Tag Archives: horror

The Horrors of Children’s YouTube, pt 3: An Unholy Discovery

slide-bloodycar2

This post is part of an extremely-occasional series on the worst of children’s YouTube videos. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Imagine: you’re browsing YouTube when you come across one of the more recent videos from an account called Play Kids. The title of the video is “♫Nursery Rhymes♫ HULK Colors x4 riding Banana Colors cars & Lightning McQueen Cars (Songs for Kids).” The description of it reads as follows:

HULK COLORS With Their New Banana Colors Car & Disney Pixar Custom Flying Colors Lightning McQueen Cars. Popular Children Song With Action. Nursery Rhymes Fun Time.

You might be forgiven for thinking the account manager threw in a bunch of random words in a pitiful bid to enhance the video’s SEO. Only after clicking the play button would you realize that the description was entirely accurate.

Another thing you’d realize? You’ve just fallen into one of the strangest internet rabbit holes in existence. Continue reading

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Ghosts and Gravestones: The Macabre Side of Boston

Paul Revere was a busy man, and not just in professional terms. In addition to his work as a silversmith, iron caster, bell maker, naval ship sheather, and part-time dentist, he had two wives, sixteen kids, and a swarm of admirers to attend to. The man must have been surrounded by people every second of every day of his life. But there was one who stood out amid the throng: Dr Joseph Warren.

Dr Joseph Warren

Bromance incoming.

Warren was, by all accounts, Paul Revere’s BFF. The last and greatest testament to this fact was set down after Warren’s death at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Dr Warren was buried in a mass grave. It wasn’t a slight against his character: The American rebels who lost their lives in the sortie were simply too numerous to permit beleaguered Boston to bury them properly. Most of the newly bereaved accepted this and moved on. Most of them–but not Paul Revere.

Chaffing at the ignominious treatment of his bestie, Revere grabbed a shovel, marched out to Bunker Hill, and started digging. Hours slipped by as he sank deeper and deeper into a heap of muck and rotting corpses. Finally, he spotted a shirt that resembled one Warren had owned and pulled that body from the tangle, only to find that it was missing the top half of its head, rendering it impossible to identify.

But all was not lost! It transpired that, a few weeks prior to the battle, Revere had outfitted his friend with a porcelain tooth. In what Wikipedia calls “[maybe] the first recorded instance of post-mortem identification by forensic odontology,” Revere was able to make a positive identification based on said tooth. Lovingly, he carted Warren home and laid him to rest in Boston’s Granary Burying Ground.

So, yeah. What have you done for your friends lately?

Ghosts and Gravestones
The tale of Revere and Warren was just one of many macabre offerings from Ghosts and Gravestones, a horror-themed trolley tour of Boston. Some people think ghost tours are dorky. I am an absolute sucker for them. And this one was particularly entertaining.

Here are just a few of the unsettling things Ghosts and Gravestones taught me about my new hometown.

Continue reading

Body Horror with Heart <3

anatomical diagram

Hey gang, sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for a few weeks–I’ve been preparing for my upcoming trip to Japan. Speaking of which, I’ll be posting an article about WeIrD jApAn later today. It’ll be my last post before I disappear into an aether of cherry blossoms and excellent public transportation, so hopefully it’ll tide you over until my return at the beginning of July.

And now, an announcement: my short story “Whole” will be published in Pulp Literature volume 8, scheduled for release this fall! The premise can be described thus:

Having made a wish to switch places with her recently deceased sibling, a young woman finds herself rotting alive. With her insides liquefying and her brother slowly reviving, our heroine must cope with the bizarre ramifications of her sacrifice.

It’s as grotesque as it sounds, but I like to think there’s an undercurrent of sweetness to it. I’m extra pleased that Pulp Literature accepted the longer, grosser version–not the toned-down one I wrote in an attempt to appeal to more delicate sensibilities. I’ll share additional information as it becomes available!

“Let’s all go down the Strand!”: NYC’s 18-Mile Book Store

Over the weekend, I made the sort of stupid decision that 27-year-olds in general, and I in particular, are famous for making. Despite having exactly no money and exactly one fever, I elected to go to New York City with some friends.

We had a good reason (or so I told myself at the time): there’s a haunted house there called Nightmare NYC, which was created by the editor of Weird Tales Magazine. If you don’t know why that’s significant, then give yourself a pat on the back. You probably have a functional sex life.

Lovecraft

I couldn’t take any pictures inside the house itself. Suffice it to say, the event began with Typhoid Mary grabbing me by the hair and slamming me into a wall and ended with me drinking my first glass of absinthe (well, first two glasses–I had a but-one-get-one coupon) at a bar called Lovecraft. The latter promised to make me feel like a proper writer at last.

“Here I am,” I told myself. “In the middle of the city. Downing libations to the Green Fairy. Hanging out with prostitutes and the rest of society’s outcasts. Truth! Beauty! Love!”

Sadly, the night failed to devolve into an orgy of wanton sensuality. What happened instead was I got very drunk and watched a Syfy original movie in the basement. Still, it was a good time!

Absinthe

But let’s back up a bit.

We had a whole morning and afternoon to kill before any haunted housing could begin. And what better way to spend it than at The Strand Book Store, home of 18 miles of books?

Now, when I first heard of The Strand, I got things somewhat twisted and envisioned an unbroken 18-mile line of book stores lining a beach. Which would have been astounding, since Manhattan’s only 23 miles long. In actual fact, The Strand is one book store with 18 miles of shelves. That’s somewhat less jaw-dropping, but let’s be clear: it’s still stinkin’ immense.

The Strand Book Store

The first of the Strand’s three floors houses new releases and literary standards, while the second is mostly art and fashion books. The third, though–the third is where they keep the rare books.

And when I say rare, I mean “weird and also occasionally creepy.” In the spirit of Halloween, allow me to present some spooky things I found on the Strand’s top floor.

Continue reading

Shameless Self-Promotion: Free Stories!

One of the skills a writer must learn is self-promotion.  It doesn’t always come naturally.  (For example, writing this post was worse than scratching my corneas with one hand while giving a prostate massage to a grizzly bear with the other.)  Nevertheless, it is an invaluable ability, and one I shall endeavor to exercise now.

I have not one, not two, but three stories currently available online.  The first, Nature Abhors a Vacuum, is a weekly science fiction/murder mystery serial that can be read for free in weekly installments at the Mid-Michigan Prose and Writing Group Blog.  The first installment is here!

I also have two pieces of short fiction available on Smashwords.  I plan to put them up on Amazon eventually, but that involves reformatting, and I am lazier than you mortals can even comprehend.  The first of these two is called “Rumble at the Robot,” and it’s also available for free!

Rumble at the Robot

Of three-story robots and childhood turf wars. A short memoir about children misbehaving.

The second, “Dear Asenath,” is a mere 99 cents–a bargain if you enjoy Lovecraft or Lovecraft parodies, or if you’re the kind of person who scoffs at denominations smaller than a dollar!

Dear Asenath: An Eldritch Romance

For most, the town of Dunwich, Massachusetts, offers terrors outside the realm of human understanding. But when intrepid Tracy Pickman opens a used bookstore in central Dunwich, her new neighbor–a mysterious young man named Wilbur Whatley–offers her something quite different: a chance at love. A Lovecraft parody of romantic proportions!

And thus do we reach the end of the shameless self-promotion post.  Thanks for muscling your way through it, friends!