“Beetles” By Robert Bloch (Narrated by Jeffrey LeBlanc)

Another horrific tale by Robert Bloch sure to make your skin crawl!-JL

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A dimensionless vampire attacks a man from the stars. Hotel clerk Norman Bates has trouble controlling his murderous “Mother”. And a submarine crew battle the undead as we creep around the Bloch—Robert Bloch. His latest story may make your skin crawl.

Our “From-the-Grave Mentor”, Robert Bloch, was a fiction writer with a diverse array of stories in crime, horror, fantasy and science fiction. He is best known as the writer of “Psycho” that led to Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, many great tales on Rod Serling’s “Night Gallery”, Weird Tales, Strange Stories, and others. Our personal favorite is Bloch’s script for the Hammer horror film classic, “The House That Dripped Blood”.

Horror and comedy were his trademark. Robert Bloch’s fondness for humor in horror was evident in puns. It could be seen in the titles of his story collections such as “Tales in a Jugular Vein”, “Such Stuff as Screams Are Made Of” and “Out of the Mouths of Graves”.

And of course, there’s the classic Bloch favorite line that tickles our funny bone, “I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf.”

A protégé’ to H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch was in a select group known as the Lovecraft Circle with such greats as Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and many more. Learning with these masters, Bloch created hundreds of short stories and over 30 novels.

Robert Bloch won numerous awards in writing.  He won The Hugo Award (“That Hell-Bound Train”), The Bram Stoker Award, and The World Fantasy Award. Bloch served a term as president of The Mystery Writers of America (1970). He was a member of The Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, The Writers Guild of America, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Most notably, there is one society he probably still is an undead member of –The Count Dracula Society.

“Beetles” is a short story written by Robert Bloch and published for Weird Tales in December 1938. This creeper no doubt influenced John Carpenter’s 1987 horror classic “Prince of Darkness” and others.

Bloch’s version though, hatches enough dread and unease to make your skin crawl.

This lurid tale centers on archaeologist Arthur Hartley and the change he has been going through since arriving back from Sudan.

Can our narrator help the terrified Arthur Hartley with his sudden change? Or will Arthur become another victim to the Curse of the Scarabaeus?–JL

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