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The Phantom of the Opera: Historical Inspirations, Literary Analysis, & Film Adaptations -- a Spooky Spotlight on the Gothic Novel

9 Jun 2019

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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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Perhaps Bierce’s most anthologized horror story, “The Boarded Window” has remained a staple of American Gothicism since its publication, though with little commentary. As with so many of his stories, the payoff comes from a twist ending and a moment of dramatic irony,...

The canon of science fiction follows a very direct descent. From Thomas More to Johannes Kepler, Francis Godwin, and Cyrano de Bergerac, thence to Swift, off to Mary Shelley, handed to Hoffmann, then on to Poe, who is followed by the first absolute master, Jules Verne....

Part “Three Skeleton Key,” part “The Most Dangerous Game,” “The Burial of the Rats” has the distinctive flavor of an Edwardian gentleman’s magazine thriller, and it features all the necessary tropes for this genre: a young man forced to prove his manhood through his me...

Unlike “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Imp of the Perverse,” and “The Black Cat,” Poe’s final two murder tales – “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Hop-Frog” – were revenge fantasies. The previous three murder tales explored the psychological effects of guilt, the unexpected l...

Arguably the most famous of Poe’s murder tales (and comfortably short for casual readers of literary fiction) “The Tell-Tale Heart” has become a cultural metaphor for the exposure of evil deeds. And yet its nuances are often overlooked. As much as it is a tale of wicke...

Many of Poe’s tales can be seen as re-workings of previous works: “MS.” becomes “Maelström,” “Metzengerstein” becomes “Hop-Frog,” “Shadow” becomes “Masque,” “Tell-Tale Heart” becomes “Imp of the Perverse,” and “Berenice” becomes “Tell-Tale Heart” and “Black Cat.” Perha...

O’Brien has not been called the “Celtic Poe” without cause. Among the most famous of his works (after “What Was It?”), “The Diamond Lens” is rich in Poesque imagery and motifs, and yet it maintains a unique originality that secures its reputation as a science fiction m...

“The Shadow” is Nesbit’s worthiest bid for the literary ghost story – that rare genre of powerful, elegant supernaturalism that thunders in your ears after you read it, haunts you intermittently for days, and disturbs some dark and quiet spot of your soul. Henry James...

15 Jun 2019

More than “The Great God Pan,” more than “The White People,” more than anything written in “The Three Imposters,” Machen is best known for a three-page piece of wartime propaganda that perfectly resonated with the British public in a way that would amuse and plague him...

Godfried Schalcken (1643 - 1706) was a Dutch master painter who studied under one of Rembrandt’s greatest pupils, attached himself to the court of William III, and was well-known for his temper, rudeness, and misanthropy. He was also the perfect visual compliment to J....

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