“After Apple-Picking”—A Poem by Robert Frost, 1914

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My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Art by Richard Bawden (Royal Watercolor Society)

“Hunters in the Snow”—A Short Story by Tobias Wolff, 1981

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Hunters in the Snow

Tobias Wolff, 1981


Tub had been waiting for an hour in the falling snow. He paced the sidewalk to keep warm and stuck his head out over the curb whenever he saw lights approaching. One driver stopped for him, but before Tub could wave the man on he saw the rifle on Tub’s back and hit the gas. The tires spun on the ice.

The fall of snow thickened. Tub stood below the overhang of a building. Across the road the clouds whitened just above the rooftops, and the streetlights went out. He shifted the rifle strap to his other shoulder. The whiteness seeped up the sky.

A truck slid around the corner, horn blaring, rear end sashaying. Tub moved to the sidewalk and held up his hand. The truck jumped the curb and kept coming, half on the street and half on the sidewalk. It wasn’t slowing down at all. Tub stood for a moment, still holding up his hand, then jumped back. His rifle slipped off his shoulder and clattered on the ice; a sandwich fell out of his pocket. He ran for the steps of the building. Another sandwich and a package of cookies tumbled onto the new snow. He made the steps and looked back.

The truck had stopped several feet beyond where Tub had been standing. He picked up his sandwiches and his cookies and slung the rifle and went to the driver’s window. The driver was bent against the steering wheel, slapping his knees and drumming his feet on the floorboards. He looked like a cartoon of a person laughing, except that his eyes watched the man on the seat beside him.

“You ought to see yourself,” said the driver. “He looks just like a beach ball with a hat on, doesn’t he? Doesn’t he, Frank?”

The man beside him smiled and looked off.

“You almost ran me down,” said Tub. “You could’ve killed me.”

“Come on, Tub,” said the man beside the driver. “Be mellow, Kenny was just messing around.” He opened the door and slid over to the middle of the seat.

Tub took the bolt out of his rifle and climbed in beside him. “I waited an hour,” he said. “If you meant ten o’clock, why didn’t you say ten o’clock?”

“Tub, you haven’t done anything but complain since we got here,”

said the man in the middle. “If you want to piss and moan all day you might as well go home and bitch at your kids. Take your pick.” When Tub didn’t say anything, he turned to the driver. “O.K., Kenny, let’s hit the road.”

Some juvenile delinquents had heaved a brick through the windshield on the driver’s side, so the cold and snow tunneled right into the cab. The heater didn’t work. They covered themselves with a couple of blankets Kenny had brought along and pulled down the muffs on their caps. Tub tried to keep his hands warm by rubbing them under the blanket, but Frank made him stop.

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“The Haunting”—A Short Story by Joyce Carol Oates, 2003

The Haunting

Joyce Carol Oates, 2003


Originally appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in April 2003. It was later anthologized in Stephen Jones’ The Mammoth Bookmof Best New Horror, Vol. 15 in 2004; and collected in 2006 in Oates’ story collection: The Female of the Species: Tales if Mystery and Suspense.

There’s nothing! You hear nothing. It’s the wind. It’s your dream. You know how you dream. Go back to sleep. I want to love you, stop crying, let go of me, let me sleep for sweet Jesus’s sake I’m somebody too not just your Mommy don’t make me hate you.

In this new place Mommy has brought us to. Where nobody will know us Mommy says.

In this new place in the night when the rabbits’ cries wake us. In the night my bed pushed against a wall and through the wall I can hear the rabbits crying in the cellar in their cages begging to be freed. In the night there is the wind. In this new place at the edge of a river Mommy says is an Indian name — Cuy-a-hoga. In the night when we hear Mommy’s voice muffled and laughing. Mommy’s voice like she is speaking on a phone. Mommy’s voice like she is speaking, laughing to herself. Or singing.

Calvin says it might not be Mommy’s voice. It’s a ghost-voice of the house Mommy brought us to, now Mommy is a widow.

I ask Calvin is it Daddy? Is it Daddy wanting to come back

Calvin looks at me like he’d like to hit me. For saying some wrong dumb thing like I am always doing. Then he laughs.

“Daddy ain’t coming back, dummy. Daddy is dead.”

Daddy is dead. Dead Daddy. Daddy-dead. Daddydeaddead. Deaaaaaddaddy

If you say it enough times faster and faster you start giggling. Calvin shows me.

In this new place a thousand miles Mommy says from the old place where we have come to make a new start. Already Mommy has a job, in sales she says. Not much but only temporary. Some nights she has to work, Calvin can watch me. Calvin is ten: old enough to watch his little sister Mommy says. Now that Daddy is gone.

Now that Daddy is gone we never speak of him. Calvin and me, never when Mommy might hear.

At first I was worried: how would Daddy know where we were, if he wanted to come back to us?

Calvin flailed his fists like windmills he’d like to hit me with. Told and told and told you Daddy is D-E-A-D.

Mommy said, “Where Randy Malvern has gone is his own choice. He has gone to dwell with his own cruel kin.” I asked where, and Mommy said scornfully, “He has gone to Hell to be with his own cruel kin”

Except for the rabbits in the cellar, nobody knows me here.

In their ugly rusted old cages in the cellar where Mommy says we must not go. There is nothing in the cellar Mommy says. Stay out of that filthy place. But in the night through the wall I can hear the rabbits’ cries. It starts as whimpering at first like the cooing and fretting of pigeons then it gets louder. If I put my pillow over my head still I hear them. I am meant to hear them. My heart beats hard so that it hurts. In their cages the rabbits are pleading Help us! Let us out/We don’t want to die.

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What’s on the Tube? “The Damned”—A 2013 IFC Midnight Film, Directed by Víctor García. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

What would you do if, after seeking shelter from a flash flood, you found a young girl padlocked in a room in the basement of creepy old house in Colombia? … Let her out?

The Damned—an IFC Midnight film is streaming on Netflix. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ It’s other name is a better name I think, since the house used to be a hotel called Gallows Hill, although, why a name like that would draw guests to stay overnight is beyond me.

It has a few subtitles here and there, for clarification’s sake, but the film is in English. I’m about a half of the way through and so far I really like it. I suppose it could go either way—but usually, if I like a movie by half-way in, it turns out to be a worthwhile watch for me. The film has a nice atmosphere. It won an award in 2015 and was nominated for another. Here are some links…

Awards:

At Premios Macondo (2015)-Festival Award Winner for Best Make Up Artist: Olga Turrini Bernardoni; and at Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival (2013)-Maria Nominee for Best Motion Picture.

Blurb:

The Damned, also known as Gallows Hill, is a 2013 American horror film directed by Víctor García. The film stars Peter Facinelli, Sophia Myles, Nathalia Ramos, and Carolina Guerra. The film features a family and group of friends stranded in a storm and looking to seek refuge in a house with an ancient evil presence. The film was produced by Peter Block, Andrea Chung, and David Higgins, and is a joint Colombian and American production. The film had its world premiere at the Sitges Film Festival on October 17, 2014 (nominated Best Picture) and was released on video on demand on July 25, 2014, before a limited release by IFC Midnight on August 29, 2014.

More Here (Spoilers!):

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Damned_(2013_film)

https://www.indiewire.com/2014/02/ifc-films-nets-thriller-gallows-hill-30226/

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Back from the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories–A New Collection from the Writers of the Original Bestselling Series, ed. by Johnny Mains (Noose & Gibbet 2010), TOC

The Pan Book of Horror Stories was a British paperback series of short horror story anthologies published by Pan Books Ltd. The series ran to thirty volumes, the first published in 1959. The series was initially collected and edited by Herbert Van Thal. On Van Thal’s death Clarence Paget edited the series, from volume twenty-six until its demise with volume thirty in 1989. The early editions of the Pan Book of Horror Stories were notable for their lurid cover art and Van Thal’s introduction of stories by new authors alongside classics of the genre. Read more: Wikipedia/Pan Book of Horror…

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Cover art by Les Edwards.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword (Back from the Dead) • essay by Shaun Hutson
  • Introduction: The Influence of Pan • essay by David Sutton [as by David A. Sutton]
  • Locked • short fiction by Christopher Fowler
  • Mr. Smythe • short fiction by Tony Richards
  • Acute Rehab • short fiction by John Burke
  • Camera Obscura • (1965) • novelette by Basil Copper
  • The True Spirit • short fiction by David A. Riley
  • Angel • short fiction by Jack Wainer
  • A Good Offence • short fiction by Myc Harrison
  • Gallybagger • short fiction by Roger Clarke
  • Spinalonga • (1972) • short story by John Ware
  • The Forgotten Island • short fiction by Jonathan Cruise
  • Dreaming the Dark • short fiction by J. P. Dixon
  • The Little Girl Eater • (1963) • short story by Septimus Dale
  • Mr. Golden’s Haunt • short fiction by Christina Kiplinger
  • The Stare • short fiction by John Burke
  • The Children • short fiction by Nicholas Royle
  • The Moment of Death • (1983) • short story by Ken Alden
  • A Caribbean Incident • short fiction by Jane Louie
  • The Waiting Game • short story by Craig Herbertson
  • School Crossing • (1979) • short story by Francis King
  • Sounds Familiar • short fiction by Harry E. Turner
  • An Outing With H. • short fiction by Conrad Hill
  • “Lest Ye Should Suffer Nightmares”: Herbert Van Thal: A Biography • essay by Johnny Mains

A Suggestion of Ghosts, Supernatural Fiction by Women 1854 – 1900, ed. by A. J. Mains, from Black Schuck Books

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Table of Contents

  • A Veritable Ghost Story by Susanna Moodie
  • The Spectral Rout by Frances Power Cobbe
  • A Legend of All-Hallow Eve by Georgiana S. Hull
  • The Ghost of the Nineteenth Century by Phoebe Pember
  • The Ghost Room by Clara Merwin
  • Miss Massereene’s Ghost by E.A. Henty
  • Vindication of the Supernatural by Manda L. Crocker
  • The Warneford Abbey Ghost by Ada Maria Jocelyn
  • A Speakin’ Ghost by Annie Trumbull Slosson
  • The Closed Cabinet by Lady Gwendolen Gascoyne-Cecil
  • The Little Green Door by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman
  • The Death Spancel by Katharine Tynan
  • The House That Wouldn’t Let by Mrs Hattie H. Howard
  • At the Witching Hour by Elizabeth Gibert Cunningham-Terry
  • The Oakleigh Ghost by Annie Armitt

About the Book

British Fantasy Award-winning editor J.A. Mains presents an all-female anthology of supernatural stories, first published between 1854 and 1900. Mains has trawled the archives to find fifteen tales which have not seen print since their original publications. Featuring cover art from multiple time British Fantasy Award-winner Les Edwards, and an introduction by Lynda Rucker, A Suggestion of Ghosts is an important volume for those interested in the Victorian era of supernatural tales.

Black Shuck is very proud to announce the first of two ghost story anthologies from Johnny (A J) Mains, an all-female anthology of ghost stories written from 1826 – 1897. Johnny has been deep in the cobwebbed archives of decaying periodicals, collections and newspapers and has found British, Irish, American and Australian stories that have never been anthologized since their original publication up to 190 years ago. Mains is thrilled that he can also attribute the correct authorship to ‘The Closed Cabinet’ to Lady Gwendolyn Gascoyne-Cecil, which has been continuously published under the by-line ‘Anon’ since its original appearance in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine in January of 1895.

Mains feels that A Suggestion of Ghosts will be an invaluable book for those desperately seeking to read and research supernatural tales which have long faded away and have been forgotten about.

There will be a limited hardback edition of 100 numbered copies, with artwork by Edward Miller (Les Edwards) and Mike Mignola. The book will also be signed by Mains and Edwards. A Suggestion of Ghosts will also contain original publication dates of stories and biographies of the authors.

Two months after the publication of the hardback, there will be a simultaneous paperback and e-book release, this will contain two stories less than the hardback.

Read more: http://vaultofevil.proboards.com/thread/6591/suggestion-ghosts-mains#ixzz5TjqFSWHV

Link to Buy the Paperback

https://blackshuck.greatbritishhorror.com/a-suggestion-of-ghosts/

An Obscurity of Ghosts, ed. by J. A. Mains Hardback Coming Late 2018! (TOC + Link)

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Table of Contents

  • The Pin Ghost by E T Corbett
  • The Mysterious House by Mrs M C Despard
  • Not Exactly a Ghost Story by Mary Louisa Molesworth
  • A Bristol Ghost Story by Alice Horlor
  • The American Ghost by Lucretia P Hale
  • The Ghostly Lady by Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford
  • The Room with the Staircase by Mrs E Fitzmaurice
  • Miss Tweed’s Ghost Story by Sarah Doudney
  • A Night in a Haunted House by (Mattie) May Jordan
  • The White Priest by Hélène Gingold
  • Grannie’s Ghost Story by Lucy Hardy
  • The Ghost of My Dead Friend by Wilhelmina Fitzclarence, Countess of Munster
  • Playing the Ghost by Mrs Edith E Cuthell
  • A Chestnutting Ghost by Margaret Barringer
  • The Phantom Ride by Lyllian Huntley

About the Book

Following the success of A Suggestion of Ghosts, British Fantasy Award-winning editor J.A. Mains presents a second all-female anthology of ghost stories written between 1876 and 1902. Mains has once again been trawling the archives to find another fifteen tales, fourteen of which have not been anthologised since their original publications.

Featuring cover art from multiple time British Fantasy Award-winner Les Edwards, and an introduction by Melissa Edmundson, AN OBSCURITY OF GHOSTS will be another important volume for those interested in the Victorian era of supernatural tales.

This hardback edition of AN OBSCURITY OF GHOSTS will be limited to 50 numbered copies, each signed by editor J.A. Mains and artist Les Edwards.

Link to Preorder

https://blackshuckbooks.co.uk/obscurity/