After collaborating on my latest book, Bigfoot in the Bronx, Sasquatch and I celebrated by taking a four day bender fueled by cheap whisky and expensive cigars. Truth be told, I vaguely remember where we went during that trippy odyssey. It was all about celebrating the success of an interspecies project and just plain having fun after a year in lockdown and the mental assault of pandemic mania brought on by way too much media consumption. We were done and we were free to roam about the cabin.
Now the book was out, the party ended and we parted ways for a few weeks, Sassy disappearing into the wilds of the Catskills (where I hoped he wouldn’t come across the Wraith!) and I back to my belfry of broken dreams. He’d told me he had matters to attend to, while I had another book to start. We agreed to meet after a spell at the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. There, we’d fish the Hudson, take in some sun and crack a few imperial IPAs.
Not one to waste a special moment, I asked Sassy if he would agree to an interview that I could share with my readers. It’s one thing to enjoy the fictional madness we had concocted, but another to get some insight into what it’s like to be a cryptid in a world of crushing, idiotic humanity. He clipped off the end of a Nat Sherman cigar, ate a raw fish he’d snagged a few moments before, and said, “Sure. Why the fuck not?”
What follows is all real, and so very, very true.
HUNTER – We humans have given you and your kind a load of monikers over the decades. What do you prefer to be called, other than Sassy?
SASQUATCH – Let’s get this out there now. You are the ONLY person who can call me Sassy. I mean, you get me, man, so we’re cool. But if someone came to my neck of the woods and tried that, things probably wouldn’t end well for them. For me, personally, I dig Bigfoot because look at these U-boats! That’s an undeniably big foot. In a formal setting, I’ll take Mr. Foot, too, I guess. And hey, we all know what it means when you have big feet.
HUNTER – I’m well aware, since you don’t wear pants. When you’re not hanging with this mid-list horror writer, where do you spend your time?
MR. FOOT (because it sounds funnny) – Let’s just say the Catskills. I have family and friends up there, and the last thing we need is Matt Moneymaker and Bobo coming up and invading our space. Nice guys and all, but after they leave, a gaggle of idiots come swarming in. You humans are loud and messy and annoying as hell with all that wood knocking. It’s like trying to sleep next to a demented woodpecker.
HUNTER – So, wood knocking is a myth?
MR. FOOT – Total. I don’t know who made that up, but it didn’t come from us. We’re not Neanderthals. We know how to speak. Do you just randomly pound on a tree when you want to talk to someone?
HUNTER – Never have.
MR. FOOT – Exactly. It’s dumb. Plus, it hurts the trees. I’m not saying I’m a tree hugger, but I do respect nature.
HUNTER – If you could have voted in the last presidential election, who would you have voted for?
MR. FOOT – Seriously? I would have voted both candidates off the quote, un-quote island. There are many reasons we keep to the shadows, and that’s just a glaring example. Shit, I’d rather see a Chupacabra in office than anyone you’d selected. And Chupacabras are jerks. But at least they have a lick of common sense and a moral compass.
HUNTER – Wait, Chupacabras are real?
MR. FOOT – If you don’t believe, ask any random goat.
HUNTER – Okay, let me switch gears. When we were working on Bigfoot in the Bronx, we took a little trip through my old stomping grounds one night.
MR. FOOT – Brilliant idea to do it during Halloween.
HUNTER – And that’s when you told me we had to set the book during Halloween, too. Remember how I wanted to set it during Groundhog Day?
MR. FOOT – Yeah, that still doesn’t make sense.
HUNTER – Considering how much we argued about it last time, I’m going to just let it go. Anyway, what were your impressions of the Bronx.
MR. FOOT – First, I dig how you people call it the Bronx. It’s like that with my kind. We live in the woods, not just woods. I have to say, I liked the tiny street your grew up on. Kinda quaint, which I wasn’t expecting. And that cemetery! There’s a world of history under that dirt. I could have explored that place for weeks.
HUNTER – Pardon the interruption, but you mentioned the cemetery. A lot of people claim that since they never find a Sasquatch body, you can’t exist. Some say that like us, you bury your dead. Is that true?
MR. FOOT – Different tribes handle it their own way. I once ran across this extended family down near Fouke who ate their dead. (Visibly shivers). Not cool, man. For us, we’re all about the cyclical nature of life and death. We know how difficult it can be to find a good meal when you’re a large mammal. We’re very in tune with others like us, say, like bears and big cats. When we die, we’re brought to where those guys hang out and fill their bellies.
HUNTER – Sounds pretty gruesome.
MR. FOOT – I mean, we’re dead at that point, so it’s not like we give an antelope’s asshole what happens to our body. Anyway, back to the Bronx, it was a cool place. That is, until you took me to where the subway runs. Look, I mark my territory, too, but the smell of urine there is bat crap crazy. What is with you people? And speaking of people, how can you live on top of each other like that? There’s a big, beautiful world out there. Why resign yourself to living like canned sardines? I have to say, when we were done, I kinda felt sorry for you as a species.
HUNTER – That’s funny, because my readers felt sorry for your character in the book.
MR. FOOT – Well, it was about time you didn’t just go all hog wild on killing cryptids. You’ve always been a stand up guy to me, but there are some cryptids out there who have dart boards with your face on them.
HUNTER – Jesus, really?
MR. FOOT – Oh yeah. What if I wrote twenty books about killing humans? You think I would be on any human Christmas card lists? No way. If you ever plan to go searching for a cryptid, come to me first. I’ll let you know if you’ll be treading on friendly ground or not.
HUNTER – Like the Jersey Pine Barrens?
MR. FOOT – That is now a no-go. JD is pretty pissed at you.
HUNTER – Telling a New Yorker to stay out of Jersey isn’t a bad thing. Now, speaking of whisky.
MR. FOOT – We weren’t talking about whisky.
HUNTER – Hey, I’m the interviewer here. What’s your favorite adult beverage of choice?
MR. FOOT – Honestly? I know you and I have poured a lot of that brown fire water down our necks, but if I had my way, I’d be just as happy with one of those Skinny Girl margaritas. Or their peach vodka. Good stuff, and I don’t have to worry about counting calories.
HUNTER – Are you messing with me?
MR. FOOT – Hell no. My wife loves it, too. Saturday afternoons, after a day of wrangling the kids, we like to split a bottle and just chill as we watch the sun set.
HUNTER – How many kids do you have?
MR. FOOT – Three with my current wife. I have seven in total from a mix of exes and a hookup here and there.
HUNTER – Sasquatches have hookups?
MR. FOOT – Unlike you, we don’t fight against our nature. It’s all about survival of the species, man. Don’t look at me funny. I’ve noticed quite a few of your kind excelling at spreading their seed. Like the world needs more humans. Sheesh.
HUNTER – This is not going where I had expected.
MR. FOOT – I’ve read your books. Neither is your career. (laughs his fool head off) I’m just kidding. You know I love you.
HUNTER – As much as the Jersey Devil hates me?
MR. FOOT – I wouldn’t go that far. The wife might get jealous.
HUNTER – Are there any other things you’d like people to know about you that they wouldn’t have guessed in a thousand years?
MR. FOOT – I like to retain some mystery. But let me see. You know those shirts that all say we’re the hide and seek champions? As a general rule, we HATE that game. Give me Stratego or poker any day. We’re much deeper thinkers than you give us credit for. I’ve binge watched the entire series of Homeland about four times.
HUNTER – Wait, you live in the middle of nowhere. How can you watch television?
MR. FOOT – (with a smile) That’s for me to know. I’m huge into Tex-Mex. Got a taste for it when I lived down in south Texas. Oh, and my favorite color is puce.
HUNTER – Puce? I don’t even know what that would look like.
MR. FOOT – Google it, buddy. Puce with a p-u. (laughs)
HUNTER – We need more cigars. How about we end this and go grab some?
MR. FOOT – Can we get some Skinny Girl?
HUNTER – Really? That’s how you want to end this? My readers will think you’re a wimp.
MR. FOOT – Yeah, well, the day they can call me that to my face is the day a T-Rex will march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
HUNTER – Good point.
As the great Bugs Bunny said, That’s All Folks! At least for now. Want to make Sassy a happy Squatch? Grab a copy of BIGFOOT IN THE BRONX. And next time you’re deep in the woods, leave a bottle of Skinny Girl margarita behind. Oh, and stop knocking on trees!
It’s been a while since I posted a list of Bigfoot movies. Amazingly, there are quite a few out there, most of them beyond bad, but some gems in the bunch. Here are the ones that had floated my boat recently that are definitely worth a watch. Remember Hellions, don’t go in the woods alone.
If you ever wanted to see a Squatch hunt humans with a bow and arrow, all your wishes come true with Primal Rage!
If a Bigfoot movie with Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Combs, Lance Henriksen, and Tiffany Shepis doesn’t make your motor hum, I don’t know what will. I loved the face on this squatch.
Hoax takes a few wild twists and turns, with a third act so bat crap crazy, it’s a must watch for squatchers.
BOGGY CREEK 2 – THE LEGEND CONTINUES
I’m not a huge fan of the first Boggy Creek movie, but damn, if you want to have some adult beverages and have fun with friends, Boggy Creek 2 is all you need. I watched it with my Hellions on Patreon and that was one fine afternoon.
NIGHT OF THE DEMON
The title doesn’t sound like a Bigfoot movie. This one is for the gore lovers. Feast on!
Civil unrest. Non-stop mass shootings. Protests. Riots. Pissing matches with Russia. North Korea resuming their nuclear armament in earnest. Skyrocketing fuel prices. Skyrocketing prices for goods on shelves because of the fuel price increase. Covid fears promoted daily. Yep, 2021 seems just about as shit as 2020. I’m beginning to think the Orange One wasn’t the problem.
Just as we’ve always been. We are a deeply flawed, troubling species and we’ve known it. This is why we’ve created and clung to the concept of beings greater than us that can deliver us from our inherent madness, whether in this life or the next.
If we were ever in need of saving, it’s now. Back in December of 2017, the New York Times published an article that confirmed the Pentagon has had a program dedicated to the study of UFOs, or as they now call them UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), to separate it from the crackpot stain of UFOlogy. Since then, several videos taken by the US Navy have surfaced and Tic Tacs are now more than a tiny breath mint. There was even confirmation that we possess ‘Off-World Vehicles Not Made On This Earth‘ (click here to read the article in Popular Mechanics).
Just this past week, more videos have been release by the Pentagon showing strange, glowing triangular objects buzzing Navy craft and coming from and going into the deep ocean.
Despite all this, people are still wondering when there will be disclosure. News flash – it’s already happened. The problem is, disclosure is opening up more questions and not giving us the answers we crave.
I remember Ronald Reagan’s speech to the UN in 1987 where he said, “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?”
We are prone to wars, big and small. Even with the news that there may be something otherworldly in our skies and seas, we still roll in the mud of hate and distrust like pigs in shit.
Speaking of distrust, I find it odd that the UFO community is running with news being leaked from the same organization (the government) that supposedly has been manipulating us and our relationship with UFOs for decades. So, now we should believe them? Where do we turn for the truth?
Tom DeLonge, frontman for Blink 12 and To The Stars Academy, has said in the past he’s seen what we’re dealing with and it caused him to lose sleep for days. It so disturbed him, he’s chosen not to tell us to save us the stress and anxiety.
We’re already not sleeping! We’re so stressed, pharmaceutical companies can barely keep up with the demand for anti-anxiety and depression meds.
The question is, if these videos and revelations are real, do they represent a global threat or a get out of hell free card? Either way, we need it. Maybe this is the kind of shock necessary to dislodge our heads from our asses. Don’t release information with the slow drip of water torture. Tear off the bandage and let us wail and cry a moment. Sooner rather than later, we’ll settle down. Maybe we’ll come together. Or, and this is where my money is, most will be more concerned about the latest episode of American Idol or unfiltered pics of another Kardashian.
We’re living in distressing and bewildering times, especially for the few who still possess the ability of independent thought and the pursuit of knowledge. With the more I see, the more I realize the American Dream of a better tomorrow for each succeeding generation is dead. We need a shakeup. Is whatever is behind the UFO phenomenon the cure we’re seeking? Or is it just another false god that will go the way of Zeus and his gang of idiots?
I don’t know.
A real life Independence Day, no matter how terrifying, could free us from our mental stagnation and imprisonment to hate.
Instead of waiting for a spacecraft to land on the White House lawn and an alien to ask to be taken to our leader, I think we need to find them and ask to meet with their leader. He/she/it has got to be better than anything we’ve produced.
What do you think?
Believe it or not, it’s pure coincidence that the release of Bigfoot in the Bronx happens to fall on the same day as King Kong vs. Godzilla. I could never have planned it so well. Trust me.
So, who wants to squatch this place up?
It’s hunting season for best friends Shay and Vito. This year, with a bad economy and Shay out of work, it’s more important than ever to bag a deer so they can feed their families. Tucking their truck in their secret spot outside a state park in the Catskills, they settle down, waiting for a deer to come to them.
What they get is a giant creature that outruns a speeding deer and savages it with its bare hands and jagged teeth. Someone hidden in the woods shoots it with a tranquilizer dart. Shay knows what the beast at their feet is, and how its discovery can change their lives forever. They load it into their truck and head home for…
The drugged Bigfoot awakens in a cramped shed in Shay’s backyard. Confused, terrified, angry, it breaks loose in the middle of the night, seeking refuge in a nearby cemetery. When the bagpipes of a morning funeral drive it into a killing rage, the carnage has just begun.
From playgrounds to golf courses, apartment buildings to subway cars, the bigfoot is on the move – and it’s not happy. Can Shay and Vito find and recapture the beast before it burns the Bronx to the ground?
I can’t think of a book cover that is more suitable for Hunter’s Hellions than my upcoming release from Flame Tree Press, FAITHLESS!
Faithless will be out in October this year (when the world will hopefully have it’s Covid head out of it’s ass), but you can pre-order your copy today!
About the book:
How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood behind, he retreats to his aunt’s empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he’s not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.
I wrote this book at the very start of the quarantine last March. It was one of the things that kept me sane during those first few months, including booze, watch parties of Joe Bob’s Last Drive-In Show on Shudder, and did I say booze?
Hope you remember how to say your prayers. You’re gonna need them for this one.
Because the writer is always the last to know, turns out I made my television debut on World’s Most Unexplained on the Travel Channel last night. Thank the fates that my friends watch these crazy shows all the time and they were quick to let me know!
Oy, look at that mug. I was filmed in a cramped hotel room in the height of the pandemic. Taking off my mask made me nervous as hell, which helped tamp down any butterflies I had about being on camera and interviewed by someone who was on a laptop in Ireland.
The episode is called Roadside Creature/Up in Flames. In the episode, I and several other Travel Channel mainstays talk about the very mysterious 2 night event in a bucolic Massachusetts town back in 1977. Several teenagers saw a bizarre creature on the dark, winding roads, all of them reporting basically the same odd being. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was there on the scene and coined the name, the Dover Demon.
I’m sure you can stream the show. Here is a one minute preview –
When I was with Loren at the International Cryptozoology Museum, we got to talking about the DD and I was hooked. Not long after, my fictional take on the cryptid with UFO connections was born. If you’d like to explore the Dover Demon and what it could mean for the people who witnessed it when it returns decades later, grab a copy and be prepared for some high strangeness!
Wow, is this long overdue. When Samhain Publishing went the way of Beanie Babies, I had decided to keep the three Jessica Backman books for myself because, well, she’s my favorite character and I don’t want to share. In 2017, I re-released Forest of Shadows with a cool, new cover and promised the next two would be close behind. Boy, was I wrong…and late! But fear no more, the lost Jessica Backman books are lost no more! Guess it’s high time I wrote book 4.
How can you escape the ghost of yourself?
The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With no where else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.
Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.
Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.
But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?
GRAB BOTH BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS. SEE, SOMETHING GOOD DID HAPPEN IN 2020.
It’s not often I have news of being included in not one, but two horror anthologies one after the other. In fact, this is a first. Both Survive with Me and this latest, One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington, are all here to support some very special charities. Frank was a vital part of the horror community and a hell of a nice guy. We lost him way too soon and still feel the gaping hole in our lives. Proceeds from all sales will go to the American Transplant Foundation.
A distant second to remembering Frank, for me, is that I’m sharing a Table of Contents with none other than Stephen King! Kinda blown away. But that’s the kind of guy Frank was – he touched and rooted for everyone in the genre, great and small. Here are more details on the book. I promise, it will make an amazing holiday gift for the reader in your life. Check out the who’s who of authors who are part of this special project!
The horror community lost Frank Michaels Errington and his absence has been so thoroughly felt by all who were lucky enough to interact with him. Kind, gracious, inclusive and just an all-around nice man. Frank made a large impact as a book reviewer, but he also had a positive effect on many individual creators by making sure that everyone felt welcome and acknowledged.
One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington is filled with stories of writers whose lives Frank touched in one way or another. He challenged them, cheered them on and he made sure to read the big names and small names alike.
Frank needed a new kidney. He was undergoing dialysis treatments and hoping for a compatible donor, but, unfortunately, he was not able to get the help in time to save his life. Because of this, proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated in Frank’s name to the American Transplant Foundation. Help us help others in Frank’s situation before another vital person is lost to those who value them.
This book represents the camaraderie and love that Frank instilled in the horror community. If you ever feel alone or out of place, just remember the words that Frank himself told many creatives while he was still alive.
“You’re one of us.“
* * * *
WITH STORIES, POETRY, AND ANECDOTES BY
Alan Baxter * Matt Bechtel * doungjai gam bepko * John Boden * Geoff Brown * Kealan Patrick Burke * P.D. Cacek * Kenneth W. Cain *Somer Canon * Christa Carmen * Catherine Cavendish * Greg Chapman * Richard Chizmar * Tom Deady * T. Fox Dunham * Robert Ford * Christopher Golden * J.F. Gonzalez * Mark Allen Gunnells * Jeremy Hepler * Pete Kahle * Nicholas Kaufmann * Shane Douglas Keene * Todd Keisling * Stephen King * Curtis M. Lawson * Evans Light * John R. Little * Chad Lutzke * Jonathan Maberry * Josh Malerman * Alessandro Manzetti * John McIlveen * John McNee * Tim Meyer * Lee Murray * Paul F. Olson * Kelli Owen * John Palisano * Jason Parent & Kevin Rego * David Price * Anthony J. Rapino * Hunter Shea * Rob Smales * Wesley Southard * Jeff Strand * Brett Talley * Sara Tantlinger * The Sisters of Slaughter * Richard Thomas * Paul Tremblay * Tony Tremblay * Joshua Viola * Tim Waggoner * Terry M. West * Douglas Wynne * Stephanie M. Wytovich * Mercedes M. Yardley