It Came From the Vault: David’s Library: Urban Legend Books

 

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While looking at archives, I found this nice post from 2010 by David. He has a great list. Have you read any of these books?

 

David's Haunted Library

 

While looking for books on urban legends, I was trying to find novels based on famous legends. Sadly, I didn’t find many. That doesn’t mean they’re not out there, I just wasn’t able to find many good titles. I found a couple of novels about Bloody Mary but they were about the historical figure behind the legend rather then the legend.

The real Blood Mary was Mary Tudor who was the first queen of England.  Mary had several false pregnancies and miscarriages and it is said that this drove her to madness. The legend of Bloody Mary goes that if you look into a mirror and say Bloody Mary 13 times or say “Bloody Mary I killed your Baby,” she will appear in the mirror and kill the person who summoned her in a violent way. If you want more information on Bloody Mary, a good book is: The Myth of Bloody Mary, The First Queen of England by Linda Porter.

While I didn’t find a lot of novels out there, I did find several compilations of scary urban legends. For instance, the Weird US series of coffee table books is full of local urban legends from all the 50 states. There is a book for every state and there was a TV series on the Travel Channel for awhile. If you want more  info on the books check out weirdus.com.

Another compilation I found was Urban Legends: 666 Absolutely True Stories that happened to a friend of a friend of a friend by Thomas J Craughwell. This book goes into detail on all the well known urban legends such as Alligators in the New York City Sewers, the disappearing hitchhiker, and my favorite urban legend which is about the family that went on vacation in Mexico and came home with what they thought was a cute little Chihuahua. When they took the dog to the vet they discovered it was really a rat with rabies.

One of the other urban legend titles that’s out there is Too Good To Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand. This book goes over a wide range of topics and gives newspaper accounts of each legend. The author has written several books on urban legends and has a syndicated newspaper column about urban legends. One good story from this book is about a wife and a husband who is a cement truck driver. The husband comes home from work early one day with his truck and finds a new convertible in the driveway, the husband believes his wife was having an affair and the car was her lover’s car. To get even, he dumped the cement from his truck on the new car. He then finds out that his wife had bought it as a gift and had been saving for it for years.

The last one I want to mention is Let Slip The Dogs Of Love: Suburban Legends of The Living and The Dead by Eugene Kachmarsky. This book is a series of short stories very reminiscent of the Twilight zone.

If you know of any good novels based on Urban Legends, please comment below.

Guest Blog: The Witch of McKinley Houses By James Goodridge

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The Witch of McKinley Houses

By James Goodridge

Sly and The Family Stones “Hot Fun in The Summertime” is our anthem. Day camp, 1970 in Bronx River Houses has ended which has left us project kids like myself scrambling to find something to do,the dreaded countdown to back to school has begun. Cousins from down South, Puerto Rico, and other parts unknown come to New York to vacation with their big city counterparts. Games like Johnny on the pony, run catch and kiss or round up, make for new experiences. The sound of Mr. Softee’s jingle sends us into a frenzy and moms to the windows with paper bags of coin change to toss down to us before the ice cream king drives off to a new location. 

New kids who had moved in during the winter, you bonded with more during summer. One such kid was named Lopez, who brought with him a weird tale from McKinley Houses. Lopez who’s family transferred to our projects, who’s a cool kid, a few years later becomes the quarterback for one of our neighborhood football teams and later in adulthood we would be union brothers. One hazy afternoon I and my friends with nothing in particular to do are lounging on benches in the center of the projects waiting for some more people to come outside so we can get a pickup game of softball going, we intend to squeeze the last drop out of summer. It was there that Lopez told us the story of the Witch of McKinley Houses. 

McKinley Houses, named after the 25th President, is located in the south central Bronx on along 163rd street with its sister project Forest Houses across from it. As 163rd street snakes its way through tenement lined peaks and valleys towards Bronx county courthouse and Yankee stadium. 

In 1968 an eccentric woman and her children moved into McKinley. Keeping to themselves, the shades to her apartment would be pulled down and the curtains were drawn. Soon neighbors complained of loud noises, non-stop praying and the sound of someone talking in tongues. Whether she moved or was evicted Lopez didn’t say, but after she and her children moved out things got strange. 

When the building caretakers, or porters as we use to call them back then, entered the apartment to make it broom clean for the next tenants to move in, pulled down the curtains the caretakers found glowing white blob faces on the windows that no amount of Windex could remove. Uncomfortable, they decided to come back and finish the job the next day. Returning in the morning the caretakers resumed preparing the apartment. Entering one bedroom a caretaker fled out the apartment screaming. Lopez said looking into the bedroom the other workers saw the body of a woman in white floating above a bed that was left behind by the strange former tenant.

The caretakers retreated out to the hallway and waited while a worker went to get someone from the management office. Before the housing authority person could get to the building the caretakers decided to enter the apartment again. This time, before they could look in the bedroom, emerging from the kitchen were a bottle of Clorox ketchup. To hear Lopez tell it, the bleach and condiment did not float out of the kitchen but walked out on sprouted legs along with arms and chased the caretakers out into the hallway.

A few years later, this tale was collaborated by another ex-McKinley resident named Blue and friends I knew on Boston Rd., not too far from McKinley. The end of the tale was that NYCHA had sealed up the apartment and to this day it has never been enter or opened back up to rent. Being ten years old at the time I found it a fantastic tale but soon found other paranormal topics and stuff kids like to do while growing up to be interested in.

By 1973 I started hanging out in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx even met my first puppy love girlfriend there. Of the teens I use to hang out with in HP was the Douglas twins Kevin and Karl,die hard Mets fans, the only way you could tell them apart was Karl’s left hand was withered. But life such as it is you lose track of friends and Kevin, Karl and my first love fell off the radar. But you also reunite with friends which happened a few years ago when I reconnected with a close family friend named Donna. One afternoon during a phone conversation, we started talking about the McKinley Houses and how her grandmother lived there then the McKinley Witch to which Donna blurted out “I felt bad about Kevin and Karl back then”a drop the mic moment for sure. 

Comparing notes I found out, yes the same Kevin and Karl from HP were the twin sons of the witch, which explains why they never invited me to their house. What ever their Mother was into back then was deep for us to still talk about it a decades after the fact.Old timers in McKinley swear the incident took place, but if someone was to investigate this they better get moving for time is claiming witnesses and memories. Was she a real witch or was she just an eccentric woman who was an embarrassment to her children ?

It Came From the Vault: Ghost Sightings Resurrection Mary

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This gem was found when I was strolling, or maybe looking for a dance partner, in our archives. David Watson wrote this in 2011. This is one of my favorite ghost stories and I hope you enjoy it as well. What is your favorite ghost story? What are famous hauntings in your area? Email me at horroraddicts@gmail.com. I would love to hear about them… and now….

Since the last episode of HorrorAddicts was on the 1930’s, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about my favorite ghost story: Resurrection Mary.   The story of Resurrection Mary takes place near Chicago Illinois in a town called Justice. Mary is a ghost that haunts Archer Avenue between the Willowbrook Ballroom and the Resurrection cemetery.

Mary was first spotted in the 1930’s. People have described her as a young woman with blond hair, wearing  a white party dress with a shawl and carrying a purse. Men have reported picking her up hitchhiking near the Willowbrook ballroom, sometimes she asks to be taken to the cemetery. She  gets into the car and disappears before the driver reaches their destination. Many people have claimed to have seen Mary. Sometimes she just appears in front of cars driving down Archer Avenue and sometimes she appears in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle and slowly fades away.

Mary’s early appearances started when several motorists who drove past the Resurrection cemetery kept claiming that there was a young woman who kept trying to jump onto the running boards of their automobiles. The story changed after that, some people  say that they met Mary at the Willowbrook Ballroom which at that time was called the O’ Henry Ballroom. People said that they would dance with the girl and then she would then ask for a ride home. The directions she gave would lead to the cemetery, she did not speak when she got into the car and then mysteriously vanished when they got to the cemetery.

Many people have also claimed that they have seen Mary walking along Archer Avenue and when they ask her if she wants a ride she disappears. The strangest thing about Mary was that most people who saw her in the 30’s all described her as looking the same from her blond hair, blue eyes, and party dress to her shawl and the small purse that she carried.

Other descriptions of Mary were much more terrifying than a vanishing ghost. Some drivers have said they were driving along when a young woman bolted out in front of their car and screamed. Then the driver heard a sickening thud followed by the woman being thrown through the air and striking the pavement. When the driver would go out to check on the girl, they found no trace of a body. The Justice police department has had several reports of people coming in and crying that they had struck and killed a woman but could not find the body.

No one knows for sure who Mary was in real life but the story that most people believe is that in the winter of 1930 there was a young woman dancing at the O’ Henry Ballroom with her boyfriend. At some point in the evening they got into a fight and Mary stormed out of the ballroom and started to walk home along Archer Drive. She was then struck by a hit and run driver and left to die in the road. She was buried by her grieving parents at the Resurrection Cemetery.

Most appearances of Mary happen in the winter and most of the sightings of her were in the 30’s and 40’s but reports of Mary have never stopped. Mary has become a legend and is considered to be Chicago’s most popular ghost.  There have been books written about her and even a movie was released about her a couple of years ago but it didn’t do Mary justice. The only way to really find out about Resurrection Mary is to take a drive along Archer avenue and maybe you will find Mary walking along the road  by herself, trying to get back to the cemetery.

Do you have any favorite ghost stories that you want to share with us,  leave a comment and let us know.

2016 Wicked Womens Writer Challenge – Who Will Be Most Wicked?

We all know and love them. We’ve been obsessed all our lives and can’t get enough of them. As children they frightened us to death. Every country, region, and town has their own urban legends and we’re featuring the best from all over the world to frighten the bejeezus out of you.

Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge 2016 is now open for registration!

Who Will Be … MOST WICKED?

THEME: This year’s theme is “Twisted Urban Legends.”

 

With the outstanding success and quality we had in last year’s challenges, we are continuing the audiodrama as part of the challenge. This year we’re pushing the challenge to the next level by asking participants to write an audiodrama revolving around one of the urban legends.

The key is to take the urban legend and give it new slant to make it twisted.  Remember the couple making out in the woods? Perhaps it’s no longer the boyfriend’s sneaker squeaking on the roof of the car, but they are the girl’s father’s shoes who followed the young couple into the woods.  Take the legends we love and twist them up a bit to create surprise endings for your audience.

It’s all up to you!

This year’s hostess with the mostest is Killion Slade and she’ll be randomly assigning the following to each contestant.

*An urban legend

*A setting

*An obscure item

And every audio must include:

*At least two different reader voices in their production.

 

To register now, simply fill out the registration form here:

Register now!

You will receive your specialized contest items to create a fantastical, horror-filled, terrifying audiodrama for the listeners of HorrorAddicts.net to enjoy.

DEADLINE: Sign up by May 1st, 2016. The sooner you sign up, the more time you have to prepare.

*Note: The Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge and the Master of Macabre Contest share a theme this year “Twisted Urban Legends Audiodrama”, but they will still be aired and judged separately.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FURTHER DETAILS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SPECS:

As a contestant, you will write and record a horror story, fitting the theme and incorporating your extra elements. The style should be decidedly audiodrama, meaning music, sound effects, and two or more voices should be incorporated.

Audio mp3 and text will be due to horroraddictscontest@gmail.com by June 4th, 2016, 11:59 pm PST. Contestants will then be narrowed down to 5 semi-finalists. Those 5 authors will go on to compete for the final prize of being “Most Wicked 2016”.

The audio can be no longer than 10 minutes. This is strictly adhered to.

The text can be no longer than 3000 words, but may be submitted either in story or screenplay script format. Usually 1000 words=10 mins, we are giving you 2000 extra words for stage direction.

You may have someone else record your story for you, but it must still include 2 voices and none of the HorrorAddicts.net staff or previous Wicked winners may help you.

You may not compete if you have won the “Master of Macabre” or “Most Wicked” awards before. You CAN compete if you have submitted in the past but did not win the final award.

HOW ARE THE VOTES SET UP? There will be a 3-part voting system.

1/3 of the vote will still be the voters emailing in.

1/3 of the vote will be judged on podcast quality and will be judged by seasoned podcasters.

1/3 of the vote will be judged on writing quality and will be judged by seasoned writers.

These 3 sections will be added together for a final score

The winner will be honored with the coveted title, “Most Wicked 2016”.

Dates to know in 2016:

May 1st – Registration closes

June 4th – Audio and text are due.

July 9th – finalists will be announced

July 23rd – Audio airs (text will begin posting near this date)

July 23rd – Voting starts

August 20th – Voting ends

September 17th – Winners will be announced on the HorrorAddicts.net show.

Got QUESTIONS?

Questions should be addressed to Killion Slade at: horroraddictscontest@gmail.com with the subject 2016 WWW CONTEST QUESTION.

How Do I Enter?

1) Please click on the survey monkey link and it will take you to a page to fill your information.  This signs you up for the contest and we can provide you writing prompts for your audio drama.

survey monkey link

2) Please go to the Facebook group Wicked Women Writers and ask to join the group.  Join the Facebook Group!

The group is where Killion will communicate the most to you and be able to easily answer any questions you may have.

And that’s it!

We look forward to hearing from you and find out if YOU will be Most Wicked 2016!

 

 

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: The Taking of Deborah Logan

At 1:30 am on Aug 15th, 2015, Crystal Connor, wrapped in a fleece blanket, seated in front of the fireplace picked up her remote and clicked play.  For the next two hours her neighbors were subjected to screaming, crying, and expletive outburst…

This is the unedited journal chronicling the harrowing experience her neighbors were forced to endure as she watched, Adam Robitel’s The Taking of Deborah Logan

The Taking of Deborah Logan

Reader discretion is Advised

Entry 1: They even look alike

Entry 2: 8 minutes in and this seems promising

Entry 3: Wait a sec, what did she just to with the snake?

Entry 4: Now that’s an evil eye if I ever saw one.

Entry 5: Why would you show her that?! Are you kidding?

Entry 6: Come on…

Entry 7: I’m sorry, your just gonna walk around someone’s house riffle thru their sh*t and then throw their drawing all over the floor. I wish somebody would.

Entry 8: LOL, Galvin had the right idea!

Entry 9: And no one thought to call a priest at this time?

Entry 10: Hold the phone here … she is just a student so where is her supervising professor?

Entry 11: That doesn’t make any sense

Entry 12: Ok, now why are we digging in the dark?

Entry 13: How about turning on some lights?

Entry 14: LOL!! Movie quote of the night: “White people and their basements, attics …” lol

Entry 15: I’m over this. Everyone on earth knows what a rattlesnake sounds like when they hear one.

Entry 16: No, no go head, run blindingly thru the forest in the middle of the night

Entry 17: And still no priest

Entry 18: Since when do the police let a medical student turned paranormal team leader and the daughter of a suspect ride with them on the hunt for the fugitive? While filming?

Entry 19: Really? So now she has the super powers of a spitting cobra?

Entry 20: And still no priest

Plotline: What starts as a poignant medical documentary about Deborah Logan’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and her daughter’s struggles as caregiver degenerates into a maddening portrayal of dementia at its most frightening, as hair-raising events begin to plague the family and crew and an unspeakable malevolence threatens to tear the very fabric of sanity from them all.

Who will like: Diehard fans of mocumentary and found footage films, people who love urban legends, folklore and demonic possessions.

High Points: There are some really good, subtle, creepy scenes that make the hair on your arm stand straight up. The concept was also very original, unfortunately like so many countless others, my family too is struggling to handle the mental stresses of a loved one suffering from dementia so I was curious to see where’d they go with it.

Complaints: Ok, now let me just say, that this is really and truly a case of it’s not you it’s me.

I loved The Blair Witch Project. I [CENSORED] LOVED it. But over the years I began to loathe this 1st person shooter, found footage, mocumentary film making technique.

But then my sister dragged me to see The Devil’s Due and I actually liked that movie! The ending was unexpected, original, and brilliant! Then I saw both The Conspiracy and The Sacrament and my faith was restored! Then, lo and behold, I watched the Europa Report and it blew me out of the water. And because of these four top-notch films I have waded back into the shallow waters of the found footage, mockumentary movies … and have been wholly disappointed.

The problem, in my opinion, is that in order for these movies to work certain markers have to be met, and this rigid form structure, coupled with the fact that the market is over saturated with this genre of film, the movies become repetitive and predictable.  The Taking of Deborah Logan started out really strong but about half way in I became disinterested and distracted and had to force myself to pay attention. From that moment on, I started mentally picking this movie apart, finding things wrong, and becoming extremely annoyed with the characters.

Overall: I think watching horror movies should be an ‘interactive’ activity (which is why I watch them alone) and the more I yell at the people on the screen the more fun I’m having. I’m a tough customer and I can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to the myopic way in which I prefer to be entertained. And this is exceptionally true when it comes to these types of movies.

Stars: 1

I knew before reading other reviews and fan feedback that my opinion would be among the minority. The Taking of Deborah Logan scared scores of people to death, so take this review with a grain of salt. Just because I didn’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean that you won’t.

Where I watched it: Netflix

Books

Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags.She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

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

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

13 Questions with Jeri Unselt

Hey, Horror Addicts are you ready for episode 48: Urban Legends? As someone whose art final was based on Urban Legends, you know I am.

Our author for this week is Jeri Unselt. Growing up, her favorite scary story (or in this case urban legend) was and still is: Bloody Mary. Her story for this episode is titled, Remember Me. The story is about “a woman who did research on the supposed real story behind Bloody Mary and escapes with her life only to have her past come back and haunt her.”

To keep us hungry for more Jeri gave me only a bit of information on the story. “[The main character] gets a phone call from a friend who is about to be murdered by someone or something.”

On Jeri’s 31st birthday, she was diagnosed with Ataxia, but she doesn’t let that slow her down. “I have noticed that people with disabilities aren’t taken very seriously so that’s why I write. The main character of Inner Demons, Adrienne has Ataxia and uses a walker as well.”

By day Jeri is a receptionist and by night an author. As mentioned above, Unselt has a podcast novel titled, Inner Demons.

“[The novel] is about a haunted house called Hawley Manor that was the scene of a brutal massacre that claimed the lives of a progressive rock band. Eighteen years later a psychic investigation [goes on] there to find out just what really happened.”

Unselt shared with me, the inspiration of Inner Demons. “I have always been a fan of the haunted house stories, paranormal in general. When I was eleven I used to ride my bike to an apartment building that for some reason reminded me of a haunted house and slowly the story took form. I wrote my first draft in the summer of 1997 and it’s been a part of my life since.”

As of now, Inner Demons is only available in podcast form. Luckily, for all you fans out there she does have plans to attempt to self publish the novel.

If you would like to contribute to her cause check out this link: http://www.indiegogo.com/Help-bring-Inner-Demons-and-its-sequel-in-progress-to-print

Jeri has a sequel in the works so be on the look out for it! Currently, Unselt is “editing an anthology of stories inspired by the music of Asia Featuring John Payne and GPS called Different Worlds.”

According to Jeri, the hardest part about writing is the revising and editing. Still, her goal is to one day make writing a “full time gig.”

Unselt shared with me that her favorite part of the horror genre is “the creative ways it scares people.”

Be sure to keep a look out for more of Jeri’s work. “I’m currently working on the sequel/prequel to Inner Demons and then after that I do have a few stories in my head I hope to get out on paper. One thing is an adaption of HP Lovecraft’s, The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”

For more information on Jeri Unselt, check out these websites:

http://www.innerdemonsnovel.com/

http://www.jeriunselt.org/

http://twitter.com/wdmusicfan

http://www.differentworldsanthology.com