Archive for Halloween

Artist Jason Hardy Speaks of Halloween and Suggests Some Great Horror Classics

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, artist interview, bayou con, entertainment, Halloween, holidays, Horror, interviews, Jason Hardy, Lousiana Arts, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Two years ago in Lake Charles, LA I met an artist known as Jason Hardy.  It was during our time at Bayou Con that we began sharing our fandom of Halloween.  With his many works of art that contribute to the genres of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, he also features pieces that are Halloween themed.  On the side, he writes and I have been lucky enough to enjoy his book of Halloween poetry.  As we approach the witching hour the night before Halloween, I present to you Jason Hardy.

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Mr. Hardy describes his life as, “I was born one Halloween night which is why my mom still screams a lot. While it would be awesome if the preceding was true I may burn in the hockey stick store if I don’t admit it’s not. I was born on JFK’s birthday. Or maybe it’s on the day he was shot which may account for my occasional paranoia. Flash forward to today and I still live about three blocks from where JFK, I mean the doctor, yanked me out. I’m a high school teacher living in my hometown of Kaplan in the heart of Cajun country in Louisiana. I am at present 54 years of age which is a lot of mileage but my dip stick still gets the job done. I drive a pickup truck which fits rather well in my Mayberry sort of town. I graduated from LSU a horrifying number of years ago. In my free time outside the classroom I am an artist and poet (though an inordinate amount of people don’t know it…that was a gratis rhyme to show I can do it). I always wanted to be a professional writer or artist but I ended up teaching kids instead which is fine. As long as they can draw a dandy stick figure and correctly spell my name below it I’m good. I have published one poem in my lifetime in Ellery Queen Mystery magazine many years ago. It paid $30 so it’s really no mystery why I did not immediately head for Vegas. As is obviously evident my writing and art is generally humorous. I don’t do landscapes unless they are on Venus or a convenient graveyard. I have done an occasional bird. Which sounds dirty but isn’t. Despite not being a Halloween baby (see above) it remains my favorite holiday. Pumpkins oddly enough don’t frighten me, although a pumpkin boy named Linus might. When I retire from going to school nearly my entire life in a few years I plan to write young adult fiction. Since I’ve been around them so much and survived. Maybe with an evil nun tossed in to commemorate my Catholic school days. I have a black cat named Raven after Mr. Poe who threatened me with an injunction if I did not mention him. He is deweinered but not declawed so I tend to listen. I live in a house built in 1945 but only dated Rosie the Rivetor briefly. In closing, it still pisses me off that we have to pay the Russians to get off the planet earth. I love to collect books and statues which makes me feel better about the Russians.”

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween means nostalgia to me. Takes my frequently addled adult mind back to a more innocent, fun time. Lots of good memories. Back to a time when the only terrorists were the kids brave enough to throw eggs at someone’s house or light the infamous poo-bag.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

Most memorable moment was ironically the last. The dreaded night when because of advanced age I was banned from trick or treating. Oh, the horror! So what’s a kid to do? Sneak out, that’s what. Pathetic costume: knit NFL team hat and football. Desperate strategy: Quick end runs to the closest houses for that final, forbidden candy fix. Approximate age: fifteen give or take a tootsie roll. It was bittersweet, clandestine fun. Although I couldn’t spell “clandestine” back then.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Given the time period, probably a hobo of some sort. Down and dirty. Back then we mostly wore the classic plastic store bought masks with the elastic string that would sting your ears.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

It wasn’t on me. A kid I knew and probably subtly bullied in the neighborhood dressed as a blue UPS mailbox one year. With the slit to see through. Actually very creative at the time. But we pushed him over mercilessly since his visibility was marginal. We thought about but did not actually pee through the slit. Nobody likes wet mail.

Some believe Halloween is negative.  Why do you believe this is so?

Obviously because it began as a Catholic holiday and soon became much darker. To me it’s just fun. No religious motif involved for this boy. Oh, and the legend of the razor blades didn’t help.

What do you do on Halloween to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween?

I leave my porch light on. Which in the old days would have made me the mean-ass old man of the neighborhood who would rather pay his light bill than spend a dime on candy. Of course with today’s wussy Halloween, even if I leave the porch light off only a few kids would bother to show up. And even then it’s still daylight!

What scares you?

I find myself occasionally scared by spiders, lack of toilet paper, Opera, Little Debbie going out of business or continuing to shrink and the disappearance of thongs from the world. Mostly spiders.

What are your favorite scary movies?

Monster Squad, Alien, Something Wicked, Trick R Treat, The Thing, The Innocents, Scared Stiff.

What are some of your favorite horror books?

Something Wicked by a wicked mile (again nostalgic for me), Nightmare Factory, Our Lady of Darkness, At the Mountains of Madness, The Shining.

Do you prefer fast paced or slow burners?

I prefer moderately paced books that threaten to burn my butt. Which thrills me.

Who are your inspirations?

I’ve been inspired over the years by HPL, REH, Fritz Leiber, various movies and memories.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

I may have another horror story in me. If I not drained dry by a horny vampires first. Which in the long run may not be too bloody terrible. I plan to write more when I retire. At the moment I continue to write generally humorous horror poems for fun. I would love to be published in Weird Tales before I die so that when I run into HPL and his black cat someday I can say, “Me too, beee-acch!”

Where can we find your work?

My art can be found lurking on my Facebook page at the moment. Also all over the floor of my “art studio” where my black cat can lounge his lazy ass all over it as a feline critique. My humorous poetry books can be found in a rather lonely corner of Lulu online. When I sell one I feel closer to retirement, but only marginally so. Which is spooky.

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Paranormal Investigator, Horror Author, and Spiritualist Kalila Smith Speaks of Halloween

Posted in author interviews, books, ghosts, Halloween, Horror, Horror Book, interviews, kalilah smith, literature, louisiana author, new orleans, new orleans author, october, paranormal, reading with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Kalila Smith has been a name imbedded in my head since I experienced the New Orleans Ghost Tours.  The first book of hers I ever bought was New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, and Vampires and I was hooked since.  For years, I had wanted to meet her and when I opened the guidelines for Southern Haunts: Spirits that Walk Among Us, I was beyond thrilled to work with her.  The first time I met her face to face was at a convention and we just happened to bump into one another.  We had that pause moment, where we looked at one another like we had known each other for a lifetime.  Then after a huge hug, we immediately clicked, and I have her to thank for my level of spirituality that I now have.  It is my greatest pleasure to interview a woman that I highly respect and that I feel is perfect to feature on my blog during the week of Halloween!

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Kalila was born and raised in New Orleans. She personally researched and wrote the material featured on Haunted History Tours of New Orleans’ Ghost, Vampire and Spellbound tours. She is the author of New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, & Vampires, and Tales from the French Quarter, and Miami’s Dark Tales.  Her newest book is Afterlife Mysteries Revealed.

Her work as an intuitive psychic has been recognized for over 2 decades worldwide.

She has been featured on and worked behind the scenes on  television productions including Travel Daily, Places of Mystery, Secret New Orleans, Unsolved Mysteries, FEAR!, MTV’s On The Road, Blind Date, Hidden New Orleans, Urban Legends, America’s Most Haunted Places, In Search of…, and Supernatural Destinations. She appeared in the motion picture, “The St. Francisville Experience.” She wrote and directed “Journey Into Darkness… The Trilogy”, a video documentary, featured in segment in television broadcast in the US & UK.  And worked on and appeared in the documentary for Sony’s Playstation II game, Ghosthunter. She conducted all of the paranormal investigations for the local television show, “Haunted New Orleans.” She was a producer in the PBS documentary “Southern Haunts” New Orleans episode produced by Sky Dive Films.

Several of her true crime stories were featured in articles in Examiner.com and the National Crime and Punishment Museum Blog page.

Check out her short story “The Bequest” in Southern Haunts; Spirits That Walk Among Us.   Another short story, “The Devil’s Doorway” will be featured in the second Southern Haunts Anthology, and “Bayou Loup,” a werewolf story featured in “Luna’s Children,” a werewolf anthology.

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween is when the veil between our world and the spirit world is the thinnest.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

My most memorable Halloweens are the ones I shared with my kids when they were little.

What was your best Halloween costume? 

I was so busy one year, I just didn’t costume. I didn’t have time, I was worn out but then felt bad that I didn’t take part in the festivities.   When I got to work, I ran to Walgreens’ and picked up some cheap Halloween makeup and put white on my face and dark under my eyes and called myself a zombie!  I did my tours that night and everyone loved it!

What was your worst Halloween costume? 

A couple of years ago I did Medusa with plastic snakes and a wig.  The snakes were painted with a paint that caused my sinuses to close up and the bobby pins were stabbing me in the head.  It turned into the worst headache of my life.  Never again!

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I work and I have worked on Halloween doing ghost tours, séances and readings for 19 years now.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate. Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it? 

Hollywood is usually to blame for giving a bad name to anything mysterious turning into something dark and evil.

What do you do to keep the ghost and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Well, we do séances and of course say prayers and sing to raise the vibration to keep lower vibrational spirits away.

What frightens you and why? 

New Orleans’ cockroaches.  Why? They fly.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why? 

One of my favorites that scared me beyond words was the Jeepers Creepers. Being stranded on a deserted country road with a monster after you, is pretty creepy. But I’m a classic horror buff. I like old school horror and anything Stephen King!

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Cujo by Stephen King because as I read it, it was as if I was there.   During the car scene I actually felt very trapped and claustrophobic.   He really made that character come to life and it’s so frightening because it could actually happen.  What can be scarier?

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

Both!  Just scare me!

What inspires your more frightening work? 

Legends I heard growing up in the bayous of South Louisiana.   I grew up hearing some really scary stories about ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other monsters.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Absolutely! In fact, I’m sitting on a couple of short stories waiting for the right anthology to come along.

Where can we find your work?

www.kalilasmith.com    http://http://darkoakpress.com

Find Out What Scares Horror Author Michael West

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, books, frightening, Halloween, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, indiana authors, interviews, literature, michael west, october, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Nearly, a year ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael West.  This introduction was when we began assisting with the podcast known as The Star Chamber Show.  It wasn’t until last September that I had the opportunity to meet him at an event known as Imaginarium.  Although we had the pleasure of speaking many times prior, it was here that we began fanboying out over the horror genre.  With his knowledge regarding scares and monstrosities, I am pleased to have horror author, Michael West on my blog.

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Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, The Wide Game, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the critically-acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home.

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween has always been a special time of year for me.  When I was a child, it was the fun of dressing up and getting free candy, sure, but it was also a time of year where Horror was actually celebrated.  Turn on just about any TV channel and find a scary movie or Halloween-themed show.  Stores are filled with monster masks and other spooky items.  Creepy, ghoulish stuff is everywhere.  I guess it all comes down to the fact that this is the one time of the year that I don’t feel like an outcast.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

I’ve had so many memorable Halloweens.  It’s hard to pick just one.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

We normally put on a Haunted House in my garage and then have a pizza party for all my friends and family who help me pull it off.  Leading up to the big night, I watch Horror films on AMC and my brother usually holds a themed Halloween Party that I really enjoy.

What was your best Halloween costume?

My best costume was probably me Devil costume from 1991.  I carved cloven hooves out of wood and did actual prosthetic make-up.  That one went over really well and I won Best Costume at a few Halloween parties that year.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

There were a few Halloweens when we lived in an apartment and I worked for a movie theater.  I had to work on Halloween night, so my costume was my manager’s uniform. That was my worst for sure.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative holiday to celebrate.  Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

Some see Halloween as a celebration of darkness and Evil with a capital “E.”  I don’t see it that way at all.  I see it as good, ol’ fun.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Usually, I watch Halloween.

What frightens you and why?

Two of my biggest fears are spiders and being eaten alive, which keep popping up in my fiction too.  I don’t know when the fears started or why.  I’ve had them as long as I can remember.  The other major fear I have is that something will happen to someone I love.  If you love someone, you know what that fear is like.  This person is your world, and the thought of losing them, of what the world would be like with them not in it, is just too horrible to even consider.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

John Carpenter’s Halloween.  It is just about the perfect scare machine.  The lighting, the cinematography, the acting, the score.  Oh, that score.  It just isn’t really Halloween until I sit down to watch it.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.  King introduces to us some of the most memorable, likeable, characters, people you really get to know and feel a connection with, and then he puts them through Hell.  I’ve read it a half a dozen times over the years, and the passage where the vampire child is clawing at the window, begging to be let in, still makes my blood run cold.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like both.  Actually, my favorite stories start off as a slow burn and then end with fast paced, action – packed climaxes.

What inspires your more frightening work?

Sometimes it is a news story.  Other times, an idea just hits me when I least expect it.  Some are based on my own fears and the fears of people I know, and still others are inspired by events from my life.  The car accident from The Wide Game, for example, was based on an actual event that happened to me back in 1987.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

I never set out to write a Horror story.  I like to say that everything I write is a love story, except the thing that threatens to drive people apart is not your normal everyday problems, but the supernatural.  All of my stories tend to have some dark slant to them, so yes, I see my work to continue to involve Horror in one fashion or another.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work at my website, http://www.bymichaelwest.com

My publisher’s website, http://www.seventhstarpress.com/  and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Vampire Author Linda DeLeon Speaks of Halloween

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, books, Halloween, holidays, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, texas authors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

The concept of life and death can be interpreted and philosophized in many ways.  Horror author Linda DeLeon has always fascinated me due to her outlook on these subjects and it is these subjects she speaks about in regards to Halloween.  Besides being skilled in the literary world, she has also shown amazing talents with her exploration into the realms that some shy away from, such as palm reading and tarot card divination.  It is a pleasure to introduce to you, my readers, Mrs. Linda DeLeon.

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Linda DeLeon was born in Richland Parish, Louisiana. When she was nine years old, she moved to Vicksburg, MS. She now lives in Dallas, TX with her husband, Rene. Her son, Cody, lives in MS and is currently attending Hinds CC and working toward a career in medicine. Mrs. DeLeon works as a nurse in the emergency room. Taking a dare from a co-worker, she began to write. With the encouragement of her fellow nurses, their entertainment became her obsession. With writing, she could combine her love of history and her deep fascination with vampires. Her endeavors resulted in Fall into Darkness and Veil of Time.

In March, 2014, her first short story Deidless was published in the anthology Southern Haunts 2: Devils in the Darkness. Since then, she has contributed to other anthologies that will be released in 2015. Presently, she is working on the first in a series of books to be published by Pro-Se Productions. Her novels will soon be available through Dark Oak Press.

What does Halloween mean to you?

I love Halloween.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  The days get shorter and nights are longer.  There is nothing I love more than a dreary, cloudy day.  The whole atmosphere is filled with mystery.  What horrors lie just beyond that veil of dense fog.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

There are so many.  One of my favorites was when I dressed my son up for his first Halloween.  He was a black cat.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I decorate and watch as many horror movies as I can.  I love Syfy channel’s 31 Days of Halloween.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Most years, I am a vampire, of course.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I’m sure there are many.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative holiday.  Why do you feel there is so much controversy in regards to this night?

People hate, discriminate, and criticize what they fear and/or do not understand.  I say all the time, and throughout history it rings true, that the basis of hate is fear.  This is an issue in which I have strong feelings about.  It is better if I do not pursue this issue further.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

I welcome the ghosts year round.  As for the rest of the, I simply turn the porch light off.

What frightens you and why?

I have one fear – snakes.

What is your favorite scary movie?

I have many.  I love all vampire movies, unless they are cheesy.  I would have to say my two favorites are Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Sleepy Hollow.

What is your favorite horror book?

I found Stephen King’s The Stand under my desk in 8th grade.  I read it and was hooked.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like a lot of blood and action.  I guess my answer would be fast paced.

What inspires your more frightening work?

I tend to get aggravated easily.  My next thought would be ways to kill someone and hide their body.  I know that is not normal, but it’s me.  What can I say?  I have always felt that my life revolves around death.  Maybe that is why I see things differently than the regular person.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Most definitely. I will keep writing as long as I can.

Where can we find your work?

Right now, my books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  I have just joined two new publishers: Pro Se Productions and Dark Oak Press.  When those works are available, I will list it on my website.  www.ldeleonbooks.com

The Goth Librarian Speaks of Halloween

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, frightening, Halloween, holidays, Horror, Horror Authors, interviews, Memphis, Memphis Authors, october, scary, Steampunk, Tenessee with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Years ago, at the event Southern Fried Comic Con in Jackson, MS, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with author Kimberly Richardson.  Upon this panel, she and I discovered we had quite a bit in common.  After purchasing her book Tales from a Goth Librarian, and she purchasing my book Traumatized, it would be nearly a year before we would see each other again.  The next time we bumped into one another was at Midsouth Con in Memphis, TN.  The first thing we did was hug one another and then fan girl/boy out over how shocking each other’s work was.  It wasn’t long after that I began contributing to her Dreams of Steam Series.  Before we learn what Kimberly Richardson AKA The Goth Librarian thinks of Halloween, here is some of her back story.

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After found as an infant crawling among books in an abandoned library, Kimberly Richardson grew up to become an eccentric woman with a taste for jazz, drinking tea, reading books, speaking rusty French and Japanese, playing her violin and writing stories that cause people to make the strangest faces. Her first book, Tales from a Goth Librarian, was published through Dark Oak Press and named a Finalist in both the USA Book News Awards for Fiction: Short Story for 2009 and the International Book Awards for Fiction: Short Story in 2010. Ms. Richardson is also the author of The Decembrists (Dark Oak Press) and Mabon/Pomegranate (Dark Oak Press), the upcoming books Tales From a Goth Librarian II, The House of Ginkgo and Open A, as well as the editor of Realms of Imagination: An Urban Fantasy Anthology and the award winning Steampunk anthology Dreams of Steam and the award winning sequels Dreams of Steam II: Of Brass and Bolts, Dreams of Steam III: Gadgets and Dreams of Steam IV: Gizmos, and the upcoming Dreams of Steam V, all published through Dark Oak Press. Ms. Richardson is also a contributor to the anthologies BLACK PULP and the upcoming ASIAN PULP, both published through ProSe Press, Garbanzo Literary Journal Volume III, published through Seraphemera Books, and Luna’s Children: Stranger Worlds, a werewolf anthology published through Dark Oak Press. Other short stories and poetry by Ms. Richardson have been published through Sam’s Dot Publishing/Alban Lake Publishing, Midnight Screaming, and FootHills Publishing.  Ms. Richardson is also the Programming Director for Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, a sci-fi convention held in Memphis, Tennessee.

What does Halloween mean to you?

It means a time to say goodbye to the lighter side of Life and to prepare ourselves for the Dark. It is by no means a sad time rather a time of reflection and of magick.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

I don’t really have one; every Halloween has been wonderful!

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I usually just watch a scary movie or pay homage to the dead.  This year, however, I am going to see the Shakespearean play Richard III.  I love that play and this version should be spooky enough!

What was your best Halloween costume?

I dressed up once as a farmer when I was a child, complete with hay stick to chew on!

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad costume.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate.  Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it? Because although there are “spooky” elements associated with the holiday, people think it to mean the Devil and Satanism.  That is simply not the case.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Keep them away? Um, why?

What frightens you and why?

You know what scares me, Alex.  That is my answer!

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

The scariest movie I ever saw was The Orphanage.  Scared me so badly I actually hid behind my coat and cried.  Yes, I really did cry.  Anything dealing with dead children bothers me greatly.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Bag of Bones by Stephen King.  Something about the story touched my soul and wouldn’t let go.  It bothered me to read it but I read the entire thing and, although I’m glad that I did, I will never read it again.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like both, although I tend to write the slow burners.

What inspires your more frightening work?

My imagination and the fact that it has no limits.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Um, is that a trick question? LOL

Purchase works by Kimberly Richardson by visiting the following URL:

http://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Richardson/e/B006VEN2M2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1413606560&sr=1-5

See Halloween Through the Eyes of Horror Photographer Danielle K. L. Anathema

Posted in Danielle K. L. Anathema, Halloween, holidays, Horror, horror art, horror artist, horror photography, Independent Horror, interviews, october, Photography, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

As I continue my quest to find out what Halloween means to horror authors and artists, I felt that my search would be incomplete without interviewing Danielle K. L. Anathema of Anathema Photography. I wish I could elaborate on a grand story regarding how we met, but the best I can say is I stumbled across Anathema Photography online and since then I have been a huge fan. Although I have never had the pleasures of meeting this fantastic artist in life, meeting her in person is on my bucket list. Now, I present to you the beautifully gruesome Danielle K. L. Anathema.

 Anathema

TURNING NIGHTMARES INTO ART

As a child Danielle K. L. Anathema had horrific nightmares. She was always terrified of the dark and what was lurking in the corners, in the closet, or under her bed. She learned to embrace the unknown and eventually found ways to welcome the twisted images that haunted her dreams. She opened her mind to this new world she had created where the deformed, the bizarre, and the unconventional were beautiful, sensual, and above all, accepted.

Her philosophises suggest that the darkness can be mesmerizing, scary, romantic, and humorous. Through her photography she is able to express her passion by capturing the world of horror, humour, and erotica through the eye of her camera.

“It is an honour to be able to share my vision, to fascinate, and to provoke.” Danielle K.L. Anathema – Anathema Photography

What does Halloween mean to you?

It’s a time of transition to me. The fall colours, cool breezes, and the stores finally carrying merchandise I would buy. I just love the mood of October.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

When I was in my teens, one Halloween I was having inappropriate relations with my boyfriend when this huge masked man came in with a knife. It was quite a chase, but then this Dr. Loomis guy came and saved my life. Pretty crazy night.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

I really enjoy the atmosphere of fall and love all the ghoulish goodies that come out around this time, but honestly I usually avoid the large Halloween crowds of the city because it’s not what it’s about to me. Although I do enjoy the scantily clad costumes 😉

What was your best Halloween costume?

The costumes I have enjoyed the most was when I got to tear up a piece of my body with fx makeup…love open gory wounds.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

When I was really young I got my first premade costume, Casper the ghost. It was a plastic mask that I could hardly breathe in and it didn’t smell pleasant. That definitely helped inspire me to do fx makeup.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate. Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

It’s fascinating how the ‘holiday’ has evolved from Samhain to slutty bunnies and candy. I feel most of the controversy comes from religious beliefs and fear of the unknown. I think people are frightened of ‘darkness’ and if they don’t know how to embrace it, they condemn it.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

I welcome them!

What frightens you and why?

The mall. It’s a giant crowded coffin of loud consumer zombies under florescent lights. Keeps me up at night.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

That is a really difficult question because there are so many sub-genres of horror. I guess Alien or Hellraiser would be up there. They both have that lovely sci-fi touch plus the SPFX and monsters were beautiful.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, it’s the first book that actually made me nauseated with his descriptions.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

It really does depend on my mood, but if a movie is well done then I really enjoy an atmospheric creepy film.

What inspires your more frightening work?

It usually comes down to raw emotions and how I can turn them into visuals. When working with a client I like to take a piece of their personality and twist it into something darker.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

Always! Much more to come, plus I’m in the final stages of directing and producing my first short film with a kick ass team – A Gift for Amelia.

Where can we find your work?

http://www.anathemaphotography.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/AnathemaPhoto plus I attend a few horror conventions and my work has been published in a variety of publications.

Horror Author Dean Harrison Speaks of Halloween

Posted in Alabama Authors, Alexander S. Brown, author interviews, Dean Harrison, Halloween, holidays, Horror, october, scary, south, southern authors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

In early 2014 at Mobicon in Mobile, Alabama, I had the opportunity of meeting and paneling with horror author Dean Harrison.  When I decided to do my Halloween interviews in regards to the world of arts and literature, Mr. Harrison was one of the top names that came to mind.  Not only is he a great horror author, but his knowledge regarding Halloween and the horror genre is favorable to all who enjoy thrills and chills.

Dean Harrison is a longtime fan of horror fiction. Though he’s spent time out in the “real world” working as a shoe salesman, a security guard, an investigator, a loss prevention detective and a journalist, he’s consistently returned to what he loves doing most – writing horror fiction. His short stories can be found in the horror anthologies:

FEM-FANGS, FELL BEASTS, RELICS & REMAINS, and CHRISTMAS IN HELL. His debut novel is THESE UNQUIET BONES. More is to come.

Dean lives with his family in his hometown of Mobile, AL, a city rich in ghost stories.

 dean

What does Halloween mean to you?

It means good times for my inner child. It means dressing up as my favorite monster for a little trick or treat, and a little mischief on a night lit with jack-o-lanterns, plagued with bats, and haunted by ghosts, goblins, and other delightful horrors.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

Honestly, no one Halloween from my childhood sticks out as most memorable. They were all a lot of fun: trick or treating with my three siblings and friends from the old neighborhood, enjoying the brisk night air, the spooky decorations, and the suspense of wondering just who, or what, might jump from the shadows and scream BOO, the goose bumps. And then there’s going home to watch scary movies and snack on candy, while my imagination continues to run wild with every creak and bump I hear in the dark.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

My wife and I go to a friend’s house for a big Halloween bash. There’s a roaring bonfire by a placid river, jack-o-lanterns burning under mossy oaks, food, drinks, music, dancing, and mischief. Plenty of mischief. It’s a blast. And of course, we all wear costumes. That’s a requirement.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Werewolf. I do believe I freaked people out, even unwittingly scared a couple of kids (nieces and nephews included).

What was your worst Halloween costume?

For one Halloween party I dressed in all black and wore a silver skull mask. After a while at the party I got frustrated with the mask, because it’s kind of difficult to eat, drink, and socialize while wearing one. So when anyone asked what I was supposed to be, I said I was Bob Seger.

Some people believe Halloween is a negative Holiday to celebrate. Why do you feel Halloween has such a controversy to it?

I think it boils down to an ignorance, or misunderstanding, of Halloween’s history, especially among some religious groups. Personally, I don’t believe Halloween bothers God. I come from a Catholic upbringing, and my family celebrates Halloween. I have fond memories of the Halloween bizarre the Catholic school I attended (from preschool to eighth grade) put on every fall. We got to wear our Halloween costumes and play cool games, win cool prizes. I even remembered a haunted house they built in the gym one year. It was a lot of spooky fun. It wasn’t until high school (my introduction to the public school system) that I discovered some churches frowned upon the holiday, but that’s their problem. We Catholics love Halloween.

What do you do to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween night?

Keep them away? Hell, I invite them in and offer a drink!

What frightens you and why?

What I see and read in the news, because it’s real. The horror novels I read, the movies I watch, they don’t frighten me because I know they’re fiction. It’s the horror taking place in the world that terrifies me, because it is actually happening. It’s real. Wars, terrorism, diseases, economic turmoil, violent crime, and natural disasters; hearing about it fills me with a dull sinking dread, and the only way to escape it is to choose not to pay attention, but I don’t like to be uniformed.

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

Halloween, because it is a true horror classic that never fails to give me chills. And it doesn’t rely on shock and disgust, blood and guts, to terrify. It uses sound, suspense, and atmosphere to raise the hairs and prickle the skin.

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

John Farris’s SON OF THE ENDLESS NIGHT, because it is an epic horror read. Think THE EXORCIST but on a much larger scale. I highly recommend it, and Farris’s writing is gripping and brilliant.

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

I like for there to be build up, but I don’t like a story to drag, so I guess I’m somewhere in between. Plus, it depends on my mood.

What inspires your more frightening work?

My nightmares.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

I have projects in the works.

Where can we find your work?

I have short stories published in various horror anthologies, and a novel (THESE UNQUIET BONES) published by Omnium Gatherum. You can find my work here:

http://www.amazon.com/Dean-Harrison/e/B008F18L70/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1412386005&sr=8-2

and here:

http://deanmharrison.wordpress.com/