Nightmare Fuel: The Watcher of Westfield

Hello Addicts,

For the season finale, I thought we might go house hunting in Westfield, NJ, where one home has garnered a lot of attention over the past year. It’s a house with everything a young family might want, including it’s very own stalker.

A family of five closed on the $1.3 million house in 2014 and were excited to move in, but within three days their happiness turned into terror.  A letter left at their front door claimed that the house had been watched since 1920’s by people known as The Watchers, with the latest member of their clan doing so for the past twenty years.  The current Watcher boasted about roaming around the house and imagining living with the rich occupants.  As if that alone wasn’t creepy enough, The Watcher claimed to have told the previous owners to fill the house with young blood so he could learn their names and call them to him. He also claimed control of the house later letters to the homeowners, asking them which room each family member would get so he could plan better.  He even hinted at something hidden within the walls of the home..

Although it is still an ongoing investigation, skeptics have hypothesized that the entire affair was made up by the new homeowners as a way to back out of the completed sale. Another possibility is that they wanted to create something to grab attention and give them their fifteen minutes of fame, and, if so, it seems to be working.  Movie studios, such as Blumhouse Productions and New Line Cinema, are already rushing to secure the story rights for a potential movie.  All of this may come as little relief to the current owners of the home as they refuse to move into the house and are unable to sell the home because of the ever vigilant Watcher.

Until next season Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis

Nightmare Fuel — Elisa Lam

Hello Addicts,

This week’s Nightmare Fuel looks at the mysterious case of Elisa Lam.  Lam was a twenty-one year old Canadian college student on a trip through California that included a stopover in Los Angeles.   On January 31st, 2013, an elevator security camera in her hotel, the Stay on Main, filmed the student enter and press multiple floor buttons.  When the elevator doors didn’t close after a few seconds, Elisa stuck her head into the hallway and looked to her left and right in a quick turn of her head.  Seeing nothing out there, she backed up to the middle of the elevator car before pressing her back against the wall with the buttons.  Throughout her entire time with the elevator, the doors didn’t close and her behavior became more erratic.  Eventually she is seen walking out of sight of the camera, and the elevator doors close.  As the car stops on each floor, the shiny doors open and close just like normal.

The video itself might seem a little creepy to some and strange to others, but that isn’t where the story ends.  A massive search involving the FBI begins at the request of Elisa’s parents, but nothing was found.  A week after her last conversation with her parents, the video is released and becomes viral.  As popular as it is, the footage doesn’t help in finding the missing student.

Around February 19th, 2013, the hotel sends a maintenance worker to the water tanks on top of the hotel’s roof after guest complaints about the low pressure, discoloration, and oddly tasting water.  Inside the tank he found the naked decomposing body of Elisa Lam with her clothing and personal effects floating next to her.  Her death is ruled an accident, although some people point the cause finger at the fact that she was bipolar or may have been under the influence or some other illicit drug.  What is never completely answered is how she wound up in the water tank with the unhinged lid closed behind her.

While she is gone from the land of the living, the bizarre circumstances of her death and its influence is still seen.  Some people have noted the similarities between the case and the 2005 horror movie Dark Water, and there are a slew of movies and television series that have used the case in their plots including Castle and the latest season of American Horror Story.  As strange as this story is, it is not the only strange thing about the Stay on Main, also known as the Cecil Hotel, but that is fuel for another episode.

Nightmare Fuel — The Man Who Killed Halloween

Hello Addicts,

This episode’s Nightmare Fuel comes from the state of Texas.  As a child, I loved Halloween for the trick or treating, especially for the candy we got.  The one bad thing I remember from that time was not getting to taste any of it until my parents checked them for fear of poison or razor blades being hidden in the goodies.  I didn’t really question it then, but in later years, I was curious about where and when that problem ever occurred or began.  A documentary on urban legends gave me a probable answer involving a 1974 murder case involving Pixy Stix.

Eight year old Timothy O’Bryan was out Trick or Treating with his father, sister, and two neighbor children in their Deer Park, TX neighborhood.  They waited at the front door of a house eager for the candy goodies, but they moved on when no one answered the door.  Timothy’s father remained at the house with in the hopes of still getting candy from the resident for his children.  He eventually joined his kids a house or two later with five Pixy Stix grasped in his hand, and gave each child one.  Later in the evening, Timothy wanted some of his candy before going to bed, so he opened the Pixy Stix and his father helped him get the flavored sugar when it didn’t want to come out right away.  Shortly after that, the boy complained about stomach pains and began vomiting.  Young Timothy died on the way to the hospital.

Toxicology tests showed that the cause of death was potassium cyanide poisoning.  When police tested the other four Pixy Stix straws, they discovered them sliced open, the poison added, and then stapled shut.  For the longest time, the police focused in trying to find the house the dead boy’s father, Ronald Clark O’Bryan claimed to have gotten then tainted candy from.  When they found the house and ruled the homeowner out as a suspect, the police began to focus on the father.  Police soon found out that Ronald had taken extra insurance policies out on his children just before Halloween and was majorly in debt at the time.  The surmised murder plot involved the deaths of all the children given the poisoned candy with Ronald’s son and daughter being the intended victims and the other children as a way to cover his tracks.

Ronald Clark O’Bryan was convicted and sentenced to death, but maintained his innocence until the day he died.  His execution came via lethal injection on March 31, 1984.  During his trial, Ronald was dubbed by the media as “The Candyman”, but others still refer to him as “The Man Who Killed Halloween”.

Until next time, Addicts.  Pleasant dreams.

D.J. Pitsiladis

Nightmare Fuel — The Slit Mouthed Woman

Hello Addicts,

This week’s Nightmare Fuel takes us to the Land of the Rising Sun.  There is an urban legend.  I first heard about this woman around the time that The Dark Knight first came out in theaters in 2008 because of the resemblance to The Joker in the movie.  Even now, as I refresh my memory of the Japanese urban legend, I feel chills.

The more modern version of the Slit Mouthed Woman tale goes that a woman decides to get a divorce from her husband, who is schizophrenic, bipolar, and physically abusive.  When he discovers this, he snaps.  He knocks her out, ties her up, and, with the aid of very sharp scissors, proceeds to slice her mouth open from ear to ear.  Not satisfied with that bit of torture, he taunts her by saying, “Who will think you’re pretty now?” before using the scissors to decapitate her and then killing himself.  Thus, the legend Kuchisake-onna is born.

The spirit of the woman wanders the streets while wearing a surgical mask.  When she spies her victim, she walks up to them and asks if they think she’s pretty.  Before they are able to answer, she rips away the mask to reveal her disfigured face and asks, “Do you think I’m pretty now?”  If the person answers in the negative, she removes their head with her scissors,  If they say, “Yes”, she is so pleased that she uses the same scissors to make their smile just as pretty as hers.  If you give a non-committal answer like, “You’re average looking,” she becomes confused long enough for you to attempt an escape.

This tale has been around for a very long time, and was made into a Japanese film titled “Carved” and also loosely included in “The Grudge”.  The Slit Mouthed Woman, guaranteed to send a chill up your spine, especially if you see a lovely lady walking up to you with a surgical mask on.  She might just be a doctor, a nurse, or someone trying to keep from getting sick.  Then again, she may be something much deadlier.

D.J. Pitsiladis 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

Find all articles and interviews at:


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


h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

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

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“Diaphanous” by R. Thomas Reilly and Roy C. Booth

Hello fellow Addicts,


This week’s book is one sure to get you feeling creepy crawly by the end of reading it.  It is “Diaphanous” by  Roy C. Booth and R. Thomas Reilly.

Loretta and her son, Gavin, are doing the best they can to carry on with their lives after the sudden disappearance of her husband, Mitchell.  The police are unhelpful and the only other person to share her belief that Mitchell didn’t abandon them is his brother, Ted.   When strange things begin to happen involving Gavin, a terrifying truth is revealed and the question of what happened to Mitchell is answered.

This story was an interesting one to read.  It’s short, about novella length, and really had a good flow about it.  It is also the first book in a planned series, one that I definitely plan on reading.  It’s hard to give much detail on this story without going into spoiler territory, but, rest assured, this is a very enjoyable story.  I give Diaphanous a 4 out of 5 rating.

13 Questions with the Masters 2012

Are you ready Horror Addicts?! It’s time for the second ever Masters of Macabre Challenge! We have 5 horrifyingly devilish authors this season and they are ready to scare you back into your momma’s arms. This season’s theme is surrounded by dark rumors and terrifying ends. That’s right…CURSES! But that’s enough chit-chat; let’s get to the meat and bones of this contest, the authors!

First up we have Philip “Norvaljoe” Carroll who was plagued with “The Curse of Winning the Lottery.” This is Philip’s first time to be featured on HA and he is excited to be here. “There are a lot of great authors who present their work here. Horror isn’t my normal genre, so it’s fun to try out something new. Besides, Emerian Rich is one of my BayCon friends and it’s fun to wander the dark halls with her.” For this challenge Carroll stepped out of his urban fantasy style and has joined us on the dark side. Though Philip was hesitant to share part of his story for fear of giving something away he kindly shared with me a little background about the story. “I’d hate to give anything away. I did want to place the setting in California, so it begins in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California, though, I don’t think that ever really comes out. One of my all-time favorite authors is James P. Blaylock. He has set some of his stories on the coast of California. Specifically, ‘The Digging Leviathan’ is set on the northern coast. Reminiscing about that story I thought the foggy, wet, forest above Mendocino could provide an eerie atmosphere.”

For those of you new to the Carroll fan club, Philip is not just an author. “I’m an Army trained Certified Orthotist in the Central Valley of California. I’m a husband of 30 years. I have three children, two still at home who joined our family by adoption. I’ve been actively learning to write for the last four years and have focused on prompt-based short fiction to hone my skills. As of this week I’ve submitted 192 consecutive entries in the 100 Word Weekly Challenge at I submitted almost 75 stories to The Great Hites Podcast and have had short stories in several benefit anthologies. I’m a staff editor at where I slush read, edit and record stories for our, ‘kind-of’, monthly science fiction and fantasy short story magazine. I have one YA, urban fantasy, novel at, The Price of Friendship, and hope to have my second up and running by the end of July.”

Next up is a man known to all Horror Addicts as Knightmist. That’s right addicts our very own KM is participating in this year’s MMM Challenge! I asked Knightmist (aka Shawn Micallef ) how it felt to be on the other side of HA, “Well I cannot said it’s a new feeling as I did share my writing back when Horror Addicts was using an actual forum site.  It was in the day of our Ning days.  This story is different however as it’s been put to voice and people are actually going to be voting for it.  I have to say that as I try to get some short stories published this is a huge step as I hope what I get back on the story will help me go further with the writing.”

The theme of Shawn’s story is the Otzi’s Curse, for those of you unfamiliar with the curse “it is a modern day Mummy Curse.  Otzi is a mummy that was found in the Alps near Austria and Italy.  They are saying that some people have died who have come in contact with the mummy. We’ll leave the how they died to [KM’s] story.” Speaking of Micallef’s curse he explained to me the roots of his inspiration for the story. “Often it seems that the press will get a hold of a story and give it wings. They’ll have the story go on and on and gain worldwide fame if it’s at all possible.  So I felt in the case of the Otzi’s Curse I wondered what it would be like to have a member of the press come in touch with a “supposed” curse.”

Knightmist is an “eclectic person as [he] has a multitude of likes from everything and this shows in [his] movie and book collections.  The movies cover the classics of the 1930’s to modern day and have so many genres. There is War, History, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Animation and Anime.  [His] reading is much the same as it covers much of the same genres.” Shawn then added, “I’m married with no kids, well I take that back. There are two cats of which are as unique as one can see.  One cat will play fetch with his cat toys and the other is the weight of a good bowling ball.  🙂  If anything I’d just say in a way I may sound very open but I’m a bit guarded and like to use my writing as a way to escape the struggles that life can bring and to just keep my mind active.”

This next name is one you will remember from last year’s MMM Challenge, Rish Outfield, and his story on Entomophobia (the fear of insects). “It’s good to be back,” were the first words from Rish. “I consider myself a writer, but I don’t do enough of it.  I need pushes like your writing contest to make me do the work instead of shirk it, and last year’s experience was a good one, so I thought I’d try it again.  This year was harder, though, as I somehow confused the deadline and found myself needing to finish the story, get it to a reader to record, edit the audio file, and send it [out], all in the same week.  That made for a lot more work this year than last, but it was pleasant work, like planting a garden or having a rival killed, where you know it will be worth it after a while.”

This year though Rish is taking on the challenge of the Curse of Macbeth. Outfield’s story titled The Scottish Scene is set in an everyday high school. “[Having] primarily female characters, made for difficulty when I realized I not only needed three female readers, but had only two days to find them.  Ultimately, I had my friend Renee Chambliss record all the female characters, and she’s talented enough that they all sound different.” While researching his curse, [Rish] read that there were several possible origins for the idea that Shakespeare’s play was cursed, and one of them was that he stole the witches’ dialogue from a real coven, and they cursed his play as revenge.  That idea seemed really fascinating to [him], and [he] thought it would be fun to have it be the true origin of the curse.”

Rish claims to be “not much to write home about, unless you’re one of those cruel people who like to write about the creeps they see on the subway or bus stop, making fun of what losers they are. [I’ll try my best ;)] I majored in Film (Screenwriting) at college, and tried my hand at acting for a while there.  One of my dreams was to someday be a radio DJ, and when I had to leave California with my tail between my legs, I managed to get together with a friend with similar interests and we started a fiction podcast together.  At the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, I get to fulfill my writing, acting, and radio DJ aspirations, all for no paycheck!  But it has been a pleasure to perform other peoples’ stories and try and make audiences laugh for the past couple of years.”

Our next two Masters are Horror Addicts regulars, Don Pitsiladis and Dan Shaurette.

Don’s story this year “is titled Friends, Lovers, and Enemies.  It’s a love triangle story of sorts involving a man named Steven, his ex-girlfriend Renee, and his former best friend and Renee’s current boyfriend Jean Phillipe. When her boyfriend, Jean Phillipe, disappears under mysterious circumstances and the police unwilling to help, Renee goes looking for Steven’s help to find him.  She has her ideas on who possibly took him, but things don’t go as planned when it comes to the rescue.  It’s a much darker story compared to last year’s.”

“With a rather large family (wife, 4 boys, 4 dogs, 1 cat, and 4 kittens) and full time work, it isn’t always easiest to get free time.” To make up for this, Don usually works in about ½ an hour to an hour of writing in the mornings before work and a little at the end of the day. He also mentioned to me that he has started a review blog. “I started [the] review blog back in January to help me stick to a schedule, and for the most part it has helped.  Casa de Pitsiladis offers a Podcast Spotlight and Book Review every week with occasional movie reviews.  I hope to have some stories of my own to post starting this autumn.”

And last of our chilling authors but certainly not the least, HA Music Interviewer, Dan Shaurette! Get ready for the Curse of the Pharaohs and Dead Man’s Book. Dan was kind enough to clarify the meaning of his book title, “Dead Man’s Book, which is another name for the scrolls left behind with mummies in their sarcophagi.” His story is set in Egypt of course but “without spoiling too much, the story is about an archaeological dig in 1860 excavated by Abigaëlle Charest (voiced by the wonderful Lucie Le Blanc for the podcast), and the tragic consequences her team faces after taking a cursed scroll from the tomb.”

Writer, goth-geek, and Horror Addict this native Arizonian is a fan of all things Ancient Egypt. “So,” according to Shaurette, “I don’t think I was terribly cursed at all by drawing the “Curse of the Pharaohs” as my story prompt.” Even with his luck of the draw Dan suffers from the same ailment of most authors, staying on schedule and working writing into everyday life. “My fellow writers espouse the virtues of hitting a word count and keeping to a schedule. These things I also do, but I’ll admit let my personal deadlines slip when they must. My day job and my family come first. So, I sneak in writing whenever I can. For example, this very story will also become a prequel short story to the novel I am working on right now and has helped steer a direction with that.”

Well one thing is for sure with the horrors sure to come this MMM Challenge; I’ll be sleeping with the lights on soon. All these dark twisted minds are gunning for the coveted title of “Master of Macabre 2012.” But one thing is for sure, no matter what happens the boys can’t wait until next year’s challenge! Fans, don’t forget to check below for links to your favorite authors profiles and sites! 😉

Philip Carroll:

Knightmist aka Shawn Micallef:

Rish Outfield:

Don Pitsiladis:!/dlpitsiladis

Dan Shaurette:

13 Questions with the Masters

Have I got a treat for all you Horror Addicts out there… today marks the begining of the end. That’s right, it’s finally time for the Masters of Macabre and Phobia Phollies!

I’ve got a little information here for you about the contestants for the first ever MMM Challenge and the basics of their stories. Each one of the contestants was given a phobia, a place, and a boy toy as the building blocks of their stories.

First up, a name Horror Addicts are sure to recognize is Season 4’s Best In Blood, Chris Ringler!

Ringler’s phobia for the challenge is Agyrophobia (which is the fear of crossing roads), his place – Graduation and his item – Golf Clubs.

Born in Flint Michigan, Chris was raised in nearby Linden where he lived and attended school. He fell in love with writing as a teenager when he started writing short stories and began working on fanzines with friends. In 1999 Back From Nothing, a short story collection, was published by University Editions. Since that time Chris has finished writing a novel, a children’s series and has been published in Bare Bone and Cthulhu Sex Magazine. He has also received Honorable Mention in THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR twice.

His latest book is Noches De Corazones De Negros. Along with writing, Chris is also an artist and photographer and he currently resides in Flint and battles invisible space beasts in his free time. In October he and some friends will be bringing Flint their first horror convention.

Also by Chris Ringler: Back From Nothing, This Beautiful Darkness, The Meep Sheep, Red Dreams, and The Kreep Sheep.

For more information about Chris check out these websites:

Our next spotlighted author is Don Pitsiladis whose phobia Astraphobia (the fear of lightning & storms). His place and boy toy are a Sporting Event and Riding Mower.

Don Pitsiladis is a married 35 year old with 4 boys, 2 dogs, and 2cats.  He has been writing off and on since the 7th grade, but only seriously started looking at trying to make it a career, even a small one, within the past two years.  “The Problem With Neighbors” will be his very first story ever presented to a large audience.

In Don’s words, “What better way to debut than sharing one’s own fear with the world?”

For more information on Don, check out his myspace and twitter pages:!/dlpitsiladis

Next up is author Jerry Davis. Jerry was given the fear of technology, Technophobia, as his phobia. With Y2K being his place (or in this case time period) and his toy, surprise, surprise…a Computer.
Jerry J. Davis is a writer and photographer in the Chicago area. During the day he’s a mild-mannered webmaster and digital marketing specialist who works for a large international corporation. At night, however, he lives in a small cottage at the edge of an enchanted forest preserve, and spends time dodging mosquitos and searching for the fabled Stonehenge made of old refrigerators which is rumored to be somewhere behind his porch.

For more info on Jerry check out this site:

Failed writer, failed actor, and failed human being, Rish Outfield can be found hosting The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine (, a podcast presenting genre stories performed with a

full cast, followed by lengthy geekcentric chatter.  When he’s not working on that, he can often be found thinking of you and feeling sorry for himself.

Rish’s phobia for the MMM Challenge is Entomophobia (the fear of insects). His story will take place during a Luau, and his boy toy…a Hang Glider!

Check him out at:

Our next Master of Macabre contestant hails from Germany.

Shaunessy Ashdownlives in Berlin, where morbidity is mother’s milk and horror lurks round every corner. His job is fashioning insidious instruments of torture known as schoolbooks. These are deployed in institutions throughout Germany and Austria for the purpose of traumatising and corrupting the youth there.

Ashdown has the challege of writing about Spectrophobia, which is the fear of mirrors and one’s own reflection. Take that and mix it in with a Bachelor Party and a motocycle and you can expects crazy things to happen!

FInd out more about Shaunessy Ashdown by checking out his Facebook page:

Next on out list of MMM contestants is R. Michael Burns. His challenge was to create a horrifing tale center around Ailurophobia, the fear of cats, as well as a Stereo or Sound System, and a Parade.

R. Michael Burns is an October child with a background in philosophy, theater and other occult arts. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group, and the Gainesville Fiction Writers Group.

His fiction has appeared in various magazines and e-zines, including Dreams of Decadence, City Slab, Dark Regions, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Dark Recesses, Lovecraft’s Weird Mysteries, The Shroud, and Arkham Tales, as well as in the anthologies Orphans of the Storm, Bell, Book & Beyond, Cthulhu Express, Extremes 5, Goodbye, Darwin, Bound for Evil, and Horror Library III. He has other fiction forthcoming in the e-zine Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. His article “Creative Writing 301” was picked in a Predators and Editors poll as the second-best non-fiction article of 2006.

A Colorado native, he lived for the better part of five years in Japan, where he taught English to Japanese students from 1 to 70. He currently resides in the dark swamps of Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches high school English, runs the Creative Writing Workshop an the Japanese Pop Culture Club, and coaches speech and debate.

For more informations about R. Burns, be sure to check out these sites:

Colin F Barnes herds words in  an often random order; not unlike a room of monkeys battering away at typewriters with their poop covered paws. (Do monkeys have paws or hands?). The usual outcome of this seemingly random plucking of words is a glimpse into a dark world of psychological malopropisms, dystopian nightmares, and fluffy children’s stories. *one of those is a lie.

The basics of Colin’s story reminds me of the movie/game Clue. At the Gallery Opening with the Hunting Knife, throw in Necrophobia (fear of death & dead) and you’ve got one twisted story coming your way!

Find out more about Colin at:!/Colin_Barnes

And last but certainly not least is author Tom Andry who was given the task of basing his story around Osmophobia (fear of smells). His short story takes place at a picnic and involves a telescope.

Tom Andry is the Associate Editor of and host of the AV Rant podcast. He’s been writing mostly reviews but has lately returned to his prose roots. He has written many unpublished short stories, poems, and a few screenplays that may still be produced. Tom the father of three boys, is happily married, and currently resides in Perth, Australia. His background is in drama, creative writing, and research psychology which basically means his kids are in for a pretty rough time. His wife, Tanel, doesn’t have it so easy either. His first work for public consumption is an eBook titled Bob Moore: No Hero. The followup, Bob Moore: Desperate Times, is scheduled for release October 2011.

Follow him at: