Tag Archives: tales of terror

Here’s What’s Newsy in Paula Cappa’s Fiction

buzzimgres

 

I’ve got a bit of buzz going on with my  supernatural mystery writing these days, so here’s a quick update.

CappaNightSeaJourneyThumbnail

 

After Winning an Eric Hoffer Book Award, Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural just got a review from U.S. Review of Books.

“Stunning and absorbing plot on par with—if not better than—a Dan Brown novel. Truly an outstanding read, Night Sea Journey is one book that is hard to put down!” You can read more at U.S. Review of Books here.

 

 

 

DazzlingDarknessthumb200x264(1)

 The Dazzling Darkness is holding its Amazon Kindle Best Seller status, in  ghost  genre, for 14 weeks now. This story has really connected to a healthy number  of ghost  story  lovers.

Midwest Book Review ★★★★★ “Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical  mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very  highly recommended.”

 

 

 

I have three short stories available on Amazon Kindle (99 cents), Hildie at the Ghost Shore; The Haunting of Jezebeth; Between the Darkness and the Dawn.  See links and book covers to the right.

What’s coming up?

The Magic of the Loons, a short story of magical realism, a little bit sexy and a little bit fantasy. Will release on Amazon in September for 99 cents. This story was previously published at Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine.

And my third novel, Greylock, is in it final stages of editorial revisions (5 years’ work). Music, the supernatural, and the power of desire.  Murder, lies, betrayal, romance—and the phantasm.

Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts

GeylockZuta

Photo by Elisabeth Zguta

 

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin,

another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror, horror blogs, Reading Fiction, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness, Women In Horror

Dead Howls of the Vourdalak

The Family of Vourdalak   by Aleksei Tolstoy ( published 1884)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 19, 2015

 vampire

Let’s go to the castle of the Dowager Princess of Schwarzenberg in Hitzing, in the dark and silent woods of Vienna. We’ve dined on a rich meal with tasty wine; the kindly Princess has seated us around a hot fire; we are all in the mood for thrilling story telling.

The Marquis de Urfe, a womanizing French diplomat speaks:

“As for me, gentlemen, I have had but a single adventure … so strange, so horrible, and yes, true, that it will strike terror in even the most incredulous among you.” He takes a pinch of sniff and begins to recount his adventure.

“I should explain to you, mesdames, that vourdalaks, as the Slavic people call vampires, are believed in those countries to be dead bodies that come out of their graves to suck the blood of the living. Their habits are similar to those of all vampires, from any country, but they have one characteristic that makes them even more dreadful. The vourdalaks, mesdames, prefer to suck the blood of their closest relatives and dearest friends who, once dead, become vampires in turn. … The commissioners tell of exhuming bodies engorged with blood, which they stake in the heart and then burn in the village squares. The magistrates who were present at these executions attest — with oaths and signed statements — that they heard the dead howl at the moment that the stake was plunged into their heart.”

karloff bava looking back

The Marquis recounts his travel to a Serbian village where he finds lodging at the home of a man named Dorde and his wife and children. The Marquis learns that Dorde is awaiting the return of his father Gorcha who has gone off hunting. Gorcha left a warning to his son Dorde that if he does not return in ten days, do not let him into the house as he will have turned into a vourdalak. Meantime the Marquis falls in love with Sdenka, the lovely young  sister of Dorde. When Gorcha does return, the story takes a wicked turn into delicious encounters with the vourdalaks.

This short story was adapted for a film in 1963 titled The Black Sabbath that included three short stories: The Telephone (sexy ghost story about a prostitute, Rosie), The Drop of Water (by Chekhov, classic dark and shadowy ghost story), and Wurdalak (vampires) starring Boris Karloff as Gorcha. I watched the film. Vintage horror at its best. Loved it.

cvt_La-famille-du-Vourdalak--Suivi-de-La-Dame-pale-et_9976vourdalak

 

//

80px-A.K.Tolstoy_by_Repin Alexei Tolstoy (1817-1875)  was a poet, playwright and novelist, second cousin to Leo Tolstoy. His historical drama trilogy The Death of Ivan the Terrible , Tsar Fiodor Iannovich, Tsar Boris are considered to be a part of the classic Russian literature of the 19th century. His first work of fiction was in 1841, The Vampire.

 

 

Read the Family of Vourdalak at AmericanLiterature.com

 

Listen to the audio at Weirdtales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOcjg6iPRRM

 

Watch the film The Black Sabbath (Wurdalak with Boris Karloff on YouTube at DailyMotion.com).

Comparison_between_American_and_Italian_version_of_Black_Sabbath

//

Photo Credit: First image above is by Edvard Munch, The Vampire, 1893.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Anton Chekhov, fiction, horror, horror blogs, occult, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, vampires

The Mysterious Window

The Deserted House  by  E.T.A. Hoffmann (1909)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   March 31, 2015

imgres

 

The subject of this story is the mysterious. Are facts more mysterious than the imagination? Or is the power of the imagination the reality?

Our narrator Theodore is a clairvoyant. Or so his friends believe. Theodore tells of an adventure with the mysterious. Imagine you are walking in old Germany on an avenue lined with aristocratic homes and fashionable shops. Tucked among the rich and gay architectures is a deserted old house. Theodore becomes entranced by this closed up and unoccupied home. He wonders what may be hidden within it. One day, in the upper window he sees the hand of a young woman. Later he hears her mad laughs and scratchy old voice.

mirrorimages

 

Fatal magic. A haunted mirror. A gypsy woman in a red shawl. This is a wonderfully creepy story with counts and countesses, betrayals, and of course, the mysterious.

 

 

//

I discovered author E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann) when I was researching occult music for my current WIP novel Greylock. Hoffmann is most popularly known as a composer, but he’s written novels and over fifty short stories in horror, fantasy, and the supernatural. His tales are full of magic, occult powers of the subconscious, and psychology. He writes in a rich narrative style that carries vintage storytelling atmospherics. Many know his name as the author of the novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which was the basis for Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

cor7744

 

DesertedHouseimgres

 

Read the short story online at  UNZ.org  at German Mysteries, From The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne.

 

Listen to the audio at Librivox,  Parts 1 and 2 on Youtube.

 

Another Hoffman favorite short is The Sandman, featured here at Tales of Terror on  July 9, 2013.

 

 

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.

3 Comments

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

Devils Club

The Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly  by Rosa Mulholland (1891)

Classic Tales From Women in Horror , WIHM

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 17, 2015

McKimAndersonlarge

We are in the midst of a wild thunderstorm in the village of Hurly Burly. July roses hang their blossoms under the torrents. A great house sits a mile from the local shops. In the vast drawing room, Mistress and Master Hurly rest with a hot tea urn and muffins when a visitor arrives—and on such a dreadful night. Lisa, a small lovely creature claims she’s arrived to play music for them on their beautiful organ. The Hurlys’ are perplexed. Lisa tells them that their son has sent her.

“Our son—“ began Mistress Hurly, but her mouth twitched, her voice broke, and she looked piteously towards her husband.

 “Our son,” says Master Hurly, making an effort to conquer the quavering in his voice, “our son is long dead.”

 

imagesSo begins this haunted tale of supernatural music and evil power of the Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly. I am especially interested in supernatural music and working on a novel of how music can possess  and exhibit evil powers. E.T.A. Hoffman believed that music could lead into the “dark abysses of the soul.” What do you think? Have you ever had a mysterious experience while listening to music?

Try this haunted organ music at YouTube: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J.S. Bach

 

 

 

imgresWIHM author Rosa Mulholland is an Irish poet and novelist (1841-1921). The Princess Grace Library lists over fifty novels, novellas, and short stories of this forgotten author. So many of her stories are out of print now, it’s no wonder. She was highly favored by Charles Dickens who encouraged her to write. Dickens, in fact, published a good deal of Mulholland’s stories in his All the Year Round in the 1860s. Some of her best known titles were The Wild Birds of Killeevy, Banshee Castle, Mystery of Hall-In-The-Wood, The Wicked Woods of Toobereevil, Spirit and Dust (poems).

 

 

mulholland2

 

You can read the Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly at SearchEngine.org.UK/ebooks/PDF.

Listen to the audio version on YouTube. Nicely done!

I expect you are more likely to find Mulholland’s stories in libraries than on Amazon, although there are a few available here.

ntlg

[Sketch above by Sam McKim of Ken Anderson’s original sketch (Shipley-Lydecker House, Baltimore, Maryland]

 promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/

 Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth

 ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GOTHIC POETRY? CHECK THIS OUT ON GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2198596-tale-of-terror-a-study-of-the-gothic-romance-by-edith-birkhead

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.

4 Comments

Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, horror, horror blogs, Reading Fiction, short stories, tales of terror, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

Sinister Snow, Silent Ice

Conrad Aiken vs. Haruki Murakami

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 12, 2014

What do you fear most about snow and ice? Fear of being buried in snow so deep you can’t breath? Fear of snow trapping you far away from others? Maybe you have a  fear of ice freezing you to death. Or what about the horror of  falling through the ice? And maybe these are just symbolic of other fears like a loved one freezing you out, or loneliness, insanity, emotional imprisonment.  I don’t often do themes, but this week I grew thirsty for something chilling for August’s dog days of summer. So, let’s cool down with some secret snow and a very compelling ice man.

Two shorts for you this week: one old and one new by very different writers—Conrad Aiken who brings you into the inner world of the mind, and Haruki Murakami who brings you outside the world of reality. Both stories explore life as it freezes and isolates. Both stories disregard realism, but not reality.

 

Ice-Crystals-on-a-Chain-Link-Fence__IMG_6560-580x386

Silent Snow, Secret Snow   by Conrad Aiken (1934)

Young Paul Haselman, twelve years old, is daydreaming about snow. He becomes obsessed with the falling of snow, the silence of it, and its mysterious secret world. He thinks a lot about the Arctic. When his bedroom begins to fill up with snow, the mystery goes deep, challenging reality and imaginary worlds. This story is filled with symbolism and operates on several levels of psychological complexities, imagination, and madness. Have you ever walked in the snow with muffled steps? That eerie sound of being alone in a deep white world? Here is a taste of Aiken’s unforgettable prose:

The snow was laughing: it spoke from all sides at once: it pressed closer to him as he ran and jumped exulting into his bed.

 “Listen to us!” it said. “Listen! We have come to tell you the story we told you about. You remember? Lie down. Shut your eyes, now—you will no longer see much —in this white darkness who could see, or want to see? We will take the place of everything . . . Listen—”

ThumbnailServer2

Listen, the author says. Can  you hear snow falling? Is it soothing or threatening?

Read Silent Snow, Secret Snow at VQRonline.org.

 

You can watch the film (Rod Serling’s Night Gallery). This version is on the Twilight Zone Network, produced by Gene Kearney.

 

m-489

Conrad Aiken (1869-1973) was a poet and novelist, not known for horror literature, but this story certainly fits as one of the most mysterious tales and has been widely anthologized in many horror and fantasy books.

 

 

 

 

The Ice Man   by Haruki Murakami (1991)

 

322-12256801703abM

In this short story a young woman falls in love with an ice man. When stories have a magical power like this one, you won’t forget it.

“I first met the Ice Man at this ski resort hotel. I guess that’s the kind of place one ought to meet an Ice Man.” …

Don’t you ski? I asked the Ice Man, trying to sound as casual as possible. He slowly raised his head. He had an expression on his face like he could a hear the sound of wind blowing from incredibly far away. He looked at my face with eyes like that.”

It would a crime to reveal any more about this amazing story. Surrealist fiction can sweep you away into a delicious world. I’ve featured it here today because while this is not horror, it is about the present, the past, and the future in a fantastical and highly mysterious way. The complexity of loneliness, and becoming ‘frozen’ are themes that this author Murakami handles with such beauty, I found myself in awe. There is no missing the fear growing inside the complexities.

You can read The Ice Man here at Tab.spyang.com

Want more of Murakami? His collection of short  fiction is in Blind Willow, Sleeping Willow on Amazon.com

The Ice Man was published by The New Yorker in 1991. Murakami is an award-winning contemporary Japanese author, his works translated into fifty languages. In an interview at The Paris Review (The Art of Fiction) he spoke about his writing:

220px-HarukiMurakami

 

“The good thing about writing books is that you can dream while you are awake. If it’s a real dream, you cannot control it…. In my books and stories, women are mediums, in a sense; the function of the medium is to make something happen through herself.”

 

His latest book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is newly released by Knopf.

 

HERE’S SOME NEWS …

wise_owl_on_books

 

My latest adventure has been to review books on Amazon.com. I now have over 50 book reviews of fiction, horror, short stories, and nonfiction. Stop by if you like to read reviews. And if you like my book reviews, be sure to hit the YES “Was This Review Helpful to You” button.

My reviews are not plot synopses or character sketches. They are usually short capsules of my personal experience with a story.

 Paula Cappa Reviews on Amazon

I also post on Goodreads. I invite you to friend me there!

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

 Sirens Call Publications

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic Authors.

2 Comments

Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, psychological horror, quiet horror, short stories, tales of terror

Black Cups of Sleep

The Mummy’s Foot by Theophile Gautier (1840)

Clarimonde by Theophile Gautier (1836)

Tuesday’s Tales of Terror    July 29, 2014

 

9781775457718_p0_v1_s260x420

I have two stories for you by Theophile Gautier:

one to amuse, the other to terrify.

Clarimonde_1002

 

When I first began reading The Mummy’s Foot by Theophile Gautier about the foot of a princess, I immediately settled in for an exotic fairy tale that would take me back to the amusements of my childhood readings. I was not disappointed.

Our narrator is a twenty-seven year old Frenchman who is looking for a paperweight in a curiosity shop. If you’ve ever browsed an antique store and fantasized about the objects and their histories, The Mummy’s Foot is a story that will fulfill all your imaginations. The mummified foot that our Frenchman is attracted to belonged to the 4000-year-old Princess Hermonthis, daughter of pharaoh. He purchases the charming foot, brings it home, and with great adoration sets it upon his desk.

images-3“The Dream of Egypt was Eternity: her odors have the solidity of granite, and endure as long.”

Do items from the past carry their own energies? Possibly their own force upon the mind … or even upon a life? Come meet Princess Hermonthis. She will kindle her torch and bring you into the subterranean tombs of Cheops, Chephrenes, Psammetichus, Sesostris, Amenotaph—all the dark rulers of the pyramids. By Oms, by the dog of hell, this story will enchant and charm you!

 

 

pharaoh2

Read The Mummy’s Foot at Gutenberg.net

Listen to the audio version at Librivox Recording, narrated by Dorothy Scarborough.

 

A Kiss Upon the Dead Lips

 

images-2

250px-Théophile_Gautier_2

Theophile Gautier was a dramatist, painter, poet, journalist, and novelist. His storytelling carries a great deal of entertaining qualities. He is skilled in blurring the lines of dreaming and reality, setting his suspense within the theme of eternity. He can pitch realistic settings against supernatural phenomena quite smoothly. He is quoted, “What I write is not for little girls,” although many of his stories have a fairy tale tone.

 

 

 

 

68305169_p

 

One of his most famous short stories is La Morte Amoureuse, aka Clarimonde (1836) about a young and endearing priest, Romuald, who has the misfortune to fall in love with a mesmerizing woman of beauty on the same day he is ordained. Her name is Clarimonde. This is a bit like Sleeping Beauty but a far more twisted and dark romance. What evil lurks here?

 

Romuald opens the story: “Brother, you ask me if I have ever loved. Yes. My story is a strange and terrible one; and though I am sixty-six years of age, I scarcely dare even now to disturb the ashes of that memory… For more than three years I remained the victim of a most singular and diabolical illusion.”

Could a corpse be this ravishing?

images-1

You can read it here in English  at Gutenberg.org under the title of Clarimonde

Listen to  audio, Clarimonde by Libivox Recordings, Parts 1  and 2 narrated by Joy Chan:

Part 1 Clarimonde

Part 2 Clarimonde

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications  The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic Authors.

4 Comments

Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, tales of terror, vampires, weird tales

Ghost Moons and Phantom Ships

Ghost Moons and Phantom Ships

Tuesday’s Tales of Terror   July 15, 2014

images-1

The ghost moon is when phantom ships are said to appear. I love haunted tales of the sea, ghost ships, and sea superstitions (don’t kill an albatross as they carry the souls of dead sailors; whistling and flowers onboard are bad luck). Ghost ships are said to haunt the oceans even today. There are plenty of real stories or legends that come to mind: The Flying Dutchman of the 1700s; Greenland’s Octavius, the English Schooner Jenny in 1823, France’s Zebrina in 1917, Mary Celeste in 1872.

One of my favorite true ghost ship stories is the Russian Ivan Vassili (1897).

“Everything was business as usual as the ship left the port (Africa) and took to sea, but the crew suddenly felt that a presence was on board.  Something just didn’t feel right.  No one knew exactly what the presence was, but everyone was certain that some sort of invisible entity was among them.  When it was near, the men felt that something was watching them, and they would feel a sudden chill in the air.” images

One night before the change of watch, the men on deck saw the apparition.  It looked human, but its features were impossible to make out.  It was misty, glowing, and luminous as it strolled across the deck and disappeared behind a lifeboat.”

 

 

 

 

.

In literature, what are some supernatural short stories of the sea for your summer reading?

images-5

 

 

Three Skeleton Key by George G. Toudouze (1937). This is a story of an abandoned ship, overrun by ferocious rats.

 

 

You can download the PDF at   my.ccsd.net/download/tnrobinson/resource/176218

Here is a fabulous audio version of Three Skeleton Key by Larry Santoro at his Tales To Terrify. (Includes the radio play by Vincent Price from 1950 “Escapes”.images-4)

 

 

.

images-2The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton (1912) is one of the most famous short stories. This is a humorous tale that takes place in the tiny village of Fairfield when a ghost-ship appears to have sailed into a field of turnips.

“I thought it was queer when I saw a drowned sailor float by in the thin air with his hair and beard all full of bubbles. It was the first time I had seen anything quite like that at Fairfield.”

 

 

Read it here at ReadCentral.com

Listen to Audio at Librivox.com

.

Of course, there is the poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge and Poe’s short story Descent into the Maelstrom.

220px-Flying_Dutchman,_the

 

If you have any favorite supernatural sea stories, please post. I would love to hear about more titles.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica.com

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications  The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic Authors.

 

6 Comments

Filed under fiction, ghost ships, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, supernatural, tales of terror