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Happy Halloween!

It’s finally here….just a few days until the unholy feast of Samhain! We have hundreds of goodie bags ready for the little ghouls and witches that come by the house. Pumpkin beer is in hand and in the fridge. My costume is set – the big bad wolf from the movie, You’re Next. I bought the mask off the guy who wore it in the film. Pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

you're next

As part of the #Horrortober fun, I’ve been sticking to my pledge to watch at least 1 horror movie a day. As of the 28th, I have over 40 movies under my belt. The rest of this week is devoted to the classics – Halloween, Halloween 2, Friday the 13th Part 6, The Funhouse and The Haunting. Now, you may ask, why Friday the 13th Part 6? To me, this is when the franchise took a crazy turn and became a nightmarishly fun event. When I saw it in the 80s in the theater, they oversold the seats. A pretty girl asked me if she could sit on my lap and we were making out 5 minutes after Jason was resurrected. The rest of the time was spent yelling and howling and having a blast. You can never duplicate the vibe of those 80s movies at home.

And of course, I’ve plowed through my reading list. So many great books out there begging to be made into movies.

I wanted to do something new this year, so I took my kids on a nighttime tour of the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It was pretty incredible. You get to walk through 2 miles of dark passageways by lantern, stopping at famous tombs and mausoleums. I hadn’t realized they filmed the original Dark Shadows movie there, along with a Ramones video for Pet Sematary. Oh, and there’s that whole Headless Horseman legend as well. The best part was when we were at the back of the tour pack and I told my girls to turn around. You couldn’t see 5 feet behind us, the darkness was so complete. I whispered, “Anything could be back there.” That got us all walking a little faster.

Went to the Chiller Theatre con this weekend. Wow. Saw so many cool folks and spent way more than I had planned. I’ll have a separate post on that soon.

Last but not least, I’m just a few days away from finishing the first draft of my new cryptid novel. I’ll reveal who the monster is in the coming months.

To help get you in the mood, the Monster Men present our 3rd annual Halloween episode. Turn down the lights, grab a beer and crucifix, and enjoy!

Visit Hell For Halloween To Win

I’m writing this from deep in the abandoned copper mines in Hecla, Wyoming. It’s kinda dark in here but the internet access is surprisingly good. I just spotted a pair of rough hombres skulking around. They have the spirits all riled up. Hope they know what they’re doing.

As you may or may not know, my most recent novel, HELL HOLE, takes place right here in these mysterious hills. A pair of former Rough Riders plumb the very depths of these mines on the orders of none other than Teddy Roosevelt. What they encounter, well, let’s just say none of it’s good. Unless being harrassed by ghosts, black eyes kids, squatches and a whole host of craziness is your idea of a fun time.

Hell Hole

HELL HOLE was written with the Halloween season in mind. I want people to read horror as much as they watch it, especially this month of #Horrortober! So, here’s what I aim to do. I’m going to give a free ebook to everyone who does one of the following:

  • Go to AmazonBarnes & Noble or Samhain’s website and post a review/rating for Hell Hole. Once you do, send an email to huntershea1@gmail.com with a link to your review or rating.
  • Purchase a copy of Hell Hole. Again, send a screen print or other proof of purchase to huntershea1@gmail.com

Also in the email, tell me which of my books you’d like, as well as your preferred format : FOREST OF SHADOWS, EVIL ETERNAL, SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE, SINISTER ENTITY or THE WAITING.

One book per customer. This incredible offer lasts until October 31, 2014.

This is all part of my plan to win the lottery and buy the most tricked out RV in history, convert it into a book mobile and travel the country handing out books and spreading the love of reading. So come on, show your love for HELL HOLE and Halloween. I’ll make it worth your while.

 

The Best Pumpkin Beer For #Horrortober And Everything In Between

Sometimes as a Monster Man, you just have to bite the bullet for the greater good. Fall is here and the shelves are bursting with dozens of different seasonal pumpkin beers to choose from. Jack and I ponied up to the bar and did some taste tests to let you know what to run out and buy and what to avoid. Let me tell you, it was a way better experience than our monster wine taste test. Find out who rules #Horrortober!

Naturally, this is my favorite month, the time when I have all the irons in the fire and surround myself with all things horrific. I’m watching at least 1 horror movie a day and posting them on Twitter with the hashtag #Horrortober. I’m also posting some quick reviews on what I’m watching and reading over at The Monster Men blog.

Two of my books, SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE and THE MONTAUK MONSTER, were just named in Horror Novel Reviews 100 Scariest Books of All Time. If you’re a horror reader, check out the list and see how many you’ve got under your belt.

Speaking of Swampy, a review of the audiobook was just posted at Reading Between the Wines (my favorite way to read!). I think they dug it. I mean, who doesn’t love a good, murderous skunk ape tale?

Hell Hole

There’s a new review of my terror-filled western, HELL HOLE, over at the blog for Lindsey R. Loucks. We also did a fun, unique Q&A. Interviewers take note! She was truly original. I have a special I’ll be running for Hell Hole next week, so stay tuned.

Last but far from least, I was also happy to be on the return episode of POD OF HORROR, where we talked about The Montauk Monster and some of my upcoming projects. An awesome podcast that you should be checking out. Plus, they love Jonathan Janz, so they’re my kind of peeps.

Now, if you’ve made it this far, you should be properly rewarded. For those living in the US, send me an email at huntershea1@gmail.com with the subject : 100 Scary Books. Let me know the scariest book you ever read. I’ll pick 2 people at random to win a signed copy of The Montauk Monster.

#Horrortober Reading List for 2014

Oh, it’s that time of year again, my dead little friends (you know, you shouldn’t play with dead things). I can finally tear into all of the books and movies and podcasts and TV shows I’ve been saving all year for Horrortober. Now, you all know that I watch at least 1 horror movie a day in October and rate them on Twitter using my Mummy inspired system of 9 tana leaves.

What I look forward to the most are the books and stories I’ve been collecting. This year, I plan to take on a heavy load, but it will be worth it. If you’re looking for a spooky to read, whether it be fiction or true tales of the unexplained, I hope you find something on this list to whet your bloody appetite! Get ready, this is gonna be a big one (insert crude remark here).

NOVELLAS

There are 3 novellas I can’t wait to read from my fellow Samhain Horror authors. You can download any one of them yourself for just a few sheckles (and I won’t stop you from picking up my true haunting tale, THE WAITING).

JONATHAN JANZ – EXORCIST ROAD

Exorcist road

Possessed by a demon…or by the urge to kill?

Chicago is gripped by terror. “The Sweet Sixteen Killer” is brutally murdering sixteen-year-old girls, and the authorities are baffled.

A seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy has attacked his entire family and had to be chained to his bed. His uncle, police officer Danny Hartman, is convinced his nephew is possessed by a demon. Danny has sent his partner, Jack, to fetch the only priest in Chicago who has ever performed an exorcism.

But Jack has other plans tonight. He believes the boy isn’t possessed by a demon, but instead by an insatiable homicidal urge. Jack believes the boy is the Sweet Sixteen Killer. And he aims to end the reign of terror before another girl dies.

BRIAN MORELAND – THE VAGRANTS

VAGRANTS

Beneath the city of Boston, evil is gathering.

Journalist Daniel Finley is determined to save the impoverished of the world. But the abandoned part of humanity has a dark side too. While living under a bridge with the homeless for six months, Daniel witnessed something terrifying. Something that nearly cost him his sanity.

Now, two years later, he’s published a book that exposes a deadly underground cult and its charismatic leader. And Daniel fears the vagrants are after him because of it. At the same time, his father is being terrorized by vicious mobsters. As he desperately tries to help his father, Daniel gets caught up in the middle of a war between the Irish-American mafia and a deranged cult of homeless people who are preparing to shed blood on the streets of Boston.

 DAVID BERNSTEIN – APARTMENT 7C

APARTMENT 7C

 Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.

Eighty-two-year-old Beth Baker can hear the cop in apartment 7C beating his wife. Again. She’s also having dreams—or are they visitations—of her dead daughter, Alice, who was killed fifty years ago by an abusive husband.

The message is clear—Beth has to take care of the cop. But he’s a decorated detective and over two hundred and fifty pounds of muscle, so what’s a little old lady like her going to do? When things turn ugly and the cop threatens Beth’s own life, she realizes she needs to resort to extreme measures. Blood must be shed.


 

NOVELS

KEITH ROMMEL – THE SINFUL MAN

SINFUL MA

Headaches. Hunger. Pain.

Leo needs something . . . his stomach growls, but it can wait. That’s not hunger he must feed. He has to get to his next high, but without money he knows he can’t buy what he needs to sate the voice inside telling him to get more, get more.

Voices. Visions. Addiction.

No luck asking his father. His mother is in no position to help. After failing to steal the money he desperately needs, Leo must appeal to his dealer, the dangerous and infamous Saint Nick—despite the inevitable beating he’ll take for showing up empty-handed. Still, anything to keep the voices and flashbacks at bay . . .

Demons. Addiction. Death.

 

GLENN ROLFE – THE HAUNTED HALLS

Haunted Halls

The Bruton Inn, located outside of the small Maine city of Hollis Oaks, is home to something special. An icy presence has made its way from a dark past to the present day. Cold spots, shadows, and whispers permeate the halls, and guests are beginning to change.For two front desk employees, Rhiannon and Jeff, the dark rumors are about to come to light. They call upon Lee Buhl, the urban shaman, and his connection with the spirit world to dig up the truth.Will they be able to stand against this malevolent force? Or will they come face to face with something beyond even your most frightful dreams. Welcome to the Bruton Inn. The Ice Queen has arrived.

TRUE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL

THE LEE AVENUE HAUNTING –

DONNA PARISH-BISCHOFF

LEE AVE

This book takes you to Yonkers , New York .This is based on a true story of a real life haunting. Donna and her family endured several years of horrifying incidents that scarred them for life . No matter how many years have passed that house still remains as does the haunting . Although Donna and her family have been out of the home over thirty years … This is one story that needed to be told .
THE DEMON OF BROWNSVILLE ROAD –
BOB CRANMER & ERICA MANFRED
DEMONThe Cranmers seemed fated to own the house at 3406 Brownsville Road. As a young boy, Bob had been drawn to the property, and, just when the family decided to move back to Brentwood, it went up for sale. Without a second thought, they purchased the house that Bob had always dreamed of owning.But soon, the family began experiencing strange phenomena—objects moving on their own, ghostly footsteps, unsettling moaning sounds—that gradually increased in violence, escalating to physical assaults and, most disturbingly, bleeding walls. Bob, Lesa, and their four children were under attack from a malicious demon that was conjuring up terrifying manifestations to destroy their tight-knit household. They had two choices: leave or draw on their unwavering faith to exorcise the malicious fiend who haunted their home.
HUNT FOR THE SKINWALKER –
COLM A. KELLEHER & GEORGE KNAPP
SKINWALKER
The author of the controversial bestseller Brain Trust brings his scientific expertise to the chilling true story of unexplained phenomena on Utah’s Skinwalker Ranch — and challenges us with a new vision of reality.For more than fifty years, the bizarre events at a remote Utah ranch have ranged from the perplexing to the wholly terrifying. Vanishing and mutilated cattle. Unidentified Flying Objects. The appearance of huge, otherworldly creatures. Invisible objects emitting magnetic fields with the power to spark a cattle stampede. Flying orbs of light with dazzling maneuverability and lethal consequences. For one family, life on the Skinwalker Ranch had become a life under siege by an unknown enemy or enemies. Nothing else could explain the horrors that surrounded them — perhaps science could.

SHORT STORIES
JACKBOOTS FOR JESUS BY CASEY CRISWELL (of the Bloody Good Horror Podcast!)
BENT METAL BY NINA D’ARCANGELA (a true mistress of the damned)

There are so many more I’d like to add, but there just so much time. Somwhere in there, I actually have to finish the next monster novel I’ve been working on, too! I plan to dive into my Horrortober reading pile today to get myself in the proper mood.
What reads are you looking forward to diving into this Horrortober? Every person that replies with a book they want to read will be entered to win a sign copy of my book, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, delivered just in time for Halloween! If I get a lot of replies and recommendations, I just may select 2 or 3 winners, so bring it on.

Halloween Wrap Party

OK, this Halloween nearly did me in! And that’s a good thing. I once again achieved my goal of watching a horror movie every day (my favorite new flicks – new to me – being Rites of Spring and Revenge of the Creature). I read all of the books on my Horrortober reading list. Kudos to Kealan Patrick Burke for making my stomach turn with Kin. Awesome stuff.

On Halloween night, we had over 300 costumed kiddies come to the house. After canceling Halloween last year due to super storm Sandy, they had to make up for lost time. Yes, I and my twisted children dressed up to scare those kids who only wanted some candy. What was I? I have no clue. I was something no one else was likely to see that night. You be the judge.

Me Halloween

In the dark, with my hooded black jacket, it was effective enough to make trick or treaters pause. Heh heh heh.

The 99 cent sale for my first short story collection, ASYLUM SCRAWLS, is over, but it didn’t go up much. You can download a copy now for just $1.99. I noticed that quite a few folks have already checked into the asylum. How about you? A little thorazine, three hots and a cot, get some rest.

AsylumScrawls-alt

Congratulations to Lindsey Loucks who won a signed copy of SINISTER ENTITY. Thank you for playing along with my madness.

We’ve made some updates to the Monster Men website, adding a podcast archive so you can catch all the episodes you’ve missed.

I have some exciting announcements to make over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Oh, and thank you all for making SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE an audiobook bestseller. It’s an honor to be beside the likes of Tim Lebbon and Ron Malfi. I’m telling you, those skunk apes are gonna rule the world one day.

The Ghosts Of Eastern State Penitentiary & The Scariest Places In The World

I’ve been saving this post for Halloween, and for good reason. Halloween, or better still, Samhain, is the time when the dead truly walk among us. Who doesn’t love a ghost story? Arguably, the best part of John Carpenter’s classic, The Fog, is the very beginning when John Houseman tells ‘one more story‘ on the beach just before midnight.

Even better are the true tales of hauntings and wayward spirits.

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is on just about every paranormal enthusiast’s bucket list, including my own. Ghosts aside, the enormous, crumbling prison is a living piece of history, some of those aspects carrying on through time. It’s been featured on many of the ParaTV shows, and my own daughter, the future Monster Woman, Ivy Shea, has been there twice – on school trips of all things!

The first time she went several years ago, she said it was just an old, empty building and she didn’t think it was scary at all. Pretty brave for an 11 year old. This year, they went back to Philly and once again walked the haunted halls. Ivy said the vibe this time around was very, very different. The atmosphere was heavy and it felt like they were being watched everywhere they went. She snapped pictures constantly. Two of them are interesting.

This first one shows Al Capone’s cell. If you look at the left arm of the chair, you can make out a face. Is it just the pattern of the paint on the wall? A case of Pareidoliathe mind’s way of putting a face to seemingly random shapes? Or is it the lingering image of an inmate long, long gone, at least from this world? I don’t pretend to know. It is fascinating to me how many views one can take on a simple, single image.

Take a look a the armchair at the rear of the cell and decide for yourself.

Take a look a the armchair at the rear of the cell and decide for yourself.

The second picture was taken down one of the empty wings of the prison. The area was roped off. Ivy was at the front of the line and snapped a couple of pictures. She saw nothing at the time but a long, lighted, empty hall. When we looked at the pictures later, we discovered a large, black mass a the bottom of the picture. It appears to be in the distance, as the light on the far wall shines past it. Again, I don’t know what this is other than highly interesting. No one was in that wing. No one was in front of her. Yet there is a black mass. Strange.

ESP Shadow

I wish I could spin a spine tingling tale about poor Ivy coming face-to-face with the wraith of an executed prisoner, but I can’t. The rich, haunted history of the penitentiary and these and other photos from hundreds of visitors will have to suffice.

Speaking of haunted places, Priority One Jets just posted a list of 7 Terrifying Haunted Attractions. Naturally, Eastern State Penitentiary is on the list. If you’re looking to really get your scare on this Halloween, you need to pick your favorite from the list and just go. The catacombs in Paris is tops on my list. Honestly, if  and when I do go to France, that and a few of Hemingway’s favorite writing/drinking spots may be the only places I check out. Who needs to see that tower thingy and those museums?

My question is, what famous haunted spots have you been to? Were you one of the lucky few to see and/or hear something that can’t be explained? Come sit by the fire. There’s time for one more story….

Monster Books : The Gateway To Horror

Fellow Monster Man Jack Campisi is back, schooling all you monster dudes and monsterettes on the art of horror. So, turn down the light, sip the mind altering beverage of your choice and read on…

Now that the calendar has turned to October and Halloween season is upon us, it’s time to really dive into horror, and I mean headfirst. There are only 31 days, so let’s not waste any of them. Naturally, there’ll be plenty of scary movies and shows on TV, but it’s also a great time to pick up a good book.

Being good friends with a horror author has some great perks. Not only do I have a blast co-hosting the Monster Men horror podcast, but I also get exposed to a whole world of fantastic horror literature that I may not have found on my own. Reading is such a wonderful way to enjoy the genre. When you find a good book, you get sucked into a new world and your mind becomes your movie screen. You are much more connected with the characters and let’s face it, books can go to so many more places than any movies.

It got me thinking about how important books have been in my journey as a horror fan. When I was a kid, the school library and the public library were treasure troves of monster books. So, before I was even old enough to watch Dracula or Frankenstein, I was devouring books about monsters, ghosts and urban legends like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Here are a few books that helped fuel my imagination and molded me into the Monster Man I am today.

First we have Movie Monsters and Monsters from the Movies by Thomas Aylesworth. These books were in my elementary school library and I made a beeline for them every chance I could get. The photos of Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man and all those other wonderful creatures grabbed my imagination and never let go. One of the reasons those books got such a prominent place on the bookshelves was that Aylesworth’s wife happened to be the art teacher at our school. Pretty cool, huh?

moviemonsters

Another book that I owned, and still have today, is Horror Movies: Tales of Terror in the Cinema (The Movie Treasury) by Alan G Frank. This book is amazing. Way before I saw most of the Universal Monster movies or the Hammer horror films, I had this book. It has chapters on vampires, werewolves, mummies and every other kind of fiend you can imagine. There are some terrifying photos, particularly of Christopher Lee, that had me leaving a light on when I went to bed. Then, as I got older, I had a great guidebook for movies to seek out. This book covers everything from Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed to Vampire Circus.

horrormovies_frank

Of course, as time went by, I graduated to more traditional books like Salem’s Lot and Pet Sematary, but it really all started with monster books like these.

So this Halloween season, I urge to turn off the TV once in a while and curl up with a good, scary book. On the latest episode of Monster Men, Hunter and I suggest a whole pile of excellent horror novels. This includes terrific books by Tim Myer, Brian Moreland, Jonathan Janz, Jamie Evans and Frazer Lee. (And Hunter Shea, of course.) If you have not read these guys yet, you really ought to check them out. Not only will you be supporting some great people, but you’ll also be in for a hell of a read.

Click here to catch the latest Monster Men show

Click here to catch the latest Monster Men show

Happy HORRORTOBER!

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Jack Campisi is the co-host of the Monster Men video podcast, along with Hunter Shea. Follow him on Twitter at @backinjack and join the Monster Men on Facebook for more spooky fun.

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