My Current Read: A 1978 Bestselling Haunted House Novel by Anne Rivers Siddons—A Favorite Book of Stephen Kings’!

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons

It doesn’t matter what other people think. Not any more.

Our friends are going to think we have taken leave of our senses, and we are going to lose many of them.

This is the sort of thing that engenders mild teasing or pleasurable gasps of not-quite-believing fear when it is kept within the bounds of the group. It is something else entirely now that we have spread it out for all the world to see. That isn’t done in our set. It lacks taste, and though we don’t use the word, class.

Worst of all, we have believed the unbelievable and spoken the unspeakable. Yes, we will lose our friends. We cannot worry about that either.

For the Harralson house is haunted, and in quite a terrible way.

(from The House Next Door)

Praise for The House Next Door:

“Spellbinding…. You will not be able to put down this book.” —Dallas Times Herald

“Haunting.” —The New York Post


The House Next Door is a horror novel written by Anne Rivers Siddons. It was first published by Simon & Schuster and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. The novel is told from the point of view of Colquitt “Col” Kennedy, a well-to-do middle-aged woman who lives with her husband Walter in a quiet, affluent Atlanta neighborhood. They learn from a neighbor that a contemporary home is going up on the lot next to theirs. Colquitt and Walter are dismayed at their loss of privacy and quiet, but resigned to the inevitable. They meet the architect and owners shortly after learning about the home, see the plans, and decide it’s a beautiful house.

The Prologue

Click images below to enlarge…

Soon, Colquitt suspects a terrible force resides in the house next door.In just under two years, three owners—the Harralsons, Sheehans, and Greenes—have their lives destroyed by scandal, madness, and murder while living in the home. Even those who only visit the house—including Colquitt and Walter—find themselves the victims of shocking tragedy. The pair decide to go public with their story—and risk their own reputations and careers—to warn others about the house’s dangerous power. However, the house is now powerful enough to protect itself. By telling the world, the Kennedys have summoned its dangerous wrath.

A Stephen King Favorite?

38B0B7AD-8C48-4965-8E73-16B6DB0F3783Yep. The House Next Door is one of five horror novels selected and Introduced by horror master Stephen King for The Stephen King Horror Library (see photo inset).

In his non-fiction book on horror in our culture, Danse Macabre, King writes at length about Siddons’ novel, calling it a contemporary ghost story with Southern Gothic roots; and one of the best genre novels of the 20th century. King’s extensive synopsis is supplemented by a detailed statement written by Siddons herself that reveals some of the novel’s themes.


SPOILER ALERT!

A Blog Review & Link to Buy the Book

Source: http://markwestwriter.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-house-next-door-by-anne-rivers.html

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons, A Review by Mark West

In a new edition of the occasional series, I want to tell you about a book that I’ve read and loved, which I think adds to the horror genre and that I think you’ll enjoy if you’re a fan. Of course, this book is now 36 years old so it might be that I’m the last one left who hasn’t read it…

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Current Read: The Ritual—A Creepy Horror Novel by Adam Nevill…Read This!!

“This was never a place for a man to be….”

This one is really creeping me out. Lights are all on! Definitely worth your time!

Sweden, high up near the Arctic Circle, is dark with deep forests and glacier-cut valleys where some very unnatural things lurk…four old college buddies are about to find out why there are some places human beings just don’t belong.

Above, left: The Ritual has had a couple other covers (see below), but this one is my favorite; right: English author Adam Nevill.

“‘The little hands are human. Mummified. Stitched on.’ Hutch turned to Luke. In the illumination from Luke’s torch Hutch’s eyes shone. ‘Just as mad as hatters. Crosses on the walls downstairs and a bloody goat in the loft. A dead man’s hands sewn on. Mixing metaphors. Lunacy. Swedish lunacy. It’s the darkness and the long nights. Send anyone mad.’”

Cool Links & Author Info

The Ritual won both the prestigious August Derleth Award in 2012; and the British Fantasy Award in 2012 for best horror novel. (See: https://www.tor.com/2012/09/30/announcing-the-2012-british-fanatsy-award-winners/

The book is available in paperback and also as a Kindle ebook (link below). (Remember, Kindle app is now free for all your iOS and Android devices, laptops, and PCs. So, no excuse. Get your copy!) Here, too, are links about the book and Adam Nevill; you’ll want to check out his other books…and add them to your library…

About the Book: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ritual_(novel)

Author Website: http://www.adamlgnevill.com/

About the Author84302A63-A111-4166-B2F2-0A18DA533391

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Nevill

Adam L.G. Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is the author of the horror novels: ‘Banquet for the Damned’, ‘Apartment 16’, ‘The Ritual’, ‘Last Days’, ‘House of Small Shadows’, ‘No One Gets Out Alive’, ‘Lost Girl’, and ‘Under a Watchful Eye’. His first short story collection, ‘Some Will Not Sleep: Selected Horrors’, was published on Halloween, 2016, and won the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. His second collection of short fiction, ‘Hasty for the Dark: Selected Horrors’, was published on Halloween 2017. His novels, ‘The Ritual’, ‘Last Days’ and ‘No One Gets Out Alive’ were the winners of The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel. ‘The Ritual’ and ‘Last Days’ were also awarded Best in Category: Horror, by R.U.S.A. Several of his novels are currently in development for film and television, and in 2016 Imaginarium adapted ‘The Ritual’ into a major motion picture. He lives in Devon, England. (Amazon)

A Review or TwoE6B1F85E-9F28-4FF6-A878-FBBF43055BCE

https://www.tor.com/2011/04/22/some-real-shivers-but-no-nightmares-the-ritual-by-adam-nevill/

http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/read-horror/book-reviews/the-ritual-by-adam-nevill-2/

A Comparison—from Book to Film

The novel was recently made into a blockbuster horror film; it is one of he best I’ve seen in a long time…

http://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-reviews/the-ritual-from-book-to-film-a-comparison

Where to Get The Ritual & the Author’s Other Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Adam-Nevill/e/B0034PH9HA/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

This Has Become One of My Favorite Books! The Cormorant–A Creep Novel by Stephen Gregory, Part 1…

UNCLE IAN DIED . . .

When he collapsed onto the floor of the boat, he gripped at his seizing chest and struck his head on the petrol tank. As he lay convulsing for just a few seconds, the cormorant sat and watched. Only the slow blinking of its eyes showed that any muscle stirred in its green-black frame.

Ian was dead. And his cheeks were pitted from the blows of the cormorant’s beak. His lips were torn. The tender tissues of his gums were split. One eye remained intact. This was the bird that we inherited . . . .


“SINISTER . . . A feeling of impending disaster gradually permeates the narrative . . . reminiscent of the tales of Poe.” —Publishers Weekly

“The Cormorant has a relentless focus that would make Edgar Allan Poe proud . . . This is a first-class terror story that does for cormorants what Cujo did for Saint Bernards.” —The New York Times Book Review

Review at Too Much Horror Fiction: http://toomuchhorrorfiction.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-cormorant-by-stephen-gregory-1986.html

Read another horror story about cormorants by a great author, here:

https://thesanguinewoods.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/a-revelation-of-cormorants/


The Cormorant

Stephen Gregory

First published in Great Britain.

“For my Mother and Father”


Chapter I

The crate was delivered to the cottage at five o’clock in the afternoon. Two men carried it into our little living-room, put it down in front of the fire, and then they drove away in their van. For the next four hours, I left it there and continued working at my desk. I built up the fire with coal and a few freshly-split logs of spruce from the forest, cooked some supper, leaving some to stay warm for my wife until she came in from working in the village. Outside, it grew dark and there was the pattering of fine rain on the windows of the cottage. The wind blew up and made the trees of the plantation rattle. It was October. I could hear the tumbling of the stream at the foot of the garden, a reassuring sound, a background to the explosive crackle of the logs, the whining of wet wood in the growing heat of the fire. A curtain of drizzle concealed the mountains, they were dissolved into the sky, removed from around the village as though they had never been there. I worked for a while and I ate. The crate stood silent on the rug, in front of the hearth.

It was a box of white wood, about three feet square, with a panel of perforations on the top to ventilate the contents. Once or twice, in the course of the evening, I got up from the desk, knelt by the crate and sniffed at the tiny holes. I blew into them. I smelt the new wood, its clean, useful smell, and from the perforations there came the pungent whiff of the beach, the rotten air of an estuary which dries a little and sweats before the return of the cleansing tide. Inside the box, there was something warm and breathing, asleep perhaps, sleeping in a bed of stale straw. No sound, no movement. I returned to my work, but I was restless so I abandoned it for another look at the newspaper. Sometimes, as I read, my hand strayed and rested on the corner of the white wooden crate. When my wife came in at nine o’clock we would open it together.

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Reblog: Lovecraft & the Occult…

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The Horror Within by “pigboom” (Reddit).

You know I’m a huge fan of everything “Lovecraftian”. As I read more and more into the occult, what it means, its sources, the culture surrounding it, I realize that many of our greatest writers—from Arthur Machen, to Algernon Blackwood, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Howard Phillips Lovecraft—wrote about subjects steeped in the idea of forbidden knowledge, that which is “hidden”—which is what the term “occult” really means.

Here is a brief yet fascinating look at occult elements in the work of Lovecraft. Read on worshippers, read on!

Lovecraft & the Occult

A major component of cosmic horror in general, and of Lovecraft’s work in particular, is the element of the occult. In many ways, Lovecraft’s occult aspects are true to the origins of the word: much of what various characters in his stories seek is that which remains hidden or concealed from view. By uncovering and practicing secret rituals and speaking ancient words, these characters reveal powerful knowledge and cosmic truths, both awesome and terrifying in their implications and scope. For decades, scholars have explored Lovecraft’s real-life connections to the occult, based on his fiction, his correspondence, and his personal life, in order to unravel whether he had some truly esoteric link to realms beyond ours, or was simply an imaginative dreamer from Providence. He may very well have been a little of both.

Above: Lovecraft’s “Elder Sign” in Various Manifestations (Pinterest).

Lovecraft’s correspondence with others in his circle of friends suggests that, while he was well-read on the subject, he was not a personal practitioner of magick.6 Much of his knowledge of the occult seems to have come from books on European witchcraft, written by people outside those witch-groups and colored by the perceptions of non-Christian religions during his time, as well as colonial American witchcraft, as described by witch hunters of Salem like Cotton Mather.6 Some of these latter sources contain alleged accounts from accused witches, although the credibility and interpretation of such accounts would necessarily be, at best, somewhat questionable.

A movement toward freer expression of religion in the 1970s has given us some insight, however, into magickal systems. We have come to see that while some of the details of actual occult practice, both modern and traditional, are often misrepresented in Lovecraft’s work, there is much that Lovecraft incorporates that is, surprisingly, close enough to give actual practitioners pause. An examination of the specific words used by Lovecraft suggests that he was not intimately aware of actual occult practices for raising demons or demonic gods, since his language in the rituals more closely resembles protective spells, which include the invocation of various names of the Judao-Christian God (or slightly altered versions of those names), such as Hel, Heloym, Emmanvel, Tetragrammaton, and Iehova, as well as names of archangels, such as Sother and Saboth, referenced in “The Horror at Red Hook” (2, 6). These names are generally used in protective sigils by practitioners of magick against entities summoned against their will for service or information. Such usage would seem counterproductive in the raising of those entities themselves.

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Current Read! Today I Picked up Thomas Harris’ Novel, Silence of the Lambs—Wow.

I guess I should’ve known—-since the film is such a masterpiece. But, that doesn’t always mean the book is such a masterpiece. But it is, too. And it’s damn frightening. I’m leaving lights on, now, even during the daytime. 😳☠️🔪🦋

Let’s revisit…The Silence of the Lambs…

Tonight, We Continue w/ Part 3 of Arthur Machen’s 1894 Horror-Occult Novel: The Three Imposters…

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Art by Zdzisława Beksińskiego (Pinterest).

The Three Imposters

An Occult Novel of Horror

Arthur Machen, 1894


Part 3: The Encounter of the Pavement

Mr. Dyson, walking leisurely along Oxford. Street, and staring with bland inquiry at whatever caught his attention, enjoyed in all its rare flavors the sensation that he was really very hard at work. His observation of mankind, the traffic, and the shop-windows tickled his faculties with an exquisite bouquet; he looked serious, as one looks on whom charges of weight and moment are laid, and he was attentive in his glances to right and left, for fear lest he should miss some circumstance of more acute significance. He had narrowly escaped being run over at a crossing by a charging van, for he hated to hurry his steps, and indeed the afternoon was warm; and he had just halted by a place of popular refreshment, when the astounding gestures of a well dressed individual on the opposite pavement held him enchanted and gasping like a fish. A treble line of hansoms, carriages, vans, cabs, and omnibuses, was tearing east and west, and not the most daring adventurer of the crossings would have cared to try his fortune; but the person who had attracted Dyson’s attention seemed to rage on the very edge of the pavement, now and then darting forward at the hazard of instant death, and at each repulse absolutely dancing with excitement, to the rich amusement of the passers-by. At last, a gap that would, have tried the courage of a street-boy appeared between the serried lines of vehicles, and the man rushed across in a frenzy, and escaping by a hair’s breadth pounced upon Dyson as a tiger pounces on her prey. “I saw you looking about you,” he said, sputtering out his words in his intense eagerness; “would you mind telling me this? Was the man who came out of the Aerated Bread Shop and jumped, into the hansom three minutes ago a youngish looking man with dark whiskers and spectacles? Can’t you speak, man? For Heaven’s sake can’t you speak? Answer me; it’s a matter of life and death.”

The words bubbled and boiled out of the man’s mouth in the fury of his emotion, his face went from red to white, and the beads of sweat stood out on his forehead, and he stamped his feet as he spoke and tore with his hand at his coat, as if something swelled and choked him, stopping the passage of his breath.

“My dear sir,” said Dyson, “I always like to be accurate. Your observation was perfectly correct. As you say, a youngish man, a man, I should say, of somewhat timid bearing, ran rapidly out of the shop here, and bounced into a hansom that must have been waiting for him, as it went eastwards at once. Your friend also wore spectacles, as you say. Perhaps you would like me to call a hansom for you to follow the gentleman?”

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Tonight, I Begin Arthur Machen’s 1894 Horror-Occult Novel: The Three Imposters—Won’t you join me? (I will post in daily parts…so stay tuned!)

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(Pinterest)

The Three Imposters (or The Transmutations)

An Occult Novel of Horror

Arthur Machen, 1894


Part 1: Prologue

“And Mr. Joseph Walters is going to stay the night?” said the smooth clean-shaven man to his companion, an individual not of the most charming appearance, who had chosen to make his ginger-colored mustache merge into a pair of short chin-whiskers.

The two stood at the hall door, grinning evilly at each other; and presently a girl ran quickly down, the stairs, and joined them. She was quite young, with a quaint and piquant rather than a beautiful face, and her eyes were of a shining hazel. She held a neat paper parcel in one hand, and laughed with her friends.

“Leave the door open,” said the smooth man to the other, as they were going out. “Yes, by——,” he went on with an ugly oath. “We’ll leave the front door on the jar. He may like to see company, you know.”

The other man looked doubtfully about him. “Is it quite prudent do you think, Davies?” he said, pausing with his hand on the mouldering knocker. “I don’t think Lipsius would like it. What do you say, Helen?”

“I agree with Davies. Davies is an artist, and you are commonplace, Richmond, and a bit of a coward. Let the door stand open, of course. But what a pity Lipsius had to go away! He would have enjoyed himself.”

“Yes,” replied the smooth Mr. Davies, “that summons to the west was very hard on the doctor.”

The three passed out, leaving the hall door, cracked and riven with frost and wet, half open, and they stood silent for a moment under the ruinous shelter of the porch.

“Well,” said the girl, “it is done at last. I shall hurry no more on the track of the young man with spectacles.”

“We owe a great deal to you,” said Mr. Davies politely; “the doctor said so before he left. But have we not all three some farewells to make? I, for my part, propose to say good-by, here, before this picturesque but mouldy residence, to my friend Mr. Burton, dealer in the antique and curious,” and the man lifted his hat with an exaggerated bow.

“And I,” said Richmond, “bid adieu to Mr. Wilkins, the private secretary, whose company has, I confess, become a little tedious.”

“Farewell to Miss Lally, and to Miss Leicester also,” said the girl, making as she spoke a delicious courtesy. “Farewell to all occult adventure; the farce is played.”

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