Horror Curated: Books in Review

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There is No Death There are No Dead

Edited by Aaron J. French &
Jess Landry
Crystal Lake Press

The spirits of the dead exist and they want to communicate.

Spiritualism—the belief that the soul continues on after death and that those souls try to communicate with the living—originated in the 1800s. It reached a fever pitch with mediums traveling all over the world, practicing their craft.

There is No Death, There are No Dead is an anthology of horror stories focused on spiritualism. Whether telling the story of a spirit, a medium, a haunting, or a hoax, communication with the dead takes center stage in each of these tales.

The stories are diverse and unique, but with a carefully crafted thread that connects them into a cohesive collection. The author might explore the origins of spiritualism in the foggy streets of Victorian London or a modern-day medium wrestling with hauntings that are all too human…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: Lynne Hansen

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Multimedia artist Lynne Hansen specializes in horror book covers for some of today’s most popular authors and publishers in the genre. Inspired by the horror novels she reads, Hansen seeks to tell a story with a single image, hoping to convey the symbolic heart of a character or novel like early twentieth-century surrealists M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, and more modern iconic artists like Alan Clark and Jill Bauman. Hansen tries to capture the beauty in even the most twisted nightmare images.

A resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hansen is married to Bram Stoker Award-winning horror author Jeff Strand. In her interview with Horror Curated, Hansen explains how she collaborates with authors and shares her favorite ghostly encounter…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

From the Vault: Bizarre Deaths/ Edgar Allan Poe

Bizarre Deaths
by Guy Portman

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

(January 19th 1809 – October 7th 1849) 

Notable works: The Raven, The Masque of the Red Death, Tamerlan and Other Poems

Poe was an author, poet, editor and literary critic, whose tales of mystery and the macabre are still widely read to this day.  One of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, Poe is also widely considered as being the inventor of the detective fiction genre.  Evidence of the writer’s enduring popularity is the fact that an original copy of Poe’s Tamerlane and Other Poems sold at Christie’s in New York for $662,500, a record price for a work of American literature.

The bizarre events surrounding Poe’s death were as mysterious as the nature of his writing.  On October 3rd, 1849 Mr. Joseph Walker found Poe wandering the streets of Baltimore in a delirious state.  The writer was taken to hospital but was unable to give an accurate account of what had occurred before his demise four days later.

There has been much speculation surrounding Poe’s sudden deterioration and death.  Due to the fact that he was found wearing someone else’s clothes, it has been argued that he was the victim of cooping, a practice in which citizens were attacked, absconded, plied with alcohol, and forced to vote for a political candidate.  His sudden deterioration and demise have also been attributed to alcoholism, TB, epilepsy, diabetes, and even rabies.

**********

Guy Portman is a writer currently residing in London, the city of his birth.  Guy’s next book, Necropolis, is a work of dark fiction about a psychopath, who is employed at his local council’s Burials and Cemeteries department.  Necropolis is due for release in late April 2014. For more info on Guy, go to: www.guyportman.com

Historian of Horror : A Haunted House in The Wild Wild West


A week or so before my birthday several years ago, my wife called me up and asked if I preferred The Wild Wild West or Gunsmoke. A strange request, I thought at the time, since we had not recently discussed any western television programs from the 1960s, but I answered honestly that The Wild Wild West was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid, I still liked it, and my family rarely watched Gunsmoke back in the day because there was probably something on another channel that my dad liked better. Ergo, I never developed any particular fondness for the latter program. I certainly did for the former.

Imagine my very pleasant surprise upon opening my gift on the 25th of that month to find within the festive wrapping paper a DVD set of all four seasons of The Wild Wild West. I binged it right away, and still return to it on occasion. To this day, I find it the most re-watchable of the shows I loved as a child. 

And the populace rises up in unison to issue a resounding, “So what? It’s a western. We’re here to celebrate all things horror. Wrong genre, doofus!”

Ah, but it’s not so far away on the genre spectrum as one might think. To begin with, The Wild Wild West was the progenitor of all things steampunk. Coming as it did in the midst of the secret agent craze, sparked by James Bond and fueled by myriad secondary spies of all shapes and sizes and colors, outfitting a pair of 1870s Secret Service agents with gadgets secreted within cowboy boots and gun belts and hat bands was a natural. While the various gewgaws and thingamajigs dashing hero James West (Robert Conrad) and his not-quite-as-dashing but dazzlingly brilliant sidekick Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) used in their never-ending war on the foes of the United States during the Grant administration were theoretically possible for the period, there were also frequent excursions into the realm of science-fictional fantasies. And at least one episode that could be considered to be horror.

So it was that, a few days ago, I popped the pertinent disc into the player and reviewed with great pleasure the 12th episode of the second season, “The Night of the Man-Eating House”.

All 104 episodes had titles that started with “The Night…”, by the way. In case you were wondering.

The mission James and Artie were tasked with in that broadcast of December 2, 1966, required them to return an escaped prisoner, played by Hurd Hatfield (star of The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945), to jail. They were accompanied by a sheriff played by William Talman, best known as District Attorney Hamilton Burger on the Perry Mason TV show. The prisoner, Liston Lawrence Day, had spent thirty years in solitary confinement for treason. He broke away from his captors and found his way to his former home, a plantation house so thoroughly infused with the spirit of his late mother that injury to the structure caused her to cry out in pain. She held the good guys hostage and tried to kill them so as to enable her son to escape. Meanwhile, Day was somehow restored to his youthful appearance and vigor. Thus rejuvenated, he conspired with the ghostly mansion to bedevil our heroes. 

A most unusual episode, in several ways. As far as I can recall, it’s the only one with a supernatural element. It’s one of the few, if not the only one without a lovely young miss in a feathered bonnet and a hoop skirt for James West to suck face with in between fistfights. And it is the least violent episode I think I ever saw, as there was no one for our fearless hero to punch but one old/young man. The violence that permeated the program’s entire history inevitably attracted the attention of a variety of parents’ groups resolved to force the networks to tone down the bloodletting and fisticuffs, which eventually resulted in the show’s demise.

It all came to an end on April 11, 1969, without any additional expeditions into the outré. There were two subsequent television movies before Martin suffered a fatal heart attack while playing tennis in 1981, and a 1999 feature film that was not well-received, for very good reason. Conrad passed away in 2020, and that was it for The Wild Wild West.

But for just one night, one singular evening when I was eight years old, the best adventure-espionage-western-science-fiction program of its time was also a horror show. And that is still pretty darn groovy, even sixty-six years later.

So as always, true believers in televised terrors, I bid you to be afraid.

Be very afraid.

 

Review: Edgar Allan Poe’s Entrancing Berenice

Review by Megan Starrak

 

Once upon a midnight dreary

I came upon something eerie

A rather gruesome tale of woe,

Written by the hand of Poe.

 

This article was going to be a very abbreviated look at the writings of Edgar Allan Poe in honor of his birthday on January 19th. Then I came across a short story I had never heard of called Berenice. It was published in 1835, and readers were appalled by the story’s content. Reading it, I discovered that the imagery contained within is some of Poe’s darkest.

Berenice is about a man named Egaeus who is engaged to marry his cousin Berenice. Early in the story, Berenice falls ill and begins to wither away physically. At the same time, Egaeus begins suffering from what he calls monomania, in which he becomes obsessed with objects and will stare at them trance-like for hours. One trance begins when Berenice goes to speak with him, and he fixates on her teeth, which are the only part of her body not affected by her illness. Egaeus spends at least a day wholly lost in his obsession with her teeth. He is drawn out of his deep thought when the maid informs him that Berenice has died.

During the story’s final act, Egaeus goes into another one of his trances. Poe does not detail what Egaeus does during this last trance; the reader only witnesses the aftermath as Egaeus becomes aware of it himself. A servant comes to Egaeus and tells him that Berenice was found alive after someone dug up her grave. The servant points to scratches on Egaeus’s hand and there is a shovel leaning against the wall. There is also a box sitting on the table, and with growing horror, Egaeus grabs it, and it falls to the floor. In Poe’s words, “…there rolled out some instruments of dentistry, intermingled with thirty-two small, white and ivory looking substances that were scattered to and from about the floor.”

As with many of Poe’s works, the theme of death and dying is prevalent in Berenice. But is it also a glimpse into Poe’s future? A year after this story was published, Poe married his cousin Virginia. The marriage raised some eyebrows because Poe was 27, and Virginia was 13. But the couple reportedly had a very happy marriage for several years. Then Virginia contracted tuberculosis and passed away in 1847 when she was just 24. 

Poe’s mental health declined during her illness, and, in a letter, he wrote, “Each time I felt all the agonies of her death –and at each accession of the disorder I loved her more dearly & clung to her life with more desperate pertinacity. But I am constitutionally sensitive, nervous in a very unusual degree. I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”

During this emotional upheaval, I wonder if Poe ever thought back to Berenice. Did the words, “Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are, have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been,” come back to him in the darkest moments of Virginia’s illness or after her death? 

Being a writer can lead to a connection with something beyond ourselves. Poe would not be the first to write scenes that would come true years, maybe decades later. Many of Poe’s stories touched on supernatural aspects of our world. Maybe all the loss he had suffered during his life put him closer to that realm than the rest of us. Poe could have taken a different writing path, but he was drawn toward the darker side of the universe, and classic literature is a more macabre place because of it.   

Horror Curated: Midnight Syndicate

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Midnight SyndicateIt’s impossible to say you haven’t heard the music of brilliant composers, Midnight Syndicate. Even if you don’t know them by name, you’ve heard them pumped through ratty speakers in pop-up Halloween stores, haunted attractions, or amusement parks during the spooky season.

Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have been composing and producing music together since the late nineties. They have 20+ albums, have been featured on film soundtracks, and even host a live show at Cedar Point, an amusement park in Ohio.

Edward has a background in film and theatre and has always had a strong love of instrumental music and sound effects because of their ability to transport the listener to a world or movie of their own creation. Gavin, on the other hand, grew up playing keyboards and drums in various rock and pop bands, but began studying music in a much more formal way when he was accepted into a Conservatory of Music during college. There, he learned the basics of orchestration as well as structured composition.

The combination of musical sounds from these two gentlemen can only be described as magical. From their first collaboration on the album Born of the Night, to their newest release—a 25th-anniversary celebration album called Legions of the Night—these guys are truly the real deal when it comes to atmospheric and gothic soundtracks to our soul…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: Winter Tale author Cliff Biggers

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CliffThe creators of A Winter’s Tale, Cliff Biggers, Charles R. Rutledge, and James R. Tuck, were inspired to create their anthology of Yuletide Horror because they enjoyed reading the super Valancourt collections of Victorian Christmas ghost stories. They called on some of the talented writers they know to contribute and bring the tradition back. I got to discuss the book, his favorite horror esthetic, and Edgar Allan Poe with Cliff, one of the editors and the author of our featured story this month, “Who Wouldn’t Go.”

Cliff Biggers has been a writer of comics, Fantasy, Horror, and nonfiction for almost fifty years, beginning with his work with Jim Steranko’s Mediascene in the 1970s. His Horror fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines.

Why should readers pick up A Winter’s Tale?

We have outstanding stories from so many writers, each of them in a different style, evoking a different mood. Just like the Victorian Christmas ghost stories that inspired us, these stories aren’t all built around a holiday theme, so this is more than just a Christmas collection. Our book design and cover artist, Lynne Hansen, conveys that feeling perfectly with her cover image, which is a cold, lonely, somber piece that has no Christmas cheer anywhere to be seen, but it conveys the cold of the season as well as the chill of the ghostly tales.

What is your favorite horror aesthetic?

I am much more a fan of the disquieting, evocative Horror tale than the in-your-face splatterpunk Horror approach. I want a good Horror tale to haunt, not to shock…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: The Bloody Brilliance of Lady Snowblood

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Japan is not known for holding back when it comes to throwing around buckets of blood on screen. Not just limited to horror, the country’s samurai and revenge films are some of the bloodiest on record, and because there are often swords involved, it’s not just limited to splashes of red from bullet-wounds either. Lady Snowblood (Toshya Fujita) is a perfect example of this, featuring copious amounts of the red stuff gushing in geysers from slashes and stabs. But the film is much more than just a blood-fest, and is an interesting window onto Japanese society in the beginning of the Meiji Era, when the country was beginning to examine western ideas, moving from the feudalistic, pre-industrial country of old, into a nation that had changed almost indescribably by the era’s end.

The story is one that has been told times before. Yuki, born in the first years of the Meiji Era, is raised to be an assassin who will one day track down her mother’s four abusers. The film follows the now named “Lady Snowblood,” as she follows the four trails, taking out each one in turn, until the final bloody climax. Based off a manga of the same name, it spawned a sequel, a spinoff, and had its legacy largely cemented in western culture when Quentin Tarantino used it as primary inspiration for Kill Bill (2003). It’s a kind of narrative we’re still seeing today, with a female assassin raised from birth for the sole purpose of murder, and anyone who hasn’t seen the

stylish 2017 film The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil, South Korea), which in turn was inspired by the Luc Besson film La Femme Nikita (France, 1990), would do well to check it out for a fun, modern example of the narrative.

Lady Snowblood has enough filmmaking technique going for it to make it a good watch on its own, and attention to the use of color as part of its thematic expression is just part of it. Red is obviously a large feature in the film, and not just because of the severed hands and blood-splattered faces. After several flashbacks to Yuki’s birth, red light spills into the night, coloring the snow crimson. The women in the prison at her birth are all dressed in red, the floor of the palace in the finale is red, the kimono of the daughter of one of her targets is red; the symbolism is obvious. She is born to blood, which is said as much “poor child, you were born to vengeance,” and it is in red where the story ends. She can never escape it…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

The Walking Dead: A Finale but Not the End of the Road: Review by Megan Starrak

 

On November 20, 2022, The Walking Dead aired its finale and shuffled off into television history. The show was based on a successful comic book series authored by Robert Kirkman. Kirkman’s inspiration for creating the comics was director/filmmaker George A. Romero who directed The Night of the Living Dead movies that focused on a zombie apocalypse. 

During The Walking Dead’s 177 episodes, viewers followed the lives of an ever-expanding and shrinking group of survivors during a zombie apocalypse. Anchored by talented actors, including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, and many others, the show proved to be much more than walkers (i.e., zombies) killing and being killed. At its core, The Walking Dead was an incredibly human story. 

Many storylines illustrated the lengths the characters were willing to go to find ways to connect and just survive somehow while surrounded by desolation and danger. This feeling of danger was heightened when fans quickly learned that only a few of the characters were safe. Over the years, fans watched as dozens of characters they either loved or hated met their end, some of the deaths being more gruesome than others. 

One storyline that pulled at viewers’ heartstrings was during season two when Carol’s daughter Sophia disappeared. The group spent a good part of the season looking for her, always hoping that the child would be found alive. But they were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and when Sophia was found, she had become a walker. So, for viewers, seeing Sophia as a walker and Carol helplessly looking on as her daughter was destroyed was an incredibly heartbreaking scene. 

The look of the undead was created by special effects artist and sometimes director of the show, Greg Nicotero, and his team of prosthetic and make-up artists. They worked tirelessly creating and refining the look of the walkers as the show went on, ensuring that they looked more decayed and desiccated as the years unfolded. Fans were equally enthralled and disgusted by just how detailed the walkers were. And when the walkers attacked the living, the special effects crew made sure that their bloody end looked as accurate as possible. 

However, just because The Walking Dead has reached its bloody end, it doesn’t mean fans will have to go without their favorite nightmare-inducing stories. Robert Kirkman’s world of walkers has expanded into what is being called The Walking Dead Universe. Multiple spin-off shows, including Fear the Walking Dead, which will air its eighth season in 2023, Walking Dead: Dead City, and Tales of the Walking Dead, will keep the dead walking for years to come.  

Horror Curated: When Hell Freezes Over, Blutgletscher

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When horror fans think of movies set in Hell frozen over here on earth, one of the movies that will make most lists is John Carpenter’s iconic movie, The Thing, and all the other movies that have been inspired by it. 

Tom Shankland’s 2008 The Children and Mark A. Lewis’s 2009 Thaw—starring Val Kilmer—are a couple movies that nod to Carpenter that I love, but my all-time favorite movie that took its cue from The Thing is Marvin Kren’s 2013 Blutgletscher (Blood Glacier).

While R.J. MacReady and his team were in Antarctica, Janek and his team are in the Austrian Alps studying global warming. Blutgletscher is set sometime in the future as the melt rate in the movie is much further than it is today.

Blutgletscher allows us to assume that the extremely hostile shape-shifting extraterrestrial organism that terrorized in The Thing not only survived but migrated 9,743 miles to where this movie is set.

But more about that in a second.

Janek and his dog Tinni, unlike MacReady in Antarctica, are long-term residents of the station in the Alps.

He is employed as a technician to keep all the equipment running and he has seen his fair share of scientific teams and quite frankly doesn’t really care for them. I didn’t blame him, the members of the current team are pretentious and treat him like shit despite the fact they wouldn’t be able to conduct research up there if it weren’t for him, which is highlighted in the opening scene…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: ‘Twas the Night Before Creepmas by Nivek Tek

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‘Twas the Night Before Creepmas by Nivek Tek

‘Twas the night before Creepmas, and all through the tomb,
Not a creature was stirring, to seal your doom.
The corpses were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that the Krampus, soon would be there.
The ghouls were all nestled snug in their caskets.
They dreamt of severed heads in bright-colored baskets.
Cobwebs and dust covered the room,
And added a sparkle to the impending doom.
 When out in the graveyard arose such a clatter,
Awoken by screams and incessant chatter,
I climbed from my coffin upset and dismayed,
And thought to myself, “There’s hell to be paid.”
The moon shone brightly on freshly fallen snow,
Which was good, because I had just lost a toe.
When what to my eyes should suddenly appear,
But a big fat old man and a couple of deer.
 
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Horror Curated: Nightmare Fuel, Krampus

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I’m sure that everyone in the world is familiar with Santa Claus. He is the embodiment of the giving nature of the holidays. As some of you may also know from pop culture, there is an opposite to the jolly old elf. For this issue’s Nightmare Fuel, we look at the anti-Santa Claus, Krampus.

According to central European legend, Krampus is a half-goat and half-demon with a long tongue who carries a switch or whip and a basket on his back. He whips the wicked children, sometimes carrying them away in his basket for more punishment or to be eaten later.

Some depictions have him wearing lederhosen, but is usually naked except for his fur or wearing chains. Sometimes he accompanies Santa, other times he makes the run before him. One thing included in any description is how evil and scary the Christmas demon looks.

The roots of Krampus’ legend stretch back to 12th Century pagan celebrations in Germany and Austria…READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: The Ghost of Father Christmas by Dean Farnell

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The Ghost of Father Christmas by Dean Farnell

Santa Claus is just a ghost I’ve waited every year.

I stay up every Christmas Eve and shed a little tear.

He never comes to our house, I’d know if he had been.

I see him in my mind sometimes it must have been a dream.

The spirits placed my presents around the Christmas tree,

Or it’s my imagination playing tricks on me.

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Horror Curated: Nikolette Jones, Ornament Maker

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Horror Ornament Maker, Nikolette Jones

by Emerian Rich

nicoHaunted ornament maker Nikolette Jones is an artist, illustrator, and educator who uses all sorts of media to create all sorts of art pieces that range from cute to scary. She alternates from making actual things like ornaments and bookmarks, to painting on massive canvases, to illustrating and designing book covers for various authors. Her day job is being a French immersion and art teacher. If it’s fun and creative, she’s all in.

I was introduced to Nikolette by a good friend (thanks Tim) who said we’d hit it off because we, “Have the same dark humor.” When I heard she was reimagining old dolls into undead babies and repurposing dollhouses into haunted houses, I knew I had to share her awesome work with you fine adorers of all that’s spooky and macabre.

dollfixedNikolette says she’s been a maker as far back as she can remember. “I was constantly reworking my toys or hoarding weird supplies to make more toys or scenes for my toys. This progressed and I added painting and drawing to the mix.  I honestly can’t remember a time where I wasn’t making something or thinking about making something.”

Her art is inspired by everything around her. Pop Culture, music, literature, the macabre, everyday life, and found objects, she always has a project going on in her head before they see the light of day.

“Lately I’ve been watching a lot of horror movies from the past and the present and have been inspired to mix my love for pop culture with my love for the scary and macabre to create interesting pieces.”  READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: Have a Haunted, Jolly Christmas

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Have a Haunted, Jolly Christmas

by Mark Orr

I’d be amazed if there is anyone reading this expository essay who is unfamiliar with the 1843 Charles Dickens novella, A Christmas Carol. The classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and that memorable Christmas Eve when he was visited by a series of ectoplasmic entities in order to adjust his attitude toward a more compassionate perspective has permeated the culture, having been adapted to stage, screen, radio, television, and other media hundreds of times over the past almost one hundred and eighty years since publication. It is by far the ghost story of any kind that has been the most adapted, with the runner-up, Aleksandr Pushkins’ “Queen of Hearts,” coming across the finish line as a distant second.

While I am resolute in my insistence that the best film version is the 1951 production starring Alastair Sim, I have to say that my favorite is, even after sixty years, the first one I saw—Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.  The very first animated Christmas special, it aired on NBC in 1962, and for many years afterwards. I still sing along with all the songs whenever I watch it. The Christmas pleasures of one’s childhood never quite lose their sparkle. Christmas is all about watching Mr. Magoo as Scrooge and imbibing numerous tall glasses of homemade eggnog heavily laced with intoxicating liquors for this Auld Phart at Christmas time. And yeah, the grandchildren, of course. Sure, them, too.

One might think that Mr. Dickens would have been satisfied with a single great and grand Christmas ghost story. One would be mistaken. Legendary British anthologist and editor Peter Haining’s 1992 collection, Charles Dickens’ Christmas Ghost Stories, contains no fewer than ten, including the aforementioned novella. Nor was Dickens alone in his fervor to link the Holy Ghost with more earthly spirits. Once he opened the floodgates, the entire Victorian spooky story writing community jumped all over the notion as if it were a loose football in the end zone. To list them all would eat up my allotted word count pretty quickly. READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Guest Blog : Finding the Holiday Spirit at the Winchester Mystery House by Megan Starrak

In San Jose, California, there is a mansion with a spooky history. It is the infamous Winchester Mystery House. It was built by Sarah Winchester, who was married to William Wirt Winchester. He was the heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. After his untimely death in 1881, Sarah inherited a fortune and 50% of business ownership. Soon after William’s death, she visited a medium and was reportedly able to contact her late husband. The advice her husband gave her was to move to California and build a house for the spirits of those killed by Winchester-brand guns. 

She followed this recommendation and bought a small farmhouse in San Jose in 1884, and the building began. Construction would continue 24 hours a day until Sarah died in 1922. By then, the house had grown into a seven-story mansion with 161 rooms. Other statistics on the place are that it contains 10,000 panes of glass, 47 fireplaces, and an unknown number of ghosts. 

The house is open year-round to the public. But for those who want to get into the holiday spirit, the house transforms into a Victorian Christmas showcase from late November until early January. One unique tour that will be given during the 2022 holiday season on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th at 5:30 is the Holidays with the Historian Tour. Led by historian Janan Boehme, it is a two-hour tour through the house with a focus on Victorian holiday traditions, caroling, and a special snack in the dining room. Guests participating in this tour are encouraged to dress in Victorian attire for their visit. 

Another event at the Winchester Mystery House on the weekend of December 3rd and 4th is the 4th Annual Menagerie Holiday Oddities & Curiosities Market. Over the weekend, vendors will sell unusual collectibles, antiques, and handmade items. So, if you or anyone on your Christmas list are a fan of taxidermy, medical specimens, or dark artworks and live near San Jose, you should make plans to attend. 

The Winchester Mystery House is an excellent attraction for those interested in the paranormal or life in the Victorian era. But for holiday season enthusiasts, it offers many special tours and events to bring the holiday spirit to life. 

 

Horror Curated: Spooky Locations with Christmas Names

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Spooky Locations with Christmas Names

by Courtney Mroch

Evergreen Cemetery * Owego, NY

In this cemetery, you’ll find the grave of Sa-Sa-Na Loft, a Mohawk Indian maiden who was killed in a train crash in the area. During her life, she had converted to Christianity and enthusiastically spread the gospel in the area. The people were so saddened by her tragic death that they raised the money for her obelisk, wanting to not only erect something in her honor and memory but also to bury her in their cemetery. However, Sa-Sa-Na’s family wanted to bring her home with them. But the people of Owego won out and Sa-Sa-Na was buried there. Some said that shortly after her internment, soft voices chanting Mohawk songs floated out from the woods. Was it her ancestors come to comfort her, or family members quietly grieving unseen and sheltered by the trees? READ more Horror Curated NOW!

Book Review: The Fisherman by John Langan

 

Review by Hana Noel

“I’ve been fishing for a long time now, and as you might guess, I know a story or two. That’s what fishermen are, right? Storytellers.”

The Fisherman by John Langan is composed of 3 parts. The first part is about our main character Abe, his love of fishing, and the grief he feels after his wife succumbs to cancer. It also entails his unlikely friendship with his coworker Dan (who also lost his wife and kids) and how they started to fish together. Part one is excruciatingly descriptive and slow in my opinion. It sets out to build up character development with Abe and Dan and the whole tone of the novel, but the pacing is painfully sedated.

The second part starts to pick up a bit. Dan and Abe are heading to a new fishing spot, Dutchman’s Creek. They stop at a diner on the way and are told by Howard a very long story about the history of the town, the river, and why it isn’t a place to frequent. The story Howard tells spans a majority of the book and what starts as a history lesson quickly morphs into a Lovecraftian tale, one with a dead woman walking around, bones broken, whispering people’s secrets, another about a house with a whole black ocean in it.

“Splashed by the water the man vomited for his trouble, the brother said that the water was full of tadpoles. Only, they were such tadpoles as no one among them had ever seen before, black strips of flesh one or two inches long, every one capped by a single, bulbous blue eye, so it seemed as if the fellow who’d thrown them up had swallowed a bucketful of eyeballs.”

The third part is the best in my opinion. They get to the Dutchman’s Creek despite Howard’s warnings and, as they’re fishing, pull something horrific out of the water. This leads to what can only be called a haunting, both men seeing things that aren’t there, that aren’t quite right.

I chose to reread this book as it’s been a long time since I last visited it. I hailed it as one of my favorites. Though the second time reading it I found more faults within its pages.

Langan is a fantastic storyteller, there’s no doubt about that. My qualm is that this work is overly descriptive, to the point where I found myself skimming. It absolutely drags on about things that don’t seem pivotal to the story. Quite a bit of it feels like filler, in-depth descriptions of trees and telling rather than showing. By this I mean, writing every single action down that happens. Rather than just showing the reader, it spells things out.

Another issue I have with this book is the pacing. It is unhurried, almost technical. The second part, the little history lesson on Dutchman’s Creek, though interesting, takes up a majority of the book. It is told at a snail’s pace, with a few exciting and spooky encounters sprinkled throughout yes, but not enough to truly redeem it.

The story itself is good. You understand, as you finish the book, that the history lesson and the agonizing world building and character study did actually serve a purpose in some ways. That doesn’t make it any less boring though.

Like I said, this is a re-read of a previous favorite book. Originally I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. I’d say now I rate 3 out of 5.

If you can make it through the dry descriptions and the heft of the prose, the overall tone and message of this book can be thoroughly enjoyed.

Horror Curated: Haunted Lantern

HCHHBanner

NOW AVAILABLE!
Issue #1: Haunted Holidays

 

lantern

Gather your supplies and learn how to make this Haunted Lantern in the new issue of Horror Curated!


Supplies:

o 4 / 5×7 black photo frames

o 1 / 7×7 black photo frame 

o White LED candle

o An empty 2.5 or 3-inch ribbon spool

o 3-4 inch unfinished round wood medallion

o e6000 glue

o Black acrylic paint

o Skull statuary

o Flowers, feathers, decorations as you like

o (Optional) puffy stickers for the top corners

Tools:

o Glue gun

o Glue sticks, including red glitter glue sticks

o Pliers

o Wire Cutters

o Paintbrush

READ Horror Curated NOW!

Horror Curated: Haunted Holidays

HCHHBanner

NOW AVAILABLE!
Issue #1: Haunted Holidays

HCHHWinter2022CoverTelling haunted tales at Christmas is a tradition I was so excited to hear about a few years ago. After reading The Woman in Black and realizing that telling spooky tales was a “thing” that people actually used to look forward to during the holidays, I deep-dived into the history and just couldn’t get enough. These were
people after my own heart! 

You see, I fully support making your tree into the grim reaper, crafting a wreath out of skeleton bones, or peppering your mantle with cobweb-encrusted ivy. I love listening to creepy Christmas carols like the tracks from A Ghostly Gathering by Midnight Syndicate. I enjoy watching creepy Horror flicks like Crimson Peak during the holidays, just to see the red snow. 

So, if you’re like me, you are gonna just love what we’ve got lined up for you this issue. Read interviews with Horror professionals like Lynne Hansen, who makes spooky book covers for a living, Nikolette Jones, who does magical things with Horror ornaments, and the aforementioned Midnight Syndicate. Read some haunted holiday fiction from Cliff Biggers, make a gothic lantern, learn about five haunted places with holiday-themed names, and much more. 

On this, our inaugural edition, we welcome you and thank you for allowing us to Curate your Horror.

Emerian Rich, Editor-in-Chief

READ Horror Curated NOW!

Free Fiction : Everything Moved Two Inches by HeavyRadio

The discovery was first made on June 2nd, 2015 by a man named Jaylen Walker, a man plagued with severe OCD. According to him, he noticed the change when the steps to get from his house to the nearby gas station were slightly less than the usual 1,374. Alarmed by this since Jaylen always made sure to retrace his steps. He did so twenty more times until he was positive that it now took 1,373 steps. After police were called into the gas station to perform a wellness check on the man, Jaylen insisted that the city check their census records and that once they did they would see he was correct. One week later, after receiving a hundred calls reporting similar circumstances in their neighborhoods, the city planner Rachel Hennley decided to look into the rumors in order to put the public’s mind at ease. However once doing so, Mrs. Hennely was floored to find that the city did indeed move two inches south since 2012.

Thinking that this could be a result of a major water line rupturing, a small crew was tasked to investigate the source of the movement. Led by Mrs. Hennely, it would take nearly a week for the crews to find anything out of the ordinary. Then on June 16th, one of the contractors named Jackson Lee found a small fissure roughly 2 inches in size roughly a half mile from the initial sighting. It is reported that once Mr.Lee had found the fissure, he had shined his flashlight down the fissure. We do not know this for sure, as shortly after finding the source, Mr.Lee would become inconsolable. After several days, he finally was able to say a single sentence.

“Close… the… gap…”

Unfortunately, Mr.Lee would go on to commit suicide after being released from the hospital. 

Curious as to what had made Mr.Lee so distraught, Rachel Hennely and local geology professor Dr.Neil Gallaghar decided to investigate the fissure further. Once down there, they discovered that the fissure had separated by over a foot since Mr. Lee’s report. Wanting to investigate further, Rachel decided to repel down into the fissure while reporting everything she saw to Dr. Gallagher. As she descended, she noted that the fissure seemed to go down almost indefinitely and would become incredibly spacious. After she reached the end of her rope, Rachel reported that she could no longer see the walls of the fissure and that she was above a massive open space. After pulling out her camera and taking several photos, a scream could be heard echoing from the chasm. Quickly looking at his computer, Dr.Gallagher’s eyes widened. It was a massive, perfectly symmetrical face. He scrolled to the next photo, but before he could look at it, his walkie-talkie exploded with sound.

“IT JUST BLINKED”

He looked back at his computer and screamed. The face was now staring directly at him, and to his horror began to smile. 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HeavyRadio is a horror writer out of Boston. Currently, in a Master’s program,

I write all my stories in my free time.

I am most inspired by Clive Barker, H.P Lovecraft, and Stephen King.

Author Interview with RJ Roles

Interview By Renata Pavrey

Halloween might have ended, but it’s a year-long spook fest for horror fans. We just can’t get enough of sinister stories and terrifying tales. Writer, editor, and publisher, RJ Roles talks to us about his newest book, Season of the Witch, and why there’s no specific season to enjoy horror books.

Renata: Hi RJ, Congratulations on the release of Season of the Witch. Could you tell us what inspired this collection centered around witches and autumn?

RJ: The theme of witches holds a very special place within mine and Jason Myers’ hearts. Crimson Pinnacle Press was started by us one day chatting about co-writing a book together, and that book became Payable on Death – a story about a group of girls in school that find out they share an interest in the craft. As for autumn, what better season is there?! Spooky vibes, crisp air, and the dwindling sunlight hours… It’s a mood-setter.

Renata: The anthology’s theme is highly specific, and various writers bring us their interpretations. How easy or difficult was it to edit such a collection? What kind of stories were you seeking, and what was the response from the horror writing community?

RJ: I’ll start with the response we had, which was quite overwhelming actually. I believe there were well over 60 submissions to read through. The stories we seek for any of the anthologies we put out should be the same as the themes for the books themselves: unique, attention-grabbing, gut-punching, and all-around satisfying. This isn’t my first rodeo at this point in time, so editing comes almost second nature, but with the number of submissions we received, I reached out to fellow author, Mike Ennenbach, and asked if he could help go through them with me. He absolutely came through for us and his help was truly appreciated. 

Renata: What are your favorite Halloween stories? Any books or authors you would recommend for the season?

RJ: Surprisingly, the one I would point people to, I didn’t read until I was an adult, and that’s The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. It is essential reading for this time of year, and Bradbury is King in the land of autumn.

Renata: As a publisher at Crimson Pinnacle Press, what sort of books do you strive to bring out for horror readers? Any publications from your stable you would want readers to check out?

RJ: As I mentioned before, we at CPP really just wanted to do fun, unique themes with our anthologies. We always try to come up with ideas that no one else is really doing at the moment and go from there. The second part of your question is like trying to pick a favorite child. I always ask readers what’s their ‘flavor of horror?’ and go from there. We have fairy tales, urban legends, devils-demons-and Hell, end of summer horror, and now witches set in autumn. Plans for upcoming books will be very exciting, so keep an eye out on our Facebook group. 

Renata: Writer, editor, publisher – You don many hats in the literary sphere. Which is your favorite role, and why?

RJ: In this order (least to most). Editing is fine and I genuinely love it, but it’s not the same as writing. Publishing has been an absolute joy for me being able to get the work of authors into the hands of readers – especially when I can encourage someone who has never submitted before and open up ways from that person to finally take the leap that holds others back out of fear of the unknown, but it isn’t writing. Writing is writing and that’s what writers crave to do. I love to start on a new story and see where it takes me. There’s nothing better than creating something from your own imagination. 

Thank you so much, Renata, for having me.   

Horror Curated: Haunted Holidays

HCHHBanner

NOW AVAILABLE!
Issue #1: Haunted Holidays
48 full-color pages featuring:

HCHHWinter2022CoverInterviews with:
*Musicians Midnight Syndicate
*Artist Lynn Hansen
*Creator Nikolette Jones
*Writer Cliff Biggers
*An Excerpt of A Winter’s Tale
*An Exploration of A Christmas Carol Adaptations
*How to Make a Haunted Holiday Lantern
*5 Spooky Locations with Christmas Names
*The Bloody Brilliance of the film Lady Snowbird
*When Hell Freezes Over in Blutgletscher
*Lore on Krampus and Krampusnacht
*Spooky Holiday Poems
*Book and music reviews
*Dead Mail from readers
*HAUNT Bingo

Curated by: Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Daphne Strasert, Dean P. Farnell, Kate Nox, Kieran Judge, Lionel Ray Green, Mark Orr, Nivek Tek, Courtney Mroch, R.L. Merrill, and Emerian Rich.

ORDER THIS DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW

Author Interview : John James Minster

What is your name and what are you known for? 

John James Minster, author of horror stories.

Tell us about one of your works and why we should read it.

The Undertaker’s Daughter

A Novel of Supernatural Horror

Don’t play with dead things.

Anna Dingel is an introverted, socially inept 18-year-old raised in the family funeral home. And for some reason, her classmate Timmy—the one in the band—likes her too.

After a makeover from her best friend Naomi, Anna breaks away to see him perform live, but the leader of a bad school clique attempts to assault Anna in the parking lot. Once the leader is released from jail, so begins an ever-widening maelstrom of cruel retribution, turning Anna and Timmy’s summer of love into a nightmare.

In an attempt to frighten the bullies into peace, Anna and Naomi experiment with recently revealed old Jewish magic. But this ancient Abrahamic ritual doesn’t go as planned. The eldritch power Anna has unleashed takes dark and unexpected turns, endangering those she loves and forcing her to decide who she is and who she wants to be.

This spine-tingling supernatural horror story is about love, forgiveness, and consequences. Expect surprise twists throughout, as children learn not to play with dead things.

What places or things inspire your writing?

Supernatural beings described in The Old and The New Testaments.

What music do you listen to while creating?

Downtempo electronic and melodic deep house beats.

What is your favorite horror aesthetic? 

Animated decomposing corpses.

Who is your favorite horror icon?

Edgar Allan Poe.

What was the scariest thing you’ve witnessed?

My infant son getting wheeled into surgery.

If invited to dinner with your favorite (living or dead) horror creator, who would it be and what would you bring?

Edgar Allan Poe: matcha green tea, a bamboo whisk, and two porcelain mixing bowls (no, not brandy: I would never do anything to contribute to his untimely death of which alcohol likely played a part.)

What’s a horror gem you think most horror addicts don’t know about? (book, movie, musician?)

A movie I saw in a drive-in theater when it first got released (the year I got my driver’s license.) Two friends of mine and our dates watched it. Our girlfriends were terrified. I absolutely loved it. Lucio Fulci’s Italian film Zombi 2 (also known as Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters, and Woodoo) is a 1979 Italian zombie horror film directed by Lucio Fulci working from a screenplay by Elisa Briganti and Dardano Sacchetti. Probably the best-known of Fulci’s many genre films and it made him a horror icon. When the film was released in 1979 it was condemned for its extremely bloody content, notably by the UK’s Conservative government. It grossed the Euro equivalent of nearly $3 billion dollars, yet of all the many people I ask, not one has seen it. Please do.

Have you ever been haunted or seen a ghost?

Not personally. But I did help an old man solve his house haunting.

What are some books that you feel should be in the library of every horror addict?

Every horror book published by Stephen King, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman (contemporary), and Peter Straub; travels back in time to H.P. Lovecraft, the entire works of Edgar Allan Poe, and Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.

What are you working on now? 

Polishing up three complete new works: The Vengeful Dead, The Hand of Hubal, and Rise of The Golgoths.

Where can readers find your work? (URL #1 place for them to go.)

Bookstores took a major hit in the pandemic and desperately need some love. I would buy or order The Undertaker’s Daughter from your local bookseller. You can order it directly from the publisher, Hellbender Books. Then of course the usual online sellers. The number one URL to get inside my haunted head or to communicate with me is my aggregated links site: https://linktr.ee/johnjamesminster

From the Vault: Morbid Meals – Tribute to Misery – Tomato Bisque

MorbidMeals2

EXAMINATION

Misery is probably my favorite of the movies based on Stephen King’s novels. It is a taut thriller with no supernatural elements, which is uncommon for his adaptations. My favorite scene is the one where Annie serves Paul some soup as she discusses his latest manuscript. When she gets overwrought over the book’s profanity and spills a little soup on him, it makes a powerful bit of bloody red foreshadowing that always gives me chills.

Warming up a can of soup can do wonders for fending off the chill of a long winter’s night, but I always imagined that Annie, knowing how much she admired her best-selling author she was nursing back to health, would cook no ordinary tomato soup. Rather she’d serve him up a hearty tomato bisque.

Traditionally, tomato bisque tends to be tomato soup that was cooked with ham and cream added. I think most people who eat tomato soup or bisque would prefer a vegetarian version, so I adapted some recipes to this one below.

20160411_183231

ANALYSIS

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups vegetable stock
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (with liquid)
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream, or coconut cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Apparatus

  • Large soup pot
  • Immersion stick blender or regular blender

Procedure

  1. In a large pot, add the oil and onions and cook over medium-high heat until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, cornstarch, seasoned salt, and smoked paprika. Stir to evenly cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the broth and tomatoes. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly to break down any lumps that might form from the cornstarch.
  4. When it reaches a boil, bring the heat down to low. Stir in the whole herbs. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the herbs and puree the soup with your blender.
  6. Stir in the cream and add salt and pepper to taste.

DISSECTION

We found a can of fire-roasted tomatoes that gave a wonderful flavor to the soup. We recommend it if you can find it.

If you’d rather use fresh tomatoes, you will need 5 or 6 medium-sized ripe tomatoes. Boil them for about 1 minute, let them cool then peel and chop them.

POST-MORTEM

This is a delicious, hearty soup that will instantly warm you up on a cold night. Share some with your family or your favorite author tonight. Just try not to get so worked up about things while serving it.

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Author Interview with Nick Roberts


What is your name and what are you known for? 

My name is Nick Roberts, and I’m known for my novels, The Exorcist’s House and Anathema. I’ve also had several short stories featured in anthologies from Sinister Smile Press, J. Ellington Ashton Press, and Dead Sea Press and literary publications such as The Fiction Pool, The Blue Mountain Review, Falling Star Magazine, Stonecrop Magazine, and Haunted MTL.

Tell us about one of your works and why we should read it.

My novel, The Exorcist’s House, was released by Crystal Lake Publishing in May 2022 and is available now in paperback, hardback, Kindle/KU, and Audible. It has since become Crystal Lake Publishing’s best-selling novel to date. Here is the official synopsis: 

In the summer of 1994, psychologist Daniel Hill buys a rustic farmhouse nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia.

“Along with his wife and teenage daughter, the family uproots their lives in Ohio and moves south. They are initially seduced by the natural beauty of the country setting. That soon changes when they discover a hidden room in the basement with a well, boarded shut and adorned with crucifixes.

“Local legends about the previous owner being an exorcist come to light, but by then, all Hell has broken loose.

“This 1990s horror novel is perfect for fans of family thriller books, stories of demonic possession, exorcism fiction, the occult, or thrillers like The Exorcist, A Head Full of Ghosts, and The Amityville Horror.

What places or things inspire your writing?

Both of my novels take place in West Virginia, and many of my short stories do as well. It’s the perfect setting for a spooky situation. The terrain is so versatile; there are cities, suburbs, rolling hills, woodland areas, and much more. I prefer my horror to be remote, so I veer toward the rural countryside. 

What music do you listen to while creating?

I live with my wife, two young kids, and a bunch of animals. Noise-canceling AirPods are essential. Any music with lyrics distracts me, so I tend to listen to classical music, instrumentals, and movie scores. I’m currently listening to the soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream if that gives you any indication about the tone of my next novel. 

What is your favorite horror aesthetic? 

I love creepy chamber pieces. Give me a cabin in the woods or an abandoned mental institution or a haunted hotel room. As far as films go, I love what Jason Blum and James Wan are doing. Movies like The Conjuring, Sinister, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Saw are all brilliantly inventive in their minimalism. Both of my novels have one major setting for the most part. I love to settle into one location and get cozy. 

Who is your favorite horror icon?

Leatherface. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a perfect film and has the most shocking introduction to the big baddie. When Leatherface jerks open that sliding metal door and thwacks a dude on the head with the mallet sending him into violent spasms gets me every time. The icing on the violent cake is when he drags the body in, slams the door, and that GONNNNG sound effect kicks in. I love his different ideations throughout the years, but the central concept of a human face for a mask and a chainsaw is the definition of iconic. 

What was the scariest thing you’ve witnessed?

When I was around twelve years old, I watched The Exorcist for the first time. It traumatized me, of course, but the real horror happened a few nights later. 

I have twin sisters who had seizures when they were younger. One night, I woke up to use the restroom. I was creeping down the hallway when I heard a bed shaking. I looked into my sisters’ bedroom and they were each in their beds violently spasming in unison. It was Regan MacNeil times two, and I’ve never fully recovered from it. 

If invited to dinner with your favorite (living or dead) horror creator, who would it be and what would you bring?

Jordan Peele. Not only is he a brilliant director, but he’s a horror fanboy. It would be fantastic to discuss his films, and geek out over classic horror movies. I would bring Cuban cigars. I have no idea if he likes them but puffing on a stogie and going on deep dives into obscure horror subgenres is my fantasy.

What’s a horror gem you think most horror addicts don’t know about? (book, movie, musician?)

The Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales by Ruth Ann Musick is a childhood favorite of mine. It’s packed full of spooky stories that not only showcase the ghostly side of West Virginia, but it also contains some haunting illustrations. 

Have you ever been haunted or seen a ghost?

I’ve never witnessed anything paranormal. I’m a skeptic, but I want to believe. 

What are some books that you feel should be in the library of every horror addict?

The following books should be in the library of every horror addict:

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

The Shining by Stephen King

The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

Books of Blood by Clive Barker

What are you working on now? 

I’m currently working on my third novel. It has nothing to do with the previous two, but it is similar in tone and structure. Although I can’t reveal much about the plot at this point, I will say that it is supernatural horror that I know will make readers lock their doors at night.

Where can readers find your work? (URL #1 place for them to go.)

You can follow my future exploits and purchase signed copies of my books at www.nickrobertsauthor.com.

I’m also on the following social media platforms: Facebook @spookywv, Twitter @nroberts9859, Instagram @spookywv, and TikTok @spookywv.

Free Halloween Fiction : Circle of Trust By Ravyn Storm

“Jamie…Jamie, if you are present, please, give us a sign…we miss you so much!” My best friend, Becca said, circling the Planchette around the Quiji board.

“Yes, girl, we miss you, queen. Show us a sign!!!” My other BFF, Robert chimed in, eyes closed.

I grinned. I was there. It was Saturday night and Halloween. The one night a spirit or entity could choose to walk and be “among the living”. This being my first Halloween on the other side, I was only recently deceased…I was murdered in June. However, the actual ruling on my death was “accidental overdose”.

My friends Becca (cellist, salutatorian), Robert (drum major, top-ten of our class, and “totally gay”), were joined by Demarcus (my once boyfriend, football captain) and Heather (track teammate of mine, fellow cheerleader, honor student, and current girlfriend to Demarcus). In life, I bridged the social gap between Jamie and Robert, and Heather and Demarcus. We were all in the same honor courses at our prestigious high school. Other than that, our group was a two-by-two sandwich with me in the middle.

My “Jamie Sandwich” posse’ was gathered in Heather’s luxurious bedroom. Honestly, her room was similar to a studio apartment. Her parents were wealthy and owned multiple properties in Texas, Florida, and New York. Heather’s room featured a walk-in closet large to house her expansive wardrobe full of everything from Lululemon to Gucci, as well as a small refrigerator (where she hid vodka in water bottles), and a bottle caddy cradling a few bottles of red wine. She had a perfectly made queen sized bed with Vera Wang bedding, a 50inch flat screen smart TV (complete with every streaming service available to mankind), and a small, round table with four cushioned high-back chairs around it.

My friends each occupied a seat at the candle-lit table with their glasses of wine. Each had a hand on the Planchette of the Quiji board. However, Becca would be the voice in charge of asking the questions. Robert was to Becca’s left, Demarcus on her right, with Heather directly in front of Becca. Perfect set-up.

Invisible, I stood between Becca and Demarcus. I began to move the Planchette.

                 H. I. G. U. Y. S.

Robert’s eyes widened as he wrote down the letters. “Hi, guys!” he exclaimed to our friends.

Following proper procedure like always, Becca asked, “Is this you, Jamie???”

I moved the Planchette, “Yes”.

“Stop moving the thing, Robert!” Heather demanded.

“Child, that is NOT me. I do not mess with spirits,” Robert defended, peeking his eyes in her direction.

Heather cut her eyes over to “her boyfriend” Demarcus.

“Babe, don’t even look at me. You know where my hands like to go,” Demarcus said as his non-Planchette hand rubbed Staci’s thigh under the table headed ever so slightly north.

I rolled my eyes. I bit my lip, resisting the urge to grab Demarcus’s “tool” and twist until it came off. I had to be patient. This was making my plan anxiously all the easier.

“Shhhh…” Becca scolded, her eyes remained closed, but she was clearly annoyed by Demarcus’s comment. “Jamie, if this is you, what is the name of your dog?”

“Toby.” I spelled.

“Ooohhhh…” Robert said excitedly, realizing it was me. Robert had a tendency to be dramatic and emotional, I adored him for it. He wore his heart on his sleeve and always spoke his mind.

“Jamie, were you unhappy?” Becca asked with a crack in her voice. I knew where her anxiety originated. There was speculation my “overdose” was a suicide. Deeply empathetic, Becca would never forgive herself if she missed the warning signs.

“No.” I pointed the Planchette. I wanted to reveal myself to her. Give her a hug. She was struggling more than the others without me. But, I had to wait. Wait for the right moment to exact my revenge.

“Why would you overdose, Jamie? It was so scary to watch you die and I will never get over it,” Heather said with fake sadness. She had no idea. I was going to make sure she would never “get over it”.

I started to spell, “F. U. C. K. Y. O. U.”

Robert, writing down the letters, stopped. “Why would she say that to you, Heather?” He asked slowly, staring at the paper, lifting his glaze to her.

Demarcus was now staring at Heather with morbid curiosity. This was playing out perfectly.

“I-I-I don’t know. I loved you, Jamie!” Heather stated, with a wide-eyed look. By now, all eyes were on Heather, just as she preferred. She was always an attention whore.

“We were best friends, since Ms. Gold’s third-grade class. I held your hand as you died! I was there…I was there!” Heather exclaimed with fake tears. She always was such a great actress. Too bad, she’d never get to use her talents after tonight.

“Tell them.” I spelled out. I was angry. Still cloaked in chosen invisibility, I threw Robert’s glass of red wine onto the carpet. Oh well. This was going down. And I was going to enjoy it.

Robert gasped as the glass flew past him, Demarcus’s eyes widened.

“Tell us what, Heather?” Becca demanded, tears in her eyes.

“This isn’t funny!” Heather screamed.

“Did you do something, Heather?” Demarcus withdrew his non-Planchette hand away from her.

“Bitch,” I spelled, moving the Planchette fast with scary speed. I was burning with anger. I could feel my anger translating into the unworldly strength of the undead. It was almost time.

They would find Fentanyl in Heather’s room. She used it to drug me. Slipped it in my vodka soda during our “girl’s night” after summer cheer practice that fateful night. She would later tell authorities I was depressed and dealing with too much stress, but “had no idea I was taking drugs”.  Heather was full of shit.

Heather had been there when I passed out. There, when I could not be revived. There when I died. She called 911 only after she was positive I was dead. She wanted me out of her way. With me gone, she could have cheer captain, track captain, an easy-made route to any college since her “bestie” died (and her parents could afford any school), but most of all, she wanted Demarcus.

That’s it, it was time to reveal myself. Since the Quiji board was actually unnecessary on Halloween to conjure spirits, I started by violently flipping the board and Planchette off the circle table. It all landed with a deafening thud on the hardwood floor. Next, I wanted a more dramatic entrance. I had the candles shoot their flames up to the extended ceiling of Heather’s massive room. As the flames disappeared, and the candles were once again lit in a more normal manner, I appeared.

“Hi, guys,” I said. Then, turning to Heather, my eyes filled with malice, “Hey, bitch”, I said with stone-cold hatred for my murderer, arching my left eyebrow, I said, “I know.” I gave a slight nod toward her accompanied by a little smirking giggle.

Everyone gasped. Becca grabbed Robert’s hand as tears streamed down her face. I felt bad for the next part, but I did what I had to do. With all the invisible force of the undead, I shoved Jamie and Robert back into Heather’s expansive closet slamming the French double doors behind them. I telepathically threw one of the table’s large chairs at the door, locking them inside. They tried in vain to open the doors.

I turned my attention to a now petrified and crying Demarcus and Heather.

“Jamie, baby, what are you doing?” Demarcus stammered. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because she took my life…and now I am taking it back,” I said, with a strange calmness to my tone.

As if on cue, Demarcus started to fall to his knees. His breathing was heavy as he fought to stay upright and awake. And then, just as I had, he succumbed to the lethal amount of Fentanyl placed in his drink.

Heather knelt down beside his body, screaming his name. Demarcus and I would be reunited in death. I grinned a small, evil grin of satisfaction.

We could hear Robert talking to a 911 operator on his cell phone while locked in the closet. Excellent, I thought.

“Familiar sight, huh, Heather?” I calmly inquired.

“Go to hell!” Heather screamed.

“Awe, where do you think I’ve been?” I chuckled, then continued, “By the way, the cops will find your stash of drugs. You might want to get your story straight. I don’t think they’ll believe you twice.”

“So? I’ll tell them-“ Heather started.

“Tell them what, Heather?! Tell them your dead friend came from beyond the grave and murdered your boyfriend while you happen to have massive amounts of Fentanyl in your bedroom? While Robert and Becca will both testify that you murdered us both? Try it.” I invited her.

“Fuck you!” Heather cried in a scream.

I laughed at her. We could hear the sounds of sirens coming closer. I retreated back to my deadly world, out of sight.

A year later, Becca and Robert along with their Quiji board were in Robert’s room sitting on the floor.

Becca, circling the board with the Planchette, began, “Are there any spirits in this room?”

Demarcus and I chuckled as we held hands. With my free hand, I moved the Planchette to “Yes”.

Robert sucked in air and slowly let it out. He said, “Jamie, girl, you know I’ve been in therapy twice a week over your dead ass…but damn, I hope this is you.”

Becca, her eyes closed, giggled.

“LOL. Hi, guys,” I spelled.

We had a good time, the four of us. Before the end of the night, I had another visit to make.

I found myself in Heather’s new, much smaller room. She was now a permanent resident in the Psych Ward of the State Penitentiary. Even daddy’s money could not save her. You know her as “The Fentanyl Killer”. I simply refer to her as “My Bitch”.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ravyn Storm is a lifelong reader and avid horror fan, however, growing up in a small town in the piney woods of East Texas, she found herself feeling strange, unusual, and never fit in with the locals. After attending college, Ravyn became a schoolteacher. In 2017, she left teaching to pursue a career in personal training and competed as a national-level bodybuilder. However, her love of the horror genre never changed. Ravyn resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two fur babies, Oscar and Louis.

IG Account- Ravyn_Storm

From The Vault: Odds and Dead Ends: Scene Analysis – Michael’s escape in ‘Halloween’ (1978)

Most of us have probably seen 1978’s Halloween a million times. When we think of the film’s beginning, we think either of the opening credits, with the long track into the pumpkin’s eye, or the famous long-take opening scene. However, the murder of Judith Myers is just back-story for the film as a whole. The story really begins with Michael Myers, now twenty-one, escaping from Smith’s Grove Hospital. This is the scene I want to examine, taking it step by step, shot by shot, and looking at how Carpenter constructs this famous, if often overlooked, scene.

First to notice is the weather. This isn’t necessary for the scene from a storytelling standpoint, but it adds to the atmosphere, if in a slightly clichéd fashion. It’s an additional air of menace. It’s not up to King Lear levels of pathetic fallacy, but it’s still there, ever present throughout the scene. It also adds some visual interest, in much the same way that Ridley Scott would do four years later, with the shimmering water on the walls of the Tyrell building in Blade Runner. Of final note for the weather, compare the slashing of the windscreen wipers in the rain as a visual foreshadowing for Michael’s slashing knife, with a similar shot in Psycho of Marion Crane driving through the rain, with her windscreen wipers foreshadowing Norman Bates’ knife slashing through the shower. Remember that Psycho is a movie which obviously had a profound influence on Halloween and the budding slasher subgenre.

In the car, we are introduced to Loomis, Michael’s doctor. Pleasance plays him as a brooding and serious, if superstitious, man, bordering on obsession. Alongside we have Marion, who is not only dismissive of the patients she looks after but woefully underprepared, having done “only minimum security” before. This conversation between them not only brings us up to speed as to Michael’s condition, “he hasn’t spoken a word for fifteen years,” but also sets up a motif that will play throughout the movie. Those that don’t take Loomis and Myers seriously, end up attacked and often dead. Loomis says for Marion to “try to understand what we’re dealing with here. Do not underestimate it.”

The line “Do not underestimate it” is one of the most important lines in the scene, and perhaps the entire film, and the following remarks of “Don’t you think we could refer to ‘it’ as ‘him’?” “If you say so,” is crucial to our understanding of Myers. He is not so much a man as a manifestation of evil inhabiting the body. Before we even see the old Myers, he has been taken to a realm beyond the human, back into the land of something much older and more terrifying. Loomis wants Myers trapped forever, but the law, thinking that he is still ‘him’, wants him moved. In later scenes, Loomis shouts that he warned everyone about Myers but nobody listened. Only Loomis, who truly understands what Myers is, knows to keep him locked up. The dialogue between Loomis and Marion is expertly written to give exposition, build character, and raise tension, all in small, economical snippets, and all at the same time. This exchange should be studied further by any screenwriting student to see just how brilliant it is.

Then the headlights illuminate the patients in the white robes walking around in the rain, an eerie sight in itself. The music kicks in, the famous piano and synth combo, which warns of impending danger. We’ve had the build-up, our fears raised, and now the film begins to play on them. When Loomis gets out of the car to open the main gate, a figure clambers onto the roof. Myers strikes when Loomis is out of the way. This begins the cat-and-mouse that the two will play throughout the film. That the rear lights paint Myers in a blood-red glow as he climbs onto the car is symbolic of his intent. He means murder.

What is interesting about this scene is that we begin to see Myers’ method of killing. He isn’t just a hulking mass, but he is quiet, methodical, and will only use brute force if he needs to. When Marion first rolls the window down to see who is on the roof, he brings his hand down to attack her. Only after she drives the car into the ditch, closes the window, and scurries to the other side, does he take to smashing the window. He is like a cobra, striking when he needs to but holding back otherwise.

When Myers does smash the window, it’s interesting to see how Carpenter constructs the scare. He uses Hitchcock’s theory of suspense (affectionately known as his ‘bomb theory’), in that he alerts us to the looming threat of Myers smashing the window before Marion is alerted to him. His hand appears in shot, giving the audience a moment of ‘he’s behind you!’ before it disappears for a few seconds. The tension is raised as we wonder exactly when the attack will be, and then a second or two later, the payoff. This simple, few-seconds scare, is a full construction, methodically thought out in all its beats, has rises and falls in its narrative, and is light-years apart from the false scares of many horror movies.

In horror movies today, one might expect Michael to kill the nurse before escaping. However, this original Michael doesn’t need to kill Marion, because his goal is the car. He attacked Marion when she was inside the vehicle, but now that she’s fled, he doesn’t need to pursue her. She isn’t a threat. This is something that the new movie, Halloween 2018, also subtly picks up on, in that Myers doesn’t just kill indiscriminately; he specifically targets. Evil has its own agenda, and it is perhaps something which makes Michael scarier. If he was just a killing machine, you could deal with it. But there is thought behind his eyes, calculated thought, and death is just one part of it.

In the final moments of the scene, we have Loomis’ line, “the evil has gone”. Described as ‘evil’ for the first time, we have Loomis’ superstitions on full display, and our understanding of the scene catches up. That was Myers, as we feared, and not just a random patient, and the sinking feeling in our stomachs ramps up as it drops another notch. All the precautions Loomis asked for, all the connotations of a silent, deadly mass of inhumanity, that we were given in the car,  has all come to fruition. So awful is this realisation that Loomis doesn’t stay around for much more than “are you alright?” to Marion, before rushing off. Once he knows she’s not in danger, she is disregarded. The evil must be stopped at all costs.

This is a perfect example of a well-constructed scene, with its personal rises and falls, and specific story construction. Attention is paid in all areas to ensuring that the filmmaking and storytelling come together in a beautiful composition with every subtlety pulling its weight. Carpenter has created a wonderful scene that sets loose upon the film a carnage that will terrify us long after the credits have stopped rolling.

-Article by Kieran Judge -Follow him on Twitter: KJudgeMental

Bibliography

Blade Runner. 1982. [Film] Directed by Ridley Scott. United States of America: The Ladd Company.

Halloween. 1978. [Film] Directed by John Carpenter. United States of America: Falcon International Productions.

Halloween. 2018. [Film] Directed by David Gordon Green. USA: Blumhouse.

Psycho. 1960. [Film] Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. United States of America: Shamley Productions.

Shakespeare, W., 2000. King Lear. Second ed. UK: Heinemann.

A Halloween Listicle: SINISTER STORIES FOR THE SPOOKY SEASON

 by Renata Pavrey

The days leading up to Halloween are filled with costumes to prepare, décor to get ready, and treats to bake. The final week of October is a culmination of all the spooky excitement building up throughout the month. Yes! We love our horror movies, can’t have enough of eerie podcasts, and then there are books that thrill and chill. Sometimes it’s just so much to take in, with all that’s happening in a horror fan’s favorite time of the year. Here’s a list of Halloween-themed short story collections, so you can dip in your toes when time runs short on Hallows Eve.

~Halloween Horrors by Alan Ryan – A vintage collection for a night of evil. 13 sinister stories of madness and mayhem that show us a side of Halloween far removed from pumpkin lanterns and hot spiced drinks.

~Ghosts, Goblins, Murder and Madness by Rebecca Rowland – 20 tales of Halloween that showcase the wide expanse of the holiday season – dressing up in costume, playing practical jokes, haunted houses, cursed artifacts, the thin line between the earth and spirit worlds.

~Season of the Witch by RJ Roles and Jason Myers – Witches are not just about brooms and pointy hats; cackling as they fly over the moon on Halloween. This anthology from Crimson Pinnacle Press brings together 19 tales about witches and autumn, providing fresh perspectives to cliches and stereotypes associated with the season.

~Literally Dead by Gaby Triana – Hauntings that go beyond ghosts, spirits who want to help the living, festive greetings that travel through time and space, candy that refuses to be digested – an old school anthology from Alienhead Press that presents common Halloween tropes in spooky new avatars by some of the most terrifying names in contemporary horror.

~Halloween Frights by Brandi Hicks and Shelly Jarvis – If short stories take up too much of your reading time, why not sink your teeth into bite-sized drabbles? Spooky ghost kids, zombie trick-or-treaters, suspicious treats, and decorations coming alive – let’s turn to face the darker side of this autumn holiday.

~Forest of Fear (Books 1, 2 and 3) by Zoey Xolton – There are 3 books in the Fright Night Fiction series from Blood Song Books, that present a delectable collection of Halloween horror drabbles.

~Nom Nom by Ben Thomas and D. Kershaw – Another drabble collection that treats us to a smorgasbord of vampires, djinns, werewolves, jack-o-lanterns, clowns, candies, and everything the festival has to offer in 100-word bits of gore from Black Hare Press.

From The Vault : Top 5 Oldie Halloween Songs

 

I just can’t get enough of these oldie Halloween songs.

  1. “Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood” by Don Hinson & The Rigamorticians
  2. “Skeleton in the Closet” by Louis Armstrong
  3. “Headless Horseman” by Bing Crosby
  4. “Grim Grinning Ghosts (From Haunted Mansion®)” by The Mellomen, Paul Frees, Betty Taylor, Bill Lee, Thurl Ravenscroft
  5. “Coolest Little Monster” by Zacherley

Do you have a favorite? Please share!

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Haunted Trail

 

 

 

Plotline: A group of college friends receive the surprise of their lives when they discover there is an actual killer on the scene of a local haunted trail.

Who would like it: I think everyone! This movie was so super fun. I had a blast watching this and you will too!

High Points: I loved the super diverse cast of characters and that this movie takes place in a haunted venue

Complaints: Absolutely none!

Overall: I LOVED this movie!

Stars: 5

 

 

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Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

Historian of Horror : Monsters to Marvel At!

I’ve written before in this space about the Comics Code Authority, and how it forbade depictions of vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghouls and myriad other creatures of darkness in the comic books approved for consumption by the tender, innocent minds of American youth, beginning in the mid-1950s. This puritanical restriction lasted until the early 1970s, which by a happy coincidence happens to be the time when my most active period of collecting began.

What is most significant about that time as it relates to our favorite genre is that Marvel Comics in particular went absolutely batty over the new freedom, more so than any of their four-color competitors. And it all began at the end of 1971, with the second issue of a title called Marvel Spotlight.

Marvel Spotlight was one of those titles intended to showcase new characters not yet deemed ready for their own series. The first issue featured a Native American Western character called Red Wolf. Not bad, but he went nowhere fast. The second issue, on the other hand…

The cover was by comics legend Neal Adams, inked by another great, Tom Palmer. The interior was drawn by an artist new to me at the time, but one I now acknowledge as a true genius of the art form – Mike Ploog – and written by the equally iconic Roy Thomas. It was called Werewolf By Night.

Oh, frabjous day, calloo, callay! Our long sequential art nightmare was over! There was an actual, bloody-fanged freaking werewolf in a Marvel comic book! And it was available for purchase for only a quarter of a dollar!

Marvel comics dated that February of 1971 were all fifty-two pages for twenty-five cents. It was a brief experiment in a longer format for all the Marvel titles. To flesh out the issue, a story of the Greek goddess Venus from a 1948 issue of her eponymous title, published back when Marvel was still called Timely Comics, was included. It was drawn by Bill Everett, who had in 1939 created the Sub-Mariner, Marvel’s first superhero. 

Werewolf By Night told the tale of Jack Russell, who inherited the curse of the full moon from his father’s side of the family. His adventures continued for another two issues of Marvel Spotlight, both written by Gerry Conway, before a new character, Ghost Rider, took over and Jack’s story transferred to his own title. Werewolf By Night ran for forty-three issues, drawn first by Ploog and later by Don Perlin, an artist I never really warmed to. 

Two months after that issue of Marvel Spotlight came out, a new title appeared, featuring a different monster formerly forbidden by the Comics Code. Tomb of Dracula ran for seventy issues, each one drawn by comic giant Gene Colan, and inked by the aforementioned Tom Palmer. A black and white magazine by the same title ensued, as well as one called Dracula Lives! Neither lasted very long. Nor did the fifty-two pagers Giant-Size Dracula or Giant-Size Werewolf. But they were fun, and I bought them all. 

And there were titles with zombies and mummies and Frankenstein’s Monster and Son of Satan and all manner of spooky critters that had been for so long verboten in the medium. It was a wonderful time to be thirteen and have access to a working lawnmower to make a few bucks to finance a hobby that was not yet priced out of your reach. 

I mowed a lot of lawns in those days. And collected coke bottles, and babysat, and did whatever odd jobs were available. Comic collecting wasn’t nearly as expensive as it became in the late 1980s, but it did take some effort to keep up with. 

And here we are, decades later, living in an age of comic-based movies. One of which I watched just yesterday on Disney+, a live-action television movie based on Werewolf By Night. It also co-stars another Marvel monster of the period, one also intimately associated with artist Mike Plogg at one point in its history. No spoilers here, but I definitely hope the populace will make an effort to seek out and enjoy Werewolf By Night.

I loved it. I recommend it very highly. 

I have mentioned before the passing of Neal Adams. Sadly, Tom Palmer, possibly the greatest inker the medium ever employed, also passed away recently. He died August 18 of this year, at the age of 81. 

For our lagniappe this time out, I tried to find a decent copy of the animated version of Mussourgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” from my favorite Disney movie, Fantasia. Alas, YouTube doesn’t have one worth sharing. Instead, enjoy this 1938 animated version from France. Very unusual, very dark and dreary, and delightfully dour.

And as always, my darling demoniacs…

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Best in Blood: L. Marie Wood

Congratulations!
To our Best in Blood winner,
L. Marie Wood.

binbseason16

Listen to the awarding and an interview with L. Marie on episode 217, at 30:33.

L. Marie Wood is an award-winning dark fiction author, screenwriter, and poet with novels in the psychological horror, mystery, and dark romance genres. She won the Golden Stake Award for her novel The Promise Keeper. She is a MICO Award-nominated screenwriter and has won Best Horror, Best Action, Best Afrofuturism/Horror/Sci-Fi, and Best Short Screenplay awards in both national and international film festivals. Wood’s short fiction has been published in groundbreaking works, including the Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters and Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire. Her academic writing has been published by Nightmare Magazine and the cross-curricular text, Conjuring Worlds: An Afrofuturist Textbook. She is the founder of the Speculative Fiction Academy, an English and Creative Writing professor, a horror scholar, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, a full member of the SFWA, and a frequent speaker in the genre convention space.

BOOK BIRTHDAY! Campfire Tales from HorrorAddicts.net Press

BookbirthdayHorror Bites: Campfire Tales

Dear Reader,

You’ve been invited to a very special night of Campfire Tales, hosted by HorrorAddicts.net. Meet us at Old Bear Creek, just past Dead Man’s Curve. Dress warm. We’ll be waiting.

Four scary tales told by Next Great Horror Writer finalists and woven together by a trek through the woods you’ll never forget.

“Cabin Twelve” by Daphne Strasert
When a camp counselor goes on patrol, she finds an extra cabin in the woods that no one knows about…or do they?

“The Face” by Naching T. Kassa
An ailing mother and her daughter are terrorized by a disembodied face.

“When the Wind Leaves a Whisper” by Jess Landry
Girl Scouts in the 40s experience a frightening occurrence in the woods.

“Goose Meadows” by Harry Husbands
Two friends out drinking at night discover the real horrors of Goose Meadows.

Free Fiction : Till Death Do Us Part – by C M Lucas

A posh café bathed in the dwindling sunlight as blue skies gave way to brilliant orange and red. La Fin du Soleil: an outlier in this small rural and very American town, was not only a tourist destination but a bit of a local hot spot. This quaint little café was a spot where potential lovers gazed into each other’s eyes, waxed poetically, and fell head over heels for the stranger sitting directly in front of them. Strangers like Linda and James. 

One Year Ago 

Linda Muller loved La Fin Soleil. A talented artist and self-described creative spirit, Linda would often find herself sipping a café Late while dreaming up her latest piece. Typically, while sipping her late, Linda would glance at the café’s patrons, often making quick sketches of them while they enjoyed their coffee. On one fateful Tuesday, Linda happened to meet the gaze of a ruggedly handsome, down-on-his-luck somber soul. Ordinarily, James wouldn’t give the French café a second look, however, on that Tuesday, James felt almost obliged to enter La Fin Soleil. Upon entering the small café, James ordered a regular dark roast with double cream and took a seat at the far end of the café beside a large window. Linda glanced at James as he continuously stirred his coffee while peering out the window. Linda observed as James’ pale blue eyes seemed to express sadness. Shaking her head softly before running her fingers through her hair, Linda got up from her chair and, with coffee in hand, made her way over to the somber man. 

“Penny for your thoughts,” Linda whispered. James glanced up at the petite woman. The sunlight bathed Lina from behind; her auburn hair looked as if it were ablaze as a large smirk formed on her face.

“I’m sorry?” James said, squinting. 

“Look, I know that’s cliché, but I, you know, I’ve never seen you in here before. You kind of stand out; you don’t look like the type of guy to stop in here, you know,” Linda explained, “and… I don’t know, you look… Is everything alright?” James continued to glance at Linda, furrowing his brow. 

“Am I alright? Uh, I… Yea, I guess. I’m sorry, what is this?” James asked. “I don’t know, you just have this sadness about, you know? I just thought that if I don’t come over and save this guy from whatever-” James shook his head before meeting Linda’s gaze. “Uh, ok, I gotta say, this is a little weird. I mean, I’ve never had anyone come up to me and ask me if I was ok,” James explained, “I mean, what are you, like the nicest woman on the planet?” 

“Yes, but only during the day. At night, I fight crime. They call me The Auburn Altruist,” Linda said with a smirk. James furrowed his brow before chuckling and shaking his head. “That was really corny. I can’t believe I laughed at that,” James said. 

“I can,” Linda said before the pair busted out laughing. 

“Thank you. I, uh, I needed that,” James admitted. 

“I know. I’m Linda,” Linda said, extending her hand. 

“James,” James said as the pair shook hands. 

“Care to sit?” 

The Present. 

Inside Las Fin Soleil, the dusty, undisturbed tables and chairs sat quietly as a small beam of sunlight shone through a crack in the plywood nailed to the window. In the far corner, sat James. Sitting almost motionless, James glanced out the tiny crack between the boards across the

window as the sun shined against his pale blue eyes. A rhythmic sequence of knocking at the boarded-up front door snapped James out of his daze before he headed toward the door. James grabbed a hammer from the floor before removing the boards from the door. James opened the door with a quivering smirk. 

“A regular knock would’ve been fine,” James said before Linda stuck out her tongue. Linda and James embraced before the pair boarded the front door. They made their way over to the far end table as James retrieved two coffee cups and placed them on the table. Linda smiled as she took a seat. James scurried over behind the counter and pulled out two candles. Lighting the candles as he made his way over, James placed the candles in a makeshift holder. “Care to sit?” Linda asked. 

One Year Ago. 

Inside La Fin Soleil, James and Linda laughed and smiled, while drinking their coffee. Minutes turned to hours as the pair continued to delight one another with conversation. “No, I’m serious. She actually said, ‘hit the bricks.’ It’s funny now, but at the time, it didn’t register, I guess. But, yea. ‘Hit the bricks.’And just like that, I was fired after, what? Nine years?” James explained as the pair continued to laugh. 

“Well, It’s great to see you laugh at the situation. I don’t know, It’s like they say, ‘If you don’t laugh, you cry,’ right?” Linda asked. James smiled before shaking his head. “You’re a walking book of clichés, aren’t you,” James asked while smirking. Linda nodded before finishing her late. James and Linda shared a moment of silence while gazing into each other’s eyes. 

“Can I buy you another coffee?” James asked.

“I’d like that,” Linda answered with a smile. As James attempts to get the waitresses’ attention, both James and Linda notice most of the café patrons are distracted by the events on the TV. 

“What the hell?” 

The Present. 

Within the La Fin Soleil, Linda and James both run their hands along the boards fixed to the café’s loan window. 

“Ready?” Linda asked. James nodded before beads of sweat began to form on his brow. The pair pried at the boards with hammers before the boards gave way, crashing to the dusty tiled floor. The dwindling sunlight burst into the café, illuminating everything. 

“Alright, Ms. Muller. After you,” James said before Linda once again took a seat. James smiled before passing in front of the window. Where once one could view the town’s quaint brilliance, rows of charred, dilapidated shops and houses now stand. The partially devoured bodies of the townsfolk lie scattered and still, as bodily fluids filled the streets. One Year Ago. 

“Everybody, quiet,” the waitress shouted before turning the volume up on the TV. Linda, James, and the rest of the patrons watched in horror as the live news broadcast displayed hordes of the undead filling the streets. The reporter began to run for his life before being consumed by the horde. The patrons within La Fin Soleil frantically began to rush toward the exit. Linda 

grasped James’ hand tight as the pair sat still with shock. 

The Present.

“I’ll never forget the first time I saw the light hit your hair. It looked like your head was on fire, but in an angelic way,” James mused. Linda smiled before taking James’ hands into hers. The pair gazed out the window as the last rays of sunlight peaked from behind the clouds. 

“Here’s to the end. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” Linda said with a quivering smirk. James lowered his head as a deep sadness washed over his face. Linda peered over at the saddened James. 

“Hey, come on. It’s… Look, I… I don’t know, I’m a fool sometimes. But, you love me for it,” Linda said, winking. James continued to hang his head before Linda gently touched his dimpled chin, lifting his head to meet her gaze. A tear began to stream down James’ cheeks. Linda tried in vain to keep her emotions hidden, but as she glanced into James’ eyes, her golden amber eyes began to well up with tears. 

“They’ll be coming,” James said. 

“… I know,” Linda answered. James gazed deeply into Linda’s eyes, grasping her hands tight. 

“I love you, Ms. Muller,” James said, weeping. 

“I-I-I know. H-How could you not?” Linda said before weeping. 

The pair tightly embraced. James ran his hands along Linda’s back, caressing and softly touching every inch. Linda closed her eyes tightly as tears streamed down her cheeks. Intense pounding on the entrance door echoed through the small café, as Linda and James continued to embrace. The boards began to give way before the café door flew open. 

Linda began to loosen her grip before grasping James with an intense grip. James closed his eyes as Linda began to twitch and flail. Linda’s eyes became vacant and bloodshot as all the colour began to drain from her face.

“Shoot it!” 

Linda lifted her head as frothy mucus spewed from her mouth. James closed his eyes before pressing a small revolver to Linda’s temple. As he fired the revolver, Linda fell to the ground. Linda’s lifeless body lay at the feet of the surviving townsfolk. Each member of the mob stood silent, brandishing weapons and assorted body parts displayed in trophy fashion. James stood trembling in front of Linda. His tears continued to stream down his face as he made his way toward Linda’s lifeless body. Retrieving a wilted daisy from his pant pocket, James reached down and placed the daisy beside Linda’s arm. A wilted peddle fell along a large bite mark that ran along the length of her arm before falling to the floor. James rose from the floor before pushing his way through the mob. 

One Year Ago. 

“What’s her problem? Damn waitress just lost her tip-” James abruptly stopped upon peering over at Lindaas he noticed her attention was elsewhere. 

“Wow. First the waitress and now the very woman who rid me of the blues?” James joked. 

“Huh? Oh, I’m sorry. Do you see those?” Linda asked. 

“The Daisies?” James asked. 

“Yes, I… I don’t know, I have a thing for daisies. They always bring me to a special place, you know? I, uh, yeah, I love them,” Linda said, a slight smile forming on her face before the waitress began to alert the patrons of La Fin Soleil.

Chilling Chat Special: L. Marie Wood

chillingchat

L. Marie Wood is an award-winning dark fiction author, screenwriter, and poet with novels in the psychological horror, mystery, and dark romance genres. She won the Golden Stake Award for her novel The Promise Keeper. She is a MICO Award nominated screenwriter and has won Best Horror, Best Action, BestL. Marie Wood Afrofuturism/Horror/Sci-Fi, and Best Short Screenplay awards in both national and international film festivals. Wood’s short fiction has been published in groundbreaking works, including the Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters and Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire. Her academic writing has been published by Nightmare Magazine and the cross-curricular text, Conjuring Worlds: An Afrofuturist Textbook. She is the founder of the Speculative Fiction Academy, an English and Creative Writing professor, a horror scholar, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, a full member of the SFWA, and a frequent speaker in the genre convention space. 

NTK: Welcome to Chilling Chat, L. Marie! Thank you for chatting with us today.

LMW: Happy to be here!

NTK: How did you discover the horror genre?

LMW: Interestingly enough, I was 5 years old! I don’t know how I found horror. I think it found me—I think I have always been attracted to the darker side of things, the side that is just a little bit off. And that’s not to say that I’ve always been attracted to blood and guts—that’s actually not what I write or read for the most part. But the tilt on the landscape—the thing that is just a little wrong even though it is surrounded by what is considered “normal”… that kind of thing has always been my cup of tea even at such a young age!

NTK: You’re a big fan of psychological horror. Is that what inspires your writing?

LMW: That’s what I write and always have. Life inspires my writing. I have always seen things at a slant. That’s not to say that I can’t see them the way that most people do, but if I turn my head just a little, the dark side is always right there. It is interesting for me to look at that side, to study how it works, how it hides itself in reality and sometimes stories come from that.

NTK: You also write screenplays. What is the difference between writing a novel or short story and writing a screenplay?

LMW: Night and day! Novels and short stories give you the room to add exposition and descriptive language. Screenplays are visual—if you can’t see what is supposed to happen, neither can anyone else, so all of those moments of contemplation have to be reworked.

NTK: How do you rework those moments?

LMW: Often it requires trimming, but there can be re-wording to make something passive-active. There is a small section where you can direct an actor to do something specific and there is creatively crafting the story to get the actor to express what you are looking for or get the director to shoot a scene a certain way without saying, “Do it this way!” Good writing is needed—just a different kind of good.

NTK:  Recently, you started an online learning platform called Speculative Fiction Academy. What is this?

LMW: Yes!! SFA is my passion! it is an online academy dedicated to teaching people how to hone their craft. I like to call it the MFA program that didn’t exist when I was in school.

NTK: Is it just for writing and screenwriting?

LMW: We have classes that dive into speculative fiction whereas traditional programs focus on literary fiction. We have classes that talk about monsters and faes and the characters that one would encounter when worldbuilding. We talk podcasting, scriptwriting, worldbuilding, business, social media. We cover it all.

NTK:  And who teaches these courses?

LMW: We have classes that talk about how to properly reflect mental health in fiction, and it is taught by a practicing psychiatrist. We have to handle medical problems properly and it is taught by a general practitioner. We have award winners, publishers, academics, authors from multiple genres, filmmakers, podcasters—you name it. Pros teaching what they know to people who want to know.

NTK: Wow! How do Horror Addicts sign up for this?

LMW: Visit Speculative Fiction Academy and choose how you’d like to learn. We have three tiers to choose from. You can choose from individual courses a la carte, monthly memberships, or annual memberships. A la carte courses (which all of them can be) are individually priced. The best value is to get an annual membership and get a month free.

NTK: Of all your work, which is your favorite?

LMW: So, this may sound like a silly answer, but it is true. My favorite work is the one I am working on now—it is always the one I am working on. Because I am so pumped about it. It is exciting to watch the characters come together, to see them grow. I love every minute of writing a novel—even the moments when I don’t know what the heck I am going to do next!

NTK: Do you have a favorite character you’ve written?

LMW: I don’t know that I have a favorite character—just like with the movie question, I really love so many of them.

Angie from The Promise Keeper is so amazing to me—what she endures and how she reacts to what is happening—she floors me.

Patrick from The Realm—I just dig him all the way through the series. He is committed and flawed and so very human—I love it.

James from Crescendo—he’s so tormented and life doesn’t let up for him. I love watching how he reacts to things.

I love each of the mains in The Tryst (Mark, Eric, Nicole). They are so different yet so connected. They are amazing to watch in action and I really enjoy writing them.

Shaun in The Black Hole, Sara Sue in Mars, the Band Man, and Sara Sue…Chris in Telecommuting—I love this dude for his realness.

Honestly, I love them all (Laughs.)

NTK:  L. Marie, what does the future hold for you? What works and activities do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?

LMW: So much! Accursed, Book 3 of The Realm Trilogy will be coming out in October. My first mystery novel, Mars, the Band Man, and Sara Sue, will be out in November.

I have a really neat traditional (well, for the most part) project coming out with Falstaff in 2023. The first two books will come out in Feb.

Book 2 of the Affinity Series (the first of which is The Tryst that I mentioned a second ago) is coming out in February also—it is called Origins and wowza, I loved writing that one.

I have a few short stories and poems that are coming out in 2023—the ink on some of those contracts is still wet!

and…

My first film will be out soooooonnnn!

NTK: Ooh! What is this film?

LMW: it’s a short film and harkens back to the slasher genre and I am pumped about it. It is called 271 Raeburn Avenue. I loved being on set for this. Oh my gosh, it was an amazing experience. On top of all of271 Raeburn Avenue that, I will be speaking at a few conferences. Candyman and the Whole Damn Swarm and International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.

NTK: What was it like to be on the set and see your creation come about?

LMW: Being on set was so surreal! Fixing lines mid-taping was flipping awesome—that was a dream come true. Overseeing the makeup, and sitting in on production meetings—just so awesome.

I am so amazed at the creativity that everyone brought to the table and that they were saying my lines…lines I wrote!

NTK:  Thank you for joining us today, L. Marie. By the way, congratulations on having your work archived in the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

LMW: Oh, thank you so much! I’m so excited about the archiving! It’s one of those things that you never think will happen for you. I am excited to be included—truly an honor.

HorrorAddicts.net 217, Loren Rhoads, Cemetery

217FinaleHorror Addicts Episode #217 | SEASON 17, Season Finale
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich & H.E. Roulo
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

217 | Loren Rhoads | Death’s Garden Revisited | Robbie Quine | Cemeteries

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

16 days till Halloween

#HalloweenChat

Theme: #Cemeteries

#JimmyHendrix #cemetery #

Music: “Mummified” #RobbieQuine

https://veglam.com/2022/07/25/robbie-quine-glitter-hole

Drinking word: Cemetery or Cemeteries

Craft: Pop-Up Tombstone Greeting Card

Catchup: Run down of missing people on the finale: Ro, Cam, Ari. #FavoriteHalloweenActivity #Pumpkins #DecorateHalloween #Spiders #Tombstones #CaramelApples #BakedApples #FairTreats 

13:30

Historian of Horror: #MarkOrr #Nessie #LochNess

Craft: Making the card

17:00

BEST BAND ANNOUNCED!

Dead Mail: #HorrorFan

MARTIN: #QuirkyMuseums #AddamsFamilyOdditiesMuseum

https://youtu.be/Ecua0Icj1qo

TIMOTHY: #InterviewTVSeries #AnneRice #vampires #FeastofallSaints #LouisLestat #

GEORGIA: #WritingAdvice #

Season 12 is all about writing! Check out the episodes here: 

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2021/02/22/how-con-writers-learn-what-the-nghw-challengers-learned/

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc… Also, send show theme ideas!

horroraddicts@gmail.com

30:13

BEST IN BLOOD ANNOUNCED!

https://lmariewood.com

41:15

Craft: Making the tombstone.

44:29

New Movie List! 

51:42

Nightmare Fuel: #DJPitsiladis #ByeByeMan #UrbanLegend

53:52
NEWS: 

#Krate #TheNeedle

#ManorofFrights #SubmissionCall

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2022/06/29/submission-call-manor-of-frights/

#JesseOrr #ShadowsLove

#MarkOrr #TistehSeasontobeHorrid

#LionelRayGreen #Bigfoot #TheWoodsmen

#CrystalConnor #ExorcismofGod

#Renata #LiterallyDead #GabyTriana

#RussellHolbrook #HorrorAddictsLament

#Interviews #PaulDeBlassieIII #GwendolynNix

#FromtheVault CemeteryBells #JonOBergh

#Events 

#SinisterCreatureCon #Sacarmento Oct 22

https://www.sinistercreaturecon.com/

#NevadaCity #MinersFoundry Nov 5th

https://www.themenagerieodditiesmarket.com/

November 25-27 E.M. Markoff and L.S. Johnson will be at Fan Expo San Francisco

https://fanexpohq.com/fanexposanfrancisco/

BayCon Jun-July 2023

Http://www.baycon.org

57:41
Craft: Putting the tombstone in the card.

1:00:00

Feat Author: #ChillingChat #NachingTKassa

#LorenRhoads #DeathsGardenRevisited 

#Cemeteries #PersonalRelationships #Death #Burial #FamousDeath #FamousBurials

#CemeteryPerspectives #

http://www.CemeteryTravel.com

http://www.LorenRhoads.com

Death’s Garden Revisited https://www.blurb.com/b/11281469-death-s-garden-revisited

Cemtery Songs https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6nn6JH4533x55efCpmjblk?si=7998eed0125f4801

Readings from the book by:

1:20:06 #EmerianRich #StStephens

1:22:34 #Francesca Maria #MountainviewOakland

1:24:59 #Brian Thomas #HotelResurrection

1:27:45  #EMMarkoff #SnowPrague

H.E. Roulo 

http://heatherroulo.com

————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

Naching T. Kassa, Jesse Orr, Lionel Green, Kieran Judge, Crystal Connor, Nightshade, R.L. Merrill, Mark Orr, DJ Pitsiladis, Russell Holbrook, Renata Pavrey, CM “Spookas” Lucas, JS O’Connor
————————————-

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

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Chilling Chat: Episode #217 – Loren Rhoads

chillingchat

Loren Rhoads served as editor for Bram Stoker Award-nominated Morbid Curiosity magazine as well as the books The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, Death’s Garden:Rhoads Headshots 9-18 FINAL-1782 Relationship with Cemeteries, Death’s Garden Revisited, and Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual. Her short stories have appeared in the books Best New Horror #27, Strange California, Sins of the Sirens: Fourteen Tales of Dark Desire, Fright Mare: Women Write Horror, and most recently in the magazines Weirdbook, Occult Detective Quarterly, and Space & Time. 

NTK: How old were you when you first discovered horror?

LR: I remember catching a glimpse of Barnabas Collins climbing out of his coffin when I was four. I didn’t know what I was seeing at the time, but the music was so deliciously creepy! I was definitely marked for life.

NTK: Is Dark Shadows your favorite horror TV show? What is your favorite?

LR: Wow, it’s hard to choose a favorite. I loved Dark Shadows, Kolchak, and the monster of the week episodes of The X-Files. Now I’m loving Legion, which might not seem like horror, because the main character/villain is presented to be so charming. He’s really quite terrifying.

NTK: Do you prefer villains or heroes?

LR: I prefer characters who wander from one side of the equation to the other.

NTK: What do you think makes a character believable?

LR: Self-doubt.

NTK: When you write characters, do they have free will? Or are their actions predetermined?

LR: They definitely have minds of their own. I generally write to find out what I think, rather than the other way around, so I just wind my characters up and watch them go.

NTK: What is your favorite horror novel?

LR: The one I’ve read the most is Dracula. I find something new in it every time I read it. Other than that, my second favorite changes from day to day.

NTK: Do you have a favorite horror film?

LR: Alien. The first one. I still find it scary.

NTK: Is it the fear factor, or the fact that people are pulling together to fight a greater evil that attracts you to the story?

LR: I like watching Ripley, who is marginalized and ignored, turn out to be right. She knows what the protocol is supposed to be, but the more-emotional men overrule her and get killed for it. Watching Ripley, who has discounted herself, realize that she’s resourceful enough to survive is amazing. And the monster still haunts my nightmares all these years later.

NTK: You are a well-known cemetery aficionado and I have been dying to ask you this question, have you ever been to Colma, CA?

LR: Oh so many times!

NTK: What’s it like?

LR: The absolute best. There are 17 cemeteries in town, one right beside the next. They range from Japanese to Chinese to Italian (full of sculpture) to Jewish to Catholic to a former Masonic cemetery to a former potter’s field. There’s even a pet cemetery!

They say 1 million people are buried in Colma but there are only 1,000 live ones.

Wyatt Earp is buried there, and Levi Strauss, and Emperor Norton (the only Emperor of North America and Protector of Mexico). It’s lovely and sad and full of treasures.

I don’t know if you know the history of the graveyards of San Francisco, but in the early 20th century, all of them were dug up and the bodies hauled to Colma. There are several huge mass graves down there. Even so, people keep finding bodies that were missed somehow and weren’t moved.

Several years ago, a woman doing yard work found an iron coffin with a little girl in it, still perfectly preserved, and visible through a glass window into the coffin.

NTK: What inspired you to edit the anthology, Death’s Garden Revisited

LR:  I wanted to assemble a book that illuminated all the reasons people visit cemeteries. Once I started asking people to tell me about the cemeteries they have a relationship with, stories started flooding in. I am really proud of how this book turned out.

NTK: What authors are included in the anthology?

LR: Contributors include horror authors A. M. Muffaz, Angela Yuriko Smith, Christine Sutton, Denise N. Tapscott, E.M. Markoff, Emerian Rich, Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito, Francesca Maria, Greg Roensch, Mary Rajotte, Melodie Bolt, Priscilla Bettis, Rain Graves, Rena Mason, Robert Holt, R.L. Merrill, Saraliza Anzaldua, Stephen Mark Rainey, and Trish Wilson – and then there are all the others who don’t write horror. There are 40 authors in all.

NTK: How many cemeteries have you visited since you first became interested in them? 

LR: At a guess, hundreds. One of these days, I’m going to have to sit down and count them all. On one of my favorite vacations, my husband and I went to 18 graveyards between Boston and Gettysburg in a little more than a week.

NTK: How many cemeteries outside of the U.S.?

LR: I just made a quick list and I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but 51 so far. That includes the thirteen burial grounds I counted in Italy–which is the most I’ve visited in one country outside the US–but in Italy, there are people buried in every church, so I’m sure that doesn’t include every grave I saw there. I’ve been to cemeteries in England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Czech Republic, as well as in Singapore and Japan. Clearly, there are a lot of countries left to see!

NTK: Have you ever experienced anything strange or paranormal when you visited a cemetery?

LR: I’ve never seen a ghost, but I’ve had spooky things happen. I was on a ghost hunt in a cemetery in Oakland when I felt a weird, cold sensation in the back of my neck. Turns out, I was standing over a fallen headstone that had been covered with sod. Even the docent didn’t know it was there!

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What works do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?

LR: I’m so glad you asked that! I’m finishing up a book called Still Wish You Were Here, which is a sequel to my first cemetery memoir. It is a collection of my own cemetery essays, stuff that was published in Gothic.Net, Gothic Beauty, Morbid Curiosity magazine, and a bunch of other places. After that, I’m thinking about getting back to my novel The Death of Memory. So many books, so little time!

NTK: Thank you for chatting with me, Loren!

LR: Thank you so much, Naching!

Addicts, you can find Loren on Facebook, Twitter, and at Cemetery Travel.

Author Interview: Gwendolyn N. Nix

What is your name and what are you known for? 

My name is Gwendolyn N. Nix. I’m known for my science fiction and fantasy writing, particularly my new release, I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come, which is a weird west horror likened to Clive Barker’s Imagica and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I’m also an editor with Aconyte Books where we create world-expanding fiction, notably for Marvel, Ubisoft, and Arkham Horror – to name but a few! 

Tell us about one of your works and why we should read it.

I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come is a weird west dark fantasy horror about fate versus freedom, about no-good brothers, and what it means to sacrifice all you have for power and love. When a demon bounty hunter comes calling, Domino, a witch surviving in the depths of Hell, pairs up with his mother, who died too young and carries the witch lineage in her veins, to survive. Soon the two of them are Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid running from whatever torture awaits them and whoever wants to harvest their magic. At the same time, Domino discovers his brother, Wicasah, has concocted an ill-fated deal with an ancient being of lightning and thunder that will take both his sanity and soul.

 

Overall, I consider my work to slipstream in a way, borrowing pieces across genres and melding them into one big story. I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come is an amalgamation of horror, alternative history, dark fantasy, and weird western, which can really cause havoc when trying to pin down where it exactly fits on the shelf… and to me, that is some of the best kind of fiction out there. The best example of what this book comes from a fellow reviewer, “like Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy teaming up to reboot Dante’s Inferno as a Western.” However, it also brings that wide-sweeping epic feeling with prose that will stir the heart and is rooted in Americana horror where demons are cowboys and the landscape has a revenge of its own to enact on those who have abused it. All of that ticks off boxes that draw me to certain books and stories and I hope it will do the same for you.

`What places or things inspire your writing?

I consider myself a magpie writer. I take my inspiration aka “shinies” from everywhere – conversations I’ve privy to, lore and culture, traveling, and exploring the natural world. This novel was heavily inspired by the national parks that I’ve visited and the old stories associated with them, in particular, the Badlands in the Dakotas, alongside the flat plains and dinosaur history native to my home state. I’m heavily inspired by experience and require getting out and experiencing the world to create my unique settings and characters. I hoard these “shinies” and soon enough, the pile of inspiration grows so large that I have to excavate them to make space for the new… resulting in a genre-bending novel. I love exploring historical sites, but sometimes the natural world is the best source of inspiration, overall.

What music do you listen to while creating?

Crafting a playlist about the novel I’m writing is, in itself, a work in progress. It usually starts with a song that has one line of lyrics that catapults my imagination into a new realm. Genre-wise, it can be anything, but I tend to generate mood music, symphonic/orchestra pieces around it. Right now, I’m heavily inspired by The Amazing Devil and have something in the works while listening to that. While I was writing I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come, I had a lot of Southern Gothic music playing in the background – Delta Rae, The Brothers Bright, The Civil Wars, a lil’ Johnny Cash.

What is your favorite horror aesthetic? 

I love creeping horror, cosmic horror, weird horror, and folklore horror. Essentially, I look for that creeping dread and unusual twisting of the known that only the absolute unknown can create. I love monsters emerging from the woodwork that stalk their prey, perhaps opening up an entrance into a cosmic otherworld. I really enjoy historical horror, too – I’d love to read a book about pilgrims landing in a strange, unknown world that’s full of horrific things.

Who is your favorite horror icon?

I have a great love of Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise. He’s raunchy and weird and just totally oblivious, but he exudes this confidence that somehow lets him slay Deadites in a bumbling hilarious way. I also love The Gentlemen from The Buffy Vampire Hunter episode “Hush.” Such a unique way to present a monster to the audience and the exact type of creeping monsters that intrigue me.

What was the scariest thing you’ve witnessed?

The scariest thing I’ve witnessed happened while I was in Belize conducting shark conservation research. I had an afternoon off and took a swim in the bright blue ocean waters. While I was there, I noticed a barracuda swimming close, but paid it no mind. However, I soon noticed it was swimming closer and closer. I raised a fist – as if a punch would stop the snaggle-toothed fish – when I soon realized I was surrounded by a whole school of barracuda, all of them slowly making a tight circle around me. I swam for the dock and got out of the water as soon as I could, but that hunted feeling was terrifying. 

If invited to dinner with your favorite (living or dead) horror creator, who would it be and what would you bring?

This one is difficult! I’d love to have dinner with Mary Shelley and ask her to take me on a graveyard walk where I’d bring pencil and paper and make gravestone markings for fun. I’d want to know everything she had going on in her head and future stories that she was mulling over. I’d want to ask her about genre and understand the intimate details of her work and imagination. 

Realistically, I desperately want to meet Jonathan Sims! He’s part of The Rusty Quill, which created one of my favorite podcasts of all time, The Magnus Archives. 

What’s a horror gem you think most horror addicts don’t know about? (book, movie, musician?)

An amazing horror gem I don’t hear about enough is this wonderful indie film called Pontypool, which has a unique take on zombie media. It’s black and white and takes place at a radio station in winter. The reveal is so unique and there is a hidden ending that makes you rethink the meaning of language.

Have you ever been haunted or seen a ghost?

Not too long ago I would’ve said no! I’ve always considered myself a supernatural dead zone. However, while I was on a ghost hunt in Butte, Montana, we were exploring an old tin shop that had also a house of ill repute in the 1800s. And, while I was upstairs listening to our guide, I heard someone climbing the stairs with what sounded like steel-toe boots with spurs. Of course, there was no one there as we were the only tour that night! And, my friend heard it too, so I knew it wasn’t part of my imagination.

What are some books that you feel should be in the library of every horror addict?

Ooo this is a good question. I like my horror with a good dose of fantasy or science fiction. Some of my cherished books are The Fisherman by John Langan, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Bunny by Mona Awad, and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. However, I really love supporting short story outlets and have found some of my favorite scary stories within their pages. These stories are both inspirational, shooting for what I want to create with my own work, and they also give me chills! Check out “Bride Before You” by Stephanie Malia Morris and “Leviathan Sings To Me in the Deep” by Nibedita Sen.

What are you working on now? 

Currently, I’m working on the third and final installment in my Celestial Scripts series. But because I have way too many ideas and not enough time, I’m also writing a standalone book about a city made from the bones of a dead god of magic.

Where can readers find your work? (URL #1 place for them to go.)

You can find my work anywhere online, but check out my website for direct links to my books, ongoing projects, book reviews, and general thoughts and musings on writing: https://gwendolynnix.com/books-projects/

 

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: The Exorcism Of God

 

Plotline: An American priest working in Mexico is possessed during an exorcism and ends up committing a terrible act. Eighteen years later, the consequences of his sin come back to haunt him, unleashing the greatest battle within.

Who would like it: Fans of Paranormal Activity franchises and those who loved The Taken of Deborah Logan

High Points: This movie didn’t do it for me at all.

Complaints: There are so many, this priest should have NOT been in charge of a parish and he wasn’t strong enough to do what needed to be done.

Overall: Really good concept but they just didn’t pull it off.

Stars: 2.5

Where I watched it: VOD

 

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Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

Literally Dead: Tales of Halloween Hauntings by Gaby Triana

Review by staff writer and book blogger Renata Pavrey

Literally Dead is the first book in the holiday hauntings series, set around Halloween. Nineteen horror writers come together to create a collection of spooky tales for the Halloween season. There are stories about haunted dresses and shady bookstores, real-life monsters and costumed creatures, murder victims and ghostly insects, soldiers of war, and civilians affected by war. There are monsters in refrigerators, serial killers disguised as ghosts; suspicious postcards, and corn fields that harbour more than corn. We read about scavenger hunts to collect ghosts, and ghosts that teach us how to get rid of ghosts; physical entities, and demons of the mind. The crew of esteemed authors in the horror genre brings to us an assortment of stories under the theme of hauntings.

With such a narrow theme, I wondered what new ideas the writers would present for Halloween. But each one is outstanding in its own way. The collection covers a range of subjects from war to folklore, including genres of crime and contemporary fiction, with tones ranging from humor to out-and-out horror. Literally Dead brings together common Halloween tropes of haunted houses and spirits to beware of, costumes and candy, and memories associated with October 31st that have nothing to do with Halloween, and presents these well-worn concepts into a rich anthology of holiday horrors. I loved the touch of Chinese, Ukrainian and Welsh folklore and customs associated with Halloween, contemporary social issues and significant historic moments, nostalgia, and beauty associated with a season of darkness.

Some of my favorites were The Ghost Cricket by Lee Murray (a touch of Chinese folklore with a noisy cricket that refuses to be quiet even in death), The Ghost Lake Mermaid by Alethea Kontis (the ghosts of murder victims discuss racism and the law when the color of your skin decides if your corpse gets justice), Ghosts of Enerhodar by Henry Herz (the ghosts of Ukrainian folklore feature against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war), Halloween at the Babylon by Lisa Morton (a theatre patron tries to prevent other guests from becoming ghosts like herself), Ghosts of Candies Past by Jeff Strand (a quirky, sugary fest of long-eaten Halloween treats that return to haunt), Soul Cakes by Catherine McCarthy (the living and dead collide at a special time of the year, under the veil of Welsh folklore), Always October by Jeremy Megargee (about a ghost hunter on the lookout for her replacement).

Editor Gaby Triana has done a fabulous job in curating this anthology. A wonderful collection for the spooky season that keeps the reader wanting to read more. It feels like nineteen stories aren’t enough and thirty-one would have been just right – one for each day of the Halloween month. The cover has an old-fashioned vibe with costumed trick-or-treaters and pumpkin baskets, and I love how the book emphasizes the nostalgic aspect of Halloween. There’s a brilliant piece by the cover artist that makes for an equally good read, like the rest of the stories.

Some quotes:

-He didn’t believe in ghosts and haunted houses. Maybe they believed in him.

-You weren’t supposed to run up the stairs of a house that was disproving your assertion that it was not haunted.

-Thoughts crash into my head now; everything falls into place, a well-ordered avalanche.

-An old ghost once told me that if my story faded, I would fade with it.

-The ghostly insect set up a mournful song, the wistful notes as pure and sharp as a mountain stream.

-Are you running from ghosts, or are they running from you?

-Even death couldn’t tame her – if anything, it only seemed to make her more defiant.

-This tradition isn’t to appease her ghost. It’s to keep the ghost in her place.

-Alex had always been a ghost. Long before he died.

-I’d counted twenty-five casseroles. I wondered if they were some kind of charm or talisman. Bringing something not just to feed the grieving family, but to appease the ghosts.

My rating – 5/5

Historian of Horror : ‘Tis the Season to be Horrid!

I know, I know, in my last missive I tantalized the populace with the prospect of an examination of the stellar, if flawed career of legendary British anthologist Peter Haining for this edition, but some new information has become available but not yet acquired. That posting must needs go onto the back burner for the nonce. Fear not, my faithful fiends, it will be forthcoming. For now, as Halloween is rapidly approaching, something more in keeping with the season seemed appropriate to take its place.

Holiday episodes of popular TV programs are a common occurrence, and indeed were even in the days when the dominant home medium was radio. After some research I have identified what appears to be the very first Halloween-related broadcast on what was in 1952 the new medium of American television: the fifth episode of the first season of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

Ozzie Nelson was a big band leader in the 1930s who married his lead singer, Harriet Hilliard before they moved from the ballroom stage to the airwaves as regulars on Red Skelton’s radio show, The Raleigh Cigarette Program. Along the way, the couple found time to spawn a pair of sons, David (1936-2011) and Eric Hilliard, born in 1940 and known to family, friends and fans alike as Ricky. In 1944, Ozzie had enough clout to start his own radio show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, starring himself and his better half as themselves with actors portraying their offspring. It was a typical sitcom of the time and medium, and was quite successful. Halfway through its ten-year run, the Nelson boys were deemed old enough to play themselves, and so mote it was. 

By 1952, television had been around long enough to warrant its own versions of many popular shows from the old medium, including the Nelson family’s. That program lasted fourteen seasons, for reasons that, honestly, I do not understand. Even more so after watching the TV broadcast of October 31, 1952, “The Halloween Party”.

I have no recollection of ever watching The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet during its run from 1952 to 1966, the reason probably being that my father, who exercised a sort of benevolent dictatorship over the family viewing on the one set we owned at the time, found it so monumentally boring that he refused to allow it to be seen in our house. As he was fond of saying, it offended by its blandness.

For so it is. Feel free to watch that episode with its aimless depiction of Ozzie’s utter ineptness at planning and executing a Halloween party for the neighborhood adults. I don’t recommend it, except as a rather curious historical artifact.

Instead, may I direct your attention to the radio broadcast of exactly four years earlier, October 31, 1948, “Haunted House”. Rather than engaging in banal pursuits into contrived incompetence, Ozzie spends his half-hour air time playing around with the idea of investigating a supposedly haunted house in the neighborhood, with some fairly amusing results. It had an energy to it that the television show lacked for its entire run, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain from the few times I’ve been able to bring myself to watch the odd episode or two. As with so many programs that made the transition, it was better heard but not seen. 

Despite that, it lasted long enough for younger son Ricky to join the trend of juvenile television stars making the move into music. Following the collapse of the first generation of rock ‘n’ rollers by 1959, including the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson in a plane crash that February, Ricky and his peers filled the airwaves with a more adult-acceptable version of the genre, one that had its rough edges carefully excised. Ricky was more successful than most, but his fame petered out by the time Motown and the British Invasion reshaped popular music for the better a few years later.

He did make a comeback fueled by nostalgia in the 1970s, but himself died in a plane crash in 1985. Ozzie passed in 1975, and Harriet in 1994. The couple’s one genre-related TV performance was in the seventh episode of the third season of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery in a tale called “You Can Come Up Now, Mrs. Millikan”, which aired on November 12, 1972. Ricky appeared in the fifth episode of Tales of the Unexpected on March 9, 1977, in a story entitled “A Hand for Sonny Blue”. 

A minimal contribution to the genre, admittedly, but an historic one. Being first does count for something.

And so, until next we meet, I bid you, as always…

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Author Interview : Paul DeBlassie III

What is your name and what are you known for? Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., psychologist/writer of metaphysical thrillers to pop off the top on the head with trickster mischief and magic and spinning out this interview for HorrorAddicts.net – great to be with u!

Tell us about one of your works and why we should read it. I’ll go with my latest metaphysical head spinner – Goddess of Everything. Be careful! Folks/readers/reviewers have said it has triggers aplenty, a psychic dynamic I think is a bad/good thing since badness looms large so we can better see what’s behind it, a catch-you-by-surprise, mind-blowing reality. It’s a really decent story – 100 4.5-star Goodread reviews!

What places or things inspire your writing? I’m totally into New Mexico, my homeland with ancestral DNA going back 1000 years. So, plenty of mystery, magic, religion, witchcraft, and horror are floating through the ether sphere. It births the stuff infused in my three horror novels: The Unholy, Goddess of the Wild Thing, and Goddess of Everything.

What music do you listen to while creating? John Lee Hooker is my man for all things conjuring and mystic making, the beat and rhythm and drone of the tunes setting me into a headspace that drives my supernatural narratives into weird dimensions.

What is your favorite horror aesthetic? Well, gotta admit it’s the supernatural thriller razzmatazz that sets my psychic fires going, the works of King, Blackwood, and Lovecraft are major sources of literary fuel.

Who is your favorite horror icon? Without a doubt, no way anyone else compares to the touch, mystery, and metaphysical intrigue of Algernon Blackwood, a true pioneer, and eternal spirit in the world of supernatural storytelling.

What was the scariest thing you’ve witnessed? Oooooh….I’m a clinical depth psychologist who treats the transpersonal unconscious mind, so there’s a storehouse of scary, spinetingling, and horrifying experiences I’ve gone through in forty years of psychotherapy practice I bring to the phenomenological collage painted onto the pages of my novels – wicked archbishops unwittingly or deliberately employing dark magic to access power, patients who willfully have engaged the spirit world for egoic purposes that inevitably scar the mind and generate frightening encounters with the dark side of the Great Unseen. And then there comes to mind the time I permitted a personal lapse of consciousness: I entered a haunted home I shouldn’t have gone into. A spirit attached itself to my shoulder and followed me home – had to do a bit of an exorcism to banish that foul presence – ugh! So, I once heard Stephen King say on a podcast interview, he’d never had experiences with the supernatural; but, for me, it’s quite the opposite. Supernatural occurrences manifest regularly in my life and generate enormous psychic oomph for my novels.

If invited to dinner with your favorite (living or dead) horror creator, who would it be and what would you bring? I wouldn’t go. It’s like Gabriel Garcia Marquez said when asked what he’d do if while walking on the streets of Mexico City, he saw Hemmingway on the other side of the road. Would he cross over and introduce himself and meet the famous man? He said no. He wouldn’t want to confuse the man with the work. Besides, those who’ve passed on – Blackwood and Algernon – hover in my study, whispering plot points and wicked ideas as I write. So, you don’t need dinner when there’s ready access to the ever-present reality of the Unseen World.

What’s a horror gem you think most horror addicts don’t know about? (book, movie, musician?) My surrealist artist wife, Kate, and I are finishing Dark on Netflix, a multi-layered horror flick that dips into alternate realities, choices, and fate. It’s mystifying, mind-bending, and a gem in the horror genre.

Have you ever been haunted or seen a ghost? Oh yeah! We all have been. Sometimes we allow our psychic eyes to open to the fact, and sometimes we don’t. Maybe we don’t want to see into the mystic, fearing what’s there. Depth psychology says shifts of mood and energy indicate psychic triggering of the spirit world, ghosts called forth. Sometimes you see them through the corner of your eyes, or they manifest as a startling mental image (S. King expertly taps into this phenomenon). At times, they work behind the scenes via synchronous events or scary happenings like thinking evil thoughts about someone you’ve held bitterness against and a bird splatters against your car windshield while driving. Ghosts can be bloody!

What are some books that you feel should be in the library of every horror addict? Select volumes of Stephen King (what’s stayed with you over time), and all of Black and Lovecraft. Then, on the contemporary scene, there are so many good writers, I’d say go with and keep on your virtual or literal shelf whatever has had soul nourishment and you feel drawn to pick up again and again over time, open at random, and discover new little supernatural jewels. I just finished, The Exorcist’s House by Nick Roberts. Well done!

What are you working on now? I’ve got Seer: The Case of the Man Who Lost His Soul sizzling on my literary cast iron griddle. You can lose your soul. It’s a tough and scary world that a person trips into when they’ve traded the soul, thinking they can simply get it back by reforming their evil ways, making resolutions, or getting religion. Hah! Not so, my friend, not so. Seerdelves into the phenomenon of evil set against the reality of natural magic and how it plays out with Dr. Ernesto de la Tierra and an arrogant, wealthy patient. They thought playing with dark metaphysical realities was no big thing. Surprise . . . there are no small things with little consequences when it comes to toying with the supernatural.

Where can readers find your work?  I’m a one-stop shopper for all things metaphysical, supernatural, and horrifying – Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3GCBuNL

Logbook of Terror : Horror Addict’s Lament

 Mark sat in the breakfast nook, his steaming cup of coffee untouched, staring out at the myriad of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins that adorned his front yard. The day after Halloween was always a difficult time for him, and this year, with his wife having passed on just one week prior, he felt more alone than it seemed right or allowable for a person to feel. Halloween was always their most special time together. No matter what was going on in their lives or in the world around them, they always had their beloved season and their sacred day. They always had Halloween, just like they had each other. 

    But not anymore. 

    Judith was gone and she wasn’t coming back, no matter how hard Mark hoped that she would. So, accepting this fact, he’d endeavored to reach her. He tried all the spells that he could find, went to the local medium, and did everything he could to break through, to make contact somehow, but nothing worked. Even on All Hallow’s Eve, the holiest of all days, when the veil between the living and the dead is thread-bare thin, still…nothing. 

    Mark let out a deep, mournful sigh, then picked his coffee up and sipped it slowly, his eyes still on the yard, his mind churning. Since he’d been unable to contact Judith in the spirit realm, Mark retreated to his first intention: resurrection. 

    There has to be a way to bring her back, he mused, there must! And I’m going to find out and my Judith and I will be together again! 

    Mark savored his coffee. Midnight Syndicate played softly on the nearby stereo. Then, he stood and walked out to the yard. 

    The leaves crunched beneath him as Mark laid down among the Styrofoam headstones. He whispered his wife’s name and closed his eyes while dark clouds rolled in above him. 

    Wind blew over Mark, catching Mark’s thoughts and his grief and carrying them into the ether, through the in-between, to the deep darkness,  where Judith waited and listened. She felt the pain and mourning from her dear husband. And she reached out…

***

    Judith’s decaying hands burst out of the ground on either side of Mark. She scratched and clawed and pulled herself up and wrapped her arms around his torso. 

    Thunder crashed and the sky turned black. The soil opened up, and Judith pulled her loving husband down into the dark soil.

    Mark screamed in horror and confusion. The loose earth spread out around him. 

    “Why do you wake me, my dear?” Judith rasped. 

    “Because I love you! I miss you!” Mark wailed, dirt falling into his mouth 

    “And now, because you couldn’t let me sleep, we will be together, in terror and unrest forever!” 

    Mark fought and screamed for help as his wife forced him into the earth, the soil filling in above them, the decorative tombstones marking their place. 

    And as he sank into the dirt, Mark wished he hadn’t used black magic to bring Judith back.

***

    As the years passed, Mark and Judith’s house sat untouched. Even the most ambitious realtors in town feared the rumors that surrounded the property and refused to go near it. The bank ignored it. The neighborhood children made up stories about the old couple who had lived there, telling tales of how they loved Halloween, that they had become ghouls themselves and that they haunted their own former home. And maybe those stories were true, for on chilly October evenings, are said to be seen sitting in the breakfast nook, sipping tea. And the Halloween decorations are still in the yard and on the house, covered in moss and vines, standing year-round, untouched, forever. 

From The Vault : The Inspiration Behind “The Bell” – from Dark Divinations

The Inspiration Behind “The Bell.”

By Jon O’Bergh

During the nineteenth century, epidemics like cholera periodically swept through the population and brought reports of premature burial. Although most of these reports were undoubtedly fake news, the resulting fear of being buried alive fueled a demand for “safety coffins.” I initially wrote a story about one such burial, told by an omniscient narrator but focused on the graveyard watchman, in which a wife deliberately buries her sick husband before he is dead.

When I saw the Dark Divinations call for submissions, I realized my story had the seeds of something ideal for the anthology. I’ve always loved the Victorian style of writing: the fancy turns of phrase, the old-fashioned word choices, the heightened emotionalism. I thought it would be fun to craft a story using that kind of voice—a Poe-esque story told from the perspective of the person trapped in the coffin. What would he experience? What thoughts would go through his mind? How would he deal with the situation?

Of course, that meant writing the story in the first person and completely re-working it. I decided it would be even more interesting to invest the character with occult abilities, another fascination of the nineteenth century. Not an outright charlatan (although there were plenty of those), but a flawed yet sympathetic character with some amount of real ability. The transformed story now had only a superficial resemblance to the original. Dark Divinations had inspired me to write an even better tale, one I hope is worthy of comparison with Edgar Allan Poe.

 Jon O’Bergh is an author and musician who loves a good scare. He grew up in Southern California, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California at Irvine. A fan of ghost stories and horror movies, Jon came up with the idea for his horror novel “The Shatter Point” after watching a documentary about extreme haunts. He has published four books and released over a dozen albums in a variety of styles, including the album “Ghost Story.” After many years living in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., he now spends his time in Toronto.

HorrorAddicts.net 216, R.A. Goli, Lighthouses

halogoHorror Addicts Episode #216 | SEASON 17
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

216 | R.A. Goli | Lighthouses | The Neuro Farm

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

30 days till Halloween

Theme: #LighthouseHorror

#CrescendoofDarkness

https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson-ebook/dp/B07F3N2G6N

#lighthouse #ghost #windsweptwoman #ghostship #

Music: “Midnight Massacre” #TheNeuroFarm

Catchup: #vampiremarket #vampire #dracula #costumes #finalecoming #lorenrhoads #cemetery #crafting #podvine

Historian of Horror: #MarkOrr #tybeeisland #marcoisland #ghosthunters S2 Ep19 #staugustinelighthouse

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/ghost_hunters/s02/e19

Dead Mail: #HorrorFan

PAMELA: #MrHarrigansPhone #Netflix #October5

TERRENCE: #Hellraiser2022 #Hulu #October7

SABINE: #NightsKnights #vampire #DaysChildren #2023

KINDLE VELLAS:

#EmmyZMadrigal #FirstLove #SweetRomance

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0BFFWHTG1

#HERoulo #EvilForGood #Supervillian

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09RZS99L8

#MicheleRoger #TerrorUnderALupinMoon #spookywitch

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09J9WNHXB

#RLMerrill #StrangeThingsHappenEveryday #Ghostwhisperer

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099H1YYK9

#JamesSchannep #SocialVampire #YAvampire

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0BDGM1J8J

#SmauggyUniverse #DaddysHome #eroticslasher

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B097Q5NH12

#KCNord #DieAgainToday #HellEnforcer

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0975PYP4G

#AnthonyMCaro #TragedyMan #HorrorAnthology

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09YN7JRKD

#ChristopherStanfield  #TheBloodyRose #SerialKiller

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0B2843MXY

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc… Also, send show theme ideas!

horroraddicts@gmail.com

Nightmare Fuel: #DJPitsiladis #SeguinIslandLighthouse #piano #TheShining #AxeMurder

NEWS: 

#Metamorph #Kiss of the Witch

#ManorofFrights #SubmissionCall

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2022/06/29/submission-call-manor-of-frights/

#JesseOrr #ShadowsLove

#MarkOrr #DowntotheSeainShips

#LionelRayGreen #Bigfoot #FeedtheGods

#CrystalConnor #PortlandHorrorFilm

#RussellHolbrook #TheLadyoftheLighthouse

#KieranJudge #thefoghorn #bradburyslighthouse

#BookReview #StephanieEllis reviews #BlackFlamesGleamingShadows #FrankCoffman

#Interviews #WilliamZimmerman #DanielOullette #authorinterview #IssacThorne

#Events 

#SinisterCreatureCon #Sacarmento Oct 22

https://www.sinistercreaturecon.com/

#NevadaCity #MinersFoundry Nov 5th

https://www.themenagerieodditiesmarket.com/

BayCon Jun-July 2023

Http://www.baycon.org

Feat Author: #RAGoli #LighthouseLamentation

#CrescendoofDarkness

https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson-ebook/dp/B07F3N2G6N

Voices by #EmerianRich #RishOutfield

#ChillingChat #NachingTKassa

————————————-

h o s t e s s

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b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

Naching T. Kassa, Jesse Orr, Lionel Green, Kieran Judge, Crystal Connor, Nightshade, R.L. Merrill, Mark Orr, DJ Pitsiladis, Russell Holbrook, Renata Pavrey, CM “Spookas” Lucas, JS O’Connor
————————————-

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Chilling Chat: Episode # 216 – R.A. Goli

chillingchat

R.A. Goli R.A. Goliis an Australian writer of horror, fantasy, and speculative short stories. In addition to writing, her interests include reading, gaming, the occasional cemetery walk, and annoying her chihuahua, two cats, and husband.

Check out her numerous publications including her collection of short stories, Unfettered on her website, where you can sign up to her newsletter for free short stories and updates, or stalk her on Facebook.

NTK: When did you first discover horror? How old were you?

RG: One of the first horror movies I remember watching was the original Evil Dead. My older brother rented a lot of horror movies and let me watch them. Evil Dead was released on video when I was nine years old, and I remember loving it, but freaking out when having to run through the darkened hallway to my bedroom after the movie had finished. I was sure there would be a possessed woman at the end about to sing how she was going to get me.

NTK: What is your favorite horror movie?

RG: I absolutely love An American Werewolf in London. So much so, that when I was around 10 years old, I would watch it every day after school for what felt like the whole year. I knew it by heart and still quote from it, semi-regularly. I’m not sure exactly what made me fall in love with this movie. It might have been because I had imaginary werewolf cubs who lived under my bed when I was a kid, perhaps that weird crush on Jack Goodman (initial death, but pre-decomposition – I’m not a weirdo), maybe because it was both hilarious and terrifying. The awesome special effects, particularly for the early ’80s. Actually, all of those reasons and more.

NTK: What is your favorite horror novel?

RG: What a cruel question. Why not ask me which pet I love best! There are a few favorites, that I’ve reread over the years, sometimes it changes a bit, but if I had to pick one, I’d say, The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty.

NTK: What is your favorite horror TV show?

RG: Another tricky question. I suppose because series start off well, then either go off the rails or just disappoint in some way. I really liked the first season of American Horror Story, but the following seasons – not so much.

True Blood started off really well, then got a bit ‘fluffy’ for me.

The first season of Haunting of Hill House was good. What We Do in the Shadows is hilarious, but not really horror.

Maybe I go back to the classics like Creepshow and Twilight Zone.

NTK: What inspires your writing?

RG: Most of the time it’s the call for submission that inspires me. I churn the theme around in my head and hopefully come up with something good. Occasionally I get an idea after listening to a podcast or having a random conversation.

NTK: What inspired you to write, “Lighthouse Lamentation?”

RG: I was listening to the Lore podcast and they told a story about two lighthouse keepers who fought. I can’t remember that story at all, but it got me thinking about how isolated and spooky lighthouses are and that’s how “Lighthouse Lamentation” came about.

NTK: Do your characters have free will? Or do you control their every move?

RG: I control their every move like an omniscient godling. Only once did a character do something I wasn’t expecting. It was amazing and magical and sadly, hasn’t happened since.

NTK: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind? What song or group inspires you most?

RG: I actually don’t listen to music. I think I would find it too distracting and want to sing along. I have developed the ability to completely ignore whatever crap my husband is watching on TV though.

NTK: Do you have any advice for the new writer?

RG: Read a lot, write as much as you can, and start small. Try short stories rather than the epic fantasy series you want to write. This is my personal experience. I’ve had over a hundred short stories published, but my fantasy novel is still unfinished.

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?

RG: Horror Addicts can expect a lot more horror from me, I’ll never stop loving it, and maybe one day I’ll even finish that fantasy novel.