Anniversary – Pen of the Damned

This week on Pen of the Damned, read Anniversary by Jon Olson.

Follow Pen of the Damned on Twitter @penofthedamned And like us on Facebook

Pen of the Damned is a collection of dark tales told by those who freely dive into the maw of damnation and live to tell their stories. Every Tuesday a new story is posted to the site by one of its handful of eclectic writers. And once or twice a cycle, the members write their interpretation of a photo prompt as a group post. The stories are short and not so sweet, with a lingering aftertaste of terror.

If you haven’t checked out the site I dare you to take a look into the pitch black, if only to see if you can find the light again.

www.penofthedamned.com

Halloween 2017

It’s that time of year when the full moon is most beautiful, and the trees dance in a cool autumn breeze, dressed in tones of coming winter. Darkness falls and zombies rise from their graves. Ghouls and ghosts roam the streets. Fear molds the imagination into an embrace of humanity’s love of being afraid.

Also, candy. People love candy.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Ever since I was G.I. Joe back in the 80s (that’s the first costume I can remember wearing), I’ve adored the night of mischievous fun. It spawned my love for horror movies, which later grew into literature and all things one might call horrid and repulsive.

By a stroke of luck I ended up living back in the neighborhood I grew up in. In this area, it’s the hotspot for trick or treating every year. People travel from nearby towns just to come to this particular collection of streets. One is lined with huge Victorian homes. There’s even a funeral home that gives out candy. As kids we used to joke that they made the candy out of the cadavers.

Last year I got over 1,500 kids at my door. That’s a lot of candy to give out! But it makes the elaborate decorating outside of my house worthwhile. Last year the house across the street had a bit better display. But unless they worked some magic and had the determination of a 3rd generation horror fanatic I’m going to blow them out of the water this year.

And I have even bigger plans for next year! That will top the best house in the neighborhood. And because I grew up here, took my own child trick or treating here every year, I know exactly which house that is and how good their display is.

But enough maniacal babble about my Halloween pride.

Or maybe… More of it…

This year I decided to make some of my own decorations. I made my own tombstones because I want to turn the entire front yard into a cemetery. The ones you can buy at the store would add up to quite a bit compared to the number I can make for the cost of materials. I just bought some cheap foam from the hardware store, gray latex paint, and black acrylic paint.

And turned this, into this…

I cut the foam with a hobby knife and wrote the inscription in permanent marker. Then I used the tip of a paintbrush handle and a pen to engrave the words, cracks in the stone, and the skull on the bottom. After that I painted the whole thing in gray latex outdoor paint. After letting the paint dry, I used black acrylic paint to fill in the engraved letters and designs. I then used a slightly wet kitchen sponge with black acrylic paint to add the grainy look and darken areas around the edges and engraving.

To place the gravestones in the ground I’m using some one foot yard stakes I bought at a hardware store (and since I’m being Dracula for Halloween I may want to stay away from them). I hammered the stakes in the ground and used duct tape to attack the foam gravestone.

It took some time to do all of this, and I plan to make as many as I can. But it’s a great solution if you want to turn your front yard into a cemetery on a budget!

 

This idea I came up with out of nowhere. And all from stuff I already had around the house. Didn’t have to buy a thing to make these ‘Jars of Oddities’.

 

For the red one on the left I used some plastic cement to glue the back of the skeleton’s head to the inside of the jar to keep him from floating. I filled the jar with a mixture of water and a little fake blood. I painted the lid with matte black spray paint.

The one in the middle I used eyeballs I got at a dollar store, some food coloring, and water.

For the one on the right, I followed the same steps as the first one, but put only fake blood in without any water.

The skeletons were from a skeleton garland. But I had to take their legs off for them to fit. But a torso in a jar is cool so it works!

I’m going to be making all sorts of Halloween themed foods as well! Including a graveyard cake, Jim Jones punch, jello brains, and lotion for the basket (vanilla pudding).

Thank you for reading!

Follow my blog to get an update on the next Halloween post!

Granules – Pen of the Damned

This week on Pen of the Damned, read Granules by Nina D’Arcangela

Follow Pen of the Damned on Twitter @penofthedamned And like us on Facebook

Pen of the Damned is a collection of dark tales told by those who freely dive into the maw of damnation and live to tell their stories. Every Tuesday a new story is posted to the site by one of its handful of eclectic writers. And once or twice a cycle, the members write their interpretation of a photo prompt as a group post. The stories are short and not so sweet, with a lingering aftertaste of terror.

If you haven’t checked out the site I dare you to take a look into the pitch black, if only to see if you can find the light again.

www.penofthedamned.com

RELEASE: Still Dark — D.W. Gillespie | #Horror #Paranormal #MindControl @Sirens_Call

This book is honestly amazing. I couldn’t put it down! Considering how much I read I don’t rave about a particular book often, but ‘Still Dark’ is more than worthy!

The Sirens Song

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce its latest release…

Still Dark

D.W. Gillespie

DWGillespie_StillDark_cover_promo

When a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…

Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.

Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!

Still Dark is currently available on:

Amazon: 

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A Writer, A Musician

Anyone who follows my blog or sees my posts on social media knows I’m a writer. It’s pretty much all I talk about. I guess I just can’t contain my enthusiasm for the written word!

But I’m also a musician. Been a guitar player since the age of 13. So… a long time.

I’m excited to announce that my band and I released our debut EP, titled Penance. The digital album is now available on bandcamp.com, and soon we’ll be releasing it on itunes and other formats. We’ll also be producing physical copies as well!

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You can listen to one of our songs free on Youtube“Wendigo Carnage Psychosis”.

And you can preview our music on bandcamp before you buy.

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Thanks for reading! And if death metal isn’t your thing, please share with anyone you know who might enjoy our music!

 

Abby’s Best Role – Pen of the Damned

This week on Pen of the Damned, read Abby’s Best Role by Brian Moreland.

Follow Pen of the Damned on Twitter @penofthedamned And like us on Facebook

Pen of the Damned is a collection of dark tales told by those who freely dive into the maw of damnation and live to tell their stories. Every Tuesday a new story is posted to the site by one of its handful of eclectic writers. And once or twice a cycle, the members write their interpretation of a photo prompt as a group post. The stories are short and not so sweet, with a lingering aftertaste of terror.

If you haven’t checked out the site I dare you to take a look into the pitch black, if only to see if you can find the light again.

www.penofthedamned.com

More on Pen of the Damned:

Damned Words 23

At Peace by Christopher A. Liccardi

Carnival by A.F. Stewart

Footprints by Mark Steinwachs

A Walk with Grace by Lee A. Forman

Like a Puppet by Jon Olson

The Within by Mark Steinwachs

Tiny Cages by Veronica Magenta Nero

Know Not the Dark by Joseph A. Pinto

Halloween is Coming…

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Happy Halloween!

If you’re a fan of horror, then you probably love this holiday as much as I do (well maybe not because I’m slightly fanatical. Each Halloween has become a bit of a competition with a house across the street). But the amount of gushing you do for the unholiest of celebrations matters not. If you love Halloween, I love you. Well, maybe not. But I probably like you at least.

The unboxing of the Halloween decorations has begun…

It’s no easy task. I have to use an a hand truck and make about 6 trips from the basement door at the back of the house to the front door. Sometimes I wonder if I have too many decorations. But then I realize there’s no such thing, and I even have a list of things I’d like to add to the collection this year. (Summer yard sales are the best for getting lots of stuff real cheap, by the way).

Halloween is especially fun where I live. I counted last year and had over 1,500 trick-or-treaters at my door. No, I’m not joking. There really were that many. The neighborhood I live in has been the trick-or-treat ‘place to go’ even since I was a kid. People come from all the nearby smaller towns just to come to this neighborhood. So it adds up to a lot of freaking people.

So I really love to get scary, deck out the house as much as possible, and make at least one child cry with my costume. (I swear I don’t do it on purpose, but still consider it an achievement.)

Follow my blog for more updates on Halloween madness!

OPEN SUBMISSION: The Sirens Call – Issue 35 ‘The Classics’ | #Horror #ClassicMonsters

The Sirens Song

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce its next open call…

The Classics

eZine_Submission_ImageFor the October issue of The Sirens Call eZine, we’re looking for horror stories, prose, and poetry celebrating classic monster stereotypes.

Whether it’s vampires, swamp men, werewolves, witches, evil trolls, or… whatever, we want your spin on what these creatures are up to. What we do NOT want is Fan Fiction! No tales of Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster; let’s leave the copyrighted names alone.

The only trope we’re NOT allowing: Zombies – NO EXCEPTIONS! We’re saving that genre for our year end issue.

Send us pieces that are creepy, sullen, emotive, freaky, humorous, elegant, bizarre; or just flat out scary as hell.

The basic rules:

  • write the piece well
  • make sure it involves a classic monster but not a classic name (for example, don’t send us a story about Dracula-we’re not looking for Fan-Fic here)
  • the work…

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