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Devils and demons are a staple of horror literature, and I adore them in novels, novellas, and short stories. Funny enough, I feel the opposite about demonic possession in films. There are a thousand-and-one possession movies, and all of them use more or less the same plot, same tricks. But the written word is full of possibilities. It doesn’t suffer the restrictions of film and gives us room to examine the idea of demons from varying viewpoints. The loss of control, the loss of one’s self, is so frightening in a horror book.
Lately, I’ve read a lot of novels based around this very idea – possession, the devil, and ancient evil. I enjoyed each title, though no two were alike. Here are some of them – a list I’m calling Half A Dozen Devilish Books.
by: Sara Gran
I decided to buy this book when someone recommended it in the comments of a Facebook thread. The status asked something like: “What was the last book that genuinely scared you?” I read this book in a day, which is a record for me. I’m normally a slow reader. The story moves along quickly, yet you really get a sense of the narrator’s desperation, her loss of self-control, and her fear. What would you do if you thought you were possessed by a demon? Who could you turn to? Who would listen?
A Head Full of Ghosts
by: Paul Tremblay
Was teenager, Marjorie Barrett, a victim of demonic possession, or was she mentally ill? Years later, her sister looks back on their family’s dark past to unravel a tragic mystery. This book was full of suspense and chills. I absolutely loved it.
by: John Langan
Some might question my inclusion of The Fisherman here. It’s not about devils, or demons, or Hell. The Fisherman tells the tale an ancient evil capable of possessing humans, and manipulating them through their grief and sadness. Sounds pretty demonic, right? This is a slow-moving, crawl-under-your-skin-and-stay-there sort of book. I had to include it on the list.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal #1)
by: Jonathan L. Howard
I’ll admit, this book was not exactly my cup of tea. Not every book is going to become a personal favorite. But I see the value of Johannes Cabal for lovers of supernatural fantasy and dark comedy. It’s a lighthearted adventure through Hell and back, and especially if you love a good series, this might be a better match for you than it was for me. It did make me laugh a bit, and I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. There are several more books to follow this one, including: Johannes Cabal the Detective, Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute, The Brothers Cabal, Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day: And Other Tales of the Necromancer, and The Fall of The House of Cabal.
by: Tim Miller
I don’t read much extreme horror. And I’m certain that statement is something extreme horror authors hear all the time and get sick of hearing, but hey, as sub-genres go, it’s simply not for everyone. That being said, I picked up a copy of Cassie Kills because I admire the author’s imagination and energy. It was a dark and depraved read, and kept me entertained throughout. I’m told some of the more graphic parts were edited out to meet Amazon’s requirements, but this was graphic enough for me as-is! A sick revenge story and a journey through a world worse than Hell.
by: Stephen King
This is an oldie but a goodie. To be honest, I didn’t read much King in my youth. I didn’t have the patience for his story layers and – let’s face it – the enormous word counts! I’ve been reading him more in my thirties, and so far, this one ranks among my favorites. Store owner, Mr. Gaunt, is everything you could ask for in a Devil. Sly, experienced, charming, mystical, and terrifying. The shop he just opened up in Castle Rock has something for everyone. And I mean everyone. Won’t you step inside?
So there you have it. The six most devilish books I’ve read lately. Feel free to comment with your own devilish suggestions.
Hello, horror buddies. Happy Women in Horror Month.
Being as I am a woman in horror, I’ll be posting this month about some awesome females I know. But before we get to that, I want to make everyone aware of all the free fiction floating around this month. Yes, FREE. The magic word.
First and foremost, not because it is my book, but because the promotion ends soon… I want to spread the word that my novella, Ashes of Another Life, is currently FREE on Kindle until the end of the day on Feb 3rd. Please, go snag a copy if you’re a Kindle reader! Search “Ashes of Another Life” on Amazon or click here: https://www.amazon.com/Ashes-Another-Life-Lindsey-Goddard-ebook/dp/B01KDD4ZCC/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1486043611&sr=8-1
There are lots of book giveaways this month, as women of horror plug away trying to get their names out there. Dozens of free books just waiting to be downloaded by YOU. A good place to find them is here: http://angelinetrevena.co.uk/free-horror-books
And last but certainly not least, some scary ladies got together and wrote 100 word flash horror stories. You can find those linked below and also a video about the ladies involved.
100 word flash stories: https://kellyaevans.com/women-in-horror
Thanks for reading. In the famous words of Terminator: I’ll be back.
I believe Dirty Little Horror is a special blog. We venture where others dare not tread. Yet lately, I’ve been slow to post. I love horror, of course, but sometimes I can’t think of anything to SAY about my beloved genre in order to keep you all amused. 🙂
So I sat down and asked myself, “What are some of my favorite horror movie scenes, and why?” I realized something. I have a fascination with fake blood. That runny red stuff can make or break a scene for me. I’m not just talking gore or clever ways to die. I’m talking about BLOOD, and lots of it. Picture the elevator doors in The Shining – a crimson cascade rushing down the hall. Picture that bucket tipping over on poor Carrie White, covering her from head to toe as she trembles in her homemade prom dress. These scenes are a staple of horror culture.
Here are twelve more. I’ve put these BLOODY scenes in no particular order, but I did save the bloodiest for last. I give to you…
THE DIRTY DOZEN – TOP TWELVE BLOODY SCENES
Movie: Blade (1998)
Scene: Bloodbath at the rave
Movie: The Descent (2005)
Scene: Crimson Pool
Movie: Maniac (1980)
Scene: Head shot
Movie: High Tension (2003)
Scene: Saw through the windshield
Movie: Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Scene: Pulled into the cellar
Movie: Inside (2007)
Scene: Surgery on the staircase
Movie: Piranha (2010)
Scene: Bloody beach party
Movie: Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Scene: Death bed
Movie: Mirrors (2008)
Scene: Jaw rip
Movie: Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Scene: When all the monsters come to play
Movie: Dead Alive (1982)
Scene: Nice mowing you
Movie: Evil Dead (2013)
Scene: Rainin’ blood
As always, thanks SO MUCH for visiting the site. Feel free to comment with YOUR favorite bloody scenes.
Okay, okay, I know I’ve been slacking on posting new stuff lately. But hey… I could never let today slip by without a blog post. What sort of self-respecting horror blogger would I be if I didn’t say HAPPY HALLOWEEN!?
And to celebrate? How about we get in the mood with a horror poem by Rick Powell, then I’ll share a SUPER EASY pumpkin cookie recipe you can make last minute to enjoy this evening, and to top it off… How about sex in a haunted house? Haha. That is, how about we watch the short horror film ‘Sex in a Haunted House’? 😛
The Midnight Hour
It is the time when the mortal forms succumb to rest,
The time to put your troubles and toils away till the morrow,
To not think about what has ailed you or hampered your mind,
To try to forget who has harmed you or has caused you to sorrow.
This hour is for other things to come to life and rise from the shadows,
Things the light of day had not exposed and revealed to human eyes,
Things that have no home here in the waking dawn of daily man,
This hour is for creatures of many forms to stalk under the ebony skies.
Some have claw or talon that can rip asunder your flesh in a minute,
Teeth that are razor sharp that will stop your scream before it has spoken,
Some are the most savage beasts of nightmares that your brain could ever conceive,
That to gaze upon them for a moment will leave your frail mind and soul broken.
Foolish is the man who would brave to venture out into this hellish world,
To try to show wisdom and courage and prove they are not the ones to cower,
Beware of these beings that are known to haunt the darkest of all graves,
It is far better to stay in your homes and not seek what walks at the midnight hour.
Feeling festive but don’t have a lot of time? Try these Three Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies for a quick and tasty treat tonight.
Three Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
1 box of spice cake mix
1 cup of milk chocolate chips OR butterscotch chips (Mmmmmm)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly coat your cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin with a fork or mixer until well blended.
Fold in chocolate or butterscotch chips.
Drop by the spoonful on greased baking sheets.
Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Okay, now that we’re in the mood…
Sex in a Haunted House!
Hey there AGAIN, horror fans! It seems a few of the photos I had planned to share earlier didn’t upload, so I’m posting for a second time today to bring you more giggles.
Hiya, horror freaks! Today I’d like to discuss the horrifying works written by friend and colleague Brett Williams. This is an author who is not afraid to “go there”. Though he writes in more than one genre, his horror books tend to gravitate toward the extreme and taboo, in the same vein as Edward Lee.
I have read three of Brett’s books to date. The first one, From Murky Depths, was a light read with none of the depravity of the latter two, High Octane Damnation and Family Business. I, myself, don’t read much extreme horror. Believe it or not, violence is not really my thing. Lol. Who woulda thought? But despite my sub-genre preferences, I DO recognize a well-written, solid piece of fiction when I see it, and Brett Williams always delivers.
What am I getting at with this preamble? Well, as you can imagine, writing extreme horror containing graphic and sexual content always brings in bad reviews, and I guess I’m tired of seeing it. I’m tired of reading reviews claiming a book is garbage just because the reader picked out the wrong type of book for him or herself. There should be no surprise that Brett’s book Family Business contains rape. The cover image is a mostly naked woman behind bars! Did the reader think this sexualized woman behind bars was starring in a romance role? Doubtful. The truth is, the entire novel is oddly compelling from start to finish whether you want to keep reading or not, and the reader who posted the bad review that inspired this blog was probably just disappointed in himself for staying glued to the whole thing! What a sicko! Hahaha. I joke, I joke.
Anyway, I’m here to shout from a mountain top (or from my couch) that you absolutely CAN – in fact SHOULD – judge a book by its cover before you dig in. If there’s a lot of sexuality and blood, or if it’s named “Lucifer’s Whore” for instance, and you still decide to open up those pages and start reading, you just forfeited your right to leave a terrible review based on graphic content, in this blogger’s opinion.
So… there’s my two cents. Seems obvious. I don’t buy a thong swimsuit and complain it shows too much butt cheek. Use your brains, folks. Buy the books you’re likely to enjoy. In fact, here are some covers for books written by Brett Williams. Please, JUDGE THEM accordingly and then decide… do you want to know what’s inside? (I bet you do NOW. Lol.) 🙂
To find out more about this author, please visit: http://brettwilliamsfiction.com
On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me…
seven swans a-swimming…
Oh, wait, it seems the swans were swimming in radioactive sludge and they all sprouted second heads and pecked each other to death. Shame, shame. I guess we’ll move forward with our holiday celebration anyhow. How about a movie review?
A review of Long Weekend by Dene Bebbington
Arguably the apotheosis of nature turning on people films is Hitchcock’s The Birds. There’s no shortage of gory films in which people get torn up and eaten by various creatures, whether real or mutant. Snakes, sharks, piranha fish and crocodiles rather than people are often the villains in extensions of the slasher genre. When done well they may involve suspense as well as a succession of kills. A more intelligent and sinister approach was taken in the little known 1978 Australian classic Long Weekend, directed by Colin Eggleston.
Warning, spoilers ahead!
Peter (John Hargreaves) and Marcia (Briony Behets) are a couple going through a bad patch in their marriage and barely on speaking terms. The reason for this isn’t revealed until later, adding to the slow burn of tension. The friction between them is made worse by Peter taking them away (along with their dog, Cricket) for a long weekend to camp at an isolated beach, whereas Marcia wants to stay in a luxurious hotel.
At the beginning of the film there’s a suggestion of something untoward when Marcia is in the house and has the TV on in the background. She takes little notice of a news item about cockatoos attacking people.
Their journey is marked by bickering and a hint at the reason for their estrangement. Peter throws a cigarette from the window, then we’re shown it setting light to foliage at the side of the road. From here on there are many ways in which the couple are thoughtless and ruthless to nature, and blatantly when Peter runs over a kangaroo due to being distracted. Curiously, Peter’s thoughtlessness is sometimes counterpointed by concern. He’s upset at killing the kangaroo, and later berates Marcia for smashing an eagle egg.
Though the story is focused around this couple, they aren’t the sole victims of nature’s fightback. Some way down the beach a camper van has driven into the sea, and the occupants’ camp is empty except for their snarling dog.
The fickle personalities and ambivalent relationship of Peter and Marcia, the moody and primal atmosphere, haunting animal cries and unexplained way a dead dugong moves up the beach all add to the ominous sense that the couple won’t make it home. You suspect that when they try to leave the birds and animals will try to stop them. They’ve violated nature too much and are going to be punished.
Yes, the denouement is not surprising, but is still shocking and effectively done. Away from the comforts of home and the city, with hostile creatures determined to take their revenge, Peter and Marcia learn the literal meaning of the saying “Nature, red in tooth and claw.” They don’t have the advantage of ancestors who were used to surviving in a primitive world.
Long Weekend succeeds as an offbeat horror film, and as a parable of how humanity’s indifference and wilful destruction of the natural world has consequences.
The region 1 version of the DVD is best for special features. It includes an audio commentary with the producer and director of photography, and an interview with John Hargreaves. Yet another film to have succumbed to the pointless remake mania, this original ranks a respectable 80% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. The 2008 version, alternatively known as Nature’s Grave, failed to make it above 0%.
About the author:
Dene Bebbington works part-time in IT but feels more at home writing horror fiction. He’s had short stories published in various anthologies (Dark Corners, Dark Light III, Behind Closed Doors, and Disrupted Worlds to name a few), three stories as podcasts at The Wicked Library, and is the author of the ebook novellas Zombie Revelations and Stonefall. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and a tank of greedy tropical fish.
For more info visit:
Hey there! It’s day 666… err… day 6 of our holiday celebration, and I’ve been wondering… why is it that some of us are drawn to darkness? Why is it that you, dear reader, are visiting a horror blog for an X-mas celebration you know darn well has nothing to do with X-mas? The answer is simple: Horror fans cannot get enough horror.
Ah, yes, lovers of the macabre. We come in all walks of life, and our friends and family don’t always get it, do they? They don’t quite see the beauty we see in something like horror photography, for instance. A gruesome art form, horror photography is one of my favorite things to view online. Like today’s guest, Flatline Photography. I adore their work. (Visit them at https://www.facebook.com/FlatlinePhotographyInc)
As for WHY horror photography is a beautiful thing to me, here are a few quotes:
“Art should offend people because art should challenge people.” -Eriq La Salle
“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” -Stephen King
“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.” -Duane Hanson
Wow. We are already a third of the way through our 12 Days of X-mas celebration. Yup, yup, it is day 4. And I’ve got something way better than “four calling birds” to share with you. This short film is one of the most chilling YouTube horror movies I’ve seen. The video itself is pretty old by Internet standards and a tad blurry since it was uploaded a decade ago… but trust me, it’s worth your time.
I present for your viewing pleasure… Still Life…