Tag Archives: #Horror

Guest Post: Anne Hogue-Boucher

For the last post I get to host this week for Women In Horror Month, let me introduce my friend Spellvira, Anne Hogue-Boucher – Queen of the Macabre on Fun With Torture.

One of my favorite pastimes is torture.

Oh yes, not so much in real life, please, especially not if it’s someone I like or love. No, I like to write about torture, and I adore torturing all of my characters to varying degrees.

Psychological torture is fairly easy for me. I’ve seen it happen in real life, firsthand, in my own past and when working as a supervised therapist at a psychiatric hospital. People in the hospital were tortured trying to get help for Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Bipolar I & II, and many other conditions. It did not inspire my writing, but it gave me a glimpse into a person’s world where they were convinced they were being watched, stalked, poisoned, and other horrible things were happening to them.
So giving it a supernatural element and casting it into my own world, the world of Silver Hollow, wasn’t a difficult task. But it was necessary. Writing about characters who may or may not understand they’re enduring the supernatural or otherworldly/inter-dimensional is a way to cope with the actual evils I have seen in my life. It keeps me stable, I suppose.

When I first published Now Entering Silver Hollow, some people were shocked by it because there are some brutal moments where characters are stretched to their psychological limit. One of my favorite characters, in fact, gets put on the literary rack and nearly pulled apart.

Her name is Kathryn Cross, MD. She believes in logic and none of the supernatural nonsense I put in front of her. Of course, encountering these things drives her to the edge of madness. She is ravaged by it, and somehow manages to pull herself together.

But that’s the appeal of psychological torture, isn’t it? At least for me. I’m fascinated by people who can go through the very worst and yet manage to keep going. I’m intrigued by their coping mechanisms (healthy or not), and impressed by the human spirit’s strength to carry on no matter what. The will to survive is at the core of enduring psychological torture. Some of my characters have it, and some don’t.

I think that’s what appeals to fans of psychological horror. It’s not just the thrill of what might happen next to such-and-such a character, it’s thinking about how they would survive such a thing. Perhaps there’s even an element of ‘thank goodness that’s not me’ in there, too. Some also seem to enjoy it for the same reason I do: watching characters survive some of the most maddening and horrible events.

Writing about torture is fun. I’d write about it any day over enduring it myself. I can imagine anyone would, and that’s likely one of the reasons why psychological horror has such a wide appeal.

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Guest Post from C.A. Verstraete: Women Who Kill

Continuing Women in Horror month, I’m happy to host C. A. Verstraete talking about Women Who Kill!

History is full of all kinds of monsters – and some happen to be female
Human nature and society naturally have us think of women foremost as nurturers, mothers, leaders, consolers, caregivers. Then something goes terribly and horribly awry. They kill.

It’s unthinkable and unimaginable when a woman does such a thing. There’s the spinster Sunday School teacher Lizzie Borden, who supposedly hacked her father and stepmother to death with a hatchet in 1892. Unimaginable, right? The jury seemed to think so, too, (along with the lack of direct evidence linking her to the crime), so they declared her not guilty in the “trial of the century” the following year.

Even worse is the thought of a woman as a serial killer. While most are male, the idea of a woman killing again and again fills us with even more horror. And they’re not just in the past.

There’s crazed Charlie Manson’s drugged-up followers who committed atrocious acts linked with the name “Helter Skelter,” the word scrawled in a victim’s blood on a wall.

There’s the Michigan prostitute who killed seven of her “clients.” There’s the “black widow” who killed for money. Or the nursing home proprietor who killed for the insurance money.

Hormones aside, the idea of a woman turning into that kind of monster is truly frightening. Yet, that is also what makes them fascinating, like a car wreck we can’t turn away from. The truth is that no matter what horror you add to a story, be it zombies, monsters, or other creatures, nothing is as horrible as real life. Monsters can be vanquished, but the human soul has a darkness that often can’t be cleansed.

Admittedly, writing about a killer, any killer, is not for the faint of heart. I’ve seen my share of crime shows on TV, and looked at autopsy photos or read crime reports. Having grown up fascinated with old crimes and Chicago gangsters must’ve taken away my squeamishness early. Something like looking at real life crime scene photos of the Jack the Ripper or Black Dahlia killings, or reading the autopsy reports from the Borden murders never bothered me. Of course, that the crimes are distant in time and all the images are in black-and-white helps. These are crimes of the past and a part of history.

The real fascination is that the crimes remain unsolved. We are drawn to them as we can’t help but hope some clue or link can be found that’s been missed. Writing fiction, you can even solve the crime in a way. With new forensic and other technologies that keep developing, wouldn’t it be amazing to finally solve some of these crimes in real life?

* What real life crime do you find the most fascinating and why?

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter: Every family has its secrets…  One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become… zombies?

Website: http://cverstraete.com
blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com
Amazon: http://getbook.at/LizzieBordenZombieHunter
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/hp9rvyd

Guest Post from Lori R. Lopez

Welcome to Women In Horror month!

I’m proud to host Lori R. Lopez today to talk abut

Select Your Weapons Carefully

Lori’s novels are dark or fantastic. Her poems are horrific or witty. Her stories could be anything, except some things. Her artwork is peculiar, brooding, and quirky like her!

I select weapons carefully and strive for accuracy. My story “Cornstalker” in the anthology DEAD HARVEST featured several medieval blades, which were fun to include. A slender axe was named Francesca, the mace called Morning Star. There was a battle-axe mentioned too, with double blades, and a warhammer. But the biggest and most formidable weapon of the story was a Mack Truck hauling a trailer. I had to research how to drive one so I could describe it. I don’t drive, period. I used a variety of things in the title tale for my horror collection ODDS AND ENDS: from glass shards and a chainsaw to the blades of a blender, hatchets and axes, flies and birds, a weed-trimmer . . . It’s a bit twisted.

I also like to use objects that aren’t actual weapons or even considered dangerous. My works usually contain humor, whatever the other genres involved, and you never know what might happen. Playing cards were flung like knives during a scene for “Mindless”, an apocalyptic story published in ODDS AND ENDS. I was thinking about how painful a papercut can be and thought, Why not?

The latest weapon I’ve wielded for writing was an Excalibur replica in a new dark poem, “monsters and men” . . . although the pen is mightier than the sword, as we know. The piece centers on the power of words.

Website: http://www.fairyflyentertainment.com
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/lorirlopez
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1455488.Lori_R_Lopez
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorirlopez

And thanks to W.J. Howard for organizing all of the fun!

Why we love Halloween – Six days

Happy Saturday, everyone.

As this year’s October Frights Blog Hop is winding down, (Thanks for hosting the madness Clarissa!) I’ve been amused at the number of posts I’ve seen from people who hate to be scared.

I may have chuckled a  little at an article that popped up in my Facebook feed from someone who can’t understand why anyone watches, as she calls them, scary movies.

First, let me say, I am firmly an advocate of finding your tribe, and finding your interests. And I get it, that some people are scared of their own shadow. By the authors admission, she had seen a sum total of one “scary movie.” And not a really good one at that.

But I agree, if you let a bad horror flick scar you at 14, and that was half your life ago, the genre probably isn’t for you. Good for realizing it.


The majority of the article was boiling down to saying something was wrong with people who did enjoy this form of entertainment. I’m not hating on the fact she sips her pumpkin spice latte while she reads glamour magazine, and has the depth of a kiddie pool in the desert. It’s one thing to say you don’s like something in particular, it’s another to basically say people are wrong for enjoying something different from you.

For those of us that love this season, its because we get to embrace those parts of ourselves AND others who are a little different.  If everyone was just the same, we would like in a world of nothing more than bad sitcoms and the same formulaic romcom movie every weekend. We would be in a world without Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, or Alan Moore being known.

We wouldn’t have Sandman Slim,  Cthulhu, Captain Kirk or anything Samuel L. Jackson has ever done.

No,  I embrace my inner nerd, my outer geek, and the snarky person I am. I have the things I love and enjoy, and the stuff I don’t.  But I would never tell someone else their fandom was wrong, any more than I would look at them and tell them their religious faith was. (Well, except for Cabbage Patch Kids. Those things creep me out.)

It’s another form of intolerance and bigotry.

Is that a little extreme to say?

I think not. There was a time, not so long ago, that being interested in Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror was seen as the escape of the outsider. The uncool kid.

Even though super heroes are big business these days, I still see the attitude of those who have the trendy and passing interest and the disdain they hold for the true fans who can quote to you the full life history and every edition of Black Panther.

There are stories every day of kids being bullied to the point of suicide. Adults as well. I am fortunate enough to have been able to contribute to #HoldOnToTheLight. I have seen fandom have such a positive impact on so many people’s lives, that yes, it is absolutely another form of intolerance and bigotry to attack people for their interests.

Yes, there are factions, politics, and sides in fandom. And yeah, there’s a lot of debate back and forth. Star Wars vs. Star Trek. Which house of Harry Potter you belong to. Marvel vs. DC.  It’s no different that what college or pro team you pull for. (Go Gamecocks.)

And yeah, I’m going to let a little of my prejudice slip here. I see the author of this and several other articles I’ve seen this week that are anti-halloween, anti-fright, and anti-costume as sitting behind their locked doors watching the real housewives of who gives a damn. They have handed their lives over to the No Longer Learning Channel, and see themselves of the protectors of their delicate flowers of children.

The truth is, it’s a harsh world. We all have to find those mediums that let us escape from our lives, and let us express ourselves. For those of you who don’t like something, that’s fine. Don’t hate someone else for having an interest or finding a value in it. And be happy that people find their tribes, and a community.

But know this. If you see me sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, I’m being held against my will.

So this Halloween, go out and try something that scares you. You might find out you just might like it. And if not, so be it.  But you will learn a little something about yourself in the process.

Check out more of our authors in this year’s October Frights Blog Tour! Now that book 3 is out, and Spirits of the Season and Gnomebody’s business are in paperback, some lucky person on my mailing list will will a full autographed set. Sign up today!

To celebrate, my Halloween story, “Spirits of the Season” will be free the entire month of October here! Use code Oct2016.

A Longbow Initiative Story
A Longbow Initiative Story

Even more, use code Scare2016 and get a 25% discount on everything!

And check out more of my fellow authors in this year’s tour!

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For others, this can be too much to handle. For those who have survived real horrors. I’ve been honored to contribute to the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign with over a hundred other authors writing about #MentalHealth, #PTSD, and #Depression. Please check out the web page.