It’s getting chilly outside and I see a smattering of brown crunchy leaves on the ground. That means it’s time to dive headfirst into the pile of books I curate just for the Halloween season, or as I call it, Horrortober. This year’s list may be a bit ambitious, but I think I can do it. That’s along with watching 1 horror movie a day and other decadent things. So, if you’re looking for a hot read when the nights are dark and our spirits colder, pluck one of these off the shelf…
THE NIGHT PARADE BY RON MALFI
First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .
They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.
After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.
Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .
EAT THE NIGHT BY TIM WAGGONER
For Joan Lantz, it starts with a dream of a death-cult’s mass suicide in the jungle of Suriname thirty years ago, followed by the discovery of a hidden basement in her new house, where heavy metal music echoes on humid tropical air.
For Kevin Benecke, long-suffering employee of a mysterious organization known simply as Maintenance, it starts with the violent death of his co-worker at the hands of a madman who tells him, The Big Dark is coming for you.
Long-dead cult leader and former rock star Mark Maegarr has returned from beyond the grave, and Joan and Kevin have front-row seats to his apocalyptic comeback. Maegarr’s waited decades to finish what he started, and this time no one will stop him from putting on a killer show designed to hasten the universe’s end.
LOVECRAFT’S CURSE BY BRIAN LETENDRE
A horrific childhood incident cast a shadow over Fela Barton’s life for fourteen years.
Now a 20-year-old college student, Fela survived her first semester of living on campus and is finally ready put the past behind her.
Until the nightmares start again.
Fela’s dreams hold the key to the madness that has plagued her family for generations. But as she searches for answers, a terrible evil gets closer to finding her.
Only one person can help Fela now–and he’s been dead for over 70 years.
LITTLE SECRETS BY MEGAN HART
They’re not alone in the house.
With a baby on the way and a brand new house, it seems Ginny and her husband, Sean, are on their way to a fresh start. But strange occurrences and financial strain seem determined to keep Ginny and Sean stuck in the past. Ginny begins to believe the house may be haunted…or that her husband might be trying to trick her into thinking so. As Ginny researches the house’s former owner and the tragedy that happened there, it becomes clearer than ever that something is in the house with them. The question is, who…or what…is it?
CHELSEA AVENUE BY ARMAND ROSAMILIA
On July 8th 1987, in Long Branch, New Jersey, The Haunted House Pier and Murphy’s Law club fires destroyed not only local landmarks, but everything Manny Santiago found dear.
And it isn’t over.
The entity responsible for killing Manny’s family and wreaking devastation in the small seaside community has reappeared. Again. As it has every year since. And is growing in power.
Every July 8th it returns, as survivors of the fires, including Manny, are mysteriously led back to the now-vacant seaside lot on Chelsea Avenue, where the entity intends to finish what it started in 1987 once and for all.
TAR BY IAIN ROB WRIGHT
How do you go on living when you’re already dead?
The world has ended, yet a few places still cling to life, dragging out their final, dwindling moments until the last second. The United Kingdom is one of those places still left alive, but it is only a matter of time before it too is wiped from the face of the earth.
The Tar is coming, covering every inch of the globe. There is no escape.
It means the clock is ticking for Finn, who needs to find the monster that murdered his sister. The world might be over, but vengeance never dies.
By bestselling author, Iain Rob Wright, comes an apocalypse like no other. Follow a broken brother’s vengeance as he seeks to kill a man who is already dead.
Today being the official start of Fall (even though it’ll feel like summer here), I’m as excited as a bat at sundown. #Horrotober, my month long celebration of the Halloween season, is just a week away. As always, I want you to revel in all things horror with me, which means filling our days and nights with scary movies, books, magazines and fun things to do.
So, first thing you need to do is line up movies to watch. I try to do 1 horror movie a day and always post them on twitter with the old #Horrortober hashtag. As a public service, here are some pretty good horror flix you can catch on Netflix to fill your schedule.
This rare Turkish horror movie starts out with five asshole cops sitting around a late night eatery. Kinda like Reservoir Dogs, except they’re not planning a crime and doling out funny names. They get called to a break in and then, my friends, all hell breaks loose. The visuals here are some of the most disturbing I’ve seen in years. This is high strangeness, a Clive Barker inspired fever dream with an antagonist that might make Pinhead shiver.
I loved the movie Don’t Breathe, which was the second half of what I call 2016’s disability horror. Hush is a home invasion movie where a deaf woman in a remote cabin is put through hell by an absolute psycho. The fact that she can’t hear him as he moves about the cabin, breaking windows, or even know the sounds she makes as she tries to lurk around really amps up the tension. It’s a little movie that packs a big punch.
Being an Irishman, I can never resist any movie set in Ireland, horror or otherwise. In this little surprise, an arborist moves his family to the woods, settling into an old house with iron bars on all of the windows. Why? Oh, you’ll find out. Very cool creature effects abound in this taut bit o nastiness.
Man gets invited by flaky ex-wife to come over for dinner with their old friends and some new ones. He obviously doesn’t want to be there, but the new woman in his life urges him on. We know right away something bad happened between these two. But that’s not what makes this little shindig so strange. You can file this under slow burn but with a great third act. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year.
THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE
Another low budget indie horror that has to depend on story and strong performances by a cast of folks you’ve probably never seen before. I honestly had no idea where this one was going. A down and out dude gets taken in by his friend but maybe he should have been left to his own devices. Because he’s getting strange calls and hearing voices and is a powder keg ready to explode.
Howdy Hellions, just wanted to let you all know there’s a fun little giveaway running over at Night Owl Reviews where you can win some cold, hard Amazon cash. It’s all to spread the word about The Jersey Devil. The giveaway runs until the end of September.
If you’ve read the book, please leave a brief review on Amazon. If you want to pick up a copy of the book, please buy it through the Amazon link in my bookstore. Both help a lot and keep me writing day and night to give you nightmares or make the little monster in you giggle just a tad. And thank you to everyone who has already gone to the deep corners of the Pine Barrens with me.
Just click the image below to enter the giveaway. Good luck! Hope a Hellion wins.
Hellions, this man’s dream has come true! As most of you know, I LOVE The Creature From the Black Lagoon. I was lucky enough to meet Julia Adams at Chiller Theatre a couple of years ago. Her signed picture is the centerpiece of my horror collection.
Well, thank to the amazing folks who run the CT Horrorfest that took place in Danbury, CT, I was able to meet the beast end of the beauty and the beast tale, Ricou Browning. He was the man who donned the heavy suit for all three Creature films (and yes, there are 3 of them!). Ricou Browning is the last surviving Universal Monster, a living legend, the final tie to the greatest period of monster making madness ever.
This was one of the few times I was a stuttering fanboy, but I managed to garble my way through. I even stood up in the crowd later to ask him a question during the Q&A. And I didn’t break out in Nixonian flop sweat.
Which then leads to what a great little con CT Horrorfest is. I can’t believe as a New Yorker, I haven’t been there before. There were great vendors, a cupcake stand run by the people who won Rob Zombie’s Cupcake Wars, authors selling books (yes, there were people who wanted to buy books there. I can’t say that about all cons), celebs, cocktails, scares and more. It really was a blast and I plan to not only go there next year, but get a table as well.
If you’ve never been to a horror con, my only question is, what are you waiting for??? You can even bring your non horror friend or spouse, because most cons also feature old time celebs from TV and music. You’ll meet fantastic, warm and friendly people (what my daughter and I call The Black Shirts, of which we are proud members), but also rare interactions with people you admired. Just off the top of my head, I’ve had amazing conversations that will last a lifetime with people like George Romero, Elvira, Meg Foster, Dawn Wells, Sid Haig, Doug Bradley (Pinhead), Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Kevin Van Hentenryck (Basket Case), Barbara Crampton, the cast of Good Times and so many more. At one con, my family even walked Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) through the process of setting up her table because she’d never done a con before. To thank us, she gave my daughters a signed wooden stake!
So if you live in the NY tri-state area, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to the fest next year. And as I always do with cons, I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves. See you all at Chiller Theatre next month!