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Old 11-06-2006   #31
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Interesting back story on "The Hole of the Pit", Karnos, I hadn't heard it before. I still haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I do know that it was rediscovered in the anthology Uncanny Banquet edited by Campbell. Who knows, maybe he just added the monster, if it sits oddly on the page.

I am in agreement with many of your story selections. Ewer's "Spider" is outstanding, as is Gilman's "Yellow Wallpaper." I meant to post something on your thread, but work has me very distracted lately. I have the "Yellow Wallpaper" on audio too, in two separate versions. One is an unabridged reading and the other is a radio play adaptation done in the 1940s (I think) for the show Suspense. TL shares an anthology with Gilman's story in American Gothic Tales edited by Joyce Carol Oates. I also have a weakness for Barker's "Midnight Meat Train." I haven't read it in years, though, and I do remember having a chuckle at Joshi's less than complimentary review of it. That's it for now. Back to work. Sigh.
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Old 11-14-2006   #32
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

In my library is an anthology named The Horror Hall of Fame edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin H. Greenberg. Its contents reflect the polling results of participants in the 1981 and 1982 World Fantasy Conventions. From the book's introduction: "The Horror Hall of Fame was conceived with the idea of paying tribute to the many writers and stories that predate the World Fantasy Convention and have helped make horror the rich and complex body of literature it is today." Tastes, of course, are relative. The cream, however, does rise to the top. (Note the titles which have already been mentioned. These are certainly recommended!) The book's contents:

"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe
"Green Tea" By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
"The Damned Thing" by Ambrose Bierce
"The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers
"The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs
"The White People" by Arthur Machen
"The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood
"Casting the Runes" by M. R. James
"The Graveyard Rats" by Henry Kuttner
"Pigeons from Hell" by Robert E. Howard
"It" by Theodore Sturgeon
"Smoke Ghost" by Fritz Leiber
"Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper" by Robert Bloch
"The Small Assassin" by Ray Bradbury
"The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" by Harlan Ellison
"Calling Card" by Ramsey Campbell
"Coin of the Realm" by Charles L. Grant
"The Reach" by Stephen King

There is much tasty reading here. Enjoy, my friends!

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

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Old 11-15-2006   #33
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Edit: Naught.

... one of them understands, and suddenly it is raining flowers.

Last edited by eth; 07-18-2008 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 11-20-2006   #34
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

I think there is a strong prima facie case that everything that has ever been written is horror...

But this aside, one of my favorite horror stories of all time has to be the Bible. Warning: spoilers below!

An entity of dubious moral integrity exists alone in The Outer Void. Unsatisfied with keeping his own company, He decides to generate other intelligent life-forms in the Void - He knows this is a cosmic sin, but He quickly changes the rules to salve His conscience.

He later feels that His creaions don't quite live up to His own impeccable standards, and so He goes gangsta on practically every living thing on earth. Satan was kind of like Charles Manson - very charismatic, and his preferred mode of operation was to convince other people to do his dirty work. God, on the other hand, likes to get hands on. From cover to cover, God kills hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children.

Consider this, taken from www.stanford.edu

"A person with a borderline personality disorder often experiences a repetitive pattern of disorganization and instability in self-image, mood, behavior and close personal relationships. This can cause significant distress or impairment in friendships and work. A person with this disorder can often be bright and intelligent, and appear warm, friendly and competent. They sometimes can maintain this appearance for a number of years until their defense structure crumbles, usually around a stressful situation like the breakup of a romantic relationship or the death of a parent".

Or the death of an only child, perhaps....?

His worshippers, on the other hand, present as textbook examples of sexually abused children, meeting challenges to their values, beliefs or lifestyle responses equivalent to 'daddy chose me because I'm special'.

In true Ligottian style, everyone is totally screwed from the beginning; God made heaven practically impossible to get into just so He could watch his creations squirm trying to get there, and even those that do make it realise how crap it is, and that they're stuck there forever.

End of rant - don't take anything I say too seriously, because I was probably stoned when I said it.

OMNIA VNVS EST
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Old 11-21-2006   #35
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Quote Originally Posted by Dollglove";p=&quot View Post
But this aside, one of my favorite horror stories of all time has to be the Bible.
I agree, it is quite a horror story. (I can think of a few other names to call it) But always keep in mind, it is only fiction.
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Old 11-21-2006   #36
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Hey, just because the Demiurge tells us he's God doesn't mean we have to believe him. :P

I think someone mentioned The House on the Borderland up-thread. One of the only "horror" novels I actually like (The Haunting of Hill House can go screw!) I thought it benefited from dropping the conventional horror elements and going the crazy metaphysical route toward the end; that was the most evocative part! I also enjoyed The Night Land, even if the love story is total fromage.
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Old 11-21-2006   #37
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Yeah, House on the Borderland ftw. Quite well developed and nicely maintains suspense, unlike The Boats of Glen Carrig which was mostly munchkinised swashbuckling and gratuitous monster appearances, although it had its tense moments near the beginning. Have not yet read The Night Land, but the whole metal pyramid thing sounds creepy.

On a more serious note than my last post, I have to say that 'Nausea' by Sartre is one of my favorite non-conventional 'horror' novels. Possibly the first novel of 'philosophical horror', although I suspect that wasn't quite Sartre's intention, since I think it was just more of a plug for Being and Nothingness - a great read if you have the time to read an intellectually-crammed 1000 page existential treatise...slow-going in places, but worth it, especially for someone with Ligottian philosophical inclinations (although, having said that, being an uber-libertarian, Sartre wouldn't have liked Ligotti's deterministic thread).

But back on topic, other good horror stories I've read are 'The Willows' by Algernon Blackwood (which many people seem to think is over-rated - I don't see why - it roxxor) and 'The Whimper of Whipped Dogs' by Harlan Ellison. Both are rooted firmly within the 'cosmic horror' genre, as Lovecraft defined it.

Yours in Christ,

-D

OMNIA VNVS EST
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Old 11-26-2006   #38
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My favorite horror story - if "favorite" is the correct word - is actually a movie. It was the most horrifying and emotionally draining artistic experience that I have ever had. The film is entitled "Come and See." It is a Belarusian film set in Belarus in the Second World War. The story is that of a teenager who is caught up in the anti-Nazi fight. The Germans are pacifying Belarus and an underarmed, outnumbered group of civilians are fighting them. The horrors that the Germans inflict on the citizens of the countryside, all in the name of policy, are so horrendous that I almost couldn't take it. The screenwriter - Ales Adpmovich - was in the war himself and is merely relating what he saw. The things that people do to each other are, to me, the worst things of all. The Russian or Belarus title is "Idi i Smotri" and it was released in 1985. If you haven't seen this movie I highly reccomend it. However, you have to be prepared for a truely terrifying experience.

"A Mad World, MY Masters"
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Old 11-29-2006   #39
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

I'm rather surprised that no one has mentioned The Dark Descent edited by David G. Hartwell. This hefty 1987 anthology is certainly a book I'd choose to take with me if I were marooned on a deserted island. Under one cover, the amazing contents are:


PART I: The Color of Evil

The Reach - Stephen King
Evening Primrose - John Collier
The Ash-Tree - M. R. James
The New Mother - Lucy Clifford
There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding - Russell Kirk
The Call of Cthulhu - H. P. Lovecraft
The Summer People - Shirley Jackson
The Whimper of Whipped Dogs - Harlan Ellison
Young Goodman Brown - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mr. Justice Harbottle - J. Sheridan Le Fanu
The Crowd - Ray Bradbury
The Autopsy - Michael Shea
John Charrington's Wedding - E. Nesbit
Sticks - Karl Edward Wagner
Larger Than Oneself - Robert Aickman
Belsen Express - Fritz Leiber
Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper - Robert Bloch
If Damon Comes - Charles L. Grant
Vandy, Vandy - Manly Wade Wellman


PART II: The Medusa in the Shield

The Swords - Robert Aickman
The Roaches - Thomas M. Disch
Bright Segment - Theodore Sturgeon
Dread - Clive Barker
The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe
The Monkey - Stephen King
Within the Walls of Tyre - Michael Bishop
The Rats in the Walls - H. P. Lovecraft
Schalken the Painter - J. Sheridan Le Fanu
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A Rose for Emily - William Faulkner
How Love Came to Professor Guildea - Robert Hichens
Born of Man and Woman - Richard Matheson
My Dear Emily - Joanna Russ
You Can Go Now - Dennis Etchison
The Rocking-horse Winner - D. H. Lawrence
Three Days - Tanith Lee
Good Country People - Flannery O'Connor
Mackintosh Willy - Ramsey Campbell
The Jolly Corner - Henry James


PART III: A Fabulous Formless Darkness

Smoke Ghost - Fritz Leiber
Seven American Nights - Gene Wolfe
The Signal-Man - Charles Dickens
Crouch End - Stephen King
Night-Side - Joyce Carol Oates
Seaton's Aunt - Walter de la Mare
Clara Militch - Ivan Turgenev
The Repairer of Reputations - Robert W. Chambers
The Beckoning Fair One - Oliver Onions
What Was It? - Fitz-James O'Brien
The Beautiful Stranger - Shirley Jackson
The Damned Thing - Ambrose Bierce
Afterward - Edith Wharton
The Willows - Algernon Blackwood
The Asian Shore - Thomas M. Disch
The Hospice - Robert Aickman
A Little Something for Us Tempunauts - Philip K. Dick

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 11-30-2006   #40
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

The Mist, the novella by Stephen King, was for years the example for me of a perfect horror story. No happy ending, the mystery remains, and good characters and just scary goings-on. And even monsters. For those who've read it, I don't think he constrains us to believe that the pits of the earth were opened up due to the alluded-to govt./military experiments nearby. I like to think the other possibility was also there -- that the goddamn demons or whatever just decided to come the #### up and ruin everybody's day at that supermarket and in that town and as far as the eye could see, which wasn't very far of course, because of...the mist!! Mist made it all spooky and cozy-wozy...

I liked The Haunting of Hill House a lot. In fact, better than the movie The Haunting, from 1962 or so.

Apropos of nada: "Just because it's wearing a Bigfoot suit doesn't mean it's not a Bigfoot." (Actually heard in our little Mystery Club down in Virginia this past summer.)

"Think of it [Mr. Veech] -- wood waking up."
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