Thirty Days to Halloween, Day 11: Classic Horror Stories, Edgar Allan Poe

Thirty Days to Halloween, Day 11: Classic Stories of Horror Everyone Should Read (Two of my Poe favorites)

               The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe:  I first discovered Poe at my Aunt Mildred’s house at the age of eleven. She lived in a little West Texas town called Knox City. The “Pit and the Pendulum” was included in one of those Reader Digest books that were a collection of stories and articles RD thought we should all read. I was sprawled out on the floor and read the story straight through with chills running up and down my spine. Published in 1842, the story is about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. Here is an excellent trailer video featuring Vincent Price from the movie made in 1961.

The “Tell-Tale Heart” was published in 1843 and it is a Poe story that I taught every year in ENGLISH 102. The story is a first-p[erson narrative from an unnamed and unreliable narrator (he is an insane, murderous caretaker) who tries to convince the reader of his logic and sanity. He definitely says some odd things. For example,  I asked how he could know the heart sounded like a watch wrapped in cotton unless he had tried it. I also tried to pantomime the murder as I read. Here’s a video based on the story that I’m sure you will enjoy.