Guest Blog : A Spooky Halloween Holiday by Jaq D Hawkins

guestblog2

A Spooky Halloween Holiday

by Jaq D Hawkins

October, 1992. I was married at the time to someone who had a penchant for visiting old, atmospheric cemeteries, mostly well known ones like Highgate in London, which I have to admit is the most interesting tribute to necrotic statuary I’ve ever encountered. But Halloween 1992 was to take us to Coven Party III in New Orleans, an annual event to honour the author Anne Rice in a setting reminiscent of her famous vampire novels.

We managed to book a room in the old, Georgian hotel in the Garden District that was the venue for the event itself. There were only a few rooms available in the converted mansion, so that in itself was an accomplishment. My husband, known to the Internet as Nemo, had got to know the organisers and we ended up helping spread cobwebs about the public rooms. The entire hotel had been taken over by Anne Rice vampire enthusiasts and we had the run of the place, antique furniture and all.

As it happened, my daughter was five at the time. Blonde hair, blue eyes and a lovely Victorianclaudia dress I had made for her birthday that year made her the perfect image of the character, Claudia.

But playing vampires with Anne Rice fans wasn’t the only Halloween event in New Orleans. We had taken a long weekend to experience all that pre-Katrina New Orleans had to offer for this most Gothic of holidays. Among the sites was the Westgate Gallery, an art gallery dedicated to the Angel of Death, Azrael.

westgate-gallery

The artist, Leilah Wendell, ran the gallery and created the works dedicated to he whom some know as The Grim Reaper. The old Victorian building itself was painted in shades of purple and black which created a stunning effect. Inside, the walls were also purple and accented with lightning bolts to add atmosphere between the displays, which included a full size statue of Azrael himself, towering over visitors in all his imposing splendour. The Westgate gallery no longer occupies that building, but its legacy lives on with an online presence.

We left the gallery wearing little coffin necklaces, a concession to tourist tat that would make the Addams family proud. They would, after all, fit in well at the vampire party.

The weekend wouldn’t have been complete without visiting a famous New Orleans necropolis, specifically the one where we could find the grave of Marie Laveau. The infamous Voodoo Queen had left her legacy and it was believed that if one were to draw three Xs on her gravestone, leave an offering and turn around three times, a wish would be granted. Of course I made my wish, and after some disruption and pain, it came true. Was it Voodoo magic? We’ll never know for sure.marielaveaugrave

The party itself was something to remember. Most attendants were dressed either in classic vampire capes or in Victorian dress to suit the mood of the event. I met enthusiasts who attended annually, some taking the cosplay so seriously that one had yellow contacts and custom fitted vampire fangs made to order by a dentist. Anne Rice herself smiled at my little ‘Claudia’ from beyond a wide doorway to another open room and great fun was had by all.

The following day, we shared a bottle of an aptly named red wine that came in a coffin shaped box with some of the vampire-wineorganizers and that night we moved to the room that had been theirs, the biggest one in the hotel. When we left New Orleans, I felt some trepidation at the separation, knowing that even if I did come back someday, I would never see the city the same again.

Photo Contest

Recently in the HorrorAddicts.net Facebook Group, we asked people to come up with a 100 word story for the pictures below. The original idea was to put up the best stories that were submitted for each picture but for the second picture I liked each story so much I just decided to include them all. If you have a 100 word story for one of the pictures below please share it in the comments:

All three pictures were provided by Murdo Morrison, author of Roses Of Winter and The Taste Of Dust. You can find out more about Murdo by visiting his website: http://www.murdomorrison.com/.

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About this picture Murdo writes: “With Halloween coming up I thought you might like to see this image. A couple of years back my son created this stack of carved pumpkins. I processed the image to make it more Halloweeny.”

Little Johnny loved everything about Halloween. The only other thing he loved as much was rooting for the Indians when he watched old western movies, dreaming of living in a teepee and smoking a peace pipe with the chief.

When Halloween came around, Johnny looked at all the carved pumpkins on his neighbor’s doorsteps and decided there was something he just had to do. He waited until late, after trick or treating, when everyone had gone to bed, then sneaked out of his room. He closed the front door quietly as he went outside into the peaceful darkness of spent Halloween night.

He collected the best of the carved pumpkins that hadn’t been destroyed by careless footsteps and stacked them to make his very own totem pole. Johnny danced around his pumpkin totem pole like he had seen Indians do on television until he became tired. Then he crept back inside and slipped back into bed, unknowing of the magic he had performed.

The spirit of the pumpkin gods awakened…

Jaq D Hawkins

http://jaqdhawkins.co.uk/

http://jaqdhawkins.com/

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About this picture Murdo writes: “I captured an image of a rather eerie looking sky this weekend. It has a certain Halloween feel to it. I’m sending you a couple of versions. If you want to use it for any of your projects you are certainly welcome to do so. Also, I can process this in different ways to achieve a range of effects.”

In a dark clearing, wearing purple robes before a flickering fire, they summoned him, obscenely ignorant of the greatness they invited. He spread throughout the word, vast and diffuse. Even the humans who called saw only the natural world, and did not know to cower. Clouds formed the vertebrae of his spine. Bare trees stretched and creaked in imitation of his tendons. His powers came as acts of god, though he hadn’t been called such in eons.
They could not comprehend all he encompassed and know his nature; a pity, because he knew theirs.

H.E. Roulo

http://www.heroulo.com/

I called them dusts because we didn’t know exactly what they were or where they had come from. That’s the name I chose to give to the powdery gray substance that filled the air whenever there was anything more than a stiff breeze. The dusts brought with them death, death to everything, the no-wings included. They had died in droves however, from a sickness that seemed to target them specifically, while many of us had survived initially. The coming of the dusts had killed other things too, my kind included, but we didn’t die as quickly.

Chantal Boudreau

https://chantellyb.wordpress.com/

The spirit floated on the solar wind, directing its energy towards the inhabited planet. It touched the atmosphere, creating ripples in the cloud cover that diffused the light of the shining Moon, the spirit’s origin.

The night found many humans sleeping, yet others moved among the darkened streets, either grateful or thwarted by the illumination of the Moon’s full face. The spirit listened to the thoughts of these night dwellers and despaired for the message of love it had brought, reading in the hearts of men intentions to gain by the misfortune of others of their kind.

Then one couple, radiating with thoughts of love commanded the spirit’s attention and hope was regained.

It is for you, the spirit whispered through the wind, that I will bring magic to your species. Thus did the spirit endow the loving couple with power, blessing the inhabited planet with the first magicians.

Jaq D. Hawkins

http://jaqdhawkins.co.uk/

http://jaqdhawkins.com/

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About this picture Murdo writes: “I thought you might like this image. It is actually the daytime sky reflected off a dark portion of a lake but it reminds me of outer space and galaxies. If you have a use for it go ahead. ”

Clayton stretched and stood up, walking over to his window. He glanced at the courtyard below, illuminated by the moon’s silvery light. The blond Renegade leaned up against the windowsill and stared up at the moon, aglow in the night. This was the particular image that was the trigger. There was often a trigger. It had set off his precognitive abilities. There was something about that full moon that had let him know he had to be ready. Things were going to start happening very soon.

“Soon,” he whispered, breathing in deeply.

Chantal Boudreau

https://chantellyb.wordpress.com/

 

Wicked Women Writers and Masters Of Macabre

For Episode 130 of the Horror Addict podcast we will be highlighting the past winners of our Wicked Women Writer’s challenge and the Masters Of Macabre contest. The Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge started in 2008 by Michele Roger as a distraction to the monotony that can be writing as a woman in a genre dominated by men. It was also meant to bring attention to female horror writers and podcasters.  In 2011 Horroraddicts.net started the Master’s Of The Macabre contest to give male horror writers/podcasters a chance to compete. In each contest the participants are given a theme, a place and object with the goal of writing and reading the scariest story. In celebration of both contests here is a little information on each winner and what they are up to now:

www98012010497226_786392101430051_367125154057381978_o In 2009 the first winner of WWW was Heather Roulo the theme was doing away with your spouse. Heather’s story was called Graveyard Shift and was published in The Wickeds: A Wicked Women Writers Anthology (Volume 1). Heather is a writer of science-fiction, horror, and fantasy and has  a BA in English from the University of Idaho. Recently she released a new book called Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome.

http://www.heroulo.com/

TMOADOur 2010 winner was Rhonda Carpenter. The theme was seven Deadly Sins and Rhonda’s story called Barring Lilith. The Sin in question was lust and gets into what it is like if you are married to the demon of lust Asmodius. Rhonda is the author of the book Mark Of The Druid and was co-host of the podcast Podioracket.

http://www.rhondacarpenter.com/

2969162The winner in 2011 was Laurel Anne Hill for her story Flight Of Destiny. Her story stirs steampunk, infidelity, jealously, and a radioactive poison into a delicious hot-pot of horror. Laurel Anne Hill has been published in several anthologies including How Beer Saved the WorldShe also has a novel available called Heroes Arise

http://www.laurelannehill.com/

 

Obfuscate-Final-CoverIn 2012 Killion Slade won the Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge. Killion was assigned a holiday: Passover, a location: A Seashore and an object: A Garden Rake, she submitted Children of Angels. Killion Slade is a loyal reader of dystopian urban fantasy and has written two books in the World Of Blood series: Exsanguinate and Obfuscate

http://www.killionslade.com/

2013’s  winner was Maggie Fiske. In her story called A Quarrel for Jimmy Kills Crow,  the theme was the apocalypse and she had to write about solar flares while hunting in the mountains with a crossbow. Maggie had a lot of fun doing the sound effects for her story and made it sound like a professional radio play. Maggie has also written a novella called The Last Man to Die in the Nebraska Electric Chair. 

15838245DM Slate won 2014’s contest with her story Photo Finish . Her challenge items were a Dragon, Japanese Night Club, Hairspray and Hallucinations. D.M resides in Colorado and has a business degree from the University Of Northern Colorado.  She writes Horror, comedy and mystery. One of her novels is Roots Of Deceit.

http://www.dm-slate.com/
3841772015’s contest got a lot more difficult with each contestant having to do an audio production with more than one voice involved. Jaq Hawkins won with her story The Sun Child. Jaq is a British author in the genres of Steampunk, Fantasy and the occult. She wrote The Goblin Series along with several other books on magic.

http://jaqdhawkins.co.uk/

 

masters

2011 was the first year that horroraddicts.net hosted the Masters Of Macabre challenge and the first winner was Shaunessy Ashdown for his story Spectrophobia. Shaunessy is a fan of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge and was happy that he had a chance to compete in a challenge for the men and when he won he compared it to being kissed by Elvira. Shaunessy  is an editor for a German school book publisher.

23261059Philip Carroll won in 2012 , the theme was curses and Phillip’s story was The Curse Of The Lottery. Phillip likes to write urban fantasy but took a trip to the darkside with this one. Phillip is an Army trained Certified Orthotist and a master storyteller that has worked on several podcasts. He is also author of the book Flypaper Boy.

http://norvaljoe.com/

The theme for 2013 was haunted houses. Rick Kitagawa included a double wide mobile home and a black and white television for his story Uncle Neal’s House and won the challenge. Rick is a San Francisco-based fine art painter, illustrator, and storyteller who creates paintings, short stories, and illustrations in the horror genre.

http://www.rickkitagawa.com/about.html

205492262014’s winner was Solomon Archer for his story Surface Tension. The Theme was creature feature and Soloman’s story included New York City, a teddy bear and an Oceanic trench. Solomon is a criminal psychologist by day and writer by night. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies and he is the writer of PsyKu.

https://psykubook.wordpress.com/the-author/
51Rhbl0zlNL._AA300_In 2015 Rish Outfield won for his story Miss Fortune. Rish is a writer and a podcaster whose main goal is to scare their children into behaving, into going to sleep, or keeping their mouths shut about what they saw take place in the woodshed.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-the-Furnace/dp/B01FXVT6VO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468068806&sr=8-1&keywords=rish+outfield

http://rishoutfield.blogspot.com/

HorrorAddicts.net 119, Jaq D. Hawkins

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Horror Addicts Episode# 119

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

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

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

68 days till halloween

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

HorrorAddicts.net blog Kindle syndicated

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

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Emerian Rich

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

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

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Dance Of The Goblins

newgoblinEvery 200,000 years the earth shifts on its axis destroying most life on the planet, but there are always survivors and those survivors go on to start a new society with new religions and some life forms evolve into something else. In the caverns away from the unpredictable and dangerous humans are the goblins who live a simple spiritual life keeping in harmony with the earth.

We also have small communities of humans who have started a different way of life. One group lives life following a strict religion while another group isn’t as strict but still holds on to some superstitious beliefs. One thing they both have in common is a fear of what they don’t understand and when a human wanders into one of the caverns where the goblins dwell, a series of events begins that could lead to war between goblins and humans.

Dance Of The Goblins by Jaq D Hawkins is a fascinating novel which builds a fantasy world where a lot of the beliefs mirror our own. What I like most about this book was how even after society collapses new societies will begin with the same prejudice and fear of what they don’t understand as we have. Three different societies are presented in this book, and they all look at the other groups as being beneath them. The interesting part is hearing what each group thinks of the other and then seeing how that group really is. Even the goblins who are presented as being in tune with the earth have prejudices against the humans that are incorrect and we see in the book how each society has their flaws. Dance Of The Goblins is like a sociology text-book disguised as a fantasy novel.

My favorite character in this book was a female goblin named Talla. Talla uses magic to disguise herself as a beautiful human woman in distress to distract some humans who are getting to close to the goblin’s layer. Thinking she is in danger the humans take Talla to their community and we hear Talla’s thoughts on human society as well as what the humans think of her. In one moment that I found hilarious, one of the humans takes Talla into a bedroom wanting to force himself on her. At this point Talla is curious what sex with a human would be like and is unafraid. Her reaction scares the human who runs out of the room thinking she is a succubus. I loved how when the human doesn’t get the fearful reaction that he wants from the woman, he labels her as evil rather than seeing the act that he was about to perform as evil.

My only problem with Dance Of The Goblins was that it spent so much time describing the world in which the story takes place that the story itself seems unimportant. I found myself being bored with the story but I loved how the goblin and human societies were described. This book may be light on action but it makes up for it in its attention to detail on how each society works. Jaq D. Hawkins has created a realistic fantasy world and an excellent dark fantasy novel. This is the first book in a trilogy and it will be interesting to see how the goblin’s world changes in future installments.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge & Masters of Macabre Contest – VOTE NOW!

Up a little early for all you voters! We present, our Wicked Women Writers Challenge and Master of Macabre Contest for your approval.
Horror Addicts Episode# 115

Hosted by: Killion Slade & Rhonda Carpenter

Who will win? YOU DECIDE! Vote for one woman and one man. Don’t miss your chance at a the HorrorAddicts.net PRIZE PACK!

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VOTE by emailing: horroraddicts@gmail.com SUBJECT LINE: WWW

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VOTE by emailing: horroraddicts@gmail.com SUBJECT LINE: MMM