From The Vault : A Vampire’s Guide To New Orleans

The following was previously posted on December 2, 2013

A VAMPIRE’S GUIDE TO NEW ORLEANS

By

Steven P. Unger

 novamp1I wrote this article on New Orleans as an homage to one of my favorite cities, one still fresh in my mind and heart after a long-postponed revisit there as an invitee to the Vampire Film Festival’s Midsummer Nightmare last year.

All of the photos in this article are my own, except for the portrait of the Compte de St. Germain and the two pictures otherwise credited.  Most of the text is a compendium of others’ words and research.  With apologies to anyone I may have inadvertently left out, my online research for this chapter led me to articles from hubpages.com; Kalila K. Smith (whose Vampire Tour I can recommend from personal experience—see http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Kalila-Smith/178024410); New Orleans Ghosts.com; GO NOLA; Brian Harrison; Haunted Shreveport Bossier.com; and Frommers.com.  I’ve borrowed freely from all of these sources and recommend them highly to those who would like to delve more deeply into the secrets of this unique city.

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If you have ever walked the dark, rainy streets of the French Quarter at night, you have seen the voodoo shops selling their gris-gris and John-the-Conqueror Root.  You’ve seen the old woman in the French Market whose pointing finger foretells your death  And if you know the right person to ask and you ask in the right way, you’ll be shown to the vampire clubs.

I’ve been in those clubs and seen people who believe with their heart, body, and soul that they are real, live vampires.  And some of the people in those clubs are scared to death of a select group of vampires who have only appeared there a few times, and always in the darkest of night.

By day, of course, the vampire clubs are closed and locked or turned back into regular tourist bars . . .

–Crazy Horse’s Ghost

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St. Louis Cemetery (Photo Courtesy of David Yeagley)

Like the Spanish Moss that drapes the trees of the nearby bayous, mystery and the occult have shrouded New Orleans since its birth.  For hundreds of years, families there have practiced a custom called “sitting up with the dead.”  When a family member dies, a relative or close family friend stays with the body until it is placed into one of New Orleans’ above-ground tombs or is buried.  The body is never left unattended.

There are many reasons given for this practice today—the Old Families will tell you it’s simply respect for the dead—but this tradition actually dates back to the vampire folklore of medieval Eastern Europe.  First, the mirrors are covered and the clocks are stopped.  While sitting up with the deceased, the friend or family member is really watching for signs of paranormal activity, e.g.,. if a cat is seen to jump over, walk across, or stand on top of the coffin; if a dog barks or growls at the coffin; or if a horse shies from it, these are all signs of impending vampirism.  Likewise, if a shadow falls over the corpse.  At that point, steps are taken to prevent the corpse from returning from the dead.

Ways to stop a corpse—especially a suicide—from becoming a vampire include burying it face down at a crossroads.  Often family members place a sickle around the neck to keep the corpse from sitting up; stuff the mouth with garlic and sew it closed; or mutilate the body, usually by decapitating the head and placing it at the bottom of the feet.  But the most common remedy for impending vampirism is to drive a stake into the corpse, decapitate it, then burn the body to ashes.  This method is still believed to be the only sure way to truly destroy the undead.

THE CASKET GIRLS

Ask any member of the Old Families who the first vampires to come to New Orleans were, and they’ll tell you the same:  it was the Casket Girls.

Much of the population that found their way to New Orleans in the early 1700s were unwelcome anywhere else:  deported galley slaves and felons, trappers, gold-hunters and petty criminals.  People who wouldn’t be noticed if they went missing.

Sources vary on the specifics, but the basic story is that the city’s founders asked French officials to send over prospective wives for the colonists.  They obliged and after months at sea these young girls showed up on the docks, pale and gaunt, bearing only as many belongings as would fit inside a wooden chest or “casquette,” which appears to have been the 18th Century equivalent of an overnight bag.  They were taken to the Ursuline Convent, which still stands today, where the girls were said to have resided until the nuns could arrange for marriages.

Some accounts say they were fine young women, virgins brought up in church-run orphanages; some say they were prostitutes.  But there are many who swear they were vampires, vampires who continue to rise from their “casquettes” on the third floor to break through the windows and hurricane shutters—windows and shutters that always seem to need repairing after the calmest of nights—to feed upon the transient crowds that for centuries have filled the darkened alleys of the Quarter.

Finally in 1978, after centuries of rumors and stories, two amateur reporters demanded to see these coffins.  The archbishop, of course, denied them entrance.  Undaunted, the next night the two men climbed over the convent wall with their recording equipment and set up their workstation below. The next morning, the reporters’ equipment was found strewn about the lawn.  And on the front porch steps of the convent were found the almost decapitated bodies of these two men.  Eighty percent of their blood was gone.  To this day, no one has ever solved the murders.

LE COMPTE DE ST. GERMAIN

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Le Compte de St. Germain and the Balcony at Ursuline and Royal

If there is one person who encapsulates the lure and the danger of the vampire, it is the Compte de Saint Germain.  Making his first appearance in the court of Louis XV of France, the Comte de Saint Germain endeared himself to the aristocrats by regaling them with events from his past.  An alchemist by trade, he claimed to be in possession of the “elixir of life,” and to be more than 6,000 years old.

At other times the Count at claimed to be a son of Francis II Rakoczi, the Prince of Transylvania, born in 1712, possibly legitimate, possibly by Duchess Violante Beatrice of Bavaria. This would account for his wealth and fine education.  It also explains why kings would accept him as one of their own.

Contemporary accounts from the time record that despite being in the midst of many banquets and invited to the finest homes, he never ate at any of them.  He would, however, sip at a glass of red wine.  After a few years, he left the French court and moved to Germany, where he was reported to have died. However, people continued to spot him throughout Europe even after his death.

In 1903, a handsome and charismatic young Frenchman named Jacques Saint Germain, claiming to be a descendant of the Compte, arrived in New Orleans, taking residence in a house at the corner of Royal and Ursuline streets. Possessing an eye for beauty, Jacques was seen on the streets of the French Quarter with a different young woman on his arm every evening.  His excursions came to an abrupt end one cold December night when a woman’s piercing scream was heard coming from Jacques’ French Quarter home.  The scream was quickly followed by a woman who flung herself from the second story window to land on the street below.  As bystanders rushed to her aid, she told them how Saint Germain attacked and bit her, and that she jumped out of the window to escape.  She died later that evening at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

By the time the New Orleans police kicked in the door of Saint Germain’s home, he had escaped.  However, what they did find was disturbing enough.  The stench of death greeted the nostrils of the policemen, who found not only large bloodstains in the wooden flooring but even wine bottles filled with human blood.  The house was declared a crime scene and sealed off.  From that evil night to the present day, no one has lived in that home in the French Quarter.  It is private property and all taxes have been paid to date, but no one has been able to contact the present owner or owners.  The only barriers between the valuable French Quarter property and the outside world are the boarded-up balcony windows and a small lock on the door.  Whispers of Jacques sightings are prevalent, and people still report seeing him in the French Quarter.  Could it be the enigmatic Compte checking up on his property?

 ANNE RICE AND THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES

 There is no one who has done more to bring the vampire into the New Age than Anne Rice, born and bred in New Orleans, with her novel Interview with the Vampire and the films and books that followed.  Those who have profited mightily from the popularity of True Blood and Twilight owe her a great debt.

The ultra-retro St. Charles Avenue Streetcar will take you close to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, the gravesite of Louis de Pointe du Lac’s (Lestat’s companion and fellow vampire in Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles) wife and child and where Louis was turned into a vampire by Lestat.

The Styrofoam tomb from the film Interview with the Vampire is gone now, but you can easily find the site where it stood, the wide empty space in the cemetery nearest the corner of Coliseum and Sixth Street.

During the filming of Interview with the Vampire, the blocks between 700 and 900 Royal Street in the French Quarter were used for exterior shots of the home of the vampires Louis, Lestat, and Claudia, trapped through time with an adult mind in the body of a six-year-old girl.  In fact, the streets there and around Jackson Square were covered in mud for the movie as they had been in the 1860s when the scenes took place.

The perfectly preserved Gallier House at 1132 Royal Street was Anne Rice’s inspiration for the vampires’ house, and very close to that is the Lalaurie House, at 1140 Royal Street.  Delphine Lalaurie, portrayed by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story:  Coven, was a real person who lived in that house and was indeed said to have tortured and bathed in the blood of her slaves—even the blood of a slave girl’s newborn baby—to preserve her youth.  She was never seen again in New Orleans after an angry mob partially destroyed her home on April 10, 1834.  There is a scene in American Horror Story where Delphine escapes from the coven’s mansion and sits dejectedly on the curb in front of her old home. A private residence now, some locals still swear that the Lalaurie House is haunted and that the clanking of chains can be heard through the night.

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Built in 1789, Madame John’s Legacy (632 Dumaine Street) is the oldest surviving residence in the Mississippi Valley.  In Interview with the Vampire, caskets are shown being carried out of the house as Louis’ (Brad Pitt) voice-over describes the handiwork of his housemates Claudia and Lestat:  “An infant prodigy with a lust for killing that matched his own.  Together, they finished off whole families.”

RESOURCES FOR VAMPIRES

 As a service to this most vampire-friendly city (http://www.vampirewebsite.net/vampirefriendlycities.html), the New Orleans Vampire Association describes itself as a “non-profit organization comprised of self-identifying vampires representing an alliance between Houses within the Community in the Greater New Orleans Area.  Founded in 2005, NOVA was established to provide support and structure for the vampire and other-kin subcultures and to provide educational and charitable outreach to those in need.”

Their Web site also points out that “every year since Hurricane Katrina, the founding members of NOVA have taken food out on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to those who are hungry and homeless.”  (See http://www.neworleansvampireassociation.org/index.html.)

FANGTASIA, named with permission from HBO after the club featured in True Blood, is an affiliation of New Orleans-based musicians and film and TV producers who for three years have presented a multi-day vampire-centric event of the same name, the first two years at 1135 Decatur and last year at the Howlin’ Wolf.  You can follow their plans and exploits via their blog athttp://www.fangtasiaevent.com/fangtasia-blog/.

Next year FANGTASIA hopes to create “the South by Southwest of Global Vampire Culture” at an as yet undisclosed location in Greater New Orleans.  As they describe it:

Moving beyond this third consecutive year, FANGTASIA is building a broader international draw that will bring fans to not only party at club nights but also attend conferences, elegant fashion shows, film & TV screenings, celebrity events as well as an international Halloween/party gear buyers’ market.

Participants will experience gourmet sensations, explore our sensuous city and haunted bayous… as well as epically celebrate the Global Vampire Culture in all its sultry, seductive, diverse and darkly divine incarnations.  Additionally, FANGTASIA is strategically poised months prior to Halloween to provide corporate sponsors and vendors a perfect window to connect with their core demographic.  This also allows FANGTASIA to actively support and promote existing major Halloween events in New Orleans and beyond.

On the subject of vampiric Halloween events, for 25 years the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club (http://arvlfc.com/index.html) has presented the annual Vampire Ball (http://arvlfc.com/ball.html), now as part of the four-day UndeadCon (http://arvlfc.com/undeadcon.html) at the end of October; and on the weekend nearest Halloween Night (for example, November 1, 2014), the Endless Night Festival and New Orleans Vampire Ball takes place at the House of Blues (http://www.endlessnight.com/venue/).

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The Boutique du Vampyre (http://feelthebite.com/boutique2013.html) is a moveable (literally—they’re known to change locations on short notice) feast of vampire and Goth-related odds and ends, many of them locally made.  There are books as well—you may even find a copy of In the Footsteps of Dracula:  A Personal Journey and Travel Guide if they’re not sold out.  Their Web site itself holds a surprise treat:  a link to a free videocast of the first two seasons of Vampire Mob(http://vampiremob.com/Vampire_Mob/Vampire_Mob.html), which is just what the title implies.

Finally, no visit to the Crescent City would be complete, for Vampire and Mortal alike, without a taste of absinthe (http://www.piratesalleycafe.com/absinthe.html), or even more than a taste.  There is a ritual to the preparation and serving of absinthe that should not be missed; one of the sites that does this authentically is the Pirates Alley Café and Absinthe House at 622 Pirates Alley.

***

            Steven P. Unger is the best-selling author of In the Footsteps of Dracula:  A Personal Journey and Travel Guide, published and distributed by World Audience Publishers (http://www.amazon.com/Footsteps-Dracula-Personal-Journey-Travel/dp/1935444530/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262485478&sr=1-1).

            In the Footsteps of Dracula can be ordered from your local bookstore or online atwww.amazon.com,. www.amazon.co.ukwww.barnesandnoble.comwww.amazon.fr,www.amazon.dewww.amazon.com/Kindle, or with free delivery worldwide fromwww.bookdepository.co.uk.

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https://www.amazon.com/author/steven_p._unger_wordworker

Classic Horror Summer Reading – A Video Recommendation

 

Hello, Horror Addicts! Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz here again on video, braving the sunshine poolside to chat about why you should be revisiting some Classic Horror Reads this Summer!

 

Press play for some thoughts on Dracula, Anne Rice, Shakespeare, Stephen King, The Bronte Sisters, and more!

Don’t forget you can be part of the conversation – By Horror Addicts, for Horror Addicts! – on our Facebook Group. Tell us what kind of videos, media, and Horror coverage you’d like to see and what scary stories you’re reading!

Book Review: Ramses the Damned 2, Rice

Anne Rice’s Long Awaited Ramses the Damned 2 Delivers

By Sumiko Saulson

I was only 21 years old when Anne Rice released The Mummy: Ramses the Damned back in 1989. Like a lot of other enthusiastic fans of the book, I for years awaited the day when the author would keep her end-of-the-book promise that it would not be the end of Ramses’ literary world. 28 years later, the promise was finally fulfilled, with the November 21, 2017 release of Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra.

It was worth the wait.

The second Ramses the Damned installment was written with her son Christopher Rice. As a fan of both authors, there was an added element of guessing when Anne was writing an when Christopher was writing throughout the course of the book. Anne tends to use flowery, romantic and descriptive language evocative of the gothic horror genre and Victorian era literature, whereas Christopher veers more towards action, having a background in thrillers, and uses the more concise language of suspense. They did a wonderful job of blending their voices, making it difficult to tell.

The Passion of Cleopatra is character-driven. Colorful, compelling characters like Ramses the Damned, his love interest Julie Stratford, and his angry old flame, Queen Cleopatra make a comeback from the first book, along with increased roles for minor characters from the first book as well as new characters. Like the first book, it is rife with dark skinned, dark haired, supernaturally blue eyed Egyptians. If anything, there are more of these, in the form of attendants to Queen Cleopatra and the mysterious Saqnos.

Sibyl Parker, an American romance writer sets her popular adventures in Egypt is beginning to experience disturbing visions. She has dreamed of Egypt all of her life; dreams where she is Cleopatra. But recently, there has been a new, ominous tone to these visions. She occupies the life of another in these hallucinations. At first, they seem like dreams, fantasies. Then, she recognizes someone she knows to be a real person these visions: a certain Mr. Reginald Ramsey. He’s been in the news due to his proximity to the discovery of a mysterious mummy, and several strange occurrences soon afterward.

Meanwhile, an angry Cleopatra, having been awakened by Ramses in the early book, is on her own journey. Unlike most of the other immortal and long-lived Egyptians who companions who drank the elixir while living, she had the draught poured on her flesh by an impulsive and guilt-ridden Ramses. Her behavior, as a result, has a certain wild or primal element to it, which seems to be connected to the period of time she was dead.

What, then, is Sibyl’s connection to her? If both are living at once, then it doesn’t seem like it could be reincarnation. And if it is reincarnation and Sibyl possesses Cleopatra’s soul, then what is the soul, spirit, or impulse that animates the hot-headed Cleopatra?

A certain group of Egyptians, Jeneva, Callum, and Matthias among them have been given a weakened version of the drought that only keeps them alive for 200 years. Saqnos, their maker, told them not to awaken them unless something occurred to make them believe that the original elixir existed. He was too depressed by watching his spawn die in what seemed to him, the briefest of times.

All of these interesting characters are hot on the trail of Ramses the Damned, who himself, is engaged to Julie Rutherford. She, newly immortal, along with her uncle, the dashing and reticent Elliot, Earl of Rutherford, are gallivanting around the globe while Elliot avoids seeing his wife and his son, Julie’s former fiancé, in person. Elliot seems primarily interested in male romantic and sexual companionship, which may be part of why he has no desire to see his wife. He’s also afraid she’ll notice the changes immortality brings.

This is the set-up for a globe-trotting adventure that switches back and forth between its interesting primary characters before heading towards its powerful conclusion. Combining the suspense timing of Christopher Rice with the eloquent language of Anne Rice, it is fast-paced, lush, and engaging. If you enjoyed The Mummy or Tale of the Body Thief, I recommend you pick up this book.


 About the Author: Sumiko Saulson is Sumiko Saulson is a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer, winner of the StokerCon Scholarship from Hell and 2nd Place Carry the Light Sci-Fi Short Story Award. Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She ranked 6th place in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest.

An Interview With Loren Rhoads

Our featured author for episode 134 of the Horror Addicts Podcast is Loren Rhoads. Loren had an article in Horror Addicts Guide To Life and has written guest blogs for our blog in the past. Recently we asked Loren a few questions about her writing:

What is your story for episode 134 about?

29741039It comes from my book Lost Angels, which came out earlier this year. The succubus Lorelei sees an angel in her boss’s dance club.  She pursues Azaziel, who inflicts a mortal girl’s soul on her.  Lorelei has to survive Hell’s attacks long enough to find a fallen priest who can exorcise the mortal soul from her infernal body.  The scene I’m reading for the podcast takes place after Lorelei is possessed, when she’s trying to make an alliance with a fiend to protect her until the exorcism.

When did you start writing?

I started writing stories down in junior high, after I discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe.  My family visited the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia – and Poe’s dorm room at the University of Virginia – and I realized that he was a real person who wrote real stories.  I’m not sure what I thought created books before that, except that they seemed fully formed objects without humans attached.  Once I figured out that people wrote stories, I wanted to do it too.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

That’s a hard question.  Last year I wrote a space opera trilogy.  This year, I’m completing a series about2148570 angels and devils in the real world.  Next, I’m going to finish a book about a witch doing everything she can to prevent the death of someone she loves.  I’ve written a lot of stories about Alondra’s adventures, which have appeared recently in the books Fright Mare: Women Write Horror and nEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery, and the Macabre.  One of my Alondra stories will appear in Best New Horror in 2017.

I guess my favorite topics are women, because I find the ways they think and interact with the world fascinating.  I’m also interested in love, what it is and how it is used. And I’m interested in traveling, how being out of your familiar space shows you who you really are.

Who or what inspires you?

6355365Strangely enough, I find a lot of inspiration on Facebook.  I’m curious every morning to see what we will be angry about each day. All kidding aside, I’m glad to see the discussions of racism and sexism and how people grapple with those issues.  We’re in a place now where people feel they can speak out, which I think is amazing.  Of course there is a lot of turmoil, but it’s leading to growth.  I find it all riveting: challenging, but ultimately positive.  My stories are my attempts to add to those conversations.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

I’m glad to see so many women bringing their stories to the genre now.  When I was growing up, it was all King, Straub, Streiber, then Clive Barker.  The only well-known woman at the time was Anne Rice, but her vampire books weren’t considered “real” horror.  Now we have Gemma Files and Caitlin Kiernan and Dana Fredsti, Maria Alexander and Lisa Lane and Eden Royce … more women than I can name in a paragraph. No one can deny that they are writing real horror, whatever that means.  And they are all writing such different stories.  I can’t wait to discover more of it.

Could you tell us about the As Above, So Below series?

23130135Originally Lost Angels and Angelus Rose were one massive novel. No one would publish it at that length, so I split it into two books. Black Bed Sheet Books originally published the first book in 2013 as As Above, So Below.  When the rights came back, Brian and I decided that it was time to publish the second – more apocalyptic – half of the story.  Angelus Rose will be coming out on Automatism Press in November 2016.

Could you tell us about your nonfiction writing?

In my not-so-secret other life, I write about visiting graveyards.  As I travel, I always stop into local cemeteries to see how they reflect the cultures that surround them, what’s different and what is similar from place to place. I always like to grab a little peace when I travel, so a graveyard is the perfect place.

In August, my parents took me to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to see a couple of plays.  I snuck off one morning to see St. Mark’s Churchyard, which predates the War of 1812.  One of the large flat grave markers is all gouged up.  Apparently, when the church served as a hospital during the War, that gravestone was where the surgeons performed amputations. The marks of their cleavers striking off limbs is still visible, two centuries later.  Great story, right?

18010009At the moment, I’m publishing other people’s stories on my Cemetery Travel blog.  The goal is to gather a collection of them to be published as Death’s Garden Revisited.  I encourage anyone who has had something special happen to them in a graveyard – whether they took a date there or visited the grave of someone meaningful or stopped in while they were on vacation – to get in touch with me at cemetarytravel.com.  The call for submissions is here: https://cemeterytravel.com/deaths-garden-call-for-submissions/.

What are some of the other books you have available?

The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, my space opera trilogy, have been accused of bringing grimdark to outer space.  The books are about surviving in the galaxy after humanity started – and lost – an interstellar war.  They’re available in paperback, as ebooks, or as audiobooks.

My collection of cemetery travel essays, Wish You Were Here, collects my stories from Morbid Curiosity magazine, my cemetery column at Gothic.Net, and from various literary magazines.  The essays range from London to Paris to Prague to Rome and Tokyo, then across the US from Boston to Maui.  A new edition of the book will be coming out from Automatism Press early next year, but for now, the book is still available from Western Legends Press.

976431Back in the misty past, I edited a magazine called Morbid Curiosity.  It published confessional nonfiction essays about all kinds of things, from adventures in modern medicine to grim travel destinations to encounters with serial killers and much, much more.  A collection of my favorite pieces from the zine came out as Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual.  It’s available online as an ebook, but I still have some copies of it in paperback.

Where can we find you online?

My homepage: www.lorenrhoads.com

My blog: www.lorenrhoads.com/blog

The As Above page: http://lorenrhoads.com/writing/as-above-so-below/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loren.rhoads.5

Twitter: www.twitter.com/morbidloren

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/morbidloren/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/976431.Loren_Rhoads

Cemetery Travel: https://cemeterytravel.com/

HorrorAddicts.net 126, Writer’s Workshop Winner

HA tag

Horror Addicts Episode# 126
SEASON 11!

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich & Stacy Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

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writer workshop winner | valentine wolfe | tomb of liegia & an evening with poe

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

 

162 days till halloween

adam sandler, murder, halloween, costume, interview with the vampire, anne rice, lestat, tom cruise, brad pitt, queen of the damned, prince lestat, blood paradise, universal, akasha, vampire, chronicles, robert downey jr., rutger hauer, feast of all saints, pandora, david watson, the box jumper, lisa mannetti, free fiction, alex s. johnson, clowns, mcdonalds, creepy, japanese commercials, once upon a scream, dj tryer, shannon lawrence, facebook release party, the rose garden, wicked gardens, through dolls eyes, jesse orr, kids, horror parenting, r l stine, s e hinton, outsiders, rumblefish, that was then this is now, the bloody inn, chantal noordeloos, ghastly games, firefly games, monster high uno, morbid meals, dan shaurette, silence of the lambs, liver, beef kidney, nightmare fuel, d j pitsiladis, robert the doll, creepy doll, band pool, valentine wolfe, crystal connor, victorville massacre, a tricky treat, firghtening flix, kbatz, kristin battestella, tomb of liegia, and evening with poe, vincent price, the tell tale heart, dream within a dream, facebook, stacy rich, dead mail, jane, mimielle, elder goth, fashion, jeff, stephen king, dr. sleep, the shining, the good marriage, the stand, storm of the century, langoliers, artistic license, mice?, adam, the walking dead, dice, friday the 13th, ladder, bianca, anthologies, blog editor, what we are looking for, lynn mcsweeney,  writer’s workshop, j. malcolm stewart

 

 

Wicked Gardens
http://www.lulu.com/shop/rogue-planet-press/wicked-gardens/paperback/product-22628390.html

 

Once Upon a Scream

https://www.createspace.com/6137489

 

 

“Broken Pieces” by Valentine Wolfe

http://valentinewolfe.bandcamp.com/track/broken-pieces

HorrorAddicts.net blog Kindle syndicated

http://www.amazon.com/HorrorAddicts-net/dp/B004IEA48W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431022701&sr=8-1&keywords=horroraddicts.net

 

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

horroraddicts@gmail.com

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Stacy Rich, Dan Shaurette, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Mimi Williams, Lisa Vasquez, Alex S. Johnson

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Once Upon A Scream Author Spotlight: K.L. Wallis

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 4th anthology called Once Upon A ScreamRemember the Fairy tales that you grew up reading? Well they are back again with a horror twist. Once Upon A Scream includes 18 tales that are fantastic and frightful. One of the authors in this anthology is K.L. Wallis and recently talked to us about her writing:
What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?
 

OnceUponAScreamFrontMy story is called Briar. It is about a man who gets lost deep in the mythical Black Forest – largely due to his own curiosity – where he stumbles upon a fairy tale castle, and gets trapped. Despite first appearing vacant, the castle’s occupants turn out to be more the stuff of nightmares than of fairy tale.

What inspired the idea?


The idea came from an odd blend of things I had recently read. I am a huge Anne Rice fan, and was inspired by the idea in Interview With A Vampire of the mindless, hollow vampires of Eastern Europe. I also wanted to play on technique, so was opting for a minimalist style as demonstrated by Cormac McCarthy in The Road. I was fascinated by the nameless protagonist and wanted to emulate that. While opting for a minimalist approach, I used more descriptive language in the begging, when things are looking a bit brighter for our protagonist.
When did you start writing? 

I started writing Briar about a year ago for an assessment piece I was working on for university. It actually came together very quickly, and I had the first draft completed in the space of a couple of afternoons.
What are your favorite topics to write about? 

Much of what I write about comes back to mythology and legend. I can’t help myself! I tend to use very Gothic techniques in my prose, even when I am not writing ‘Gothic fiction’ per se.

What are some of your influences?

I am most often inspired by other literature. Sometimes by something as minor as a word I want to play with on the page, or a phrase which comes to mind. I like to explore things, particularly motives. I don’t like bad guys who are bad for the sake of it, I like to ‘justify’ and rationalize the irrational. Or, as I mentioned earlier, I am often influenced to write simply to experiment with technique. To quote Picasso, “learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,” – my favorite quote and personal motto as a writer.

 

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

In fear of suddenly becoming very unpopular, I wouldn’t say that I am particularly drawn to all horror, but I have always had a deep affinity for vampires and the spiritual. I just don’t like ugly bad guys! Zombies are definitely not my thing! Perhaps that’s my own vanity speaking, but there is something about a beautiful immortal villain which is so enticing. I think vampires represent the darker side of human nature, which in itself is fascinating. Also, as mentioned, I am a fan of Gothic techniques in literature, and so this genre is inadvertently very much my playground. My motivation to write horror isn’t so much about blood and gore, but more so about creating a sense of suspense and apprehension – to keep the reader hanging on what may be around the corner.

 
What are some of the works you have available?

Briar is my first publication, but it will not be my last! I am currently working on a couple of short stories in other genres which I am hoping to submit for publication soon – time permitting.

What are you currently working on?Pic

I have several things in the works at the moment. I am undergoing post-graduate study (Honours) in Creative Writing, so my exegesis and creative artifact for that are precedent at the moment. I am looking at bending the boundaries of perspective, so I am focusing on two pieces with non-living narrators. As is the nature of Honours, this is likely to change greatly within the next year and a half/two years. I am also re-writing one of the Greek myths, which is turning out to be one of my greatest challenges so far. Trying to re-create a world which has been and is no more, is an extreme challenge. Especially with the complexity of Greek mythology. I am also writing a short story about a girl with multiple personalities, a chic lit novel, and (when I finally get around to completing it) a vampire novel set in the days of Jack the Ripper.

Where can we find you online?

I need to increase my online presence, but currently you can find me mainly on Facebook at my business page Restricted Quill, or Restricted Quill’s website: Restrictedquill Official

HorrorAddicts.net 119, Jaq D. Hawkins

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Horror Addicts Episode# 119

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

jaq d. hawkins | more machine than man | slasher movies

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

68 days till halloween

la guns, over the edge, anne rice, vampires, glam metal, halloween shopping, scarela, richard carradine, ghoula.org, wickedlit.org, crossroadsescapegames.com, lisa lestrange, living dead, box of dread, bill rude, 7hells.com, horror art, krampus, terry m. west, turning face, wrestling, demon, andy alexander, grimwrether.com, queenie, pocket full of posez, brit austin, edward allen, haunted memories, holographic creepy pics, books, serena toxicat, ghost in bones, david, dance of the goblins, jaq d. hawkins, dreamweavers, kerry alan denney, morbid meals, haggis burgers, the world, tarot, wicked women writers, challengers: jaq d. hawkins, sharmica richardson, master of macabre, challengers: sean t. young, rish outfield, winners announced, judges, evo terra, willo clare hausman, dan shaurette, dario ciriello, lucy blue, sandra saidak, voter winner announced, more machine than man, rob zilla, tasha, music, dawn wood, jesse orr, grant me serenity, black jack, the herd, ed pope, dead kansas, aaron k. carter, slasher movies, kbatz, maniac, the hitcher, j. malcolm stewart, dead mail, swim cap, mimielle, karen, make fun of goths, marc vale, advice, jim, poison, mimi williams, join the staff, social media, jaq d. hawkins, chantal noordeloos

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
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————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Mimi Williams

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HorrorAddicts.net 118, Mercedes Yardley

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Horror Addicts Episode# 118

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

mercedes yardley | dark matter noise | stephen king movies

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

83 days till halloween

83 days till halloween

la guns, crystal eyes, anne rice, queen akasha, vampires, glam metal, heat, sunburn, seaworld, scarela, mike bennett, h.p. lovecraft, addict on the street: jean batt, live baycon, haunters, drag king,  guillermo del toro, strain books, donny marisue, goth dj neshamah, loren rhoads, the dangerous type, kindle books, wait for books, lasher, anne rice, books, matthew weber, a dark and winding road, d.j. pitsiladis, david watson, serial killers, highwayman, ink, glenn benest, dale pitman, morbid meals, dan shaurette, chicken a la king, dawn wood, dark matter noise, hell’s frozen, grant me serenity, jesse orr, black jack, dan shuarette, stephen king movies, it, storm of the century, stand by me, pet cemetary, the green mile, the shining, salem’s lot, christine, shawshank redemption, the mist, creepshow, misery, graveyard shift, firestarter, maximum overdrive, room 237, langoliers, bag of bones, dead mail, angela, halloween costumes, penny dreadful, the stig, top gear, birthday suit, ursula, mimielle, dyed hair in the pool, swimming cap, ask marc vale, vlad, blood stains, mercedes yardley

 

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Addicts-Guide-Life-Emerian/dp/1508772525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428730091&sr=8-1&keywords=horror+addicts+guide+to+life

 

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———————–

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————————

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s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick

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HorrorAddicts.net 116, Kristin Battestella

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Horror Addicts Episode# 116

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

kristin battestella | new years day | only lovers left alive

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

111 days till halloween

jenn vix, andy anderson, cure, halloween costumes, baycon, san mateo county fair, facebook quizzes, addicts on the street, sumiko saulson, anne rice, christopher rice, supernatural, mad max, wicked women writers challenge, master of macabre contest, dungeon san francisco, where’s jack?, jack the ripper, matt gunter, spooky, entertainment, sam roberts, torture room, history of san francisco, gold miner, murder, terry west, turning face, horror addicts guide to life, james newman, pembroke sinclair, chantal boudreau, consumed, d.j pitsiladis, t.s.charles, david watson, shadylight, kimberley steele, suicide forest, jeremy bates, belfry network, cemetary confessions, the count, morbid meals, dan shaurette, blood black truffles, lovers tarot, sparky lee anderson, allure of horror, lovecraft, new years day, dawn wood, c.a. milson, defago, horror music, jesse orr, grant me serenity, paul, satan, black jack, sandra harris, kbatz, only lovers left alive, marc advice, sarah, ventriloquists, dummies, dolls, possessed, kristin battestella, fates and fangs, vampire, novella, series.

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE MMM / WWW contestant.

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————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick

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HorrorAddicts.net 114, H.E. Roulo

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Horror Addicts Episode# 114

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

h.e. roulo | particle son | the walking dead

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

174 days till halloween

richard cheese, down with the sickness, zombies, baycon, book release party, emerian rich, h.e. roulo, j. malcolm stewart, laurel anne hill, sumiko saulson, loren rhoads, lillian csernica, seanan mcguire, earthquakes, horroraddicts on kindle, babadook, netflix, chiller, lifeforce, colin wilson, the space vampires, tobe hooper, texas chainsaw massacre, mathilda may, siren, slasher, stack.com, death note, adam wingard, the woman in black, horror addicts guide to life, sandra harris, ron vitale, david watson, books, plague master: sanctuary dome, zombie dome, slicing bones, kindle buys, morbid meals, dan shaurette, london mess, fox uk, canniburgers, the walking dead recipe, nightmare fuel, japanese fable, slit mouth woman, surgical mask, particle son, revelation, portland band, dawn wood, stephen king, clive barker, grant me serenity, jesse orr, black jack, the country road cover up, the sacred, crystal connor, dracula dead and loving it, kbatz, kristin battestella, c.a.milson, the walking dead, dead mail, candace questions, colette, bees, david, bugs, the watcher in the woods, pembroke, jaws, gremlins, craig, devil, sparkylee, the thing, dogs, kristin, alien, robert, magic, daltha, clowns, pennywise, jaq, creature from the black lagoon, jody, night of the living dead, world book day, interview with a vampire, michael, haunting of hill house, kbatz, frankenstein, dracula, anne rice, jane eyre, sumiko, the stand, lillian,  jim butcher, changes, a.d., exorcist, mimielle, firestarter, bad moon rising, jonathan mayberry, edgar, alabama, alien from la, kathy ireland, ask marc, marc vale, mike, pittsburgh, driver’s test, what would norman bates do?, mother, voices, psycho, h.e. roulo, heather roulo.

 

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Addicts-Guide-Life-Emerian/dp/1508772525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428730091&sr=8-1&keywords=horror+addicts+guide+to+life

 

Baycon.org

 

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————————

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s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr.

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HorrorAddicts.net 109, Sumiko Saulson

Horror Addicts Episode# 109

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

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Click to listen!

26 days till Halloween!

sumiko saulson, poe, strap on halo, house of usher

dream within a dream, edgar allan poe, the bells, phil ochs, costumes, edgar allan pie, master of macabre 2014 announced, writer’s workshop, band theme song contest, best band poll season 9, events, the black cat, poe, look back in horror, j. malcolm stewart, axes of evil, heavy metal anthology, eulogies 2, tales from the cellar, electric funeral, mark slade, darker edge of desire, gothic tales of romance, mitzi szereto, happiness and other diseases, devil-m, the antichrist, strap on halo, repentance, crystal connor, the sade cafe, c.a. milson, house of usher, poe, horror documentaries, anne rice, tell-tale heart, poe, dead mail, jack-o-lantern pizza, flesh burger, the walking dead, buried alive, the premature burial, end of the world radio, sumiko saulson.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts109.mp3

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

 

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Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood

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HorrorAddicts.net 107, Wm. A. Yandell

Horror Addicts Episode# 107

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

Click to listen!

54 days till Halloween!

wm. a.  yandell, mixed messages, jennifer’s body

heard it in the graveyard, halloween prep, end of the world radio, dead mail, avery, horror poetry, amy lowell, after hearing a waltz by bartok, events, night of the living dead, nosferatu, edgar allan poe, neve campbell, anne rice, books, the clinic, matthew weber, don pitsiladis, michaelbrent collings, this darkness light, dark blossom, vincent stoia, red beans and rice, feeding the lwas vodou cookbook, amy sumida, best band season 8, unveil, mixed messages, flash fiction friday, kadriah wade, they buried her deep, theme song contest, master of macabre contest, jennifer’s body, hemlock grove, under the dome, terry m. west, heroin in the magic now, crawl or die, crystal connor, the last road, crossback, wm. a. yandell

http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts107.mp3

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

———————–

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————————

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Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood

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How did you start reading?

Did you all get books, eBooks, or audiobooks for holiday gifts? I did and can’t wait to rip into them, which got me thinking about how I started reading.

I always loved to read, I was good at it and it was one school subject I could always excel in. I don’t think I would have got into the habit of reading so many books if my parents didn’t start a contest where I would get a penny for every book I read in a year. I remember always striving for a 100 so I would get a dollar. I usually surpassed it, but they quickly put a cap of $1.00 on it. I also remember in Alaska, I had access to a thrift store and was allowed to get any five books I wanted and then switch  them back out when I finished them. Being a poor kid, this was a definite perk! I would stay up late reading because it was light all night during a lot of the year. We had these thick shades over the windows to keep out the light, but I kept mine cracked open a little so I could read all night. I remember being so sad when winter started and it started getting dark all day cause then I would have to try and sneak a flashlight!

The_Outsiders_book

That Was Then This is Now

I don’t remember the name of my first book love, but it was a gothic romance with a picture of a stormy sea, lighthouse, and haunting woman on a cliff. Even though I wasn’t a horror addict then, that sort of dark romance was always a draw to me. I do, however, remember my favorite adolescent series was by S. E. Hinton. The Outsiders; That was Then, This is Now; and Rumblefish were my favorite books in junior high. I wanted to know kids like Ponyboy and Sodapop. I think Ponyboy was my first crush – even though he was just a book character. I didn’t see the movie until I was an adult and even though I enjoyed it, it didn’t come close to the feeling I had reading the book for the first time. The fact that the books had character cross-over was a plus.

728541n11862This love affair with books continued and I have been so wrapped up in a book storyline that I think of it while I’m not reading. Some of my favorite characters feel more like family members or friends rather than fictitious people. In college, I connected with many of Anne Rice’s characters, but when Marcel’s heart gets ripped out by his father’s betrayal in Feast of all Saints, I felt like it was my heart breaking.  Her Cry to Heaven actually had me crying on a city bus as I read. Andrew Neiderman’s Bloodchild entertained me to no end and Poppy Z. Brite’s Drawing Blood made me have the most glorious nightmares. These are just pinpoints in my life that have been changed by authors.

I asked how our Horror Addicts started reading, and here are some of the answers:

David Watson: I remember my mom taking me to library story time as a kid and always having a stack of books for me when it was done. The books I was drawn to the most were always horror, baseball, and superheroes. I’m pretty sure the first adult horror novel I read was Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

A.d. Vick: Hmm…I’m not sure what inspired me to start reading, but I do know that I could read a few words before I started school. I don’t remember all the authors I read, but I was into a lot of sci-fi as well as nonfiction.

Kristin Battestella: My dad was building this giant custom entertainment unit, so all the books meant for the future bookshelves were piled in the corner while he worked. There was a set of those big old-fashioned leather bound volumes of classics, and I used to just make forts out of them and build myself in and pick a book off the top and start reading. Some I remember being so disgruntled with at the time. Like what, Jane Eyre isn’t a scary story after all! Paradise Lost ugh, but The Twain, Shakespeare, Poe, Dickens, wow. But primarily, I had a lot of books to play with. I think that inspired me to a life of readership. I don’t really believe in this new tablets for toddlers stuff. I think children should be surrounded by tangibly intangibly things, if that makes sense, not pressing some buttons.

Murdo Morrison: Family lore has it that I was reading before I went to school. I don’t know if that is true but I have been reading since I was a small child. My father, who was not particularly bookish, did bring me books and comics so he was also an influence. For a working class kid though the public library was a great resource. I think you had to be ten to graduate from the children’s section and I couldn’t wait. I have always been an ecletic (and voracious) reader. I was one of those kids who read under the covers with a flashlight. In the summers, when school was out, if I got interested in a book I might read it until dawn came or I finished it, whichever came first. A lot of what I read back then, old classics, are probably not much read by young people today. Today my interests lie more at the non-fiction end of the spectrum, particularly history and science, but I also like biographies.

Steven Rose Jr.:  When I would check out ghost story anthologies at my grammar school’s library or the public library when I was about 8 or 9.

So how did you start reading? What interested you? What is your favorite memory of reading as a child? What author inspired you to read their whole series? What story did you read years ago that has become a part of your belief system, your way of looking at the world? Please share in the comments below, we want to know.

A Vampire’s Guide To New Orleans

A VAMPIRE’S GUIDE TO NEW ORLEANS

By

Steven P. Unger

 novamp1

I wrote this article on New Orleans as an homage to one of my favorite cities, one still fresh in my mind and heart after a long-postponed revisit there as an invitee to the Vampire Film Festival’s Midsummer Nightmare last year.

All of the photos in this article are my own, except for the portrait of the Compte de St. Germain and the two pictures otherwise credited.  Most of the text is a compendium of others’ words and research.  With apologies to anyone I may have inadvertently left out, my online research for this chapter led me to articles from hubpages.com; Kalila K. Smith (whose Vampire Tour I can recommend from personal experience—see http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Kalila-Smith/178024410); New Orleans Ghosts.com; GO NOLA; Brian Harrison; Haunted Shreveport Bossier.com; and Frommers.com.  I’ve borrowed freely from all of these sources and recommend them highly to those who would like to delve more deeply into the secrets of this unique city.

novamp2

If you have ever walked the dark, rainy streets of the French Quarter at night, you have seen the voodoo shops selling their gris-gris and John-the-Conqueror Root.  You’ve seen the old woman in the French Market whose pointing finger foretells your death  And if you know the right person to ask and you ask in the right way, you’ll be shown to the vampire clubs.

I’ve been in those clubs and seen people who believe with their heart, body, and soul that they are real, live vampires.  And some of the people in those clubs are scared to death of a select group of vampires who have only appeared there a few times, and always in the darkest of night.

By day, of course, the vampire clubs are closed and locked or turned back into regular tourist bars . . .

–Crazy Horse’s Ghost

 novamp3

St. Louis Cemetery (Photo Courtesy of David Yeagley)

Like the Spanish Moss that drapes the trees of the nearby bayous, mystery and the occult have shrouded New Orleans since its birth.  For hundreds of years, families there have practiced a custom called “sitting up with the dead.”  When a family member dies, a relative or close family friend stays with the body until it is placed into one of New Orleans’ above-ground tombs or is buried.  The body is never left unattended.

There are many reasons given for this practice today—the Old Families will tell you it’s simply respect for the dead—but this tradition actually dates back to the vampire folklore of medieval Eastern Europe.  First, the mirrors are covered and the clocks are stopped.  While sitting up with the deceased, the friend or family member is really watching for signs of paranormal activity, e.g.,. if a cat is seen to jump over, walk across, or stand on top of the coffin; if a dog barks or growls at the coffin; or if a horse shies from it, these are all signs of impending vampirism.  Likewise, if a shadow falls over the corpse.  At that point, steps are taken to prevent the corpse from returning from the dead.

Ways to stop a corpse—especially a suicide—from becoming a vampire include burying it face down at a crossroads.  Often family members place a sickle around the neck to keep the corpse from sitting up; stuff the mouth with garlic and sew it closed; or mutilate the body, usually by decapitating the head and placing it at the bottom of the feet.  But the most common remedy for impending vampirism is to drive a stake into the corpse, decapitate it, then burn the body to ashes.  This method is still believed to be the only sure way to truly destroy the undead.

THE CASKET GIRLS

Ask any member of the Old Families who the first vampires to come to New Orleans were, and they’ll tell you the same:  it was the Casket Girls.

Much of the population that found their way to New Orleans in the early 1700s were unwelcome anywhere else:  deported galley slaves and felons, trappers, gold-hunters and petty criminals.  People who wouldn’t be noticed if they went missing.

Sources vary on the specifics, but the basic story is that the city’s founders asked French officials to send over prospective wives for the colonists.  They obliged and after months at sea these young girls showed up on the docks, pale and gaunt, bearing only as many belongings as would fit inside a wooden chest or “casquette,” which appears to have been the 18th Century equivalent of an overnight bag.  They were taken to the Ursuline Convent, which still stands today, where the girls were said to have resided until the nuns could arrange for marriages.

Some accounts say they were fine young women, virgins brought up in church-run orphanages; some say they were prostitutes.  But there are many who swear they were vampires, vampires who continue to rise from their “casquettes” on the third floor to break through the windows and hurricane shutters—windows and shutters that always seem to need repairing after the calmest of nights—to feed upon the transient crowds that for centuries have filled the darkened alleys of the Quarter.

Finally in 1978, after centuries of rumors and stories, two amateur reporters demanded to see these coffins.  The archbishop, of course, denied them entrance.  Undaunted, the next night the two men climbed over the convent wall with their recording equipment and set up their workstation below. The next morning, the reporters’ equipment was found strewn about the lawn.  And on the front porch steps of the convent were found the almost decapitated bodies of these two men.  Eighty percent of their blood was gone.  To this day, no one has ever solved the murders.

LE COMPTE DE ST. GERMAIN

 

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Le Compte de St. Germain and the Balcony at Ursuline and Royal

If there is one person who encapsulates the lure and the danger of the vampire, it is the Compte de Saint Germain.  Making his first appearance in the court of Louis XV of France, the Comte de Saint Germain endeared himself to the aristocrats by regaling them with events from his past.  An alchemist by trade, he claimed to be in possession of the “elixir of life,” and to be more than 6,000 years old.

At other times the Count at claimed to be a son of Francis II Rakoczi, the Prince of Transylvania, born in 1712, possibly legitimate, possibly by Duchess Violante Beatrice of Bavaria. This would account for his wealth and fine education.  It also explains why kings would accept him as one of their own.

Contemporary accounts from the time record that despite being in the midst of many banquets and invited to the finest homes, he never ate at any of them.  He would, however, sip at a glass of red wine.  After a few years, he left the French court and moved to Germany, where he was reported to have died. However, people continued to spot him throughout Europe even after his death.

In 1903, a handsome and charismatic young Frenchman named Jacques Saint Germain, claiming to be a descendant of the Compte, arrived in New Orleans, taking residence in a house at the corner of Royal and Ursuline streets. Possessing an eye for beauty, Jacques was seen on the streets of the French Quarter with a different young woman on his arm every evening.  His excursions came to an abrupt end one cold December night, when a woman’s piercing scream was heard coming from Jacques’ French Quarter home.  The scream was quickly followed by a woman who flung herself from the second story window to land on the street below.  As bystanders rushed to her aid, she told them how Saint Germain attacked and bit her, and that she jumped out of the window to escape.  She died later that evening at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

By the time the New Orleans police kicked in the door of Saint Germain’s home, he had escaped.  However, what they did find was disturbing enough.  The stench of death greeted the nostrils of the policemen, who found not only large bloodstains in the wooden flooring, but even wine bottles filled with human blood.  The house was declared a crime scene and sealed off.  From that evil night to the present day, no one has lived in that home in the French Quarter.  It is private property and all taxes have been paid to date, but no one has been able to contact the present owner or owners.  The only barriers between the valuable French Quarter property and the outside world are the boarded-up balcony windows and a small lock on the door.  Whispers of Jacques sightings are prevalent, and people still report seeing him in the French Quarter.  Could it be the enigmatic Compte checking up on his property?

 

ANNE RICE AND THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES

 There is no one who has done more to bring the vampire into the New Age than Anne Rice, born and bred in New Orleans, with her novel Interview with the Vampire and the films and books that followed.  Those who have profited mightily from the popularity of True Blood and Twilight owe her a great debt.

The ultra-retro St. Charles Avenue Streetcar will take you close to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, the gravesite of Louis de Pointe du Lac’s (Lestat’s companion and fellow vampire in Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles) wife and child and where Louis was turned into a vampire by Lestat.

The Styrofoam tomb from the film Interview with the Vampire is gone now, but you can easily find the site where it stood, the wide empty space in the cemetery nearest the corner of Coliseum and Sixth Street.

During the filming of Interview with the Vampire, the blocks between 700 and 900 Royal Street in the French Quarter were used for exterior shots of the home of the vampires Louis, Lestat, and Claudia, trapped  through time with an adult mind in the body of a six-year-old girl.  In fact, the streets there and around Jackson Square were covered in mud for the movie as they had been in the 1860s when the scenes took place.

The perfectly preserved Gallier House at 1132 Royal Street was Anne Rice’s inspiration for the vampires’ house, and very close to that is the Lalaurie House, at 1140 Royal Street.  Delphine Lalaurie, portrayed by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story:  Coven, was a real person who lived in that house and was indeed said to have tortured and bathed in the blood of her slaves—even the blood of a slave girl’s newborn baby—to preserve her youth.  She was never seen again in New Orleans after an angry mob partially destroyed her home on April 10, 1834.  There is a scene in American Horror Story where Delphine escapes from the coven’s mansion and sits dejectedly on the curb in front of her old home. A private residence now, some locals still swear that the Lalaurie House is haunted, and that the clanking of chains can be heard through the night.

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Built in 1789, Madame John’s Legacy (632 Dumaine Street) is the oldest surviving residence in the Mississippi Valley.  In Interview with the Vampire, caskets are shown being carried out of the house as Louis’ (Brad Pitt) voice-over describes the handiwork of his housemates Claudia and Lestat:  “An infant prodigy with a lust for killing that matched his own.  Together, they finished off whole families.”

RESOURCES FOR VAMPIRES

 

As a service to this most vampire-friendly city (http://www.vampirewebsite.net/vampirefriendlycities.html), the New Orleans Vampire Association describes itself as a “non-profit organization comprised of self-identifying vampires representing an alliance between Houses within the Community in the Greater New Orleans Area.  Founded in 2005, NOVA was established to provide support and structure for the vampire and other-kin subcultures and to provide educational and charitable outreach to those in need.”

Their Web site also points out that “every year since Hurricane Katrina, the founding members of NOVA have taken food out on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to those who are hungry and homeless.”  (See http://www.neworleansvampireassociation.org/index.html.)

FANGTASIA, named with permission from HBO after the club featured in True Blood, is an affiliation of New Orleans-based musicians and film and TV producers who for three years have presented a multi-day vampire-centric event of the same name, the first two years at 1135 Decatur and last year at the Howlin’ Wolf.  You can follow their plans and exploits via their blog athttp://www.fangtasiaevent.com/fangtasia-blog/.

Next year FANGTASIA hopes to create “the South by Southwest of Global Vampire Culture” at an as yet undisclosed location in Greater New Orleans.  As they describe it:

Moving beyond this third consecutive year, FANGTASIA is building a broader international draw that will bring fans to not only party at club nights, but also attend conferences, elegant fashion shows, film & TV screenings, celebrity events as well as an  international Halloween/party gear buyers’ market.

Participants will experience gourmet sensations, explore our sensuous city and haunted bayous… as well as epically celebrate the Global Vampire Culture in all its sultry, seductive, diverse and darkly divine incarnations.  Additionally, FANGTASIA is strategically poised months prior to Halloween to provide corporate sponsors and vendors a perfect window to connect with their core demographic.  This also allows FANGTASIA to actively support and promote existing major Halloween events in New Orleans and beyond.

On the subject of vampiric Halloween events, for 25 years the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club (http://arvlfc.com/index.html) has presented the annual Vampire Ball (http://arvlfc.com/ball.html), now as part of the four-day UndeadCon (http://arvlfc.com/undeadcon.html) at the end of October; and on the weekend nearest Halloween Night (for example, November 1, 2014) the Endless Night Festival and New Orleans Vampire Ball takes place at the House of Blues (http://www.endlessnight.com/venue/).

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The Boutique du Vampyre (http://feelthebite.com/boutique2013.html) is a moveable (literally—they’re known to change locations on short notice) feast of vampire and Goth-related odds and ends, many of them locally made.  There are books as well—you may even find a copy of In the Footsteps of Dracula:  A Personal Journey and Travel Guide if they’re not sold out.  Their Web site itself holds a surprise treat:  a link to a free video cast of the first two seasons of Vampire Mob(http://vampiremob.com/Vampire_Mob/Vampire_Mob.html), which is just what the title implies.

Finally, no visit to the Crescent City would be complete, for Vampire and Mortal alike, without a taste of absinthe (http://www.piratesalleycafe.com/absinthe.html), or even more than a taste.  There is a ritual to the preparation and serving of absinthe that should not be missed; one of the sites that does this authentically is the Pirates Alley Café and Absinthe House at 622 Pirates Alley.

***

            Steven P. Unger is the best-selling author of In the Footsteps of Dracula:  A Personal Journey and Travel Guide, published and distributed by World Audience Publishers (http://www.amazon.com/Footsteps-Dracula-Personal-Journey-Travel/dp/1935444530/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262485478&sr=1-1).

            In the Footsteps of Dracula can be ordered from your local bookstore or online atwww.amazon.com,. www.amazon.co.ukwww.barnesandnoble.comwww.amazon.fr,www.amazon.dewww.amazon.com/Kindle, or with free delivery worldwide fromwww.bookdepository.co.uk.

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https://www.amazon.com/author/steven_p._unger_wordworker

Upcoming Events

October 13th – 14th / Monster Con / San Antonio, Texas /Monster con includes a zombie shooting contest, lil ghoulie play area, a zombie beauty contest. There will also be appearances by horror authors: Rhiannon Frater, Gabrielle Faust, Joe McKinney and Juan Manuel Perez. For more information go to: www.monster-con.com.

October 19th – 20th / South Texas Horror Con / McAllen, Texas / This convention includes FX Make-up tutorials, ghost hunting panels, a costume contest and appearances by fantasy artist Ken Kelly, author Belladonna Drakul, Carlo Barberi, Ernie Hudson and many more. There will also be a tattoo and piercing expo. For more information go to: www.southtexashorror.com.

October 26th /Dracula: A Ballet To Die For / Redwood City, CA / The Peninsula Ballet Theatre celebrates Halloween with their production of Dracula. Set to a haunting music soundtrack with international guest dancers from Europe, this ballet plays out the struggle of love after death. Ticket prices  start at $35. For more information go to: www.peninsulaballet.org.

October 26th – 27th / The Paranormous Costume Ball / Goldfield, Nevada / This is a paranormal convention hosted by Michael and Lindsay Knight from Knights Paranormal Research Society. This event includes paranormal tours, a costume contest, a treasure hunt and live performances from Grocery Store Rejects and Plane Without a pilot. For more information go to: www.ghosttownoperations.com.

October 26th / Anne Rice’s Wolf Gift Ball /New Orleans, LA / This masquerade ball will include performances by Saints Of Ruin, Lestat the band and Warchild. There will also be a dealers room and author panel discussions  by Sherrilyn Kennon and Lewis Aleman and members of the paranormal romance guild. For more information go to: www.arvlfc.com.

My Fearful Symmetry and Women Scorned

I’ve read four vampire novels in the last six months and I’ve noticed that each vampire book that I read has a different take on what vampires would be like. This is what I think makes vampires so interesting. There are so many different ways to tell a vampire story and in each story the vampires themselves can have very different personalities.

A good example of this is My Fearful Symmetry by Denise Verrico. Denise Verrico was heavily influenced by the show Dark Shadows and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Denise’s vampires aren’t like the vampires that Anne Rice wrote about. The vampires in My Fearful Symmetry enjoy being vampires, they’re  religious but use it as a way to hold power over others and they keep other vampires as slaves.

The star of My Fearful Symmetry is nineteen year old Cedric MacKinnon. He makes his living as a prostitute in England and has recently discovered he has AIDs. He gives up prostitution and starts to perform as a street musician. One night he meets a mysterious stranger named Raj. Raj is a vampire and promises to give Cedric wealth and eternal youth if he agrees to join him.

Cedric agrees thinking that his life can’t get any worse then it already is but his life is no easier as an immortal being. He has to move to a temple in India and is forced to  go through rigorous training  to become an adept. Adepts are dancers, artists, servants and sex toys for the elder vampires. Being an adept is one step above being a slave but adepts are taught that they are artists that perform in the name of the Indian goddess Kali.

As an adept Cedric has to give up his real name and take on the name Shardul. He lives with the other adepts and servants and gets trained by a female vampire named Sandhya. Though Sandhya is rough on Cedric a relationship starts to blossom between the two. Sandhya has taught adepts for over 100 years and she has a dark past just like the other vampires trained to serve. Adepts are held in high regard but they have very hard lives. If they can survive their initial training they are then subject to torture by some of the elder vampires and get used for sex in order to advance their master’s political interests. If things weren’t bad enough for the serving class there is also a revolution going on.

Some vampires have formed an alliance and are swearing allegiance to a leader named Loki who was named after the Norse god of mischief that was destined to destroy the other gods. Cedric at first wanted nothing more then to live with his master Raj but as an adept he starts to see things in a different way. He starts having visions of a violent destiny and has to decide to join the revolution or continue to serve his master.

My Fearful Symmetry is actually the third book in The Immortyl Revolution series of novels. Books one and two are set in a different location and about different characters in the revolution. Book three introduces a new cast and is set in a different part of the world but by the end of the book you get to see one of the main characters of the first book. You don’t have to read the first two books Cara Mia and Twilight Of The Gods to enjoy My Fearful Symmetry.

My Fearful Symmetry is more of a dark fantasy then a horror novel but it has a good story, lots of action, good sex scenes, a love story and there are some ghoulish scenes to keep horror fans happy. I loved the character of Cedric and I liked watching him change throughout the story. This is kind of like a coming of age book. You see a young teenager turned into a vampire who at first is an immature, self centered, single minded kid but by the end he is an adult who tries to protect those around him.

One of my favorite scenes was where Cedric has to go through a purification ritual and is forced to sit in a dark space for one cycle of the moon. He is able to drink only blood mixed with a herb that brings on hallucinations. I also enjoyed the sword fights in the book and finding out about the adepts training.  Another item in the book that was interesting was seeing how Religion means nothing to the vampire leaders but they use it to get what they want and to keep the adepts in line. In one scene towards the end an adept spills a food tray on an elder vampire. The elder vampire insists that the adept’s master Kalidasa must kill him but Kalidasa says he can’t kill him because the adept is in the service of the goddess Kalli. Earlier in the book Kallidasa allows an adept to be sexually abused but when he fears loosing a servant he uses religion to save him. My Fearful Symmetry is a good urban fantasy that shows us a vampire society that mirrors are own. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

The next book I  want to talk about is from Journalstone books and is called Women Scorned by Angela Alsaleem. The story follows a woman named Camilla who was just murdered,  now an ancient spirit possesses her, using her as a tool of vengeance. Tortured by visions of murdered women, she is thrust into a world of terror as she seeks a way to rid herself of the nightmare she has become.

Camilla is still trapped in her body but has no control. In order to live she feeds off of a substance that is on the breath of criminals. This is the least of Camilla’s problems though, because there is a cult stalking the spirit that inhabits Camilla and they plan on using it to release a horde of demons on earth.

I have to warn you on this book you shouldn’t read it if you have a weak stomach because there is a lot of gore here but there is some great characters and its a well written story. Mainly Women Scorned is a tale about revenge and asks the question can you really move on after you punish your enemies. This is a hard core bloody horror novel that will make you squirm in your chair, if you like a lot of violence then pick this one up.

Anne Rice – The Wolf Gift

A daring new departure from the inspired creator of The Vampire Chronicles (“unrelentingly erotic . . . unforgettable” — The Washington Post), Lives of the Mayfair Witches (“Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature” — San Francisco Chronicle), and the angels of The Songs of the Seraphim (“remarkable” — Associated Press). A whole new world—modern, sleek, high-tech—and at its center, a story as old and compelling as history: the making of a werewolf, reimagined and reinvented as only Anne Rice, teller of mesmerizing tales, conjurer extraordinaire of other realms, could create.

Order today!

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Guest Blog: Immortals I Love, Vampires I Don’t Love – Kimberly Steele

When I write vampires, I find it difficult to make any rules for them aside from they have to drink human blood at regular intervals to stay alive.  I like the glampire aristocrats of Anne Rice with their whole set of problems with going out in the sun but I just don’t like writing them at least for the time being.  I’m more fascinated by Virginia Woolf’s take on immortality with the character of Orlando.  He/She is a great character, but what I love the most is the only “rule” is that Orlando cannot die.

As far as vampire as monster, like the vamps in the comic/movie series Blade, they are cool as hell but my whole thing is that average people are the real monsters.  I like juxtaposing the reality of vampires (who in my mind are serial killers who live forever) with average people who do terrible things, yet unlike the vampires, do not wrestle with their conscious.

I don’t like vampires that are too perfect.   The oh-so-sexy beautiful vampire with perfect features only works for me if he’s portrayed by Alexander Skarsgard.  God that boy is hot.  He could play a jar of Play Doh in an performance art rendition of Our House and I’d probably find it compelling, but I digress.  I’m also tired of the half-breed vampire human thing used in both Blade and Underworld.  It’s stupid and cliche–please, let’s move on.

Twilight’s vampires are too soft–I don’t care how much Edward blueballs Bella, but couldn’t he eat something higher on the food chain then venison once in a while?

What kinds of depictions of vampires do you think are the most fascinating?  What aspects of vampire characters do you dislike?

13 Questions with Laurel Anne Hill

For my first article and to kick off the New Year, I interviewed award winning author Laurel Anne Hill.

Laurel is most noted for her debut parable, Heroes Arise. Hill is the featured author of Horror Addicts episode 33. She was asked by our very own Horror Addicts Hostess, Emerian Rich, to submit a story for the Vampire themed episode.

When asked about the request, Hill stated, “I’m delighted that Emerian invited me to submit a story and elated that she liked the one I created for the occasion.”

The story she wrote for all the Horror Addicts out there is titled, Wings of Revenge. Here’s a sneak-peek into Hill’s thoughts and inspiration for Wings of Revenge. “…I strove to create a scary vampire tale minus most of the traditional clichés. In other words, no garlic or crucifixes. No handsome dead guys with pale skin. No fainting ladies. In fact, Carlotta, my human main character, is self-confident and used to taking risks. Additionally, I selected the “our vampires are different” trope to flavor Wings of Revenge with a measure of unpredictability.”

Hill has already written two short vampire themed stories, Eternal Poetry and Real Vampires Don’t Snore. “However, [the] vampires in Wings of Revenge aren’t sympathetic. They’re evil. [Hill] wrote Wings of Revenge to confirm that [she] could write a scary vampire tale.”

She was asked her opinion on how the “classic” Bram Stoker vampire compares to “modern day” vampires created by authors such as Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer. Hill replied, “As I read novels by Anne Rice, I felt her vampires’ humanity and separation from humanity. Above all, I felt their sensuality and sexuality. To a far lesser degree, these types of feelings arose when I read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. Bram Stoker never brought me that close to Count Dracula. Stoker even distanced me from his mortal, first-person point-of-view characters. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published in 1897, and Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, over 75 years afterward. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight was published in 2005. Writing and life styles changed during that span of time. Vampires in modern literature reflect such changes.”

Laurel Anne Hill has been on Horror Addicts before as a judge for the Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge. Mrs. Hill stated, “I loved serving as a judge for the [WWWC]. What an honor! The quality of the podcasts impressed and inspired me.”

She believes that “many factors contribute to making a good writer. Some of the most important include passion, determination, and attention to craft–breathing life into stories instead of sucking all the life out of them.”

Mrs. Hill, herself, worked in the pharmaceuticals/health care industry for 40 years. But, she has been writing stories pretty much all her life. “Actually, I first wrote stories before I learned how to read. I told my stories to my older sister and she wrote down the words. I continued to write until graduation from college, when marriage and a demanding career led me down a different path. Then, in 1991, a mysterious illness hit me. My back muscles went into near-continuous spasms for six weeks. Prescription drugs helped make the agony bearable but generated hallucinations. When the Grim Reaper appeared and taunted me for not writing, I reorganized my priorities.”

Heroes Arise, Mrs. Hill’s most notable work, was published in 2007. When asked how it felt to have her parable traditionally published, Hill replied, “Having a book published by a traditional publishing house felt different than having short pieces appear in newspapers or zines. The first time I held the hard-cover edition of Heroes Arise in my hands, all I could do was say, “Ohhhh.” The reality of being an author hit me at that point.”

Hill enjoys writing, her favorite genre happens to be fantasy. “I love world building, especially when the world I’m creating has room for magic.” Her husband, David, is usually the person to do the first read of her completed work. But “occasionally, [her] writing group does the first read.”

Mentioned on her website as her current project is Plague of Flies, a historical novel set in California 1846. When asked about it Hill replied, “[Plague of Flies], was my current project until earlier [2009].  The story wasn’t coming to life on the page. I switched to doing a rewrite of my earlier novel manuscript, A Light from the Mountain….In the meanwhile, I attended various science fiction/fantasy presentations given by publishers at conventions. I learned that a futuristic science fiction/fantasy work from a non-bestselling author probably wouldn’t be publishable in the current market. My agent (who loved A Light from the Mountain) had passed away a couple of years ago….As a result, I’ve rethought both A Light from the Mountain and Plague of Flies. I’m reworking A Light from the Mountain as steampunk/fantasy set in the late 1800s. Plague of Flies will remain set in 1846 but I’ll develop the novel as alternate history/magical realism.”

Look for Hill’s Thar be Magic; a “pirates and magic short story, [which] is scheduled to appear in the Rum and Runestones anthology (Dragon Moon Press) in 2010.”

You can learn more about Mrs. Hill at her Red Room and Vox blogs. Where you can find “announcements regarding events, podcasts, and slide shows.” Hill also started a podcast in August of 2009 titled Welcome to my Bedroom Closet. Her podcasts usually contain “readings of her work” or “advice about writing”. Look forward to many podcasts from her as she mentioned she “prepare[s] flyers about Welcome to my Bedroom Closet and distribute[s] them at conferences and other events. My podcast is a long term project to increase my platform as an author.”

You can find Laurel Anne Hill’s blogs at these links: http://www.redroom.com/author/laurel-anne-hill and http://laurelannehill.vox.com.
You can also find her postcasts and listen to Eternal Poetry and Real Vampires Don’t Snore at http://laurelannehill.libsyn.com.
Heroes Arise is available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle format.

Episode #33 of Horror Addicts will go live January 14th, 2010 at http://www.horroraddicts.net