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CLASSIC HORROR BLOG

Illuminating Supernatural Fiction, Horror, and the Gothic

from Mary Shelley to H. P. Lovecraft

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Often considered a parabolic meditation on the invincibility of death – a mere prose expansion of “The Conqueror Worm” – “The Masque of the Red Death” suffers from an underappreciation of its brooding class conflicts. While it is a perfection of Poe’s previous odes to...

With the sole exception of “Carmilla,” “Green Tea” reigns as J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s most widely celebrated and well-known supernatural tale. I know of many people who, when asked if they know anything about Le Fanu, will list these two stories and mention something abou...

Elizabeth Gaskell – like Broughton and Oliphant – wrote ghost stories with a critical (and notably feminist) perspective of British society. Her fiction explored the unstable nature (and looming doom) of a culture that failed to question the abuses of privilege: indust...

Like her first ghost story, “Nothing But the Truth,” the following tale is an example of Rhoda Broughton’s brilliant ability to infuse the dreadful into the domestic. Another story built on a foundation of witty letters between two women, it is, nonetheless, quite diff...

In the cold February of 1868, Sheridan Le Fanu's Welsh niece, Rhoda Broughton, published her first ghost story: "The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth" -- a chilling episode based on rumors circulating around London firesides about a house in Mayfair (m...

Poe’s final tale of horror was inspired by two actual events: the first was the social scandal aroused by a spurned woman, and the other was a ghastly event of Medieval French history called the Ball of Burning Men. After the shattering loss of his wife Virginia, Poe b...

In 1810 Hoffmann began teaching music to Julia Mark, the teenaged cousin of one of his close friends. Hoffmann met her when she was twelve – about a year after the death of his infant daughter, and not long after his twelve-year-old niece – who had lived with he and hi...

Arguably Dickens’ most famous work, there is something inescapably archetypal about “A Christmas Carol.” Its heavyweight power to charm, chill, and awe has made it one of the most adapted pieces of literature, featuring in dozens and dozens of films, audio dramas, and...

One of Hoffmann’s most common motifs – the hallmark of his fiction – is the theme of parallelism. His fantasies are unlike typical fairy tales in that they don’t depict wondrous things happening in a wondrous world (where, for instance, witches, dragons, and gnomes are...

As we all know, Arthur Conan Doyle was the most significant contributor to the detective story genre – what Verne and Wells were to science fiction, or what Tolkein and Lewis were to fantasy. And yet – unlike his fellow sleuth writers Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers...

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The Phantom of the Opera: Inspirations, Interpretations, and a Deep Analysis -- a Spooky Spotlight on Gaston Leroux's Gothic Novel

9 Jun 2019

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