them from the authorities. Marcella, Hermann’s five-year-old sister, a sweet beautiful child endures the unkindness of their father, until one day when a howl of a wolf outside their cottage door changes everything.

Werewolfgraveimages

Hermann does not know what lies in the wilderness at Hartz Mountain. He does not know what his father might find when he ascends the mountain for his hunt.  An evil spirit? A destiny? The father brings back with him a woman. She is named Christina, full of magnetic beauty, hair glossy as a mirror, penetrating eyes, dressed in stunning white fur robes. She enters the Krantz family cottage—along with her “spirit-hunter.”

Hermann believes that the destinies of man are foreknown.  Evil may fulfill evil. There may be warning voices—premonitions—a kinder spirit that offers preparation. Will Hermann hear that warning cry … or will he hear the wolf’s howl?

This story is a thrilling ride, pulsing with symbolisms of female sexuality, motherhood, and male domination of the 1800s. It is probably one of the earliest werewolf tales written, and I will say, quite satisfying in theme and message.

Have you a favorite werewolf short story? Please drop us a comment.

Marryat_by_John_Simpson

Portrait of Captain Frederic Marryat

Read The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains at Gutenberg.net. This story is followed by another short, the Legend of the Bell Rock by same author.

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0606061h.html

 Some  worthy web sites for reading …

GoodReads

WattPad

The Story Reading Ape Blog

Horror Novel Reviews

Hell Horror

BubbaBookMamablogspot

For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, horror, literature, mysteries, occult, paranormal, short stories, supernatural, suspense, tales of terror, weird tales, werewolves