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THE TELLTALE HEART (a dramatic reading/shameless advertisement)

THE TELLTALE HEART (a dramatic reading/shameless advertisement)


True! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why
will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses
— not destroyed — not dulled them. And above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth.
I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?
Hearken! and observe how healthily – – how calmly I can tell you the whole story. It is impossible to say how
first the idea entered my brain; But once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –
– a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; And so by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the
life of the old man, And thus rid myself of the eye forever. Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely
I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight — with what
dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than
during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch
of his door and opened it — oh so gently! And then, when I had made an
opening sufficient for my head. I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light
shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to
see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly — very, very slowly, so that
I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my
whole head within the opening so far that I could see him
as he lay upon his bed. Ha! Would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when my head was well in the room,
I undid the lantern cautiously — Oh, so cautiously — cautiously,
for the hinges creaked. I undid it just so much that a single thin
ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights — every night just
at midnight — but I found the eye always closed. And so it was impossible to do the work; for it was
not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly
into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him. Calling him by name in a hearty tone,
and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very
profound old man, indeed — — to suspect that every night, just at twelve,
I looked in upon him while he slept. Upon the eighth night I was more than
usually cautious in opening the door. A watch’s minute hand moves
more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent
of my own powers — of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was,
opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my
secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me;
for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back — but no. His room was as black as pitch
with the thick darkness, for the shutters were close fastened,
through fear of robbers. And so I knew that he could not see the opening of the
door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern,
when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening — — and the old man sprang up in bed,
crying out –“Who’s there?” I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in
the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening. Just as I have done, night after night, hearkening
to the death watches in the wall. Presently I heard a slight groan,
and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief — oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the
bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept — — it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with
its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt,
and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the
first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy
them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself — “It is nothing but the wind in the chimney —
it is only a mouse crossing the floor.” “Or it is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.” Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with
these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in
approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him,
and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the
unperceived shadow that caused him to feel — — although he neither saw nor heard — to feel the
presence of my head within the room. When I had waited a long time, very patiently,
without hearing him lie down — I resolved to open a little — a very, very
little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it — you cannot
imagine how stealthily, stealthily — — until, at length a simple dim ray,
like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell
full upon the vulture eye. It was open — wide, wide open — and
I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness
— all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that
chilled the very marrow in my bones. But I could see nothing else of the
old man’s face or person — — for I had directed the ray as if by instinct,
precisely upon the damned spot. And have I not told you that what you mistake for
madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? Now, I say, there came to my ears
a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes
when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum
stimulates the soldier into courage. But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely
breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain
the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and
louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! — do you mark
me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid
the dreadful silence of that old house — — so strange a noise as this excited
me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer
I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety
seized me — the sound would be heard by a neighbor! The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open
the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once — only once In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and
pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for
many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it
would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead.
I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand
upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead.
His eye would trouble me no more. If still you think me mad, you
will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions
I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse.
I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring of the
chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly,
so cunningly, that no human eye — — not even his — could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out — no stain of any kind —
no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all — ha! ha! When I had made an end of these labors,
it was four o’clock — still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there
came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart,
— for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves,
with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night;
suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been
lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been
deputed to search the premises. I smiled, — for what had I to fear?
I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man,
I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house.
I bade them search — search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed
them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence,
I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to
rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild
audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath
which reposed the corpse of the victim. The officers were satisfied.
My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I
answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting
pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears:
but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: It continued and became more distinct:
I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness — — until, at length, I found that
the noise was not within my ears. No doubt I now grew very pale; — but I talked
more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased —
and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound — much such a sound
as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath — and yet
the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly — more vehemently;
but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with
violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro
with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men —
but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do?
I foamed — I raved — I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting,
and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and
continually increased. It grew louder — louder — louder! And still
the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not?
Almighty God! — no, no! They heard! — they suspected! — they knew! —
they were making a mockery of my horror! -this I thought, and this I think.
But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now — again! — hark!
louder! louder! louder! louder! “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! here, here! —
It is the beating of his hideous heart!” I made a T-Shirt. Happy Halloween! ♬ MUSIC ♬

100 thoughts on “THE TELLTALE HEART (a dramatic reading/shameless advertisement)

  1. RED I LOVE YOU SO MUCH THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY IM CRYING. PLEASE DO MORE SHORT STORY READINGS! PREFERABLY MORE POE!
    The Red Death is my favorite!

  2. Imagine being the poor man and just KNOWING something is sitting in the darkness unlit it just kills you.

  3. "and observe how healthily, how calmly I'll tell you the whole story." that's the reason I think you're insane buddy

  4. I wrote a screenplay and a prequel to this story for a class of mine in high school. I know it like the back of my hand. Can't wait for this.

  5. I read the manga version of The Tell-Tale Heart (and I am soon going to read the rest of the stories in the book) with Red’s voice as the narrator. The manga left out and inserted a couple things, but Red’s storytelling made the reading much more dramatic and I was astounded.

  6. Im glad you did this right.
    Most of the time when people do a reading of the tell tale heart they try to make it "better" by reading it in a creepy voice or screaming at the intense parts, im glad you understand the material well enough to realise that the story is more unnerving and scarry if you are completely calm in telling the story.
    Most people dont seem to get that the whole reason the story is scary is how unaware of his own insanity the narrator is, the verry thought of being so far gone that cold blooded murder seems perfectly logical and normal is a terifying concept witch is executed perfectly here whearas other people try to ramp up the creep factor and just end up ruining the story by reading it in a way to over the top way.
    Thanks for doing the tell tale heart justice, its one of my favorite poe storys and your one of my favorite youtubers.

  7. Jeez, this story still sends shivers down my spine, though not nearly as much as it used to. Also that ending helped, so random! XD I remember reading The Telltale Heart in middle school in English class and it scared the fuck out of me. Suffice to say, Edgar Allen Poe is a masterful writer, and I greatly admire his work (even if one of them scarred me, lol).

  8. dude if you want extra bucks, I'm sure the frame at 4:52 would sell as a t-shirt too

    that was me telling you to make that a shirt so I can own it while luring you with the scent of money

  9. Screw the Raven and Nevermore, THIS is Edgar Allen Poe's best work. And this video is a chilling, well animated telling of it. Truly chilling Red. I tip my hat off to you. Very well done.

  10. this is one of the few poem things i recall from high school. the sound he hears is his own heart, i think. being amped on adrenaline, i've had my ears throbbing to my pulse before.

  11. Fuck nevermind! YOU CRAZY NARRATOR! YOU'RE MAD! YES YOU'RE INSANE!!

    Could it be that the heart beat he heard after the old man is dead is his own? And it got louder as he become more panicked due to well…. Panic?

  12. We read this in class yesterday and we were listening to readings of it today and I asked my teacher to play this one and he did! I love you guys so much!!! <3

  13. I began to understand the story's of E. A. Poe after reading about his life, his marriage to his 12 year old niece, her early Death and how Poe buried much of his early work in the Coffin with her, vowing to write no more as he morned her loss. Then a few years later, having wasted himself in a long binge of drugs and alcohol and needing to make some money, he went to the cemetery and dug her up, after viewing the rotting corpse of his incestuous love, he removed his early writing's from what remained of her hands, probably any other thing of value as well, then was able to fund his debauchery for years with the morbid details gained from this experience. Go Poe! Reminds me of the old German story's they used to. Frighten Children so they didn't get lost in the woods! Do not go in the Forest! It's infested with Nameless Slimy Things that slither through the Darkness, having sex with their sisters! They creep between the trees, looking to steal small children for their unspeakable purposes! Stay out of the Forest or you could disappear like so many others! No wonder some of these people were so messed up!

  14. "You would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in….I moved it slowly. Very, very slowly" teeheeheeheeheeeheehee okay sorry i'm done

  15. This is funnier than Diane’s narration in Cheers. I remember her yelling ‘ba-boom, ba-boom!’ Across the room

  16. We're doing this story for a mock trial at our court house, I absolutely love listening and watching this. I'm the Prosecutor.

  17. I still think you mad, my good sir.
    Edit: "I must scream or die" is something my brother says a lot. And it is followed by, "It is the beating of his hideous heart!" and pointing to his younger twin brother. This is a daily occurrence and I am unsure of whether to be thankful for it.

  18. that bruh moment when you literally murder and mutilate a poor old man because he didn’t have pure depth perception

  19. OSP: Imma use this song for a few seconds

    WMG: Hold up, that's a copyright violation.

    The whole OSP fandom: Wacha saaaay

  20. You know, I always found tell tale heart Hilarious. It’s a mad man trying to convince others that he’s not mad, it’s like a gay guy saying, “I fucked my bro, because we thought it would be fun, no homo”, as in every line where he says a mad man couldn’t do something he did, that’s exactly what a mad man would do, him saying a mad man wouldn’t be smart enough to chop up a body, or sneak into someone room, that’s exactly what a mad man would do, to go to the gay thing again, imagine a man saying, “would a gay man fuck his bro”

  21. Madness:…
    Madman:I have never seen this man before in my life.

    I don't know if this was a good translation or not

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