Bookish Mysteries and Conspiracies

Hi everyone! I’m heading out of town this week so hopefully I’ll get some reading done. Since it is October, however, I decided to compile a list for you all about real life crimes and mysteries surrounding famous authors and/or their novels. I’ll leave links with more information if you find yourself intrigued. Let me know if I missed any or if you have a favorite. I love true crime as much as I love fictional crime.

The Life, Death, and Drama of Edgar Allan Poe: Poe, my favorite author lived a life that was just as macabre as any of his stories. Did he predict a real life ship wreck? Was his death a suicide, an accident, or a murder? Who paid tribute to him years after his death? To this day, we may never know the real story behind the godfather of gothic fiction.

The Disappearance (and Discovery) of Agatha Christie: In December of 1926, famous mystery author Agatha Christie disappeared in the early hours of the morning for eleven days. She remembered absolutely nothing and was found in perfectly good health. Many have speculated as to what happened but no one knows the answer except Christie herself. (Note: Doctor Who did an episode about Christie’s disappearance called “The Unicorn and The Wasp.” I highly recommend it.)

Did Shakespeare Even Exist?: This is quite possibly of one the oldest and most famous author related-mysteries. Is it possible that the greatest playwright of all time never actually existed? Theories range from Shakespeare being a collective group of people, a single female author, or even the pseudonym of Sir Francis Bacon. The topic is still up for debate.

The Voynich Manuscript aka The Most Mysterious Book Ever Written: Named after its discoverer, the Voynich Manuscript is a codex written in an unknown language and filled with illustrations that seem to be of an alien planet. Many have tried to decipher this book but no one has been successful. Who (or what) wrote the Voynich Manuscript?

The Disappearance of Ambrose Bierce: Years before Christie disappeared and reappeared, Ambrose Bierce took a trip to Mexico and never returned. Most known for his psychological horror stories, Bierce captured America’s imagination during the Civil War then he vanished into thin air. No one knows what happened to him and his body was never found.

Was Albert Camus Killed by the KGB?: Albert Camus, author of The Stranger and a Nobel Prize winner, was killed in a car accident on his way to visit his family, or was he? A new theory has emerged that Camus was killed by the KGB after publishing an article that criticized Russia’s military. Is there more to Camus’ death or was it simply a tragic accident?

The Book Sent by the Angels Themselves: John Dee, famous mathematician and occultist, found the Book of Soyga. This manuscript consists of 40,000 randomly distributed letters and, when decoded, reveals magic spells, astrological charts, and alchemy. Dee claims to have contacted the archangel Uriel in order to reveal the secrets of the book. Also, legend has it that anyone who decodes the book will perish in two-and-a-half years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creepy Quotes and Spooky Short Stories for Halloween

Hi Everyone! Since Halloween is this upcoming Tuesday, I decided to share some quotes to get you in the mood for something frightening then some short stories for us bookworms to enjoy if you’re planning on staying in. Some of these stories will be classic Halloween tales while other will be “creepy-pastas” but I hope you check them all out. I will try to leave links for you. Anyways, here we go.

“There is something at work in my soul which I don’t understand.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

“It is only when a man is face to face with such horrors that he can understand their true import.” Bram Stoker, Dracula 

“I have meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at the belly and it might slide out meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you can stomp on it.” – Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

“Deep in that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” – Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

“Hell is empty and the devils are all here.” William Shakespeare, The Tempest

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters.” – Stephen King, The Shining

“You said I killed you – haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in the abyss where I cannot find you!” – Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

“A thick, black cloud swirled before my eyes, and my mind told me that in this cloud, unseen as yet, but about to spring upon my appalled senses, lurked all that was vaguely horrible, all that was monstrous and inconceivably wicked in the universe.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

Short Stories to Scare You:

“The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe – This one is my personal favorite Poe story. It has some very creepy sensory details that will send chills down your spine as you wait to see how the narrator tries to escape.

“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs – I remember reading this one in middle school. Jacobs’ twisted take on being careful what you wish for will have you holding your breath as the suspense grows with each page.

“The Children of the Corn” by Stephen King – I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the movie based off of the story but you might want to check out the original story. It’s especially creepy if you live somewhere with a lot of cornfields.

“The Outsider” by H.P. Lovecraft – I could have composed this list of nothing but Poe and Lovecraft but I’m just giving you some of my favorites. This one in particular is really creepy as the narrator finally escapes the castle he had spent his whole life in.

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury – This is another one I read in middle school and this falls under sci-fi horror and I definitely recommend it if you’re into apocalyptic type stories.

“Snow, Glass, Apples” by Neil Gaiman – I would be remiss if I didn’t include any Neil Gaiman. This is a fucked-up version of Snow White that will never let you see the classic fairy tale in the same way again.

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – I’ve found this one several times throughout my school career and its uniquely creepy as it follows the diary of a woman who is slowly being driven mad through her husband’s misguided attempts to help her. It’s also kind of a feminist story, if you’re interested.

Creepypastas:

 Candle Cove”

Anasi’s Goatman Story

The Russian Sleep Experiment

Persuaded

NoEnd House

Smiling Man 

I hope I gave you enough to keep you occupied this Halloween. I apologize if any of the links don’t work. Let me know if any of these scared you or if you have some other favorite scary stories that aren’t here. Happy Haunting! Stay safe if you’re going out.