Haunt Jaunts: ScaryRentals.com, Would You Use It to Book a Room If It Really Existed?

Several months ago I watched a horror movie on Netflix called Truth or Dare. Which I believe first aired on Syfy in 2017.Door with an unlucky 13 on it

Here’s the premise of the movie:

Eight college friends head to a “Haunted Rental” for Halloween. But when they replay the game that made the house infamous, they awaken an evil spirit intent on stealing their souls.

It wasn’t one of my favorites. (In fact, I’m not even sure I finished watching it.)

However, the “Haunted Rental” part? That totally caught my eye. Especially when the characters talked about how they found the haunted house they all gathered at on a site called ScaryRentals.com.

The first thing I thought when I heard that was, “OMG, that’s a brilliant concept. Is it real?”

Of course, I had to see. Sadly, no.

The producers missed out on a chance to promo more of their movie. Because oftentimes that’s a fun way for books and movies to engage with viewers/readers more. Create a website people can visit for extra tidbits. Although, maybe they didn’t have a budget to indefinitely host a website?

It’s been my intention for years to add a Spooky Stays section to the Boo-K It! part of my site, Haunt Jaunts. I’m an affiliate marketer for both Expedia and Hotels.com, both of which book rooms in some allegedly haunted hotels. Might as well try to earn a little website maintenance money in the process, right?

But have I done it yet? Nope. Kind of like how I mean to write about all of my paranormal travels, but never do. (Something I discussed in my “Haunted Jaunts with Courtney Mroch” intro post here on HorrorAddicts.net.)

Anyway, I know of a lot of haunted places sites. There are also a lot of “most haunted hotel” type lists, some of which are specific to AirBnB and VRBO rentals.

However, the closest “Scary Rentals” type website that I know of is Haunted Rooms. They have a pretty comprehensive list of haunted hotel rooms and such available in each state.

Before I travel anywhere, I always Google “haunted hotels + city name.” If they’re convenient to where we need to stay, I’m able to afford them, and they have vacancy, I book it!

So I’d totally use a site like ScaryRentals.com. What about you?

Haunt Jaunts with Courtney Mroch: An Introduction

Hello, boos and ghouls!

Self-introductions are always awkward, aren’t they? There you are, in front of strangers, trying to tell them who you are.

Maybe you’re in a room. Maybe it’s just a small office before a job interview or something. Maybe a larger one, like a presentation room at a convention.

Or, maybe like I am now, via the World Wide Web. Which in some ways makes it less awkward. Or at least less intimidating. I don’t have to see how many people have shown up –or have not shown up, as the case may be. (Which is even scarier. No one wants to feel ignored and unseen.)

So who I am, this new Addict joining the writing team here at HorrorAddicts.net?

Well, for starters, my name is Courtney Mroch. From the time I was able to read I wanted to be like them. The people who created the beloved books I’d devour one after the other.

I didn’t know what kind of author I wanted to be, apart from fiction. But as far as genre? No, that wouldn’t be decided for a few years.

Speaking of genres, I have published fiction in a few different genres: romance, mystery, thriller, suspense, and horror. Usually as some combination of two or more of them. For instance, my last novel, The Ghost of Laurie Floyd, was what I like to call a romantic suspense meets whodunnit with a paranormal twist.

But in my late 20s/early 30s I also felt called to write non-fiction. Mostly personal and travel essays. My essays tend to be more mainstream, but my travel interests are much like my fiction reading interests: dark, scary, spooky and macabre.

I had no confidence in my early travel writing because it wasn’t genuine. It was imitation. I was trying to emulate other travel writers people found popular. I hadn’t found my voice yet. Or, again, my “genre.”

By my late 30s, thanks in part to a battle with cancer and my fascination with jaunting to haunted places, I found the travel niche I wanted to work in: paranormal tourism.

I launched my blog, Haunt Jaunts, in 2009 and have continued to write about my haunted travels ever since.

Well, sort of. I’ve actually traveled quite extensively since 2009, both internationally and domestically. From Alaska, California, New York and Georgia to Turkey, England, Greece, and Singapore…these are just a few of the places I’ve been.

But I rarely write about my own travels. I always mean to, but…I don’t. Why? I don’t know. It’s complicated. It’s like I want to share what I’ve seen, but I also want to save it for some other time that never seems to come.

Odd, right? It is. So what do I write about then? Haunted places themselves, people within the paranormal community, spooky events, horror movies…I am at no loss for things to write about. In fact, that’s why I applied to write for HorrorAddicts.net. I’ve got 50 Evernote notebooks full of post ideas. (And that’s no exaggeration. The exact number is 51.) I could put them all on Haunt Jaunts, I guess, but… I’d also like to bring some more awareness to Haunt Jaunts. I’ve heard one way to do that is to put myself out there on different blogs and in different spaces.

So here I am.

What will I write about here? I’ve already got an Evernote list with some ideas, such as:

  • Would You Use Scaryrentals.Com If It Was a Real Service?
  • 10 States Where Clowns Will Be Delivering Donuts This Halloween
  • Come Unhinged This Fall with the Winchester Experience
  • A New Reason to Make a Trek to Dubai: Zombie Apocalypse Park
  • Places You Can Watch Horror Movies Where They Were Filmed

The titles aren’t set in stone, but it gives you a taste of what’s to come. We’ll start there and see what other dark paths we find to explore on this journey.

For now, I’ll thank you for your time. I look forward to getting more acquainted with each other. (You can give me a sense of who you are and your likes by checking-in with comments and such. You never know, something you may say or suggest may spark my muse and be the catalyst for another post. Love when that happens!)

Until next time, stay spooky (especially when others discourage it!) and ciao for now! ~ Courtney

Chilling Chat Episode 155 Courtney Mroch

C. Le Mroch is the horror nom de plume for Courtney Lynn Mroch. Courtney is the C. Le MrochAmbassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism for Haunt Jaunts, a website for restless spirits.

 As C. Le Mroch, she’s published The Shadow Stalker and edited the anthology, Shadow People and Cursed Objects: 13 Tales of Terror Based on True Stories…or are they?

When it comes to horror, Courtney has great taste. We discussed several things, including: horror/comedy, writing, and her unconventional anthology.

NTK: Welcome to Chilling Chat, Courtney! Thank you for chatting with me.

CM: Thank you so much for having me!

NTK: “Haunt Jaunts” used to be a paranormal travel site and radio show but has recently changed. Tell us about “Haunted Headlines” and what those entail.

CM: Haunted Headlines is a new weekly series of posts and videos I started doing in April of this year. In the posts, I share all sorts of Haunted Headlines I’ve come across for the week. Then, I highlight the best—which to me usually means the funniest or most outrageous—in a video. I post these to HJ’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

NTK: What got you interested in “Haunted Headlines?” Have you always enjoyed humor and horror?

CM: Oh, yes! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE straight horror, the kind that terrifies and lingers long after it’s been consumed, but I also love humor. The Haunted Headlines were sort of a whim. Around April Fool’s Day, I made all sorts of prank headlines. And, I’m always sharing paranormal, horror, and Halloween related links on my social media. The light just sort of clicked to get a green screen and combine it with pictures and funny commentary about the stories I come across each week. Well, to me, it’s funny. Not sure if others share my same humor.

NTK: When did you become involved in horror? How old were you and what drew you to the genre?

CM: I think I was three when I got my first taste of horror. It’s actually one of my first memories. I couldn’t sleep or something. That part, I don’t remember. All I remember is being up late, wandering out in the living room, turning on the TV, and finding an old horror movie on. I have no idea which one it was. I turned it on during a scene with a dungeon and stone spiral steps and scary music. I’m not sure if one of the characters screamed or if I did, but my dad came racing out to find me up watching it and was livid. I think because that whole incident terrified, yet intrigued me, horror was like this forbidden no-no. And I was always the kid who had to touch the stove to find out for myself if it was hot so…I’ve sought out horror ever since. Part of me thinks I’m on a quest to discover that old movie. I’ve watched A LOT of horror movies but I never have figured out what that movie was…yet.

NTK: I hope you find that movie. What’s your favorite horror/comedy?

CM: Horror/Comedy…that’s a tough one. Shaun of the Dead always comes to mind and so does Zombieland. But, after streaming Tucker and Dale vs. Evil a couple years ago, I think that’s now my fave. I wasn’t expecting to like it and found myself laughing out loud and cracking up.

NTK: Are these films among your favorite movies?

CM: Actually, those are not among my favorite horror movies. My faves are: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Dawn of the Dead (2005), Night of the Comet, and The Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum (which isn’t technically horror but it scared me.)

NTK: I love the “Night” theme there. What are your favorite horror books?

CM: As far as books, it took me forever to read because Stephen King’s IT because it creeped me out so bad. It’s always a sentimental fave. Dean Koontz’s Phantoms also ranks up there high on my list.

NTK: I have to ask. Do you prefer King or Koontz?

CM: It’s such a tough choice between King and Koontz. I like them both for different reasons. Depends on the mood.

NTK: What about TV? What shows do you like?

CM: I think we now have access to some of the best horror TV shows in the history of the Boob Tube. There are so many great modern shows. Loved the first few American Horror Stories. Haven’t been as crazy about the rest, but I’ve watched. All except Hotel. Couldn’t make it through that one. Gaga for Netflix’s Stranger Things and Dark. Loved The Kettering Incident and Black Spot on Amazon Prime. The French version of The Returned was also stellar. I liked the psychological aspect. I also like Tagged and Scream.

NTK: Do these movies, books, and TV shows inspire you when you write? What inspires you?

CM: I’m not always inspired by other books or TV shows/movies when I write. Life usually provides fodder. Or friends will make some random comment that sparks something. Although, I do have to say a Twilight Zone episode (“The After Hours”) inspired my forthcoming book, Reaper Pines, about an abandoned town where mannequins were once manufactured.

NTK: What’s your writing process like? Are you a planner or a pantser?

CM: PANTSER!!! Unequivocally! (Laughs.)

NTK: So, you just sit down and go from there? No outline?

CM: I usually have some nugget that sparks me and I run from there and let it do the driving. I just do the typing.

Shadow People and Cursed Objects: 13 Tales of Terror Based on True Stories...or are they? by [Carl Barker, Black, Alice J., Charman, Barry, Dicken, Evan, Ealy, Sean, Karabin, Keith, Lin, S. Mickey, Rich, Emerian, Teutsch, Ken]NTK: Let’s talk about your anthology, Shadow People and Cursed Objects: 13 Tales of Terror Based on True Stories…or are they? What inspired you to create this anthology?

CM: The idea for the anthology came about after I learned [the film] The Fourth Kind was not actually based on true events and the true filmed events supposedly included in the film were just other actors too. I thought it’d be neat to have something where readers could try and figure out if stories were based on true ones or not. So, I guess that IS an instance where a movie inspired me. (Laughs.)

NTK: Your story, “The Gypsy’s Curse,” is included in the anthology. What made you write the story?

CM: I honestly don’t remember what inspired me to write “The Gypsy’s Curse.” All I really remember about writing it is I did it shortly after we moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Jacksonville, Florida. I think I was going through a gypsy phase, or maybe a curse phase, or maybe both. (Laughs.) But, that story was one that just wrote itself as soon as it hit.

NTK: Speaking of curses, Season 13 of HorrorAddicts.net is CURSED! Do you have a favorite curse? If so, what is it?

CM: Oh, that’s a great question! There are so many intriguing alleged curses, right? This is a bit of a spoiler alert but, there is another story in Shadow People. It’s in cursed up Jack’s about the Busby Chair. I had never heard of that person until I read that author’s story, which is titled, “The Busby Chair.” It’s by Alice J. Black.

The Kennedy Family Curse also intrigues me. They’ve certainly had their fair share of sorrow!

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What do we, as readers, have to look forward to?

CM: Well, I’ll have Reaper Pines coming out soon. That’s a horror novel about a couple stranded in a ghost town with possibly haunted mannequins and an escaped mental patient. Hopefully, that’ll be available in mid-September. I also have a couple of Haunt Jaunts guides in the works: Schooled by Ghosts: What Ghosts Can Teach You and Macabre Museums.

NTK: Courtney, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for sitting down with me.

CM: Naching, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this wonderful chat.

Addicts, check out Haunt Jaunts on Facebook and Twitter. And, join us for the next episode of Chilling Chat in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cure for the Holidaze Guest, Courtney Mroch

In our Cure for the Holidaze episode #150, Emz chats with Courtney Mroch from Haunt Jaunts. Listen below and check out her site, Haunt Jaunts.

C. Le Mroch is the horror nom de plume for Independent Author Courtney Lynn Mroch.

Don’t let the sweet face fool you. It masks a dark mind that delights in the twisted. It always has.

When she was little, C.’s family figured her love for all things creepy and macabre (books, movies, places, etc.) would fade as she grew up, but nope. It’s only grown stronger.

Much to her husband’s chagrin. C. often recruits him to accompany her on what he’s dubbed as “Haunt Jaunts” (and is thus the name of the travel site C. runs as Courtney Mroch.)

Like many horror authors, C.s’ all-time idle is Stephen King. Except where his books are more character driven, hers are plot based. Still, she owes a lot of what she learned about storytelling to the Master of Horror and aims to scare as chillingly as he does.

The two scariest things C.’s ever lived through are:

  1. Halloween Horror Nights. (Her husband convinced her to arrive early, before the crowds. They were practically the only people in the park, allowing the actors to terrorize them at will. Which they did brilliantly and relentlessly.)
  2. Cancer. In 2009, C. battled Stage 2 Non Hodgkin Lymphoma.

C. lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband Wayne Pryor and their fur daughter Lady Tabitha Tabernathy Tabberkins Pryor (or Tabby for short). When she’s not writing, traveling or spending time with her family, it’s a safe bet you’ll find her either watching a horror movie or on a tennis court somewhere.