Are you brave enough to enter the world of Edgar Allen Poe and visit ‘The House of Usher’? How will you capture your experience of visiting this famous house?
Extract from ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ by Edgar Allen Poe
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, a sentiment with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain— upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows— upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day life—the hideous dropping off of the veil.
There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down—but with a shudder even more thrilling than before—upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.
Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom, I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks.
From that chamber, and from that mansion, I fled aghast. The storm was still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old causeway.
Perhaps you will begin by making artistic impressions of what you see as you approach the House of Usher.
Consider using visioning and visualization to approach and enter this place. What doorways will you pass through? Which parts of the house will you explore? Who will meet you in this gothic house? What truths will emerge?
The Spooky House
by Joseph Gagaridis Grade 5/6
When I walked into the house something didn’t feel right. I went to pick up the phone. There was no electricity. I saw stairs so I went up the stairs into a room. Suddenly the door closed behind me. There was no way out. I went to jump out of the window but there were spikes and swords sticking up. When I looked out of the window, a long distance away from here, I could see a truck had crushed my Ferrari into bits.
I realized that I shouldn’t have come to this house. I heard the door upstairs open. I hid in a closet waiting for someone to leave the house. After I heard the door open and the person leaves the house I tried to get out of the closet but the door was stuck. I looked behind me and saw two people hanging on the hooks in the closet. Dead! I screamed! I pushed the closet door hard. It opened.
I ran to another room. It was too dark to see anything. But then I turned around and saw two red eyeballs. I couldn’t see the body so I ran away from it. It was throwing heads covered in blood. One of them hit my eye. I couldn’t see. I fell on the floor and something bit me on the neck.
After a couple of hours, I woke up and I said to myself. “It was all just a dream.” I looked around me and I saw dead people who had been bitten on their necks. Spider webs were all over them. I tried to get out but it was all a maze. “I would need a book of mazes to get out of here,” I thought.
Then I heard footsteps coming closer and closer. I looked behind me but I didn’t see anyone. I could still hear footsteps. I ran from the noise, but I lost more and more energy because of the bite on my neck.
I looked behind me and I bumped into a dead person with spider webs on him and holes in his body. When I bumped into him I got very dizzy and I didn’t know where I was going. Suddenly I bumped into an invisible person and he said, “Go away and don’t touch me.”
Then he ran away. Then I saw the two red eyeball again.
“What do you want from me,” I said to the red eyeballed person. The red-eyed person told me that he wanted my brain but I told him he would have to come and get it and ran away. I turned my back to see if he was behind me but I didn’t see anyone. I stopped running.
Suddenly the two red eyeballed people said “BOO!” I almost had a heart attack and I had nearly lost all my energy. I couldn’t run any further and thought that this was the end of me. So I hid. In my hiding place, I found a book of mazes. I followed the pictures o the book and I walked until I saw a light. I walked towards the light and then I noticed that the red eyeballed person was going away from the light. Two zombies were guarding the way out. I picked up a sword and slew them and ran outside.
Unfortunately, all my energy had run out. I smelled the air and dropped dead on a big rock.
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