The Tell Tale Heart ~ by Edgar Allan Poe

What better way to wrap up Halloween Week than with this epic tale from E.A.P.?!

However you are celebrating (or not) today – Chimera wishes you some mystery, some sweet surprises and ~ as always ~  Magic.      il_340x270.272820779

TellTaleHeart Jason McDonald

THE TELL-TALE HEART ~ by Edgar Allan Poe 

TRUE! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed –not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily –how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly –very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously –cautiously (for the hinges creaked) –I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights –every night just at midnight –but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers –of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back –but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out –“Who’s there?”

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; –just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief –oh, no! –it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself –“It is nothing but the wind in the chimney –it is only a mouse crossing the floor,” or “It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.” Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel –although he neither saw nor heard –to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little –a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it –you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily –until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.

It was open –wide, wide open –and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness –all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.

And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? –now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! –do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me –the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once –once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye –not even his –could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out –no stain of any kind –no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all –ha! ha!

When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o’clock –still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, –for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, –for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search –search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: –It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness –until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

No doubt I now grew very pale; –but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased –and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound –much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath –and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly –more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men –but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed –I raved –I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder –louder –louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! –no, no! They heard! –they suspected! –they knew! –they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now –again! –hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! here, here! –It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

-THE END-*artwork by Jason McDonald*

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

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Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~ by Robert Frost

 

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Bats by Paisley Rekdal

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BATS ~ by Paisley Rekdal

unveil themselves in dark.
They hang, each a jagged,

silken sleeve, from moonlit rafters bright
as polished knives. They swim

the muddled air and keen
like supersonic babies, the sound

we imagine empty wombs might make
in women who can’t fill them up.

A clasp, a scratch, a sigh.
They drink fruit dry.

And wheel, against feverish light flung hard
upon their faces,

in circles that nauseate.
Imagine one at breast or neck,

Patterning a name in driblets of iodine
that spatter your skin stars.

They flutter, shake like mystics.
They materialize. Revelatory

as a stranger’s underthings found tossed
upon the marital bed, you tremble

even at the thought. Asleep,
you tear your fingers

and search the sheets all night.

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This Is Halloween

Jack_Skellington_by_Zlydoc

and what Halloween series would be complete without the Pumpkin King himself? :D

 

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I Put A Spell On You…..Hocus Pocus

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Ghost Stories ~ Ghosts Aboard The Queen Mary

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The RMS Queen Mary is one of the most famous cruise ships of all time. Paranormal activity that has been reported throughout the ship include the sounds of knocking, doors slamming and high pitched squeals and drastic temperature changes.

The Queen Mary has been a permanent feature in Long Beach, California for a couple of decades and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is permanently berthed in Long Beach, California serving as a museum ship and hotel and popular tourist attraction. It has also gained a reputation as one of the most haunted structures in the world.

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The RMS Queen Mary

The Queen Mary sailed her maiden voyage on May 27, 1936. Built in Scotland the liner was to be used as part of a two-ship express service from Southampton, to Cherbourg to New York. The Queen Mary is 1,000 feet long, and in her day was said to be bigger, faster and more powerful than the Titanic. She also held the record for the fastest North Atlantic crossing. The historic ocean liner’s passengers included the most celebrated people of the time, including royalty, top entertainment figures and important world leaders.

The liner was used during World War II for transporting troops, it was nick named the Grey Ghost because of its colour and the way it sailed smoothly on water. After the war it returned to its original purpose as a cruise ship until its retirement in 1967.

During the war, tragedy struck the Queen Mary, a cruiser HMS Curacao met up with the liner 200 miles off the coast of Scotland to escort her into Greenock. During the night there was a collision between the two ships, the Queen Mary sliced the cruiser in two. The Queen Mary just carried on going, it was the policy not to stop and pick up survivors, it was considered too dangerous as the threat from U-Boats was always present.

More than 300 soldiers had been on board HMS Curacao many survivors were left to drown or freeze to death. Visitors and guests have since reported hearing the banging on the side of the ship, of the lost souls of the 300 or more that died.

One of the ghosts that haunt the Queen Mary is that of a young crewman, named John Henry. John had lied about his age to secure work aboard the liner; he worked in engine room 13. John’s life was cut short when he was crushed to death whilst trying to flee a fire in the engine room. To this day, knocks and bright lights can be heard and seen around engine room 13. It’s even been reported that the door to the engine room is sometimes hot to touch; workers have reported hearing screams and smoke.

John Pedder was a fireman in 1966 on board the Queen Mary; he was in his late teens when he was tragically crushed to death by a watertight door during a routine drill. Unexplained knocking has been heard around the door, and a tour guide reported seeing a figure dressed in dark clothing as she was leaving the area where the young man had been killed. She saw his face and recognized him from his photographs. The young man’s ghost has been seen walking along Shaft Alley before disappearing by door number 13. This famous door was used in the filming of the Poseidon Adventure and has reportedly crushed at least two men during the ship’s history.

The old first-class swimming pool is a hot spot for paranormal activity according to many psychics who have explored the Queen Mary. Psychics have identified one of the spirits here as Sarah a young woman who was murdered in the first class women’s change rooms. Witnesses have seen wet footprints mysteriously appear in front of them even though the pool has been empty for the past 30 years. These footsteps often lead from the deck of the pool to the changing rooms.

The apparitions of women in vintage bathing suits are occasionally seen around the pool and close to the old changing rooms, along with disembodied voices, laughter and splashing sounds. There have also been reports of people seeing the ghost of a young girl carrying a teddy bear around the empty pool.In the second class pool area the spirit of another little girl named Jackie has been seen and heard. The girl drowned in the pool during the ship’s sailing days, her voice and the sound of laughter has been captured during EVP sessions in this area.

There have been reports from visitors and staff of the sound of children crying in what was the third class playroom. There have also been reports of a single baby’s cry; this has been attributed to that of a baby who died shortly after being born aboard the ship.

In the first-class staterooms there have been reports of a tall, dark haired figure wearing a 1930’s style suit. The sightings of the apparition are usually accompanied by the faucets and lights turning on and off. The phones in the staterooms often ring in the early morning hours but no one is ever on the other end of the line.

There are several other reports of sightings about the ship including a beautiful young woman in an elegant white evening gown who dances alone in a shadowy corner of the salon, which was once used as the ship’s first-class lounge. Another mysterious woman in white has been seen close to the front desk, she will usually disappear behind a pillar.

Other paranormal activity that has been reported throughout the ship include the sounds of knocking, doors slamming and high pitched squeals, drastic temperature changes, and the fragrant smells of another time.

The Queen Mary has been investigated by a number of paranormal professionals, and TV shows like Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted. Visitors to the Queen Mary now have the chance to do some ghost hunting of their own. The daily Ghosts and Legends Tour includes admission to special Ghosts and Legends exhibit and a self-guided tour to other places where ghosts have been seen.

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In The Library ~ by Dorothea Grossman

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The library always smells like this:
an ancient stew of vinegar and wood.
It’s autumn again,
and I can do anything.

~by Dorothea Grossman

 

*artwork is falling leaves by vincent van gogh*

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