Tag Archives: Lovecraft

Lunaphobia or Dead Lotus-Faces?

What the Moon Brings by H.P. Lovecraft  (1923)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  April 10, 2018

 

Do you enjoy stories about dreaming, hints of dreaming, or imagination vs. reality? Sometimes, stories that blur these lines can be entertaining but also highly stimulating.  Misleading sensations, false beliefs, uncertain perceptions are all part of dreaming. When I wrote Night Sea Journey, I researched the dreaming mind and the imagination because the character Kip Livingston struggled with supernatural night terrors. Dreams and the imagination both require mental imagery from the conscious and subconscious mind. The processes are certainly different. Carl Jung has lots to say on this subject; I find his ‘active imagination’ practice of searching the unconscious realm for truth to be astonishing. Jung’s belief was that dreaming is sourced not from the physical brain or Feud’s wish-fulfillment theory but from and within the powers of the psychic world—the larger Self speaking the truth to the ego. Fascinating!

Here is a story, What the Moon Brings, told by a mysterious narrator with a deep fear of the unknown. At night, while walking in a garden that has no boundaries, he sees dead faces among the trees and flowers, “dead lotus-faces.” The moon has power here and we are drawn into a bizarre eclipse of horror.

“I hate the moon—I am afraid of it—for when it shines on certain scenes familiar and loved, it sometimes makes them unfamiliar and hideous.”

 

” … As I ran along the shore, crushing sleeping flowers with heedless feet and maddened ever by the fear of unknown things and the lure of the dead faces …”

Our narrator follows a stream to an unknown sea  with “unvocal waves” and there he finds his destiny.  In full Lovecraft style, this story is full of imaginative descriptions and vivid scenes. This is a enhanced dreamscape that possesses our narrator who may or may not have lunaphobia. A quick intriguing 8-minute read that is surreal and yet real.

 

 

 

 

 

Read the short story (8-minute read) here  at HPLovecraft.com:

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/wmb.aspx

Listen to the audio on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6nNuIRqxF4

 

 

 

 

 

“In my dreams I found a little of the beauty I had vainly sought in life,

and wandered through old gardens and enchanted woods.”   H. P. Lovecraft

 

H.P. Lovecraft is one of America’s finest horror novelists. The statuette for the World Fantasy Award is a bust of Lovecraft, in honor of his writing. The award is informally referred to as a Howard. Lovecraft suffered from parasomnia or  ‘night terrors’ from the time he was six years old. He dreamed of what he called “nightgaunts.” Some readers speculate that these nightgaunts appeared in his books as black and faceless, thin humanoids.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above (lots more Lovecraft stories) for 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 this blog or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome.

 

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, dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, fiction bloggers, flash fiction, free short stories, ghost story blogs, Gothic Horror, haunted mind, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Night Sea Journey, occult, quiet horror, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural fiction, tales of terror

Haunter of the Dark: A tale of woe for Halloween

The Haunter of the Dark   H.P. Lovecraft (1935)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    October 24, 2017

 

Gulf of night. Shroud of dust …

“I see it—coming here—hell-wind—titan-blur—black wings …”

We are in Providence, Rhode Island. Robert Blake, a writer and painter, is currently writing a novel on a witches cult in Maine. In his newly rented room, his desk window gives him a view of a vacant and deserted  ‘ould church on Federal Hill. This is a man wholly devoted to dream, terror, and superstition. The dark church fascinates him and his imagination begins to take over. Or is it his imagination? He decides he must go inside this church to investigate the crumbling black spires and mesmerizing windows that seem to keep calling him.

What if …  this church was previously a place of devil worship, something along the lines of the Starry Wisdom sect back in 1877? The members of the Church of Starry Wisdom believed in the Haunter of the Dark. Who is the Haunter? He is summoned from the black gulfs of chaos, a powerful evil that was banished by light.

What if … inside this dark and shadowy church there existed a glowing crystal, an ancient artifact known as the Shining Trapezohedron that could summon evil power, summon an actual creature, out of depths of time and space?

What if … this evil creature knew all things?

 

 

And what if  … this Haunter of the Dark knew YOU were watching it?

This story is said to be the last story written by Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos, and  is a sequel to “The Shambler from the Stars” by Robert Bloch. I consider it to be one of Lovecraft’s best for prowling around an abandoned church and exploring leftover cults. It is classic horror, a foreboding story, perfect for a Halloween read. The writing is 5-star with evocative images, atmospheric, and high suspense.

 

 Note on Starry Wisdom: The cult was founded in Providence, Rhode Island circa 1844 by the archaeologist and occultist Professor Enoch Bowen. The cult used a sacred relic known as the Shining Trapezohedron to summon the Haunter of the Dark, who demanded outrageous sacrifices in return for limitless knowledge of the universe. The cult had a membership of 200. More  at MeasureLesseons: https://measurelesseons.wordpress.com/pulling-the-strings/church-of-starry-wisdom/ 

 

 

Read the short story at HPLovecraft.com.

Listen to the audio (1 hour), read by the famous David McCallum, and wonderful for your Halloween party. Go to The Haunter of the Dark at   YouTube.com 

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”  H.P. Lovecraft

 

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.

  

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, dark fantasy, demons, fiction, ghost story blogs, Gothic fiction, Gothic Horror, haunted houses, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Lovecraft, occult, paranormal, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers, tales of terror

Tomb-Tree on Mt. Maenalus

The Tree  by H.P. Lovecraft (1921)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  November 17, 2015

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The Fates Will Find a Way.  So opens Lovecraft’s very short story that is certain to grab you and even puzzle you. Artistic ambition, subtle revenge, friendship and grief are the themes.  Mt. Maenalus is the setting. For me, supernatural stories on a mountain are an immediate attraction. Love the spiritual power of mountains. Coupled with the power of fate and desire, this makes for an intriguing mystery.

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[Pan, Mikhail Vrubel 1900]

A beekeeper is telling our story, a rather stinging tale. “On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia … a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan [God of Nature and Mountain Wilds], whose queer companions are many …”  Two sculptors Musides and Kalos live and work together harmoniously. They are both gifted sculptors. Kalos likes the olive tree groves and converses with the nature spirits there, a meditative and inspired soul. Musides prefers urban gaieties and is more worldly. When Kalos becomes ill and dies, Musides is filled with grief and fulfills his friend’s last request to bury him with olive tree twigs at his head. But more is happening here than just grief. What grows from Kalos’ tomb reveals more than just a gigantic death-distorted tree with crooked boughs. Listen to what the boughs whisper.  The Fates Will Find a Way.

Interpretations vary about this story. It’s a slow thoughtful read. Do leave a comment!

 

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Read the short story at HPLovcraft.com.

 

Listen to the Librivox audio recording on YouTube.com

 

HP Literary Podcast discusses The Tree here.

 

Lovecraft fans will be interested in hearing the latest news from David Hartwell:  This is the last year the World Fantasy Award will be the H.P.Lovecraft statue. Joyce Carole Oates has a post on her blog this week. You can read it at Celestial Timepiece.

 

╰☆╮News ╰☆╮

Today is my 200th post on Reading Fiction, Tales of Terror Blog. By now I have created a compendium of  FREE classic short stories with over 100 master writers (browse the Index above).

To celebrate this milestone, I am offering my short stories FREE for the next week.  Just click the book cover on the right and you can access Amazon and download my published short fiction in ebook format. (Also available free on iTunes and B&N)

Short stories are a vital part of the fiction genre so please continue to enjoy a blast of fast fiction at your lunchtime reads or coffee breaks. And if you have a moment to give, leave a quick comment here or write a short review on Amazon. I would be most grateful. Thank you to all who have supported me here, purchased my novels, and remained loyal members of my readership. 

Hildie at the Ghost Shore “Richly atmospheric and hauntingly imaginative. A polished gem of a story.”  Anna Elliott, author of The Witch Queen’s Secret.

Between the Darkness and the Dawn “Nuanced and atmospheric as the stories of Hawthorne himself.  Mesmerizing.”  Erika Robuck, best-selling author of House of Hawthorne: A Novel.  

Magic of the Loons “A lyrical gem of a story—love triangle, lush prose, evocative setting, seductive.”  Award-winning author Lucy Taylor of Fatal Journeys.

 The Haunting of Jezebeth  “Good dark fiction. Paula Cappa has written a story to chill the soul. ” Pamela K. Kinney, author of Paranormal Petersburg.

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Books & Such

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine

 For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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The Devil Prefers the Sonata in G Minor

The Devil’s Trill,   Giuseppe Tartini (1769)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   September 15, 2015

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Come meet Giuseppe Tartini, the devil’s son, in the city of Padua, Italy. Giuseppe lived from 1692 to 1770 and is remembered famously for his violin Sonata in G Minor, known as The Devil’s Trill. Besides Giuseppe’s technical skills and the poetic qualities of his music, he is revered  as the godfather of modern violinists. He produced 200 sonatas and concertos but not a single one is comparable to The Devil’s Trill or as famous. Here is his true story as told to French astronomer Jerome Lalande and published in the Voyage d’un Français en Italie in 1769.

“One night I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I desired: my new servant anticipated my every wish. I had the idea of giving him my violin to see if he might play me some pretty tunes, but imagine my astonishment when I heard a sonata so unusual and so beautiful, performed with such mastery and intelligence, on a level I had never before conceived was possible. I was so overcome that I stopped breathing and woke up gasping. Immediately I seized my violin, hoping to recall some shred of what I had just heard; but in vain. The piece I then composed is without a doubt my best, and I still call it “The Devil’s Sonata,” but it falls so far short of the one that stunned me that I would have smashed my violin and given up music forever if I could but have possessed it.”

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Some say it’s just legend. Some say this is a fiction. Some believe that dreams bring us to unknown worlds, just as music does, and that Giuseppe  was touched by the devil when he composed and played this sonata. The sonata is said to have no autograph on the sheet music written in Tartini’s hand.

And what about Paganini? Did he sell his soul to the devil to master the violin? That story is for another Tuesday.

If you like short stories about supernatural music, here is one that will strike the perfect note.

The Music of Erich Zann by H. P. Lovecraft.

Erich Zann is a Renaissance viol-player and a mute with a wrinkled satyr-like face. He lives in the one-windowed garret of the peaked boarding house on the Rue d’Auseil and every night plays his music. Our narrator in this story is a university student of metaphysics. The city is probably Paris, but the name  is not confirmed. The student takes a room in the boarding house on the Rue d’ Auseil, which is a steep and narrow street, a cliff actually that lies beyond the dark river, beyond the bridge made of dark stone—a perfect metaphor for the edge of madness that defines the story.

Read The Music of Erich Zann at HPLovcraft.com.

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Listen to the audio, read by Mike Bennett at YouTube.com

 

 

For you film fans, watch John Strysik’s adaptation in two parts (total time 17 minutes):

Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeMNDhTWJ-o

Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqQWrZFHouA

Oh, and one more thing—while we are talking supernatural music from the other side—do keep in mind  my supernatural thriller about the dark powers of music, Greylock. Release in October.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost.

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GREYLOCK … coming soon …

when the leaves fall.

 

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     Sillyverse    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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Lizardmen and Venusian Crystals

In the Walls of Eryx  by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling (1939)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   July 14, 2015

Ready for a mysterious and glowing adventure on the planet Venus?

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Photo Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA/SDO, solar dynamics.

Kenton Stanfield is a prospector on the planet Venus in the region of Eryx (Erycinian Highland), a jungle of heavy plant growth and carnivorous blossoms. Our narrator is in search of crystal orbs to be brought back to Terra Nova  and used as a power source for Earth. The crystals are guarded by skulking ‘man lizards,’ some of them eight feet tall—and of course they are primitive and prepared to attack any human with their glow torches.

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“When they drew nearer they seemed less truly reptilian — only the flat head and the green, slimy, frog-like skin carrying out the idea. They walked erect on their odd, thick stumps, and their suction-discs made curious noises in the mud. These were average specimens, about seven feet in height, and with four long, ropy pectoral tentacles.”

As if that isn’t enough, Stanfield comes across a human corpse, and in the man’s hand is a crystal.

“I recognized him as Dwight, a veteran whom I had never known, but who was pointed out to me at the post last year. The crystal he clutched was certainly a prize — the largest single specimen I had ever seen.”

The cause of death? The man lizards? Or suffocation?

“The corpse was a rather bad sight — wriggling with sificlighs, and with a cloud of farnoth-flies around it. Something had pushed the helmet away from the face, and it was better not to look at it.”

 

Stanfield now realizes he is trapped inside an invisible, yet solid, maze. Blocks of glassy walls, corridors, parallel doorways, and circular rooms gives way to a maddening search out of the crystal maze before the dark vapors set in, and the man lizards discover his location.

This story was published after Lovecraft’s death. It is Lovecraft’s sole interplanetary frontier story set in the future.

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/Read Lovecraft’s In the Walls of Eryx  at  HPLovecraft.com

Listen to the audio version of In the Walls of Eryx at You Tube.

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I’ve always found crystals to be mysterious with their scientific values of piezoelectric qualities (spiral growth patterns) and their spiritual values as an aide in physical, emotional and psychological healing. I became interested in the power of quartz crystals when writing my novel The Dazzling Darkness, which features a quartz crystal skull.  Here is a very short video on the power of quartz crystals,  a demonstration on how quartz melts ice compared to other substances. “Demonstration of Quartz Crystals Healing Energies:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2onEsj7MtPc

 

 

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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Lovecraft for Christmas

The Festival   by H.P. Lovecraft (1925)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    December 2, 2014

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No one but Lovecraft could bring you to the dark and dreary yuletide of the season. Come to Kingsport, an old fishing town in Massachusetts. Willow trees. Graveyards. Crooked streets … “antiquity hovering on grey wings over winter-whitened gables and gambrel roofs; fanlights and small-paned windows one by one gleaming out in the cold dusk to join Orion and the archaic stars.” There are black gravestones in Kingsport that stick up “through the snow like the decayed fingernails of a gigantic corpse.”

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Not exactly glistening angels and the merry sparkles of Christmas trees. Charles Dickens’ gave us cranky old Scrooge on Christmas Eve, but Lovecraft brings us  into subterranean rituals. Are you ready for the opposite of merry, merry? Gloomy, gloomy. Our narrator tells us that four witches were hung in Kingsport in 1692. Lonely and far from home, he is looking for his relatives for the merry season. He finds his relative’s home on Green Street. A man answers the door, a man with a face like wax and eyes that do not move. Invited in, our narrator enters the house. No one speaks. All he can hear is the “whir of the wheel as the bonneted old woman continued her silent spinning, spinning” before the fireplace.

He participates in a procession through the streets to the Festival, led by voiceless guides to a church and yard. When he looks back, he finds there are no footprints in the snow of these night marchers … nor his own. What does this festival bring? And how does he survive it?

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imagesThe power of Lovecraft’s language here touches deeply into fear, not an emotion we associate with holiday time. Fear, loneliness, displaced from home can harbor its own madness. As Lovecraft tells us in Latin at the beginning of his story: Demons have the ability to cause people to see things that do not exist as if they did exist.

 

 

 

 

Creature Sketch Art by Jason Thompson: MockMan.com

 

Read the full text at H.P. Lovecraft.com

Listen to the audio version on YouTube with visuals. Turn out the lights and listen to this one!

Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjcM_sIDfUs Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62ICpQs9aac Part 2.

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Filed under Christmas stories, classic horror stories, demons, fiction, graveyards, horror, horror blogs, Lovecraft, occult, short stories, tales of terror

H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of an Accidental Shaman

If you are fascinated by Lovecraft’s fiction, this is a fascinating and informative article.  From Lovecraft Ezine, one of my favorite sites.

 

H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of an Accidental Shaman.

 

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