But I do not know what "monkey paws and tell-tale hearts" means. I am guessing it is from some moraliastic tale or story, but I am unfamiliar with it.
Really? That surprises me. They're both short stories written 100+ years ago.
If you google "Monkey's Paw" you should be able to find the story written by W. W. Jacobs. It's about a couple who obtain a mumified monkey's paw that's been spelled to grant three people three wishes each, but the moral of the story is nothing comes without its price. Right there with genie-granted wishes (almost always granted with a twist) and Stephen King's "Pet Cemetary" (be careful in exactly what you wish for - or maybe some wishes shouldn't be wished for).
The "Tell-Tale Heart" was a short-story, written by Edgar Allen Poe, about a man who commits murder, and then his guilt drives him insane. It was made into a movie (old movie) starring Vincent Price.