Archive for holidays

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!

kalila__7 (1)

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

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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.

 Michael

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.

Horror Artist Oliver Tilley Speaks of Halloween Faves and the Origin of the Holiday Itself

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, artist interview, Halloween, holidays, Horror, horror art, horror artist, interviews, mississippi art, mississippi horror artists, october, oliver tilley, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

As Halloween draws nearer, it is time to shine light on a horror artist from Celtic bloodlines.  Oliver Tilley is a horror visionary with talents for bringing to life nightmares in realism through pencil, ink, and paint.  I had met Oliver years ago at a Horror Convention in Jackson, MS where he had numerous pieces on display.  It was here that he and I befriended one another, and I began collecting his art for inspiration.

oliver

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday! Even as a child I really got into the season, but as an adult, it seems to have deepened with the understanding of the holiday from the Celtic traditions. My family has deep roots in Scotland, so the holiday holds meaning to me. Halloween is the final harvest before winter, and the celebration of bounty before the dark season!

What is your most memorable Halloween?

One year, my sister and I gathered some friends together, and created a spook house in an old rental home belonging to my grandparents. We decorated it out, and invited the kids from the neighborhood to visit. It was a wild success, and we all had so much fun! We scared even the adults that can through!

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

Usually it consists of bonfires, friends hanging out, and watching horror films.

What was your best Halloween costume?

My mom made me up as a werewolf one year, complete with prosthetic nose and teeth!

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I never really 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?

What everyone needs to understand, is that all Christian holidays where ripped off from pagan holidays! The early church saw the necessity to overlay Christian themes to established pagan holidays to appease all – so Christmas, and Easter are all rooted in paganism. Just like Halloween! The early church tried to promote All Saints day as the overlay to the festival of Samhain, but it never quite caught on, due to the fact that it was not centered on an event in Christ’s life. I love to remind folks that Christmas, and Easter where pagan celebrations prior to being Christ centered holidays!

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

Bonfires and Jack-o- lanterns!

What frightens you and why?

Nothing short of another Texas Chainsaw remake! I am not frightened by much, and I think that is why I am such a horror addict. I am still chasing that thrill from childhood, where I was afraid of everything!

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

I don’t know that I have one single favorite, but classic horror films are my favorites. Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. In recent years, I have lost interest in most of the big budget films from Hollywood, but the indie horror scene is thriving! I love a good cheesefest!! Troma films make me happy!!!!

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, Frostbite, and Overwinter by David Wellington, and anything by Lovecraft, and of course Traumatized by Alexander Brown!!!!

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

Both! As long as the story holds my attention, I can hang with them.

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

Yes! I have some new stuff in the works, and I am working on a horror rock band! I am also working on getting some short stories published.

Where can we find your work?

Nightwatch Studio on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nightwatch-Studio/418993524862355

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.

Kim

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/

Horror Artist James Powell Paints a Colorful Portrait of Halloween and His Inspirations

Posted in Halloween, holidays, Horror, horror art, Independent Horror, interviews, James Powell, mississippi art, mississippi horror artists, Mississippi Horror Author, october, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

In 2008, I was invited to attend a horror convention in Jackson, MS – this event is responsible for most of the friends I have today. Out of all of the artists I met here, James Powell was an artist who stood out to me. With his images of Lovecraftian themed artwork, I stood there regretting that I didn’t have more wall space. Throughout the years, I knew that in some way I wanted to work with Mr. Powell, however, I just never had the opportunity until my novel Syrenthia Falls was published by Dark Oak Press. Once Mr. Powell and my publisher were under the same roof, I brought my publisher to Mr. Powell and said, “HIM! HE IS THE ARTIST I WANT TO DESIGN THE COVER ART FOR SYRENTHIA FALLS!” Due to Mr. Powell’s wonderful take on the horror genre and my puppydog look in situations such as these, I am happy to finally work with Mr. Powell.

 james

As a child, artist James R. Powell was very much afraid of the dark. It wasn’t until his early teens that his mind became twisted, and he became attracted to the horror genre.

He’s lived in the backwoods of the Deep South most all his life, which have provided inspiration for many of his dark and surreal works. He has encountered several ghosts, and believes in UFOs.

In 1999 he was employed by Peavey Electronics, painting guitars for musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, Sheryl Crow, John Entwistle, and Alex Lifeson.

He’s been published by many companies, including Dark Continents and Western Legends Publishing, and his art has recently appeared in the pages of Fangoria magazine.

He’s worked with authors: Neil Gaiman, Brian Hodge, Scott Nicholson, Matthew Tait, John Prescott, Joe R. Lansdale, Alexander S. Brown, and many others.

He has done design work for actor Lance Henriksen, and horror punk legends The Misfits.

He has worked in both advertising and film. He is also a poet, musician, vocalist, and songwriter, and can usually be found late at night drinking rum and hanging out with a questionable black cat named Louis.

Being a native of Mississippi, and having a fondness for the Blues, he’s often had to deny rumors about visiting crossroads and having dealings with the Devil. However, at the age of thirteen he did play in a fresh-dug grave.

 

What does Halloween mean to you?

Well, it is my favorite holiday, for one! But there’s so many different aspects of it that I love. Halloween is like the highlight of the season, like Autumn’s Encore! And Monster Cereal, and pumpkin spice flavored everything!

What is your most memorable Halloween?

My most memorable Halloween was when I was a kid. It probably wasn’t really how it was at the time, but it was so creepy my mind retains it that way. Anyway, it was a haunted house we visited. I remember it as an old house we went into and there was a huge room, it seemed like an old, stone Greek theatre with a circle of steps leading downward. There was a lot of blue stained glass. At least, that’s how I remember it!

Of course, there’s also the time when I was about fourteen. We went to a Fall Festival at our church. While everyone was inside having their little fellowship, a few of us kids were rolling the churchyard! We’re probably going to Hell for that!

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

When I was a kid, it was Trick or treating. In my teens, I’d watch the first two original Halloween films every year. As I got older, I’d read Joe R. Lansdale’s short story By Bizarre Hands, which is one of the creepiest stories dealing with the holiday. Now, it’s taking kids Trick or Treating, lighting bonfires, visiting haunted houses, and watching scary movies!

What was your best Halloween costume?

I found a hat years ago at a thrift store, and it looked just like Ed Gein’s hat. Last year, I bought a latex mask that was of a peeled off face. So, I sewed the face to the hat, and when I put on the hat, the face just hung down over my own. I think that was probably my best costume.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

I think when I was about six I dressed as a cowboy. That’s probably the worst.

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

You know, I was thinking of a long elaborate essay of an answer for this one, but honestly, I think there are a lot of people out there who need to stay in their homes and pray on October 31st. They associate the holiday with the Devil. That’s funny because a lot of the traditional rituals of Halloween were started by the church!

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

It’s a night when I invite them to gather round me, actually. They say on Halloween night, during the Witching Hour, the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. On several occasions, I’ve even shuffled a deck of Tarot during midnight and given myself a reading.

What frightens you and why?

I’m not that frightened by anything supernatural. For me, it’s anything that puts my family, friends, and the people I love in a situation of mortal jeopardy. Of course, not long ago I had a small fire get out of control, and that scared me pretty bad!

What’s your favorite scary movie and why?

That’s a tie between The Exorcist and the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Both of those movies still frighten me because they’re both very real to me!

What’s your favorite horror book and why?

Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Man, that one left a scar!

Do you prefer slow burners or fast paced thrillers?

If I fall in love with the characters, I’ll hang with a slow burner. If I’m not too concerned with them, I want it to be fast paced, and very visceral. I don’t want time to catch my breath!

What inspires your more frightening work?

Within me, there’s a big haunted house with many, many rooms. When I’m doing horror, I visit that place. There’s always cobwebs in the windows, leaking faucets, and flickering light bulbs. There’s scratching sounds coming from some rooms, and screams from others. I just wander down the halls and up the stairs, and I pick a door. I turn the knob and let it creak open, but I don’t enter. Whatever is inside, it comes out. It comes to me.

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

I’ll always consider myself a Surrealist, but horror has pretty much become my main focus. I used to try to balance it out, but it’s what I really love. It’s a passion, and it’s what I’m most devoted to.

Where can we find your work?

http://greyhaven.weebly.com facebook.com/artistjp