Tag Archives: horror

Guest author Catherine Cavendish: ‘If You Go Down to the (Screaming) Woods Today…’

pic 1

…You had better be prepared to experience more than you bargained for. Especially if the woods in question are in the vicinity of the Kent village of Pluckley. Properly known as Dering Woods, this forest is more commonly known as the Screaming Woods – and for very good reason.

The area itself is situated just south of England’s (arguably) most haunted village – Pluckley – where it seems almost every building and piece of land has its own ghost story to tell. Pinnock Bridge has its Gypsy or Watercress Woman who is supposed to have set herself on fire from a combination of the pipe she was smoking and the gin she was drinking at the same time. She wafts around as a misty figure.

The Elvey Farm has a haunted dairy where an 18thcentury farmer – Edward Brett – fatally shot himself. He is still heard, muttering ‘I will do it.’

pic 2

A black silhouette of a miller haunts the site of an old windmill, while a red lady walks her small white dog around the churchyard and a white lady wanders around inside the same church. The locals at the time of her death must have really feared her. She was buried inside not one, but sevencoffins AND an oak sarcophagus. She’s still pacing around there though!

An unfortunate love affair led to the suicide (by poisoning) of the Lady of Rose Court, and a poor man who fell into a clay pit still screams in agony. A schoolmaster who hanged himself is still apparently trapped at the site of his demise.

pic 3

Now, after experiencing all that, you could well be forgiven for deciding to retire to the local hostelry (the Black Horse Inn). Surely here you could kick back and relax over a pint of foaming ale or a glass of comforting wine? Not a bit of it! After the phantom coach and horses have thundered by outside, expect things to start flying around you as the resident poltergeist gets to work.

But I digress. Back to the woods.

In the 18thcentury, a highwayman called Robert du Bois was tracked down and run through with a sword while he hid in a tree in these very woods. Another version states that he was dragged to the woods before being lynched. Either way, his are the screams which give the woods their name – along with a couple of other unfortunates, such as the army colonel who hanged himself and still can be seen dangling from his tree, and the ghostly soldier who wanders the woodland paths. Others who have simply lost their way – and never found it again – add their desperate voices to the cacophony from beyond the grave.

pic 4

Sceptics might say it’s just foxes. Everyone knows foxes can make a terrible racket. As if hell itself had opened and let the screams of the damned escape.

But those of us who know about such things, don’t need any such explanations.

Do we?

pic 5

There are plenty of sinister goings-on – and a terrifying some demon – in my novella, The Devil Inside Her. This is what to expect:

When nightmares become dreams, someone must die

Haunted by the death of her husband and only child, Elinor Gentry’s recurring nightmares have left her exhausted. She’s crippled by debt, and only the remnants of her former life surround her, things she can’t bear to sell, and wouldn’t make much profit from if she did. Then, for no apparent reason, the nightmares transform into pleasant dreams. Dreams that lead her to take back control of her life.

A string of horrific and unexplained suicides–and an unnerving discovery about Elinor herself—lead her best friend to seek help from the one person who has seen all this before, and things begin to spiral out of control. Hazel Messinger knows that Elinor’s newly found wellbeing is not what it seems, and Hazel’s not about to let the demon inside remain there permanently.

You can buy The Devil Inside Her here;

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

About the author

pic 6 

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy– Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plusThe Devil’s Serenade,The Pendle Curseand Saving Grace Devine.

Her novellas, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, The Devil Inside Her, andThe Second Wifehave now been released in new editions by Crossroad Press.

She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pic 7

Thanks to Catherine Cavendish for another wonderful guest blog post!
Be sure to read her books, and connect with her on social media.

Advertisements

The Daniel Gates Adventures, Vol. 1 – cover reveal

The first two novellas in my Daniel Gates Adventures occult series are back in ebook from Crossroad Press very, very soon.

Check out the new cover art for The Lucifer Glass & The Leper Window – together in one volume for the first time.

More details soon!


#TheStayMovie wins Best Short Film Award at Changing Face International Film Festival!

It’s my very great honour to announce that THE STAY picked up the Best Short  Film (Sci-Fi) Award at the Changing Face International Film Festival 2017 (Sydney, Australia).

TheStayBestShortCFIFF

See all the Winners and Finalists here.

A huge thank you to the Festival organisers from the cast & crew of THE STAY!

Watch THE STAY on Amazon VOD here.


News-splash! ‘The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water – The Gargantuan book of Horror Tales’ is out now in ebook

tbod2dbw

Released today in ebook (with a paperback edition to follow soon) The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death By Water is a gargantuan book of horror tales, boasting stories from Clive Barker,‎ Ramsey Campbell,‎ Caitlìn R. Kiernan,‎ Peter Straub,‎ and many more (including yours truly).

About the book: In each of these stories from some of greatest writers of horror and dark fiction, water plays the dual role of accomplice and executioner. With accidental drownings, irresistible calls of sirens from the deep, strange whisperings from household plumbing, faces of the dead in droplets of water, rabid fish, leviathan monsters, and more, these thirty-nine tales of death by water will make you think twice about taking that long-awaited cruise, going for a midnight swim, or taking your next shower.

Stories by: Joanna Parypinski, Lucy Taylor, Dona Fox, Eric J. Guignard, Lucy Snyder, Stephen Gregory, Daniel Braum, Simon Bestwick, Peter Straub, Lisa Mannetti, Daniele Bonfanti, Ramsey Campbell, Gregory L. Norris, Michael Bailey, Marge Simon, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Frazer Lee, Paolo Di Orazio, Dennis Etchison, John Palisano, Brian Evenson, Michael Hanson, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Gene O’Neill, Jonah Buck, David J. Schow, Anthony Watson, Bruce Boston, Michael A. Arnzen, Adam Nevill, John Langan, Alessandro Manzetti, Clive Barker, Lisa Morton, Jodi Renée Lester, Jeremy Megargee, Nicola Lombardi, Adam Millard.

Edited by: Alessandro Manzetti & Jodi Renée Lester

Grab your copy from Amazon

UK readers, follow this link

Sweet dreams… (or Wet nightmares!)

TBOD2front


An Audience With Guest Author Stuart R. West

13608075_10208533000220126_1487223109_nI’m delighted to welcome guest author Stuart R. West to the blog today.

With superb comic timing, Stuart published his wicked novel Demon With A Comb-Over via Samhain Publishing – just as they announced they were winding down their business. But the killer punchline is all Stuart’s as he has many other exciting books for you to read, with more on the way.

Read on to learn more!

Hi Stuart, thanks for dropping by at my blog today.

SRW: Thanks for having me, Frazer! Freezy, Frazey Leezy! You like your hip-hop name? No?

I’ll stick with Lazer Free, thanks! Now – your novel Demon With a Comb-Over is a wicked blend of horror and humour. What made you settle on this hybrid genre for your book?

SRW: Frazer, it didn’t start that way. Originally, it was gonna be a straight-up horror book. But I thought, “Hey, what if the setting, the weird characters, all of that, lean toward comedy?” Seemed kinda like a no-brainer to me. Of course, some readers have thought it’s not funny. Humor’s subjective. Bring to it what you will.

The horror in the book ranges from subtle atmospheric creeps to full on guts-out (quite literally) visceral mayhem. How did you achieve the balance with this when you were writing?

13649674_10208533003540209_707351052_nSRW: I hope I did achieve it. There’s subtlety, than there’s full-on horror. Personally, I like a mixture of both. But I couldn’t write a trip to Hell without getting all up in everyone’s faces. Actually, there’re two detailed trips to the netherworlds. Readers seem to be mixed: some like the grue, others are all about the comedy. Then there are the ’hatahs. Can’t please everyone.

Charlie is a living, breathing and completely engaging protagonist, I think because he’s flawed and therefore believable. How did you dream him up and were there any real-world influences when developing his character?

SRW: Charlie’s actually me. Duh, Frazer, duh. All the foibles, the mistakes he makes, the pseudo-crimes her performs against humanity? All me. I’m putting it all out there. Don’t judge me!

13625365_10208533001340154_963211776_n

I’m guessing that you are no stranger to the world of stand-up comedy. The book shows your deep knowledge of that world to great effect. Care to share any road stories? Any particularly horrific heckles?

SRW: Right you are, my friend! Actually, I only performed stand-up twice. The first time was in college. I made everything up on the go. Thing is I had a built-in audience of about 20 people—my entourage from school—following me. So they laughed. Alcohol helped. The second time? Alcohol didn’t help. I went to an open-mike night at a club, thinking I could wing it again. Didn’t work so well. Crickets didn’t even begin to explain the response. Glad I got out alive.

This is also a wild guess, but a very strong element of Comb-over is the relationship between Charlie and his daughter. Reading it, I felt sure you must not only be a parent, but father to a daughter? If so, was this helpful to you when exploring the horror of Serena being threatened in the way that she is (by a vengeance crazed demon!)?

13624559_10208533015700513_2145899622_nSRW: Very astute, Frazer. Yep, I’m a father. My daughter’s now 24, but I pretty much raised her on my own. Well, that’s not true exactly; my ex was cool enough to give me 50-50 rights. But, yeah, it’s based on truth. I hope my ex never reads this post (she won’t, right?), but a lot of it is based on her – true down to the reliance of therapy, the accusations, the constant aggravation. She even told me once, “I checked over our daughter; I cleared you of abuse.” WHAT? Damn.

Another part of the novel that I enjoyed immensely was the use of the chapter headings based around the ‘rules of comedy’. “Put your fantasies out there. It makes you more relatable,” was one that stood out in particular. Care to expand on that one in the context of your writing?

SRW: Fantasies? No, that’s up to everyone else. It does seem like a lotta stand-up comedians dwell on fantasies. I believe part of the secret of comedy is making yourself relatable, saying crap everyone wants to, but doesn’t have the guts to. But the chapter headings I kinda made up. Sorry. My research assistant, “Ms. Google,” helped me with the rest.13643771_10208533016740539_1147014760_n

Those chapter headings really help support the structure of the story and the thematic content of each part, and the whole. Did you work to an outline based around those headings? Or did you go with the flow and discover this later?

SRW: I’m sorry to say the headings kinda came as an after-thought. No way, Frazer, am I that smart. Just seemed right as I plowed along.

Following on from the ‘Rules of Stand-up’, what do you believe to be the core rules of writing Horror?

SRW: Make your characters human, relatable. Then toss ‘em into hellish visions. Without characters people can empathize with, a tale would be like a tossed-off nightmare, barely remembered.

13644257_10208533022500683_74075230_nAside from a liberal sprinkling of salt around your bed each night (readers – check out Stuart’s novel for more about this!) what’s next for Stuart R. West?

SRW: Glad you asked, Frazer! I have an upcoming darkly comical novel from Grinning Skull Press called Dread & Breakfast. I’m working on the third and final book in my darkly humorous (I’m detecting a theme here) serial killer thriller series, Killers Incorporated. There’s a sequel on the way to my comedic mystery series, Bad Day in a Banana Hammock, about a vapid male stripper who keeps turning up dead bodies. The prequel to Demon with a Comb-Over, The Book of Kobal (a very dark, immoral, irreverent tale), is hunting for a new home since the original publisher, Samhain, is pretty much dead to horror. Hey! I have a children’s picture book coming out (dunno when) from Guardian Angel Press. I’d like to write a Lovecraftian/Cronenbergian horror tale about a genetic dairy farmer but it’s kinda a hard sell. Finally, up next will be a nostalgic ’60s set, Midwestern ghost tale.

Sounds like a great, diverse line-up! Thanks again for dropping by Mr. West!

SRW: Thanks for putting up with me, Frazer.13624723_10208533022940694_547791730_n

Demon with a Comb-Over available at Amazon.

Stuart R. West Amazon Page.

Blog: Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley

Stuart R. West Facebook

Twitter: @StuartRWest

 


Panic Button: Horror Channel UK TV network premiere


Panic Button, the acclaimed horror/thriller feature film I co-wrote with John Shackleton, David Shillitoe & Chris Crow, gets its UK network telly premiere this Friday 15th January at 22:45.

Watch it on Sky channel 319, Virgin TV channel 149, Freeview channel 70 and Freesat channel 138.

And for more social networking scares read Panic Button – The Official Movie Novelisation by yours truly!

img_2833

Praise for ‘Panic Button’ – the novel:

“A chilling commentary on the modern phenomenon of social media…I highly recommend reading this book, after which you really should go and see the film as well” (Jim McLeod, Ginger Nuts of Horror)

“More than competes with anything the creators of the original Saw could dream up” (Hellnotes)

“Frazer Lee explores the real dangers of putting our lives online and, through his characters, shows the real-life consequences of cyber-bullying, privacy, identity theft and the dangers of hiding behind the internet” (Malysa Stratton Louk, Digital Journal)

This is an intelligent and propulsive book, pressing all the right buttons – panic or otherwise – as a standalone piece of fiction even if you’ve not seen the movie version” (Paul Mount, Starburst Magazine)

Praise for Panic Button: The Movie

“The best British horror in years” ☆☆☆☆ (Adam Stephen Kelly, Ain’t It Cool News)

“The Social Network of Shocks” ☆☆☆☆ (Alan Jones, Film4 Frightfest)

“This is British horror at its bloody best” ☆☆☆☆ (Sky Movies)

“Nail-bitingly terrifying” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Abertoir Film Festival)


I Skin The Body Electric

skintakerThe Skintaker audiobook is out now from Audio Realms with narration by the mellifluous Susan Saddler.

Fill your ears with 8 hours of unabridged Amazonian Rainforest thrills and chills with the book that Horror Novel Reviews describes as “A phenomenon in horror fiction that is truly chilling (5 stars)”

Free to listen for those with an Audible account (or listen free as part of Audible’s Free Trial offer!) Or download the mp3 version from Audio Realms.

Listen to The Skintaker:

Audible.com

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Download mp3 version: Audio Realms

More praise for The Skintaker:

“A grandly entertaining period horror adventure in the classical Kipling and Conrad tradition…THE SKINTAKER has never a dull moment.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
(Eric Red, screenwriter of NEAR DARK, THE HITCHER and author of IT WAITS BELOW and WHITE KNUCKLE)

“Fans of extreme horror will find it all very satisfying, as author Frazer Lee paints his narrative so vividly.”
(5 out of 5 stars, Mallory Heart Reviews)

“I loved this book! Filled with fabulous descriptions and fully formed characters I devoured The Skintaker in one sitting…I didn’t want the adventure to end. This was my first novel by Frazer Lee but it definitely won’t be my last. If you’re looking for a great read, grab this 5 star book and hold on for the ride.”
(5 out of 5 stars, Horror Maiden’s Book Reviews)

“An engaging and innovative slab of pagan horror.”
(Keri O’Shea, Brutal As Hell)

And coming soon from Audio Realms: The Lamplighters Audiobook


Coming soon!