Tag Archives: graves

Tenant of the Grave

The Premature Burial  by Edgar Allen Poe  (1844)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    September  24, 2013

How do you feel about being buried alive? Who best could write about this horror than the Mr. Edgar Allan Poe with his magnetic prose and his unparalleled aptness of the pen.

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Since next week begins October, the official Halloween month, and since I am planning on featuring a “Women in Horror Month” for Tales of Terror, I wanted to be sure to get a Poe short story to you to kick off the scariest month of the year. Halloween month wouldn’t be fulfilling without a Poe story. So, prepare yourself for a dark tale today.

Merciful God, being buried alive! Of all the human horrors to endure, is there a greater fear? Living in the 1800s, this fear was far more common than today with all our medical devices to declare the dead as truly dead.

From the opening lines …There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction … So we are plunged into the nonfiction, or so we think. We are introduced to several case histories (there are over one hundred well-authenticated cases) of people who were buried alive.  We learn of a Baltimore woman who although buried in the family vault, broke out of her coffin.  And then there is the young and beautiful Mademoiselle Victorine Lafourcade, buried in the village graveyard. Unbelievably, she is dug up and saved by her lover.

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Our narrator, a nervous sort, is obsessed with tombs, cemeteries, and worms. Nightmares plague him of being buried alive in a locked coffin. Why? He has a peculiar disorder called catalepsy, an affliction that causes a human to enter a deathlike trance—possibly for days or weeks. Hence, being declared dead in error and buried alive in a locked coffin remains a living terror for him. What can he do to prevent this destiny?

Come into the realm of the nethermost Hell with our narrator. He will tell you that the boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague.

Read the text at Classic Lit

http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/eapoe/bl-eapoe-premature.htm

Watch the internet film of The Premature Burial directed by Ric White, Willing Heart Productions (40 minutes). The performances are not exactly stellar (I’m being kind here) and the script is literally a screaming melodrama, but still this is a decent adaptation of Poe’s masterpiece.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBMSZozsY54

If you are a Netflix member, you can get the film starring Ray Milland, directed by Roger Corman (1962). Here’s the 4-minute preview trailer. This film is perfect for Halloween night.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9E7PZllXjI

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Images are from The Black Box Club:

http://theblackboxclub.blogspot.com

 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

TheInsatiableBookSlut   For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under dark fantasy, Edgar Allan Poe, fiction, graveyards, horror, quiet horror, short stories, tales of terror

French Zombies, Anyone?

Was It A Dream? by Guy De Maupassant (188-s)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 9, 2013

The drama factor in Was It A Dream is at the high end. And the chill factor, yeah, this one will get you.

There is something about De Maupassant’s writings that make me feel like I’m living the events with the character—a right-in-the-moment quality. And this story was written over a hundred years ago but it still delivers. De Maupassant was a best-selling author in his day; he wrote over 300 short stories and received much acclaim and praise.

The theme of this shortie is love and death. Such a combination cannot fail to affect with the skills of this author.

The story opens with the exclamation, “I had loved her madly!”  I dare you to stop reading.

By the fourth paragraph, tragedy strikes and our narrator laments his lost love. There is quite a lot of exclamation here, clear prose, a heavy dose of reality, and vivid descriptions that our author is known for—quite sensuous, I might add (Flaubert was De Maupassant’s mentor so of course there’s quite a bit of flair).

The central action of the story takes place in a cemetery. I will tell you, I’m not a zombie fan but these zombies are my kind of zombies! After reading this story, you won’t likely forget it.

Try this exhilarating short read, less than 2000 words at The Literary Gothic:

http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/maupassant_dream.html

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Next week’s Tale of Terror will by Henry James in honor of his birth date.

http://www.hellhorror.com/links/

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Filed under Dreams, fiction, ghouls, horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror