Category Archives: Uncategorized

Re-released today: Panic Button (Trinity Film DVD edition)

Panic Button, “The best British horror in years” (Ain’t It Cool News), is out today on Amazon Video and DVD in a new edition, with new artwork, from distributor Trinity Film. (The DVD release includes an audio commentary and other bonus features)

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The Amazon #1 horror/thriller movie novelisation is also available.

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Guest Author: Catherine Cavendish on ‘The Lake Crescent Haunting’

Please join me in welcoming author Catherine Cavendish, who is my guest on the blog today.

She has a haunting tale to share with us.

Take it away Cat!

The Lake Crescent Haunting

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In my novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.

From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound – searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.

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Lake Crescent is an attractive resort in the Olympic National Park in the far northwest of Washington State. The account which follows concerns not an innocent young girl, but a mature woman of not especially tender disposition. Hallie Illingworth was a 36 year old hard drinking waitress in the local bar cum brothel, then called the Singer Tavern. She was attractive and married for the third time, but her current husband was a womanising, cruel and violent thug, who thought nothing of hitting his wife in full view of everyone in the bar. Not that Hallie didn’t retaliate. She was quite capable of throwing a few punches herself at anyone who upset her.

But however unsympathetic her personality might be, she didn’t deserve what happened to her. One cold December night, she disappeared. Her body wasn’t discovered until four years later by which time, a curious chemical process had occurred. The waters of Lake Crescent are so high in alkali that a process of saponification had taken place, converting the fats in her body to a kind of soap. The water was so cold that the body had been refrigerated in its icy depths.

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When a pair of fishermen spotted a recognisably female body bobbing up and down on the surface, they dragged her to the shore only to discover, to their horror, that her flesh just slipped off her bones like soap. We can only imagine their reaction!

She had to be identified by a distinctive upper dental plate which a dentist recognised. He had made it for her some years before.

Hallie had been savagely beaten and bound with rope, affixed with weights. There was little doubt as to the identity of her murderer. Her husband, Monty, had gone to live in Long Beach California with a woman with whom he’d been conducting an affair before Hallie died. He was tried, convicted and imprisoned. He served nine years and was paroled in 1951. In 1976, he died in California.

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Monty Illingworth on trial

 

Had justice been done? Well, it appears it certainly hadn’t been done enough for poor Hallie.

She is still said to haunt the lodge and surrounding areas, clattering up and down the stairs, banging doors in the dead of night. She is said to cause lights to flicker and music volume to go up and down apparently by itself. Some people have claimed to see her – pale, translucent and glowing faintly as she drifts along the shore, and over the water.

 

Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:

 

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Can the living help the dead…and at what cost? 

When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.

But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace, and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.

You can find Saving Grace Devine here: 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

And other online retailers

Other books by Catherine Cavendish include:

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And are currently available – or soon will be – from:

Catherine Cavendish Amazon page

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Catherine Cavendish lives with a long-suffering husband and ‘trainee’ black cat in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century, which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV. Cat has written a number of published horror novellas, short stories, and novels, frequently reflecting her twin loves of history and horror and often containing more than a dash of the dark and Gothic. When not slaving over a hot computer, she enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thanks to Catherine Cavendish for dropping by and sharing her haunting tale! Be sure to check out her novels. And maybe sleep with the lights on…


The Lamplighters Goes J-Horror

Takeshobo The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee

Takeshobo Tokyo HQ Photo By Lombroso (Public Domain)

Major publisher Take Shobo will release a Japanese translation of my Bram Stoker Award® Nominated horror novel The Lamplighters in ebook and paperback.

I’m excited about the translation, and the potential for my work to reach new Japanese readers.

And I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the poor translators get to the part where [spoiler] uses a syringe to extract [spoiler]’s buttock fat, before injecting it into his [spoiler] so that he can [spoiler] [spoiler]’s eye socket… (Sigh)

I will post the release date and cover art when I have them!

Domo arigato,
Frazer x

 


In Memoriam: Robin Hardy, writer & director of ‘The Wicker Man’

Robin Hardy was a true original, and his 1973 film The Wicker Man is often and justifiably hailed as the finest British horror film ever made.

The Wicker Man by Robin Hardy & Antony Shaffer

The book is a cracking read, too!

The story of the film’s conception is perhaps as fascinating as The Wicker Man itself, with a studio unsure of what it had on its hands butchering Hardy’s masterpiece in the process of its clumsy and half-hearted initial release.

My own personal obsession with Hardy’s work began when I saw (the theatrical version of) The Wicker Man at a special screening at Glastonbury’s Library of Avalon. A discussion followed the screening of the film about its pagan themes, and I was well and truly hooked.

Those were the early days of VHS video and I managed to track down an alternate cut of the film on a yellowy, fifth-generation pirate copy from Australia. This was later cleaned up using the best possible source materials and released on DVD as The Director’s Cut of the film.

Years later, with the advent of home-HD and the Blu-Ray format, The Wicker Man – The Final Cut arrived, providing a fitting epitaph to Robin Hardy’s life and career as he finally got to release the version of the film that he deemed closest to his original vision.

In 2011 I was very lucky to meet Robin Hardy, for a brief “Hello!”, in person at FrightFest, London. Mr Hardy was there to present the premiere of his sequel The Wicker Tree, adapted from his novel Cowboys For Christ. He was a true gentleman and eccentric – very warm and wickedly funny. (Read my capsule review of the rather wobbly, but joyously bonkers, sequel The Wicker Tree here.)

One unsung hero in the whole Wicker saga is Anthony Shaffer’s brilliant script, which really is one of a kind. The basic storyline was based on Ritual, a novel by David Pinner, which has recently been republished. The novelisation of the film (also written by Shaffer & Hardy) is well worth tracking down (a new edition was published by Tor in 2000) – with some lovely embellishments to the screen story, not least its haunting and ambiguous ending, it provides yet another version of The Wicker Man for us all to enjoy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it is time to “keep my appointment with The Wicker Man.”

R.I.P. Robin Hardy, 1929-2016

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Quoted in The Wicker Man novel by Robin Hardy & Anthony Shaffer

 


Check out my (tweed-free) interview at Stuart R. West’s blog

I took a quick break from writing to chat with author Stuart R. West about…well, writing. 

(And filmmaking, new projects, and not wearing a tweed jacket.)

Read it at Twisted Tales From Tornado Alley: http://stuartrwest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/frazer-lee-horror-novelist-and.html?m=0

My thanks to Stuart, and look out for his interview on this very blog next week!


100 Years: Commemorating The Battle of the #Somme with the brilliant short film ‘Waiting For Dawn’

Remembering my Great Grandfather William J. Tibbles again today, on the centenary of the commencement of the Battle of the Somme.

Lieutenant Corporal William J. Tibbles & his regiment, the 10th London

Signalman Tibbles survived both World Wars, though many of his nearest and dearest did not. I used to visit Great Granddad at the hospice where he saw out his last days, and it was clear that he was traumatised by all he had seen during the Wars.

My Great-Granddad’s typed list of places he visited on active duty in France

This brilliant short film by director Richard Cousins, screenwriter Gareth Rothwell and director of photography Alan Stewart (who i worked with on The Stay, Red Lines & On Edge) is a powerful summation of the futility of the conflict, and its tragic loss of so many (often very young) lives.

I’m delighted that the filmmakers will join me this autumn at Brunel University London to screen and discuss their film, Waiting For Dawn:


“Lest we forget.”


Beltane Fires and Samhain Horrors


When I was writing my folk horror novel The Jack in the Green, I knew I wanted to blend ancient and modern to create a new horror story. As I so often do, I looked to the Celtic calendar for some inspiration.

30th April/1st May:
Beltane, or Fire Festival, which has its origins in pagan and druidic practice. The name Beltane is derived from Belenus (a Celtic sun deity) and when translated means ‘the fires of Bel’. Fire Festival is celebrated on May Eve and traditionally marked the bringing out of livestock into the spring. Animals would be herded between the fires to ward off illness, and rowan would be hung above the hearth in the home to purify the live-giving fire. Beltane is a fertility festival, and that aspect was key to my decision to work some of its lusty magic into the story of The Jack in the Green. As you’ll find when you read it, fertility is a strong theme in the book. After the Beltane fires have died down, we celebrate May Day (1st May), which sees the tradition of ‘The Jack in the Green’ played out to this day in places such as Whitstable and Hastings. The anarchic, often rather drunk, Jack is dressed from head to toe in greenery and processes through the town as an anarchic symbol of mischief and mayhem. The origins of this fiendish figure of fun are said to harken back to Roman times, when a tree would be cut down and decorated in veneration of the Goddess Flora. This tradition is said to have given us the maypole, around which promiscuous revellers would dance and cavort. Jack would be proud of them, no doubt.

Samhain (31st October) is another festival of renewal in addition to being the name of the publisher of The Jack in the Green! (Pronounced Sow-when). As the wheel of the year turns into winter, Samhain marks Celtic New Year. We celebrate it nowadays as Halloween, and aspects of ancient tradition can be seen in our ‘guising’ (wearing masks and costumes) and the act of remembering our dead ancestors, perhaps most strikingly of all in the Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Celtic belief made Samhain a time to reflect on past mistakes and to take stock, and this is really what Tom’s journey in The Jack in the Green is all about as he moves through the darkness into enlightenment.

It is one of the great pleasures of being a writer to take folklore that fires the imagination and to blend it all together into something new. 

I hope you enjoy reading The Jack in the Green and ‘May’ I wish you all a fantastically fiery Beltane!

Now, where did I put that Jack in the Green costume…? 

The Jack in the Green is on sale at only $0.99 thru 6th May from:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Kobo

Apple iBooks

Samhain Horror

About the book:

A nightmare made real.

On Christmas Eve, six year-old Tom McRae witnessed an unspeakable atrocity that left him orphaned, his childhood in tatters. Now in his mid-thirties, Tom still has terrifying nightmares of that night. When Tom is sent to the remote Scottish village of Douglass to negotiate a land grab for his employer it seems like a golden opportunity for him to start over. But Tom can’t help feeling he’s been to Douglass before, and the terrible dreams from his childhood have begun to spill over into his waking life. As murderous events unfold and Tom’s feverish nightmares escalate, he will discover the hideous truth behind the villagers’ strange pagan ritual of The Jack in the Green.

“I have enjoyed all of Frazer Lee’s work, but The Jack in the Green is by far my favorite! Lee strikes the perfect balance between psychological horror…and vicious violence and gore.” (5 out of 5 stars, The Horror Bookshelf)