Horror Addicts Guide to Life

 Tis’ the season to be horror-y
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Horror Addicts Guide to Life

HAGuide2LifeFrontCoverCover art by: Masloski Carmen

Editor: David Watson

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?

Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.

Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.

It Came From the Vault: Real Life Horror – Garth Von Buchholz

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The Lady with the Owl Eyes
By Garth Von Buchholz

When I was in college, I had a summer job at a personal care home for the elderly. I was that young kid wheel chairing the snowy-haired old doll into the courtyard, or saying carefully chosen words to the Alzheimer’s patient who wanted to know when her father was arriving, or helping a wizened gentleman in a musty suit and tie mount the stairs to the tour bus. They had their own tour bus that was used for taking residents on outings, provided their state of health was such that they wouldn’t collapse in the middle of a coffee shop in some other town.

The old folks seemed to like me. Occasionally they’d get a little cranky, but that was part of the deal. You get old, your body is sore, and you have a right to bitch at young people like me who could still get out of bed and look forward to the day instead of feeling like they were a wounded infantryman about to climb out of the trenches and onto the battlefield one more time. I liked most of them, too, but my favorite resident was Mrs. V., a Russian immigrant who settled in Canada after the Second World War. She was a cultured woman with round, glassy eyes like an owl, a haughty stance with her chin raised to a 20 degree angle, thick white hair that was styled like a movie star, and an impeccably outdated wardrobe that must have been fashionable once, though I wasn’t sure when. She looked like a living, black-and-white Kodak photo from a half a century ago.

Mrs. V and I would spend time talking after our weekly excursions on the bus. She admitted that she had no interest in most of the destinations that we visited, but simply went along with the group so she could escape her small suite. She was fairly independent, and was allowed to keep a small electric coffee percolator in her room so she could brew her own harsh, metallic java that I had to share with her. She asked me whether I had girlfriends.

“I started dating someone,” I replied.

“Are you having sex with her?” she asked me bluntly. I drank some coffee to collect myself.

“No, it’s not…we’re not at that point right now.”

She shook her head and twisted her mouth as if she had swallowed an insect.

“If I liked a man, I would give him sex,” she said in her percussive Russian syllables. “Get another girl. Don’t waste your time. You grow old fast enough, yes?”

“Yes,” was my meek reply, not certain what we had just agreed upon.

By the end of the summer, Mrs V. was ill with heart problems. She stopped joining the bus tours and started spending more time in bed. I still had my responsibilities with the tours, but I always stopped in to see Mrs. V. afterward, just to keep our little tradition alive.

The last time I saw her before she passed, she was startled as I entered her unlocked room. She had been asleep, and her curtains were drawn. When I spoke to her, she rose up on one arm and stared at me for several moments as if I were a stranger who was slowly transforming into someone she vaguely remembered.

I gave her a moment to primp her hair and sit up in bed with some dignity. I noticed she was holding a small, ornate box in her hand—not quite a jewelry box but more like a fancy pillbox that a child might use to store a baby tooth that had fallen out. She saw me looking at it, and her moonish eyes opened wider.

“It’s a lock of hair from a baby,” she explained. “My daughter.”

I was afraid to ask. “Is she still….”

“No, she died as an infant. An infant!” she emphasized.

I shook my head to show my sympathy.

“Do you know what you must suffer for your children? No, you don’t. You will have a child someday, you are young. Her name was Ekaterina. She was born in 1941, the year the Germans marched into Russia. In July, Stalin was ordering the Russian people to fight back against the Germans. Better to burn your own barns rather than leave them to the invaders, he said. My husband was fighting with the Red Army. I was alone with our child.”

Mrs. V opened the box and beckoned me to touch the hair inside. It was blonde. I didn’t want to touch it.

“One morning, the neighbors came to my door. They were fleeing. ‘The Germans are only a few kilometers away!’ they cried. My best friend, Sofia, told me the Germans were raping women and bayoneting babies to the walls of their homes. She was shaking so badly it made her baby’s little head nod up and down as if it were agreeing with her.”

“Terrible,” I said, for lack of anything else to say.

“I wanted to run with them, but I had valuables, things my husband entrusted to me. If I left without taking them along, he would never forgive me. It was all we had, something to help us start anew after the war. “

Mrs V. stopped and stared at a point just above my head. I could see the memories returning to her, at first like a slideshow and then as the frames started appearing more quickly, a movie.

“What was I thinking?” she asked herself, alarmed by some impending crisis that had, in fact, happened decades ago. “The time flew. As my mother always said, ‘Pray to God, but keep a sharp mind!’ I was tying a satchel and dressing the baby when I heard it.” She stopped and went still.

“Mrs. V?” I prodded. Was she having a stroke?

She looked at me gently, her eyes more glazed than ever.

“I heard my neighbors screaming,” she said. “I heard cars, tanks. The invaders had arrived. They were almost at my doorstep.”

My mouth was open, but I could not speak.

“The women were screaming. And children. ‘Mama, mama!’ I had no where to hide. I could not outrun their vehicles. That was when I knew that I would be raped in a few minutes. Raped. And my baby….” She trailed off.

I glanced at the open box again, and the little lock of golden hair seemed ghoulish, as if I were standing beside an open grave. I was stiffened by the horror of what had become of Ekaterina. It was too much for me to hear. I wasn’t certain I wanted to know what happened next. I tried to fast-forward her story.

“How did you finally get away? How did you survive?”

She laughed. “Oh, yes, it was survival of a sort. We were interned by the Germans, then the Red Army pushed back the German front and freed us into poverty a few months later. Here…” she said suddenly, pressing the little pillbox into my hand. “Keep it. You can throw away the contents, but not until after you leave this building, please. Maybe you give your girl a little ring inside it someday?”

I was aghast at her offer. I did not want the box. I did not want to touch the baby’s hair, ever.

“Please,” she begged. “I have no one left. The people here will put it on the table to be sold at one of those silly craft sales they have here. I want you to have it because you know the story now. Part of the story.”

I nodded weakly. I would accept it, just to honor her wishes. Then I would throw it away the first chance I got. She placed it in the palm of my right hand, and closed my fingers around it.

“The Germans did not kill my baby,” she said. There was a long pause. I counted her breaths: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….

“Do you understand?” she asked.

I did not.

She whispered. “I would not wait for them to stick my baby on the walls with the tip of their bayonet. My mother taught me how to bleed a goat or a lamb. When I walked into my front yard carrying my child and my razor, Ekaterina’s sweet blood was soaking the front of my dress. It made me go mad. I was smiling because I knew she was in heaven and would never be harmed by those devils.”

I stopped breathing.

“When the Germans saw the crazy woman with the dead baby, the soldiers and their motorcade veered around me. They never even came near me.”

Garth Von Buchholz is an author of dark fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction. His new book of dark poetry, Mad Shadows, was published in June. Garth is the founder of the Dark Fiction Guild (http://DarkFictionGuild.com) and Poe International (http://PoeInternational.com). He is also the Editor and Publisher of Dark Eye Glances, the eJournal of dark poetry.  Garth lives on Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast.  Visit his website: http://VonBuchholz.com

It Came from the Vault: HorrorAddicts.net Bonus, Halloween Carol Special

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Horror Addicts Episode# BONUS!

Horror Hostesses: Emerian Rich & Camellia Rains

Intro Music by: Dean Farnell

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halloween carol special!

Feat. “The Monster’s Ball” by Dean Farnell

Feat. Renee and Evan Roulo

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

 

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

You Have To Make Up Your Mind

SerialScribbler

As a publisher, I see this every day. People making excuses for not writing.

“I’m very busy.”
“I have kids.”
“I have a full-time job and go to school.

Stop.

No, seriously. Stop. If you have time to post status updates, and catch up on DVR’ed shows and/or movies, you have time to write. I challenge you today to find out how many minutes you spend posting, typing statuses and how many words you’ve typed in the Facebook (or other social media) vortex.

Is that number over ten? You have time.

Are you watching at least one show a night? You have time to write.

Are you vegging out doing nothing for thirty minutes a night? You have time to write.

The real question is, “Is writing a priority to you?”  That’s where you need to make up your mind. Writing takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. There’s no boss over your head most of the time making sure you’re not slacking off. You have to be in it, every spare moment that you have. If you can DVR a show and catch up with it at night or for a few hours on the weekend, you have time to commit, you just aren’t doing so.

If you sit down to write and someone can talk you out of it, you’re not committed to it. They don’t believe it’s a priority because you haven’t set the standard or the boundaries.

Writers that are serious about their craft do not allow interruptions. Friends and family will learn that it’s “Do Not Disturb” time and eventually, you will have time to write.

Recently, with my publishing company we held a meeting and discussed what our slogan for the month would be. We chose, “Are you all in?”

Well, are you?

December: Winter Horror

by Crystal Connor

Lol, I’m sorry I couldn’t help it. This post is about Winter Horror, which is the theme this month on HorrorAddicts.net.

As both a horror author and fan one of my favorite things I enjoy writing about is and being entertained by is the psychological side of horror.

I’m not sure if you know this but I am classically trained as a Marine Diesel Engineer and the 1st time I went to Dutch Harbor I fell to my knees once on the dock. The captain had no idea what was going on and when he asked I replied, “I’m repenting because if I don’t a frozen wasteland just like this will be my Hell.”

If you could have seen the look on his face! Lol. The idea of being trapped and cold in a hell frozen over inspires me to go to confessional, and I’m not Catholic, I’m a Christian … but still. My sinning ass needs all the help I can get.

I think the three greatest contributors which has the potential to make the winter months so truly terrifying are Freezing Temperatures, Being Lost and Isolation, the induction of the fear that follows.

I think this is the reason I am such a fan of trapped environments. My all-time favorite of this troupe is when environment one is trapped in is a vast and open space, hellscapes of snow and ice.

Let’s explore these elements with a little shameless self-promotion served on the side…

Freezing Temperatures:

Barrow, Alaska is one of the coldest and remote settlements in the North America. With wind chill, temperatures can reach almost minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I said minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Just let that sink in for a moment.

It doesn’t matter if its 65 degrees or God forbid, even colder than that, once I’m cold, I’m cold and the only thing I really think about once I’m cold is getting warm again and I’m in a pretty crappy mode until that happens. And until that happens its safe to say I’m not thinking straight because all I’m always thinking about is how cold I am and longing for the time I spent in warmer climates.

Studies have shown that temperature may sway how much trust people put in one another so it’s not surprising that people link temperature with psychological mindset (cold-bloodied killer)

Being Lost:

Now being lost is completely different from being trapped or isolated. When you’re lost, at least at first, it’s the confusion that interrupts clear thinking. But you can always cling to hope when lost.

If your off hiking somewhere, or take the wrong turn during a road trip and don’t show up when and where you were expected you’re going to be missed and this is what eventually helps a person to stop randomly wandering around and talk themselves into some sort of game plan to get them found or at the very least, help them get their bearings back.

This is where the wisdom of walking along a fence or river or just being still so that whoever is looking for you can actually find you comes in.

But if your judgment has been impaired due to being cold, and you’ve been subjected to the imagination of novelist such as myself, once it gets dark all bets are off. Of course you’ll worry about the bear’s, wild dogs, and other dangerous animals but not as much as you’ll think about the ghosts and strangers lurking between the clumps of trees, no matter how unrealistic these fears may be, and that will more likely than not make a person make drastic decisions that will make their situation worse.

Isolation:

First of all you know exactly where you are and others might too, but when things go wrong you can’t get out and those on the outside who know where you are probably don’t know you’re in trouble and wouldn’t expect it as your exactly where you told everyone you’d be.

And this is the reason I say a person can be cold, scared, and lost … or … cold, scared, and isolated. I’ve never seen or read a book where people where both isolated and lost at the same time.

One of the great things about using isolation as a horror element (Claustrophobia, agoraphobia, taphophobia, merinthophia, autophobia … the list goes on and on) and the adverse psychological effects it has on just basic thinking, not to mention, critical potentially lifesaving decision making is what makes isolation so terrorizing on so many levels. Not only that, but all kinds of studies have been conducted on human subjects in regards to extreme isolation and solitary confinement … the results of all of which is why this type of sensory deprivation is considered torture.

This is the type of subject I can write all day long about so instead of letting this post get out of hand I’m going to give you guys a little homework! lol

Homework for couch potatoes:

Three good reads that I think you should read if you haven’t already (or read again if its been awhile) about winter horror using the elements of isolation are:

Trapped by Dean R. Koontz http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Dean-R-Koontz/dp/0061050040

The Shining by Stephen King  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Stephen-King/dp/0307743659

In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now by Connor Titus http://www.amazon.com/In-The-Foothills-Mt-Empyreal/dp/1494964198

Three movies using the same elements

Adam Green’s 2010 Frozen 

John Carpenter’s 2011 The Thing 

Antonia Bird’s 2009 Ravenous 

Home work for outdoorsy type:

 If you rather not sit inside all winter and would rather risk your life by actually testing the patience of the gods of winter, you could try (but I am going to suggest that you don’t) your hand at navigating your way through:

 Death zone, Mt. Everest, Nepal

Dudes it’s called the Death Zone, even experienced climbers have perished here, and since rescuing or carrying an injured climber back to basecamp is impractical, they are typically left behind to die. About 150 bodies have never been recovered but despite its names there are worst places to die a wintery death.

Muir Snowfield, Mt. Rainier, WA

Like they say, there’s no place like home! Rainier’s summit requires a formidable alpine climb, and more than 90 mountaineers have slipped or frozen trying to reach 14,410 feet. But a whopping 294 fatalities have occurred elsewhere on the mountain

Right in my own back yard, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

A staggering 189 men and 51 women officially remain listed as missing since 1997 by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management after trekking into Oregon’s wildest places, said Georges Kleinbaum, search and rescue coordinator for the office. “It only takes a mile before you get totally turned around and don’t know which way to go,” said Kleinbaum, adding that 1,036 search and rescue missions were conducted across Oregon last year.

 Bonus

You really can’t talk about the horrors of winter without mentioning Christmas. My 2nd favorite all time sub-genre of Horror is Religious Horror and actually I think that might be 1st.  As a believer there is nothing more frightening to me than the idea of God turning his back on you, succumbing to temptation and forfeiting your admission to Heaven.

If you don’t have a weekend to spend reading a book but a have a few hours to kill check out Christopher Borrelli’s 2007 Whisper besides the child being the offspring of Satan, the religious undertones are subtle

However if you prefer your Christmas horror to be terrifying and religious-less I highly recommend Paul Andrew Williams 2008 The Children which is part of the 8 Films to Die For franchise. You can watch them both on either Amazon Video or Netflix

If you like your horror in quick short dosages I have something that fits the bill, clocking in at just 12 minutes and 9 seconds this little audio gem will fit nicely in your standard 15 minute coffee break The Christmas Wish http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after/

And on that note, happy holidays you guys and as always thanks for stopping by! See you all next year!

Books

Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! audiobook 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

Come meet us at BayCon 2015!

 Come to the Horror Addicts Guide to Life book release party!

Friday, May 22nd

@ Baycon 2015

8:30 PM in the Stevens Creek

Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA

Freebies at the door and door prizes to boot!

Plus, don’t miss getting all these signatures on your very own copy of the book.

habayconbanner

Come meet Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Laurel Anne Hill,

J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Sumiko Saulson, and Lillian Csernica at

BayCon 2015

FinalFrontCoverHorror Addicts Guide to Life

Don’t miss the door prizes, favors, and your chance to see all these amazing horror personalities together in one place! 🙂

Books will be on hand for signing and purchase.

Come meet us at BayCon 2015!

 

 

Come to the Horror Addicts Guide to Life book release party!

Friday, May 22nd

@ Baycon 2015

8:30 PM in the Stevens Creek

Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA

Freebies at the door and door prizes to boot!

Plus, don’t miss getting all these signatures on your very own copy of the book.

habayconbanner

Come meet Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Laurel Anne Hill,

J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Sumiko Saulson, and Lillian Csernica at

BayCon 2015

FinalFrontCoverHorror Addicts Guide to Life

Don’t miss the door prizes, favors, and your chance to see all these amazing horror personalities together in one place! 🙂

Books will be on hand for signing and purchase.