Haunt Jaunts: Monster-Mania Con Exorcist Bus Tour

Among the horror fests listed for October on Haunt Jaunts Paracons & Horror Fests page is Monster-Mania Con, which happens October 4-6, 2019 in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Their tagline is “Meet Horror’s Hottest Stars.”  And they’re not kidding.

The Celebrity Lineup

Stars you can meet and have your photo taken with include:

  • Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead 1 & 2, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and Army of Darkness.
  • The Scream Cast Reunion – Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, and Roger Jackson (the voice of “Ghostface” will be there.
  • Stars from Stanley Kubrick’s The ShiningLisa and Louise Burns (a.k.a. the “Grady Twins”), Danny Llyod (“Danny Torrance”), and Lia Beldam (“Woman in 237”)
  •  Virginia Madsen and Tony ToddCandyman.
  • Halloween Movie Franchise Stars – Danielle Harris (who has also appeared in other horror films), and Sandy Johnson (“Judith Myers,” Halloween ’78), James Jude Courtney (“Michael Myers,” Halloween ’18)

These are just some of them. There are a lot more, all of which can be found on Monster-Mania Con’s Guests page.

But in addition to seeing celebs, watching horror movies and shopping the vendors, Monster-Mania Con also offered a bus tour.

The Exorcist Tour

Monster-Mania Con The Exorcist Tour logo

I say “offered” because it’s sold out, but it’s still worth writing about because what a great idea for a tour, right?

Here’s what lucky tour goers can expect:

  • Includes a visit to the famous The Exorcist Steps, House and also the famous Tombs Restaurant, which was featured in the film.
  • The movie will be shown on the bus during the tour.
  • The bus is equipped with bathrooms and heat/air conditioning to keep everyone comfortable.

Check-In?

Do you go to horror cons?

Do you have a favorite horror movie or horror celeb? If it’s not The Exorcist, which movie do you wish there was a tour to see the sites for?

Morbid Meals – Tribute to The Exorcist – Split Pea Soup

MorbidMeals2

Split Pea Soup

EXAMINATION
Linda Blair plays a child possessed by the devil in The Exorcist, the classic horror flick from 1973. In what is probably the most memorable scene in cinema, horror or otherwise, she vomits up her dinner of split pea soup in an impossible 360 degree spray. I’m sure that as a result, Campbell’s stock of split pea soup forever took a hit. If you’re like me and scenes like that encourage you to try split pea soup, then give this easy recipe a spin.
20160411_193730ANALYSIS
Servings: 5-6
Ingredients
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 dried bay leaf
1 smoked ham hock
Apparatus
  • Dutch oven, and/or a Crock pot
Procedure
  1. In your Dutch oven, add everything together and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. If you have a crock pot and want to slow cook your soup, then pour everything into the crock pot, cover it, and cook on high for about 6 hours.
  3. However, if you can’t wait that long, keep the soup in your Dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  4. In either case, stir occasionally to keep the beans from burning on the bottom.
  5. When done, discard the bay leaves. Remove the ham hock and dice the meat from the bone and return the meat to the soup.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
DISSECTION
If you can’t find a smoked ham hock at your local grocery store, you can substitute with about 1/2 cup of cubed ham or cooked bacon.
You can easily make this recipe vegan simply by not adding any pork and replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock. If you would miss that wonderful smoky note, however, you can use a little Liquid Smoke to taste.
If you have a pressure cooker, you have been warned not to cook something like this in it. However, after scouring the interwebs, I found this recipe from HipPressureCooking.com that gives a recipe and tips to make it not only possible but unbelievably fast.
POST-MORTEM
I have always loved split-pea soup. Maybe The Exorcist influenced my gothic, Horror Addict heart, or maybe I just love good comfort food. Either way, you owe it to yourself to try it from scratch. Who knows what demons might be lurking in those condensed cans of soup!

Book Review: A Head Full Of Ghosts

Title: A Head Full of Ghosts
Author: Paul Tremblay
Publisher: William Morrow
Review by Lisa Vasquez

unnamedSynopsis: Merry Barette are your average suburban family – until mom and dad find themselves faced with a layoff, financial problems and Merry’s teenage sister Marjorie who seems to be having issues that go beyond your typical pubescent problems.

When Marjorie stops eating and starts sneaking into Merry’s room at night, things start taking a wild turn into a dark tale reminiscent of Amityville Horror and The Exorcist. When seeing a psychologist doesn’t help matters, Mr. Barette turns to his faith by seeking out the priest of their local parish.

This book was on Stephen King’s recommended list and he said it “scared the Hell out of him”. Being the horror addict that I am, Ihad to snag this book and read it! It should be noted that when the “King of Horror” says something scares him, you go in with high expectation. It is with a disappointed heart that I tell you that I was let down.

The writing was OK and the story held my interest but I kept getting this build-up only to be left hanging. There were a couple of scenes that were creepy, and there was of course the obligatory “creepy wall walking” scene, but overall? I just kept sighing and thinking, “C’mon with the scary stuff!”

I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of “live footage” movies or “reality” television, so when Paul Tremblay added this element, I felt like it gave the reader the feeling of being staged. Which is really what The Amityville story was even though I know that deep down inside all of us were hoping for proof of a real demonic entity. And we were all pretty pissed when it turned out to be a sham.

As much as I want to give the ending away and save you all the time it took to read the book, I won’t. Not because the ending is what you’ll expect (unless you’re like me and you figure things out right away) but because the book isn’t a bad read. If you get creeped out easily, you might even enjoy it. To the writer’s credit, there are a couple of thrills dispersed throughout but I personally found the main character, Merry, to be irritating and distracting. Tremblay adds the element of Merry’s blog which was typical of a freshman’s Facebook page timeline complete with annoying caps lock and excessive exclamation points.

Did it scare the Hell out of me? No. In fact, I read it before bed every night and slept just fine.

Could it be that I hyped this book up because Stephen King was scared to death by it? Most likely. And for that, I apologize to Peter Tremblay because that’s a whole lot of pressure.

SCORE: 3 out of 5 skulls

http://www.amazon.com/Head-Full-Ghosts-Novel/dp/0062363239

Lisa Vasquez currently resides in Houston, Tx with her Brady Bunch sized family and menagerie of pets. She works for the Horror Writer’s Association as the Publisher’s Liason, Burning Willow Press as the Head of the Graphic Design Department, has her own magazine debuting in November 2015 (Inked Muse Press Magazine) and moonlights by day as an Executive Assistant.

Editor-in-Chief – Inked Muse Press Magazine
www.inkedmuse.com
Author of The Unsaintly Series
www.facebook.com/unsaintlyhalo
www.unsaintly.com
Publishers Liaison – Horror Writer’s Association
www.horror.org
Creative Design Director – Burning Willow Press
www.burningwillowpress.com

Horror Addicts Guide to Life Author Spotlight: Garth Von Buchholz

unnamed (1)Garth Von Buchholz writes poetry and essays and has been featured on the Horror Addicts podcast before. For Horror Addicts Guide To Life  Garth wrote two articles, One is called “Vincent and Me” which is about the time that Garth got to meet Vincent Price. The other one is called “How To Become An Immortalized Author Like Poe” where Garth gets into how you can become as well-known as Edgar Allan Poe. To read Garth’s articles along with several other articles on living the horror lifestyle, pick up a copy of Horror Addicts Guide To LifeRecently Garth was nice enough to tell us what he likes about horror:

What do you like about the horror genre?

I like how the core of the horror genre is metaphysical. Horror stories or films are modern myths about something that terrifies your very soul, and they may or may not involve actual violence and death. For example, to a person who is claustrophobic, being locked into a confined space is horrifying, even though that scenario may not end in their death. And there’s a difference between horror stories and real life horror. The tortures, rapes and beheadings in the Middle East right now are just horrible — brutal, tragic and inhuman — but they are not “horror stories” until they are mythologized, e.g. as a tale about how a spirit of evil is at work in our world.

What are some of your favorite horror movies, books or TV shows?unnamed (2)

Everything by Poe. He’s the master. And I’m a fan of William Peter Blatty (Bill, why haven’t you responded to my fan letter?). I love The Exorcist and Legion, the novel that the Exorcist III film was based on. You know, I met Linda Blair in person at a film festival and she looked great and was really cool. Also, I have mad love for another lesser known William Peter Blatty novel and film: The Ninth Configuration.

Although I’ve read many Stephen King novels, I’m a huge fan of The Stand, so I’m excited about the upcoming movie trilogy. As for TV, I’m not into zombies and The Walking Dead, but I’ve read and watched The Game of Thrones series, which has some chilling horror elements…dragons, torture chambers, whitewalkers. Okay, I guess the whitewalkers are zombies.

In what way do you live the horror lifestyle?

On my Twitter it says I’m “goth by birth” because of my German name and background. But in addition to my outwardly gothic clothing and tattoos, I meditate on the Latin words “Memento mori” (“Remember death”). Even on the sunniest of sunny days when the birds are singing arias, I am constantly aware of the horrors unfolding elsewhere in this world. With that, I keep things in perspective.
unnamedAnother thing to mention — Edgar Allan Poe is an important influence in my horror lifestyle. I’ve been closely associated with the late Mr. Poe, partly because of my work on the Edgar Allan Poe 200 Project in 2009 and partly for my social media content on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ieaps) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/EdgarAllanPoe). In 2012, I was interviewed about Poe by the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/raven-cusack-try-to-capture-edgar-allen-poe-in-way-other-films-failed-to-do/2012/04/25/gIQAyLUNjT_story.html) and I continue to network with the Raven’s followers worldwide.
What are you currently working on?
In some ways I would like to be that person who writes inspiring poetry that gets repinned all over Pinterest, but my verse tends to be quite dark. This year, I’m writing more poetry because I want to publish a collection of new verse. And I’ve never written a novel before, but I started working on a strange novella called Overture that incorporates some very personal memories and even alludes to other stories or poems I have written. Then there’s my Poe-related performance art project. I’m going to be recording and publishing a reading of Poe’s The Raven because after studying it for many years I realized it’s not just a poem, it’s a dramatic monologue.
Where can we find you online?
My literary website is http://vonBuchholz.com and links to most of my social media pages are at http://About.me/vonBuchholz.  I’m not hard to find. Many of my works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction are available online, including anthologies such as Horror Addicts Guide to Life or my book of poetry, Mad Shadows. Sometimes when one of my works goes out of print I will even republish it myself to make it available again.

Horror Addicts Guide to Life Author Spotlight: Laurel Anne Hill

Laurel Anne Hill has had over 25 short stories published along with the award-winning novel  Heroes Arise. For Horror Addicts Guide To Life  Laurel Anne wrote an article called Practicing Safe Satisfaction. In her article Laurel Anne gets into how to get your horror fix no matter where you are. To read Laurel Anne’s article along with several other articles on living the horror lifestyle, pick up a copy of Horror Addicts Guide To LifeRecently Laurel Anne was nice enough to tell us what she likes about horror:

What do you like about the horror genre?

2969162Horror stories depict the ultimate in vulnerabilities. Readers and viewers who connect with doomed characters experience the terror of such vulnerabilities, yet they emerge from the experience unharmed. Except, maybe, for a few bad dreams. Talk about a powerful win-win situation!

What are some of your favorite horror movies, books or TV shows?

The original Dracula with Bela Lugosi captivated me in the third grade and every viewing afterward. It’s a funky but wonderful movie. I loved the book even more. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty was an amazing read. Ghost Story by Peter Straub also glued my eyes to the page. And I’ll never forget the short stories of Robert Aickman, particularly “Cicerones” and “Ringing the Changes.” I so enjoyed participating in the Robert Aickman panel at the World Fantasy Convention in 2014.

In what way do you live the horror lifestyle?

Open the utensil drawer in my kitchen and two plastic eyeballs will greet you.LaurelAnneHill2010 Gaze at my annual Christmas tree, and you will notice the ornaments include bats, insects, mice and snakes. Look at the framed picture in my home’s entryway just the right way and a “ghost” will appear. And, naturally, being a writer, I look at ordinary experiences and ponder how to change them into horrific encounters with the unknown.

Where else can we find some of your work?

http://www.laurelannehill.com

http://www.amazon.com/Laurel-Anne-Hill/e/B002XK5R5S

http://laurelannehill.libsyn.com/

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/tag/laurel-anne-hill/

 

Guest Blog: Marie Sumner

Horror’s Appeal

Horror films, books, and attractions are a large part of the entertainment industry, and it’s for a very obvious reason; they make money. What isn’t clear is why they make so much money. What is the appeal of gory murder scenes, predictable plotlines, and stereotypical characters?

Every year, people make trips to haunted houses, corn mazes, and other attractions with all sorts of scary costumes for Halloween, spooky decorations and sounds, and of course, as many elements of surprise as feasible.

Many studies have focused on what makes horror as entertainment appealing to the human mind. There are many theories, and the trends change through different mediums. The appeal of horror novels differs from that of films, partially because of the differences in the mediums themselves.

Horror Novels

Many of the most successful box-office horror films are based on novels. The Exorcist is one of these, as is Rosemary’s Baby. Though both deal with Catholicism and an exorcism, only Rosemary’s Baby was condemned by the Catholic Church.

The book version of The Exorcist was purportedly based on true events. The novel focused on the “life affirming” theory that if pure evil exists, pure good must as well. The movie takes a different approach, as it caters to a different audience. At the end of the film, the audience is tempted to believe that the demon is victorious over the priests.

Horror novels thrive off of suspense and hope. It is hard to tell character motivations and fates in novels. Why would a book lean toward a happier ending than a film? How does the mind process these mediums differently?

Horror Films

While books are processed completely in the mind, films incorporate the senses of sight and sound. Horror films are known for being predictable and rather cheesy. The horror is not real. You usually know who is going to die, the bad guy is completely evil without cause, and the blood is not believable at all. Horror films can be wildly successful even if they aren’t well-made. People don’t watch horror films for quality; they watch them for cheap thrills.

Horror attractions

Horror attractions such as haunted mazes and mansions utilize both aspects of horror that novels and films do. They have unreal, outrageous designs, but many try to maintain realistic qualities. They also use the sense of suspense and surprise present in horror literature. There may be some cheap thrills, but they are framed around suspense rather than predictability.

Horror and the Human Mind

Science has not yet explained all of the intricacies of the human mind when it comes to horror. Perhaps the appeal comes in the form of escapism; fictional horror allows a release of tension without putting you in real danger. There may be some aspect of horror that is intensely fascinating, like high school girls going after bad boys; danger is appealing.

Do you enjoy the horror genre of entertainment? Why or why not?

This guest post was written by Marie Sumner, a lover of Halloween, horror, and all things scary. Stay caught up with Marie’s work on her Twitter Account.

Guest Blog: KBatz – The Exorcist

The Exorcist Still Terrifying Today

By Kristin Battestella

 

I was born in 1981, so I missed the initial fear fest brought on by the 1973 thriller The Exorcist.  Based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, film going audiences were terrorized in their seats, vomiting in the aisles, and fainting before the theater screens. Since then, The Exorcist has frightened a whole new generation-and then some.

The Exorcist stars Linda Blair as young Regan, a 13 year old girl who begins to act strangely after her and her actress mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn) move to Washington DC for a film shoot.  Psychiatrists, other doctors, and specialists have no answer for Regan’s unrest.  Freaky accidents, violence, and more disturbing behavior from Regan lead Chris to Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller).  Even the troubled Priest is baffled by Regan’s ability to speak in ancient languages; the physical abuse on her body-including etchings from the inside of her stomach that says ‘Help me’; and of course the infamous, horrifying, and despicable masturbation with a crucifix.

Father Damien Brings in Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow), an elderly Priest who has fought this kind of evil before.  Two prequels were even made detailing Merrin’s first encounter with the devil, but both miss the mark and cannot compare to the ultimate battle here.  The Priests tie Regan to the bed and begin the Rites of Exorcism.  Before the devil is contained, however, he pulls out all the stops, including taunting Father Damien with his dead mother’s words and the now oft parodied projectile vomit.

Despite our society’s desensitization, The Exorcist remains one of the most disturbing films ever made.  I was a teenager when I saw the re-released edition with the additional footage.  It was the middle of the day and clear as a bell outside, yet I was spooked for weeks afterward.  The extra scenes on the DVD ‘The Version You’ve Never Seen’ include a creepy spiderwalk and more scenes of Father Merrin in Africa.  Even after the numerous parodies and spoofs, the initial experience of viewing The Exorcist is tough to beat.  After 4 sequels and prequels, several video releases and re-releases, how is it The Exorcist still scares the split pea soup out of us?

The effects are cool, but nothing spectacular.  The chills presented by director William Friedkin come from the psychological and sociological themes shown.  Many of the early audiences had never heard foul language in a wide release, much less F-bombs from a 13 year old girl.  Both the religious and demonic imagery presented are unique and frightening.  Shocking as it is to see such blasphemous uses of Christian symbols, Friedkin showcases the devil as a living breathing evil force.  This is both engrossing and terrifying.  The Exorcist is enough to scare anyone straight from their malignant ways.  Here a young, innocent little girl was possessed.  Imagine the torment the devil could bring to those who deserve it.  Exceptional makeup and an impressive performance from Blair solidify the movie’s insistence that the devil is real.

This is how horror films should be.  Realistic in the scarys they portray-no matter how fantastic.  If art imitates life, then The Exorcist is a photographic reminder of good versus evil and how careful we should be in our temptations.  None of The Exorcist films are suitable for children, and I only recommend viewing for the most mature teens, otherwise the between the lines material is lost.  The latest DVD release of The Exorcist has a few extras, but the film speaks for itself.  Some of the sequels are worthy interpretations, especially The Exorcist III, based on Blatty’s own book sequel, Legion.  If you’re seeking one of the best films ever made-not just thee most exceptional horror movie-The Exorcist is unbeatable.