Spooky & Strange

Spooky & Strange

Explore an endless library of strange tales, weird fiction, spooky stories, and mysterious mysteries with Aurelien

Episodes

April 13, 2021 25 min

What has eerie red eyes, a pronounced widow's peak, surprisingly fang-like fangs, and a soft pink nose? It's "Bunnicula" (1979), a spooky cute middle-grade comedy adventure written by Deborah & James Howe.

This time, Aurelien is joined by Dustin, fellow podcaster and magical library elf!

  • Find Dustin's podcast episodes and social media: https://linktr.ee/DustinCanRead
  • Explore the Bunnicula series:  https://www...
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    Hey, spooky friends! Aurelien astral-projected over to the new horror deep dive podcast Autopsy of a Horror Movie to discuss the straight from quarantine horror hit, Host (2020). 

     

    Brucker and Aurelien get into how impressive the editing is, the different types of fear, the scariest scenes, and Aurelien invents a new subgenre. If you're a horror movie fan, give it a listen! 

     

    Follow Autopsy of a Horror Movie: 

    Instagram: @...

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    “Sour candy trumps chocolate.”

     

    Celebrate Valentine's weekend with Aurelien and a creepy horror story that will make you happy to be alone. "Sour Candy" by Kealan Patrick Burke (2015) starts with an everyday encounter and quickly devolves into more nightmares than you can count.

     

    Buy the book and read more from Kealan Patrick Burke: https://www.kealanpatrickburke.com/books

     

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    "Creatures of the night, they get along just fine in the darkness."

     

    Happy new year, spooky friends! Join Aurelien for a dark modern horror tale of unconventional friendship,  the beauty of the night, and some light murder: "The Night Cyclist" by Stephen Graham Jones (2016). 

     

  • Read the story on Tor.com: https://www.tor.com/2016/09/21/the-night-cyclist/
  • Find more from Stephen Graham Jones: https://www.demontheory.ne...
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    November 24, 2020 7 min

    "I asked how many days it took before she was aware of the ghost."

     

    It’s time for another flash fiction roundup! Join Aurelien for a quick tour of the latest sweet, spooky, supernatural, super weird, and, of course, super short fiction she's loved lately. No spoilers! 

     

  • "Not the Pizza Girl" by Michelle Ann King: https://everydayfiction.com/not-the-pizza-girl-by-michelle-ann-king/
  • "Ghost Collecting" by ...
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    November 9, 2020 11 min

    This week for book club, let's go on a spooky tour of Aurelien's horror shelf, from teen witches and the perils of friendship, to creepy haunted houses, dark family secrets, and suspenseful short stories. No spoilers!

     

  • "A Head Full of Ghosts" by Paul Tremblay
  • “And the Trees Crept In” by Dawn Kurtagich
  • “The Twisted Ones” by T. Kingfisher
  • “The Scapegracers” by Hannah Abigail Clarke
  • “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slay...
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    “Haunting is an art.”

     

    Find us in the secret room for a hauntingly good time with "Open House on Haunted Hill" (2020) by John Wiswell. Autumn isn't only spooks and screams; it's also about loneliness, change, and the warmth of home. Warning: this story might melt your horror-loving heart. 

     

    Read the story: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-64a-open-house-on-haunted-hill-by-john-wiswell/

     

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    "What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night!"

     

    Let's meet at the spooky old church for book club to talk about a classic American ghost story: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820) by Washington Irving. Featuring superb descriptions of fall foliage, an excellent spooky atmosphere, and ghostly, mysterious ending, this story will immerse you in autumn. 

     

    And i...

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    “Terror can fill any space.”

     

    It's time for book club, and for the exciting conclusion of Michael Crichton's "Sphere" (1987)! Packed with thrills, chills, and more giant squid than you can shake a stick at, Aurelien covers the second half of this mysterious scifi adventure. This episode is full of spoilers!

     

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    * Theme: Magical Transition by Kevin McLeod

    * Additional music and sound effects from zapsplat.com

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    "What they find defies their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation..."

     

    Something has been found on the ocean floor, something intriguing and impossible. A group of scientists are sent 1000 feet down to investigate - and there, they find something even stranger. Aurelien covers the first half of "Sphere" (1987) by Michael Crichton, a paranoid, weird sciencey horror thriller.

     

    Episode referen...

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    September 13, 2020 25 min

    "Black winter had descended in a single night.”

     

    Watch the tides and slip out in the cover of night for Daphne Du Maurier's "The Birds" (1952). It's a chilling, suspenseful story that's not really like the movie adaptation at all, and will fill your heart with dread. If you're a Shirley Jackson fan, add this one to your tbr! Spoilers ahead!

     

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    * Additional m...

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    And now she sat so very quietly, so very still, like a living-dead doll staring out the window.

     

    Buenas noches, spooky friends! This week, let Aurelien tell you all about how Georgina's perfectly planned life got flipped-turned upside down - by Death. Set during the Mexican Revolution, "This Strange Way of Dying" (2011) by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a spooky dark historical love story about choosing your future and also, ...

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    "She is only a ghost, and nobody believes in ghosts any longer."

     

    Let's go back in time for book club this week, with Ellen Glasgow's 1920 ghost story "The Past". If you like classic gothic stories and spooky hauntings, but also want a protagonist who asks "wtf?", this one is for you. And, please, ignore the spiritual representation of trauma watching us from the corner. 

     

    Episode references

    Learn ...

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    “The house was full of dead bodies, it seemed. It felt like a mechanical cemetery.”

     

    Hey, spooky friends! It's a special, Bradbury birthday edition of book club. Aurelien discusses (and spoils!) her favorite Ray Bradbury short stories: the spacey sadness of "All Summer in a Day" and the visceral horror of "The Veldt". Plus: how it feels when a favorite author might be someone you wouldn't want to talk to at...

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    "Darkness stood hushed and bulky beneath his kitchen window."

     

    Bring a flashlight and stay out of the cellar! This week, Aurelien covers Ramsey Campbell's viscerally horrifying "The Brood" (1980). It's a dark, unsettling story about a lonely veterinarian and the strange happenings in the house next door. Who lives there? What are they doing with all those small animals? And do you hear those moaning, wailin...

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    "Even when you’re dead, some things cut close to the bone."

     

    Let's go to the mall, everybody! But be careful - you don't want to get stuck here, like the ghosts in "Old Habits" (2011) by Nalo Hopkinson. It's a short modern horror story that manages to pack in plenty of nightmares (and feelings). Spoilers ahead!

     

    Episode references:

  • Read the story at Uncanny Magazine: https://uncannymagazine.com/article...
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    "...and there were the trooping faeries that would steal them all away to their underground hills for a hundred years."

     

    Meet by the edge of the wood and wear your best coat to book club for modern faery tale "The Coat of Stars" by Holly Black. It's a short and emotional story of lost love, faery bargains, and ethereal womenswear. Spoilers ahead! 

     

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    * Theme: Magical Transition by Kevin McLeod
    * Additional mu...

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    "Not a spirit to be found, of course."

     

    Meet in the hidden passage at midnight for book club to discuss modern gothic comic "Women Do Not Creep by Daylight" (2019), written by Vera Greentea and illustrated by Kyla Vanderklugt. A spiritual descendent of "The Yellow Wallpaper", it's the story of a determined young woman, a crumbling old castle, and a mysterious green amulet. No spoilers in this one! 

     

    Ep...

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    "She was not quite sure what made her so nervous."

     

    Leave the city behind and join Aurelien at the lake house for Shirley Jackson's 1948 paranoia-inducing short story, "The Summer People". It's a story full of beautiful views, strange townspeople, and a distinct feeling of creeping dread.

     

    Episode References:

  • Explore US prices and wages by decade: https://libraryguides.missouri.edu/pricesandwages
  • Make an eg...
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    "The sound that wasn’t footsteps came closer."

     

    Do you hear that strange tapping? Better investigate before book club this week for "Come Closer" by Sara Gran (2003). It's a strange, dark, twisty horror story about identity, relationships, and the strength (and weakness) of our own minds. And also demons. 

     

    References

  • Listen to ep. 7 to learn about the Fox Sisters and their mysterious tapping
  • And ep. 8 for the ...
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