Tag Archives: Hitchcock

Dark Autumn Birds and Their Magic

The Magic of the Loons   by Paula Cappa  (2014)

The Birds   by Daphne du Maurier  (1952)

Tuesday’s Tales of Terror   October 7, 2014






The feathered race! You might recall fairy tales about birds: Grimm’s The Golden Goose, The Raven, The Seven Ravens, The Three Crows, The Ugly Duckling, Russia’s The Firebird. Alfred Hitchcock’s  film The Birds was an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds, a novella about how birds attacked people in Britain (after WW II).  In du Maurier’s story, the birds are revolting but we don’t know why. Same with Hitchcock’s version, the birds’ behavior is unexplained, although who could forget that last scene with the caged lovebirds.


This week’s two tales of terror are in the same category but very different in nature and scope. If you’ve never read du Maurier’s The Birds, this novella is suspenseful with evocative prose, and so perfect for a Halloween read.

On December the third, the wind changed overnight, and it was winter. Until then the autumn had been mellow, soft. The leaves had lingered on the trees, golden-red, and the hedgerows were still green. The earth was rich where the plow had turned it.  Black and white, jackdaw and gull, mingled in strange partnership, seeking some sort of liberation, never satisfied, never still. Flocks of starlings, rustling like silk, flew to fresh pasture, driven by the same necessity of movement, and the smaller birds, the finches and the larks, scattered from tree to hedge as if compelled. 

On the more contemporary side of our feathered friends, my own short story The Magic of the Loons is published in the October issue of Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine. My story is more edgy fantasy: a little bit sexy, a little bit magical realism,  a lot of mystery. Come meet the Loon Woman, Kai:

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Kai dressed up as his Loon Woman with a string of black and white shells coiled about her neck, silvery veils twisted skin-tight on her arms and legs. She pinned back her hair into a long twisted tail, all blue-black and lustrous. Feathers framed her face with eyes elaborately painted smoky red. Absolutely ravishing. What man could resist her spells and tricks? What man wouldn’t thrill under her bewitching attention?

I’m so pleased to have my work published in Dark Gothic Resurrected as they were named one of the Top Ten Best Fiction Magazines by Preditors and Editors in 2013 for content, art, and covers. They offer short stories, author interviews, art and poetry.

Begin this Halloween season with two stories about the birds of dark autumn.

Read  The Birds at NexusLearning.net

Read my Magic of the Loons (page 84) at Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine

(available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.com)


Buy for Kindle on Amazon.com

Buy Paperback Magazine, October Issue on Amazon.com

2013 P&E awards


And, please, Readers, don’t be shy about leaving me a comment about Magic of the Loons. I’m looking for reviews!


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 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.


Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Defying Death, Bloody Jack Is Back

Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper  by Robert Bloch (1943)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   March 12, 2013


I’m not a butcher, I’m not a Yid, Nor yet a foreign skipper,
But I’m your own light-hearted friend
Yours truly, Jack the Ripper

This little poem is attributed to Jack the Ripper, reportedly written in 1888. We all know Jack as the elusive madman who butchered five prostitutes in the Whitechapel section of London. Jack’s narcissistic blood lust will forever haunt us. The Ripper disappeared quite suddenly in 1888, leaving the London police completely baffled—and history to guess about his identity and destiny. Scotland Yard presumed Jack died suddenly since the brutal murders did stop … or did they?

Robert Bloch, author of the novel Psycho, 1959 (Hitchcock made it into the famous film) can further chill our dark curiosities with his short story, Yours truly, Jack the Ripper. Here is the premise of Bloch’s story. What if … Jack is still alive today?

What if … by some magical black art, the Ripper offered his victims as blood sacrifices to the eternal dark gods and—incorporating lunar rhythms of power—Jack was granted eternal youth?

Ahaa, you say? The killer immortal? Let’s reach out and suspend disbelief.

Meet American psychiatrist John Carmody, living in Chicago. He encounters Sir Guy Hollis of the British Embassy, an esteemed and distinguished stranger in town.

What, were not in the drabs of London in the 19th century? We are not. We are in the Windy City, 1943.

Sir Guy tells Carmody, “I’m on the trail of Jack the Ripper … I think he’s here.”

On Jack the Ripper’s trail, over fifty years later? In Chicago, no less. Sir Guy is absolutely certain of Jack’s location. He even predicts the Ripper will strike again in this very city. He insists, “John Carmody, you and I are going to capture Jack the Ripper.”

Block writes a highly readable narrative with lively dialogue and a  fast plot. The Chicago streets shiver with fog, lurking shrouds, and shadowy alleys.  Dreaded fears mount at the corner of Twenty-ninth and South Halsted.

Read it here:  http://talesofmytery.blogspot.com/2013/02/robert-bloch-yours-truly-jack-ripper.html#.UTaV9jfAG7s

And here’s a bonus, Boris Karloff’s Thriller Theatre presented a film of Bloch’s short story. Watch it here (about 50 minutes), done in black and white and deliciously vintage.


Do leave a comment. Even a two-word review will do.

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Filed under fiction, horror, Jack the Ripper, murder mystery, mysteries, Psycho, short stories, suspense, tales of terror