Poe And Lefanu: Master Of Horror

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We all know it, the feeling that you get when you are immersed in an eerie short story or poem. In some cases, one can even lose track of time when a creepy, dark tale captivates all of their attention. Speaking of dark and creepy tales, Edgar Allen Poe and Joseph Sheridan LeFanu could be considered masters of horror. “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Masque of the Red Death,” “The Raven,” and “The Black Cat” are all well known works written by Poe. These all have the traditional horror story elements, much like “Schaulken the Painter,” “Carmilla,” and “Green Tea,” which are works written by LeFanu. While both authors excel in horror, there are components to notice when studying their works. Poe and LeFanu both show an interest in the supernatural …show more content…
He hosts a masquerade ball for his guests, but one appears unwelcomed. According to the narrator, “the figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave” (“The Masque of the Red Death” 209) This figure kills Prospero and all of his company, some of which attempted to grab the mysterious guest but found that nobody was behind the costume. Like true Poe style, this short story also has a supernatural element. However, Poe’s stories aren’t always up for interpretation when it comes to paranormal activity and the supernatural. In his poem, “The Raven,” the speaker is visited by a raven on an especially dreary night. The speaker finds out that the bird can talk, which seems to hold a paranormal element in and of itself because birds cannot normally speak. However, unlike most other characters in Poe’s stories, this speaker seems to recognize that the bird could be ghostlike: ““ Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! – Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore…”” (“The Raven” 32). The speaker questions whether the bird has been sent by the devil …show more content…
He is able to get his audience sucked into a story even though the length of his works tend to be on the short side of the spectrum. Joseph Sheridan Lefanu is not as widely known as Poe, but he is still able to offer up the some of the same dark and shadowy elements that Poe enjoyed using. While Poe concentrated a bit on the supernatural, Lefanu seemed to lean toward the life after death (undead) element in some of his works. “Schaulken the Painter” is a good example of this undead component. In this writing the main focus is on the character Rose Velderkaust, the niece of Gerard Douw, and unwillingly the wife of the wealthy Miheer Wilken Vanderhausen. This story has somewhat of a love triangle between Rose, Vanderhausen, and Godfrey Schaulken. While Schaulken is in love with Rose, he is unable to have her hand in marriage because he is not wealthy. However, Vanderhausen appears one night and bribes Gerard Douw with money in order to marry the innocent young girl. There is something strange about Vanderhausen though. In a description told by the narrator, “the flesh of his face was coloured with the bluish leaden hue…the eyes showed an undue proportion of muddy white…the hue of his lips…nearly black” (LeFanu 38). It is clear that Vanderhausen is a walking corpse, or at last looks like one! In a turn of events, Rose disappears and is ultimately killed by Vanderhausen. However, one night ten

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