Tag Archives: supernatural

Author of the Week, James Herbert, April 19


James Herbert

(Novels and Short Stories, Supernatural, Ghost Stories, Horror)



“I’m never going to win the Booker and I have no great literary pretensions, but I know how to write well. I do it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper and I know my spelling and grammar.”

“I have a dread of sounding pretentious and try not to talk too much about what I do. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to point it out: I’m not just in it for the gore.”

“To be haunted is to glimpse a truth that might best be hidden.”

“I’ve actually seen a ghost, so I know what they are really about.”


James Herbert (1943 – 2013) was an English author of the supernatural and popular for his horror fiction. He sold 54 million books that were translated into 34 languages. His best known novels are The Fog, The Survivor, and The Dark. Also the Ghosts of Sleath, The Secret of Crickley Hall , The Dark. Some of his novels were adapted for film, television, and radio. Herbert’s final novel Ash imagines Princess Diana and her secret son as well as Lord Lucan, Colonel Gaddafi and Robert Maxwell living together in a Scottish castle. Stephen King said of Herbert’s stories, “His work has a raw urgency.”


Interview by Terry Wogan with James Herbert. True horror fans will love this!


BBC interviews James Herbert on his experiences with ghosts.



James Herbert Amazon Page:



Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog! And browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Filed under Author of the Week, classic horror stories, dark literature, fiction, fiction bloggers, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Gothic Horror, haunted houses, horror, horror blogs, horror films, literary horror, literature, paranormal, phantoms, psychological horror, Reading Fiction, short story blogs, Stephen King, supernatural, supernatural fiction, supernatural tales, tales of terror

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

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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

Announcement: Greylock No. 3 on Amazon Kindle Best Seller List

This is to say THANK YOU to all here who said yes to ‘journey into the supernatural music’ with Alexei Georg. To those who supported and encouraged me for GREYLOCK and helped with my marketing and book promotions to spread the word out there about GREYLOCK, I am ever grateful. 

No. 3 on Amazon.com Kindle in supernatural/occult genre.  But truly, this is a murder mystery at its core! More ‘supernatural suspense’ than occult. 

This launch promotion has made Alexei Georg very happy; I am enormously humbled.






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Filed under crime thrillers, fiction, Mt. Greylock, murder mystery, occult, Reading Fiction, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural music, supernatural thrillers, suspense

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

“Run! Run! It is after me.”

The Haunters and the Haunted  by Edward Bulwer-Lytton  (1859)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 30, 2013

“The house is haunted; and the old woman who kept it was found dead in her bed with her eyes wide open. They say the devil strangled her.”

Well, this is a provocative beginning to the story, isn’t it? Being strangled in your bed by the devil? I’ve had nightmares like that so this line really lured me in.

Our author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton was well known in the horror genre from the 1850s, but he also had a political career and wrote historical novels. Mary Shelley called him “a magnificent writer,” but he is probably one of the most neglected authors of our time. Some called him the British “Poe,” while other literary contemporaries at the time proclaimed him a terrible writer (he penned the much ridiculed “It was a dark and stormy night.”). I chose him because The Haunters and the Haunted is one of the earliest haunted house stories, immensely readable, suspenseful, and probably one of the first “psychic phenomena” stories at that time. And, the story carries a certain diabolical reverence.

The House and the Brain is the alternate title and important to note because this story hinges on the scientific elements of the human brain meshed with the spiritual elements. The narrator reporting theses events believes that apparitions or ghosts are not supernatural but within the laws of nature (“our nature” that is), the laws of nature that we do not fully understand yet.

Okay, so here we go. Our narrator decides to spend the night in this haunted house where the woman was strangled by the devil.  Does he in fact see a ghost? He does: “livid face, long drowned … bloated, bleached, sea-weed tangled in its dripping hair … shadows, malignant serpent eyes.”

Our calm and objective narrator explains that he believes there is a power that extends over the dead, over certain thoughts and memories that reside in the brain of the dead.  And this brain “is of immense power, that it can set matter into movement …”

Exactly what power is this? Are you ready for this material force and what it is capable of doing to our narrator … or should I say, do to you as the reader?

Listen … can you hear the sinister laughing in the dark chink of your brain?

This story is a must read for those of us who adore the classic ghost story that goes beyond the supernatural.

Read it here on Read Book Online:


One more quick note. My second novel, The Dazzling Darkness, was just released April 27th by KDP on Amazon (ebook). Can I tempt you into taking a look at my own supernatural mystery? Click on the link:

The Dazzling Darkness by Paula Cappa on Amazon



Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, Hauntings, horror, occult, paranormal, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror