Commodity Films has announced that three horror sites (TheHorrorNation.net, HalloweenForevermore.com and Texas Terror Entertainment) have joined forces to celebrate the IPTV premiere of THE BUNKER, the history-making film by the world’s first blind feature film director, Joseph M. Monks. It’s free to enter, and winners of the DVDs – all signed by Monks- will be announced on Black Friday, November 28th.
However, the 5 DVDs given out by Halloween Forevermore will also be signed by Terry M. West, who happens to be the star of The Bunker (that tough-looking baddie on the cover is Terry!).
So, do you want a DVD signed by the director and star? Five of you are going to get one! Just follow the instructions to enter and then increase your chances of winning by following a few more steps:
From the time Gramm died eight months ago, my dream of contacting her grew daily until I could resist no longer.
My parents had bought a Ouija board for a long ago party, then Mom stashed it away in a cupboard from fear of calling up, as she put it, things that go bump in the night. Now I pulled the thin wooden board and heart-shaped plastic planchette from the box and told my best friend Emily what I wanted to do.
“Seriously, Steph?” she asked, her eyes wide, like she thought I’d lost my mind.
“It’s Halloween, when the veil between worlds is thinnest. If I’m going to reach Gramm, tonight’s the night.”
Fifteen minutes later, we’d created ambiance with some candles and incense, and curtains drawn across the windows.
We sat on the floor, our knees touching, the board balanced between us and our fingertips resting lightly on the planchette.
Almost giddy with anticipation, I began calling the spirits. “I’m looking for my grandmother, Mary May Smith . . . Gramm, are you there?”
Emily giggled nervously, a silly sound.
For the longest couple of minutes nothing happened, then the planchette slowly slid toward the upper left corner of the board. “YES.”
I thought the candles flickered and put it down to my overcharged imagination. “I miss you so much,” I whispered. “Do you miss us?”
Although I wasn’t sure this was actually happening, I fervently hoped the planchette would move back to “YES.” Instead, it meandered around the alphabet, slowly at first, then more decisively, spewing out letters that might have been words in some language, but made no sense to me.
“Stop it!” I snapped at Emily. “I can feel you moving it!”
“I’m not,” she replied. As proof, she lifted her fingers from the planchette, which continued until parking on the letter ‘e’. “It’s you, you’re doing it!”
“No, I’m not,” I objected. But what if I was, through the sheer power of wishful thinking? “Are you really my Gramm?” I asked.
As the planchette zigzagged toward the upper right corner of the board. I looked at Emily and nodded, and she understood.
Simultaneously, we released the planchette. As it made its own merry way to “NO,” the proverbial chill ran up my spine.
Emily screamed and shot to her feet, sending the board and planchette clattering to the floor.
With trembling hands I collected the game, shoved it back into its box, and flung it to the depths of the cupboard.
“What was that?” Emily’s voice penetrated the drumming of blood in my ears.
“I don’t know,” I replied, my own voice a terrified squeak. “But we’re finished with it. No harm done.”
“Right, whatever,” Emily said as she headed for the door. “If you decide to try that again, don’t call me.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t,” I promised her. But it was already too late.
The bumps and moans started at midnight, and that was only the beginning.
Lisa didn’t expect to feel so lonely. She had never considered Halloween a real holiday, but spending it alone still had a sting to it. At least when she was with Darren she didn’t feel so isolated from the world. Halloween had always been cozy with him, drinking tea and talking to the neighborhood kids who came to their home.
There weren’t a lot of families in her apartment building, but she had expected at least a couple of kids to show up. She had tried to start a conversation in the elevator today, asking the elderly woman from the fifth floor how many trick-or-treaters they usually saw. The woman had fixed her with an icy stare, “You better hope none show up. All Hallow’s Eve is when the lining between the worlds is at its thinnest. I’ll be keeping my door locked and I suggest you do the same.”
Perhaps the other residents felt the same way and had given the building a reputation for unfriendliness. It was a shame. Lisa liked seeing the costumes and it would have been a nice way to pass the evening.
Not a single child had shown up, but she was almost through the box of tiny chocolate bars. She put them in the kitchen to keep them out of sight, but she kept trekking back and forth to get a few more to eat in front of the television.
Lisa didn’t like horror movies very much and that seemed to be all that was on tonight. She ended up dozing off in front of the news until an insistent hammering on the door startled her awake. She was on her feet in an instant, a strange anxiety brewing in her stomach. She opened the door partway, leaving the door chain latched. A young blonde girl with pale skin and dark eyes peered at her expectantly.
“Oh gosh, you’re the first kid to show,” Lisa said, unhooking the latch. “Hang on just a sec, I’m sure I have some candy left.” She dashed to the kitchen, leaving the girl waiting.
There were a few candy bars left at the bottom of the box, and Lisa was ashamed to realize how many of them she had eaten. She grabbed the last few and noticed the time lit up on her microwave. 12:36? That was awfully late for a little girl to be out all on her own. She wasn’t even in costume.
The door swung shut behind the girl and Lisa turned, feeling suddenly frightened. The child looked at her with inky black eyes, revealing a vile intelligence. Her gaze was hypnotic, lulling Lisa into an intoxicated stupor, unable to react as the monstrosity ripped its way through the child’s flesh. She was wearing a costume after all.
Jacob sat on the sidewalk across from his house and watched the flames reach high into the sky, where they danced in the cool October air. The leaves in the front yard were blown about and he watched them burst into flames when they got too close to the fire. It was almost like having fireworks, he thought.
Fire trucks and police cars and ambulances were in the street and on the sidewalks—their lights flashing and spinning. There was also a crowd of people standing in their yards—watching.
He glanced over, jealously, at the other kids all decked out in their Halloween costumes—their candy bags sagging from the weight off their night’s take—as they watched his house burn. The kids kept looking over at him—their ghostly or decaying fingers pointing at him. He couldn’t tell who was in the pirate, or the superhero, or the zombie costumes, but he knew they were all talking about him. He could hear their whispers, their giggles–even over the crackling flames.
He looked back at the house, already missing his toys and books and movies.
Jacob seemed to be the only kid not wearing a costume. There was no candy bag to dig into either–because he’d been “bad”. And his punishment for being “bad” was missing out on his favorite holiday. His parents always overacted when he did something they thought of as “bad”.
Refuse to eat his supper—no dessert.
Track mud into the house—grounded for the weekend.
Get an “F” on a school paper—no swimming at the pool.
Forgettting to take out the trash—no trip to the movies (which also meant no popcorn).
Break a window—no TV for week.
Kill the neighbor kid—no Halloween. Even though it was over a month ago that it happened.
When they found out what he had done, his parents made him drag the boy’s body into the backyard, where they wrapped him up in plastic and took the kid out to the forest on the edge of town to bury him. They made Jacob refill the grave.
His parents had gotten dirt all over their clothes from the digging, so that added even more onto his punishment. They would not be buying any candy this year to give out at Halloween, which meant there’d be no candy in the house to eat.
No costumes, no candy, no trick-or-treating. It was the worst Halloween ever.
As he sat on the sidewalk watching the house burn to the ground, he knew he had been “bad’ again. Especially since his parents had still been inside. But, at least they couldn’t punish him this time. Though he did wonder one thing—who would be getting him his Christmas presents this year?
I am happy to announce our featured Halloween Haunt of 2014! Spook it Up Entertainment and The Mix 101.3fm present The Mix Monster Bash! It will be held at the Lake Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore, CA. There will be Spookitup scare zones, bars, a VIP section and live music. Among the local bands featured will be Oingo Dance Party, a band that consists of many former members of Oingo Boingo. Here is the press release from Spookitup:
Flynn Messenger, aka the Halloweenkeeper, creator of Spookitup Entertainment has been “spooking up” events since 2007 but creating monsters for over 27 years. Flynn enjoys building terrifying tombstones in the hundreds, dozens of creepy coffins to fill his zombie graveyards and placing over one hundred hand built monsters in every scene imaginable.
The Halloweenkeeper has had the pleasure of sponsoring a few horrific haunted hayrides with his “Spook Crew,” actors that rise from the dead to eat hayride passengers, the Spook Crew also entertains by twirling swords, playing music, singing like angles of the dark and more. In the past, Flynn has spooked up Ontario City’s Deanza Commu-nity Center with fifteen spooky Halloween scenes, many private parties and has performed as the Halloween-keeper, MCing contests and games while singing and dancing to the delight of many creatures of the night.
The new spookitup.com will be geared towards the DIY Halloween enthusiast from little trick or treaters to mad monster maniacs, a site where spooky fans can learn where to find materials, how to create their own “monsterabilia” and hosting killer Halloween events “for pennies on the dollar!,” Don’t forget, “Spookitup will show you how!”
This year the Halloweenkeeper has been summoned from beyond to set up “Spookitup Scarezones” at the Diamond Stadium home of the Lake Elsinore Storm, a Class A– Advanced Minor League affiliate of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres and the legendary FIELD OF SCREAMS, an event held eight years consecutively with great success hosting five scary mazes. This year, 101.3 The Mix FM from Temecula, CA has hit a home run with live music from the Boingo Dance party (members from the original Oingo Boingo), Indie band Oliver Trol-ley and The Forty Nineteens.
Spookitup and the Halloweenkeeper are committed to bringing the spooky fans of Southern California live Hal-loween entertainment for years to come while spookitup.com can help spread the tradition of Halloween world-wide, so check us out and remember what the Halloweenkeeper always says, “We’re dying to see you!”
I will be at this event Saturday November 1st. If you live near Lake Elsinore and you aren’t quite ready to give up the Halloween ghost, maybe I will see you there!
Journals of Horror: Found Fiction is published by Pleasant Storm Entertainment Inc. It is edited by Terry M. West and features over 20 of the hottest authors in the horror genre. Journals of Horror: Found Fiction marks the coining of a new genre of horror fiction. It features stories written in the style of uncovered or unearthed journals, chronicling horrific events. The Kindle version is available on Halloween and the paperback edition will be ready by Christmas.
Being a huge fan of Terry M. West’s work for so many years and having reviewed damn near his entire library of works, I was excited to hear he was releasing an anthology under the name of JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION. I was fortunate enough to read this anthology and must say this is easily in my top 5 best anthologies in the horror genre. My list includes the Barnes and Nobles and B Dalton Bookstore offerings. To hell with the big names; give me indie author work any day. There’s more heart and passion in it.
The stories herein are bleak, disturbing and some are depressing and they stick with you long after reading. I found myself at work replaying some of these creepy little tales over and over again. This anthology has a little bit of everything going on. For starters you have your pissed off teenage occultists, smart phones that drive their users insane, vengeful high school ghosties and a father who serves up a tasty way to avenge his dead daughter. There even exists a tad of some Darrin Aronofsky like PI conspiracy theories and toss in one of the freshest found fiction styled tales from markings reminiscent of THE ILLUSTRATED MAN (in sorts) and you have an anthology that rides right alongside Stephen Kings Night Shift. This is one of the best anthologies I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Just make note this is by far one of the coolest anthologies I’ve encountered ever.With entries from some bad motherfudgers such as DS Ullery, Robin Dover, Jeff Ö’Brien , Terry M. West and Christopher Alan Broadstone. I can’t pick a favorite; they’re all just so amazingly well-written and the stories are very vivid. The aspect of this read that impressed me the most was that it was as if all of the stories seemed to be conjoined yet were their own little devilish tales.
Just to highlight a few of the tales offered: Robin Dover’s TURN ME ON, DEAD MAN reminded me of Darren Aranofsky’s movie PI (the conspiracy numbers angle). DS Ullery’s TRUANT just goes to show that DS has a magnificent way of spinning some odd astral projection tales of biblical proportions and Christopher Alan Broadstone’s NOTE-TO-SELF has to be one of the oddest “found Fiction” angles I’ve ever seen and it works perfectly. And as usual you have Stuart Keane and Glenn Rolfe offering up some bedtime baddies. I will say I was highly pleased to see Mr. West’s wife, Regina offering her tale (Self-Consumed, co-written with Terry). I’ve read a snippet of her scribbling and I have always wanted to see more of her work. She did not disappoint, my friends.
As previously stated there are so many great authors involved in this project that if I were to explain in detail their tales it would go on forever. But instead of doing so I leave you by saying that this is the real deal, my friends. I highly recommend this work to any horror reader. Go out and purchase this anthology the second it becomes available. It’s top notch.
I have children, and their musical tastes diverge from my own. That said, the other day on the Disney Channel, a new version of “Monster Mash” played, a sort-of teen beach movie sort of take on the classic ‘Graveyard Smash.’ It took me a few minutes to recognize the perennial favorite in its new guise.
I re-introduced my brood to the original Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt Kickers’ 1962 novelty song, of course. While scrolling through Pandora’s offerings, however, I discovered that “Monster Mash” saw another incarnation as a rap song. It was performed in the Disney flick “Spooky Buddies” by the teen group Allstar Weekend.
Which brought me to the idea of crafting a play list for our upcoming Halloween festivities. The kids suggested such questionable gems as China Ann McClain’s “Calling All the Monsters” and the retro “Purple People Eater.” The littlest ran in with “Wee Sing Halloween” clutched in his chubby little grip.
Movies and television provide some excellent musical offerings. Hearing themes from “The Twilight Zone” and “X-Files” set a suitably eerie feel. Danny Elfman composes amazing pieces, many with fa spooky vibe. (Think of “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Beetlejuice” as but two examples.) For a more dramatic, classical instrumental, Beethoven’s Fifth, “Night on Bald Mountain,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” or “The Funeral March of the Marionette” do the trick. “Ghost busters” by Ray Parker Jr., “Halloween,” and many horror flicks’ soundtracks get the heart pumping.
I consulted Billboard’s top ten list. Yep, there is such a thing. “Who’s Watching Me” and “Thriller” appear. (Who doesn’t love Vincent Price’s spoken interlude or the amazing Thriller video?) Metal lovers can jam to Warlock’s “Kiss of Death,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” or the like. Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and Ozzy, and any number of power-blasting bands, since metal lends itself to the darker sort of song.
The Devil finds himself the subject of such songs as “Devil Inside” by INXS, “Devil in Disguise,” and “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” Since Halloween is magical, “Black Magic Woman,” “I Put a Spell on You,” “Witchy Woman,” and “Magic Man” spring to mind, as does “Ring Around Your Finger” and the silly “Witch Doctor.” Costumes can bring out the beast in us, so “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Werewolves of London” might be a treat, or the Doors’ “People are Strange” may do the trick.
Our local cable provider has a “sounds of the seasons” station, and XM converted “Laugh USA,” but the fun of any gathering is customization. Some might opt for a soundtrack of screams and spooky sounds. Certainly, the musical offerings are legion, and adapting them to a party’s personal taste is a fun challenge. Have fun, and scare up some tunes!
Prevalent in European folklore for centuries, the personage of the vampire has unsurprisingly found a place in modern culture.
John William Polidori published the first vampire novel, The Vampyre, in 1819. Bram Stoker’s Dracula appeared in 1897, inspiring a plethora of vampire-as-villain novels, including Stephen King’s 1975 Salem’s Lot. A year later, Anne Rice brought us an early vampire-as-hero story with her Interview with the Vampire, the first of her iconic Vampire Chronicles. In David Talbot’s 1982 novel, The Delicate Dependency, ageless vampires guard the secrets of science and history, and the answers to the mysteries of life and death. More recently, James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell put a new spin on the old theme in their Blood Gospel.
The vampire made its appearance on the silver screen early in the 20th century, with director F. W. Murnau’s silent film Nosferatu (1922) being the most famous. More recent efforts include the most watched television movie to that time, The Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin (1972); The Hunger, starring David Bowie (1983); and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder (1992). 21st century teens flocked to the movie theatre to see the Twilight films.
We are not immune in our homes, either, with vampire-themed television shows such as Dark Shadows (1966 – 1971); Angel (1999 – 2004); True Blood (2008 – 2014); and The Vampire Diaries (2009 – who knows?) earning huge ratings every week.
Most sane, educated people today do not believe in the 400-year-old vampire who sleeps in a coffin and bursts into flames in sunlight. There have been a number of flesh-and-blood vampire-type serial killers, however:
– Fritz Haarman, the “vampire of Hanover,” lured at least 20 men to his home in Germany, bit out their throats, and drank their blood. He was arrested and sentenced to death in 1925.
– London’s John George Haigh killed 8 people during the 1940’s, drinking a glass of their blood before disposing of their bodies in a tub of acid. He was caught, convicted and hanged.
– Richard Trenton Chase, the “vampire of Sacramento,” killed 8 people in California, drinking their blood and mutilating their bodies. He was arrested in 1979 and committed suicide in prison.
Luckily, most so-called modern vampires are anything but violent killers. Members of a particular Goth culture born of vampire legends and the romanticized modern image read vampire literature, dress in black or Gothic clothing, and meet with like-minded people online or in vampire social clubs, sometimes called havens. Blood may or may not be consumed – from informed and consenting adult donors, of course!
Extravagant events known as Endless Night Vampire Balls are held each year on or around Halloween in cities such as New Orleans, New York, and Berlin, Germany, for patrons in full dress costume. These balls are meant to be harmless and fun – perhaps more enjoyable than being a real vampire . . .
“Never since I was a human being had I felt such mental pain . . . And in my pain, I asked irrationally, like a child, could I not return? Could I not be human again?” – Louis, Interview with the Vampire
I quiver with anticipation. Soon, my house will be filled with zombies and ghouls hungry as empty graves, their thirst overwhelming, and I must not disappoint.
For the young, I prepare punches. To chill their brew, I freeze apple juice in rubber gloves. When it is time to serve, I discard the glove and float the frozen hands in the punchbowl. My little monsters like a mixture of pineapple, orange concentrate, sparkling white grape juice, and lemon-lime soda.
The littlest prefer their potion served from a cauldron, with sherbet frothing like sweet spells. I mix about 4 cups of ginger ale, 4 cups of pineapple juice, and 4 cups white grape juice with 1 tub of sherbet and diced fruit. The kids take turns stirring the brew.
When the little ones retire for the night, the adults may want to stretch their claws around libations of their own. Three days before, it is fun to soak gummy worms in a glass bowl of vodka. The candies swell up as they absorb the alcohol, taking on a slimy feel perfect for Halloween.
Creepy cocktails circulate. Some drinks, like the Zombie and the Bloody Mary, are custom designed for Halloween parties, but any glass can be jazzed up to haunt the imagination. Stemware can be decorated with colored sugars or salts. Painted goblets or external picks add sinister touches to delight the drinker. For example, to lend the proper festive flare, I garnish martinis with “bleeding hearts” (speared pickled beets that bleed color into the vermouth and gin). I peel lychees and stuff them with blueberries; radish hollowed out and stuffed with pimento-enhanced olives are artistically peeled to leave red optic veins. These eyes glare baleful reproaches while bobbing within drinks.
For the tea-totters, I warm apple cider and float carved apple “heads” with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and whole cloves. Dry ice must be monitored, but the resulting smoke lends to the fantastic feel of many beverages.
These are but a few ideas; I am limited only by my own imagination and budget. As I await the arrival of my guests, I raise my glass in toast to you who haunt the night and wish you no hangovers but lots of fun this Halloween!