Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Vol. 1

Montague Rhodes James was a renowned medieval scholar and Provost of King's College, Cambridge. He was also the author of some of the finest ghost stories in the English language.

His tales are populated by lonely, academic bachelors whose insistence on prying into ancient tomes, forbidden manuscripts and other esoteric materials plunges them into a world of malevolent entities and ghoulish spectres.

Four of his most haunting tales — 'Canon Alberic's Scrap-book'; 'Lost Hearts'; 'The Mezzotint'; and 'The Ash-tree' — have been adapted by Liverpool-based writers Leah Moore and John Reppion for indie publisher SelfMadeHero's latest graphic compendium, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Vol. 1.

It is recommended for die-hard MR James enthusiasts, as well as for those perhaps just discovering his work.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my review

Diabolique Magazine’s Ultimate Halloween Movie Night

The Diabolique Magazine team have put together a list of our favourite films to watch on Halloween. Making lists is never easy, especially when there are so many great films to choose from. Our picks include Halloween III, The Shining, Evil Dead, Fright Night, The Changeling, Night of the Eagle and many more, including one of my own personal favourites, The Haunting.

Directed by Robert Wise and based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting contains a perfect blend of understated horror, icy atmospherics and unsettling ambiguity. Wise’s subtle approach not only honours Jackson’s own chilling suggestiveness but is also a tribute to the work of Val Lewton, who produced several of Wise’s own early directorial efforts including Curse of the Cat People and The Body Snatcher.

Head over to Diabolique Magazine’s website to read more…

Monday, 31 October 2016

Exquisite Terror Halloween Sale

Born from a love of horror, ponderous thoughts and meandering topics, Exquisite Terror is a periodical that takes a more academic approach to the horror genre, featuring exclusive art, script analysis and in-depth essays.

To celebrate Halloween (our favourite time of year!) we're having a sale, so if you'd like to pick up a copy, while stocks last, head here to do so. Issue 1 has completely sold out, but there are still limited copies of issues 2, 3 and 4.

Here's what some folks have said about Exquisite Terror:

STARBURST “Fascinating and informative” 

BRUTAL AS HELL “Intelligent and enlightening”

SEX GORE MUTANTS “Highly recommended” 

STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING “One of the best horror zines out there” 

Autumn XXXI

"Wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!"

John Greenleaf Whittier 

Today's image is a photograph I took a couple of years back - it's a turnip I'd carved for Halloween. When I was a child my parents would carve turnips instead of pumpkins - it's an old Irish tradition. The story of how carved turnips came to be used as lanterns varies throughout Europe. According to a spooky old Irish tale, a measly farmer called Stingy Jack tricked the Devil into climbing a tree. Once the Devil was high up in the moonlit branches, Stingy Jack carved a cross into the bark so he couldn’t get down again. Jack only agreed to let the Devil down when he promised never to take the farmer’s soul.

When Stingy Jack eventually died, he was too sinful to pass through Heaven’s gates, and as the Devil had promised never to take his soul, he was damned to always wander the earth in search of a resting place. He carved out a turnip, and inside placed a glowing ember the Devil gave him to light his lonely way. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern." 

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Autumn XXX


"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." 

Stephen King

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Autumn XXIX


"Satan! Come to us! We are ready! 
Satan! Come to us! We are ready! 
Satan! Come to us! We are ready!" 

Lords of Salem

Friday, 28 October 2016

Autumn XXVIII


"Ravens are the birds I'll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens." 

 Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Autumn XXVII


"All I've ever wanted to do is darken the day and brighten the night." 

Clive Barker

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Autumn XXVI


"The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited." 

Stephen King, Bag of Bones

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn XXV


"The Devil pulls the strings which make us dance; 
We find delight in the most loathsome things; 
Some furtherance of Hell each new day brings, 
And yet we feel no horror in that rank advance."  

Charles Baudelaire

Monday, 24 October 2016

Autumn XXIV


"There is nothing like the silence and loneliness of night to bring dark shadows 
over the brightest mind." 

Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Autumn XXIII


"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep..." 

Robert Frost

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Autumn XXII


"Now he was praying because the Witches' Sabbath was drawing near [...] when hell's blackest evil roamed the earth and all the slaves of Satan gathered for nameless rites and deeds. It was always a very bad time... There would be bad doings, and a child or two would probably go missing."  

HP Lovecraft, Dreams in the Witch House

Friday, 21 October 2016

Autumn XXI


So I went on and on till I came to the secret wood which must not be described, and I crept into it by the way I had found. And when I had gone about halfway I stopped... I bound the handkerchief tightly round my eyes, and made quite sure that I could not see at all, not a twig, nor the end of a leaf, nor the light of the sky... Then I began to go on, step by step, very slowly. My heart beat faster and faster, and something rose in my throat that choked me and made me want to cry out, but I shut my lips, and went on. Boughs caught in my hair as I went, and great thorns tore me; but I went on to the end of the path. Then I stopped, and held out my arms and bowed, and I went round the first time, feeling with my hands, and there was nothing. I went round the second time, feeling with my hands, and there was nothing. Then I went round the third time, feeling with my hands, and the story was all true, and I wished that the years were gone by, and that I had not so long a time to wait before I was happy for ever and ever. 

The White People by Arthur Machen

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Autumn XX


The woods enthralled her... Little by little did she become absorbed into them... She would sit for hours motionless, hoping, believing, that at any moment the revelation might come to her, and that she would see the Dryads dancing, and hear the pipes of Pan. 

The woods were aware of her, the trees knew of her presence and were watching her... A feeling of pride, of joy, of a little fear, possessed her... She knew something great was coming, something awe-inspiring, something, perchance, terrible! 

Already she began to feel invisible, inaudible beings closing in upon her, already she began to know that slowly her strength, her will, were being drawn out of her. And for what end? Terror began to possess itself of her... 

The woods enthralled her.

'In the Woods' by Amyas Northcote