Tag Archive | horror books

Cryptidmania – Welcome to the Eerie World of the Goat Man!

As you all know, old Hunter is a bit of a cryptid fanatic. It’s been my mission in life to drag these poor (oftentimes scary) creatures into my fictional world of mayhem and murder. As a lad who became fascinated by the likes of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster thanks to shows like In Search Of, I’ve always wanted to see these mythical beasts at their wildest and most terrifying.

Hence, I have a library of books I’ve penned detailing the fantastical adventures of the Montauk Monster, Dover Demon, Skunk Apes, Loch Ness Monster, Pukwudgies, Thunderbirds, Orang Pendeks, Jersey Devil, Loch Ness Monster, and now, coming out on Friday the 13th in May…The Goat Man!

When I was searching for a new cryptid to exploit…er, I mean explore…I reached out to my mega Hellions on Patreon and asked them to make suggestions. I was looking for a creature that has had little to no fiction written about it. When someone brought up the Goat Man, tiny bells went off in my head. I recalled my daughters loving an episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved where hosts Shane and Ryan go down to Denton, Texas to find evidence of the local legend…and maybe some devil worshipers!

I was hooked! I knew about the Goat Man, but I didn’t realize that the cryptid is not confined to just one place. There are Goat Man legends in Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, and the most infamous of all, Kentucky, home of the Pope Lick Monster, which, if you ask me, is a way cooler moniker. Goat Man conjures up too many images of Jim Brewer doing the Goat Boy on SNL.

But here’s what intrigued me the most. When you think of it, the Goat Man, a bipedal half man, half goat living in the woods, looks a hell of a lot like the devil himself, or at least something demonic. Sprinkle in tales of Satanic rituals being performed in places where the Goat Man has been known to dwell, and you have a pretty spine-chilling backstory.

And speaking of backstories, the Goat Man has plenty. He is sometimes said to be the offspring of one of those Satanic rituals. Others say he was an African American goat farmer who was hanged by jealous white farmers. He also may be the end product of a science project gone awry at a nearby animal lab. Like all juicy legends, speculation runs wild and give us space for our imaginations to soar. And when we’re left to fill in the blanks or expound upon an existing theory, the darkness creeps in.

Photo courtesy of cryptidz.fandom.com

I don’t know about you, but if I saw that thing in the woods, I’d hightail it all the way to Canada. I’ve always felt that the Goat Man in America is an extension of the mythological Satyr. What’s a Satyr? Well, here’s my favorite definition found on Wikipedia – “In Greek mythology, a satyr, also known as a silenus or silenos, is a male nature spirit with ears and a tail resembling those of a horse, as well as a permanent, exaggerated erection.” I know, I’ll never outgrow my adolescence. These beings are also half man, half goat, and have been around for three thousand years. Here’s another thing I love about Satyrs, thanks to those Wiki peeps – “Satyrs were characterized by their ribaldry and were known as lovers of wine, music, dancing, and women. They were companions of the god Dionysus and were believed to inhabit remote locales, such as woodlands, mountains, and pastures.

Now, it seems like Satyrs have a whole lot more fun than our American Goat Man, which kind of makes me feel sorry for him. What I don’t feel sorry for are the cultists who have been known to sacrifice cats to the devil or the Goat Man or Linda Blair. Killing cats is not cool, though you never hear someone ask about a book or horror movie, “Did they kill the cat?” Down in Texas, it’s gotten so bad, local pet stores won’t sell cats.

Now, you can’t have a Goat Man without a bridge, it seems. The old Anton Bridge in Texas still stands after well over a hundred years. Known to residents and cryptid enthusiasts as the Goat Man’s Bridge, it’s a sort of gateway between our world and the underworld…and I’m not talking about the Mafia. All one needs to do to call upon the Goat Man is to rap on the bridge three times and utter its name. If you’re lucky, nothing will happen. If you’re one of the very unlucky, the Goat Man’s piercing eyes will appear out of the darkness, a growling voice compelling you to “get off my bridge!” And if you’re super unlucky, the Goat Man will chase you!

The Goat Man isn’t necessarily a killer, but he is territorial. Satanists, on the other hand, can be killers, especially if you wander into their ritual while wearing a cat suit. For my money, Devil worshippers are much scarier than a Goat Man. And that is how my next book was born. Out of a love for the Goat Man and a fear of Satanists!

There’s a lot more to come as we walk across the old Goat Man’s Bridge and see what we can do about rousting that modern day, unhappy Satyr out of his lair. Stay tuned, and if you find yourself in the woods at night on a decaying bridge, knock three times and tell me what you see.

Exciting Cover Reveal For 2022- To The Devil, A Cryptid!

Hoo boy, is this one going to be a wild ride! Inspired by my Hellions on Patreon and my lovely daughters, TO THE DEVIL, A CRYPTID brings life to a cryptid that doesn’t get a lot of love and attention. What makes this book even more special is that it will be my tenth release with Severed Press, your home for cryptids, aquatic beasts, space rangers and dinosaurs on the loose.

As we get closer to the big day, I’ll reveal more about the book, the monster (I think a lot of you can figure it out by the cover), and all of the unexpected madness contained with its pages. We’ll do some deep dives into the history of this particular cryptid, share sneak peeks, host some online events and more. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from this old monster lover and a whole lot more. Expect the unexpected.

And yes, the title was inspired by the Christopher Lee classic, To the Devil, A Daughter. I can promise you, that’s where all the similarities end. Just for shits and giggles, here’s a trailer to the movie.

What do you think of the cover? Can you guess the cryptid? There’s so much more to come, so don’t touch that dial!

Happy Book Release Day! FAITHLESS Has Arrived!

It ain’t the spooky season without a brand new Hunter Shea book. And this one is a dark and twisted doozy!

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, 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.

Faithless is yet another example of why Shea and Don D’Auria continue to be a magical partnership.” – Cemetery Dance

Grab an ebook, paperback or hardcover today!

Horrortober Reading List

You know, 2021 hasn’t been all that much better than 2020. Which is why I’ve been waiting for Horrortober to arrive to I can just burrow down deeper into the genre and world I love and ignore the horse dookie around me. Along with watching at least a horror movie a day (last year’s record breaker was 70 movies in 31 days – hmmm, let’s see if I can top that), I’ll be reading lots o scary books. Here is my 2021 lineup. Hopefully you find something you’d like to add to your list. Better yet, what are you planning on reading?

I couldn’t wait to get this book in my hot little hands. I mean, it’s Elvira, the queen of horror. I’ve met her several times and she has always been a pleasure to be around. A book that is 70 years in the making, which seems impossible to believe.

The woman behind the icon known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the undisputed Queen of Halloween, reveals her full story, filled with intimate bombshells, told by the bombshell herself. 


 

The latest by the prolific Armand Rosamilia, Trapped has the best returning character in literary history, TV cryptozoologist, Hunter Shaya!! Yeah, I may be biased.

Forget the conspiracy theories about Denver International Airport… this just got real.

When a massive snowstorm shuts down the airport and forces a plane carrying exotic and deadly cargo, those trapped inside the terminal have no idea what’s in store for them.

Can a group of passengers and airport workers band together to face the onslaught, or will they be ripped apart?

Jeff Strand signed my copy of Allison at Scares that Care and I squirreled it away just for Horrortober. Strand never, ever disappoints, so I know this will rock.

Allison can break your bones with her mind, and she can’t control her power.

Now forty-five years old, she’s spent her life trying to stay away from other people. But a random encounter with a couple on the street leaves her believing that she may have done something horrible. Something unforgivable.

Killer-for-hire Daxton and his girlfriend Maggie know the truth. Instead of easing Allison’s anguish, they come up with a cruel plan to take advantage of it. But with Allison’s abilities exposed, there may be a grisly body count very soon…

From its shocking opening to its sinister conclusion, ALLISON is Jeff Strand at his over-the-top best!

I’ve had this on my shelf for months! I hear nothing but great things about Dear Laura.

Every year, on her birthday, Laura gets a letter from a stranger. That stranger claims to know the whereabouts of her missing friend Bobby, but there’s a catch: he’ll only tell her what he knows in exchange for something…personal.So begins Laura’s sordid relationship with her new penpal, built on a foundation of quid pro quo. Her quest for closure will push her to bizarre acts of humiliation and harm, yet no matter how hard she tries, she cannot escape her correspondent’s demands. The letters keep coming, and as time passes, they have a profound effect on Laura.From the author of Cruel Works of Nature comes a dark and twisted tale about obsession, guilt, and how far a person will go to put her ghosts to bed.

It’s no secret that Chad Lutzke is one of my favorite authors (and human beings for that matter). Just working my way through all of his books. I already know I’ll dig it.

“My name is Levi. I’m 16. I’ve got a skull for a face. And here’s how shit went down.”

Having never been outside the walls of Gramm Jones Foster Care Facility, sixteen-year-old Levi leaves in the middle of the night with an empty backpack and a newfound lust for life. A journey that leads him into the arms of delusional newlyweds, drunkards, polygamists, the dangerous, and the batshit crazy. His destination? Hermosa Beach, California where he’s told there is another like him, with the face of a skull.

A coming-of-age road trip filled with surreal Lynch-ian encounters exploring the dark, the disturbing, and the lonely in a 1980s world—an epic venture for one disfigured boy struggling to find his place in the world.

I recently met Daniel Volpe and grabbed a couple of his books. This one looks insane, so count me in!

In the early 1990s the rising popularity of the video cassette gave birth to a seedy, underground world of illicit pornography.
Talia, a Midwest dreamer, leaves home in search of fame under the blinding Broadway lights. But nothing could have prepared her for what she finds instead. Savage violence, bottomless depravity, and no way out.

Talia will unapologetically drag you into the foul underbelly of society. A sanity straining journey, full of hot bloodshed and betrayal.

Pre-Order FAITHLESS

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.

Anticipated Reads for Women In Horror Month #WIHM

February is Women in Horror Month and I’ve already got my TBR stack locked and loaded. I’m really looking forward to tucking into these tales of the strange and unusual. Some are brand new to me, and others are staples that never disappoint. What’s on your list?

New York City, 1990:

When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfriend Donna vanishes without a trace.

Only after the disappearances of several other impoverished women does Monique hear the rumors. A taloned monster stalks the city’s underground and snatches victims into the dark.

Donna isn’t missing. She was taken.

To save the woman she loves, Monique must descend deeper than the known underground, into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures. But what she finds looms beyond her wildest fears—a darkness that stretches from the dawn of time and across the stars.

You’re next…

Carol and Nessa are strangers but not for much longer.

In a luxury apartment and in the walls of a modern hospital, the evil that was done continues to thrive. They are in the hands of an entity that knows no boundaries and crosses dimensions – bending and twisting time itself – and where danger waits in every shadow. The battle is on for their bodies and souls and the line between reality and nightmare is hard to define.
Through it all, the words of Lydia Warren Carmody haunt them. But who was she? And why have Carol and Nessa been chosen?

The answer lies deep in the darkness…

Maria is a wanted woman. She’s wanted by and Aztec trafficker, a cartel boss, the people she fights for, and now the Devil she can’t resist.
Her journey begins as a would-be immigrant turned vampire in Juarez, Mexico until the injustices of the world turn her into somehting else. She’s not just out for blood, she wants answers.

Maria spends twenty-two years in motel cleaning purgatory trying to keep her faith and sanity intact. When she feels all hope is lost she meets an ex-boxer that offers her a new job and teaches her to fight. During this time, she becomes an unlikely bad ass enforcer of justice for the community that has embraced her. Is she a saint or an old God from a forgotten past?

Not only does she evolve into the woman she always hoped to be, but she finds her creator – Adam- he is nothing like she imagined.  He invites Maria to travel with him to England to join The Keepers, a vampire organization led by the ancient Mordecai and Dr. Elizabeth Appleton.

Learning that the true vampire way isn’t destruction but the safety of humanity, Maria joins The Keepers as they uncover a plot set into motion by Lucifer himself. The Keepers must end his corruption through political manipulation or watch as the world hurtles towards self-destruction.

Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.

Once upon a time, there was a woman, and she was tired. Tired of pushing. Tired of being pushed. Tired of feeling alone. Tired of so much.

So she gathered together a pack of wolves, a band of mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, partners, friends, lovers, survivors, victors and brilliant, shining things, and she told them to sing.

And sing they did.

The result is WE ARE WOLVES, a chorus of of terrifying, moving and heart-breaking stories from some of horror’s finest contemporary writers including Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower, Cina Pelayo, Sarah Read, Hailey Piper, V Castro, Sara Tantlinger, Sonora Taylor and many more.

All proceeds from the sale of this charity anthology will go towards helping the survivors of abuse and assault.

Horrortober Movies and Books – Countdown to Halloween

October – I mean, Horrortober – is my month long Mardi Gras, and I know I’m not alone. As usual, I’ve been saving special books and movies to keep me immersed in all things horror for the 31 days and nights of terror-fueled delight. And I was smart enough this year not to take on any writing projects so I have all the time I need.

First up, the Monster Men got our furry mitts on the newest edition of 31 Days of Terror. It’s a damn fun game where you roll the dice and then consult the book to see what movie you should watch. This is our fourth year playing it on Monster Men and it was pretty funny how we bent the rules to get a good movie for Halloween night. It’s a cool way to discover new movies or revisit ones you may have forgotten. Check it out right below. For my part, I want to see if I can top my Horrortober movie total of 55 this time around. We shall see…

Now, on to my reading list. Here are the books I’ve been smuggling away, saving them for my favorite month. Have you read them? What did you think? I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to be very happy with them.

How far would you go to bring back someone you love?

When Chris’s son dies in a tragic car crash, her world is devastated. The walls of grief close in on Chris’s life until, one day, a small cut on her finger changes everything.

A drop of blood falls from Chris’s hand onto her son’s roadside memorial and, later that night, Chris thinks she sees his ghost outside her window. Only, is it really her son’s ghost, or is it something else—something evil?

Soon Chris is playing a dangerous game with forces beyond her control in a bid to see her son, Trey, alive once again.

Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. 

On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now. 

A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Antarctica. A mining base at the edge of the world.

Anders Nordvelt, last-minute replacement as head of security, has no time to integrate himself into the crew before an act of sabotage threatens the project. He must untangle a complex web of relationships from his position as prime suspect.

Then a body is found in the ice. Systems fail as the long night falls. Now Anders must do more than find a murderer: he must find a way to survive.

Will anyone endure the night shift, or will ice and frozen corpses be all that remains?

Alex: A hardened goth-punk who’s convinced she’s a vampire with a penchant for blood.
Stacia: A seventeen-year-old raised by an alcoholic mother, her fellow captives the only family she’s ever truly had.
Kammie: The youngest of the three—a mute who finds solace in a houseplant.

But does life outside the house offer the freedom they’d envisioned? Or is it too late, the scars too deep?

A coming-of-age tale of revenge and survival that explores a friendship and the desperate measures taken to ensure they stay united, held together by the scars that bind them.

The end of summer, 1986. With only a few days left until the new school year, twins Jeremy and Jack Schaffer are on very different paths. Jeremy is the geek, playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends Kathleen and Randy, while Jack is the jock, getting into trouble with his buddies.

And then everything changes when neighbor Mister Higgins is killed by a wild animal in his yard. Was it a bear? There’s something big lurking in the woods behind their New Jersey home.

Will the police be able to solve the murder before more Middletown residents are ripped apart?

New Book News – MISFITS Has Arrived!

That’s right Hellions. You’ve all been incredibly patient waiting a whole year for my latest book, MISFITS, a brutal trek through the darkest woods populated by a race of humanoids who crave human flesh.

A bad-ass love letter to small-town folklore.” – Splattergeist reviews

During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.

MISFITS is available in hardcover, trade paperback and ebook. CLICK HERE to take a trip down Dracula Drive and face the horror of the Melon Heads!

GHOST MINE on Sale for Just 99 Cents!

That’s right my hellion pardners, you can get your hands on Ghost Mine from now until July 9th for only 99 cents.

Ghost Mine Sale

If you dig cowboys, ghost towns, abandoned places, cryptids, black eyed kids, ghosts and pure evil, you’re my kind of person! Take a trip into GHOST MINE today.

MISFITS Is Coming – Pre-order Now

Do ya like urban legends? Were you rocking your flannels during the grunge craze? Do you think people who believe high school are the glory days are clinically insane? Dream of retribution for a deed done dirty to you?

Well, my friend, you just may be a misfit. And believe me, in this day and age, that is an honor. Boy, do I have the book for you…

Misfits HUNTER SHEA v02

I’ve always wanted to write a book about the dreaded Melon Heads, and man, a fucked up book like Misfits is just perfect for a fucked up year like 2020. Oh wait, you never heard of the Melon Heads? Well, just think about a lost tribe of humanity with large heads and all kinds of deformities who are territorial and sometimes, cannibalistic living in the woods of Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio. Intrigued. Check out the below video that does a damn good job delving into the mystery of the Melon Heads.

 

 

Now, since this is a Hunter Shea book, I’ve taken some liberties with the urban legend and cranked it up to eleven in terms of murder and mayhem. Best part is that it’s all set in the early 90s against the backdrop of an economy in the tank with a killer soundtrack provided by the likes of Nirvana, Hole, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and the rest.

Here’s the trusty ol’ synopsis:

During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.

Look, if you love horror, you were probably on the fringe as a kid like me, or still living comfortably ‘out there’, again like me. If you’ve ever felt like the world didn’t understand or want you, you’re going to love the five teens in this book – Mick, Chuck, Vent, Marnie and Heidi. Misfits, one and all, but also all for one.

MISFITS drops in the US on September 8th. Let’s just hope the coronavirus has slunk into a dark corner at that point.

You can pre-order today by clicking here.

Misfits will be available in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audio through Flame Tree Press.

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