Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at six of the neglected horror stories written by architect Ralph Adams Cram between 1894 and 1903.
NUMBER 252 RUE M LE PRINCE – A haunted house at the title address in Paris turns out to be the former home of a Spanish sorcerer. The story’s narrator makes the typically stupid decision for a horror story of spending a night in the house to get to the bottom of the supernatural phenomena.
He compounds his stupidity by sleeping in the temple room in which the sorcerer performed rituals on his Black Magic altar. Overnight the foolish narrator is attacked by a blob-like, protoplasmic monster with wide, staring eyes.
THE DEAD SMILE – Lured by shrill screaming and shrieking from the family mausoleum, Sir Gabriel Ockham seeks to quiet the dead. To that end he must creep into the tomb of his evil late father and obtain a mysterious package containing an old family secret. His father’s corpse lies there outside its coffin and with its decapitated head which moves around on its own, smiling at all who enter.
The smile vanishes when Gabriel successfully retrieves the package which reveals the incestuous secret lurking in the family’s past.
FOR THE BLOOD IS THE LIFE – Probably the most well-known of Cram’s horror stories. Our hero Angelo is being romanced by what seems to be the ghost of Cristina, a beautiful young woman who was murdered when she encountered a pair of thieves.
What starts out seeming like the typical “ghostly romance which will end in a charming but poignant way” turns horrific when we learn that Cristina is not a ghost, but a vampire. She ultimately leads him to her grave where she drinks his blood. Cristina can only be killed with a stake through the heart.
THE WHITE VILLA – Wayward, stranded tourists in Italy wind up spending the night in an abandoned, creepy white villa. As the night goes on the group is subjected to the sensational reenactment by ghosts of the centuries-old murder in which the villa’s owner had killed his wife’s lover and then his wife.
MAN OVERBOARD! – When a sailor gets washed overboard it turns out his old crew haven’t seen the last of him. He returns as a somewhat soggy specimen of the living dead.
SISTER MADELLENA – The story’s narrator investigates the ghostly nun who haunts the Convent of Saint Catarina. Braving out the events, our protagonist eventually lets the ghost lead them to her mortal remains. It turns out she was walled up to die for having a secret lover.
FOR A NEGLECTED WEREWOLF NOVEL SET IN 1790s NEW YORK STATE CLICK HERE
FOR ISABELLA OF EGYPT, FEATURING A GOLEM, A MANDRAGORE, A LIVING DEAD MAN, A GYPSY WITCH AND A JEWISH SORCEROR CLICK HERE
FOR MORE HALLOWEEN ITEMS CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/halloween-season/
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