Tag Archives: fairies

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:

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/doyle/arthur_conan/d75ca/chapter5.html

 

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

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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

A Boy Named Claus: The Adventure

 The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus  by L. Frank Baum  (1902)

Tuesday’s Holiday Tale, December 22, 2015

 

thumb_christmas_Bells_bell_icnI’m ringing the holiday bells early this year. Snuggle up. Grab the popcorn, mug of hot spiced cider, and imagine the snow sprinkling down soft and slow. Outside your window, the green hills shine white.  All is silent for this night …

 

Of all the Christmas classics you’ve read over the years, as a child or a teen, or to your children, L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is probably one you could not forget.  Some of us missed reading this story in our childhood. If, like me, you missed this magical adventure, today you can travel into the exciting world of a boy named Claus.

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We are in the enchanted Forest of Burzee, a mighty forest with queer gnarled trees, mosses, and sunlit meadows. There is a Master Woodsman of the World here, named Ak.  Ak is all wise, sees everything, and lives in a castle in Burzee with his queen.

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[Ak, Master of the World in the Forest of Burzee.]

The inhabitants of the forest are all immortals: fairies, Knooks, Ryls, and Nymphs. One very special wood nymph is Necile.  One day she finds a mortal baby starving and abandoned in the woods. Nearby is a lioness, intent on devouring the infant … until Ak commands the lioness Shiegra to give her milk to the infant.

Necile cannot resist the beautiful babe and takes him to the castle and raises him as her son. She names him Claus. The boy grows up and then moves to the Laughing Valley to live among the sweet-natured Knooks—creatures who speak no words.

But then the wicked creatures, the Awgwas, descend.

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[The Awgwas]

There’s a war. Claus is attacked. Who will save this young man from the evil forest creatures? Will he die? He’s mortal so surely he will. Ak to the rescue! Saved from evil powers, Claus becomes known as generous and kind man in the Laughing Valley, living alone with his cat Blinkie and whittling toys for the children he finds in the  woods and valleys.

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[Claus carrying a lost child back to the mother.]

Do you know the first toy that Claus ever made? Do you know how and why he made the first dolly? Who did he fashion it after? We all know the rest of this Christmas Eve story, Claus flying over rooftops and slipping down chimneys to bestow toys upon beloved children. But Claus’ trusty reindeer were not Dasher and Dancer. Come meet Flossie and Glossie, Racer and Pacer, Reckless and Speckless, Fearless and Peerless, and Ready and Steady.

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What is the destiny of such a good mortal man with a heart as big as the world? Old age and death? What can save him now so Claus can continue to work his magic for children?

 

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[Grim Reaper at Claus’ bedside]

 

Honor your imagination this holiday season and experience the power. Come back to your own childhood story time. Feel the joy and light! And the love in this dreamy Christmas adventure.

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The illustrated edition featured here is out of print (although you can buy it on AbeBooks.com), published by Henry Holt and Company in 2003. The illustrations are by the renowned Michael Hague (The Wizard of Oz and The Velveteen Rabbit.) All images here are photographed from the book for commentary and review purposes only.

You can read the story, free online at PageByPageBooks.com.

 

Red_Christmas_candles_fire

 

Listen to the audio by Librivox.org.

Or, you can likely find this illustrated edition in your library, as I did. Try WorldCat.org to locate a library near you. ISBN 0805038221 The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, Illustrated by Michael Hague. 2003.

 

 

 

For more Christmas short stories (ghostly ones!) this blog has several you might also enjoy.

Click the title for a free read.

The Water Ghost by John Kendricks Bangs

The Festival by Lovecraft for Christmas

The Ghost of Dr. Harris by Nathaniel Hawthorne for Christmas Eve

The Legend of the Fir Tree, A Christmas story

Markeim by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Devil of a Christmas Murder

Wishing you all happy holidays

and happy reading!

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vtpipkVWZiQ“>

 

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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

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“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.

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.

 

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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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