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

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

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

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

30 days till Halloween

Theme: #LighthouseHorror

#CrescendoofDarkness

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

#lighthouse #ghost #windsweptwoman #ghostship #

Music: “Midnight Massacre” #TheNeuroFarm

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

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

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

Dead Mail: #HorrorFan

PAMELA: #MrHarrigansPhone #Netflix #October5

TERRENCE: #Hellraiser2022 #Hulu #October7

SABINE: #NightsKnights #vampire #DaysChildren #2023

KINDLE VELLAS:

#EmmyZMadrigal #FirstLove #SweetRomance

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

#HERoulo #EvilForGood #Supervillian

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

#MicheleRoger #TerrorUnderALupinMoon #spookywitch

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

#RLMerrill #StrangeThingsHappenEveryday #Ghostwhisperer

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

#JamesSchannep #SocialVampire #YAvampire

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

#SmauggyUniverse #DaddysHome #eroticslasher

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

#KCNord #DieAgainToday #HellEnforcer

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

#AnthonyMCaro #TragedyMan #HorrorAnthology

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

#ChristopherStanfield  #TheBloodyRose #SerialKiller

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

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

horroraddicts@gmail.com

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

NEWS: 

#Metamorph #Kiss of the Witch

#ManorofFrights #SubmissionCall

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

#JesseOrr #ShadowsLove

#MarkOrr #DowntotheSeainShips

#LionelRayGreen #Bigfoot #FeedtheGods

#CrystalConnor #PortlandHorrorFilm

#RussellHolbrook #TheLadyoftheLighthouse

#KieranJudge #thefoghorn #bradburyslighthouse

#BookReview #StephanieEllis reviews #BlackFlamesGleamingShadows #FrankCoffman

#Interviews #WilliamZimmerman #DanielOullette #authorinterview #IssacThorne

#Events 

#SinisterCreatureCon #Sacarmento Oct 22

https://www.sinistercreaturecon.com/

#NevadaCity #MinersFoundry Nov 5th

https://www.themenagerieodditiesmarket.com/

BayCon Jun-July 2023

Http://www.baycon.org

Feat Author: #RAGoli #LighthouseLamentation

#CrescendoofDarkness

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

Voices by #EmerianRich #RishOutfield

#ChillingChat #NachingTKassa

————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

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

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Author Interview : Isaac Thorne

What is your name and what are you known for? 

 Isaac Thorne. I started out trying to make myself known as an author of short tales of dark comic horror in the vein of stuff like Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow. After writing my debut novel, The Gordon Place, my attention shifted away from that and toward horror with a social commentary edge.

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

Hell Spring is my new novel (released Sept. 21, 2022). It’s not a direct follow-up to The Gordon Place, but it is set in the same fictional small town of Lost Hollow. Eight people in 1955 get trapped in their local general store by a thunderstorm and flash flooding. One of the eight is a supernatural predator in the guise of a famous sex symbol of the time. She’s a demon who feeds on the toxic guilt and shame of those with whom she is trapped. 

The commentary component of Hell Spring is a bit less overt than the antiracist message of The Gordon Place, but it does address some stuff we all deal with throughout our lives.

What places or things inspire your writing?

I’m not sure I believe in inspiration as far as my work is concerned. My ideas are prompted mainly by the news, though. I’ve always been a bit of a news junkie. The nightly catastrophes and disappointments there are fuel for the more esoteric components of my work, the stuff that people reading at the surface level might not get right away. More than that, my lifetime of horror fandom, the area I live in, and the interesting, unique people around me typically swirl around in my head while I’m working.

What music do you listen to while creating?

That totally depends. Sometimes I need absolute quiet, especially if I’m working on a particularly challenging scene that has little basis in reality. For Hell Spring, I spent much of my writing time listening to oldies, shit from the late 1940s and early 1950s. I tried to put myself in the mindset of the era by listening to the types of music the residents of my little town might’ve heard when they switched on the radio on any given day.

What is your favorite horror aesthetic? 

This depends on my mood. For movies, I’ve lately been drawn to early 1970s Giallo as well as the old Hammer films. The bright colors, the melodrama, and their uninhibitedness appeals to me. That said, I also love a good 80s slasher from time to time. Regarding books, I’ll read just about any type of horror. I’m most drawn to realistically depicted, character-driven stuff, though.

Who is your favorite horror icon?

Edgar Allan Poe. As much as I’d like to provide a more modern answer to that, I’ve probably read and reread Poe more than anyone else. Sure, he was the father of the modern detective story, but his gothic horror stuff always deserves another look.

What was the scariest thing you’ve witnessed?

Shit, man. Everything’s scary. Life is scary. On a more personal note, that would be a car versus motorcycle accident I witnessed one summer day. The dude on the bike was struck by the car at an intersection. He flew off, lost his helmet, and tumbled through the air like a stick thrown by a child. He survived, fortunately. But I’ll never forget seeing that burly man’s body spinning through the air like that.

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

Dead: Edgar Allan Poe and a bottle of Stonehaus Davenport.

Living: Stephen King and a cherry cheesecake.

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

Tennessee Gothic, a movie based on the horror-comedy short story “American Gothic” by Ray Russell. I had the good fortune to review that movie for TNHorror.com a few years ago. It ended up winning the Hubbie Award at Joe Bob’s first Drive-In Jamboree.

Have you ever been haunted or seen a ghost?

I don’t think so. When I was a small child, I saw some weird shit in the first house I remember living in (like a pair of jeans walking around the bedroom on their own). I’ve always had a lot of trouble sleeping, though. It could’ve been exhaustion or sleep paralysis.

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

You need to have one or more Richard Matheson books. Preferably a novel and a collection of short stories. Peter Straub’s Ghost Story should be there as well. And Stephen King’s Cujo.

What are you working on now? 

The next Lost Hollow novel. Nope, I’m not done with that little town yet.

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

https://www.isaacthorne.com

Logbook of Terror : The Lady of the Lighthouse

 Lauren was in the lighthouse again. She never knew how she got there. She would just come out of a trance, standing in the lantern room, gazing out at the sea, a half-empty bottle of whiskey grasped tightly in her right hand. It had been the same thing every night for the past week. Lauren felt the mud between her bare toes and the cuts from the seaside rocks beginning to bloom with pain. Then came the voice. 

    “He’s out there, I know it! He’ll come back for me tonight!” 

     The sound of the shrill, hysterical notes echoed in Lauren’s head and throughout the room. “And when he comes, I’ll kill him!”

    Lauren was shocked when she realized that the screaming voice was her own. She threw a hand over her mouth as her eyes bulged. She downed a slug of whiskey to steady her nerves. “I’ll kill him!” She shrieked, not willing the words but instead witnessing their birth. 

***

    “Did you hear that?” Another voice asked a woman, close by. 

    “Yeah, I totally did! And the EVP recorder picked it up too!” A male companion replied. 

    “Sounded like it was a whisper in the wind,” the woman said. 

    “Yeah,” the man said absently as he twirled a knob on the portable digital recorder. “The Lady of the Lighthouse spoke to us. She’s real!” 

    “And this is the night it happened,” the woman said.

    “Yeah,” the man added. “She met her lover here, in the lantern room. He broke the news to her that he was heading out to sea.”

    “But he’d promised her that he would stay with her.”

    “That’s right.”

    “And he broke his promise,” the woman said, her eyes growing pale, a grimace curling her lips.

    “Yeah, he did,” the man said, focused intently on the recorder, his eyes on the small screen. 

    The man was almost too shocked to feel the pain when his companion brought the discarded whiskey bottle crashing across the back of his head. The second blow registered with a bright, piercing pain. The man dropped the recorder and staggered toward the windows. The lantern’s light washed over him as he dropped to his knees. 

    “Lauren! What are you doing?” He screamed.

    “You said you’d never leave me, Donovan!” Lauren shrieked. She brought the heavy bottle down again. It came down on the man’s forearm as he tried to defend himself. 

    “Lauren, it’s me, it’s Douglas!”

    The bottle came down again. It glanced off Douglas’s shoulder, hit the floor, and broke, forming a deadly knife of thick glass. 

    “How could you, Donovan?” Lauren wailed.

    “I’m not him! He’s the man in the story!” Douglas cried. 

    And then she was on top of him, swinging the glass weapon, cutting, stabbing, screaming, crying. Too horrified and meek, Douglas didn’t last long. When she was finished, Lauren left the broken bottle plunged into his neck. Then, the night called to her. The sea was singing against the rocks on the craggy shore. She needed to be close to it, to feel the air on her blood-soaked skin. And it was the last thing Lauren felt before she leaped from the catwalk and the waves crashing on the rocks where she fell, washed the blood away.

Ten Years Later

  Brad smiled maniacally. He said, “It happens every year during the last week of summer. A couple comes up here hoping to see the Lady of the Lighthouse-”

    “That’s the ghost, right?” Brad’s girlfriend interrupted. “And her name was Lauren, just like me, just like all the girls, supposedly?” She rolled her eyes in disbelief. 

    “Uh, yeah,” Brad said, his train of thought broken. He glanced around the lantern room. His eyes lit up and he pointed to an object on the floor. “Look! There’s even a whiskey bottle here, just like in the stories!” 

    “Cool! Let’s get wasted!”

    “It’s empty.” He sighed. “Probably left here by some other kids.”

    “Ugh, this sucks, Donovan, I wanna go,” Lauren huffed.

    Brad turned to her with a wrinkled brow. “Did you just call me Donovan?”

    He didn’t even notice that Lauren already held the bottle tight in her hand. 

Book Review: Black Flames & Gleaming Shadows by Frank Coffman

Review by Stephanie Ellis 

4 stars

Black Flames & Gleaming Shadows by Frank Coffman, pub. Independent, 28 Feb. 2020

Synopsis:

This is Frank Coffman’s second large collection of speculative poetry. As before, the verses herein cross the spectrum of Weird Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure and include examples from sub-genres of these modes of the high imagination. Following his chapbook, This Ae Nighte, Every Nighte and Alle (2018) and his acclaimed magnum opus, The Coven’s Hornbook & Other Poems (2019), this collection of 93 poems (six sequences of poems: sonnet sequences, a “megasonnet” sequence, a sequence in an Old Irish metric, etc) continues in the same tradition. A formalist whose rhymed and metered verses follow in the tradition of the exemplary work of the great early Weird Tales poets such as Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Donald Wandrei, and Leah Bodine Drake, he is also a great experimenter with a broad variety of exotic and cross-cultural forms and an innovative creator of several new ones. His poetry has been published in several magazines, including Spectral Realms, Weirdbook, The Audient Void, Abyss & Apex, Gathering Storm, Phatasmagoria and Lovedraftiana; and in anthologies such as Quoth the Raven, Caravan’s Awry, and Sounds of the Night.

Review:

Black Flames and Gleaming Shadows by Frank Coffman is very much verse in the traditional sense, by which I refer to his employment of recognised forms, for example, the sonnet, or his adaptation of them to create his own variant. Having read, and written much, in recent years in blank or free verse, it took a while to settle back into reading poetry of this style, but settle I did.

During my degree studies, I spent some time on Victorian poetry which led me to the likes of Tennyson and Browning, the latter remaining a favourite, especially with his “Porphyria’s Lover” and “The Laboratory”. Coffman’s poetry took me right back to that place, that sense of enjoyment of a tale told well, in poetic form. One word of advice: this collection is one very much to dip in and out of as I find my brain has a tendency to try and overlay the pattern and rhythm of one poem onto the next – which does the subsequent poem a disservice until you pause, reset and re-read. You might find the same.

From the King in Yellow to King Arthur, Coffman covers a wide variety of subjects, each fitting neatly into the convenient sections: Weird Tales & Cosmic Horror, Vampiricon, Samhain Halloween, Poems of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Myth, Legend, and Metapoetry, Homages & Some Traditional Verse. All are written in traditional form and there is a very useful Glossary of Forms explaining those he uses.

Yet tradition does not mean dry mimicry, instead, he adopts an element of playful homage at times as in “The Spooky Path Not Taken” (a wonderful ghostly take on Robert Frost’s classic) and “It WAS a Dark and Stormy Night” (which is most definitely not the opening line).

Whilst the writing is in this ‘older’ style, the subject matter is often very modern and pertinent to the concerns of today. “The Cyborg Dilemma” questions our advance into a brave new world where biomechanics bring the human and machine into ever closer contact, a synthesis of worrying implications. “Leaving Earth Behind” finishes with a poignant couplet effectively asking – shouldn’t we look after our own planet first before trying to ‘terraform’ others. Strong emotion with the lightest touch can be found in “Fib-on-ac-ci-dent?”, such wistfulness in so few words.

Other poems are akin to the epic narrative verse of yore. The gothic “The Vampire Ball” is surely something that should become a must for reading aloud at a small gathering, by a roaring fire, on a dark and stormy night …

Frank Coffman has taken tradition and made it his own, indeed amongst some of his poems are pleas not to discard the old, simply because it is just that. “Post” starts ‘This age of ours – it seems to me – is flawed/Things and Ideas “Old” must be replaced …  That traditions are deemed anathema is scary.”

With Coffman’s journey not yet done, I’ll finish with his own words from “Verse’s Vagabond”. ‘No rest! So many roads I’ve never gone!/Though I set off at dusk … ‘twill soon enough be dawn.’

Let us all accompany him on his adventure, vagabond readers traveling with him.

Historian of Horror : Down to the Sea in Ships

Eventually, one comes to the realization that not everything from childhood is worth clinging to. I have, for example, lost my taste for sugary breakfast cereals. It’s been decades since I’ve stood on a skateboard. And, as much as it pains me to admit, the original Lost in Space absolutely sucked.

I’m not all that crazy about the most recent incarnation, either. What sort of idiot takes his family into a space storm without securing all the large, heavy boxes in the room?!?!?!?

Anyhow. The show started out well, back in 1965, but by the third season, it had long since jumped the shark. Being as how the theme this time out is haunted lighthouses, I had planned to write this on the seventh episode from that year, called, coincidentally, “The Haunted Lighthouse”, which aired on October 18, 1967. It concerned the Robinson clan encountering a spaceship that acted as a sort of lighthouse and is kind of sort of haunted, but honestly, I couldn’t tell you much more about it than that, as I found it completely unwatchable.

So, instead, let’s take a look at a house of another kind, one I’ve mentioned before.

I hope the populace has had a chance to watch the utterly delightful Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman”. If so, you will have met Cain and Abel, the caretakers of the Houses respectively of Mystery and Secrets. I wrote about Abel’s domicile recently. This column concerns Cain’s.

Unlike House of Secrets, there was no hiatus for House of Mystery after the old days of cheesy superheroics ended and Cain took the abode into a much darker direction, beginning with issue 174, dated May-June, 1968. I had previously read the title occasionally, but my first experience with the new style came not quite a year later, with issue 179, dated March-April, 1969. 

The issue is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. It contains the earliest known professional work of iconic artist Bernie Wrightson. And it has a story drawn by Neal Adams, whom I believe I have also mentioned before.

In addition, I have noted my love of Victorian architecture, especially those designated Second Empire. One of the features commonly seen on that type of house is a widow’s walk, a sort of fenced-in area atop the upper levels of the Mansard roof that is the defining characteristic of Second Empire. From such a vantage point, the wives of seamen would watch for their husband’s ships to return from lengthy voyages, as long as they have had the foresight to construct said edifice within viewing range of the nearest body of water capacious enough to contain docking facilities for such vessels. Thus it is with the final story of the comic book, other than a single-page reprint.

“Widow’s Walk” has sailor Angus Beame marrying the daughter of a shipping magnate in hopes of inheriting the family fortune. However, after engineering his father-in-law’s untimely demise, he is furious that he is cut out of the will, other than the ship he has been captaining for the firm. He sails off in a huff, which is not a kind of sailing vessel. His abandoned bride lays down a curse upon him to the effect that Angus will not be able to return to his home port, nor any other, until she dies. She stands on the widow’s walk every subsequent day of her very long life, reiterating the malediction. There, she eventually collapses and dies of extreme old age, upon which her husband’s ship floats up from Davy Jones’ Locker, where it has been berthed since the curse was put upon him. He stands at the wheel, more than a little the worse for wear.

The story was written by Howie Post, best known for humorous comic book stories but who did spend some time on the horror comics published by Atlas, the precursor to Marvel Comics. It was inked by Joe Orlando, whose own horror pedigree is rather more impressive. He spent time on the EC horror comics of the 1950s, including Tales from the Crypt, Haunt of Fear and Vault of Horror, as well as numerous Atlas titles. By 1968, he was an editor at DC Comics, including on House of Mystery.

So, not a lighthouse, but the topic is maritime-related. Close enough for government work, as we used to say back when I worked for the government.

Our next venture into the outre from this space will concern legendary horror anthologist Peter Haining, a man possessed of great vision that was not always 20-20, but whose is? Join me then, won’t you? A good time will be had by all, I assure you.

And, as always, my dear raconteurs of the repugnant…

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Odds and Dead Ends: The Fog Horn/The Legacy of Bradbury’s Lighthouse

There are stories out there that have legacies that transcend their origins. Everyone has heard of Sweeney Todd, but very few could say that he first appeared in a penny dreadful called The String of Pearls. Werewolves changing with the full moon is common knowledge, but we forget that this concept was first properly grounded in the public consciousness by the 1943 film Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man. So many stories have had those they influence outlast their humble beginnings. And so is perhaps true with ‘The Fog Horn’, a short story published by science-fiction writer, Ray Bradbury.

Bradbury is perhaps best known now for his novel Fahrenheit 451, one of the staples of mid-twentieth-century dystopian fiction, featuring a society which has prohibited the possession of books, with the fire department now in charge of creating fires, not extinguishing them, to rid the world of the paperback devils. His other publications include Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles, and The Illustrated Man, and are also very well regarded. He is, therefore, a damn good writer.

In 1951, Bradbury published a short story called The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. In this story, two lighthouse attendants witness a great creature rising up from the depths. This creature is big, with great eyes that reflect the light of the lighthouse, with a great neck, and a massive, hulking body. The last of a species of dinosaur, it is speculated. It has come here once a year for the past few years now, and the sound of the lighthouse’s fog horn is almost exactly the same as the monster’s, to the lighthouse on the rock, which is described as similarly looking like a long neck on a great body emerging from the sea. The monster attacks the lighthouse, destroying it and trapping the two keepers in the rubble. Having destroyed the thing it believes to be another of its own kind, the monster howls in lamentation and sorrow, before departing into the seas, never to be seen again.

When this story was published, a small monster movie about a monster awakened from the depths of the sea thanks to atomic testing, was in development. The working title for this film was apparently to be called Monster from Beneath The Sea. Upon seeing the story, the producers bought the rights to the story and changed their script around a bit to capitalize on Bradbury’s up-and-coming success. They included a scene where their dinosaur, a Rhedosaurus (completely made up for the film), appears in silhouette, and attacks and destroys a lighthouse, before going on its rampage through Manhattan. The film itself is actually good fun, with some great stop-motion monster effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen, and it finishes off with a nice sequence utilizing Coney Island to have its finale. Meanwhile, the original story, when it is anthologised in The Golden Apples Of The Sun, has its name changed to ‘The Fog Horn,’ and has been called so ever since.

The story, however, does not end there with this little B-movie. When The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was released, the poster depicted it breathing smoke and fire. The Rhedosaurus doesn’t breathe any such smoke or flame in the film because of budget and other practical reasons, but since when do posters tell the objective truth of a film? This poster attracted the attention of Japanese film producers, who decided to make a similar film. They brought in Ishiro Honda, interwove their own, very recent atomic age fears and memories into the narrative (remember that Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t even a decade past), and created their own beast from the depths of the sea. Thus was born Gojira, or, to western audiences, Godzilla.

So we have a little short story about a dinosaur and a lighthouse to thank for the biggest monster of them all, the cementation of the kaiju as an international force of nature, and thousands of action figures and t-shirts worldwide. And if anyone is an old-school Pokemon fan, go back and watch the episode ‘Mystery At The Lighthouse’, an episode which you probably forgot about completely and yet will instantly remember as soon as you’ve read this. A massive dinosaur-like pokemon with shining eyes emerges from the sea to the summons of a fog-shrouded lighthouse, it’s one of the most haunting images of many people’s childhoods at a certain age. Coincidence?

And then let’s wonder if other lighthouse-based stories have been influenced by this classic short. It’s been stated by Leonard Nimoy that an episode of Star Trek was inspired by the story, but could we also include 2019’s The Lighthouse as having been influenced in some way by Bradbury? Two male lighthouse keepers trapped far away from civilization, seeing ancient things rising out of the depths? Seems familiar. And what about the 1977 serial of Doctor Who, ‘The Horror at Fang Rock’, where again, a lighthouse shrouded by the mists comes under attack from a strange, monstrous presence? How far does Bradbury’s tale’s influence go?

Far beyond what he intended, that’s for sure. The little lighthouse that could, it seems to have a great legacy in the world of horror, science-fiction, and fantasy; one that has left it forever changed.

-Article by Kieran Judge

-Twitter/Instagram: KJudgeMental

Shadow’s Love : The Land Below

“The council is our system of government. They choose everything: the governing codes, Admissions, Subtractions, and the…entertainment,” he said in obvious disgust. Anticipating Lastor’s question, the messenger hastened to explain. “The entertainment is a weekly ritual. It is a competition of torture, its subjects brought by the week’s contestants. Some subjects are convinced they will become vampires at last, fulfilling some pathetic fantasy but most are brought forcefully, as lambs to the slaughter.”

“Truly they have forgotten. Neither life is less deserving, we all deserve to die.” Lastor stopped pacing. “How is it possible no humans know of this?”

The messenger waved a hand dismissively. “Currently, most believe that the sewer line is so precariously balanced geographically that to go in would be near suicide. The sewers break through to a monstrous cavern, with space enough to comfortably hold hundreds, protected from the sun by miles of dirt. Those with admission may come and go as they please, those craving admission must win their favor to gain entry. 

“You are Lady Audrey’s husband. They have been watching one who fits your description since the councilman’s son decided he would marry your wife. If you were foolish enough to go through the proper channels, they would kill you in a heartbeat.”

“How do they know who I am?” Lastor demanded.

“They broke into her mind.” The messenger looked downcast. “As a result, they know everything about you. They know her passion for you is equaled only by yours for her, and that eventually, somehow, they can expect you to arrive. As such, they will watch for you and hunt you until you are in pieces. Or dead, but they do generally prefer pieces. It will be nearly impossible for you to break in and free her and you will almost certainly not survive. There are other ways of liberating your wife.”

            Lastor remained quiet, his eyes searching for answers. 

The messenger took a breath. “You recall that she is to marry the son of a council member.” 

Lastor nodded. 

“You would of course have no way of knowing that I am the council member’s second son. It is to be my brother who marries your wife. Were he to be unable to marry her for any reason, I will immediately be required by the council to marry her. If I marry her, she will be in my control and must obey me, as stipulated by the council code. From there we have but to remove her at our leisure.”

“Clever.” Lastor looked around him and grabbed one of the bartenders who was coming out the service entrance for a smoke and looked him in the eyes. “May I have a cigarette please.”

The bartender nodded demurely and pulled the unopened pack from his pocket and handed it as well as a book of matches to Lastor.

“Thank you,” Lastor said, unwrapping the cigarettes. “You can go now.” 

The bartender nodded again and walked back into the club with a vacant look on his face.

The lighter flickered in the dark, the flame unruffled by the slightest breath of wind. The night felt dead. Lastor rolled his eyes, taking a drag off his cigarette. He squeezed his eyes tight shut for a moment until sparkles danced in his vision. “When do we leave?”

Lastor and the messenger ducked through a wrought iron archway in the oldest part of town, leading down an alley that was practically falling apart around them. Bits of mortar crumbled as Lastor’s long coat brushed past. They picked their way through piles of brick and rubble, following what was only a vaguely beaten path. 

The messenger finally stopped. He crouched down and set his fingers into the manhole cover and pulled it up as easily as if it were a plate. He slid the cover aside and climbed down the rusty ladder. Lastor followed, pulling the cover back behind him and dropping the last ten feet or so to the dirty sewer floor.

Lastor lost count of the twists and turns they made. The scent of ancient human waste overrode all else, and Lastor could no more have scented a den of vampires than heard them.

The tunnel began to glow with an ambient light that gently filled the tunnel, growing brighter slowly. As they rounded a final turn, Lastor’s stomach dropped as the floor suddenly ceased to exist. Hundreds of yards away, he could vaguely make out the other side of what was an enormous cavern. Lastor edged closer to the precipice and peered out over the edge.

It was an amazing sight. The cavern was large enough to fit several Coliseums and a few Chrysler buildings between them. There were buildings in crooked rows, shacks, houses, mansions, what appeared to be clubs, and at the center a large arena, all cobbled together with collected rubbish. From their vantage point, they had a bird’s eye view of the center of the arena, empty but for a single raised platform with an altar. Beside the arena was a giant black building with pillars lining it like bars. The back of the black building was connected to one of the statelier mansions. The whole cavern was lit by the soft greenish-white glow from what appeared to be streetlights.

Lastor tore his eyes away from the building and looked at the messenger. “So. We’re here. Now what?”

The messenger smirked. “Now you go kill my brother.”

Lastor’s eyes flashed and he allowed himself a tiny smile. “Where is he?”

The messenger closed his eyes and was very still, searching as Lastor had done. He was quiet for a moment or two. Then he opened his eyes and looked at Lastor. 

            “With your wife.”

Lastor’s eyes blazed. Before the messenger knew what was happening, Lastor had vanished down the giant ladder to the cavern floor. 

Nightmare Fuel: The Seguin Island Lighthouse

nightmarefuel

Sequin Lighthouse (2006)

Sequin Lighthouse (2006), courtesy of MaineAnEncyclopedia.com

Hello Addicts,

When you are out at sea during a storm, one of the most welcome sights is the light coming from shore. A bright shining beam cutting through the darkest night, the roughest of storms, and the densest bank of fog, letting you know that shore is nearby. It also lets you know that there are rocks nearby so you don’t run aground. But what is it like for those who maintained the light? This week’s Nightmare Fuel looks at the haunting of the Seguin Island Lighthouse.

Being a lighthouse keeper is a solitary life and an enormous commitment. Even if your family is with you, the isolation can get to you and do strange things to your mind unless you have some sort of release. A keeper’s wife at the Seguin Island Lighthouse in Georgetown, ME, used a piano to battle the loneliness, but according to legend, she only learned one song on it. Between the isolation and the repetition of the song, the keeper was driven insane. Much like in Stanley Kubrick’s version of “The Shining”, he destroyed the piano with an ax before turning it on her and then finishing with himself. This happened in the mid-19th century but hasn’t stopped them from letting their presence known.

People who visit the lighthouse report hearing the ghostly piano melody, even though there is no piano on the premises. Also, there are reports from members of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed there of furniture moving, things vanishing, a young girl laughing and waving, and other ghostly sounds. A Coast Guard warrant officer also claimed to have spotted a spirit wearing oilskin clothing, shaking him out of sleep and shouting, “Don’t take the furniture. Please, leave my home alone!” The next day, a boat carrying the furniture and the warrant officer sank. Was it the ghost trying to keep his possessions there, or was it just a freak coincidence?

Isolation can play a lot of tricks on people’s minds, especially when you have a high value and high anxiety position, such as a lighthouse keeper. That, coupled with moving water and the right combination of stone, can make for a recording of past events to be played out again and again. Can it also trap spirits there? Who can really say?

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J.

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Portland Horror Film Fest Day 5 Part 2

 
 
 

 

Live Action Reviews on location! Portland Horror Film Festival 2022. This film festival is a 5-day International Festival of Terror, bringing horror from around the world to creepy Portland, OR, a tree-filled land with a deep and dark history.

This was the evening of day 5…

Sunday, July 3 – Independence Eve of HORROR! 5:30-11 pm at the Hollywood Theatre It’s a Double Double! 2 features and 2 blocks of short films!

5:30 pm – Bonus Shorts

Memento Mori

Mummering Legends (CA)

I Call Upon Thee (AU)

Tistlebu (NO)

6:20 pm – Feature: The Parker Sessions (US) w/director Stephen King Simmons

8:00 pm – Shorts Gone Wild! (shorts 6) w/filmmaker Q&A

Bottom

Hooky

Shiny New World (NL)

Love is a Fire

Guts

Erotic Insect

It Takes a Village

Bug Bites

Meat Friend

Every Time We Meet for Ice Cream Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes

9:25 pm – Feature: It Hatched (Iceland)

 

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

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

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

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

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

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

Daniel Oullette Artist Interview – by William Zimmerman

What horror-related themes have you found to be the most inspiring for your music?

Universal Studios Monsters and Kaiju Films

What horror movie/TV show would you re-score if given the chance?

Are Hallmark Channel movies considered horror? Because they are scary! Hmm… Dark Shadows from the 1960/the 70s would be fun!

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Buddhism, the sea,  Julia Child, Elvira Mistress of the Dark, Gardening, my loved ones because so many are creative.

What film/TV horror-related character would you most identify with? Why?

I think Elvira because of the balance of horror and humor which I love.

How do you handle fear as an artist?

Sometimes I walk right into it and sometimes I walk right beside it or around it. I don’t like to walk away from fear. I walk away from other things like foolishness. Life is always out of our hands a bit. 

What are your favorite horror movies?

Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter, The Others, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Pan’s Labyrinth

What was the scariest night of your life?

Is this about something supernatural? A friend and I once went ghost hunting along route 44 in Rehobeth, MA, and ended up having the rubber of the tire break and slap the side of the car. We were sure it was a ghost! There is a fable about a ghost there.

If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your undead opening band?

Ofra Haza, though I would have to be her opening act. 

Her voice was from celestial realms not yet discovered.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?

Please check out my new album El salón (A Happy Home is a Haunted Home)! It is horror and humor and what I hope is weird fun! 

(Fan contacts…)

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Bandcamp?

www.danielouellette.net

https://danielouellette.bandcamp.com/album/el-sal-n-a-happy-home-is-a-haunted-home

 

Video YouTube link: 

O lindo sonâmbulo (Um fantasma na minha casa)

https://youtu.be/g5C8Ck-SvNM

 

HorrorAddicts.net 215, Sumiko Saulson, Clockpunk

halogoHorror Addicts Episode #215 | SEASON 17
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

215 | Sumiko Saulson | Amulet | Clockpunk Horror

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

44 days till Halloween

Theme: #ClockworkHorror

#ClockworkWonderland

https://www.amazon.com/Clockwork-Wonderland-Emerian-Rich-ebook/dp/B072PTKSSR

#AliceintheCountryofHearts #JuliusClockmaker #Alice #Clockworkhearts #Midnight Dance #GroundhogDay #Zombies

Music: “Vampire” #Amulet

Band Poll: Best Band of Season 16
https://forms.gle/xjJXBSBT6kqPVSrh6

Catchup: #HappyBirthdayHalloween #Halloween #Costumes #HalloweenisComingSoon #HorrorCurated #Haunted Holidays #DigitalMagazine #BloodyTea 

Historian of Horror: #MarkOrr #ClockworkDancePartner #BallroomDancing 5th Episode of 2010 Alfred Hitchcock

https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/The_Late_Alfred_Hitchcock_Presents_(BBC_Radio,_2010)

Dead Mail: #HorrorFan

ROBIE QUINE: #GatorFarm #NewMusic

https://www.facebook.com/BarbarellatonesOfficial

SELAH: #VampireUnearthed #VampireSickle #Digs

https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/05/medieval-vampire-unearthed-with-sickle-across-her-throat-17298953

MARTIN: #BadNecromance #Chtulu #Necromance

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

horroraddicts@gmail.com

Nightmare Fuel: #DJPitsiladis #Brahmaparusha

NEWS: 

#ValentineWolfe #Lullabies, Love Songs, And Laments

https://valentinewolfe.com/lullabies-love-songs-and-laments

#ManorofFrights #SubmissionCall

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

 #JesseOrr #ShadowsLove

#MarkOrr #DerSandmann

#LionelRayGreen #Bigfoot #BigfootCountry

#CrystalConnor #PortlandHorrorFilm

#RussellHolbrook #ADirgeForBrokenClocks

#Renata #Ashthorne #AprilYates

#BookReview #FromDaylighttoMadness #JenniferAnneGordon

#Events 

#SecretsUnearthed #125YearsofDracula Sept 23-25 (24th we will be there)

https://www.themenagerieodditiesmarket.com/

#SinisterCreatureCon #Sacarmento Oct 22

https://www.sinistercreaturecon.com/

#NevadaCity #MinersFoundry Nov 5th

https://www.themenagerieodditiesmarket.com/

BayCon Jun-July 2023

Http://www.baycon.org

Feat Author: #SumikoSaulson #MyClockworkValentine

Voices by #EmerianRich #RishOutfield

https://www.amazon.com/Clockwork-Wonderland-Emerian-Rich-ebook/dp/B072PTKSSR

#ChillingChat #NachingTKassa

————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

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

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

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Book Review – Ashthorne by April Yates

By staff writer and book blogger Renata Pavrey

 

Title – Ashthorne

Author – April Yates

Genre – Historical fiction, Gothic horror

Publisher – Ghost Orchid Press

In the aftermath of WWI, Adelaide Frost seeks employment as a nurse at Ashthorne – a manor house that has been designated as a convalescence center for soldiers of war. She is sternly informed not to make contact with the house owners, Mr. Ashthorne, and his daughter Evelyn. Her job requires her to work for the injured soldiers without asking any questions. A resident doctor operates in his treatment room, that no one has access to besides the doctor and the patients.

Something is amiss at Ashthorne. Initially dismissed as the after-effects and trauma of fighting and being rendered disabled by war, Adelaide learns there’s more to the soldiers’ wanting to kill themselves and not coming out alive from the doctor’s treatment room. Evelyn has her own suspicions about the evil lurking within her father’s home, but her investigations haven’t revealed much so far. Now, with Adelaide’s help, the two women seek to uncover the truth behind Ashthorne. What happened to Evelyn’s mother, why does her father blindly believe the doctor, who is the priest with much say in the town’s proceedings, can the nurses be trusted, why is the land on which Ashthorne stands so important?

In a short, compact, and concise novella, April Yates packs a punch of a story that covers so much in so few words. I was introduced to Yates’ writing in the short story First Harvest from Blood and Bone, edited by A.R. Ward. I loved that anthology and found every story so outstanding that I looked forward to her debut book. And Yates doesn’t disappoint. With Ashthorne, she creates a world that brings together historical fiction with gothic horror, thriller, and romance. And there’s another world within this world that addresses post-traumatic stress disorder, rehabilitation, homosexuality, religion and medicine, and the role of women in society.

The characters are multi-layered and well-developed. The storyline involves several tangents, but they all fall together nicely. The plot is to the point and quick-paced. Sometimes, novels are so long drawn out, that one wonders why the author had to drag a story that could have been said in a few words. With Ashthorne, you hope for the opposite. The novella is so well written, that one hopes it could have been a longer novel. I would have liked to learn more about the caves and the history of Ashthorne that makes the grounds significant. I love books that blur the lines between thriller and horror, and Ashthorne keeps you wanting to read more.

A haunted house story that incorporates witchcraft, demons, mysterious mirrors, and basements to beware of. As a historical fiction sapphic horror story, Ashthorne is splendidly written and deserves to be read. April Yates is an author to look out for. And kudos to the cover designer!

My rating – 5/5

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Portland Horror Film Fest Day 5 Part 1

 

Live Action Reviews on location! Portland Horror Film Festival 2022. This film festival is a 5-day International Festival of Terror, bringing horror from around the world to creepy Portland, OR, a tree-filled land with a deep and dark history.

This was the morning of day 5…

12-4 pm at the Clinton Street Theater 12 pm – Short Films 5 w/filmmaker Q&A

Bumper: Return

Ordinary Family (CN)

Posted No Hunting

Plantae

Infested Hearts

You Will See Us

Tapehead

In the Dark (CA)

2 pm – Bonus Shorts

Caregiver

The Sickness of Perfection

Stuck (IT)

Safe and Sound

2:30 pm – Feature: Nati Morti (Italy)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red-ram.jpg

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

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

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

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

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

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

Book Review: From Daylight to Madness by Jennifer Anne Gordon

reviewedfixed

Reviewed by Emerian Rich

For: Readers who enjoy Gothic Literature like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Content warning: baby death, mental illness, harm to animals, gaslighting

From Daylight to Madness by Jennifer Anne Gordon is an emotional trek through one lady’s experience with losing her child at birth and how she is mistreated by her husband, mother-in-law, and eventually a hotel they ship her off to.

From Daylight Cover full gold - Jennifer GordonIsabelle is a young wife in the 1870s who has suffered a terrible tragedy. She’s given birth to a son who dies just after he is born. Her controlling husband and mother-in-law do not allow her to see him or even say goodbye. They take the body God knows where and force her to clean up the blood after the tragedy. They don’t allow a grave marker or any sort of service for him. He was not alive, he did not have a name. They keep her drugged up on laudanum and complain that she doesn’t “mourn properly.” 

Finding she can no longer bear children and won’t pop out of her sadness, they send her on a “holiday” at an institution masquerading as a seaside hotel. At the hotel, things go from bad to worse when she meets a cast of characters with real mental problems. One gal, in particular, is deeply twisted.

All things are not horrible at the hotel, however. Isabelle is able to get out from under her husband and mother-in-law’s thumb and experience a little freedom–something she’s never had in her entire life. She also meets another hotel guest who shows her kindness and a little romance blooms in their shared misery.

First, a warning. For readers who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or baby death, this book may be too much for you. The author does a really great job of getting inside Isabelle’s head and making the reader feel the impact of her baby’s death. She is basically haunted–not by a real ghost, but by her grief. She hears her baby’s cry in her head and reminisces frequently about not being able to hold him or say goodbye. She even carries a hatbox with her that she imagines holds him in it, so he is by her side always. 

Passages like… 

“…death had kissed her insides and left her rotting…”

“…Isabelle felt like a fancy dress…poorly made…different parts of her…separating and being held together by straight pins…” 

“…birth leaving her womb nothing more than a tattered old book of gruesome tales better left untold…”

…weave such deep and expressive imagery it’s hard not to put yourself in her place.

The exquisite writing in this book takes place inside Isabelle’s head as she compares the cups of tea and laudanum scattered about the house to little tombstones of her grief, the only sign that her baby ever existed because he did not get a tombstone. 

As a modern woman reading her story it’s difficult because the way others gaslight her is just agonizing. I was infuriated with how her husband and mother-in-law paint a narrative that is unfair and harmful to her. They pass that narrative off to the hotel employees who then drill in the narrative, causing her to constantly question them and herself.

*She had a stillborn, but no…he lived! She heard him crying. 

*She isn’t mourning, but yes she is if anyone was paying attention. 

*She was abandoned by her parents and now has been abandoned again, but no…her parents died, they didn’t mean to leave her. 

People don’t allow her to speak her truth and it made me want to travel to that hotel and make things right. But in the same instance, I know entering the hotel I would just be another casualty hushed up, drugged, and put on the porch to sleep with the other patients, I mean…vacationers.

Although meant for wellness, the island hotel seems a spooky place where spiked tea and her own mental state cause her to lose time and survive in a dream-like state where she isn’t sure what is real or not. She finds a little graveyard of babies there, the truth of that place never fully understood. The hotel is a character itself, akin to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…sunny and bright one moment but hiding dark, dirty secrets the next.

I have to say, I like this book because of how much it jarred me. I went into it hoping to see some ghosts in a haunted hotel but came out of it bloodied by the emotional trip I took with Isabelle. It made me uncomfortable and scarred. If you can handle the harrowing journey, it will be a book you remember for a long time. Just make sure your mental state is strong enough to handle it, tea+laudanum on standby.

Historian of Horror : Herr Sandmann, bringt mir ein Traum

If you translate that title into English, you get the first line of a classic piece of American popular music, recorded by the Chordettes in 1954. In German, however, it refers to a story written in 1817 by an author you probably don’t realize you’re familiar with.

I daresay it would be difficult for anyone with much contact with Western popular culture to have avoided some exposure to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, or its music. Pieces from the suite composed for the ballet have been liberally sprinkled in movies and television shows as long as those media have been able to project sound, and several were animated in the 1940 Disney film, Fantasia. Cities all over the world host performances of the ballet during the Christmas season, and every little girl I know, including my three daughters and my oldest granddaughter, has been taken to their local performance hall to witness the holiday spectacle, live.

No reason boys can’t go, but I can only speak of the children my wife has taken. The mileage in your family may vary. 

The story the ballet is based on is The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, a novella by the German author, E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822). Hoffmann was a prolific writer of fantasy and Gothic horror short stories during his brief life. His stories inspired French composer Jacques Offenbach to set three of them in an opéra fantastique that premiered in 1881, four months after he died.

One of the stories that comprised Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) was “Der Sandmann”, which had first appeared in Hoffmann’s 1817 collection Die Nachtstücke (Night Pieces). “The Sandman” concerns a young man named Nathaniel with a morbid fear of the title entity, a creature who sneaks into children’s rooms to steal their eyes. He returns home from school to find that a lovely young woman named Olimpia is living across the way from him so that his window faces hers. He courts her, but Olimpia’s only reply to his entreaties is “Ah, ah… ah, ah”.

When Nathaniel goes to propose to Olimpia, he finds his professor, Spallanzani, standing over the eyeless body of Olimpia, arguing with the lens maker Coppolla over which of them built the automaton’s clockwork and which made her enamel eyes. Coppolla is revealed to be the villainous Coppelius, who represents the mythical Sandman in Nathaniel’s fantasies and has sought to ruin his life at every opportunity. Nathaniel loses what few marbles he has left by this point, and things go sideways in every awful way imaginable.

Prior to Offenbach’s effort, his fellow Frenchman Adolphe Adam had adapted the story alone as an opéra comique in 1852 under the title La poupée de Nuremberg. It played with significant success at Paris’ Théâtre Lyrique. Fifteen years after Offenbach’s opera premiered, yet another French composer turned the tale into yet another opera. Edmond Audran’s own version, La poupée, opened at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, also in Paris, in 1896.

“Der Sandmann” also provided the inspiration for Leo Delibes’s ballet, Coppélia, which is sometimes subtitled La Fille aux Yeux d’Émail (The Girl with the Enamel Eyes). 

There have been several film versions of the story or one of the works it inspired, including Michael Powell’s stunningly beautiful 1951 film of The Tales of Hoffmann, starring Irish ballerina Moira Shearer as Olimpia in the first section. A 1991 stop-motion animated version created by Paul Berry was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. 

In 2012, Mark Gatiss discussed the story on the BBC radio program, The Uncanny

Not all literary clockwork creations were lovely young ballerinas, however. Some played chess. The automaton in Ambrose Bierce’s 1899 short story “Moxon’s Master” was based on several phony automata that toured the European entertainment circuits in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Poe himself wrote an article exposing one that was called The Turk as a fake, although for the wrong reason, in that a truly automated chess player would never lose. Moxon’s creation turns out to be a sore loser and murders its creator in retaliation of its defeat. The Turk was simply a fallible man hiding inside the machinery.

The Turk was constructed by a German “inventor”, Wolfgang von Kempelen, and later sold to inventor, engineer and showman Johann Nepomuk Mälzel. Mälzel had created a number of working automata, and his reputation ensured that the purely clockwork nature of the Turk would never be questioned. The truth was not revealed until after the Turk was destroyed by fire in 1854. 

***

Our lagniappe for this edition is a swinging little number, Jack & Jim’s 1959 recording, Midnight Monsters Hop. Enjoy! 

And so, as always, my dear devotees of the devilishly diabolical…

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Shadow’s Love : Chapter 11/ Enlightenment

The messenger looked at him approvingly. “She knew you would need some time and told me to tarry a while.”

Lastor was torn between amusement and annoyance. Did she still know him that well? Was he really that predictable? 

“She was…as you say… my wife,” Lastor said, more to himself. He absent-mindedly touched the pocket where her letter was folded and shook his head. “Where do I go?” His eyes narrowed. “How did I not know of this place, this… land below?”

“It is a place of class and civilization – at least that is what they claim. In reality it is nothing more than a cesspool of pompous ostentatious fakes. They have forgotten; that vampires are not gods, merely immortal, victims of circumstance, no more than accidents, or bad timing. They glorify in their status, wallow in it, and deify it.” The messenger shook his head scornfully. “The only ones who crave the land below are those who think they are special, instead of merely different.”

“You still have not explained how I did not know of such a place.” Lastor tapped his foot.

“Think about it, Lastor. Would you seek out such a community? It is relatively new, two or three years strong at most.”

Two years.

Unbidden, Lastor’s mind flashed through the past to a memory from just over two years ago.

  “You don’t know anything about what we are! You just float through the world doing as you please! You never think about what it all means; you don’t care what it all means!” 

Lastor’s eyes narrowed. “And when you learn what it all means, what then? You will suddenly discover your purpose in life? What will they offer you that I cannot?” His tone was scornful.

Audrey’s temper, so near the breaking point these days, was tested again and she had to refrain from picking up something large and heavy and throwing it at Lastor’s head. She contented herself with speaking slowly and clearly, venom dripping from every syllable. “I don’t know, you idiot, but THEY do! That’s the whole point! I DON’T know because of you!”

“They say they know. Nobody knows the meaning of life, Audrey, it means something different for everyone. Nobody can find happiness and meaning for the general population.  Anyone who claims they know it is either manipulating the weak-minded or so self-deluded they actually believe it. Nobody knows why vampires are here. We’re just an accident. A cosmic fuckup.”

“No, you’re just an accident that happened to me! Now I’m stuck like this, something no one knows anything about. At least when I was really human I knew I had a purpose, even if I didn’t know what it was yet, and I knew where I came from. The only way I can stand this is if I at least have some glimmer of what being a vampire means, and you obviously don’t have a fucking clue.”

“What makes you think anyone else does? What makes you think these cretins know anything more than I do? Audrey, the answers you seek DO NOT EXIST. Do you think there are books written with all the answers and I just don’t have them?”

“It wouldn’t surprise me!”

“Go then.” Lastor’s voice was flat and cold, emotionless. 

“What?” Audrey snapped.

“GO ON!!” Lastor roared, eyes blazing. “LEAVE! Go live with your friends wherever they think is good enough, since here obviously isn’t anymore!”

“It never was, I just didn’t know yet,” Audrey sneered, jerking her coat over her shoulders. 

Lastor heard an odd ringing sound in his ears as her voice seemed to echo inside his head and the hateful look in her eyes as she glared at him seemed to magnify, swelling up until her scorn was all he could see, shrouded in red mist.

Without even realizing it, Lastor had crossed the room and lifted her up by the throat, his nails digging in. Trickles of blood dripped down to stain Audrey’s shirt, as he threw her forcefully through the door leading outside. 

***

Lastor blinked, coming to his senses, breathing heavily with the remnants of the red mist still fading. “Indeed.”

The messenger must have guessed what was in his heart, for he quickly resumed talking, grounding Lastor’s thoughts firmly to the present. “The way to the land below is no lighted promenade either. Being underground, naturally, one must go down.” His eyes dropped to a manhole cover nearby.

Lastor’s eyes followed, and then came up to look at the messenger. “You MUST be joking.”

The messenger chuckled. “No. There is an old sewer system that has not been used for decades. It is dry and relatively tidy. Elitists are not likely to sully their feet with mortal filth, I assure you.”

“Well I’m no elitist but I’m not too keen on trudging through sewage, bound for some subterranean promised land.” He pointed a finger at TM. “And you. What are you doing there, if all its residents are phony?”

“I’m sure you will agree, there is benefit in seeming to support the most powerful beings of our kind, artificial as they may be.”

“If you’re lying to me—” Lastor began but TM held up a hand.

“Sir, your lady has already enlightened me as to the consequences of deceiving either of you. I do not wish, as the Lady Spencer has kindly offered, to be bound and gagged by my own intestines as you…er…fornicate in my blood?”

Lastor smiled in spite of himself. “That’s Audrey all right.”

“Ah, but perhaps not for long,” TM said, his face growing dark. “Soon she is to marry the eldest son of the senior member of the Council of Choice, and her personality will be… quite irrelevant.”

Lastor’s smile vanished. “Council…married??”

“Well obviously she would prefer to avoid this eventuality as well, which I daresay is why we are talking now.

Ep. 215 Nightmare Fuel: The Brahmaparusha

nightmarefuel

brahmaparushHello Addicts,

One of the all-time classic creatures of the night is the vampire. Whether it is the debonair aristocrat like Dracula, the punk look of The Lost Boys, or the almost feral pack in 30 Days of Night, we have seen a wide variety of the blood sucking demons. There is, however, another type that doesn’t just stop at blood, and takes a particular revelry in devouring its prey. This week’s Nightmare Fuel looks at the brahmaparusha.

The legend of the brahmaparusha originates from northern India. Hindu legends describe it as a supernatural being who resembles a human, but is a separate species from them. When you come across one, you will find it wearing their last victim’s intestines like a crown around their head, draped around their neck, and wrapped around their waist. In one hand will be a previous victim’s skull, which they will use as a cup to catch your blood in before drinking from it. Once they have finished with your blood, they will then move on to your brains, consuming them as you helplessly watch. After that, they will disembowel you to add your intestines to their collection of adornments before ritualistically dancing around your corpse and then seeking their next victim.

It’s unknown how to create or stop a brahmaparusha. The legends speak of their almost insatiable hunger, thirst, and bloodlust. Sometimes it takes many feedings before they feel satisfied enough to stop for a time. They also take great pride in the kill, doing all that they can to prolong your life and enjoy every delicious morsel of it as you watch, powerless to stop them. Your best bet to keep from becoming one of its victims is to run, hide, and pray that the creature doesn’t find you.

Keep playing hide and go seek, and beware the person wearing entrails like fancy jewelry. If they catch you, you may be next on their menu.

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J.

Logbook of Terror: A dirge for Broken Clocks

   

Braxton didn’t overreact when the hands of his pocket watch started running backward. Like most things in his life, he thought it was a curious phenomenon that needed investigation. At that same moment, a woman passed him on the sidewalk. She nodded with a smile and said something and while her lips moved to the melody of “Good morning”, the words came out of her mouth in reverse. 

    The woman’s eyes went past Braxton to an approaching man. She waved and called out a greeting, or maybe a name, Braxton couldn’t tell because all of the words were backward. Now alarmed and on the verge of overreacting, Braxton rushed the last few steps to his shop and hurriedly let himself in. Once safely inside the Hands of Time Clock Repair and Curio Emporium, Braxton locked the door and took a deep breath. The sound of his own strained breathing eased and gave way to the most horrific sound of all: silence. Dreadful, terrifying…silence.

    In a shop full of hundreds of vintage clocks, there was not one tick, not one tock. Nothing. Braxton shuddered and ran to the back of the shop. 

    A door led to a dark hallway which took Braxton into the deepest recesses of the Emporium. He burst through a last door and there in the center of a high-ceilinged room loomed a massive clock. 

    The clock towered high over Braxton. It had the gnarled face of an ancient being that seemed almost human but entirely something else. Huge, mutant gears encased in flesh turned in a tired, wheezing rhythm. 

    “I’m tired,” the clock said to Braxton, its voice a creaky drone. 

    “What’s wrong, Father?” Braxton asked. 

    “I’m tired,” the clock repeated. 

    Braxton hesitated, then said, “I saw them outside, speaking backward, and all the clocks in our shop have stopped.” 

    “You can fix me,” the clock said. “You know what you must do.”

    With a deep sigh, Braxton unbuttoned his shirt. With pain in his eyes, he worked his skilled hand through his skin and into his chest. A moment later he pulled out a blood-covered gear. Seeing this, the Father smiled with his crooked mouth. 

    Braxton went to the back of the massive clock. Climbing a tall ladder, he searched through a section of the gears until he found a small cog with a broken spoke. Braxton removed the fractured gear and replaced it with the one from his chest. He climbed down and stood in front of the clock. 

    “Try now, Father,” Braxton said.  

    The clock took a deep breath. Braxton waited. The gears began to grind… backward. 

    Every clock in the shop started screaming. A high-pitched, metallic wailing filled the air. 

    Braxton grabbed his chest. “No!”

    “Yes!” Shouted the giant clock. “It is the end!”

    Blood filled Braxton’s eyes. “Please Father, no!” 

    The clock let out a rumbling laugh that shook the shop. The clocks, watches, and time-keeping devices that filled the shop kept screaming. Glass casings shattered. Gears were pulled backward. Time was erasing itself. 

    Braxton fell to the floor. The pain of all of his gears working against themselves filled his body. He collapsed and his life seeped out of him. 

    And all of the clocks in the world cried out in fear and pain as their gears wound in reverse, and then came to a dead and quiet stop.

   With no gears turning, the earth stopped spinning and drifted off into the deepest darkness of space.

    And the Father clock smiled and went to sleep because he was very, very tired indeed. 

HorrorAddicts.net 214, Dana Hammer, Mechanical Horror

halogoHorror Addicts Episode #214 | SEASON 17
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

214 | Dana Hammer | Zwaremachine | Mechanical Horror

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

58 days till Halloween

Theme: #MechanicalHorror #TechHorror 

#KillSwitch

https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Switch-Dan-Shaurette/dp/1096451468

#Terminator #MaximumOverdrive #AIHorror #Midjourney #Travels #WildPalms #ImGonnaKillYa

Music: “Parasol” #Zwaremachine

Catchup: #Halloween #Decor #HalloweenStores #DecorEnvy #MrsCutting #MatildaandHenry #ShopforHalloween #FallGals #HorrorCurated #Haunted Holidays #DigitalMagazine #MidnightSyndicate #LynneHansen #NikoletteJones #AWintersTale #CliffBiggers #November 

Historian of Horror: #MarkOrr #ChopingMall #1986 #TheFly #Aliens #Manhunter #Poltergiest #Fridaythe13th #SecurityRobots #KelliMoroney

Dead Mail: #HorrorFan

CINDY: #HalloweenCostume #Nadja #WhatWeDointheShadows #NadjaDoll

JEFF: #AbneyPark

Abney Park Edwardian Ball 2009 Pics

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MARTIN:  #MaryShelley #HusbandsHeart

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

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NEWS: 

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#Events 

#SecretsUnearthed #125YearsofDracula Sept 23-25

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#SinisterCreatureCon #Sacarmento Oct 22

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#NevadaCity #MinersFoundry Nov 5th

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BayCon Jun-July 2023

Http://www.baycon.org

Feat Author: #DanaHammer #Mowbot #KillSwitch

Voices by #EmerianRich #RishOutfield

https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Switch-Dan-Shaurette/dp/1096451468

#ChillingChat #NachingTKassa

————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

Naching T. Kassa, Jesse Orr, Lionel Green, Kieran Judge, Crystal Connor, Nightshade, R.L. Merrill, Mark Orr, DJ Pitsiladis, Russell Holbrook, Renata Pavrey, CM “Spookas” Lucas, JS O’Connor
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Chilling Chat: Episode #214 – Dana Hammer

chillingchat

Dana Hammer has written several short stories, novels, novellas, and screenplays. She is the author of the short story, “Mow-bot,” featured in the anthology, Kill Switch. She also co-wrote the novella, The Retreat, with Joanna Ramos. Their screenplay of this novella won the 2020 13Horror.com Film and Screenplay Contest. 

Dana Hammer

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

DH: So young I can’t remember the age. I used to stay up late watching Tales from the Darkside and Tales from the Crypt. My family and I used to tell stories about Betsy the Child-Killing Doll. I was like, five at the time. It’s always been a pretty big part of my life, which is a good thing.

NTK: What is your favorite horror novel?

DH: That’s a hard one! It, The Hole, The Stand, Hannibal.

NTK: Favorite horror movie?

DH: Again, so hard to pick! The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Get Out, The Bad Seed.

NTK: Favorite horror television show?

Tales from the Crypt!

NTK: What inspired you to write your story, “Mow-Bot?”

DH: My husband is very into automation. I am not. He purchased a robot vacuum cleaner, and it was bad news. It kept trying to get my feet with its little flippers. Sometimes it ate electrical cords. Sometimes it didn’t obey me at all. It had an “accident” and now it is gone from my life forever, thank god.

A robotic lawn mower is the logical extension of these kinds of terrifying home automation appliances.

NTK: You’re not only a writer, you’re a screenwriter. What is the process of screenwriting like?

DH: It’s like writing a novel, but faster, and neater. In many ways it’s easier because you don’t have to get bogged down with descriptions and interiority – you just tell the story in a series of scenes. It’s actually more suitable for a writer like me, who dislikes flowery language, descriptions of the sky, etc. I’m best at writing dialogue, so performance pieces come more naturally to me.

Except when they don’t. Because sometimes I really WANT to get into someone’s head and write their thoughts. Especially if a character is super compelling or interesting. A novel or a short story allows me to take my time and really explore my character’s perspective.

Screenwriting is more collaborative than other types of writing, and you aren’t necessarily the final authority on the script, because you have to rewrite it over and over to fit the budget, please the director and producers, work in new actors, etc. Novel and short story writing are more solitary, and you are the master of what you write.

NTK: What makes a good screenplay? 

DH: Like a novel or story, it should be a compelling read. It should not contain lazy dialogue. It shouldn’t be overly proscriptive–it needs to allow for creativity on the part of the director, actors, etc. It should at no point contain a scene that cuts away to children acting shocked when they see adults kiss.

NTK: How do you feel about directors?

DH: I LOVE directors. Seriously, I haven’t met one I didn’t like. I’m sure there are terrible directors out there, but in my experience, they are all smart, competent, interesting people.

NTK: Could you tell us about your new book, The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting?

DH: Of course! It’s about a reformed cannibal named Igor. In this world, viral cannibalism has spread throughout the world, and the infected are sent to rehab centers, where they are trained to avoid human meat. They are then sent to live in government-regulated containment centers, where social workers check in on them, to make sure they’re staying on the straight and narrow.

Igor is a disgraced scientist who is also a gigantic bodybuilder with a tattoo on his face. He wants more than anything to find a cure for viral cannibalism, but there’s not much he can do about that, since he is unemployable, due to his condition and history.

When he discovers that his brother is running a cannibal rights cult that is doing some seriously evil stuff, he knows he has to intervene.

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

DH: Right now I’m working on many projects!

I’m in the process of trying to get my middle-grade fantasy novel published. It’s called My Best Friend Athena, and it’s about an eleven-year-old girl who finds out that her best friend is the reincarnated goddess Athena. It’s a light comedy. I’m in the process of writing a sequel to that book, as well, where her brother, Dionysus, tries to enter an extreme eating competition.

I’m also working on a dystopian screenplay where the world is overpopulated and depleted of natural resources, and so the government drafts a certain number of people each year to go into “hibernation”, a state where they use no resources, and are kept in pods for a year. My main character is drafted for this, and is not happy about it.

I also just wrote an outline for a novel called Blister Girl, but I haven’t started it yet. We will see.

I have a short story coming out in an anthology called Literally Dead, which will be published in October of this year. My story is called “A Halloween Visit” which is a stupid title, but a good story! I hate coming up with titles.

My short play “A Helping Hand” will be performed in Hollywood, by Force of Nature Productions. It’s part of a series called “Tales from the Future: Origins” and it features futuristic origin stories for several classic monsters. My piece is about mummies. September 9-11 and 16-18th at The Brickhouse Theater.

My full-length play, The Devil’s Buddy, will be given a reading on October 26th, 8pm, by Skyline Productions, at Oh My Ribs! It’s about a young homeless man whose fortunes change when he becomes the Devil’s errand boy.

My one act, “Spotless” will be given a staged reading on August 27th at Newport Theater Arts center, as part of the OCPA Discoveries even. It’s a serious play about two families who must decide whether or not to wipe a teenage girl’s memory, after an attack.

My short story, “Meteorite” was just published in an anthology called Blood Fiction: An Anthology of Challenging Fiction. Available now on Amazon!

My screenplay, Red Wings, has been optioned by EMA Films, and will hopefully begin filming this year. It’s a hyper-feminist revenge story about a woman whose tampons turn into murdering bats. It’s amazing, though I do say so myself.

Jesus. I’m busy.

Free Fiction : The Hole/ Part 2 by C M Lucas

 As Cassidy-Ann entered the room, the overwhelming scent of the fragrant candle combined with twinkling rainbow lights put her at ease immediately. Bright posters of pop 

stars on the walls were accompanied by intricate building block cityscapes scrolling below.

             This is my room, Cassidy thought. As she wandered over to her daybed, Cassidy-Ann picked up one of her many stuffed animals. The fuzzy, purple bear flashed a stitched smile.

  The bedroom door creaked as it slowly closed. Cassidy-Ann twisted around to glance at the door. Peering back around, the young Cassidy-Ann’s eyes widened as the colourful lights began to darken. Her walls once alive with bright pastels were now muted and dull. Cassidy-Ann began to squeeze the fuzzy bear, only to find it thick with moisture. Glancing down, she glanced at her plush bear now tattered and soiled. Cassidy-Ann ran her hands along the unraveling stitches as her eyes filled with tears. She dropped to her knees, clenching the bear tightly against her chest. 

Looking about the room, the girl dropped her bear. She covered her eyes as tears streamed from the spaces between her fingers. Cassidy-Ann peered up at her dresser and paused. She noticed a picture of her family atop the dresser. Rising to her feet, Cassidy-Ann headed toward her dresser. She glanced at the picture. I remember this. This was before mom got sick, Cassidy-Ann thought as a tear rolled down her freckled cheek, she was so beautiful

Cassidy-Ann’s eyes moved along the picture, There’s d-dad… Who’s that? It’s me again, but I look older, she thought,  his arms are around that gir… me, she pondered.

   “Who’s there?” asks Cassidy-Ann as she spun around to locate the source of the noise. T… The closet. It came from the closet, Cassidy-Ann thought, wandering over to the closet. She wiped the tears from her eyes and reached for the knob. 

“A staircase?” said Cassidy-Ann, glancing down the stairs. “H… Hello…,” she said as she took her first step. The stairs creaked under Cassidy-Ann’s feet, while a faint light from the bottom of the stairs bounced in her eyes.

   Smoke… Cigar s-smoke, thought Cassidy-Ann as she crossed her trembling arms. Suddenly, the walls began to close in on her. Jagged bricks compressed and squeezed young Cassidy-Ann as immense pressure from behind caused her to wince. The walls closed in until there was nowhere left to go. The blood vessels in Cassidy-Ann’s eyes began to pop as liquid slowly rose, filling the narrow space.

   Young Cassidy-Ann began to wiggle frantically as the liquid rose ever closer to her mouth. As the liquid slowly made its way beyond her nose, Cassidy-Ann’s submerged, condensed body experienced a final thrust of extreme pressure that sent her careening out of the constricted space. 

   Cassidy-Ann opened her eyes as dim, yellow light saturated the area. Trembling as she rose off the concrete floor, she waved her arm to disperse a thick cloud of smoke in her face. Glancing at the concrete walls stained with tobacco smoke and the rattling water heater, she began to rub her wrists but quickly stopped, placing her hands in her pockets.   The basement… I-, Cassidy-Ann thought before her thoughts disappeared as she rounded the corner.  Her breath visible; her body shivering, Cassidy-Ann froze in place as her eyes widened.

   “D-Daddy?” said the trembling girl as she gazed at the back of the ebony-haired man peering out the lone basement window. His posture arched; his head an inch away from the ceiling as he stood cramped within the basement. 

   Cassidy-Ann motioned toward the man. Her knees shaking as she peered down at her feet, she approached. The plush, purple bear lay at the feet of the man as a cloud of smoke loomed above his head.

   “… D-Daddy?” said Cassidy-Ann. The man peered to his side. He dropped his cigar as the walls dissolved into darkness. The dull, yellow light illuminating the centre of the void as Cassidy-Ann slowly moved away. Suddenly, the man’s eyes met hers as he twisted around. 

“W… Who are you?” Cassidy-Ann asked as her bloodshot eyes began to fill with tears. The man glared at Cassidy-Ann. The deep yellow of his eyes shone as his vertical pupils focused on the trembling girl.  Young Cassidy-Ann fell to the ground as the man began to gyrate violently. 

She scurried away as the man’s limbs began to contort; his clothes ripping at the seams as the man’s body widened and stretched in all directions. As his limbs retracted into his body, the man’s body continued to stretch. Cassidy-Ann covered her eyes as the man growled. A rumbling hiss pierced Cassidy-Ann’s ears as she removed her shaky hands from her eyes.

The eclipsing shadow bathed her in darkness; the piercing, neon glow of the creature’s eyes glared at young Cassidy-Ann. Vertical pupils focused to fine slits as a forked tongue slid along glistening fangs. As the creature Inched closer to the girl, Cassidy-Ann continued to move away. The serpent reared back and lunged forward with fangs extended. Cassidy-Ann leapt out of the way, sprinting into the void. 

   Coming to an abrupt stop, the young girl, forced to a halt as flames slowly rose, encircling Cassidy-Ann, and the giant serpent in a glowing ring of fire. The serpent smiled; viscous liquid oozing from its fangs as it slithered back through the flames and into the darkness.

   Cassidy-Ann twisted every which way to locate the menacing creature. Heavy breathing bombarding her ears from the void, hissing echoing in the darkness.  Cassidy-Ann twisted around, alerted by the sound of shuffling scales as the serpent lunged toward her. Cassidy-Ann vaulted out of the way of the charging reptile as its fangs collided with the concrete floor.

   The girl spun around to view the serpent as the monstrous reptile struggled to free its fangs from the concrete. The creature glared at Cassidy-Ann as she quivered in place. The serpent’s tongue unraveled from its mouth, wrapping around her ankle, pulling her toward the scaled beast’s gaping mouth. Cassidy-Ann struggled, scraping and clawing at the concrete floor, she twisted around to face the menacing reptile.

   Cassidy-Ann sank her teeth into the giant serpent’s tongue. The reptile chuckled as its tongue continued to draw her closer. Cassidy-Ann struck the beast’s fang with her foot, causing it to break. The reptile squealed and retreated into the darkness. Young Cassidy-Ann rose to her feet. Wiping the tears from her eyes, an intense anger washed over her face.

   “Come on!” screamed, Cassidy-Ann as she clenched her fists and glared past the flames into the void. As laughter echoed from the darkness, Cassidy-Ann continued to glare into the void. 

The serpent lunged from behind the girl. Cassidy-Ann bent over, reaching for the reptile’s broken fang as the surging beast’s forked tongue ran along its scaled lips. As the serpent reached Cassidy-Ann, she spun around, plunging the broken fang into the beast’s eye. The serpent continued to speed toward Cassidy-Ann as the broken fang plunged deeper into the beast’s eye until it penetrated the reptile’s brain.

   The serpent fell to the ground. Drenched in the beast’s blood, the trembling girl stood silent. A single tear ran down her flushed, freckled cheek as she turned around to face the serpent. Cassidy-Ann’s dejected mood became dispassionate as the once menacing snake vanished, leaving the cigar-smoking man face down in its place. 

   As she walked toward the man, she noticed the family picture within his hand. Cassidy-Ann dropped to her knees as the man disappeared. The flaming circle slowly faded away as the darkness began to surround her. Cassidy-Ann covered her eyes and wept. 

  As the whimpering softly echoed into the darkness, a small shaft of light from the void peaked out from behind young Cassidy-Ann. The beam of light shone on the family picture, illuminating a young, vibrant Cassidy-Ann.

The End.

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Portland Horror Film Fest Day 4

 

Live Action Reviews on location! Portland Horror Film Festival 2022.

This film festival is a 5-day International Festival of Terror, bringing horror from around the world to creepy Portland, OR, a tree-filled land with a deep and dark history.

This was day Four …

Saturday, July 2 12-5 pm at the Clinton Street Theater Horror by Women Double Feature & Short films

12 pm – Feature: Stag (US) w/director Alexandra Spieth

1:45 pm – Short Films 4 w/filmmaker Q&A

Bumper: The Body

The Boy Who Woke Up Dead

Spaghetti Face

I’ll Never Be Alive Again

A Conversation with E (CA)

The Cookie Crumbles

The Strong Box

The Last Christmas (CA) 3:10 pm – Feature: Maya (Pakistan) w/director K/XI

 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red-ram.jpg

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

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

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

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

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

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

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Forty-Seven: Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories

The aptly titled Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories is a sampler of collected tales by prolific Bigfoot author and fly-fishing guide Rusty Wilson. According to Amazon, Wilson has written 24 books from 2010 to 2021, mostly about the “Big Guy.”

Released in 2011, Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories is a logical place to start on Wilson’s catalog, which features tales of Bigfoot encounters told by a half-dozen of his fly-fishing clients. 

Each entry includes an informal introduction about the storyteller. Their first-person narratives are plainspoken and sometimes folksy. For example, one storyteller says, “Oh sweet holy Scooby Doo” when seeing Bigfoot tracks. 

The opener titled “The Wild Cave” is told by a man named Jeremy, who found himself lost and injured inside a Colorado cave with a red-eyed, rock-throwing, smelly beast. 

Like “The Wild Cave,” most of the stories highlight the fear engendered by a possible Bigfoot encounter. 

In “Lunch Guests,” a land surveyor in Montana shares his experience as a pair of curious, whistling Bigfoot interrupt the crew’s work. 

“Peddling with Disaster” is the most traumatic of the stories as a woman’s friend goes missing on a mountain bike ride in Colorado.

In “Black Hand at Box Canyon,” a woman is lost and falls off a cliff. While clinging to a life-saving bush, she sees “a pair of green eyes staring at me from a massive black body.” 

My favorite tale is “Do the Monster Twist” because it attributes Bigfoot for saving a couple’s lives during a tornado in Nebraska. 

The last story, “Devil’s Playground,” details a sighting of more than two dozen Bigfoot near a lake in northern California. 

“The Bigfoot children swam and played just like human kids would, and the adults seemed to be visiting, just like humans,” the storyteller says. 

Of course, these are campfire stories, and even Wilson is not sure which ones are authentic or farfetched. 

“It’s listener beware,” Wilson writes. 

Whether real or imagined, Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories does provide insight into how humans view Bigfoot. There’s a mixture of awe and curiosity but mostly fear and some sympathy. Either way, if you like the storytelling approach to Bigfoot in this collection, there are more than a dozen books of Wilson’s Campfire Stories to check out. Click HERE to visit Wilson’s Amazon page.

NEXT UP: Chapter Forty-Eight: Bigfoot Country. I review the 2017 film directed by Jason Mills.


RELATED LINKS

THE BIGFOOT FILES

Book Review: Falling by Drew Turney

Review by Veronica McCollum

Drew Turney’s book was quite an unexpected treasure. I kept thinking it was almost over and then it would go on with more thrills and chills. The book lives up to its title. The story revolves around the main character Dale and his friends and support system. The story centers around the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The picture you see in the beginning is kind of scary on its own.  Turney does a great job of giving details and making you feel like you are there with the characters. Falling has a lot of the main horror thrills: the paranormal, monsters, gore, and some violence. I liked the book as the author had a good foundation for his story and had some futuristic ideas that were very interesting.

I really liked the arc of the story. I was hooked from the beginning to the end wondering what would happen next. I am not normally afraid of bridges, but it sure made me not ever want to be stuck on them. I felt transported by the book and what was happening to the characters. I don’t want to give away any of the story but the monsters and scientific ideas were exciting and great to read. I always considered falling to be one of my greatest fears, and this book reinforces that! 

The story premise I thought was amazing. I didn’t have any complaints about the book except, that it does have a subject that not all readers will like. The author explains why he kept this in the story and it makes sense to keep the story moving along. The book was very engaging and well thought out. The horror worked well and it had sci-fi horror as well .

Historian of Horror : Republic Robots Running Rampant!

In 1935, Herbert J. Yates ran a small film processing laboratory in Hollywood. He’d been processing movies for the major studios for several years, but when they all decided to take care of that chore in-house, Yates needed to diversify in order to keep afloat in the midst of the Great Depression. He managed to acquire six small Poverty Row studios, and combined them into one mini-major studio he called Republic Pictures.

One of the six, Mascot Pictures, provided Yates with three things that make this little foray into the history of celluloid mechanical horrors possible: experience in producing movie serials going back into the silent era; the former Mack Sennett studio; and the recent discovery of singing cowboy Gene Autry.

Serials, or cliffhangers for those of you who remember Annie Wilkes talking about them in Misery (“He didn’t get out of the cock-a-doodie car!”), were cheaply made adventure films broken up into ten to fifteen chapters intended to be shown on successive Saturday afternoons for the kiddie crowd, mostly. Mom would drop her brood off at the local cinema with a dime for admission and another for snacks, and they’d be entertained by a couple of B-movies, cartoons, assorted short subjects, and a serial chapter long enough for the materfamilias to run her errands. Good clean fun, with plenty of violence but no sex.

Yates’s first venture into serial making made use of his new film star, as well as the well-appointed studio he’d inherited from Sennett. Before Autry went on to become the biggest western star in the world (yes, bigger than John Wayne for his most active years), and long before he owned the Los Angeles Angels baseball team, he starred in one chapterplay for the new studio, The Phantom Empire (1935). Starting off from his day job as a radio performer, Autry discovered an underground kingdom under his ranch. Murania was a technologically advanced civilization that made extensive use of robots. Hence, the title of this installment. Gene managed to escape Murania and save Radio Ranch from the bad guys who were after his radium mine, all in twelve chapters. 

Autry soon switched over to making B-Westerns and was known as the “King of the Cowboys” until going off to fight in World War II. After the war, Autry finished out his contract with Republic, then transferred to Columbia for the remainder of his movie and television career. He passed away in 1998, at the age of 91.

A year after Autry triumphed over the Muranians, former stuntman and future Terror from Beyond Space Ray “Crash” Corrigan found similar adventures in Atlantis in another twelve-chapter serial, Undersea Kingdom. Future Wolf Man Lon Chaney, Jr. played one of the main villain’s henchmen. Once again, the villains had robots to assist them in their nefarious schemes. 

Republic let a few years go by before throwing another mechanized marvel at the Saturday afternoon audience. One of the best serials ever, Mysterious Doctor Satan, is rumored to have been intended as the first Superman chapterplay, but if so negotiations with DC Comics fell through. Instead, a generic hero called Copperhead took on the title villain and his mechanical monster. When the fifteen chapters were spliced together a few years later into feature length, the resulting version was called Dr. Satan’s Robot. That’s how I first saw it on our local television station’s afternoon movie, The Big Show, in the Summer of 1973. 

Republic got out of the mechanical monster business after that, although their robots were later recycled for serials at Columbia and Universal. Almost immediately, they made the first two serials based on comic book characters, Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941) and Spy Smasher (1942), before ceding that source to Columbia, who managed to make two Superman cliffhangers near the end of the decade. Television killed off the serials by 1956, and Republic shut down production in 1958.

Speaking of Columbia, they featured their own version of a robot terror in 1945’s The Monster and the Ape, with the aforementioned Ray Corrigan in a gorilla suit helping to steal the mechanical marvel from its inventor. From hero to monkey in the short span of nine years – quelle horreur!

Universal made one significant contribution to the pantheon of serialized mechanical monsters in 1939. Bela Lugosi starred in The Phantom Creeps, in which he created what had to be the creepiest robot ever filmed. It was so memorable that DC Comics even adapted it in Movie Comics #6. The Phantom Creeps was one of several serials Lugosi starred in, but the only one featuring a robot. Pity, he demonstrated quite a knack for constructing them.

And so, all who are intrigued by the inhuman, until we meet again…

Be afraid…

Be very afraid.

Shadow’s Love : Chapter 10 – Desperate Plea

Lastor was awakened by a knocking at the door of his hotel room. He lifted his head, tasting the brandy. His head spun, punctuated by knocking. Groping his way upright, Lastor scrabbled for the bathroom doorknob, finally found it, cursing, and opened the door. His head did not explode in agony, so he opened his eyes. The blinking red numbers said 10.30pm. At least the sun was finally gone.

But then… who the hell was knocking at his door at 10.30?

“Go away,” he croaked at it. “I’m paid for the week.”

“No, sir,” said the door, polite and calm. “I bring a letter, for your eyes only.”

Lastor rolled his eyes. “From who?”

“The Lady Audrey Spencer.”

The next thing the messenger knew, the door had crashed open and he was suddenly seized by the throat with iron fingers, pulled into the room, and slammed up against the wall as a dark shadow roared “WHO sent you???”

The messenger reached up and adjusted the glasses Lastor had knocked askew. “The Lady Audrey Spencer, sir. She was very adamant about it. I was told –” 

“I don’t care what she told you. Give me the letter, NOW.” Lastor grated, his eyes blazing.

The messenger reached into his pocket and withdrew an envelope. Lastor snatched it and dropped him roughly, breaking the wax seal before the messenger hit the ground. Lastor pulled out the letter and immediately was assaulted by an all too familiar scent that erased any doubts as to the letter’s origin.

Audrey.

My Love

I realize you want me dead for what I’ve done to you. The irony is that I have been dying inside since last I saw you, and if you want me dead, all you have to do is nothing. I no longer understand my actions – their way has escaped me. I know you won’t trust a word of this; you would be a fool to, particularly now, but not half the fool I am for having to say these empty meaningless words: I’m sorry. 

I am betrayed., and now their prisoner. I was first tempted by the answers they dangled before me, only to learn too late that they are nothing more than lies spun by a crafty spider. They will kill me if I try again to escape. Their coldness numbs my aching heart as my blood grows ever weaker and more sluggish. 

Please, Lastor, save me from this. Only you can return me to myself. I do not live without you. I have always been

Yours,

Audrey

***

Lastor’s eyes rose from the letter to the messenger’s face. “Where is she?”

“She is being held in the land below, deep underground,” the messenger said.

“What makes her think I would do anything to help her?” 

“She was your wife before, was she not?”

Lastor crushed the paper and threw it to the side. “I think ‘was’ is the key word there, little man. Now leave, before I kill the messenger.”

The little man brushed himself off and stepped over the rubble in the doorway, stopping to look back at the vampire. “Then you never really loved her anyway.”

Before Lastor could move or react, the messenger was gone. 

Lastor stood with the messenger’s words ringing in his ears over and over, burning into his subconscious. Finally, he moved to the door, barring it as best he could. Going to the dresser, he pulled out a half bottle of whiskey and drained it. Drunkenly throwing the bottle aside and not really hearing it shatter, Lastor stumbled toward the corner which housed the crumpled paper. Unfolding it, Lastor read the letter again, slowly. 

He left the hotel room, barely discernible from the shadows in the dim hall. His long black coat wrapped around him like a shroud, his pale face the only thing to show through the darkness. His eyes, dark and cloudy for so long, now burned with a fiery purpose. The hooker sitting in the stairway saw and hastened to move out of his path, a stained needle still hanging from her arm, teeth as gnarled as her veins. Lastor’s eyes swept over her, noting her indiscernibly. Pausing in his stride, he looked at her. Deaf to her protests, he plucked the syringe from her wasted arm, snapping it beneath his boot. 

“Hey – what the—”

The hooker started upright angrily but Lastor grabbed her face and threw her sideways, knocking her head against the wall. She slumped to the floor, senseless as he stepped over her, wiping his hand fastidiously on his coat.

Stepping out onto the street, Lastor inhaled deeply, tasting the air. Without hesitating, he turned left, following the messenger’s smell.

Lastor pushed a door open and was immediately assaulted by the pounding of industrialized gothic beat. The walls were black with red trim and the babble of voices almost drowned out the music. Different kinds of smoke hung thick in the air. Dimly lit bodies in various stages of undress undulated beneath multicolored lighting. A DJ with a bored face was mixing techno at an elevated console behind a spool of razor wire.

As Lastor’s eyes moved over the room, he spotted the messenger sipping something red from a rocks glass and playing with a cherry stem as he nodded politely at the pretty thing that was chatting him up. As Lastor watched, the messenger stood up and said something to the pretty girl, taking her empty glass, before picking his way delicately through the crowd to the bar. 

Lastor moved between the patrons and materialized behind the messenger, waiting for him to deposit the empty glasses on the bar, before grabbing him by the back of the collar and steering him forcefully through the crowd and out a nearby service entrance. The messenger did not look surprised to see him.

“You will tell me how to get to the land below,” Lastor said. 

 

Ep. 214 Nightmare Fuel: Bostian’s Bridge Ghost Train

Train Wreck of Bostian Bridge, Iredell County, NC. Wreck occurred August 27, 1891, near Statesville. Photos by Stimson Studio, Statesville, NC, courtesy of the State Archives of NC.

Hello Addicts,

We consider trains the lifeblood of the United States. They were one of the earliest forms of fast interstate travel, predating the automobile and airplanes. Many a western movie featured the train as a mainstay setting, second perhaps to the horse. They were also prone to horrendous accidents from jumping the tracks. These accidents have spawned legends about people seeing a train wreck replayed or a train on otherwise unused tracks. In this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we look at one such tale of a ghost train.

Early on the morning or August 27, 1941, a Statesville, NC, woman was waiting along the side of the road near Bostian’s Bridge, a sixty-foot-high arch bridge made of stone spanning over Third Creek. The tire on the car she rode in had gone flat and her husband left to find help, leaving her alone. As she waited for his return, she noticed a train approaching and watched as it reached the halfway point on the bridge and left the tracks. She saw the wooden cars pulled down to the creek and heard the screams of pain after it hit the water. Concerned, the woman followed the sounds until she came across the twisted wreck. The train lay in the creek, taking on water while passengers tried to climb free. She heard a car pull up on the road and ran to get help, knowing time was of the essence.

The car was her husband returning with help. When the men heard the wife’s tale, all three went back to the creek to see what they could do to help. What they found was an empty creek. There were no signs of any accidents having occurred, much less the catastrophic one the wife had seen. The couple later found out that there had been a train wreck in that same creek, only it happened fifty years prior. On August 27, 1891, a passenger train running from Salisbury to Asheville plunged into Third Creek from Bostian’s Bridge. The cause remained a mystery, but twenty-two people died in that accident.

People still report sightings of the Bostian’s Bridge ghost train, which eventually led to an unfortunate tragedy. On August 27, 2010, a group of amateur ghost hunters were investigating on the bridge when an actual train came along. They reportedly thought it was the ghost train, so didn’t get off the tracks until it was on top of them, resulting in two injuries and one death.

There are far more legends of ghost trains spanning the world. Wherever there are train tracks, you’ll find a haunting legend attached. Just be cautious when investigating them. You never know if the light at the end of the bridge or tunnel is an actual train or a phantom one.

Until next time, Addicts,

D.J.

Logbook of Terror : Fluffy Loves You!

   

The cold, dark eyes of the poofy white mechanical cat gazed up at Yates. The toy’s mouth shot open and, in a sing-song voice it said, “I’m Fluffy!” 

    Yates chuckled. “It’s so cute.”

    “For the price, it goddamn better be,” Poppy said, sitting their drinks on the coffee table and sinking into the couch.

    “You think she’ll like it?” Yates asked. 

    Poppy smirked. “Of course she will, she’s four. And besides, Katie loves cats.” 

    “Why don’t we have an actual cat, then?” Yates asked, looking puzzled. 

    “Are you kidding?” Poppy huffed. “Those things are disgusting.”

    Yates looked down at Fluffy’s innocent, adorable face. The tan eyebrows turned down and the sweet expression became a menacing glare. 

    Yates’ face crumpled. 

    Poppy absently sipped her drink and stared into the images moving across the television screen. 

    A low growl rumbled out of the toy cat. 

    Yates hopped up from the floor and handed Fluffy to Poppy. “Hold this, I gotta pee.” He hurried from the room and slipped up the stairs. 

    Already feeling the effects of her codeine cough syrup and whiskey nightcap, Poppy sat the toy kitty on the table and gave the thing a hard stare. After turning her attention back to the TV show, Poppy had the distinct sensation that she was being watched. Her eyes darted to Fluffy, whose wide-eyed gaze was fixed on her. 

     Poppy narrowed her eyes. “Stop looking at me,” she said. 

    “Fluffy loves you!” The doll chirped. 

    “Yeah? Well, I don’t care,” Poppy replied. 

***

    Yates was looking in on Katie when Poppy’s shrill shrieking attacked his ears. Startled out of the peaceful moment of watching his daughter sleep, he raced back down to the living room. 

    The metallic smell of fresh blood curdled his nostrils as Yates rounded the corner to see his wife sprawled across the couch, her throat ripped from her neck. Fluffy the mechanical cat sat on the coffee table, cleaning a paw, her white fur soaked in blood. 

    Yates stared at the corpse of his wife on the couch. 

    A small voice echoed from the bottom of the stairs, asking, “Is she dead?” 

    Yates smiled. “She sure is, honey.” 

    Katie ran to her father and leapt into his arms. 

    “You’re a genius, little girl, it worked just like you said it would.” 

    “It wasn’t me, daddy, it was the toy maker. He told me Fluffy would help get rid of mean mommy.”

    Yates looked at Fluffy. Smiling wide, he said, “Well, she sure did.” 

    Fluffy’s eyes grew big and bright. Drenched in blood and bits of viscera, she squealed, “Fluffy loves you!”  

    “Yay!” Katie yipped with joy.

    And Yates hugged his daughter tight and thought about the hole at the edge of his vegetable garden. Human flesh does make for wonderful fertilizer, yes it does indeed.  

Josie Pace Interview From William Zimmerman

 

What TV/movie horror character do you most identify with and why?

I feel like I always identify with the misunderstood villains, I can always see their side of things for the most part. But every time I watch “The Lost Boys” I feel an absolute connection with David…a kick-ass hair connection that is, and who wouldn’t want to be an awesome vampire with platinum hair?

What is the most frightening thing you’ve written about as a lyricist?

I think the most frightening thing I’ve written about is death/ loss of someone close to me. I’ve written about losing my close friend in a car accident and also losing my friend and manager to suicide. It is scary but everyone can relate to losing someone. Writing about it really helps my grieving process and it definitely keeps my memories of them closer to me.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

I pull from emotions from personal experiences, nature, and even solitude. All of these things really inspire songs and pull from deeper parts of myself. I am constantly getting ideas from scents that remind me of past events which bring up emotions and things I have forgotten about.

What is the meaning behind the album name, ‘IV0X10V5’?

We took the name “IV0X10V5” (pronounced noxious) from my song “Battleground”. Whilst shooting the music video, my friend and artist painted the lyrics of the song onto my body to mimic tattoos. Across my collar bone, she painted noxious, but the way that she painted it looked more like how we write it for the album. Almost like leet speak. It just stuck with us ever since then.

If you could re-score any horror movie or tv show, what would it be?

I love the soundtrack to The Craft and I think it would be SO fun to re-score it with some modern music with keeping the feel of the 90s. I’d kill to hear my songs in a horror movie.

What are your favorite horror movies?

I would have to say my favorite horror movies are Scream (1996), Raw, and Donnie Darko. I love the cheesy jump scares of Scream. And both Scream and Raw have some awesome amounts of bloodiness. But the psychological aspects of all three of these movies are so interesting I could watch them a thousand times.

What was the scariest night of your life?

I have quite a few, but one that sticks in my head is when I was flying back to MI from Cali. I absolutely hate flying but I suck it up for the most part and wear my brave face even if I have to bring a stuffed animal on the flight with me. The flight was about 5 hours and I remember it being the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. At one point we had dropped altitude so fast that my arms flew into the air. I was certain we would be falling out of the sky at any moment. I had put on a movie before takeoff and I didn’t watch any of it. I was gripping the armrests and squeezing my eyes shut for the ENTIRE flight. I was scared out of my mind.

My heart never beat so hard. I remember getting off the flight and being absolutely drained. My arms were sore from gripping the armrests for so long. Not super scary to most but it is one of my biggest fears.

If you could bring back greats who have passed on, who would be your

undead opening band?

There are so many that I would love to bring back. Recently I’ve been listening to Alice in Chains and I would love to bring back Layne Staley, his voice is so iconic and his songwriting was so unique. I would bring back Taylor Hawkins on drums, have to have Jimi Hendrix on guitar and John Lennon on the bass.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the Horror Addicts?

Thank you for checking out my interview, now “We’re friends till the end, remember?” -Chuckie (Childs Play [1988])

http://www.josiepace.com

https://www.facebook.com/JosiePaceGSM

https://www.instagram.com/josiepacemusic_official_/

https://josiepace.bandcamp.com/

“I’m Begging You” Music Video

 

HorrorAddicts.net 213, Jonathan Fortin, Heavy Metal

halogoHorror Addicts Episode #213 | SEASON 17
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

213 | Jonathan Fortin | Against I | Heavy Metal

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

72 days till Halloween

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————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

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

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The Hole by C M Lucas

The moonlight bounces off the screen door’s spotted glass as it swings open and slams against the bricked wall of the back porch. A streak of black hair trails behind a young girl as she sprints through the short grass. Making her way toward a tool shed, the grass noticeably higher around the perimeter, the aging wood panels creak as she approaches the shed’s door.

 Her name is Cassidy-Ann, and she often finds herself retreating to this shed late at night. As tears stream down her flushed, freckled cheeks, she wipes them away with her sleeves.   

    As Cassidy-Ann makes her way into the shed, she has a look about the shed. Squeezing through the space between the workbench and the drafting table, Cassidy-Ann perches up on her tiptoes to reach the light switch. Rubbing her eyes as they adjust to the rich yellow light, she hops atop the splinter-covered bench. Her legs dangled from the bench; her hands rubbing her wrists, Cassidy-Ann’s eyes begin to dry while her breathing stabilizes.

   She peers down at a dark corner of the shed. What’s that? Cassidy-Ann wondered. Sliding down off the bench, squinting as she glances at a pile of wood planks on the floor.    “Who put those there? D-daddy?” She asked. As a large, gap-toothed smile forms across her face, Cassidy-Ann lifts the Cedar planks, uncovering a fresh pothole in the soil. Cassidy-Ann begins to dig and claw at the shallow pothole. Clumps of dirt fly through the air as her gap-toothed smile widens. 

    “What is this?” Cassidy-Ann asked as she uncovered a descending abyss. She peered into the hole. A shaft of faint light shone into Cassidy-Ann’s eyes. After taking in a large breath of air, she crawled into the hole. Descending deeper into the darkness, the shaft’s walls began to narrow. The soft soil walls now ruff and ridged, squeezing Cassidy-Ann’s body as she continued down the hole. 

A surge of pressure pushed young Cassidy-Ann deeper into the abyss. She winced as the pressure increased. A final burst of pressure sent Cassidy-Ann toward the shaft of light, as her hands clasped tightly over her eyes.

    “… Where am I?” asked Cassidy-Ann as she rose to her feet. Brushing the wet soil off her body frantically, young Cassidy-Ann grasped her wrists and begins to rub them. Noticing the nervous quirk, Cassidy-Ann swiftly plunged her hands into her pockets. Peering down at the ground, then slowly glancing up. Music? A tunnel? What is all this? she thought, swiftly moving through the corridor. Cassidy-Ann ran her hands along the grey bricks as she headed toward the source of the music. A small smile formed as she discovered the source of the music.

    “A caro…what’s it called again? A carousel. That’s what…d-daddy called it,” said Cassidy-Ann, slowly making her way forward.

   “Hello?” Cassidy-Ann yelled, her voice echoing back. The carousel’s horses began to bob up and down as she stretched to climb atop the circling ride.  She smiled as she reached down to run her hand along the first horse’s ebony mane. 

She’s so sad, Cassidy-Ann thought as a sudden surge of speed forced the girl off her feet. Twisting around, Cassidy-Ann glanced up as the shadow of the approaching rear horse engulfed her. Cassidy-Ann grasped her wrists, rubbing frantically. 

    As she moved away, the ebony-maned horse toppled over, crashing through the carousel’s base. 

   I… I didn’t mean to, she thought as the carousel came to a stop and the lights began to dim. A jagged hole where once the ebony-maned horse stood grabbed Cassidy-Ann’s attention. On bright red knees, the girl crawled over to the fracture within the carousel’s base. Cassidy-Ann began to slide in.

   The girl struggled as she was clenched tight within the hole’s binding walls. Tears squeezed out of the tightly closed eyes of Cassidy-Ann while the pressure forced her ever deeper into the unknown. It hurts, Cassidy thought as the pressure increased, and the walls tightened around her. With a final burst of pressure, Cassidy was expunged from the hole. Covered in mucky soil, her once colourful clothes now muted, Cassidy-Ann opened her eyes to gaze upon the ebony-maned horse lying in front of her feet. The horse’s cracked snout pointed toward an endless hallway filled with mirrors. 

Glancing up and down as she walked through the hallway, Cassidy-Ann looked about in awe as she passed by the vast assortment of mirrors lining the walls. Cassidy-Ann abruptly stopped as she glanced into the mirror before her. Th… That’s me, but… I look like a teenager, Cassidy-Ann thought. She glared at her distressed, faded coloured clothes. 

With a furrowed brow, Cassidy-Ann glared at the moist filth covering her body. She clenched her fists as her freckled cheeks began to flush. This is your fault, isn’t it? She thought. Cassidy-Ann snarled. She thrust her fist into the mirror, causing it to shatter. 

Suddenly, all the other mirrors came crashing to the ground. Sparkling fragments of glass lay at Cassidy-Ann’s feet. As she stood trembling, A trickle of blood streamed down the back of her leg.

   “… All your fault,” said Cassidy-Ann, her expression now neutral as she glared at a dimly lit door once concealed by the mirror. As young Cassidy-Ann approached, the image became clear. The familiar shade and scent of a gingerbread cookie candle made it obvious to her that this isn’t just a door, but an inviting, comfortable place she knew well. A small smile now adorning her face, Young Cassidy-Ann turned the handle and entered.

  To be continued…

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Portland Horror Film Fest Day 3

 

 

Live Action Reviews on location! Portland Horror Film Festival 2022. This film festival is a 5-day International Festival of Terror, bringing horror from around the world to creepy Portland, OR, a tree-filled land with a deep and dark history. This was day three …

Friday, July 1 7-11 pm at the Hollywood Theatre

7 pm – Short Films 3 w/filmmaker Q&A Bumper:

The Beast in the Bedroom

Welcome

Shadow of a Silhouette

I’ll Be Back Tomorrow

7 Minutes In Hell Love You,

Mama (CA) #Nofilter

Hell Hole

In The Shadow of God (CA)

9 pm – Bonus Shorts Smile (CA) Relax with Draco While Mortals Sleep 9:30 pm – Feature: Woodland Grey (Canada)

 

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

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

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

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

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

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

Book Review: “Twenty Years Dead” by Richard Farren Barber

twenty years deadHello Addicts,

What if we lived in a world where the dead remain in their grave for a limited amount of time before coming back? That is the basis of many zombie and reanimated dead stories. Usually, there is no reason given or really needed in most cases. It just happens. In those stories, the way to return them to eternal rest is by injuring the body in some fashion. Richard Farren Barber looks at the reanimated dead, and how they behave, differently in “Twenty Years Dead”.

The dead behave differently in David Chadwick’s world. They get buried after they die, but, rather than stay in their grave for eternity, their spirit is returns to the body exactly twenty years after their final breath. The corpses are in a panic, a little crazy, and quick to lash out after emerging from the ground. While they are not driven by a need for blood and brains, they need a reminder of who they were and to be calmed so their spirit can move on. This process can be dangerous to someone who doesn’t know what they are doing or unprepared, so a new profession is born — Family Directors. They take care of the dead on behalf of the families for a fee, and most are good at what they do.

David, however, falls into a different category. He is one who feels they can take care of the crossing over by themselves. They watch YouTube videos, read all that they can about the procedure, and purchase all the recommended tools. They choose to do it themselves more out of cost and feeling an obligation to take care of their own, even in death.

For David, there is a more personal reason for being at his father’s gravesite when he rises. He was only five when his dad died, and his mother has done everything possible since to erase him from their home and their lives. The more she tells him to leave it alone, however, the more he thinks she is hiding something. He knows he only gets one opportunity to ask his father what happened to him, so he settles in to wait for the rising.

His girlfriend, Helen, joins him despite thinking he should let the professionals handle the rising. During the night, they assist a Family Director with a rising, which is admittedly more chaotic than either expected. They have second thoughts about what they are doing after one of the risen kills a lesser experienced Director. David is ill prepared when his father finally rises, and memories that rise with the dead man.

This was a well-done story that offered a different take on the reanimated dead. Rather than being mindless zombies guided by their base desires of eating and spreading their disease, there is a more practical and spiritual approach to the story. I enjoyed the slow build and how David changed from being so sure of what he was doing because he saw it online, to uncertainty, and finally realizing how over his head he really was. The ending was more of a surprise than I expected and felt appropriate. I recommend curling up with this book on an overcast night with a cup of hot tea handy.

You can find “Twenty Years Dead” at Crystal Lake Publishing, Amazon, Bookshop, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, or through your local bookstore. 

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J.

Shadows Love Chapter 9 : Tortured

Lastor lay there with Audrey wrapped around him, lost in the past as she dozed. He stroked her hair and she shifted, drawing closer to him, soft sounds coming from whatever dreamland she was inhabiting. 

Lastor remembered the tears she had cried, telling him things she had never been able to confide in anyone else. He remembered how she clutched him to her as she sobbed, desperate to know someone else was there for her, someone who would never hurt her, always protect her. He remembered her cries of fear in her sleep, her fitful whimpers as she tossed and turned, tortured by unknown demons.

Many had tried to “fix” her with counseling, medications, and therapy, but everyone knew there had to be something wrong. In looking, Lastor could not see anything amiss but unhappiness and unnecessary medications clouding her mind. 

She had been off the meds and unhappiness merely a day before the change was noticeable. Lastor had not been surprised. She was giddy, bubbly, and full of life, giggling like a schoolgirl as silly jokes rolled off her tongue. 

Lastor knew his life was nothing special. Spending most of every day in solitude, locked inside his own head, being forced to look in the workings of his mind for entertainment was his choice. Having never been impressed with the intelligence of most of humanity and not enjoying the company of most other vampires left him with little option but to become self-reliant. The numerous times he had associated with others of his kind had led him to the conclusion that excluding him, vampires lorded their status over others, and that biologic superiority demanded respect beyond their years. Disagreeing with the estimations of his kind’s worth and living inside his head sometimes for days on end without speaking a word had left its mark. Lastor had developed very little patience with others, abhorring crowds and keeping his back to the wall at all times. Indeed, it was common for him to be seen in a public setting only as long as it took him to be seen. 

Lastor had more or less resigned himself to being alone for eternity, before happening upon Audrey. All the humans with whom he had attempted to forge any relationship had not lasted longer than a weekend before infuriating him and forcing him to end them. The female vampires he chanced to meet and bring back may have been initially enamored of him, but when they saw the extent of introspection in his life, they left him, talking amongst themselves of how strange he was, even for a vampire. Lastor for his part watched them go, sighing inwardly as his opinion of his own kind was lowered once again, and once again he was left alone, sitting in the dark, chasing his thoughts one by one around his head until they vanished into the nothingness that was there. 

Someone had finally smiled on him. He had simply catered to a whim and indulged in a night of innocent blood, and he had found someone who loved and accepted him for who he was, who he wanted to be, without attempting to change him to fit their notions of what someone should be. This was the sort of thing that happened in bad fiction. Occasionally one might hear of someone taking a chance and having it pay off, but that’s all it ever is, just hearing of another’s luck. Lastor kept expecting the worst, having been bitten enough times to question luck. The surrealism of the nights kept mystifying him. The way time ceased to exist, how the night would fly by until the sun chased them into the dark recesses of the mansion, the hours they spent wrapped in each other’s minds through their eyes, unwilling to look away. When things seem too good to be true, they usually are. 

It came to pass that this was one of those times.

“AARRGH!!!” 

Lastor jerked awake as if trying to stop himself from falling. Breathing hard, he stared unblinkingly at the ceiling, willing the image in his mind to fade. His pulse began to drop, and his breathing slowed. Looking down at the silver ring he still wore on his right hand, he saw his fingers unconsciously curled up into fists. Opening them hurt; the long nails had dug into his palms. Trickles of blood ran down his forearms. 

Reaching for the bottle beside the bed, he squinted at the clock and it’s winking red light. Nine in the fucking morning. Why did the dreams have to wake him so early? Now it was another day of forcing himself to sleep through the world’s waking life from behind shades that only marginally succeeded in blocking out the sun. The residual glow gave him a headache, which another mouthful of brandy did nothing to fix. His unfocused vision lit upon the corpse on the couch, her eyes staring in horror out through her bloody face. He had met her last night, in hopes that she would be capable of taking Audrey’s place. She proved…unworthy.

Standing unsteadily, Lastor moved along the wall clutching the bottle, making his way toward the windowless bathroom, avoiding the blocked portal of light. Locking the door and staunching the gap between the bottom of the bathroom door and the floor exhausted him, and he slumped over once it was done, his heart racing again. Scrabbling weakly across the floor for the bottle, he took a deep drink and exhaled shakily as the warm liquid crept down his throat. Curling up against the glow that remained, he fell into a fitful sleep, haunted by nightmares of memories.

Nightmare Fuel: Mothman

NightmareFuel

mothmanHello Addicts,

Imagine being out with your honey and you spy an enormous shadow with wings and glowing red eyes staring at you. You both decide it best to drive away and hope to leave it in your dust and taillights. To your horror, you look back to find that not only is what you saw flying after you, but it is keeping up with you as the speedometer hits one hundred miles an hour. That happened November 15th in Point Pleasant, WV. It was just the start of the Mothman sightings, which ended with the collapse of the Silver Bridge. Or did they? For this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we look at some other sightings of the legendary Mothman.

For those who know little about the Mothman, he is a tall, humanoid entity with giant wings, no neck, and glowing red eyes. Some say it is a harbinger of a disaster, others claim it offers warnings to protect people, while some hold that it is the reason for the disaster to come. Most think that Mothman is just a Point Pleasant legend, but its flight path has grown in the years since.

Witnesses spotted Mothman in the Chicago area between 2011 and 2017. Reports of an entity bearing a resemblance to Mothman were reported in Houston, TX in the 1950s, although locals referred to it as the Batman of Houston. People reported spotting the cryptid flying near the Twin Towers just prior to the 9/11 attacks. There are similar sightings near Minneapolis, MN in the month leading up to the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007. Some people in Chihuahua, Mexico, reported a being bearing a strong resemblance to Mothman just before the 2009 swine flu outbreak.

Can these sightings be cases of mistaken identities? Yes. There is always the possibility that they are something mundane as giant owls or sand-hill cranes. Other sightings, such as one prior to the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, might be nothing more than fiction folded into the Mothman legend thanks to the “Mothman Prophecies”, a book by Richard Keel that was later made into a movie of the same name. There are some who theorize that it is an extra-dimensional being, or possibly someone from the future trying to warn us of something wicked on the horizon.

Regardless of what it started out as the Mothman today is a huge draw for the Point Pleasant area. They established a museum and statue of the legendary cryptid and host an annual festival in its name. He has also reportedly re-visited the area as recently as 2016.

Whether Mothman is real or not is difficult to find out. One bit of advice I may offer if you see the cryptid, is perhaps consider taking a vacation far from the area. You never know what disaster may be on the way.

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J.

Spooky Locations: Barnard Park, Fremont, Nebraska


By J S O’connor

What makes a location haunted? This is a question that every person interested in the paranormal has asked themselves numerous times and there are a number of different answers. For example, when you disturb the dead. This is what happened with a park in Fremont, Nebraska.

Fremont, Nebraska, is a town with just under 30,000 residents located in the eastern half of the state with a history that stretches back to the early and mid-1800s. Within the city of Fremont is a small but quaint park called Barnard Park with a disturbing history.. 

In the late 1800s, the area that is now known as Barnard Park was a cemetery called Green Grove Cemetery. However, around the same time, as Green Grove Cemetery was created, the city of Fremont also saw an increase in population. Soon the tiny cemetery had reached its limits and needed to be relocated to Ridge Cemetery just outside of the town’s limits. In its place, the city created what is now known as Barnard Park. A park that is still being enjoyed by the residents of Fremont.

However, if local legend is to be believed, when the city had undergone the task of relocating the cemetery, they missed a number of graves due to them being poorly marked.  Several ghost sightings have been reported at night in and around Barnard Park. Some of the sightings include apparitions of men walking around the park at night. One of the most notorious sightings is of a woman who is seen crying over the loss of her daughter who had died on the Mormon Trail in the 1830s. 

So, what makes a location haunted? When it comes to Barnard Park, a nice public park where families go and children play, the answer could very well be disturbing those who have departed.

Work Cited:

Lefevers, D. (2018, October 5). Barnard Park in Nebraska is said to have a haunted playground. OnlyInYourState. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nebraska/haunted-playground-ne/ 

HauntedPlaces.org. (n.d.). Barnard Park. Haunted Places. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/barnard-park/ 

 

HorrorAddicts.net 212, Daniel R. Robichaud

halogoHorror Addicts Episode #212 | SEASON 17
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

212 | Daniel R. Robichaud | Sea Creatures | Vision Video

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

86 days till Halloween

Theme: #SeaCreatures #DanielRRobichaud

https://www.amazon.com/Haunts-Hellions-Gothic-Romance-Anthology/dp/B09429HWLJ

#Kelpie #KillerHorse #MurderHorse

Emz Octo-gal story:
https://www.amazon.com/Ink-Dreams/dp/B07YCFL5FR

Music: “In My Side” #VisionVideo

Catchup: #Aha #AhaFanGal #SycamoreLeaves #TheBloodThatMovesTheBody #ScoundrelDays #LittleBlackHeart 

A-ha Episode 67: http://horroraddicts.libsyn.com/horror-addicts-067-a-ha-as-a-horror-band 

Memorial for Valjeanne Jeffers check out her work on our shows 

152: http://horroraddicts.libsyn.com/horroraddictsnet-152-valjeanne-jeffers

203: https://horroraddicts.libsyn.com/horroraddictsnet-203-valjeanne-jeffers

Historian of Horror: #MarkOrr #Deadman #NeilAdams #StrangeAdventures #Hook#DCComics

Dead Mail: #HorrorFan

SHANNON #NightsKnights

https://nightsknights.wordpress.com

VERONICA #MarkOrr #BayCon #MonsterMusical #TheIncrediblyStrangeCreaturesWhoStoppedLivingAndBecameMixedUpZombies

MARTIN #HorrorCartoons #BizarroComics #GrimReapers
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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc… Also, send show theme ideas!

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Nightmare Fuel: #DJPitsiladis #TheCrossroadBlues #RobertJohnson

NEWS: 

#SeverTheServants “Get in the Grave”

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#Events 

#CreaturesCon Aug 7

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 #SecretsUnearthed #125YearsofDracula Sept 23-25

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#NevadaCity Nov 5th

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Feat Author: #DanielRRobichaud #WithReadEyesGleaming

#ChillingChat #NachingTKassa

#SeaCreautres
https://www.amazon.com/Haunts-Hellions-Gothic-Romance-Anthology/dp/B09429HWLJ

Read by #EmerianRich

————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

b l o g  e d i t o r

Kate Nox

r e v i e w  c o o r d i n a t o r 

Daphne Strasert

s t a f f

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

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Chilling Chat: Episode #212 – Daniel R. Robichaud

chillingchat

Daniel R. Robichaud lives and writes in east Texas. His work can be found in Hookman and Friends, The Other Side, and Sick Cruising anthologies. His short fiction has been collected in Hauntings & Happenstances, They Shot Zombies, Didn’tDaniel Robichaud They? and Gathered Flowers, Stones, and Bones.

His story, “With Red Eyes Gleaming,” appears in Haunts & Hellions: A Gothic Romance Anthology.                                                                         

NTK: How did you discover the horror genre and how old were you?

DR: I came to the horror genre at around six or seven thanks to my Mom. She was a fan of scary movies and books, and I have fond memories of watching the Thriller Double Feature with her on Saturday Afternoons while growing up in the Detroit area. The offerings were moody, weird, and often cut for television. She’d point out the zippers in the costumes in the egregiously cheap flicks, to help me see it was all fake and ultimately fun.

The books and magazines and comics came around the same time. The 1980s were a treasure trove of scary entertainment, so scary stuff was everywhere. I recall reading my first Poe stories as Troll Books aimed for elementary school kids. My first encounter with modern masters was through a big anthology called Great Tales of Horror and the Supernatural … Family night Saturdays would involve watching Monsters or Tales From the Darkside series. And John Carpenter’s The Thing played on network television in a cut format that still frightened me senselessly … that would’ve been around 1983/1984. Fright was certainly in the air back then!

NTK: How did you become interested in Gothic Literature?

DR: From a young age. I got exposure to the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and other gothic works thanks to parents who enjoyed the stuff.

NTK: What is your favorite Gothic horror story?

DR: There are so many to choose from! Right now, I think I’ll have to answer The Witch of Ravensworth, an 1808 gothic horror novel from George Brewer, which I bought on a lark and was truly taken with. It introduced me to the Valancourt Books publisher, as well, and I’ve enjoyed reading their works ever since.

NTK: Do you have a favorite Gothic horror movie? What attracted you to this film?

DR: The Whip and the Body from Mario Bava is a terrific film that blends ghostly chills with sexuality in strange ways. A delirious thing that is gorgeously shot (also with a great performance by Christopher Lee).

I found this movie back in the days of DVD when I was just discovering Mario Bava’s films. It’s beautiful, disturbing, and achingly romantic.

NTK: Are your characters based on real people?

DR: My characters are originals, though that means they are inspired by the films, fiction, and authentic folks I have known and read about.

NTK: Do you use an outline to write? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?

DR: For this story, I had a single scene of a woman descending into a strange subterranean location. From that, I wrote into the dark without any outline. This is not always the case, but it is the way I work on a majority of my stories.

NTK: Do your characters have free will? Or do you decide their fate?

DR: They always have free will. For short fiction, however, their options are far more limited than they might be in a novel.

NTK: What inspired you to write, “With Red Eyes Gleaming?”

DR: I’ve been a fan of Japanese folklore since I was young and reading old Usagi Yojimbo comic books from famed comic creator Stan Sakai. One of the stories that stuck with me back then was a tragic tale involving a kappa or river goblin.

Several decades later, I wound up taking two different vacations to Japan and visiting not only the mainland but some of the smaller islands where locals vacationed. Iriomote and Ishigaki are scenic locales with plenty of beaches and hiking opportunities. So when it came time to write a gothic story, these two different experiences came together and I got to wondering about strange family legacies and goblins that came from saltier waters. “With Red Eyes Gleaming” resulted.

NTK: What are you most afraid of?

DR: I am afraid of loss of my mind, my sense of self.

NTK: Who is your favorite horror author?

DR: I have great respect for Gary A. Braunbeck, who blends lyrical prose, emotional honesty, and disturbing storylines. As well, Suzuki Koji and Murakami Ryu have left some lasting impressions on me—I wish more Asian horror material was available in translation. Poppy Z. Brite was vital during my college years, particularly with accepting my bisexuality and finding the strength to come out. A new Ramsey Campbell book is always a cause for celebration in my house.

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What books, short stories, or works do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?

DR: I am always working on fiction of fright. I have stories appearing in the forthcoming Wishing Well and Camp Slasher Lake anthologies.

I’m particularly proud of a string of stories I create off-the-cuff whenever my daughter asks, “Will you tell me a story?” She’s five now, so the scary material tends to focus more on mood and the unexpected (with some humor) instead of gore or violence, of course. Several of these I’ve gone on to develop into fiction sales for magazines like Spaceports & Spider Silk or parABnormal as well as anthologies like Rockets and Robots and Beware the Bugs! I hope to assemble those stories into a collection, next.

Addicts, you can find Daniel on Amazon and Twitter.

 

Book Review: The Crows of After by Exsanguine Hart

Synopsis:

Don’t leave the dolls alone…

Set in a classic style haunted house inhabited by dolls, fear and other strange things, this poetry collection accompanied by full-colour art explores the self and a series of childhood horrors in an entwining of lyricism, dark fantasy and disturbing imagery.

Review:

Exsanguine Hart is a new poet to me, but having devoured The Crows of After, they are one I will definitely look out for in the future. In this collection, they have created a banquet to feed both the eye and the mind. The world they have constructed on these pages conjured up memories of Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan when the reader is introduced to the castle of Gormenghast – not in the type of building, but in the strange and fantastical atmosphere and landscape within. Interwoven on this canvas are strawmen and automatons, bizarre dreams, and nightmare visions with steampunk edging. The poems imprison you in cages, taunt you with creatures from the ‘crawlspace’, the demons at the door.

The sheer joy of wordplay is evident throughout; ‘Fable’ ends ‘one with the chat/one with death/un with Nine/IX/9.’ The imagery is fantastical and original: ‘They tuck letters of disappointment into/the corners of their lips,’ (‘Accumulated’). And the weird abounds: ‘Her metal arm pulls up the splint. It chafes my/scratches, my fluids pooling in the weave,’ (‘The Waiting Game’).

The crows of the title fly in and out of the poems, dark shadows to disturb, ‘they’re only out to mangle the truth and children,’ (‘Smell of Pies’); ‘A storm approaching, four crows are at the bayonet,’ (‘Falling Apart’). The crows and maggots, scarecrows, and dolls thread the theme of horror throughout the collection to bind it in a lyrical darkness achieved via extraordinary word choice and well-judged alliterative phrasing and slant rhyme.

Dark poetry is having a moment. Recent years have seen some amazing collections appear and this one is no exception.

Historian of Horror : Frankie Goes to Horrorweird

Relax! Despite what you might think, we will not be discussing the music of the 1980s here today. This edition’s theme is sea creatures, and it’s my week to talk about the magazines of horror. What better concatenation of topics might there be than Frank Frazetta’s cover of the second issue painting for Warren Publication’s classic horror mag, Eerie? I can’t think of one. Can you?

Okay, so the number on the cover is a ‘3’. That’s confusing. Truth is, Warren put out what in the publishing business is called an ashcan issue to establish their trademark on the title without actually distributing it to the nation’s newsstands. This happens occasionally and is why the first appearance of the original Captain Marvel (now known as Shazam!) was in Whiz Comics #2. The first issue of Eerie that was seen by the public was Numero Two-o, as Joe Bob Briggs used to say. The second, Numero Three-o, had the SCUBA diver in the link above confronting the gargantuan aquatic plug-ugly. Clear as mud?

Frank Frazetta (1928-2010) is generally considered by those who know about such things to be the preeminent fantasy and horror illustrator of the second half of the 20th Century. He started out in comic books and worked on newspaper comic strips for some years, including an uncredited run on Al Capp’s Li’l Abner. No, that’s not the title character in the link. That’s Stupefyin’ Jones. Apt name, n’est pas? Julie Newmar, later famous as the first Catwoman in the Batman TV show, played that rather voluptuous young lady both on Broadway and in the 1959 film version of the musical play.

Frazetta left Li’l Abner in 1961 and started painting paperback and magazine covers. He did Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian illustrations that are iconic, as well as a parody of a shampoo ad for Mad Magazine featuring Ringo Starr. It showed the Beatles’ drummer instead of the usual pretty blonde, which led to Frazetta painting more than a dozen movie posters and almost a dozen album covers, including three recycled from earlier works for American southern rock band, Molly Hatchet

Eerie was published beginning in 1966 as a companion to Warren’s two-years-older Creepy Magazine. Frazetta regularly contributed covers for both titles during their early days, although his production petered out as his book illustration work took over in the last few years of the 1960s. The specific painting under consideration today is entitled, believe it or not, Sea Monster

So, let’s say you acquire a copy of this issue, either in print or as one of the myriad digital versions floating about the internet, and flip it open to the story referenced in the cover painting. Well, there actually isn’t one. Not exactly, anyhow. There is a story about divers and sea creatures, but the monsters don’t look all that much like the one on the front.

 “Full Fathom Fright” is the seventh and last story in the issue, following tales illustrated by industry greats Angelo Torres, Al Williamson, Steve Ditko, and Alex Toth. This final yarn was drawn by the legendary Gene Colan (1926-2011), who had begun working in comics in 1944 and was at the time doing the Iron Man and Sub-Mariner features for Marvel, as well as war and romance comics for DC. He later had a long run on Marvel’s Daredevil title and a shorter one on Doctor Strange. He was also the only interior artist for the entire run of Tomb of Dracula, while other artists, usually Gil Kane, contributed covers for the first thirty-seven issues, and occasional later ones.

“Full Fathom Fright” was written by Archie Goodwin (1937-1998), as was the bulk of the Warren output in those days. Goodwin later worked as a writer and editor for both Marvel and DC and was highly regarded by his peers. 

Spoiler Alert! Proceed Carefully!

The story itself is a sort-of-Wendigo-of-the-deep type saga, wherein the slayer of the monster becomes the monster themselves. Goodwin was maybe a bit too fond of this kind of yarn, having done a tale very like it in the first issue of Creepy. That one was illustrated by none other than — Frank Frazetta!

Thus we come full circle – a very small, tightly-wound full circle, admittedly. Next time, the circle will widen to include the cinematic manifestation of a genre of music that… well, you’ll just have to wait and see. Join us then, won’t you?

 

Our lagniappe this time out is a bit of musical fun by my favorite British folk-rock band from the 1970s, Steeleye Span – it’s “Twelve Witches”, from an album that spent a lot of time on my turntable back in the day, Rocket Cottage. Enjoy! And as always, my dear voluptuaries of the vicious…

Be afraid…

Be very afraid.

Merrill’s Musical Musings : Vision Video

Vision Video

Greetings Horror Addicts! As summer stretches on and sunny days rule, we can feel some comfort in the fact that we just passed the 100-day mark. Yes, less than 100 days until Halloween! Stores are starting to put up their decorations and I can’t WAIT to see what this year’s spooky season has in store. Perhaps a few sea creatures should be added to my décor…

Yes, there’s something welcoming and yet terrifying about the wide-open waters, and musicians throughout time have created songs and music inspired by the sea. Since we here at Horror Addicts are all about the creepier side of art, I thought I’d write about some of the creepier music from the depths. See my list of recs below.

Ro’s Reviews

This episode’s review is of the phenomenal goth rock band from Athens, Georgia, who rep the area’s legacy for great alternative music well. I reviewed their debut album Inked in Red on the April 2021 episode of Merrill’s Musical Musings and I’ve been shouting from the rooftops about them ever since. They recently released a new single and video called “Beautiful Day To Die” and once more I’m here to sing their praise. The mellow, moody track is on the softer side for the goth punk pop band but the gorgeous harmonies will suck you in despite the flowery sunshine of the video. In fact, the dichotomy of the field of wildflowers while musing about death is perfection. The band has been touring for the past few months and you can find clips of their shows on YouTube, their Instagram page—which also features the hilariously hip advice from Goth Dad—and I highly recommend you check them out or heck, even catch them live!

Shout Outs

Oh, Lord. Where are my Weird Al Yankovic fans? Psychostick has tickled my metal heart with their new versions of metal songs we love. I am so digging songs like “Numbers” and “Bruce Campbell.” If you want a chuckle, check them out. It looks like they’re even taking a trip under the sea… Metal band Locust Grove released a new album called Battle of the Locust and if songs like “Monster” are any indication, they should make metal fans quite happy. 

 

Ro’s Recs

The ocean is definitely one of my favorite places to be, although I don’t go nearly enough. There’s something peaceful about it, but there also lies a warning to humans who think they are invincible. Whether it was films like Jaws, The Abyss, or The Lighthouse reminding me to never turn my back on the water, or my own life experiences, I have a healthy respect for the water and what lives beneath. When the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were insanely popular, there were lots of folks praising the resurgence of sea chanties. I picked up Rogue’s Gallery back then and it’s a lot of fun. There’s even a Son of Rogue’s Gallery you can jam out to. They’re naughty and I just love them. I also made y’all a little gift. Songs of the sea for your dark little hearts. Okay, some of the songs are dark, and some are just classics or by artists us Horror Addicts love. Have any other ideas? Send them to me at rlmerrillauthor@gmail.com.

 

Check out the tunes above on my YouTube Music Playlist and Stay Tuned for more

 

Shadows Love: Chapter 8 / Lost

He was sitting on a bench in a playground. The sun beat down, but instead of the burning and headache the sun normally evoked, it bathed him in a comfortable warmth for the first time in memory. He closed his eyes and leaned back, basking in the sun’s rays; he had almost forgotten.

A touch at his shoulder. Lastor looked down, seeing Audrey laying on him comfortably, her head on his shoulder. Her eyes came up and she smiled, sliding her hand into his and lacing their fingers together as her eyes returned to the playground. Lastor’s followed.

A little girl stood atop the slide, apparently steeling herself. Shutting her eyes, she pushed herself down the chute, her mouth open in a squeal of delight. She landed on her feet smoothly and her eyes shone like twin stars as she beamed at them, the telltale crimson gleam in those eyes that so resembled Audrey’s barely noticeable. 

Lastor awoke with a start, his sheets soaked in sweat. His jaw was sore. He had obviously been clenching it while dreaming. So close… he grimaced, rubbing his jaw. Their last kiss was so long ago he didn’t remember it. How was he supposed to dream of it? 

Pushing himself to his feet, he went to the window, looking out over the darkened city with its thousands of burning lights.  He remembered, fresh amid the fog his recollections had often become, hunting with her one night, though it seemed like forever ago. They had been in the woods, stalking deer just for sport, having fed well of lowlife scum earlier. She had been tracking the animal through a thicket of trees, sticking to the shadows as it fed in a moonlit clearing, gray in the light. The deer had raised its head and Audrey had stopped, dead still amid the trees and shadow. After a cursory scan, the deer resumed its feeding. With a gleeful grin on her face, had Audrey turned from her target and grinned at Lastor. The angle of the moon fell into her eyes, igniting a tiny spark there which Lastor was sure he could have seen for miles. Now, fresh from the dream, staring into the glistening stars, it was like staring in to her eyes a thousand times over. The look on her face as she smiled at him in the moonlight would not leave his mind.

Out of habit, Lastor absentmindedly reached for the half empty bottle of brown liquid on the table before the mirror. His fingers knocked over a dirty glass which had been discharged from active duty after the first fifth had been consumed and he cursed before closing his hand around the bottle’s no longer comforting neck. He swallowed a mouthful, grimaced, and swallowed another. Reaching to a drawer in the table, he took out a half full pack of cigarettes and tweezed one out with a long nail. A match lit the hollows of his face for a brief moment, illuminating his sunken eyes.

Lastor opened up the window and leaned out, breathing the smoggy night sky in to his lungs along with the nicotine, relishing its coolness. He stared blankly at the skyline, at the jutting skyscrapers biting into the sky like teeth. Reaching out, searching…but as usual there was nothing there. Just a blank emptiness where Audrey used to be. Rage rose inside him, white hot and fast. Snatching the bottle up again, Lastor first drained it then shattered it against the windowsill, sending glass raining down on the street onto the heads of those passing by. Holding the bottle by the neck he stabbed the jagged edge at his arm and dragged it upward. Blood erupted from the cut, running down his fingers and dripping onto the floor. Lastor sighed as the endorphins flooded in as well as the fiery pain. 

The blood dripping from his fingertips began to slow. By morning there wouldn’t even be a scar, just a dull ache. But the pain was there, beneath the cells that were beginning to knit together slowly, microscopically. He focused on the pain, nurturing it, encouraging it, letting it fill the space occupied by Audrey’s eyes, the emotional pain finally giving way to a more present physical sensation. His eyes fell to the scarlet puddle soaking in amid the hundreds of stains in the cheap motel carpet, the lit cigarette he had dropped in his rage smoldering its legacy into the fibers until it was snuffed out by his foot. 

            Lastor looked at the moon. It was low in the sky, enough for it to be about ten o’clock. He cursed softly to himself as he pulled a shirt over his pale body and dragged his long black coat over his shoulder. His arm still throbbed, just enough to prevent his mind from focusing obsessively on anything else. Success.

Stepping to the window, Lastor climbed out onto the fire escape, dropping the last twenty feet or so to land soundlessly in the alley. A bum slept nearby, grunting in his sleep, a loaf of moldy bread and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hands, oblivious to the glass from Lastor’s window which covered him. Lastor paused long enough to relieve the derelict of his beverage and set off down the alley, moving deeper in to the darkness, following the moon.       

            Hours later, Lastor felt nothing. He had sat in a seedy strip club so long that the bartender had told him to order from the bar, buy a lap dance, or get the fuck out. A bartender’s broken nose and some violence later, security had been summoned to come throw him out, only to be knocked hard against the wall. Now, having relieved several more homeless of their liquid comforts as well as an opium fiend of his fix, he was comfortably numb again, acting on instinct – hunting. Even his arm felt better.  

 

Logbook of Terror: The Secret Sea

  

 Mother was screaming. Jax didn’t know why, this type of thing just happened every once in a while. Through his tear-smeared vision, he watched her point at the old claw-foot tub. As if from a great distance he heard her shouting, “Get in the tub you filthy rat! Dirty boys need to get clean!” 

    Faster than Jax could comprehend, her fingers were in his hair and her strength was pulling him towards the tub. Then, despite his protests, he was falling over the side and she was pushing him under. He thrashed and fought with all his might, popping above the water’s surface just long enough to cry out, “No!” and gargle, “They’ll get me!”

    But mother didn’t listen, she simply pushed him back under, because mother didn’t believe in the things that lived in the tub. No matter how much he tried to make her believe, to help her understand, she never did. She always sneered and said, “There’s no creatures in the tub! The only monster here is me.” 

    Jax took a deep breath just seconds before his mother slammed his head back under the water. And that’s when it happened,  just like it had happened every time before. 

    The bottom of the tub disappeared, and Jax found himself descending into the depths, into dark, endless blue. His eyes darted side to side. The tub walls were gone and an endless sea stretched out on all sides. And far below him, Jax heard the sea creatures cry out. 

    The bathroom light shimmered across the surface above. For a brief moment, Jax contemplated swimming toward the dim glow. Still, he knew mother would be there, waiting to struggle with him like so many times before, so instead, he turned and swam into the darkness, feeling that the monsters below certainly couldn’t be as bad as the one above. He suddenly realized that he had been mistaken to fear the creatures of the deep. It was true; mother was right: she was the monster. 

    Deeper and further down Jax swam. His eyes adjusted to the murky depths and he saw wondrous beings that his mind knew no names for, life forms birthed from the water’s imagination. 

    The secret world of the tub whispered their magic to Jax. The creatures surrounded him and sang their power into his being. And while he marveled at the wonder around him, Jax’s body transformed. 

    Fins sprouted from his forearms. His skin became rough and scaly. He breathed in deep, drawing in water and not choking or suffocating but instead becoming invigorated. The mystical song of the sea rang in his ears, and long, sharp claws appeared on his fingertips while webbing grew between his fingers and toes. Along with the changes his body was making, all the fear that he’d held inside was vanquished, and, in its place grew a burning rage. 

    Mother was leaning over the tub, staring into the water, not comprehending where her son had gone, when Jax broke through the surface and attacked her. She was screaming before she knew it, shrieking at Jax, but this time now instead of crying out with rage at her son and life and the world, she wailed in agony and terror as Jax sank his new claws into mother’s tender flesh. He clamped his wonderfully hideous new teeth around her neck and jerked her into the tub, smashing her head against the wall as he pulled her down. 

    Blood filled the tub and Jax dragged mother down, down into the depths of his new, secret ocean home where the creatures of the deep would tear her apart.  

 

Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2 – In case you missed it!

HAGL2Banner1

Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2

We’ve had a great few months talking about our book and horror with you all. Just in case you missed some of the awesome content, here is a recap of all the #HorrorAddictsGuide goings on! 

Read tons of interviews and inspirations at HorrorAddicts.net
Interviews with editor, Emerian Rich:

with M.D. Neu
with Sumiko Saulson
with Loren Rhoads
with Chantal Boudreau
with Lionel Ray Green

Interviews with:

Loren Rhoadsby Priscilla Bettis
R.L. Merrillby Selah Janel
Kristin Battestellaby Renata Pavrey
Selah Janelby R.L. Merrill
A.D. Vickby A.D. Vick

Excerpts by:

Angela Yuriko Smithangelaysmith.com
Chantal Boudreauchantellyb.wordpress.com
Michael Fassbendermichaeltfassbender.com
M.D. Neumdneu.com
Selah Janelselahjanel.com
Tabitha Thompsonsumikosaulson.com
Dan Shauretteangelaysmith.com
Naching T. Kassanachingkassa.wordpress.com
Sumiko Saulsonsumikosaulson.com
Daphne Strasertchantellyb.wordpress.com
Kieran Judgehttp://jaqdhawkins.com
Kristin Battestellaselahjanel.com
Emerian Richemzbox.wordpress.com
DJ Pitsiladispriscillabettisauthor.com
Geneve Flynnnachingkassa.wordpress.com
Mark Orremmyzmadrigal.wordpress.com
J. Malcolm Stewartmdneu.com
Jonathan Fortinjonathanfortin.com
R.L. Merrillrlmerrillauthor.com

Available now at: Amazon.com

Odd Playthings – An Anthology of Horror About Toys Edited By Patrick Winters

Review by staff writer and book blogger Renata Pavrey

Title – Odd Playthings

Author(s) – Multiple

Editor – Patrick Winters

Genre – Horror, anthology

Publisher – Black Ink Fiction

A unique collection of horror stories that pays homage to the playfulness and innocence of childhood hobbies, while instilling fear in adult readers and collectors. Odd Playthings is a tribute to toys of all kinds – stuffed animals, action figures, wooden handicrafts and terracotta figurines. From toys believed to be prophets, to curses carried through generations, toys that will protect their owners at any cost, to ones that go out of their way to destroy, quirky puzzles boxes and haunted bobble dolls, dolls that solve murder mysteries and dolls that commit murder – the reader is transported into a land of endearing childhood activities, with a horrific twist that makes us ponder on what would happen if our beloved toys turned rogue. Odd Playthings turns back time with sixteen stories from twelve writers who offer a glimpse into the joys of our past, transformed into horrifying scenarios.

A challenge for the editor is not only collecting well-written horror stories adhering to his offbeat theme but also finding writers who share his love for toys and present an eerie array of tales for the reader. Carnival prizes, alien toys, wood and clay toy makers, footballs that curse their players, superheroes fighting plastic dinosaurs, serial killers who collect toys and toys who are serial killers – we read about a range of odd playthings from different cultures and customs around the world. The stories are so different from each other and yet come together beautifully in this distinctive collection from a variety of international writers.

“Toys became tools to tell stories, toys made it possible to go places I never could, and means to reach the furthest ends of my imagination,” writes Dave Wheeler in the foreword that introduces us to this splendid assortment of terror tales. Some of my favorite stories were Strange Customs by Patrick Winters (about a serial killer’s toy collection), To Fight Another Day by Dawn DeBraal (about action figures whose action wreaks havoc), Giuseppe the Toy Maker by Lynne Phillips (an ode to the old-world charm of handcrafted wooden toys), Giselle by Lynne Phillips (a doll sets out to avenge its murdered owner), and Star Man the Invincible by Scott McGregor (about a toy from outer space). But I loved every story from this anthology – it’s so well curated.

Some quotes:

-You should always kill with care the things you once loved. To do any less insults their memory.

-A child is usually the one to see what isn’t there, to see through the lies of the world and view the truth of their surroundings.

-The shoelace tip-tapped like a metronome as the leg swung.

The stories are a mixed bunch, but they’re all entertaining in the way each of us interprets horror – as children, teenagers, and adults. The cute and creepy cover with splotches of paint aptly describes what to expect within the pages of this anthology. There’s sci-fi, crime, historical fiction, horrors of the real world and paranormal – something for every reader to enjoy the coming-together of an exceptional bunch of writers. Kudos to editor Patrick Winters for accomplishing this task.

My rating – 5/5