Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time Lapse

From Rob Zombie's YouTube channel...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Talking Dead

Wow. That's my assessment for last night's mid-season finale of AMC's hit show: THE WALKING DEAD. The producer's of said show have really outdone themselves - and this after there was so much uneasiness after Frank Darabont took a back-seat in the show's production at the beginning of Season 2. But after last night's 'Episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already,' we needn't worry any longer about the direction of the show. Gripping, intense, emotional - it will be difficult to wait until February 12th to see how it all plays out at Herschel's farm.

You may be asking yourself: "Is it really that good?" The answer is yes - THE WALKING DEAD, particularly last night's episode, was quite frankly THE BEST zombie story I've seen put to film, and this includes George Romero's movies. High praise coming from this zombie lover!

Check it out here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Filer's Files

It was not until very recently that I have heard the term “shadow people” or “bedroom visitor”. I was never interested in the unexplained phenomena, until I read a list of bizarre and unexplained phenomena and I first read about, and heard the term “shadow people”. I felt the only one with my experience! Can you imagine my elation, seeing, reading about someone whom ALSO had the same thing happen?

When I was about six, my dad, mom, three sisters, and a brother lived in Midland, Texas around 1973. I was lying awake in bed, but the whole family was home and I could hear the TV. I had woken up and I remember it as if it were five minutes ago and I would die of fright. I felt being watched, and in the doorway was an adult man, not “alien” looking, but rather like a normal man, but I had the impression he was dressed in clothes from the 1940s, I could see an outline of his outfit. More like a silhouette, like someone took a photograph, and snipped out the shape of a man. It was totally black and very sharply defined black silhouette of a man. I could not make out any features; the space the man took up was completely void of anything but blackness.

I got the feeling that he was watching and I felt he had intelligence. My family was unaware of this creature, even though they were in the house. I was afraid no one would believe me, or I am crazy? I shut my eyes so he would think I was asleep. I had held my breath, and stayed still, hoping he will go away! I felt his presence, his breath, a few feet away. I stayed in a tight curled up motion and felt if I face him directly, I will die from sheer terror.

Then I must have either passed out from fright, or from holding my breath. I did not mention it until I was well into my 20s to a pastor, my neighbor (funny, when I brought it up he seemed to beat me to the description of the man, I asked him how did he know and he smiled but didn’t tell me! I told only one other person, and now you.

To read more Filer's Files:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I'm currently reading the latest book from horror scribe Stephen King: 11/22/63. While only half-way through it, I'm relieved to find that so far he only deals very briefly with Lee Harvey Oswald. Of course, I'm expecting that to change once I dive into the second act, which is frustrating when you see how embarrassingly naive King is about the events of that day, and with how thick a brush he paints Oswald as the one and only assassin - mentioning 'crack-pot conspiracy theories,' but then failing to talk about any of them save for one sentence about there possibly being an Oswald double in Dallas (one of the more far-fetched theories put out there). The fact that he based his conclusions off of Gerald Posner's cherry-picked JFK book CASE CLOSED pretty much says it all. King doesn't want to believe that something greater was behind that day than a deranged loner with a gun, so he simply writes history that way - even going so far as to say that he's 98% sure Oswald did it, maybe even 99%.

Okay Steve. Keep drinking the Cool-Aid.

For more information about the events of that day, might I direct you to just a few of the well researched books which ask the important questions that King ignores in his work of fiction:

CROSSFIRE by Jim Marrs
COUNTERPLOT by Jay Epstein
JFK by L. Fletcher Prouty

Monday, November 21, 2011

Halloween Roundup

We've had wave a flu bugs sweep through our house, which is partly why I haven't yet uploaded my 2011 Halloween pics to the Hallowzing website. Meanwhile, loads of other home haunts have put me to shame with some really incredible photos from Halloween night. The legendary Pumpkinrot has put together a nice collection of some of his favorites over at his 'What's Brewing' blog. Stop by and check out everyone's hard work - and I promise to get my butt in gear and get some photographs up soon!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Skunk Ape

Mr. T reached out to the BFRO and after several lengthy conversations and a visit to his farm, a number of other incidents were uncovered which suggest a sasquatch has been visiting Mr. T's farm for most of the last five years. Common occurrences include loud slaps on the side of his home during the night. Large objects, like riding lawn mowers or trailers in his yard, mysteriously relocating overnight. Loud choruses of wailing howls that break out in remote forests around his farm, occasionally waking his family from sleep. In one instance a young daughter in the family reported seeing a large, hairy man outside the window, a claim Mr. T did not take seriously at the time. And in a separate incident Mr. T came home to find the upper window onto his back porch smashed in, and a bag of garbage stored there had gone missing. Some time after this, the door onto the back porch was ripped apart, and more trash bags were stolen from the porch.

On another occasion Mr. T. and his son were in their front yard when rocks were thrown at them from the woods behind their house. Several rocks landed before his son began to pick the rocks up and throw them back. Mr. T notes his son's rocks fell well short of the tree line, which was over 100 yards away. But after he and his son threw a few rocks back, more rocks came from the forest, only much more rapidly than before. Mr. T and his son were forced to retreat into their home. Since then, they have occasionally heard rocks hitting the roof of their home, during the night.

Mr. T is an admitted night owl and frequently up to the small hours of the morning. During two evening events, separated by a year's time, Mr. T observed what he thought was a very large Marine, wearing a backpack and ghillie suit, walking along the road in front of his house. On the first occasion Mr. T did nothing, and the "Marine" simply disappeared into the darkness. On the second occasion Mr. T yelled to get the subject's attention, whereupon it immediately began to move quickly away, not running, but walking very fast, until it turned and disappeared into the woods along the road.

Read the rest here:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Poe Log

While it's always kind of sad to see the sun set on another haunting season, there is one aspect of it that I will not miss at all: public speaking! While I sincerely appreciated each and every opportunity I was given to speak at many fine locations in the area about my book: MODERN POE: VOL I - and met many gracious and enthusiastic supporters along the way - my month of lectures solidified my belief that there is a reason I am a writer - public oration simply is not my strongest asset.

Case in point: THE RAVEN. I have recited Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem more times than I can count. I have had it memorized for years now and, in the comfort of my own home, can recite it with little difficulty. However - standing before a room full of strangers (or worse, people that you actually know!) the once familiar poem suddenly becomes a vague, hazy memory of something that I should know but now can't quite recall (I also got to the point where I dreaded reciting the lengthy piece, sometimes opting to go with other poems of Poe's like THE CONQUEROR WORM, or THE BELLS).

Would I do it all over again? Definitely. Would I do it now if I was asked to deliver a lecture? Unquestionably. As I said, I am tremendously grateful for each an every opportunity I am given, but I definitely have a renewed respect for people who can stand up in front of an audience on a regular basis and deliver interesting, thought-provoking lectures. It's not as easy as it looks!

Still haven't ordered your copy? There's still plenty of time to grab a copy for a unique Christmas gift! Simply visit the MODERN POE e-store and pick up your copy today! Visit:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

That's Life

This image is courtesy of a feature LIFE magazine ran in which they confessed that not all of their front covers were iconic. This one, clearly, they got wrong. With the tagline: "The stuff bad dreams are made of," I thought this one was terrific (and almost exactly what my son wore for Halloween this year!) Not sure why they picked this one as a 'worst cover,' but personally I love it!

See the rest of them here:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gone Juan

ground shot leaves
Originally uploaded by Tom Kent

My opinion of my whole experience varies from time to time. In broad daylight, and at most seasons I am apt to think the greater part of it a mere dream; but sometimes in the autumn, about two in the morning when winds and animals howl dismally, there comes from inconceivable depths below a damnable suggestions of rhythmical throbbing ... and I feel that the transition of Juan Romero was a terrible one indeed.

H.P. Lovecraft
"The Transition of Juan Romero"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Going Attractions

Here's a worthy cause that would be cool to see made. It's called GOING ATTRACTIONS:
The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie Theatre.

Do you have an interest in drive-in movie theatres? Well, you can make a contribution to complete a documentary about them! The producers of GOING ATTRACTIONS are attempting to raise what they call 'finishing funds' to help complete the film using a crowd-funding service called Kickstarter.

For a $25 contribution you will receive a 'special thanks' credit in the film. For $50 you can also reserve an advance copy of the DVD. For $100 you'll get the DVD and a t-shirt. Proceeds will go towards completing the film, and they're already 10% of the way towards their total goal of $10,000!

Please help spread the word to people who might want to get involved!

Click here for the Kickstarter link to learn more:
Drive-in Fundraising Link - Kickstarter

Monday, November 14, 2011

Come On Dave

Everything I need to know if life I learned from John Carpenter's BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Here's a splendid little tribute video someone made for this underrated gem to help kick off your work week in style.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Spooky fog! - Aldermey
Originally uploaded by neilalderney123

"During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows—upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveler upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day life—the hideous dropping off of the veil."

--Edgar Allan Poe
The Fall of the House of Usher

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bitter Sweet

As a lifelong book collector there are times when you have bittersweet moments where you have a mixture of emotions about a particular book (ie: the thrill of having at last found that one elusive title, co-mingled with the disappointment that the chase for that book has at long last ended). My first brush with this strange sensation was when I was barely a teen.

Backstory: Starting in the late 1970's, having inherited a nearly complete series of books from my older brother called: 'Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators,' I found there was one title that was missing - #13 of course - and it became my mission in life to find this book. With the re-release of the old books with new covers by artist Robert Adragna at about this time, not to mention the thrill of new titles being added to the series, this gave me an excellent opportunity to at long last track down this frustratingly scarce tome. I scoured book shelves, went to countless book stores, and looked high and low for 'The Three Investigators in: The Secret of the Crooked Cat.'

Well I remember the dizzying rush of finally finding it at a now defunct Walden Books at the Crossroads Mall in Fort Dodge, Iowa. There it was! I was holding it in my hands! I savored the moment! But then...something happened. My good cheer deflated. I realized the hunt was really over - I would no longer be on constant watch wherever I went for this long sought after title. I briefly, wildly, considered putting it back on the shelf and pretending I never saw it. But no - I could never do that. As a book lover, I realized this was something I would simply have to accept (although I must add that it took a good long time to actually READ the book!)

Later in life I would suffer through this sensation again and again - putting together a collection of first edition James Bond titles (sans the uber-expensive Ian Fleming originals - I would have to settle for reprints for those), filling my shelves with first editions of Stephen King's works, discovering the brilliant set of Brains Benton books (a short-lived series that was so good it deserves its own blog post some day), and on and on and on...

[As a side note: as a Three Investigators purist, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the original illustrator of the series: Harry Kane. However, in the particular instance of the cover seen above, I always thought illustrator Robert Adragna knocked it out of the park with his cover art for 'Crooked Cat.' Superior to Kane's work in almost every respect, Adragna gives us a gorgeous, dynamic painting awash in the orange hues of sunset that accurately conveys the excitement of the carnivalesque story found within.]

To learn more about this great series of books, I urge you to visit the website of the universally acknowledged expert in the field: Seth Smolinske at his excellent Three Investigators website:


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here & There

One of the more amusing traditions I have in the post-Halloween season is what I call 'Here & There' (sometimes known as: Oh, look what I found!) This is yet another of my little yearly traditions at our house that invariably happens year after year. How does Here & There work? Well, as I pointed out in previous posts, most of our Halloween decorations actually come down the weekend BEFORE Halloween. I know this seems odd, but the sheer enormity of the job, and the crazy amount of items we have dictate this rule. The outside decorations come down on Halloween night for the most part, with a few that I might have missed or were too tired to bother with coming down on All Souls Day.

This is where Here & There begins.

Putting away the Halloween stuff for another year is bittersweet. On the one hand, the decorations have been up for over a month - so when it's time for them to come down, it's time. On the other - it's cool living in a house that's completely transformed for that short span of time. It's a big job and I wonder each year how in the heck it's all going to fit into the orange and black Rubbermaids we have in our crawlspace (sometimes they don't - and we have to add yet another Rubbermaid to our collection and hope it fits in with the rest under the stairs). But, once the job is done, it's a relief to know that it's all packed safely away and life can once again return to normal...

Except I will find a Halloween candle-holder here. Going about my daily routines I will stumble across a string of Halloween lights there ("How did I miss those?") Oh, look - I found this necklace that was part of my daughter's Halloween costume. Here's some prizes I bought for next year's party in this Target bag in the bedroom. There's some black plastic tablecloths in the crawl-space I missed ("I must have walked past those a hundred times!") Here's the jack-'o-lantern guts scooper/scraper thing. There's another set of vampire teeth ("Where do these keep coming from?") You see what I mean? We are now entering into the second week of November and I am STILL playing Here & There - and I fully expect this strange custom to continue for the rest of...

Oh, look - here's a...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gang 'O Jacks

Some of the jack-'o-lanterns we carved from pumpkins picked from our garden. Counting pumpkins we brought home from visits to two different pumpkin patches, I ended up carving 20 jack-'o-lanterns in total.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Off The Beaten Path

This week at Drive-In of the Dead we have a featured movie that reminds us why we love indie horror so much. Filled with homages to classic horror films, a spooky cabin in the woods, and lots of blood by the bucket! The Minnesota-made OFF THE BEATEN PATH from Not For The Squeamish Productions was a ton of fun for us to review - and as an added bonus we were able to conduct an exclusive interview with its super-cool, but very down-to-earth director: Jason Stephenson which we hope to have uploaded in the next week or two.

If you're a lover of locally made, homegrown, independent movies (or just love horror in any shape or form like we do...) do yourself a favor and check this one out - you won't be disappointed! You can pick up your copy by heading over to the official NFTS website:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Night Shift

Thought I'd pass along a press release from Fighting Owl Films about THE NIGHT SHIFT, a film we featured at the Drive-In last year. We knew a good thing when we saw it - and now here it is on DVD!


Fighting Owl Films is pleased to announce that the family-friendly supernatural-adventure-comedy “The Night Shift” received North American DVD distribution by R-Squared Films on October 25. The film has been met with critical acclaim and a positive response from fans. The Night Shift is currently available at (, Walmart and many other retailers.

“The Night Shift” is a supernatural-adventure-comedy about Rue Morgan, the undead night watchman at Pinewood Oaks Cemetery. Rue, along with his buddy Herb, a limbless corpse, spends his nights trying to keep the cemetery’s cantankerous residents in, and his days dreaming of a date with hard-nosed day-shifter, Claire. It’s an okay afterlife until a scourge of supernatural occurrences leaves Rue not only watching the cemetery, but also watching his back!

To stay abreast of the latest updates, please become a fan of Fighting Owl Films on Facebook ( For more information, trailers, downloads, photos and cast information, please visit

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wine Not?

the Harmonists and the wine-cellar
Originally uploaded by Maewynia

"The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation."

--Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This has been my house for the past two days...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Commercial Tradition

Okay so I have one other Halloween tradition (well, All Souls Day, technically) that I'm not so proud of. Sure, I rant about how commercial Halloween has become - I lecture and I preach about keeping it old fashioned and remembering traditions of the past. So what do I do each year? Why, head on out the next morning to hit the 50% OFF sales to pick up the few goodies that happened to catch my eye over the past month.

The jack-'o-lantern cookie jar seen above is one of them. Half price at Target ($10.00), I've had my eye on this one and was willing to push and shove old ladies out of my way to get it! I wasn't impressed with most of what Target had to offer, but this will take a place of honor in our kitchen the whole year 'round!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ritual Deconstruction

Something I started doing years ago late on Halloween night was completely dismantling my yard haunt when the festivities have ended. This actually started out of necessity a while back when I had some unruly teens stop by expecting treats without costumes - a definite no-no at my house, along with the use of profanity by trick-or-treaters, but even this rule has exceptions: sometimes a "Holy sh*t!" slips out when you scare the dickens out of someone (but vulgar cursing just to posture for your buddies and show them that you're not really scared and how fake everything is will get you escorted off the property). Basically, either one of these infractions may get you a denial in the sweets department. There are rules, you see, and I think both of these are simple enough to follow to claim your prize. Well, several years back a duo of hooligans threatened to return and trash my graveyard, so down it came that very night after the last beggar had left.

As it turned out, this has turned into one of the neater traditions I have on that dark night of nights. With such an elaborate yard haunt that includes costumed mannequins, a fog machine and chiller, piped in music, over 30 headstones, a 40' graveyard fence and archway, a 15' tall scarecrow, a coffin-shaped tiki-bar for serving hot apple cider and pumpkin bars, strobe lights, black lights, blue spot lights, and more - all of it which stands for the entire month of October - it really is a shock for people to drive by on the morning of November 1st and see that it all has completely vanished; as if it was never there at all.

So each Halloween night, right around 9:30 p.m. (I give time for those late stragglers who go out of their way to beg at my house), I pour a glass of wine and begin the sacred process of stacking and storing it all away in my garage. It is a very solemn event - for at this time of night I am the only one out of doors. As the clock ticks toward the witching hour, a creepy feeling steals over me and I can't help but feel something's out there - watching - waiting - to make sure it is all done right. Inspired by the movie TRICK-'R-TREAT, I always make sure to leave one jack-'o-lantern burning on the stoop - but the rest comes down.

This year the weather was gorgeous. The temperature at 11:00 p.m. was right around a balmy 45 degrees, with a slight breeze that rustled what few leaves remained on the maple tree in our front yard. This same breeze stirred a some stray leaves and a small Dixie Cup (that a beggar had dropped from our cider urn) in our neighbor's driveway. The sound effect that was created by the leaves and the cup rolling about on that ominous, silent eve was chilling (I had to investigate the sound, as it was such an odd acoustic that I couldn't place just what it was I was hearing). I never realized the importance I put on the little things on Halloween - even as my haunt seems to grow bigger and bigger each year - but it's the little things, a single flickering jack-'o-lantern that snuffs its candle out all by itself just as I decide to call it a night, an unfamiliar sound out there alone in the dark, which makes it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Want Some Candy?

My costume on Halloween night...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

Originally uploaded by Recovering Protestant

Another successful Halloween: gorgeous weather (55 and sunny with very little wind) and over 200 trick-or-treaters. Photographs of the day will be forthcoming.

Nothing left to do but store away the props and sweep up the candy wrappers...