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Saturday, 29 August 2015

'The Picture in the House' by H.P. Lovecraft

Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down black cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and the desolate mountain are their shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths on uninhabited islands. But the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

'The Familiar' by Sheridan Le Fanu

PROLOGUE

OUT of about two hundred and thirty cases more or less nearly akin to that I have entitled "Green Tea," I select the following which I call "The Familiar."

  To this MS., Doctor Hesselius has, after his wont, attached some sheets of letter-paper, on which are written, in his hand nearly as compact as print, his own remarks upon the case. He says:

  "In point of conscience, no more unexceptionable narrator than the venerable Irish Clergyman who has given me this paper, on Mr. Barton's case, could have been chosen. The statement is, however, medically imperfect. The report of an intelligent physician, who had marked its progress, and attended the patient, from its earlier stages to its close, would have supplied what is wanting to enable me to pronounce with confidence. I should have been acquainted with Mr Barton's probable hereditary predispositions; I should have known, possibly by very early indicators, something of a remoter origin of the disease than can now be ascertained.

Monday, 24 August 2015

'The Oval Portrait' by Edgar Allan Poe


Watch above, read below, or listen to our narration of this tale.

THE chateau into which my valet had ventured to make forcible entrance, rather than permit me, in my desperately wounded condition, to pass a night in the open air, was one of those piles of commingled gloom and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Appennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. Radcliffe. To all appearance it had been temporarily and very lately abandoned. We established ourselves in one of the smallest and least sumptuously furnished apartments. It lay in a remote turret of the building. Its decorations were rich, yet tattered and antique. Its walls were hung with tapestry and bedecked with manifold and multiform armorial trophies, together with an unusually great number of very spirited modern paintings in frames of rich golden arabesque. In these paintings, which depended from the walls not only in their main surfaces, but in very many nooks which the bizarre architecture of the chateau rendered necessary -- in these paintings my incipient delirium, perhaps, had caused me to take deep interest; so that I bade Pedro to close the heavy shutters of the room -- since it was already night -- to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by the head of my bed -- and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself. I wished all this done that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and describe them.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

'NoEnd House' by Author Unknown



Let me start by saying that Peter Terry was addicted to heroin.

We were friends in college and continued to be after I graduated. Notice that I said "I". He dropped out after two years of barely cutting it. After I moved out of the dorms and into a small apartment, I didn't see Peter as much. We would talk online every now and then (AIM was king in pre-Facebook years). There was a period where he wasn't online for about five weeks straight. I wasn't worried. He was a pretty notorious flake and drug addict, so I assumed he just stopped caring. Then one night I saw him log on. Before I could initiate a conversation, he sent me a message.

"David, man, we need to talk."

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

'Number 13' by M.R. James

AMONG the towns of Jutland, Viborg justly holds a high place. It is the seat of a bishopric; it has a handsome but almost entirely new cathedral, a charming garden, a lake of great beauty, and many storks. Near it is Hald, accounted one of the prettiest things in Denmark; and hard by is Finderup, where Marsk Stig murdered King Erik Glipping on St. Cecilia's Day, in the year 1286. Fifty-six blows of square-headed iron maces were traced on Erik's skull when his tomb was opened in the seventeenth century. But I am not writing a guide-book.

Friday, 14 August 2015

'The Black Cat' by Edgar Allan Poe

FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not -- and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified -- have tortured -- have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror -- to many they will seem less terrible than barroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place -- some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Vault Creaks Open...

Greetings, traveller.

It has been my good fortune, perhaps misfortune, to have been toiling in the bowels of this damp and mouldy vault for countless eons. Do you like what I've done with the place? In these silent rooms of stone and death, you'll find the most chilling collection of horror stories in existence. We take all sorts here, whether it be one of the masters such as Poe or Lovecraft, or a new breed of storyteller like Auerbach, Bogetic, Cava and Whitehouse.

Each story has been scrawled into the volumes and tomes which surround you. Please, take a look. Peruse the uncanny, the wretched, the twisted and the damned. I'm sure you'll come across a surprise or two. May I suggest taking one of my books and reading it under moonlight, by the graves and sleeping fiends which litter the hillside?