Tag Archives: Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sussex Vampire, A.C. Doyle

The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire  by Arthur Conan Doyle (1921)

Tuesday’s Tale   January 15, 2019


Arthur Conan Doyle—a contemporary of Bram Stoker—was a spiritualist, known to attend séances. Doyle believed in tiny females with transparent wings—fairies. Doyle fans might recall that he wrote a nonfiction book The Coming of the Fairies.  In 1893 he  joined the British Society for Psychical Research. He also investigated a haunting and was convinced the psychic phenomena was caused by the spirit of the dead child. So when he wrote this story The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, a reader might wonder what he really did believe about the supernatural.

In this story, a husband suspects his wife to be a vampire. Vampires? In Sussex? Holmes laughs at such an idea. We begin our tale on Baker Street, of course, with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

But then, Holmes and Watson depart for Sussex …

“It was evening of a dull, foggy November day when, having left our bags at the Chequers, Lamberley, we drove through the Sussex clay of a long winding lane and finally reached the isolated and ancient farmhouse …”





You can read the short story at Ebooks.adelaide.edu:



Listen to the audio (43 minutes)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08A9da6TYOc

If you enjoyed this short story you might like to read Vampire Stories, available on Amazon.com.



Days before his death Conan Doyle wrote,

“The reader will judge that I have had many adventures. The greatest and most glorious of all awaits me now.”


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, and mainstream fiction.

Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

1 Comment

Filed under classic horror stories, detective fiction, fiction, fiction bloggers, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, ghost story blogs, Gothic Horror, horror, horror blogs, literature, pulp fiction, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa

Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange

Selecting a Ghost: The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange (aka The Secret of Goresthorpe Grange)

by Arthur Conan Doyle  (1883)


Tuesday’s Tale of Ghosts     May 1, 2018     May is National Short Story Month!  Week One.



Readers here are fond of ghost stories and this one by Arthur Conan Doyle is a must read for ghost lovers. Mr. Silas D’Odd buys a feudal mansion named Goresthorpe Grange.  The man loves the historical trimmings inside the castle filled with armors and ancestral portraits.  But, he desires a ghost, for what is a castle without a daily haunting for entertainment? He soon discovers that by the use of potion, he can conjure a ghost for Goresthorpe Grange.  D’Odd drinks the potion and the apparitions begin.



A 15-minute read and great fun! Read the short story at Adelaide.edu:


Audio of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes at Librivox:







A. C. Doyle and Houdini


Arthur Conan Doyle was a friend of Houdini, Bram Stoker, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Doyle was a born storyteller and revered for his high-quality fiction, especially his Sherlock Holmes detective fiction. His style of writing is clear, clever, and direct. On July 7, 1930, Doyle died in his garden,  clutching his heart with one hand and holding a flower in the other. His last words were to his wife. He whispered “You are wonderful.”


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories,  suspense, crime, sci-fi, and ‘quiet horror.’ Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month.

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Ghosts, Gothic fiction, haunted houses, Hauntings, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural fiction, tales of terror

The Magic of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventure of The Copper Beeches  by Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   September 20, 2016



There is a magic in Sherlock Holmes stories, the atmospheric London fog, hansom cabs clacking over cobbled streets, the famous parlor at 221-B Baker Street with Holmes and Watson sitting before a cozy fire and a steaming teapot—or refreshing themselves with glasses of claret as in the The Adventure of the Dying Detective.

Today’s short story is The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. Violet Hunter is our heroine, curious and independent, but in need of Mr. Holmes’ advice when she takes a governess position at the country estate called Copper Beeches, near Winchester. Mr. Rucastle is an odd sort with a wife who carries a secret sorrow, and their savage boy who adores capturing little birds and bugs.











“Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

The story unfolds like the tick-tock of a clock, so I won’t say another word. Although Holmes doesn’t exactly solve the crime, the adventure is suspenseful, with a touch of romance. Enjoy this 20-minute read.

Read the short story at EastoftheWeb.com 

Listen to the audio, read by Mark Smith on YouTube.com 



The Science of Deduction by Sherlock Holmes: Forum, Hidden Messages, Case Files:


The Sherlock Holmes Official Website.

The Blog of Dr. John Watson Official Website.

Need a cup of tea with this story? Settle back and enjoy this story along with a pot of “Sherlock Holmes” blend of tea (lapsang souchong, assam melody, oriental spice), which is ‘exotic and mysterious and perhaps a little bit insane, with a lingering hint of smoke’ at Adagio Tea Company. See Comment #1 below for link.


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every other week! Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



1 Comment

Filed under crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror blogs, literature, murder mystery, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, suspense, tales of terror

Horror of the Heights (No Sherlock Here)

The Horror of the Heights  by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1913 Strand Magazine)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  January 5, 2016


“There are jungles in the upper air, and there are worse things than tigers which inhabit them …”


A blood-soaked notebook, air jungles, and air serpents. Imagine if you will that you are living in the early 1900s. You are an aeronaut, passionate and adventurous, desiring to travel into the glorious sky as high as possible … above 30,000 feet where few pilots have soared.  And you do it in a monoplane, inside an open cockpit.

There are  reports of other pilots who have tried such feats. Pilot Baxter attempted it and mysteriously vanished. Pilot Harry Hay Connor was said to have achieved the 30,0000 feet but died of fright muttering his last word … “monsters.” And Aviator Myrtle literally lost his head in the heroic effort.


Imagine you are the pilot Mr. Joyce-Armstrong and take off on a cloudy day with clear intention of reaching 40,000 feet. During your flight you record all your observations, as they happen, in a notebook, which—should you meet your death or worse—will explain the mysteries that hover at 40,000 feet above a wide corner of England.




A.C. Doyle probably didn’t know he was writing what we today term “found fiction.” The film industry made this genre term popular as “found footage” and is defined as ‘a plot device in pseudo-documentaries in which all or part of a fictional film is presented as if it were discovered footage or recordings.”



Horror of the Heights is a short story told via Mr. Joyce-Armstrong’s blood-soaked notebook found in a field, one mile to the west of the village of Withyham, upon the Kent and Sussex border in England. On a warm September day, Joyce-Armstrong takes flight “under the hush and heaviness of impending rain.”  His mission takes a shocking turn … or should I say leap?


[Illustrations  by W.R.S. Stott in The Strand Magazine 1913.

The Conan Doyle Encyclopedia]

Read the short story at ForgottenFutures.com.

Read text and listen along to the story at Etc.usf.edu/lit2go/19/tales-of-terror-and-mystery

Listen to the Librivox Audio at YouTube.com




Arthur Conan Doyle wrote more than just detective fiction (60 Sherlock Holmes stories), some 200 novels and short stories. (A.C. Doyle official website)  If you are a Sherlock fan and watch PBS, you no doubt are addicted to the critically-acclaimed Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the currently PBS broadcast by Masterpiece, the Victorian  “The Abominable Bride” starring same performers and what a show it is! I loved it. The show repeats on January 10 at 10 pm in the northeast USA but check your local PBS station for other times for that weekend.





The Abominable Bride on Masterpiece from PBS:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/features/live-stream/sherlock-abominable-bride/



Sherlock, the PBS Series:


[All images are posted for commentary and review purposes only.]



Here’s a bonus: Mark Gatiss’ Ghost StorySherlock‘s writer and actor Mark Gatiss (Mycroft), in which he describes his own real-life ghost story. Listen to the PODCAST HERE (3.40 minutes).



Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery and supernatural. Join me in reading one short story a week! Comments are welcome.

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


Filed under classic horror stories, crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror

Death Isn’t Sufficient

The Brown Hand   by Arthur Conan Doyle (1889) Since this week is Doyle’s anniversary birth date, May 22, let’s celebrate this author by reading more of his work.

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 20, 2014


135-Wordsworth's-House,-Rydal-Mount-q75-231x200-1Do you know what binds a soul to its body after death? Is there a tether of some kind? Some driving emotion?

Sir Dominick Holden is a distinguished Indian surgeon. He lives with his wife in Rodenhurst on an estate. During an English autumn, his nephew, Dr. Hardacre, our narrator, visits him in Rodenhurst. Hardacre is also a member of the Psychical Research Society with a special interest in the supernatural. Sir Dominick confides in Hardacre that he is struggling with a case of nerves from something that is surely haunting his laboratory.

Hardacre enters the laboratory and observes a shelf filled with glass jars containing  anatomical specimens of patients: organs, cysts, bones, etc.


Sir Dominick asks his nephew, “It would be a great kindness upon your part if you would consent to spend the night in this apartment.” Hardacre agrees. He shuts the laboratory door behind him, lies down on the settee and in a rigid and absolute silence he observes a three-quarter moon streaming through the windows until he drifts off. A shuffling sound awakens him.



The Brown Hand is one of A.C. Doyle’s stories that can be traced to his avidly following the psychical research of the 1870s and 1880s. Doyle read more than 60 books on the subject, attended séances regularly, and was a friend of Harry Houdini. The image featured here is of Doyle with ghosts goggles from the Society of Psychical Research in 1896. The goggles became part of Dr. Cagliostro’s Cabinet of Curiosities’ investigations of a series of mysterious events at The Castle of Läckö in 1943.

Doyle became a believer in spiritualistic phenomena and wrote fourteen supernatural short stories and four supernatural novels. Of course, he’s most famous for his detective novels, Sherlock Holmes. But today, we are focusing on his supernatural stories.


You can read the full text of The Brown Hand at Ebooks Adelaide.edu

Listen to The Brown Hand in audio here by Librivox. Roger Clifton does an outstanding dramatic reading.

As a bonus, I’m adding more stories to this week’s post, Selecting a Ghost, 1883, subtitled The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange. The D’Odds’ family feudal mansion does not have a ghost. Ah, what’s a country mansion with no ghost? Mr. D’Odd genuinely wants a ghost for his castle. He is so driven to achieve this, he hires a ghost-dealer who promptly arrives with a curious black bag. And the ghost hunting begins.0493_1

Read this very entertaining little ghost story at SSHF.com


You might want to experience Doyle’s first published story The Mystery of Sasassa Valley in 1879, a fantasy about the fluorescence of diamonds.


 A Literary Mosaic  is another supernatural story. Also The Silver Hatchet,  and  The Leather Funnel, which were featured here at Tales of Terror in January and April of 2013.



Do you have a favorite Doyle story? Please post your thoughts, suggestions, comments.

Arthur Conan Doyle  May 22 1859 – July 7, 1930

“There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world.

The Official Web Site of Arthur Conan Doyle: SherlockHolmsOnline.org






Other Reading Web Sites to Visit


Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace


 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 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


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


Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, literature, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

The Lashing Dangers of Miss Northcott

John Barrington Cowles by A.C. Doyle (1890)

This week May 22 is Doyle’s birth date.

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 22, 2013

What is it about a beautiful woman that hints of danger?  And why is this danger so irresistible to men?  Maybe it’s the Greek myths embedded in our subconscious, the sirens (part human, part bird) who lured men by their rippling and mesmerizing song. We are reminded that a man can easily succumb to the purple-darkened seduction of a woman.  Maybe some men love to play the victim to great beauty and obsession. Maybe some women love to play the siren. Sirens were not just luring men for sexual pleasure, they were man-eating beasts. Doyle certainly loved to play with this theory and he wrote with a rich haunting effect in John Barrington Cowles.

Our central character is a dreamy sort of man, highly strung, a professional in anatomy and physics, and lives a rather solitary life. In an art gallery, Cowles meets a ravishing woman, “white as marble,” in a dark dress and white fur. Miss Kate Northcott is described as a “real Greek type.” Ah-hem, Greek? When Odysseus found he couldn’t resist the siren’s song, in order to prevent jumping to his death into the water, he tied himself to the mast of the ship! Perhaps Cowles should have done the same.

Not only does this story produce supernatural intrigue, romance, and mystery, but there’s just the slightest hint of erotica (a whip and a Scottish terrier)–at least as much as Doyle could sensibly write in the Victorian 1890s, but it’s there if you like to read between the lines as I do.

Miss Northcott is quite feminine, clever, even a dash masculine for flavor, but more to the point Miss Northcott can switch on a steely gaze. Does Cowles become bewitched? Does he become her obsessed victim? Meet Miss Northcott with “white fingers” and “lips inclined to thinness.”

Read the full text at Readbookonline:


As a bonus for A.C. Doyle’s birth date, I’ve added a podcast. Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles is most famous, but there are other stories about hounds.  How about  Lovecraft’s The Hound. This short story is narrated by Lawrence Santoro at Tales to Terrify. Lawrence has a five-minute introduction and then reads this exciting story that has a werewolf, vampire, giant bats, a dead wizard and more …



I’ll be on The Author’s Corner for a radio interview, Roxboro, North Carolina on May 23, Thursday night at 9:30 pm EASTERN time, with host Elaine Raco Chase. Call in and chat on blog talk radio:



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

Dreaming Dark and Deadly

The Leather Funnel by Arthur Conan Doyle  (1902)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 1, 2013

ACDoyleincloudsCartoon art from PUNCH of AC Doyle chained to his fictional creation, Holmes.

The Leather Funnel

Picture yourself in Paris, a house guest at the home of Lionel Dacre. The house, walled with grey tiles stained with lichens and mildew, has a library filled with books on magic and psychic matters, and what else …  eccentric items of display, specifically a large leather funnel, brass rimmed, black and discolored with faded letters—likely from the Middle Ages.

In The Leather Funnel, Dacre insists that his house guest sleep with the leather funnel by his head. This is based on the idea that we can receive important information through dreaming. Dacre tells his guest, “You are yourself a psychic subject—with nerves which respond readily to any impression.” Dacre believes this old funnel might enlighten the dreamer of its origin, use, and history.

The science of dreams is new to this house guest; doubts prevail, but he agrees to the experiment. So, after the smoldering firelight goes out, the supernatural dream begins.

I must tell you this dream is so frightening, that I couldn’t read fast enough. The tension and descriptions were so compelling that I had to slow down if I wanted to truly savor the images, the haunting fear, and what is the most grisly revelation.

Do you think dreams create supernatural events?

Read it here at East of the Web:


Or listen to a podcast of the story on YouTube.com:


Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch House is another you’ll find absolutely chilling as nightmares blur into reality (link is on this site in November’s blog).

 Stop by next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror.

Comments, please!



Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, ghost stories, horror, Nightmares, occult, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror