WANTED short, scary ghost stories - fiction or factual - for publication on this site.If published, we will be happy to list author's biographical details and a link back to your Web site.Copyright will remain with authors. Send submissions/outlines to abracad.
The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Edition Volume 2
Berenice and I were cousins, and we grew up together in my paternal halls. Yet differently we grew - I, ill of health, and buried in gloom - she, agile, graceful, and overflowing with energy; hers, the ramble on the hill-side - mine the studies of the cloister; I, living within my own heart, and addicted, body and soul, to the most intense and painful meditation - she, roaming carelessly through life, with no thought of the shadows in her path, or the silent flight of the raven-winged hours. Berenice! -I call upon her name - Berenice! - and from the gray ruins of memory a thousand tumultuous recollections are startled at the sound! Ah, vividly is her image before me now, as in the early days of her light-heartedness and joy! Oh, gorgeous yet fantastic beauty! Oh, sylph amid the shrubberies of Arnheim! Oh, Naiad among its fountains! And then - then all is mystery and terror, and a tale which should not be told. Disease - a fatal disease, fell like the simoon upon her frame; and, even while I gazed upon her, the spirit of change swept over her, pervading her mind, her habits, and her character, and, in a manner the most subtle and terrible, disturbing even the identity of her person! Alas! the destroyer came and went! - and the victim -where is she? I knew her not - or knew her no longer as Berenice.
Among the numerous train of maladies superinduced by that fatal and primary one which effected a revolution of so horrible a kind in the moral and physical being of my cousin, may be mentioned as the most distressing and obstinate in its nature, a species of epilepsy not unfrequently terminating in _trance_ itself - trance very nearly resembling positive dissolution, and from which her manner of recovery was in most instances, startlingly abrupt. In the mean time my own disease - for I have been told that I should call it by no other appellation - my own disease, then, grew rapidly upon me, and assumed finally a monomaniac character of a novel and extraordinary form - hourly and momently gaining vigor - and at length obtaining over me the most incomprehensible ascendancy. This monomania, if I must so term it, consisted in a morbid irritability of those properties of the mind in metaphysical science termed the _attentive_. It is more than probable that I am not understood; but I fear, indeed, that it is in no manner possible to convey to the mind of the merely general reader, an adequate idea of that nervous _intensity of interest_ with which, in my case, the powers of meditation (not to speak technically) busied and buried themselves, in the contemplation of even the most ordinary objects of the universe.
To muse for long unwearied hours, with my attention riveted to some frivolous device on the margin, or in the typography of a book; to become absorbed, for the better part of a summer's day, in a quaint shadow falling aslant upon the tapestry or upon the floor; to lose myself, for an entire night, in watching the steady flame of a lamp, or the embers of a fire; to dream away whole days over the perfume of a flower; to repeat, monotonously, some common word, until the sound, by dint of frequent repetition, ceased to convey any idea whatever to the mind; to lose all sense of motion or physical existence, by means of absolute bodily quiescence long and obstinately persevered in: such were a few of the most common and least pernicious vagaries induced by a condition of the mental faculties, not, indeed, altogether unparalleled, but certainly bidding defiance to anything like analysis or explanation.