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E Poe Chopin Wharton Irving and many The works all portray an evil that can't be seen or heard but lurks in the depths of the human mind I carried this book with me when I was substitute teaching There are always down times and it s nice to have a book of short stories to read The stories in this collection were great very enjoyable

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American Gothic Tales From the Dark Heart of the Country

And psycheThis is the perfect book for a dark and stormy night so lock the doors curl up with a blanket and escape into American Gothic Have not seen anything online I own the book and have not completed the reading

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American Gothic collects some of the most haunting and terrifying stories of all time The best loved storytellers are all here—Hawthorn And it s time for another horror anthology collection I picked this gem up for probably a 1 at the Anarchist Closet on 56th in Tampa close to USF I figure I ll do the same thing as the last time I reviewed a horror anthology and say a few lines about each story individuallyThe Giant Wistaria by Charlotte Perkins GilmanI don t remember this one at all let s uick scan itAh ok yeah it s just the title was unfamiliar this is a classic haunted house story where an old timey lady who had a child out of wedlock got buried in the well to prevent shame to the family and years later is still haunting the new residents until she can get a proper burial oops spoilers except this trope has been adopted by countless films and novels since this story was first published I wonder if this was the originator Probably notMalhalla s Revenge by Joanna E WoodThis one was depressing than scary Malhalla was the first wife of this itinerant farmer and suffers a stroke that makes her a vegetable and her husband stands by her for years even though she is just taking up space in the house and draining his resources until he falls in love with her nurse and starts having kids with her but yet the first wife keeps hanging on out of spite Like seriously dark stuff but horrific because it probably really happened than it being a supernatural horror type storyThe Eyes of the Panther by Ambrose BierceHere s another where the title doesn t bring back enough although hmm I think there was a story in this collection about a were creature so it was probably this one scans yep it was Pretty good story really I kind of wish this anthology had included the date when each story was first published I guess I can look it up In fact I ll do that this story was published in 1891 and according to wikipedia has been adapted twice for film and television The other two stories above were published in 1891 and 1895 respectively so I m guessing most of the stories are going to be turn of the century unless they get recent as the anthology progresses I can t remember I did read this over a year ago but I m not 100% sure if it was 2014 or 2013The Right Hand Road by AnonymousAnonymous is a very prolific author recently he s branched into social protest and hacking activities though Ok so this story is probably the least scary thing ever It s about a guy who gets lost on his way home and stops in an abandoned house only to wake up in the middle of the night realizing that the owner of the house had hung themselves and the body was still in the room Sorry spoilers But it s crazy that this was considered frightening at one time It s like ok what happened then Weirdly I just googled and no one seems to know when this story first appeared and the only bibliographical source that I see is this book Hmm anyway moving onThe Haunted House by John G Whittier 1831This one is obviously a bit earlier it came from his collection of short stories Legends of New England I guess since I ve already been spoiling thus far I ll continue to do so This is totally the first Scooby Doo style story The house wasn t haunted at all and the old lady would have gotten away with it to if it weren t for those damn kids Seriously this story is a good laugh and a nice surprise after some of the depressing stories we ve already coveredThree Nights in a Haunted House by J Warren Newcomb JrOh nice while looking for the date of publication for this story I found a site that has them all listed out by publication date but they didn t know that the last one was 1831 and they don t know when this one was published either so I guess I ll keep searching 1861 Thanks Google I should probably point out that most of these stories are in the public domain and full text can be found by googling the titles or checking gutenberg if you don t want to look for a physical copy of this anthology Anyway back to this story which was pretty forgettable I had to scan twice as many pages to remember what it s about it s another house haunted by the phantoms of a long ago murder This one turned into a double or triple homicide apparently and one wonders at how incompetent the law enforcement of previous centuries must have been to not look under the fireplace grate for the bones of the lost oooOoooOooooohhhh Moving on A Night in Monk Hall excerpt from The uaker City by George Lippard 1844This one is a pretty entertaining read and has the ear mark of being a type of penny dreadful lurid story from centuries past So I won t say too much about it except maaaaan some of the racial language does not age well But that s how people thought and talked back then so no use wasting space here discussing it A Story of the White Mountain Notch by E P King 1890This one is kind of cute which is weird as it s about a family who fails to survive a natural disaster however since the bodies of a few of the children were never found it s assumed they survived and were protected by the face they imagined in the mountain behind their home My memory of this one is a bit confused but I don t want to re read it past the uick scan I just did to confirm if the family actually did die or not D sir e s Baby by Kate Chopin 1893Ok this one I don t have to re read at all to remember This one stands vividly in my mind as it is full of really good imagery and the twist at the end is pretty amazing for the time period it was written in The real horror in this story is racial prejudice Other than that I won t say the twist but I recommend this story for anyone studying the history of racial prejudice in this country Good stuffYoung Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1835Boy howdy is this one some religious witchcraft fearing fun You ve probably read some Nathaniel Hawthorne before this one is of the same but with a pretty crazy devil witch orgy thing going on I m sure it s symbolic or something but it made me laugh once I got through it Hawthorne always was kind of long windedAn Illusion in Red and White by Stephen Crane 1900Fascinating from a psychological point of view The story deals with the manipulation of memory and brainwashing I recommend anyone interested in how the brain works check it out Not sure if it s based on a true case study or not probably not but it has the feel of being being true so I d like to see an experiment done along these lines but how to make it a morally acceptable experimentLost by Philander Deming 1873I d uite forgotten this one which is a shame because it s pretty poetic and again could have really happened If you ve seen ABC s of Death 2 there is a similar short piece that kind of echoes with this story but with a much brutal and unnecessarily bloody ending Goes to show how times have changed I supposeJean ah Pouelin by George Washington Cable 1875Ok I remember this one perfectly and it is awesome and I won t spoil it for you but it s not what you think when you start to read it High marks for the characterization and description in this story Very very vivid selectionThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving 1819This story needs no commentary from me The only thing I ll say is that re reading it after all these years from when I first read it in elementary school it is nearly impossible to read the story without the images from the Disney Cartoon coming to mind Such a great adaptation There have been a lot this story is a part of the American national heritage for HalloweenThe Yellow Sign by Robert W Chambers 1895I had read this story years ago in another compilation and at the time it gave me a weird feeling but I didn t dwell on it too much This time I recall that I was reading it at the gym on the elliptical and I just had to find out about the story and I recommend you do too Apparently there s a lot of intertwined stories regarding the King in yellow by various authors and it ties into the Cthulhu mythos kinda heavily as Chambers was a clear influence on Lovecraft I ve kind of adopted him as a personal monster since reading this story and I hope to find books where he shows up in the future A fascinating concept and any fan of Lovecraft should check Chambers outThe Hollow of the Three Hills by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1830More Nathaniel Hawthorne and gasp witches Nuff saidThough One Rose from the Dead by William Dean Howells 1903Ok this one is a very sad love story But it s kind of happy too as it points towards redemption and reuniting in a life beyond death s door It s funny how some of these stories really stayed with me but others I m just like yeah I guess I read that This is one of the good ones in my opinion Another reader might feel different and that s fine that s why it s fun to discuss literature A Story of a Shadow by Rebecca Harding Davis 1872I barely have any memory of this story It doesn t strike me as even being a real ghost story More of a story of generational conflict story Can t really comment on it since I m drawing a blankA Tale of the Ragged Mountains by Edgar Allan Poe 1844A lesser known tale from the master of the Macabre It s interesting from an academic point of view and one is left wondering if it is a story about past lives or if it is a story of an immortal getting caught by a former acuaintance long after he was presumed dead A careful re reading may be in order or I can just google it hmm seems like there is debate in scholarly circles I ll leave it as is the thing about Poe is so many of his narrators are unreliable you have to fill in the holes yourself But that makes them fun to readMrs Manstey s View by Edith Wharton 1891Another sad story which is less horror and feeling bad for the horrible circumstances of the people involved No spoilers but I really think if the old lady had that much energy she should have just sucked it up and movedManacled by Stephen Crane 1900Another example of real life horror this one is short and to the point just three pages long it tells the story of an actor who is left behind chained to a set piece when a fire breaks out and describes his pitiable final moments In a time when fires were common and deadly this kind of story must have been uite horrific A Strange Death by AnonymousHere s Mr Anonymous again with a tale of undetermined age This could very well be a true story except of course embellished for the sake of fiction It s a murder mystery than anything else and I m sure most readers will guess the culprit about halfway throughThe Diamond Lens by Fitz James O Brien 1858This one reads like a 1940s or 1950s comic book story in Weird Science Stories like this might have inspired the concept of the microverse that Mr Fantastic discovered and explored in the Marvel Universe of comics The story has a melancholy end but you don t really feel bad for the narrator who was far too obsessive and draconian in his methods so you re kind of waiting for him to fail the entire storyHer Story by Harriet Prescott Spofford 1872Another exploration of love betrayal and madness For a longer look at similar themes I d recommend reading She s Come Undone uite melancholy but with a hint of poetic justiceThe Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1892 The final entry in this collection is another story which I studied in school years ago Again we have madness as the theme but the uestion is left open about whether or not our narrator has become possessed by a spirit or demon and if so if the narrator is in fact now demonic or undead in a way at least certainly by the end we know we can t trust the state of mind of the narrator and it brings to my mind the immortal lines written in the journals of Resident Evil itchy tastyOk so that s all of them this book review took a lot longer than I usually spend on these But hopefully it ll be valuable to someone


5 thoughts on “American Gothic Tales From the Dark Heart of the Country

  1. says:

    And it's time for another horror anthology collection I picked this gem up for probably a 1 at the Anarchist Closet on 56th in Tampa close to USF I figure I'll do the same thing as the last time I reviewed a horror antholo

  2. says:

    I carried this book with me when I was substitute teaching There are always down times and it's nice to have a book of short stories to read The stories in this collection were great very enjoyable

  3. says:

    Have not seen anything online I own the book and have not completed the reading

  4. says:

    This is a fun collection of American Gothic tales I enjoyed the varied selection

  5. says:

    haunted stories oooohhhhhThe giant wistariaBoringmalhalla's revengeBoringupdate read two stories both Sucked

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