Let this post be a lesson to you – always listen to your kids.
My beautiful daughter, Ivy, is a full blown teenage metalhead with her father’s bizarre tastes and view of the world. She’s been a huge fan of the band Motionless in White. These dudes are hardcore with music that’ll pound a railroad spike into the center of your skull – and I mean this in the best way possible. When it comes to metal, skull splitting is the goal. I recently saw them at Warped Tour and was blown away.
Ivy told me that one of the band’s members, Josh Balz (along with his girlfriend, Ryan Malarky, an incredible tattoo artist), owned his own oddities parlor, a place called The Strange and Unusual. If you don’t know what the name refers to, I command thee to go watch Beetlejuice. I’ve always said that my Ivy is little Lydia, only far less morose.
She’s been dying to go to The Strange and Unusual, and as a fan of the show, Oddities, I can’t say I wasn’t happy to take her. We made the drive out to Kingston, Pennsylvania and found the small yet oddly spacious parlor. Best of all, with Motionless in White in between tours, Josh was there. Really nice guy with a fabulous store of some of the quirkiest antiques, taxidermied beasts, mounted insects and polished skulls you’ll ever find. I walked around the parlor a half dozen times and my eyes kept catching things I’d missed on the previous circuit. It really is a feast for the senses (and head and shoulders above Obscura in NY – the place featured on the show, Oddities). It’s not cluttered or cramped, which made our stay even better. What made my day as the keeper of the books, the merchandise is reasonably priced, too.
Needless to say, the Shea family plunked down some cash so we could take a piece of the parlor home with us. Josh was happy to sign some autographs for Ivy and her friend and he liked my Samhain bloody syringe pen so much that we let him keep it. Next time I’ll bring some books as well.
As I always like to do when I visit cool places, I present the below gallery to entice you to hop in your car and check it out for yourself. Bring your wallet. You won’t want to go home empty handed. We’re already planning our next visit.
People ask me all the time what got me into horror. The answer has always been simple. Growing up a kid in the 70s, I was hooked by the weekly documentary TV show, In Search Of.
It didn’t hurt that it was narrated by Mr. Spock, one of my idols at the time. His voiceover work on that show was always, and I mean always, pitch perfect. Somber, serious, Leonard Nimoy took us all on a trip to the weird and paranormal that has been noted as the inspiration for an entire generation of writers, directors and actors. I don’t think I’ve met a writer at Samhain Horror who hasn’t said this show deeply impacted their lives.
In Search Of was my classroom for the bizarre and unexplained. Every week, I sat in my living room sipping on a Nehi, huddled close to our TV that was as big as our couch (at least the cabinet was – the actual screen may have been 20 inches tops). It was where I was first exposed to Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, ghosts, life after death, real buried treasure, aliens, the Bermuda Triangle and ESP, just to name a few off the top of my head. Everything seemed and looked so real, I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of monster and ghosts populating the same world where I rode my bike with baseball cards in the spokes and played Wiffle Ball marathons until we could no longer see the ball.
The film itself was grainy, the terror palpable as each tale unfolded. Any episode of In Search Of back then was scarier than most horror flicks. And now that I can watch them on YouTube today, it still holds true. I’ve said it many times that the baritone of Leonard Nimoy’s voice is the horror soundtrack of my life. Without him and that wonderful show, I may have never discovered my true passion.
Summer’s winding down and Halloween will be here before you know it. Now’s a perfect time to watch this show for the first time or catch up with a long lost friend. At the very least, it will explain how we horror writers of a certain age came to be.
What’s your favorite episode? I know mine was Bigfoot and my first exposure to the famed Patterson Gimlin film.
This is one hell of a review for my latest, HELL HOLE. No way I couldn’t share this one.
Originally posted on The Horror Bookshelf:
Publisher: Samhain Horror
Length: 282 Pages
Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Hell Hole is the story of former Rough Rider and current New York City Cop Nat Blackburn and his journey on a mission from his old war pal, President Theodore Roosevelt. The mission is seemingly simple: head to a little town called Hecla in Wyoming. Roosevelt tells Nat that the town was a huge source of copper and other minerals, causing it to explode in growth overnight. However, the copper veins eventually dried up and Hecla collapsed, despite rumors of gold being found in the mines. Not only did the town’s prosperity fall apart, but the residents of Hecla disappeared without a trace. Naturally, Nat thinks it is because of something easily explainable like Indians scaring off the settlers, who they see as intruders on their land. Roosevelt dashes that theory when…
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You know I can’t release a book without having a very special episode of Monster Men (kinda like Blossom, she of Amy Farrah Fowler fame).
Jack and I talk about the inspiration behind the true ghost story and how it impacted my own life. If you haven’t picked up The Waiting yet, hopefully this will give you that last nudge.
Happy Friday everyone. I hope your week wasn’t as soul shattering insane as mine. Through it all, I had something great to look forward to – the launch of the blog tour for my latest novella, The Waiting, which is based on true events!! Huge thanks to my publicist, Erin Al-Mehairi for putting it all together even while battling the flu!
The train has left the station and will be making stops over the next2 weeks. Here’s the schedule so you can follow along and join in the fun and even enter to win a book!
Inclusion in The Paranormalist’s NetNet Round-up, www.theparanormalist.wordpress.com
Tour announcement/review at Hook of a Book—www.hookofabook.wordpress.com
Review at Dreadful Tales—www.dreadfultales.com
Review at Creating Serenity—
Review/Interview at Top of the Heap Reviews—www.topoftheheapreviews.com
Review at Wag the Fox—www.waggingthefox.blogspot.com
Review at Girl with Book Lungs—www.girlwithbooklungs.com
Review and guest article at Bookie Monster—www.bookie-monster.com
April 19 or 20:
The Paranormalist Giveaway Drawing— www.theparanormalist.wordpress.com
Review at Tim Busbey–www.timbusbey.wordpress.com
Interview (and review re-post) with
Jennifer Matlock and The Entertainer Magazine–
Online at, www.etjenmatlock.tumblr.com, and in print, The Entertainer Magazine
Guest article at PromoteHorror.com
Guest article at Author Jonathan Janz—www.jonathanjanz.com
Interview at Author Russell James –www.russellrjames.com
Interview at The Paranormalist—www.theparanormalist.wordpress.com
Tour Wide Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!
I’ll be giving away a signed print copy of my doppleganger/paranormal novel, Sinister Entity, as well as 1 each of every one of my titles. That means there will be six lucky winners. Just click on this link below to go to the Rafflecopter to enter to win. There are few things you can do for extra entries.
CLICK BELOW TO ENTER:
I am thrilled to let you all know that my latest novella, THE WAITING, is finally here. This is my 5th book for Samhain and my first based on a true and very terrifying story. In a house outside New York City, the ‘solid’ apparition of a young boy is still seen by the couple depicted in the book. It is a haunting that defies logic or explanation. THE WAITING is my attempt at making sense of an exceedingly bizarre series of events that continue to this day.
The early reviews have been great. 4 stars from Night Owl Reviews.
“It has all the makings for a classic ghost story. If you enjoy being spooked by ghastly little children with sinister intentions, this novella is definitely for you. 5 Stars!” — Tim Meyer, Horror Novel Reviews
From Long and Short Reviews : “I stayed up late to finish The Waiting, although I wouldn’t recommend doing the same to anyone hoping to get a good night’s sleep. It’s much better to read this book in the middle of the day while ignoring any unusual shadows or heavy footsteps in the corner of the room.
So, what’s THE WAITING all about?
Clinging to life, haunted by the dead.
Newlywed Cassandra Pagano lies in a state between life and death, her body fed and preserved by the machines at her side. While she struggles, unaware of the world around her, someone waits—a boy. A phantom that appears solid, real, alive. Cassandra’s husband, Brian, sees him in the house, by her bedside, running down darkened hallways. The boy walks without sound, whispers words that can’t be deciphered.
Terror and tension are driving Brian to the breaking point. Why is the boy there, and what does he want with Cassandra…and her fading soul?
You can get your ebook of THE WAITING now for under $3.00 everywhere ebooks are sold. I guarantee you will never look at life and death the same way again.