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Tag: Storytime Edition

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Horrible Imaginings Podcast 179: BONUS Storytime “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

In all the years I have done Storytime Edition episodes, I never did Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" because it just felt a little too obvious for some reason. I have been asked now for the third time to record a reading of it for the podcast, and I was even asked to read it in person to a friend recently. After all this, I am relenting. It is Halloween season, after all!

I first read this poem when, in the 6th grade, my dad took me to Poe's grave and the Poe house in Baltimore, Maryland. At the house, they sold all kinds of tourist knick knacks, but the thing I wanted was a copy of "The Raven" that looked like it was written in script on aged paper. I read that thing over and over again.

"The Raven" by Gustave Dore (1884)

In many ways, "The Raven" is a sort of city poem of Baltimore. Even their football team is named after it. This is all rather funny--some might say even appropriate--since the poem is all about life-crushing grief and unending loss. The agony of despair. It is also lyrical and beautiful, if not unapologetically melodramatic. I get a little melodramatic while reading it. I decided to record this with no sound effects or music. Poe's words are music enough. Enjoy!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #165: “The Kit Bag” by Algernon Blackwood

The winter holidays are quickly approaching, so what better time for a quick "Storytime Edition" of the Horrible Imaginings Podcast? "Storytime Edition" episodes are readings of classic horror, Gothic, or paranormal short stories in the public domain. Today's story takes place in the holiday season, though that has little bearing on the horrors within. The title is "The Kit Bag" and it was first published in 1908 in Pall Mall Magazine. The author was Algernon Blackwood, a British author renowned for his prolific collections of weird and supernatural stories.

algernon blackwood

Algernon Blackwood portrait by Howard Coster, half-plate film negative, July 1929

What I like about this particular story is that Blackwood makes several asides during the narrative to discuss the nature of fear itself, various stages of fear, and, most importantly, the effects that fear can have on an otherwise rational person. This story is as much about fear killing reason as it is about anything paranormal. But don't worry, there is some paranormal stuff going on! So make some hot chocolate (or some egg nog with bourbon) and enter Blackwood's haunted world with me!

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LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE!

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#127: Storytime Edition: Guy de Maupassant's THE HORLA

Happy Holidays, everyone! As a holiday present to all of you, I decided to bust out another Storytime Edition of the Horrible Imaginings Podcast. And what says "merry" better than manic visions of an invisible and highly-evolved starman sent to enslave our will and replace the human race? Well, this is a horror podcast, after all!

guy de maupassant

The French author Guy de Maupassant has not maintained the household name status in literature that is enjoyed by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or even HP Lovecraft, but that is unfortunate because the mad darkness of his tales from the late 1800s are intriguing, and even ahead of their time. As with Poe, Guy de Maupassant wrestled with his own demons, and it is likely that the result of those conflicts can be read in his writing. On this eve of Christmas, I'd like to introduce you all to what could arguably be called his sci-fi horror story, The Horla!