Deck The Halls With Christmas Horror

Gather round the Christmas tree, boys and girls! Regular contributor Spencer Blohm is back, this time with a bag full of  some of the best holiday horror movies to come down the chimney. Ho Ho Ho and all that claptrap!


 

Top Naughty & Not So Nice Horror Films for the Holidays

The “feel good” cheery holidays, like Christmas, are upon us and if you’re like me you enjoy the sugary sweetness for the first week or two, and then you’re itching for something a little more… menacing. Sure, the holidays are a time of joy, but it can also bring some sadness for horror fans – after all, the Halloween terror was so abruptly taken away with the arrival of November and yuletide cheer.

But thankfully there’s a special little genre set aside for this time of year. For all you horror fans who’re looking for year round terror and blood, check out this short list of the best scary holiday movies and embrace the season of Santa (which is oddly close to Satan ~Hunter)

Black Christmas (1974)

Home invasion movies are always the scariest; we’re supposed to feel safe in our own homes, and when we see that level of comfort invaded it makes us second guess our own safety. So, when a sorority house is terrorized by creepy perverted phone calls, in classic slasher fashion, the police turn out to assist them. But the true terror of Black Christmas begins when a young girl’s father, played by James Edmond, visits the campus when his daughter turns up missing along with a little high schooler who is found dead in the park nearby. Jessica (Olivia Hussey), the girl’s friend, must fight for her life and her friends’ when the attacker comes after her. Things are not always as they seem, and the bodies pile high in this holiday horror film (on Netflix) as killers are misidentified and safety is nowhere in sight.

 

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

When his parents are murdered by Santa Claus, Billy (Robert Wilson) is forever haunted by the memories of Christmas past. Sent to an orphanage where he’s abused by the head nun and cared for by Sister Margaret (Gilmer McCormick), kindred spirits who seem to find themselves scolded frequently. When he turns 18 he leaves, desperate for a normal life, but Christmas rears its ugly head when he’s forced, by his employer, to put on a Santa suit and dress up for the children. He snaps and goes on a killer rampage leaving a trail of bodies back to the orphanage for revenge in true Michael Myers style. Followed up by a slew of sequels and a loose remake years later, none quite match the gruesome terror of the original bad Santa.

black christmas 1

 

Gremlins (1984)

Many seem to forget that Gremlins is technically a Christmas movie. After all, it’s around Christmas when Billy, played by Zach Galligan, gets the strange furry creature called a Mogwai as a gift. While seemingly cute and adorable at first, these things quickly multiply and run wild. They drink and gamble and even flash the bartender throughout their rampage. Having Gremlins around is a lot like being terrorized by your pet or stuffed animals, but the scene where Lynn Peltzer (Frances McCain) kills a few gremlins with various household objects is amusingly akin to the typical panic of slasher films. The story continued in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (streaming info here) where the gremlin army threatens New York City, and there are rumors the third sequel could even feature a Godzilla-sized gremlin making the jump over to terrorize Europe.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

This movie’s not as scary if you only take it for face value. The true terror lies in the imaginative story Tim Burton brings to the film. What’s more horrifying than having the most joyous holiday of the year hijacked by the nightmarish creatures of Halloween or having your toys attack you? Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), bored with his role as the Pumpkin King, becomes intrigued and inspired by Christmas’ strange customs and leader, Sandy Claws. So, he decides to take on Christmas himself. After kidnapping Sandy Claws and throwing him into the merciless hands of Oogie Boogie (Ken Page) Jack begins his sleigh ride. However, he soon realizes he should’ve stuck to his own holiday when he becomes sorely unwelcome. With amazing musical tracks The Nightmare Before Christmas is a true classic, family-friendly, and suitable for both Christmas and Halloween!

 

Jack Frost (1997)

Starting off simple, yet still a tad gruesome, Jack Frost is full of ridiculous death scenes and simpleminded humor. It’s very reminiscent of old slasher films in that regard. Scott MacDonald plays the murderous Jack Frost, an inmate who, while on the way to his execution, narrowly escapes a car accident, only to be mutated and turned into a snowman. With a second chance to exact his revenge, Frost goes after the one who locked him up, Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport), the sheriff of the small fictional town. Tiler must team up with arrogant FBI agents to take down Frost –  with a little creative use of antifreeze!

jack frost 1

 
So, there you have it: five holiday horror movies to hopefully get those carols out of your head, at least for a little while. Who says Christmas is a time for only joyous, mushy, feelings? It’s great to see this little genre getting recognition as the years go on – especially with Krampus, based on the folklore of Santa’s murderous helper, coming to theaters in December. It’s sure to leave a lasting impression on the kids.

Robert E Dunn’s Highway To Hell – THE RED HIGHWAY

I first became acquainted with Robert E. Dunn when I read his alien novel, BEHIND THE DARKNESS. You know I’m a sucker for anything that deals with aliens, especially nasty ETs. Since then, we’ve spoken quite often, becoming pen pals of sorts. I was very fortunate to get an early read of his brand new release, THE RED HIGHWAY,  a road trip to hell and redemption and other dark and light places.

Well, Robert’s here today to talk a little about the wiring of a horror writer and to give you a peek of THE RED HIGHWAY. Buckle up, baby!


 

Horror Writer? How Weird Do You Have To Be?

I have a lot of people in my life, friends and family, strangers at the supermarket, and the occasional random e-mail ranter/fan, that ask me how do I write a novel. The subtext of this is usually, how do I write the novels I do-scary, weird, gory, and sometimes a bit desperate. Most of my characters seem to have a bit of desperation in them and they look at me, a regular guy kind of guy, and wonder about the secrets in my basement. I’ll tell you this, no one goes into my basement. Don’t even ask. What I’ll tell you about writing my books is that I have my own way of doing things and my own love of the macabre.

red highway

To tell you the truth, I think most people would be disappointed to meet a horror author. We’re the normal guys. Genre writers in general, I think, are the grounded ones. It’s the unique individuals that write In Cold Blood or Catcher in the Rye. Our basic normality comes from a life-long love of the kind of stories we end up writing. I grew up loving the old Universal horror movies and reading Tales From the Crypt. When I discovered Vampirella I turned my hand to art trying to draw beautiful vampires in skimpy costumes. My drawing skills never really improved that much but the stories and art that inspired me stuck. Monsters and weirdness infected my mind while at the same time inoculating me against the petty poisons of the real world.

Looking back, it was the same way with the kids that had a love of cowboy culture, literary readers, math geeks, jocks, drama kids…etc. Young people that have something to love, to inspire, have a framework that is both refuge and community. That makes for strong, healthy people.

Something that the rest of the world is just beginning to realize, is that almost all culture, is geek culture. We’re all geeks about something and it’s normal to be passionate about the things that give us understanding of who we are in the world. A guy who paints his body to attend a football game is no different from a gamer girl that cosplays at a ComicCon. We’re all normal and I think it’s in large part due to our connections to touchstones that speak to us.

All of that raging normalcy allowed me to write THE RED HIGHWAY, a novel about how a homeless drunk, a porn star, a foul-mouthed dwarf, two preachers, and a reporter save themselves and a burning city from an ancient evil. I’m telling you it takes a sane person to write about monsters that demand sacrifice and imagine a world where ghosts can forgive us.

All of that being said-stay out of my basement.

Now I’d like to give you a little synopsis of THE RED HIGHWAY and invite you into the weirdness.

In January of 1992, the fading life of Paul Souther, a homeless veteran, is changed by two events. He witnesses a murder committed by a big black man who, for a moment, seemed to have wings. And, as Paul hides from the man in a XXX theater, Mary Prince, the adult actress on screen, begins to speak directly to him.

On the other side of the country, the real Mary encounters the same big man when she visits the site of the Rodney King beating. He infests her life and her mind then traps her in a mental health ward, impossibly, pregnant.

In LA, two other black men, a tabloid reporter, and a celebrity TV preacher, are on the trail of the same mysterious man. They follow the tracks of rage and race leading throughout the city. At every hot spot the man is seen pulling strings and spreading the message of race war.

Paul and a mix of outcasts is called to Mary’s side just as the baby is born. None of them have any idea that the city of LA is sitting on a ticking bomb of anger. As riots explode, the big man, who now claims to be a god, reveals himself to be an ancient, dark power using the rage of the people to stoke his own, literal, fires. He demands the child as sacrifice to keep the city, and perhaps the nation from burning. It falls to Paul, a faithless man, and a drunk with blood on his own hands, to make the impossible choice between a child or a city and to save the people he has come to care about.

Twenty years later, as the grown child is spreading her own message of practical faith, as protesters picket and shout a new hate, a mysterious man shows up in the new crowds. This time his message is, God Hates Fags.


The Red Highway, Synopsis

Necro Publications/Bedlam Press
PAGES: 282
ISBN: 978-1-939065-82-7 Trade Paperback (List: $12.95)
Distribution: Trade Paperback: Amazon, LSI and CreateSpace eBook: Kindle, Smashwords, Baker & Taylor, Nook, LSI, Apple, Kobo, Sony and others.

red highway tour

In 1992, as Los Angeles begins to simmer in the heat of racial injustices, one dark man appears everywhere, spreading his message of race war. At the same time, Paul Souther, a homeless drunk, joins a strange group of outsiders. Some black and some white, they all carry the weight of broken lives and lost faith. They are all drawn to LA, for the arrival of a child, impossibly carried by Mary Prince, a sterile porn star.

Through back roads and freeways everyone is pulled into LA and Mary’s side just as the baby is born. None of them have any idea that the city is a ticking bomb of anger. As riots explode, the mysterious man reveals himself to be an ancient, dark spirit using the rage of the people to stoke his own, literal, fires. He demands Mary’s child as sacrifice to keep the city, and perhaps the nation from burning. It falls to Paul, a faithless man, and a drunk with blood on his own hands, to make the impossible choice between the child and the city, and to save the people he has come to care about.

Biography, Robert E. Dunn

Robert E. Dunn was born an army brat and grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. He wrote his first book at age eleven, stealing, or novelizing, as he called it at the time, the storyline of a Jack Kirby comic book.

His college course of study, philosophy, religion, theatre, and film/TV communications, left him qualified only to be a televangelist. When that didn’t work out, he turned to them mostly, honest work of video production. Over several years he produced everything from documentaries, to training films and his favorite, travelogues. Still always writing for the joy of it he returned to writing horror and fantasy fiction for publication after the turn of the century. It seemed like a good time for change even if the changes were not always his choice.

robert dunn

He lives in Kansas City with three daughters, a young grandson, and an old dog. He tweets sometimes as @WritingDead but makes no promises how interesting those little posts will be.

Praise for The Red Highway

“The Red Highway is not one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year, or that I’ve read in a long time…it’s one of the best books that I’ve ever read!  It was an incredible read, one that has so many layers that I was completely enthralled with the story.” –2 Book Lovers Reviews
“A thoroughly gripping read. Dunn is a writer with guts and the chops to grab his readers by the eyeballs and dare them to look away.” –Hunter Shea, Author of Tortures of the Damned
Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/The-Red-Highway-Robert-Dunn-ebook/dp/B0158WMEOE

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-red-highway-robert-e-dunn/1122623132

Necro Publications

http://necropublications.myshopify.com/collections/the-red-highway-by-robert-e-dunn/products/the-red-highway-by-robert-e-dunn

Giveaway!!!

Enter for your chance to win either a copy of The Red Highway, Behind the Darkness, or a print of the beautiful cover artwork from The Red Highway done by Erik Wilson! You can do multiple things each day to gain more entries! Just click the rafflecopter link. Forward any questions to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI3/?

Our Fascination With The End Of The World

I know that post-apocalypse fiction and movies are all the rage now, but when you think about it, this is really nothing new. Ever since crackpots have held up signs proclaiming THE END IS NEAR, human beings have been both intrigued and terrified by the concept of a complete upheaval of our world. In modern culture, just look at the success of books and movies like On the Beach, The Stand, The Day After, Testament, Miracle Mile, Swan Song and the slew of zombie fare we’ve been inundated with. Whether it’s by the hands of a returned Christ, nuclear annihilation, undead hordes or pandemic, witnessing the downfall of all we have built and seeing how the few will survive is more addicting than reality TV (and fare more fulfilling).

Of course, when we read or watch these scenarios, we always imagine ourselves as managing to scramble out from under the rubble. I mean, what’s the point if I don’t carry on? I’m smart. I’m crafty. I can turn a blind eye to establishes mores in order to survive. So why not me?

When I was a wee one, I saw the original Dawn of the Dead at the movies. (Too late to call social services on my dad!) I came out of there obsessed – not with zombies – but wondering what I would do when the world went to shit. I made lists of stores I would go to in order to gather supplies. First stop was the sports store by me where I would load up on rifles, bow and arrows and other gear to make me a force to be reckoned with. Food and water would come later. Everywhere I went, I pictured how I would fortify that location so I turn it into a safe haven.

I’m an adult now – at least that’s what it says on my license – and I still think about these things. Except now I have to make plans that include my family. Hell, I’m so obsessed with it, I wrote a book about it, Tortures of the Damned.

Why does this attract us? Is it because an apocalypse presents a cleaning of the slate, a total do-over, a chance to ‘be a real man’ and not a pencil pushing geek who stops at traffic lights and pays his taxes? Yeah, I think that’s part of it.

We’re not far removed from being pioneers, settlers, survivors. I think a part of us still craves the adventure. So we fantasize about the end times, testing ourselves against impossible odds. We want to see if we measure up to the  generations before us that seemed to know how to do everything, whereas we can’t even tell you how anything we use every day really works.

q island 1

On the Monster Men, we recently talked about our apocalyptic obsession with author Russell James, whose latest book, Q Island, tears apart Long Island, NY in a very unique way. The start of the end is possibly the most original way to date, and most frighteningly, is being played out right now in real life. Kinda gives me the shivers.

Living so close to New York City, I have to prepare for the worst. We here know it’s a matter of when, not if. The hope is that it’s nothing like people like me and Russell and many other have written.

But I’ll be loaded for bear, just in case.

 

Plotting and Planning World Domination

That’s a pretty lofty title for this post. This coming from a guy who keeps telling the lovely ladies of the Shea abode that I’m king of the castle to peels of laughter. But anyway…

Now that the dust has settled with the whole Samhain madness, I’ve been taking some time to sit back and look over the landscape, considering my options for the future. Writing has taken a back seat to quiet contemplation, as well as talking to other publishers about new opportunities. This actually came at a good time. I was getting so bogged down, I couldn’t tell my ass from my elbow. Sometimes you don’t know how deep in the reeds you’ve wandered until you’ve been pulled out of them. Writing has become a full time job, in addition to my other full time job, and handling a family that counts two disabled people among the four. Being able to go in my room and write has always been my escape, my refuge, my sanity. The shock of Samhain’s news when they let my friend and editor go got me out of that room for a spell, which has freed me up to attend to other pressing matters that needed my attention desperately.

Lupus has become a big part of our lives, and I’m working with the Lupus Foundation to find the best doctors for my wife. We still need to get to the bottom of my youngest daughter’s illness. And my oldest is about to get her license while applying for colleges. Huge milestones! God, I feel old. I love the family I’ve created. Their health and happiness is always my top priority, and right now, they need me more than ever.

So even though I haven’t written a word this month, I have been busy reorganizing the old to-do and wish lists. We all need a break from time to time, even from the things we love. One thing I am doing now is editing a middle grade book I wrote a few years ago. That baby needs a spit shine so my agent can shop it around. I’m also putting together ideas for other books in non-horror genres, as well as getting the bones together for a short story called DASH GIRL I’ll publish in 2016. I already have the cover. Gotta get the guts together. (I feel like I’m living the Ed Wood movie!)

I do have some exciting news about new books that will be out in 2016 that I plan to announce soon. Anyone who joins my Dark Hunter Newsletter now will hear it first, as well as be eligible to win free books. Trust me, you want in on this news.

My main man Jack will be coming to the studio to film our Monster Men Christmas special, and we have loads of interviews lined up. Any beer suggestions for when we film?

So what’s the point of all this? I guess it’s just to let other writers know that it’s perfectly fine not to write. And to tell you that bigger and better things are on the way. 2016 is going to be amazing.

The Best Holiday Present Ever – Free Books!

All righty, I’m not exactly ho-ho-hoing just yet, but I am painfully aware of how few paychecks there are between now and the holiday season, no matter what day you celebrate. Sure, Festivus counts.

I’m going to make your shopping a wee bit easier. All subscribers to my Dark Hunter Newsletter are eligible to win several pretty cool gifts next month. First up, a 3 pack of signed Jessica Backman ghost novels. That’s right, FOREST OF SHADOWS, SINISTER ENTITY and ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, all wrapped up and ready to go under the tree.

ho ho hoNext up is the 6 CD set of the audiobook of THE MONTAUK MONSTER, expertly done by the incredible cast at GraphicAudio. You’ve never heard an audiobook like it.

Last but not least, I’ll also be giving away one signed copy of TORTURES OF THE DAMNED.

And all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. 

I also have some big publishing news to announce. Being a subscriber means you’ll be the first to know.

So, what are you waiting for? Help me play Santa!

An Interview With Horror Master, Brian Moreland

I first met Brian Moreland about 4 years ago when we were part of Samhain’s initial horror line. We became instant friends that will last well beyond Samhain. His first book with them, DEAD OF WINTER, just blew me away. He’s since published a host of other kick ass novels, like SHADOWS IN THE MIST, THE WITCHING HOUSE, THE DEVIL’S WOODS, and THE VAGRANTSHis latest novella, DARKNESS RISING, is just phenomenal. Easily the best novella of 2015!

We here at the Monster Men have been trying to get him on the show for a couple of years. Our insane schedules made it almost impossible. Thankfully, we finally got on the same page…or Skype in this case. I was a bit woozy, having lost some blood during my tattoo process, and filling the void with beer. But, we made it! Enjoy this special episode with one of the best horror writers today.

And check out Brian’s Amazon Page to pick up his books.

Follow him on Twitter @BrianMoreland

Like him on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HorrorAuthorBrianMoreland

Check out Brian’s blogs:

http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com

http://www.brianmoreland.wordpress.com

A Change Of Plans

They say timing is everything.

A day after I posted an article about how wonderful it’s been to work with my editor, Don D’Auria, we learned he was let go by Samhain. The outpouring of anger and disappointment with Samhain and love and admiration for Don has been overwhelming. I tried to follow as much as I could just on Facebook yesterday and couldn’t keep up. Suffice to say, we’re all in Don’s corner. I feel terrible for Don, but I also know that he will find a new home, one that I hope will appreciate his talent.

I could use this space to rant and rave and call people out, but I won’t. Cooler heads must prevail. Let’s just say I was reeling when I heard the news. To work with Don for 5 years only to have the rug pulled out from under me is a blow, for sure. Just have to stay positive that we will ride again some day.

Needless to say, I won’t be submitting future works to Samhain. I just don’t feel that erotica and romance editors will get the horror vibe. Call me crazy. I already work with several other publishers, so I’m not crying that the sky is falling. I promise, you will have new Hunter Shea books in the coming years. Heck, there are 3 slated to come out next year alone.

I do empathize with the authors who have only worked with Samhain who now have to hustle their asses off to find new publishers. And what about those first timers who signed with Samhain and Don whose books have yet to be edited or come out? What the hell are they supposed to think or do? As someone who got accepted by Leisure a month before that place went kerplooey, I know how they feel. Unlike with Leisure, Samhain will still have a horror line, but it won’t have the same cache. Think of a high school football star being signed up by a college with a legendary coach, only to fire the coach before they step on campus. There are other great horror publishers out there, but just so many open slots. Things will be a mess for quite a while.

For those of you who have been following my latest writing project, We Are Always Watching, through #HunterWrites, I wanted to let you know that manuscript is going on the back burner. I was working hard to get it to Don before Christmas. No need to do that now. Instead, I’m going to work on some side projects in a totally different genre that I had promised myself to get to after the new year. I do plan to jump back into We Are Always Watching during the Christmas break. I’ll then restart #HunterWrites and you can stand over my shoulder, so to speak.

Yesterday was a dark day. But like the Dude, we will abide.

We will abide.

My Editor, My Main Man, Don D’Auria

I’m a reformed editor stalker. At least that’s what the state shrink has declared in my case.

Actually, following the career of my dream editor, Don D’Auria, turned out to be a pretty smart career move. When I talk to people about writing and getting published, I encourage this kind of behavior. And if you want to be a horror writer, Don is the man you should make a point to follow.

When I was a wanna be writer and tried and true reader, I hoovered horror novels like they were dust bunnies. The 80’s was an absolute horror boom, with tons of great and oodles of bad books, all waiting for my little eyeballs. Things slowed down a bit in the early 90’s. Finding books by authors other than King, Koontz, Barker and Saul was like searching for the holy grail or my last shaker of salt.

And then came Don (you can sing that to the theme from Maude). The first time I spotted a Leisure paperback in the horror section of my local bookstore (yes, there were still shelves dedicated to horror in the mid-90’s), I fell in love. In the front, or back, of all these wonderful books, I saw a common denominator – they all thanked their editor, this mythical dude named Don D’Auria. I wondered, who is this guy who’s bringing me great works by writers like Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Tim Lebbon, Sephera Giron, Hugh B. Cave, Douglas Clegg, Graham Masterson, John Everson, Bryan Smith, Tim Waggoner and so many more? Talk about an eye for talent! As far as I was concerned, Don had an almost supernatural ability to find the brightest and the best, the old and the new.

Just look at that handsome devil!

Just look at that handsome devil!

When I set out to write my own horror novel, I did so with the express intention to write it for Don and Don only. I sent it to him at Leisure and waited…for years. Eventually, he offered me a contract with Leisure. Alas, the company imploded as I was signing, so I waited (while standing on the ledge of a tall building) until Don moved to Samhain, where he took me along for the ride. It’s been beyond my wildest expectations ever since.

I remember the first time I met Don face to face at a Horrorfind convention. The Samhain authors were making their con debut at a booth right where attendees checked in. Man, was I nervous. I was expecting this imposing Max Perkins character to come waltzing in. I did a lot of dry swallowing waiting for him to show. Turns out, he was one of the most down to earth, unassuming guys I’d ever met. I still couldn’t shake my fan boy apprehension during that con. He was the guy who rescued me from the slush pile. I owed him my entire budding career!

We discovered that we lived close to one another during that con, and made it a point to meet for drinks one night. That was many nights and martinis/beers ago. Don isn’t just my editor. He’s a true friend, a brother from another mother who grew up on Chiller Theatre and Famous Monsters Magazine. We’re two kids who get to play on the same field as the greats who shaped our passion. Sometimes, while we’re talking about Vincent Price movies or getting Barbara Crampton’s autograph, I feel like I have to pinch myself. How many people get to work with their dream editor? And of those, how many can call that person a true friend? I’m one lucky bastard.

As Samhain turns 10 this month, I want to thank Don for all he’s done for not just me, but all the lost boys and girls of the horror line. To show my undying thanks, I even tattooed their logo on my arm. Don’s portrait is next! :)

Top 5 Haunted House Movies Just In Time For Halloween

It’s Halloween, the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Ghosts and demons lay in wait for little boys and girls who prefer tricks over treats!

What better way to spend the season than watching great horror movies? Here are what I consider the 5 best haunted house movies of all time. For my money, ghosts are far scarier than monsters because we’re potentially looking at our own destinies. Will you be among the trapped spirits some day, haunting the family living in your former home?

5. THE SENTINEL

The 70s were a treasure trove for horror. This is the decade that gave us true frights like The Exorcist, The Omen, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left and Halloween. Lost in the mix is this chilling classic about a NY fashion model who moves into a creepy brownstone apartment. The residents are the most disturbing cast of characters you’ll ever meet. Part ghost story, party possession tale, some scenes in The Sentinel will haunt you for the rest of your life. And it’s loaded with stars, including Christopher Walken, Chris Sarandon, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D’Angelo, Ava Gardner. John Carradine and so much more.

Click the movie poster to watch the trailer...if you dare!

Click the movie poster to watch the trailer…if you dare!

4. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR

This flick needs no introduction. Even if the story the Lutz family told the world is total B.S., this is still a spine tingling movie.This one has it all – evil spirits, bleeding walls, mystery rooms, imaginary friends with bad intentions and a home clouded by the spectre of a mass murder. James Brolin is brooding and terrifying as the spirit of the house drags him down. Almost 40 years later and this one still gives me chills.

The trailer alone scared the crap out of us back in the day.

The trailer alone scared the crap out of us back in the day.

3. THE CHANGELING

George C. Scott plays a composer who lost his family in an accident. Trying to put his life back together, he moves into a huge old house that, as we come to find out, is quite haunted. First of all, Scott may be the biggest-name actor in a horror movie – ever. His performance gives a gravitas rarely seen in the genre. As the story unfolds, you’ll find your goosebumps just won’t go away. That’s one haunted house I might skip if invited to spend the night.

Click the poster to watch the whole movie. You've been warned!

Click the poster to watch the whole movie. You’ve been warned!

2. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

I wasn’t a fan of The Blair Witch Project and the whole found footage dealio, but Paranormal Activity changed my mind. This one actually made my wife and I nervous when we went to sleep that night (it doesn’t help that we live in a haunted house). I can think of better things to film in the bedroom, but I’m glad they concentrated on the demonic spirit here. I just watched it again last week and it’s still unsettling. Find the BluRay with the alternate ending if you can!

spread some baby powder on your floor tonight!

spread some baby powder on your floor tonight!

1.THE HAUNTING

Hands down, this is my favorite ghost movie ever. Short on special effects because it doesn’t need them, a college professor gathers willing subjects to live in a haunted mansion in Massachusetts. As the caretaker warns them in the beginning, “No one can hear you scream in the dark. In the night.” Using the twisted history of the house to put your nerves on edge, The Haunting is all about atmosphere and odd sounds and tortured souls. This is a must watch for any true horror fan.

The trailer alone is scarier than most full movies today.

The trailer alone is scarier than most full movies today.

So, what would make your top 5 list? There were so many I could have added here, but I forced myself to whittle it down to the 5 that deeply affected me, long after the end credits.

Book Reviews To Get You All Caught Up

On the fence about picking up one of my 3 book releases this year? Take a gander at Erik Smith’s Low Budget Review show. He’s one of the few people out there doing video reviews of some of the best horror novels around. I think it’s pretty awesome that he takes the time to do this, with over 100 episodes loaded up on YouTube. I figured this is a great way for you all to get a preview of ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, TORTURES OF THE DAMNED and THE DOVER DEMON.

Best part is that I never had to pay Erik off for a positive review. :) Subscribe to his channel to get reviews on all of the latest horror has to offer. Erik, take it away, my good man…

TORTURES OF THE DAMNED

tortures

“A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book.” – Cemetery Dance

“One of the best novel’s I’ve read this year!” – The Horror Bookshelf

THE DOVER DEMON

Dover Demon Large Cover

“A fantastic monster story! Hunter Shea gets horror, and knows how to make it work.” – 2 Book Lovers Reviews

“This is my favorite monster novel of the year and I can think of few others in recent years that can rival it.” – Examiner.com

ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN

IslandoftheForbidden-H

“One of the top 10 books of 2015.” – iHorror

“A deep and great read.” – The Scary Reviews

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