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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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A rictus grin (known in medicine as a risus sardonicus) is a chilling postmortem phenomenon that leaves a corpse with a toothy smile during the early stages of decomposition. This is usually caused by tetanus or a neurotoxin, which cause the facial muscles to sustain a...

The general way that these stories are structured is as follows: a heinous murder, a tragic death, or an unexpected demise causes someone to be buried unceremoniously or in conditions against their wishes. Over time, shocking screams are heard from the vicinity of the...

Today the word “vampire” conjures immediate images of courtly men exuding an aristocratic masculinity – tall, dark, and handsome. Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Brad Pitt, Frank Langella. But before Bram Stoker the word “vampire” had an almost universally female connota...

Crawford’s masterpiece – the story which he is best known for, horror or otherwise – remains comfortably ensconced in the canon of supernatural classics. Frequently anthologized, it pairs well with the masterpieces of other Edwardian writers who are overwhelmingly asso...

Like so many of the great American horror writers of the nineteenth century, Francis Marion Crawford had a transatlantic education: he was born in Italy – a country which would be to him what France was to Robert W. Chambers, England to Washington Irving, and the Conti...

F. Marion Crawford has probably the most “bang-for-your-buck” of any of the classic horror writers: his entire oeuvre consists of about a dozen stories of which five are well-seasoned masterpieces and two are underrated classics. While Crawford was made rich and famous...

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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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