Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Shelley's 1818 novel presents the Faustian story of a man who aspires to create life out of death, with disastrous results. The novel is constructed as a series of first-person narratives, delivered by Captain Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and his Creature, which makes it perfect for a dramatic reading.
Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire story, but he popularized it with his classic 1897 novel. In form Dracula is an epistolary novel, told through a series of journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and telegrams. It begins with lawyer Jonathan Harker's perilous journey to Castle Dracula in Transylvania, and chronicles the vampire's invasion of England, where he preys upon the lovely Lucy Westenra and Harker's fiancee, Mina. Harker and Mina join forces with lunatic asylum proprieter Dr. Seward, Lucy's fiance Arthur Holmwood, Texas man of action Quincey Morris, and Dutch vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing to try and defeat their powerful adversary.
The classic vampire story by Bram Stoker revolves around a struggle between good and evil, tradition and modernity, and lust versus chastity. The author didn’t invent vampires, but his novel has so captured the public’s imagination that he is rightly considered their popularizer. Listen and you will meet not only the Count himself, but heroes Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing, plus an array of madmen, psychiatrists, and fair maidens who cross paths with the fanged menace.
Dorian Gray, a young man of wealth and stature in late 1800's London, meets Lord Henry Wotton while posing for a portrait by his friend Basil Hallward. Once the painting is complete, Dorian realizes that it will always be young and attractive, while he will be forced to age and wither with the years. Carelessly, he wishes the opposite were true. What happens is a treatise on morals, self-indulgence and how crucial personal responsibility is towards one's self.
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses his desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging. This reading uses the 20-chapter 1891 version of Wilde's novel.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novel written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll and the misanthropic Edward Hyde. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an immediate success and is one of Stevenson's best-selling works. Stage adaptations began in Boston and London within a year of its publication and it has gone on to inspire scores of major film and stage performances.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. London lawyer Utterson is driven to investigate Edward Hyde, the unlikely protégé of his friend Dr Henry Jekyll, suspecting the relationship to be founded on blackmail. The truth is worse than he could have imagined. Jekyll’s ‘full statement of the case’, the final chapter of the book, explores the idea of dual personality that led him to his experiments, and his inexorable and finally fatal descent into evil.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
After hearing Mr. Enfield's account of a distressing event involving Edward Hyde, the heir of his friend, Henry Jekyll, John Utterson is convinced that Jekyll's relationship with Hyde is built on something sinister. Utterson's concern for his friend is not unfounded but the reasons aren't quite what he, at first, believes.
The tale begins on a Christmas Eve exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner. Scrooge has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity or benevolence. He hates Christmas, calling it "humbug", refuses his nephew Fred's dinner invitation, and rudely turns away two gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the Poor...
The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-hearted man of business and has little time for the good humor and charity of the Christmas season. But that's about to change. A visit from his deceased business partner sets in motion a night in which Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Will his listen to their messages? Will he heed their warnings? Ebenezer Scrooge is about to take a Christmas journey that he won't soon forget.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This is a collection of 12 creepy stories by that master of creepiness, Poe. The Black Cat; The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven; The Tell Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, the Premature Burial and six others that are a shuddering delight to read and listen to. Turn off the lights, settle down and hear these stories read to you as only readers can perform them.
Poe, Edgar Allan
Monday, January 19, 2009 marked Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. Though these tales need no introduction, the rationale for starting with volume two is threefold: many of the best-loved (and best) tales are included, the vast majority run from 15 to 30 minutes, and the other volumes can then be recorded without repetition, if there is interest in doing so.
Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu. First published in 1872, it tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by over twenty years, had a strong influence on Stoker's famous novel.
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. It was based on a German folktale set in the Dutch culture of Post-Revolutionary War in New York State. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", it is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.
The Turn of the Screw is a novella written by Henry James. It is a ghost story that was originally published in 1898. A nameless governess reports the events of two ghosts who stalk the young children she has charge over. Is she reliable, or an imaginative neurotic?
Northanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many “horrid” gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror — but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough.
Poe, Edgar Allan
The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841. Poe referred to it as a "tale of ratiocination" featuring the brilliant deductions of C. Auguste Dupin; it is today regarded as one of the first detective stories and is almost certainly the first locked room mystery.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This, the first of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 8 of his short stories as well as reflections, critiques, and eulogies by others.
An old theatre under new management; a diva who thinks she can sing; a young ingenue who really can; a masked man who wreaks havoc if he doesn't get his own way. Secrets, intrigues, falling chandeliers! The Phantom of the Opera is here!
Another camper tale, this time set in the Canadian wilderness. A hunting party separates to track moose, and one member is abducted by the Wendigo of legend. Robert Aickman regarded this as "one of the (possibly) six great masterpieces in the field".
Jacobs, W. W.
The Monkey's Paw is a classic "three wishes" story that doubles as a horror story and a cautionary tale; reminding us that unintended consequences often accompany the best intentions. This widely read story is a favorite in classrooms around the world. The story was first published in 1902 and then featured in The Lady of the Barge, published in 1911.
Nine Gothic Horror Tales by the author of Dracula.
Hodgson, William Hope
In 1877, two gentlemen, Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, head into Ireland to spend a week fishing in the village of Kraighten. While there, they discover in the ruins of a very curious house a diary of the man who had once owned it. Its torn pages seem to hint at an evil beyond anything that existed on this side of the curtains of impossibility. This is a classic novel that worked to slowly bridge the gap between the British fantastic and supernatural authors of the later 19th century and modern horror fiction. Classic American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft lists this and other works by Hodgson among his greatest influences.
Poe, Edgar Allan
Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his famous short horror stories; however, horror is not the only genre in which he wrote. How To Write a Blackwood Article and its companion piece A Predicament are satirical works exploring the pieces of the formula generally seen in short horror stories ("articles") found in the Scottish periodical "Blackwood's Magazine" and the successful misapplication of said formula by - horrors! - a woman author! - respectively.
Originally paired together as The Psyche Zenobia and The Scythe of Time, Poe first published these pieces in the American Museum based in Baltimore, Maryland in November 1838. The names of the works as we currently know them were attached when they were published in Poe's collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque and in the fourth volume of his Collected Works.
As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read/listen.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This, the third of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 6 of his short stories as well as Poe's only complete novel, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. In it, Arthur Gordon Pym stows away on a whaling vessel and experiences shipwreck, mutiny, and other adventures in typical Poe fashion.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories in "Tales of Terror and Mystery", a suppressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror. In others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to a horrific conclusion.
Sit back in the comfort of your armchair and let yourself be transported to the strange but compelling world created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Tales of Old Japan by Lord Redesdale is a collection of short stories focusing on Japanese life of the Edo period (1803 - 1868). It contains a number of classic Japanese stories, fairy tales, and other folklore; as well as Japanese sermons and non-fiction pieces on special ceremonies in Japanese life, such as marriage and harakiri, as observed by Lord Redesdale. The best know story of these is "The Forty-seven Ronins" a true account of samurai revenge as it happened at the beginning of 18th century Japan.
Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837 - 1916) was a British diplomat, collector and writer. He worked in Japan as second secretary to the British Legation at the time of the Meiji Restoration. He wrote Tales of Old Japan in 1871.
An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to
haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.
"The Jolly Corner," published in 1908, is considered by many to be a ghost story ranking second only to "The Turn of the Screw." James’s protagonist, Spencer Brydon, is an American of 56, returned to New York after 33 years in Europe, where he has apparently accomplished little while living off his New York rentals. His friendship with Alice Staverton, and his engagement in the development of a property awaken him to the possibilities that might have been his, had he chosen a different course of life. The "ghost," if that’s what it is, is that other self that might have been, and his confrontation with that self and its possibilities leads to a deeply unsettling, yet ambiguous, conclusion.
Green, Anna Katharine
Violet Strange, a clever petite detective, is called upon to solve the mystery of a page gone missing from an important document. The futures of several people, including an eccentric misanthrope, a chemical scientist, a bride and groom, depend on the quick resolution of this problem. In solving one mystery, she uncovers another which dates back many years.
The Jewel of Seven Stars (also published under the name: The Jewel of the Seven Stars) is a horror novel by Bram Stoker first published in 1903. The story is about an archaeologist's plot to revive Queen Tera, an ancient Egyptian mummy.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn
A "Bluebeard" story in which a young woman marries a man whom she discovers has killed his previous wives and is trying to kill her as well.
Viereck, George Sylvester
Not only is The House of the Vampire (1907) one of the first known gay vampire stories, but it is also one of the first psychic vampire stories—where a vampire feeds off more than just blood.
This is the story of a priest named Romauld, and his all-consuming love for the beautiful courtesan, Clarimonde.
Dr. David Throckmartin’s scientific expedition to the South Sea Islands discovers among ancient ruins a portal into Muria, an unknown underground world. After the disappearance of Throckmartin, his wife and two companions, his old friend Dr. Walter Goodwin enters Muria with a rescue party, only to confront an fantastic world filled with incredible beings, astounding scientific advances, and the worship of the most evil of all creatures, The Dweller.
End of the world sci-fi tale borrows heavily from H.G. Wells' WOTW and In The Days of the Comet -- looks like fun !
Stevenson, Robert Louis
"Olalla" was a "shilling shocker" written for the Christmas season in 1885, just before the publication of Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The nameless protagonist of this Gothic tale, a wounded soldier, goes to the Spanish countryside to recuperate. He finds himself enthralled by the beautiful Olalla, the daughter of his hostess, whose family conceals a terrible secret.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), satirist, critic, poet, short story writer and journalist. His fiction showed a clean economical style often sprinkled with subtle cynical comments on human behaviour. Nothing is known of his death, as he went missing while an observer with Pancho Villa’s army in 1913/14.
Falkner, John Meade
The Lost Stradivarius (1895), by J. Meade Falkner, is a short novel of ghosts and the evil that can be invested in an object, in this case an extremely fine Stradivarius violin. After finding the violin of the title in a hidden compartment in his college rooms, the protagonist, a wealthy young heir, becomes increasingly secretive as well as obsessed by a particular piece of music, which seems to have the power to call up the ghost of its previous owner. Roaming from England to Italy, the story involves family love, lordly depravity, and the tragedy of obsession
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
In this short novel of 1894, Conan Doyle describes a character with seemingly extraordinary powers. Are these powers occult or are they only in the minds of other people? There is no Sherlock Holmes to solve this mystery.
De la Mare, Walter
A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation".
The Ghost Breaker is a drama and haunted house horror complete with heroes, villains, and a Princess. The Ghost Breaker was originally a screenplay and would later be made a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
J. Sheridan LeFanu's Gothic mystery novel is narrated by Richard Beckett, a young Englishman abroad in Napoleonic-era France. He falls instantly in love with a mysterious and imperiled Countess, whom he glimpses momentarily behind her black veil. In order to be near her, he takes a room in the Dragon Volant (the Flying Dragon), a haunted inn that has been the site of mysterious disappearances.
A non-fiction work, comparing and collecting ghost stories by Classical Greek and Republican or Imperial Roman authors.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa's army.
Four grotesque short stories about murder within the family, seen through the gently innocent eyes of family members ... usually the murderer himself.
Cory, Charles B.
This is a collection of weird tales inspired from the natural history expeditions of the author, an independently wealthy bird collector, Olympic golfer, writer of many books on birds of the world, and, as evidenced in these pages, a fine storyteller to boot.
Ingram, Eleanor M.
To get away from city life periodically, New Yorker Roger Locke purchases an abandoned farm house in rural Connecticut, and with the assistance of his cousin Phillida and her beau Ethan Vere, he sets about fixing up the place.
Immediately however, an unseen mysterious woman begins giving him warnings during nocturnal visits to leave the house at once. Soon he begins hearing strange ominous sounds emanating from the tiny lake at the back of the house coupled with a permeation of sickly odors. An evil presence then begins to visit him during the witching hours of the late night, challenging him to a battle of wits from which there can be only one victor.
Is his mysterious female visitor there to help and encourage him to flee from the house, or is she working in tandem with The Thing From the Lake?
A gripping, occasionally frightening tale, Ms. Ingram wastes no time in grabbing the reader into the story and manages to weave a tale that will leave the reader guessing at every turn of events.
The Drums of Jeopardy is a 1920 American novel by Harold MacGrath. The story was serialized by the The Saturday Evening Post beginning in January of 1920.
In 1922 the book was made into a Broadway play and the following year a motion picture. A second film version appeared in 1931.
It is said that a young Boris Karloff, who previously had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name for his first screen credit in 1920 from a Russian mad scientist character named "Boris Karlov" in this novel. The name "Boris Karlov" was used from MacGrath's book for the 1922 Broadway play, but by 1923 with actor Boris Karloff using the similar sounding variation, the film version renamed the character, played by Wallace Beery, "Gregor Karlov." In the 1931 film version, however, with Warner Oland playing the character, the mad scientist's name is restored to "Boris Karlov," less than a year before Frankenstein would make Boris Karloff a household word for generations. Ironically, Boris Karloff would play many mad scientists on screen, but never "Boris Karlov."
A group of guests, at an exclusive luxury hotel in Hampshire, are the witnesses of an illustration of occult powers, demonstrated by “the Mystery”, as Mrs. Jefferson named the beautiful stranger who one day appeared in the Turkish Baths of the hotel. The events that follow lead Mrs. Jefferson to question the wisdom of her interest in the occult.