From the Vault Replay! A Very Special Christmas Eve by A.D. Vick

Originally posted on HorrorAddicts.net December, 2015

Johnny and his little sister Stacy went to bed earlier than usual that night, but they didn’t mind. It was Christmas Eve after all, and what child isn’t willing to sacrifice a bit of play time when he or she knows that turning in early might just hasten the arrival of Saint Nick? The last thing they did before retiring to their rooms was to watch their mom place a cup of hot tea and a small plate of chocolate cookies on the counter for Santa. “The jolly old elf travels all over the world through the cold and snow every Christmas Eve to deliver toys to good little girls and boys,” she would often tell them. Both children took her at her word because…well, didn’t they receive the toys they asked for the last couple of years?

During the year Mom would often warn her children that Santa only brought presents to youngsters who behaved. Stacy generally tried her best to do what was right, never forgetting her mother’s warning. She felt confident that, after having asked Santa for some new dolls, that he would deliver the goods as he always had. The one thing she couldn’t understand though is why her marionettes would disappear during the weeks and months that followed Christmas. She knew that she loved them and took good care of them; yet, they would sometimes simply vanish from her room. Whenever she complained about these events to her parents, they generally brushed off her concerns dismissively, telling her that she simply needed to stop leaving her things outside where other kids or the neighborhood dogs could run off with them.

krampus2

Johnny, being a couple of years older than his sister, really didn’t buy into his mother’s warnings that Santa only brought toys to children who behaved. Johnny had a secret. He knew what was happening to Stacy’s dolls because he would sometimes sneak into her room while she was out in the yard playing with her girlfriends. He would then take them out to the nearby creek; and after pretending to drown them, would gouge their eyes out with his pocket knife before cutting off their heads and tossing them into a nearby trash can. Upon his return home from these occasional escapades, he delighted in hearing his parents chastise his teary-eyed sister for once again neglecting to take care of her things.

The boy had a mean streak when it came to girls and his sweet sister Stacy was not exempt from his hurtful machinations. Still, he felt confidant that Santa would once again bring him toys this Christmas Eve.

Stacy climbed under the covers of her comfortable bed; and with visions of sugar plums and new dollies dancing in her head, she fell into a peaceful slumber. Johnny on the other hand, decided to remain awake. He would listen until he could be sure that his parents had gone to bed. Then, he’d lie in wait for Santa, determined to catch a glimpse of him.

Within an hour the sounds from the TV ceased and Johnny heard, amid his parent’s playful banter, the door to their bedroom close shut. He quietly climbed out of bed and gazed out the window, searching for any signs of Santa’s sleigh or his reindeer. The snow, still falling on a gentle breeze, made the neighbor’s colorful light display across the street seem all the more authentic. It’s really Christmas, he thought to himself. Santa should be here with my presents any time now! 

His thoughts were distracted by a sudden pitter-patter on the roof followed by the sound of footsteps. Johnny could barely contain his excitement as he stole quietly toward the living room, which contained both the family tree and the fireplace. That’s where he knew he would find Santa. Reaching the end of the hallway, he poked his head around the corner for a first peak.

Krampus1

Without warning, a dark, hairy, claw-like hand grabbed him by the shoulders, pulling him around the corner in one fluid motion. The boy gasped, but before he could even utter a sound one of the hands covered his mouth, making any cries for help impossible. Johnny struggled, but it was to no avail. Still, he couldn’t see just who or what was holding him fast.

He heard a hissing sound just before his captor spun him around without removing the hand from his mouth. His blood ran cold as he gazed at the creature holding him in place. No, this wasn’t Santa Claus, whom he’d been hoping to spy upon just moments before. Instead, he found himself staring into the face of a most hideous thing. The creature before him was tall and furry with a long snake-like tongue dangling from its mouth. Its ears were large and pointed; two curved horns grew out of its head. Attached to the body’s backside was a long, pointed tail. Overall, the monster’s body appeared somewhat man-like, but Johnny knew this was no man. The creature holding him seemed more like the Devil than any man he’d ever seen.

Pure terror gripped at him as the creature opened the top of a large wooden basket before placing Johnny inside and once again closing the lid. The boy screamed at the top of his lungs, calling to his parents for help– calling to Santa, but it seemed that no one could hear his anguished cries.

His abductor strapped the basket to his shoulders before ascending the chimney to the roof where a sled awaited him. He gave a push with his left foot and the sled lifted off on the snow-laden breeze toward a destination only known to him.

Some hours later, the mysterious being approached a shadowy, misty castle that stood upon a mountaintop populated by twisted, deformed trees. The large door at its entrance creaked open at his approach and closed shut again once he was safely inside. After disembarking from the sled, the creature removed the basket from his shoulders and opened the lid, allowing Johnny to climb out.

The boy’s eyes opened wide in disbelief as he looked around the large, gloomy, torch-lit hall. He could hear the cries of other children, both male and female. Their moans seemed pained and anguished.

“Where have you taken me?” Johnny asked, crying. “I want to go home.”

“Home, so you can steal your sister’s dolls?” The creature asked. “Home, where you delight in her pain and her tears? I think not. This is your home now, and as you can hear, there are lots of other children here to play with. We’re going to have lots of fun watching you learn what meanness really is.”

The frightening being’s tongue dripped saliva as he hissed once again while continuing to look down at the terrified boy.

“Merry Christmas, Johnny! Welcome to your new home: The Castle of Gruss Vom Krampus!”

From the Vault REPLAY! Morbid Meals – Holiday Spirits

Originally posted on HorrorAddicts.net December 2014

When it comes to the holiday spirits, I’m not talking about the Ghost of Christmas Past, or that chain-rattling spectre of Jacob Marley. No, I speak of something even more frightening: Holiday Hooch!

As the song goes, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” One sure way to stay warm is with a little nightcap. It’s no surprise that many drinks this time of year are heated up. Hot buttered rum, egg nog, mulled wine, just to name a few. Hot apple cider and hot cocoa shouldn’t be missed either.

So in keeping with the intoxicating tradition, I am sharing three of my favorite drinks that will make the season, and your nose, bright. Just stay safe, my fellow Horror Addicts. We want to see you have a prosperous new year.

Krampusnog

EXAMINATION

This drink is one of my own devising. Instead of mundane eggnog, I leave this as a treat for Krampus. When he visits my very naughty children, this tends to please him and he has yet to torture my kiddos. Clearly they have been very naughty if Santa is not only forgoing the coal, but sending Krampus to punish them. I like to think this drink encourages his mercy. They are just children after all, and I believe that children are our future. Oh, sorry. Almost broke into song there. My apologies.

ANALYSIS

Makes

About one quart
Roughly 5 to 6 drinks

Ingredients

1/4 cup (2 oz) Sanguinaccio Dolce sauce (or melted dark chocolate)
2 cups (1 pint) half & half
1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 oz brandy or bourbon
3 oz black spiced rum or coffee liqueur

Garnish

dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cocoa powder

Apparatus

  • double boiler, or a large pot with a large bowl that sits snug on top
  • medium saucepan
  • whisk
  • blender

Procedure

  1. First, either prepare a small batch of Sanguinaccio Dolce sauce, or melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler, and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat up the half & half and sugar, over high heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a blender, add the eggs and sanguinaccio dolce (or melted chocolate). Blend on low speed for about one minute.
  4. With blender still running, slowly add the warmed half & half and blend for about 30 more seconds.
  5. Add the alcohol and blend until the everything is frothy, about 2 minutes.
  6. Some people like warm nog. If so, serve immediately. If you and your guests prefer chilled nog, put your blender carafe into the fridge and chill for at least an hour. When ready to serve, put the blender carafe back on the motor and blend for about 30 seconds to combine everything together again and restore the froth.
  7. Pour into glasses and serve with dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.

DISSECTION

This recipe makes just about one quart, a perfect amount for the average blender. If you want to make a party punch bowl version of this, then multiply by however many quarts your punch bowl can safely hold. Just remember that this is an egg-based drink. It is not a good idea to let this just sit around at room temperature.

I used to make this with Kahlúa, as the coffee and chocolate flavors go together so perfectly. Then I discovered Tia Maria, and ditched Kahlúa like a bad habit. I personally find it to be smoother and less sweet.

However, my beloved wife hates coffee. In an attempt to alter this exalted recipe, I have found that black spiced rum adds a deeper spice to the drink as well as a darker hue to the beverage that is in keeping with a drink fit for Krampus. Of course, for a twist on the horror angle, you could try REDRUM. If you try that, let me know how it tastes.

Finally, let’s address the demon in the room. Yes, sanguinaccio dolce is my traditional chocolate sauce for this drink, and yes, it contains pig’s blood. Of course you can melt chocolate or even use chocolate syrup, in a pinch. I do understand if drinking a small amount of pig’s blood turns you off… in a drink made with chicken eggs. And booze. I have had more compliments on this drink when made with sanguinaccio vs. mundane chocolate. In the end, I leave it up to you.

POST-MORTEM

This is delicious any time of year, but I inevitably get asked to make it during Yule and Christmas Eve parties. I hope it becomes a tradition at your home as well. For us it has been Dad tested, Krampus approved.


Bela Mimosa

EXAMINATION

This twist on the traditional mimosa is named after Bela Lugosi and features the juice of blood oranges. It has become a favorite for a toast on New Year’s Eve, as well as for brunch on New Year’s Day.

ANALYSIS

Ingredients

2 oz champagne
3 oz blood orange juice
dash of grenadine (optional)

Garnish

1 slice blood orange

Procedure

  1. In a champagne flute, pour blood orange juice and champagne. Add grenadine to provide extra color.
  2. Garnish with a slice of blood orange.

DISSECTION

It can be hard to find blood oranges year round, but they are in season during the winter. That makes a New Year’s toast with this drink the perfect time to enjoy it.

POST-MORTEM

“I never drink… wine,” said the Count. I’m sure he would have added, “vithout bubbles.” No? How about this… “Bela Mimosa’s dead. Undead, straight to my head.” Admit it. You’re singing that right now. My work here is done.


Twelfth Night Lambswool (Hot Wassail)

EXAMINATION

In the Christian tradition, the Feast of the Epiphany is held on January 6, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the visit by the three wise men. The night before Epiphany is known as Twelfth Night, as it is the twelfth night of Christmastide, following Christmas.

For those that might follow an older path and celebrate Yule instead, Twelfth Night follows as well as the end of the Yuletide celebrations. However as Yule begins on December 20th, this means Yuletide Twelfth Night is December 31st, the end of the year.

In both traditions, there is a toast to good health and good harvest, called a wassail (from the Old English wæs hæl, which means “be you healthy”) which was raised with a drink of the same name.

Hot wassail is a cousin of mulled wines and ciders, but is instead usually made with mead or ale. Lambswool is but one ancient version of the drink which keeps the apple pulp in the drink.

ANALYSIS

Ingredients

750ml (or two 12 oz bottles) honey mead
12 oz hard apple cider
12 oz ginger beer (or ginger ale)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cloves
2 cups no-sugar-added applesauce

Apparatus

  • large saucepan
  • blender

Procedure

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the mead, cider, and ginger beer. Add the sugar, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar and meld the flavors together.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves, then add the applesauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour mixture into blender and puree together until the apples form a frothy head.
  4. Serve warm immediately.

DISSECTION

Yes, the traditional recipe requires coring and baking six apples (at 250°F for about an hour) then pureeing them. Normally I’m all about the traditional methods and freshest ingredients. However, we’re talking about making applesauce, which you can so easily purchase. For once, I say use the store-bought jar of applesauce. Just get the kind with no sugar added and no funny extra ingredients.

POST-MORTEM

I love a good mulled wine, but I think a hot lambswool wassail may be the best thing to kill the chill of Twelfth Night.

FRIGHTENING FLIX BY KBATZ: Krampus (2015)

Krampus is Disappointing Holiday Horror Fare

by Kristin Battestella

 

If you think your December is bad, consider the anti-Saint Nick killer of the 2015 horror comedy Krampus. Though starting strong with relatable holiday family sarcasm and budding snowbound scares, this PG-13 combination tale never embraces its unique monster potential and fizzles into disappointing, pedestrian fare.

Young Max (Emjay Anthony) wants his parents (Adam Scott and Toni Collette) to have some Christmas spirit again. Unfortunately, arguments with his visiting Aunt Linda (Allison Tolman), Uncle Howard (David Koechner), and his nasty cousins make Max tear up his ridiculed letter to Santa Claus – creating an invitation for the evil, ancient spirit of Krampus to descend their chimney instead…

 

Writer and director Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat) starts Krampus with promising seasonal satire and jovial Bing Crosby holiday tunes winking at the December mad dash shopping. The out of hand festiveness increases thanks to crying kids on Santa’s lap, stressed and glum employees, and fighting customers tasered by security while the crowd videos it all on their smartphones. A Christmas Carol is on the television, mom’s obsessing over the perfect crème brulee, and the War on Christmas peppers the news – Krampus is up front about its holiday honesty with debates over Santa being a cheap marketing ploy to sell Coca Cola and cruel tales of his crashed sleigh and Big Nick eating his reindeer to survive. Arguments at the table worsen every year, and the hope of the holidays being like they used to be can’t be overcome by one’s DNA. The destruction of an admittedly preposterous letter to Santa summons a thunderous snowstorm and blackout – no heat, water, or electricity and twelve crabby people. The usual holiday tiffs turn into worse bleak as mysterious snowmen surround the isolated house and thumps on the roof aren’t the sleigh they expected. Scary attacks from under the snowbanks and jack in the box decoys create suspense as do abandoned trucks, echoes lost in the blizzard, and footprints suggesting an upright goat walking on its hind legs. While under siege, the family re-discovers sentimental ornaments and recalls late relatives – there’s nothing like a monster attack to bring everyone together at Christmas! Gunshots break the silent holiday night and people go missing as the sub-zero temperatures drop. These are realistic scares, and the family asleep about the fire will soon be privy to the evil coming down the chimney with baited hooks and sinister presents to lure children for punishment rather than giving. Initially accurate wisecracks and understandable difficulty in believing Krampus is at work help the self-aware mix of interior drama and terrors amok. Unfortunately, Krampus is surprisingly lacking in its own folklore flair and descends into a busy, supposedly cognizant but unintentionally laughable lag trading what should be innate fears and the uniquely sinister for rowdy action or juvenile delays. The misleading comedy label becomes an excuse for silly animated accessories, undercutting the terror of Krampus waiting within the walls ready to emerge and abduct. Shooting at what they don’t understand, falling asleep when they must stay awake, not heeding the Krampus tale when they hear it – perhaps a united spirit or singing a carol might vanquish the monstrous invasion, but Krampus instead divides its family in a hollow finale asking for a do over on the sorry not sorry.

Likable dad Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) isn’t traveling for work but he’s still on business calls, creating a supposed marital strain and leaving his son to watch Charlie Brown alone. Tom’s sardonic wanting to get the holiday over with turns into action as the scares mount, and he uses his town knowledge for a fighting advantage and plan of attack to proactively protect his family. Sadly, the adults in Krampus are under developed clichés –ironic place holders learning how to make sacrifices for a happy holiday just because the plot says so. We never know what Tom’s job is, where they live, or why the marriage is troubled, compromising any relatability the stars have. Toni Collette’s (United States of Tara) Sarah tries to make Christmas perfect by having everything super clean, but her decorating is considered to be “Martha Stewart threw up in here” over the top. She has some moxie when her kitchen or fancy food are criticized, but her angel on top of the tree saccharin doesn’t add the spirit Krampus needs. Though too brief, Krista Sadler (Lena Rais) provides Old World strength and wisdom as the German-speaking grandmother Omi, and she respects the past when cultural ethnicity and traditions mattered instead of celebrations without meaning. Omi crosses herself once – the only time Jesus is referenced in a Christmas parable about sacrifice – and does what needs to be done but Krampus remains too modern and mainstream bland, generic rather than Germanic. The titular potential is neutered by stagnant characters who never really learn but drop in quick succession – almost as if they knew the ninety minutes were up and an absolutely wrong time and place joke was due to deflate any meaningful foothold. I almost want to see Krampus from his point of view, watching as his nasty influence and take rather than give plan reveals everyone’s true colors.

Emjay Anthony’s (Chef) Max wears a bow tie, annoyingly repeats everything his grandmother says, and claims he’s smart and old enough to know what’s happening – never mind that his torn up and tossed to the wind letter is what brought the wrath of Krampus upon them. At thirteen he’s too old to believe in Santa Clause, and Max even gets in a fight defending the Jolly One before writing him seeking help for his family. If Max truly wanted Christmas to be as it was, he could have gone ahead with their traditions and reminded everyone of their holiday memories instead of bitching over his letter to Santa being read aloud. That’s the worst thing that has ever happened to him? That embarrassment is worth cursing your family to damnation? Unfortunately, Max thinks he can fix his fault by asking for a reset, and Krampus sacrifices its Scrooge scared straight possibility in favor of the very millennial blasé it warns against. Likewise, daughter Stefanie LaVie Owen (The Carrie Diaries) is irrelevant alongside too many gross, mean, disposable cousins and a baby who’s initially forgotten in a tricked out Hummer named Lucinda. I think the family dog gets more screen time than some of the non-speaking kids! Sarah’s sister Allison Tolman (Fargo) is made little woman simple while her redneck husband David Koechner (The Office) forges an odd friendship with Tom. He has useful skills and calls it like it is, but Krampus makes him smart or stupid as needed. Conchata Ferrell’s (Two and a Half Men) Aunt Dorothy gets through the scares with some peppermint schnapps – Krampus liking schnapps is never mentioned, boo – and her drunken sarcasm should be the only requisite quipping comedy. Unfortunately, Krampus goes overboard with ill timed laughs and puns in all the wrong places. Does this bitter family deserve what Krampus brings? We never know them as anything more than script proxies, so the audience can’t be sure.

Blowing snow, aerial shots, and weather effects give Krampus a fitting brr alongside holiday music and other bells, chimes, and diegetic sounds of the season. Fine blackout schemes and blue patinas work well – a chilly to contrast the yellow firelight and candlelit glows. While the leaping from house to house and rooftop flying effects are messy CGI, the thumping landings and howling echoes match the horned silhouette, giant hooves, and beastly furry cloak. Brief binocular sightings, unseen creatures attacking under the snow, and abandoned, frosty homes with trashed wreaths and destroyed fireplaces invoke fitting fears alongside trees on fire and ruined presents. Krampus uses practical designs and doesn’t reveal the full enormity of the monster – leaving the caressing, pointed nails and long, too close for comfort tongue to suggest the sinister. There’s minimal technology as well – tablets and smartphones are used until their power dies – but the gingerbread men effects are poor, even stupid along with unnecessary jesters and animated toys, hectic attic battles, confusing flue action, and intercut household sieges. Krampus himself doesn’t do very much as his trying to be humorous but ultimately laughable little minions run amok. The notion of his Santa mask having something hidden underneath is disappointing up close, and minimally used evil elves abducting children, a sack of souls collected by Krampus, and his ghoulish sleigh are better reversions on the theme. The retro animated flashback is also an old school anchor for Krampus, showing the bleak loss of seasonal spirit and giving in terrible times with a sad narration and the scared reaction of one little girl. Unfortunately, the fiery finale leaves some audiences confused, and the production mistakenly relies on alternate scenes or commentaries – absent on the rental blu-ray, naturally – and companion books to explain Krampus when a film must take care of itself.

 

Instead of wasteful ignorance and apathy, perhaps a prayer or some faith could have given Krampus a stronger battle of wills? The neither here nor there tone inadvertently embraces both anti-religion by not mentioning anything creche yet also admonishes audiences for treating Christmas like a going through the motions date on the calendar. A straight forward family holiday drama or full on horror one or the other decision may have served Krampus better – breathing room to trust its own dark, sardonic allegory instead of dampening good horrors with a humorous overload. What’s supposed to be so funny about Krampus anyway? This is a divisive, anti-Home Alone, and Krampus’ need for commercial safety, weak jokes, and trite action combines for an uneven parody and try hard “oops my bad” disappointment that inexplicably underutilizes its own ominous folklore.

Kidnapped Week! Horror Conspiracy Theories: Santa Claus and Krampus are the Same Person by Kenzie Kordic

Horror Conspiracy Theories: Santa Claus and Krampus are the Same Person by Kenzie Kordic

 

 

Greetings Horror Addicts!

I’m back once again with another horror conspiracy theory. This time though, it isn’t a movie, but a conspiracy about lore. With the holidays approaching quickly, I thought it would be cool to talk about a holiday themed horror conspiracy. I truly believe that Santa Claus and Krampus are the same person, and trust me, I’ll tell you why. Make sure to let me know if you agree or disagree because I love debating.

Santa Claus and Krampus are the same people for a few different reasons.

Santa knows if you’re naughty or nice

Santa is supposed to be the only one who has access to the list where all the good and bad little boys and girls are written down each year. I believe that instead of leaving coal in the bad children’s stockings, he goes to the children’s house and punishes the family with either torture, murder, or other dubious things.

Krampus has gotten popular within the past few years

Santa, I’m sad to say it, is a dying legend. More and more kids these days aren’t so believing in him and he’s angry. Instead of continuing to spread the holiday cheer that has worked in the past and leaving coal hat has made bad children good, he has resorted to these measures to keep the faith alive. He has given parents a scary story to tell their children in order for them to be good and believe in Santa again. Because lets face, coal in a stocking just isn’t a reason anymore for children to behave.

He’s truly a bully

Santa isn’t always nice, loving, and happy. He has been known to ban other holiday creatures from his territory, picked on Rudolph until he found a use for him, and let’s be honest, he’s a slave owner. Those poor little elves working twenty-four hours a day seven days a week forever is nothing but pure torture. He already has a knack for killing little elves souls, why wouldn’t he make the jump to humans?

All of that holiday cheer just can’t be healthy

I feel as though maybe Santa has had a psychotic break. For hundreds of years, Santa has been full of nothing but happiness, and too much happiness can make someone go crazy. He has to be worried about Christmas and spreading the cheer throughout the entire year. I can barely handle the month of December. I doubt I’d be able to handle it for twelve months out of the year.

In the end, there is proof that Santa isn’t as nice as he claims to be. He has created the Krampus folklore in order to get all of the rage out that he has bottled inside for millennia. I for one, welcome our new Krampus overlord.

Until next time, stay scared!

Kenzie

 

********

     Kenzie is a young author who strives to create truly scary stories. Kenzie has been obsessed with the horror genre for as long as she’s been able to read. She has written numerous short stories as well as working on a novel.  She can be found watching horror movies with her pup. To find out more, go to: kenziekordic.comtwitter.com/kenziekordic, or facebook.com/kenziekordic.

Happy New Year from HorrorAddicts.net!

FinalFrontCoverHappy New year horror addicts. 2015 was a pretty good year for horror fans and here are five reasons why:

Horroraddicts.net publishing released its third anthology called Horror Addicts Guide To Life.  This book is full of articles by people who look at horror as a lifestyle and includes recipes, tips on fashion, info on your favorite books and movies,  instructions for some great party games and so much more. If you live the horror lifestyle this is a great book to pick up.

If you’re going to talk about what horror in 2015 you have to mention Ash Versus Evil Dead. Evil Dead is one of the most popular horror franchises there is and the new TV show based on it is a perfect mix of horror and comedy. Each episode is a reminder of how fun horror can be and what surprised me about this series was how they managed to make Ash into a deep character. In the first episode you see him as a 57-year-old teenager but as the series moves along we get more into what makes Ash who he is and you see him as much more than just a looser  with a chainsaw arm. This series was much better than I thought it would be and at 30 minutes for each episode it’s the perfect length.

Since we’re talking about TV shows you also have to mention Penny Dreadful. This series finished its second season and is another example of how good horror can be on the small screen. The sets are excellent, the acting is great and I think the writing is much better this season then season 1. Also its nice to see that Eva Green has been nominated for a Golden Globe. If you watch the Season 2 episode: The Nightcomers you will see why she deserves to win.

2015 saw some good horror films come out. One of the most anticipated movies of the year was Crimson Peak. With Guillermo del Toro attached to this movie, I think people had high expectations for it. I haven’t seen it yet but from what I’ve heard if you we’re expecting a bunch of jump scares and gore you wouldn’t like it, but if you like gothic romance and movies with spooky atmosphere then Crimson Peak is your kind of movie.

If I wanted to mention the most popular horror film of 2015 I would have to talk about Krampus but since I talked about that recently in another blog post, I’m going to mention The Visit instead. This is a simple straight forward horror film from M. Night Shyamalan. This is a low budget movie but in all honesty the best horror films are usually low-budget.

OUSLooking towards 2016, here are some of the things that I’m looking forward to. First of all the 11th season of the Horroraddicts.net podcast will begin in the spring and horroraddicts.net publishing will release its 4th anthology called Once Upon A Scream. This book will be edited by horror addicts staff writer Dan Shaurette and will be guaranteed to give you nightmares. Once Upon A Scream will be an anthology of fairy tales but all with a horror twist. There are some great stories in this book and I’m really looking forward to it coming out.

2016 looks to be another good year for horror movie releases and one movie that looks interesting is The Forest. This movie is based on a real place, The Suicide Forest in Japan. The Suicide Forest is a place where people go to end their lives and it is supposedly haunted. I like the subject matter in this movie but in all honesty the trailer doesn’t make it look that scary but I still want to give this movie a chance when it comes out. http://theforestisreal.com/

Another good-looking horror film coming soon is The Boy. Who doesn’t like a movie about a doll or ventriloquist dummy that comes to life, this one looks like it could be a good one. I love the house they show in the trailer.

If you have a list of horror movies that you think will be big in 2016, you have to mention Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I’m pretty sure this one will be one of the year’s biggest money makers.

So I could have made this list of movies for 2016 a lot longer but I decided I didn’t want to have the trailers for sequels or remakes on here but there are a lot coming out, including: Rings, Underworld: Next Generation, The Conjuring 2, Amityville: The Awakening and another reboot of Friday The 13th. The last movie I wanted to mention here is The Witch. Witches have been pretty big in horror for the last 4 years and it looks like that trend will continue in 2016.

So horror addicts what are you looking forward to in 2016? What movies do you want to see? What books do you plan on reading? What conventions are you excited about? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

Movie Review: Krampus

Krampus-Movie-PosterReview by Stacy Rich

 

Movie: Krampus
Cast:  Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner
Director: Michael Doughtery

 

Plot Summary:
Max, a young boy, loses the spirit of Christmas when his family comes to visit from out of state. He sees how everyone is more distant each year. After his letter is read at family dinner, Max rips up his letter to Santa and throws it out of the window losing the spirit of Christmas. The next morning, instead of opening gifts from Santa, he and his family are greeted with an abnormal blizzard soon fighting for their lives Krampus has come to take.

 

This movie reminds you to remember what you wish for because you might get it, and you should always believe in something with your heart.  I was delighted with a few things in the movie, but it didn’t deliver the anticipation this horror addict would want for the holidays. The scariest part of the movie was really the scene of Friday after Thanksgiving shopping. The use of real puppets made the centuries old beast of Krampus and his elves more believable and the creativity to trap their target was a great bonus.

 

All in all, it is a sweet movie for the holidays, but wait for it to come out on to DVD. It gives you a bit of a scare in the holidays, but it doesn’t quite live up to the fable’s lesson.

Morbid Meals – Krampus drinks

Tis the season to make merry, and who better to get on your good side than Krampus? Here are a couple drinks to get into the spirit this season.

First off, a drink of my own invention…

The Flaming KrampusFlaming Krampus

1 oz spiced rum
2 oz cinnamon schnapps
2 oz applejack or hard apple cider
2 oz orange juice
splash of grenadine
1/2 oz 151 rum

Glass: Old-Fashioned

In an Old-Fashioned glass or similar, mix the rum, schnapps, apple cider, and orange juice. Add a splash of grenadine to give a fiery look. Over the back of a spoon, float the 151 rum on top and then ignite. When the fire goes out, it is ready to drink.

This drink was inspired by the traditional German New Year’s hot punch called Feuerzangenbowle. Here’s a recipe for that which you can make at home rather easily.

FeuerzangenbowleFeuerzangenbowle

EXAMINATION

Feuerzangenbowle (Flaming Fire Tongs Punch) is a hot punch made with red wine and rum that is traditionally served at German New Year’s and Winter festivities. Glühwein is another traditional German winter mulled wine. Feuerzangenbowle is essentially the same thing, but with FIRE! Krampus would approve!

ANALYSIS

Yield: 1.5 liters
Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 bottles of sweet red wine, like a Dornfelder (750ml each)
4 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 whole allspice
2 cardamom pods
1 orange
1 lemon
1 Zuckerhut (substitute sugar cubes, or make one with 1 cup granulated sugar)
2 oz 151 proof rum

Apparatus

  • Fluted glass or conical mold (if making a zuckerhut)
  • Crock pot or large pot
  • “Fire tongs” or a metal strainer or rack that reaches across your pot
  • Lighter

Procedure

Making your Zuckerhut
  1. If you can purchase a Zuckerhut sugar cone or just want to use sugar cubes, you can skip this step. However, it is easy to make your own.
  2. In your measuring cup or a small bowl, add your granulated sugar and add 2 teaspoons of water, and mix well.
  3. Using a cone-shaped glass or mold, pack sugar in tight. After about an hour, flip your glass/mold over and tap gently to release the cone onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Allow 24 hours to dry.
Making the mulled wine
  1. In your crock pot, add your wine and spices.
  2. Peel your orange and lemon to make spirals and add them to the pot. Juice the orange and lemon and add the juice to the pot. Chop up the juiced fruit and add to the pot.
  3. Heat the mixture on High/Hot setting on your crock pot until it is warm, about an hour. Do not let it come to a boil. Once it is at the temperature you want, reduce your crock pot to “Keep Warm” or its lowest setting.
Lighting the sugar
  1. Lay your fire tongs, strainer, mesh, or rack over the top of your pot.
  2. Place the zuckerhut or sugar cubes on the fire tongs.
  3. Slowly pour your 151-proof rum over the sugar allowing it soak the rum up but not dissolve it.
  4. Carefully light the rum-soaked sugar. As the sugar caramelizes and melts, it should drip into your punch. You may need to keep adding rum, only a spoonful at a time, to keep the fire alight until all of the sugar is gone. Do not pour the rum directly from the bottle.
  5. Using a ladle, serve the hot punch into mugs.

DISSECTION

By making this in a Crock pot, you can keep the punch warm without fear of boiling the punch. You can still prepare this in a covered pot kept over a medium low heat for about 30 minutes if you do not have a crock pot available.

On a historical note, this punch used to be prepared with the sugar cone sitting atop swords that were crossed over a kettle. How wicked is that?

I made the recipe scalable so that you can make this with just one bottle of wine (divide all ingredients in half) or up to as large as you need.

POST-MORTEM

It might seem cliche, but this drink really tastes like Christmas to me. My grandmother never made this, to my knowledge, but her house at Christmas always smelled like this. The flaming sugar brings a little extra festive spectacle to an already delicious mulled wine.

Here Comes Krampus

1461228_623964297644679_1878951167_nIt’s the Christmas season again and guess who will be coming to town? I’m not talking about Santa claus, I’m talking about Krampus. A lot of people out there still don’t know much about Krampus but kids in Germany and Austria fear him. In the last few years more people are finding out who he is. A movie about Krampus came out this year and he was featured on a musical episode of the cartoon series American Dad. So if you don’t know who Krampus is its high time you found out.

Austria had been celebrating the Saint Nicholas festival since the 11th century. During this festival on December 6th people celebrated Saint Nicholas by giving presents to good children and having a massive feast. In the 17th century The Saint Nicholas festival became a lot darker with the introduction of Krampus. While St. Nicholas rewarded good children with presents, Krampus became St. Nick’s polar opposite. Krampus accompanied St. Nick in his sleigh and punished the bad children by hitting them with a switch, tying them up in rusty chains and taking them to hell.

Krampus may not be as well-known in North America but in Austria and other parts of  Europe, Krampus has his own holiday the day before St. Nick’s day. On December 5th Krampusnacht is celebrated with people dressing up as demons and other evil creatures. There is usually a parade, bonfires, and Krampus shows up to give naughty children coal. There is also massive amounts of alcohol consumed at this celebration and it’s customary to offer Krampus schnapps because he needs it to take care of all the bad children.

In Europe Krampus is as well-known as Santa Claus and in the 1800’s Christmas post 7HellsKrampusPromo-01-Scards became all the rage and several cards had artwork depicting Krampus and showing the dark side of Christmas. In North America Santa took on Krampus’s role as well as Santa Claus gave presents to good kids and coal to the bad. Krampus finally started to gain popularity in the U.S. in 2004 when artist and writer Monte Beauchamp released a book that contained reproductions of Krampus Christmas cards from the 1800’s. He also went on to write a book called Krampus: The Devil of Christmas.

Being a horror addict I love a the idea of what’s basically a supernatural monster associated with Christmas. I like to hear about Santa and his reindeer but it’s also nice to add a little terror to the holiday season and Krampus gives me the horror lift that I need. As if Black Friday and long lines at a cash register wasn’t scary enough. Also Krampus does the world a great service by taking care of all the bad kids for us.

Art work for this post was provided by Bill Rude. Check out his website at:

http://www.7hells.com/

To Find out more about Krampus check out these sites:

http://www.krampus.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus

 

 

Free Fiction Friday: A Very Special Christmas Eve by A.D. Vick

krampus2

Johnny and his little sister Stacy went to bed earlier than usual that night, but they didn’t mind. It was Christmas Eve after all, and what child isn’t willing to sacrifice a bit of play time when he or she knows that turning in early might just hasten the arrival of Saint Nick? The last thing they did before retiring to their rooms was to watch their mom place a cup of hot tea and a small plate of chocolate cookies on the counter for Santa. “The jolly old elf travels all over the world through the cold and snow every Christmas Eve to deliver toys to good little girls and boys,” she would often tell them. Both children took her at her word because…well, didn’t they receive the toys they asked for the last couple of years?

During the year Mom would often warn her children that Santa only brought presents to youngsters who behaved. Stacy generally tried her best to do what was right, never forgetting her mother’s warning. She felt confidant that, after having asked Santa for some new dolls, that he would deliver the goods as he always had. The one thing she couldn’t understand though, is why her marionettes would disappear during the weeks and months that followed Christmas. She knew that she loved them and took good care of them; yet, they would sometimes simply vanish from her room. Whenever she complained about these events to her parents, they generally brushed off her concerns dismissively, telling her that she simply needed to stop leaving her things outside where other kids or the neighborhood dogs could run off with them.

Johnny, being a couple of years older than his sister, really didn’t buy into his mother’s warnings that Santa only brought toys to children who behaved. Johnny had a secret. He knew what was happening to Stacy’s dolls because he would sometimes sneak into her room while she was out in the yard playing with her girlfriends. He would then take them out to the nearby creek; and after pretending to drown them, would gouge their eyes out with his pocket knife before cutting off their heads and tossing them into a nearby trash can. Upon his return home from these occasional escapades, he delighted in hearing his parents chastise his teary-eyed sister for once again neglecting to take care of her things.

The boy had a mean streak when it came to girls and his sweet sister Stacy was not exempt from his hurtful machinations. Still, he felt confidant that Santa would once again bring him toys this Christmas Eve.

Stacy climbed under the covers of her comfortable bed; and with visions of sugar plums and new dollies dancing in her head, she fell into a peaceful slumber. Johnny on the other hand, decided to remain awake. He would listen until he could be sure that his parents had gone to bed. Then, he’d lie in wait for Santa, determined to catch a glimpse of him.

Within an hour the sounds from the TV ceased and Johnny heard, amid his parent’s playful banter, the door to their bedroom close shut. He quietly climbed out of bed and gazed out the window, searching for any signs of Santa’s sleigh or his reindeer. The snow, still falling on a gentle breeze, made the neighbor’s colorful light display across the street seem all the more authentic. It’s really Christmas, he thought to himself. Santa should be here with my presents any time now! 

His thoughts were distracted by a sudden pitter patter on the roof followed by the sound of footsteps. Johnny could barely contain his excitement as he stole quietly toward the living room, which contained both the family tree and the fireplace. That’s where he knew he would find Santa. Reaching the end of the hallway, he poked his head around the corner for a first peak.

Krampus1

Without warning, a dark, hairy, claw-like hand  grabbed him by the shoulders, pulling him around the corner in one fluid motion. The boy gasped, but before he could even utter a sound one of the hands covered his mouth, making any cries for help impossible. Johnny struggled, but it was to no avail. Still, he couldn’t see just who or what was holding him fast.

He heard a hissing sound just before his captor spun him around without removing the hand from his mouth. His blood ran cold as he gazed at the creature holding him in place. No, this wasn’t Santa Claus, whom he’d been hoping to spy upon just moments before. Instead, he found himself staring into the face of a most hideous thing. The creature before him was tall and furry with a long snake-like tongue dangling from its mouth. Its ears were large and pointed; two curved horns grew out of its head. Attached to the body’s backside was a long, pointed tail. Overall, the monster’s body appeared somewhat man-like, but Johnny knew this was no man. The creature holding him seemed more like the Devil than any man he’d ever seen.

Pure terror gripped at him as the creature opened the top of a large wooden basket before placing Johnny inside and once again closing the lid. The boy screamed at the top of his lungs, calling to his parents for help– calling to Santa, but it seemed that no one could hear his anguished cries.

His abductor strapped the basket to his shoulders before ascending the chimney to the roof where a sled awaited him. He gave a push with his left foot and the sled lifted off on the snow-laden breeze toward a destination only known to him.

Some hours later, the mysterious being approached a shadowy, misty castle that stood upon a mountain top populated by twisted, deformed trees. The large door at its entrance creaked open at his approach and closed shut again once he was safely inside. After disembarking from the sled, the creature removed the basket from his shoulders and opened the lid, allowing Johnny to climb out.

The boy’s eyes opened wide in disbelief as he looked around the large, gloomy, torch-lit hall. He could hear the cries of other children, both male and female. Their moans seemed pained and anguished.

“Where have you taken me?” Johnny asked, crying. “I want to go home.”

“Home, so you can steal your sister’s dolls?” The creature asked. “Home, where you delight in her pain and her tears? I think not. This is your home now, and as you can hear, there are lots of other children here to play with. We’re going to have lots of fun watching you learn what meanness really is.”

The frightening being’s tongue dripped saliva as he hissed once again while continuing to look down at the terrified boy.

“Merry Christmas, Johnny! Welcome to your new home: The Castle of Gruss Vom Krampus!”

HorrorAddicts.net 119, Jaq D. Hawkins

ha-tag

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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A Conversation with Horror Artist, Bill Rude

HatboxGhost
When did you start drawing? 
Probably like most people, I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid. High school helped me focus my interest in pursuing art and helped me land a scholarship to the Minneapolis College of Art + Design. The twist here was that I was a film major and all my classes were film and photography! The drawing I did in art school was mostly on my own time when I would draw pictures depicting the Dungeons and Dragons games my friends and I would play.

Who inspired you to start drawing? 

That’s a big question. In the real world, mostly my parents. They really reinforced the idea that pursuing creative work was something that could become a reality. In the ‘art’ world, it was a lot of fantasy and horror illustrators. Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, Larry Elmore…. and let’s not forget Derek Riggs and all his Iron Maiden album covers!

What is the best and worst thing about being a horror artist? 

7Hells_Vampira01
 I believe any successful artist is one who is simply creating whatever they want to create, regardless of popularity or profit. That being said, the best thing about being a horror artist is that it is not just a genre, but a community of people who have a built-in interest in the subject matter. There is a level of support in the horror community that truly facilitates being able to do whatever I want in the genre, because it just so happens to jive with what people are interested in seeing.
The worst thing about being a horror artist is the unavoidable envy of so many other artists that rock the genre. So many different styles. So many different takes. So inspirational and so intimidating at the same time.

How long does it take for you to finish a project? 

AShadow09It really depends on the project, but it can range anywhere from just a few hours to maybe a full week of non-stop work. If I’m creating one of my fake movie posters or pulp novel covers, the painting normally takes about three days. Then probably another two or three days to layout the design work. Those particular pieces are all created as 24×36 shadowboxes, where the design work is printed directly onto acrylic glass and floated over the top of the original painting. That will then take another week or two to have that stuff fabricated and put together. Of course that’s a part of the process I have done by other people, but it still contributes to the time line I’ve got to consider if I’m creating something for a show or commission. Then none of this takes into account the research! Before I start any project there is usually a minimum full-day of researching the subject matter and figuring out styles and concepts.

What inspires you the most when you take on a project? 

 

7Ink-02LittleRedThere are probably two facets to my inspiration. First is trying to depict the concept of character. At my core I’m a story-teller, so when I create something visual, it is intended to depict the subject matter in a very particular way. Could be the expression on the face of a monster, or freezing a particular moment of action. Bottom line though, is that there is always a character implying motivation, wether they be good or bad.
The second facet is the actual process. For example, If I’m inspired to do another illustration in my fairy tale series, a lot of it has to do with me wanting to recreate some texture with only pen and ink — like ‘Little Miss Muffet’ has shiny, glassy eyes on the spider with coarse hair on it’s legs, and a clean beautiful face on Miss Muffet herself. Another example is in a piece I recently did for a tribute show to the film ‘The Iron Giant’. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and I knew I could identify the scariest scene in the movie to jive with my horror work, but it wasn’t until I became interested in working with only black and white ink washes to create ocean waves in a hurricane that I committed to the show. I’d only done one other ink wash drawing before, and never worked with white ink, so that is what drew me in.

What makes you want to make horrific art? 

 

7Ink-01VampyreTo me the worlds of horror represent outsiders. In the same way that Goth culture embraces dark themes as an appealing concept, I want to weave together worlds where scary situations are commonplace, but they are also beautiful, inspirational, or funny. If I’m able to connect with a viewer on that additional, emotionally positive hook, then they know this is actually a welcoming place for an outsider exactly like themselves. The nightmares I create are intended to be friendly, but it may take the right kind of person to recognize that.
 What is your concept of horror? 

At the root I believe horror to be anything unfamiliar that exists with confidence. It is intended to be a relatively broad definition that I can fit all of my different series of work under, but really the only thing that changes from theme to theme is the perspective of who finds it horrifying. The idea that the monster from the lab is walking through town, trying to find help, is horrifying to the peasants. Tiki idols of long forgotten gods still standing on the volcano slopes of a deserted island are horrifying to the western explorers. A beautiful woman confidently wearing a bikini is horrifying to puritans. Using that sliding scale, it’s then easy to apply to real world outsiders like goths, burlesque dancers, teen agers racing cars… from someone’s perspective all of those things are horrifying, and mostly because they are unfamiliar.

 

A lot of your art has a retro feel to it, why do you like to make art that has a 
nostalgic feel to it? 
7Ink-02WerewulfI’m a rockabilly boy at heart, and have always been obsessed with the concept of nostalgia and the perception of historical life. At the time, no one creating low-budget monster movies or magazine art thought of it as anything more than contemporary culture. But when we look back at it now, we are only using hind-sight, and what only really represented four or five years of a certain cultural style is perceived to be it’s own separate world that lasted decades and never evolved into anything else stylistically.
For that reason, I want to essentially weave a world where that culture is still going on. It’s intended to start at a baseline of an idealized past, and then draw people’s personal experiences into it. An example of a piece of mine that is well received in that fashion is “Fright 36”. It’s a large print, on very expensive paper, and replicates an advertisement page (page 36) from a 1960s horror magazine that never existed (Fright Magazine). It’s the standard collection of creepy t-shirts and mail order gags. But when some people see it, blown up and framed, hanging in a gallery, a flood of memories and stories come back to them as kids. They remember the mystery of just what the hell were you going to actually get if your parents let you order something from that magazine? And it only really works because it is implied to be of that time, and you’re forcing them to look through that nostalgic lens that is emotionally enhancing what they are looking at.
MadameLeotaOf course nostalgia and authenticity is only the polish on the world I’m creating. In the example of “Fright 36”, that print actually ties other work of mine together. Connecting to some fake pulp novel covers I’ve painted, which then connect to more. Then across the top of the ‘Fright’ print is an ad for “Horrifying Monster T-Shirts”, one of which I have had made as a real t-shirt and make for sale. And on the hang tag of the physical shirt is a made up history of that t-shirt design and why they aren’t around anymore. When people connect those dots and see all of that work in one place, the reaction can be incredible. I’ve literally had people have to recompose themselves before leaving my booth at a trade show. Grown men, with just a look, will be like, ‘You did it. You actually created the world we all wanted to be real when we were kids.”

 

7HKrampusFrontWhat are some of the other projects you worked on? 
A couple of years ago my buddy Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt and myself, developed an animated TV show that was turned into a Graphic Novel, called ‘Creepsville’, and was essentially a horror version of ‘Futurama’: Four high school kids, each an outcast for different reasons,  are forced to work on the school newspaper together. It turns out that their high school is in a town, in a world, where all B-Movies are real. The outcasts are a cow girl, a zombie, a child genius, and an amphibious foreign exchange student.
I’m also currently working on a couple of art-books, one of which is a coffee table book of horrific Christmas legends from around the world. The second is an expanded collection of my fake b-movie poster paintings in the guise of a fake 1960s Horror magazine, called ‘Fright’.
My day job is working in the film industry as a designer and animator. That brings a lot of crossover with horror and general retro design. Everything from doing on-set special effects on ‘Ghost Whisperer’ to designing t-shirts for characters on ‘True Blood’. Lots of low-budget horror and sci-fi projects. And of course I designed and animated the titles for the last four ‘American Girl’ movies, based off of the dolls. This is a true story.

How did you get involved in dressing up as Krampus? 

 

 One of my series of work are classically drawn fairy tale illustrations. All horrific, of course. Depicting the most frightening moments in stories like ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ or ‘Hansel and Gretel’. As a part of that, I did an illustration of Krampus, the Alpine Christmas Demon and created holiday cards for the season. One day I was delivering an order of cards to Meltdown Comics, in Hollywood, and we were like, ‘wouldn’t it be great if someone would appear as Krampus around the holidays so people didn’t have to take their kids for photos with Santa at the mall every year?’. Cut to two weeks later and I had put together a costume and had appearances booked all over the area.
That was about three years ago. Now it’s essentially a full-time job around the holidays. There is now a Los Angeles Krampus Troupe I’m also a part of, but they are pretty legit and organize their own events and are really good at keeping the authenticity of the Austrian Krampus traditions alive. I’m sort of recognized as LA’s original Krampus who does the whole Micky Mouse thing to move merchandise.
  What do you like about Krampus? 
1502502_633771773330598_870595410_nTo me Krampus is that necessary naughty side to the nice that is promoted through the holidays. traditionally, Krampus is never without St. Nicholas, so it was never intended to be an overwhelmingly dark and scary addition to the holiday. Sure, the Austrian Krampus runs can get pretty intense, but St. Nick is leading it all and people are having fun.
What I like about Krampus, which reflects on how I portray him, is that he represents an opportunity for people to confront their fears. For kids they are confronting the monster under the bed. Krampus is only going to warn them not to be naughty, and they will have nothing to fear. Krampus is about not being scared.
My Krampus appearances are almost always public in nature, with a lot of strangers just stumbling upon me being there, and it is remarkable how kids really are not afraid of Krampus. When it comes down to it, kids are only afraid of what their parents tell them to be afraid of. People may have various reasons not to let their kids participate in a Krampus appearance, but when they say ‘Oh, no, my kids would be too scared to visit Krampus’, I only hear the words ‘Because I’m a disconnected parent who does not have a responsible relationship with my children’. Parents: be responsible. Let your kids get a free photo with Krampus.
  Did you make the Krampus suit yourself? 
I assembled the Krampus costume myself, but didn’t actually make anything. Everything is off the shelf, but I do feel there is a level of originality and character I breathe into it by how I put the various elements together and portray him. A lot of thought was put into incorporating the giant basket on my back, and the few fabric/clothing elements of the costume. It also helps that in costume, my Krampus comes out to almost 7 feet tall. You want a character who’s mere presence can fill a room.
For more information on Bill Rude check out these sites:

 

Book Review: Fearworms by Robert Payne Cabeen

shapeimage_7Poetry can be beautiful rhythmical combination of words that let you know about how the writer feels. It can also be a rhyming set of words that are meant to scare the pants off of you. Fearworms by  Robert Payne Cabeen is the type of book that will make you laugh and scare you into sleeping with the lights on. Horror poetry is a genre that  can be a lot of fun, who doesn’t want to laugh and be scared at the same time? Fearworms does just that.

Robert Payne Cabeen gives the definition of Fearworms as stanzas of a horror poem that repeat in a person’s mind, leaving a feeling of dread.  This book does that as it inspires you to want to infect others with these disturbingly fun poems. You will find 12 poems in this book that cover such subjects as Krampus the Christmas demon, cannibalistic clowns, mad doctors, zombies, ghosts and a love story that’s out of this world.

My favorite poems in this book was The Promise and Rule 44. Both poems are rather gruesome love poems. While I’m not into love stories, these two really got to me and shows how a great rhyme can bring a story to life. The Promise talks about keeping a promise to a loved one in the zombie apocalypse which is heartbreaking and well told. Rule 44 takes place in space and has a very unusual love story that I have reread several times because it’s hauntingly beautiful. These two poems show that not many words are needed to tell a great story.

While The last two poems I mentioned are more serious, Fearworms also mixes horror and humor quite well. The first poem in the book is called Clowns. Many people are afraid of Clowns and this poem gives you more reason to be afraid. This one is about a man who stumbles into a cannibalistic clown convention and things don’t go to well for him. This isn’t the only story here that deals with cannibals, there is another one called Uptown Ribs that will make you laugh and probably ruin your appetite forever. Another great humorous poem here is Doctor Volmer which tells the tale of a doctor and the creatures that he makes. One thing this poem taught me is that you shouldn’t trust old people in need of help.

Fearworms is a work of art, not only because of the beautiful artwork that’s in it, but also from the poetry. This is a book that really shows the power of words. Robert Payne Cabeen states in his intro that he hopes that people will recite his poems out loud and make them their own. That’s what his poems did for me. They painted a picture in my head and not only did I want to share them with others, I also wanted to try writing poems of my own. Fearworms is the kind of book that you want to read out loud and in front of people so they can feel the same sense of joy and horror that you feel. Storytelling has never been as much fun as it is in this collection.

fearworms.com/Fearworms/Audio_Previews.html

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fearworms.com