Our bloggers cover the spooky spectrum, from horror film reviewers to Wiccans to Halloween crafters to bioarchaeologists (they study bones!). This weekend we’re bringing you a double dose of the heebie-jeebies, with Halloween and witchcraft bloggers today, and other offbeat spooky topics tomorrow.
If you’re a fan of fright or just want to explore something new, get ready for the creepiest holiday season with these eerie entries:
Are costumes and crafts more your speed than monsters and mayhem? There’s no shortage of inspiration on WordPress.com, with tons of bloggers dedicated to getting you and your little ones ready for an epic night of trick or treating.
We started getting into the Halloween spirit yesterday, with Halloween craft and costume blogs and a look at some of the real-life witches on WordPress.com.
Today we continue the Halloween Spooktacular with some less Halloween-y but no less creepy content: horror film buffs, zombie aficionados, and cemetery guides, oh my!
Frightening film and fiction
If you prefer that ghouls stay safely in movies and books, there are plenty of WordPress.com authors ready to guide you to the scariest of scary movies, like the team of eleven bloggers behind Mutant Reviewers.
Led by Head Mutant Justin, the Mutant Reviewers team is dedicated to cult classics, watching the worst so you don’t have to. Visitors looking for recommendations can check out their movie of the week, helpfully highlighted with an image widget in the left sidebar. This week’s offering is 1979’s The Prophecy. (Conclusion: “Simply, if you are looking…
The Haunted & the Hauntings are the things that truly send chills up and down my spine. Perhaps you would wonder why someone able to see ghosts and been in my share of haunted places is chilled to the bone. But this is just the reason why The Haunted & The Hauntings do chill me…because I know they are real. It is those nightmares that walk and connect with us that truly petrify us. Not the bogeyman but the shadowed spirit at my door…this is what I know to be all too true.
But just like there are people who are able to see these veiled creatures of the between world, there are places on this earth that seem to be filled with the walking dead, the seeking spirits, the hungry haunts. So today I thought I would welcome you to DayTwo of the COFFIN HOP by sharing a short haunted travel guide of two of this world’s most Haunted places…
The Parisians have an interesting history with the dead and departed. It started in the Roman times when Parisians buried their dead on the outskirts of the city but with the rise of Christianity they soon took to burying their dead in consecrated ground which meant under and around their churches. By the 12th century however these consecrated burial grounds became overcrowded and the only way around this was to have mass burial sites for those who were short on cash. By the 17th century these mass inhumations though caused the sanitary conditions of Paris to become unbearable though as Paris depended on their waters from their many underground wells which was now being contaminated by these mass inhumations. It was then that, with the government looking for a way to clean up the city, they decided to use long abandoned stone quarries under the mines as new burial grounds for the dead of Paris. It took two years from 1786 to 1788 to exhume all the mass buried bodies and transfer them to the underground sepulchre which soon became known as the Catacombs of Paris. Soon the very tunnels that led to these stone quarries were walled in a macabre “brick work” of bones and skulls. It brought a new meaning to “walking with the dead”. So although the government of the day managed to clean up the city’s water supply they also turned the city into a city that walks on the bones of its dead. These catacombs are now listed as one of the most haunted places in the world with guided tours there. Visitors here claim to have been touched by unseen hands, have the sensation of being watched or followed, experienced temperature changes, hysterical breakdowns, and the feeling of being strangled.
Paris may be the City of Light but perhaps it is only called that because it lies on the City of Death…
Although London is often seen as the epitome of modern day civility, its history is quite the polar opposite. This city has one of the most violent and savage pasts in the world. It is a city that Kings and Queens have fought viciously over and fought passionately and horrifically for the rights to rule. From the horrific tales of imprisoned nobles in The Tower of London to Jack the Ripper, this city has more than its fair share of horror and dead crying out for justice. This city alone has spanned the popular gothic genres with its historic architecture and less than polite past. There are numerous ghost walks and haunted tours that can be found at the tips of your fingers if you google “Haunted London” – 79, 600, 000 results to be exact. One that stood out to me though was: The London Ghost Walk
These great London Ghost Walks are led by ghost book author and paranormal television presenter Richard Jones. The walk lasts approximately 2 hours and takes place regardless of weather conditions.
Twilight creeps through the narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards. It’s gnarled fingers unlock ancient secrets of dark deeds that lie entombed behind crumbling walls. It whispers into the shadowy recesses of a forgotten part of London, disturbing the sleep of the long departed, and the city of the dead stirs once more into ghostly life.
Thus London’s spookiest tour begins, and a spine-chilling night awaits you in the company of masterful story teller Richard Jones, author of the definitive book on the capital’s sinister history Walking Haunted London. For this is the only ghost walk to feature startling recreation of psychic phenomenon and you will witness much that is mysterious and inexplicable.
With its unique combination of expert guidance, dramatic storytelling and strange occurrences, this is THE London ghost walk. Often copied but never equalled, it unfolds against the backdrop of London’s oldest, eeriest and most haunted quarter. Untold horrors skulk in the silent shadows, and spectral voices echo across ancient plague pits. Mists and Miasma’s swirl through abandoned graveyards, as a lone monks keeps his weary vigil amidst crumbling, weatherworn tombstones and the devils breath is felt on a wind swept corner.
So come along, as the darkness falls, and enjoy an entertaining journey through a part of London you would never dream still existed. Encounter streets so sinister, that you will never be sure who, or what, might be waiting around the next corner, or lurking just a few graves along. (taken from the site)
Now I don’t know about you but this is one Haunted tour I would love to take…
Have you visited these haunted cities so praised as architects of civility and style in the modern age but so filled with macabre and bizarre pasts? Which haunted city is on your bucket list to visit?
Join me here tomorrow for the next X spots that mark the places where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…
Remember to visit all the other coffin hopping macabre and haunted places buried in the
It’s also my Anniversary on quitting the day job and going full time writing!
It is a double anniversary for this writer!!
So how would I sum up this first year of full time writing…
A journey…this first year is only the first step on the ladder to success.
I held my first published fiction under my own name in my hands – my first short story.
I finished the full first draft of my manuscript and I am submitting my novel this month.
I took the bull by the horns, gathered my nerves and pitched my novel in a face-to-face session with a top agent. (Though nerve-wracking I realised that agents are just people like you and I and this particular agent was lovely and very encouraging as well as giving me some great advice.)
I plotted out Book 2 and Book 3 in The Cursed trilogy.
I plotted out the second trilogy and am busy working on the first draft.
I strengthened many friendships with other writers and started new friendships…too numerous to mention everyone by name but you all know who you are.
I have learnt a lot about the publishing process, and the options we writers have available to us.
I found and commissioned a brilliant cover artist.
I was asked to host a weekly writing chat on twitter – #storycraft
What have I learnt or found challenging this year?
I have learnt that writing is a marathon not a race and we set our own pace.
I have learnt that although I thought I would be able to write a full 8 hours a day, it is more like 4-5 hours a day in practice.
I have learnt that there is no absolute right choice when looking at publishing options, there is only the right choice for me.
I miss a steady paycheque but am also happier than ever.
I work 7 days a week every week and there are no weekends for me but because this is the path I CHOOSE, it enriches me and fulfills me.
I feel constantly challenged and never bored.
All in all this first year has been a huge learning curve as I found my feet in the world of full-time writing. I realised that I am hardest on myself. This is something that has always been an issue in my day job but in writing it has become a monster that I am slowly learning to cage. I have found support and encouragement in people who believe in me. I have also come across the naysayers and the scoffers who wonder when I will get a whack from the reality stick and stop this “hobby” of writing.
Well in response to my friends, supporters and encouragers: Thank you and please continue in your encouraging because this is one year and counting. I will still need your support and your encouragement. You don’t know how much it has meant to me and how much it has bolstered me on those days or weeks when my writing was fighting me.
In response to the naysayers and the scoffers: This is not a hobby, this is my career. I don’t need a whack from the reality stick because for the first time I am being ME by following and committing to my goals and dreams. I don’t plan on stopping because this is the path that feels most right to me. I don’t need your permission to do what I need and what I want to do with my life. I am happy and I am in control of my own future, how many people can say that. I am my own boss and I work harder at this role of full time writer than I have ever done in any day job.
I cannot wait for Year 2 of this adventure I am on. I know I am on the right track and I am ready to take the next rungs on the ladder to my success. This first year I took a slower beat because I believe I needed to know more about the publishing industry and also more about where I wanted to truly go in my writing. I also took this first year to learn about author branding and online presence. I don’t regret anything from this first year and feel that my life is the richer for taking the plunge into the adventure of full-time writing.
So thank you to my 170 blog followers, my 1155 twitter followers and my 669 facebook friends. Each one of you has been there through this first year and have cheered and supported me. You all ROCK!
Now Raise your glass with me and let’s drink to fighting for your dreams and living life with no regrets because at the end of the day we have one life to lead – I am not wasting mine.
march 1 |märCH|verb [ no obj. ]walk in a military manner with a regular measured tread: three companies of soldiers marched around the field.• walk or proceed quickly and with determination: without a word she marched from the room.• [ with obj. ] force (someone) to walk somewhere quickly: she gripped Rachel’s arm and marched her out through the doors.• walk along public roads in an organized procession to protest about something: antigovernment protesters marched today through major cities | they planned to march on Baton Rouge.• (of something abstract) proceed or advance inexorably: time marches on.
I love new beginnings. I love fresh starts. I have always loved the month of March. For me March has always been a month of beginnings and changes. March also happens to be my birthday month. March is also very aptly named. It is the only month of the year with a name that is also a strong active verb. (See meaning above.) How can you not be excited that March has arrived? Bad start to the year? Make March 2012 your month to “March” to the beat of a new drummer.
I am excited about this month. January and February were rough months for me. So March’s arrival is as much a celebration as a timely farewell to February. I also missed the fact at the beginning of the year that 2012 is a leap year. So for those many days when we wish we had an extra few hours or an extra day…this is the year. So my question to you is what are you going to do with the extra day up your sleeve this year? What leaps and bounds are you going to take?
I received something in my inbox yesterday (the last day of February) that really boosted me and inspired me. It was the latest post by Word Bitches. If you have not found and followed this site yet, I urge you to jump in. Anyway here is the post I received yesterday. The blogger at Word Bitches shared and posted the below manifesto courtesy of KM Weiland. She shared a couple of other links from other writers on there as well but it was the below manifesto that really hit ZING on the home zone for me. So I had to re-share it. I have also printed it and hung it. This is just the ZING I needed for this month.
So with the above manifesto shining a broad swathe of light in my pathway, I am ready for March. I am ready to jump right in. The beginning of the year has been all about life-interruptus and health-interruptus. Stress has been thy middle name February/January and unfortunately the novel became a dirty word. From a dead macbook battery to family emergencies as well as flu and endless migraines thrown in for good measure, I was not in the right head space to tackle the novel.
But the one thing we are given freely every day as long as we have breath in our bodies is a fresh sunrise, a new dawn, a new day and the chance at a fresh new start. Yesterday and all its wearisome cares is burnt away by the moon and stars and when that sun whispers hello over the horizon, we can start all again. So with that in mind I have re-shared another image that landed on my computer screen this morning. Just looking at this image fills me with an inner calm and serenity. So if you have had a not so stellar start to 2012, take a look at the image below and remember today is a new day, today is also a new month. Don’t let the failures or stresses of yesterday be an energy vampire on your today. Let the sun burn out those energy vampires. When your sunrise arrives, don’t waste it. Grab the chance. This sunrise is a gift not a guarantee. Fulfill the promise that today is your new beginning and your fresh start. Make sure your boat is pointing in the right direction and your twin oars of persistence and perseverance are at the ready.
‘Fiction, imaginative work that is, is not dropped like a pebble upon the ground, as science may be; fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.’ – Virginia Woolf
‘The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, the Odyssey because all life is a journey, the Book of Job because all life is a riddle.’ – GK Chesterton
‘If life got in your way yesterday, don’t despair; today’s dawn is a new start for you lit with the fire of a new sun. Get in the way of life instead by grabbing today with both hands and not letting it go until you have wrung out all the possibilities and fulfilled all the promises.’ – KM Koning
…if you’ve been having one of those days or one of those months, play this song and remind yourself that you are just F***ing Perfect today just as you are…don’t be your own worst critic…strap on your boots or stilettos and take on the world because there is nobody like you in this world and you were put here for a reason…find the reason…make your mark…be YOU…and pick up that pen and start a fresh new page…You are the only one who can write your story…Get started…
I am back from the Wilds of life with no blogging for a month. After blogging almost every day in December it felt very strange to go a month and a bit without blogging. But the rest was well needed. Life outside the world wide web was very busy with a house move, buying new battery for the Macbook and various other family emergencies, chores and errands. It has indeed been a busy start to 2012. But I am back. Well rested, ready, willing and able to get back to the business of blogging. This month I am going to give you more of a glimpse into my WIP with teasers of my cover, interview with my Amazing cover artist and background into the back story and inspiration of this trilogy. As I was without a computer due to my Macbook battery giving up its ghost, I got a lot of reading done so I will be sharing and linking to the reviews as well as featuring some exciting debut books coming out by my talented bevy of writing pals. So I am truly back in the business of online communication! Hello 2012 and Hello February.
But first…I am come back holding aloft my two-time nomination and win for The Versatile Blogger Award. My good friend and cp, Melissa Pearl nominated this blog and this blogger for The Versatile Blogger award a couple of weeks ago. I love receiving awards – who doesn’t? But I love it even more when the award comes from another writer I adore and respect. Which is the case in the case of Melissa Pearl – YA author and time travel specialist. Thank you Mel! 🙂
So I am supposed to list five things you didn’t know about me…Mmmh scratching head commences.
1) Everyone who knows me knows I am a confirmed gypsy at heart and love nothing more than a new stamp in my passport or at the very least the open road and a new road trip to Destination Anywhere….but what you maybe didn’t know is that I always travel alone. There are three main reasons why I travel alone.
i.) I am very independent and impulsive and all my trips whether just down the road or overseas are spur-of-the-moment whims. This tends to leave nobody else anytime to prepare to go with me. But then those that love me know that I am a free spirit when it comes to travel. Plans are just so mundane. Much better and more exciting to just up-and-go when the desire hits.
ii) I am a very independent and adventurous traveller. Again you would think this would make me a fun traveling companion and people would be queuing to sign up to travel with me. Think again. When I say adventurous, I mean adventurous. I don’t stick to a plan, I never go to the “tourist spots” and I love nothing more than hitting the unknown spots, leaving urban areas behind me and going out and exploring.
iii) The last reason why I am a solo traveller is probably the one I shouldn’t state here as it will definitely ensure my solo-travelling days. But in the interests of full disclosure…The third and final reason why I am a solo traveller is for the safety of any would be companions. You see, natural disasters tend to haunt all of my travels. I am not kidding here. Earthquake, cyclone, snowstorm, flood, 3 day hailstorm in a desert that usually only sees a couple of days of rain a year…these are just a few of actual natural disasters that have occurred when I decide on a whim to travel somewhere. So if you are a daredevil thrill-seeker, you may want to sign up to be my traveling companion. If you are an armchair traveller who loves nothing more than a relaxing holiday at the beach with a good book in hand – don’t pick me as your travel companion.
2) My favourite desert is cut up banana in custard. Oh I love chocolate cake, cheesecake, and other such scrumptiousness but my tried and true guilt-free pleasure is and will always be banana in custard. Guilt-free? Yes guilt-free because it is a healthy dessert. No, I swear it is. Think of it. Banana + Custard = Fruit + Dairy . So tell me how that is not healthy for you. Got you there. If you have not tried this dessert nor heard of this dessert, do yourself a favour and try it. You will not regret it. Mmmh think I am going to dish up a bowlful for myself after this blog is done.
3) My two guilty pleasure programs on television: All things Kardashian and Vampire Diaries. Yes I can see all the tsks tsks and head-shaking. But I don’t care. The Kardashian family is a family you can’t help but watch whether you want to or not. As for The Vampire Diaries…..I love the storyline, love the characters, love the back story and before you wonder whether I am Team Damian or Team Stefan I will tell you that I am both. Although to be fair in the current season I am little more slanted towards Team Damian. Who does not love a delicious bad boy vampire?
4) I am addicted to my collection of Archie comics….Not heard of them? I am shocked! Really shocked. I am talking about Archie, Bettie, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead and their adventures in the town of Riverdale. I still have 2 suitcases of these comics and digests and reread them any chance I get. They usually live in my bathroom so that I can take them out and read them while soaking in the tub. In fact I love a lot of comics or should I use the more pc term of Graphic Novels. They bring out the kid in me.
5) I am Carrie from Sex and the City when it comes to writing, dating and friends. Writing – like hers – is a passion of mine and many a time I have toyed with writing about the escapades of my dating life. As for dating, while that is an entirely other story but suffice to say I have had the disastrous dates with internet dates, millionaires, bad boys, weird guys. I have also had my Mr Big and my Aidan. But all of the dating and relationship woes and dramas have led me to rely on my friendships. Like Carrie I have AMAZING friends. They can be called upon in all times and like Carrie I have come to the conclusion that: “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
So ta-da there you have it…five things you may not have known about me.
Now to award fellow bloggers I find worthy of The Versatile Blogger Award…Drum roll please musicians…
This lady is snarky, straight-talking, no BS, hilarious and as if that is not enough a very talented freelance editor and writer. Quite simply it is my diagnosis that you have to take a spoonful of Annetta’s word spinning on her blog at least once a week for good health and good humor.
Those who know and love her simply call her The McHugh. She is a talented writer, poet, lover of speculative fiction and horror. She also has a wicked sense of humor and a wicked sense of the macabre. I love her because her blog never fails to entertain me. You will love her for the same reasons.
Eden is one of the kindest and most generous erotic writers you will ever meet. She is a very talented erotica author and a tireless blogger and social networker. Everyone that knows her loves her. What’s not to love? Like she says: Exciting, Exotic and Extremely Erotic. Follow her. Now.
This writer is a tireless Indie author promoter as well as a top thriller author as well. He is also my good friend and one of my favourite men in the writing world. His blog is a smart and intelligent take on the life of an indie author. You will want to read this Charming Gentleman’s blog immediately. Go now.
I got to know Paul through two blog hops we took part in 2011. The CoffinHop and Creepfest. Since then I have become not only friends with Paul but also a fan of both his blog and his writing. I enjoy each of his posts and love his style of writing. Follow his blog. You will not be sorry.
So there you have it folks….my first blogging back from the wilds….award in hand and passing it on to these five worthy bloggers, authors and friends. Follow them. That is my prognosis for a healthy day.
Watch this space tomorrow for the featured and much awaited interview with my AMAZING cover artist. I would love to keep her all to myself but she is just too amazing and talented a cover artist to not share with the world. And I am in a generous mood so tomorrow I will share her with you. So come back tomorrow for the featured interview. You will not want to miss that post.
Adventure or Terror…what awaits us beyond the sun…Click here to find out…
It has been 3 days in Darkness…
I have forgotten what light and shadow look like…
Still on the run…
Creatures chasing me…
I found another survivor…
Her name is Alesha Escobar…this is what she saw
The Day The Sun Stopped Shining
“The kids are up,” I mumble to my husband as I pull the blanket up to my shoulders. When he doesn’t respond, I lightly elbow him in the ribs.
“It’s still dark…” He defiantly wraps himself in the blanket and leaves me without cover. I hate when he does that, just like he probably hates when I end up taking most of the bed and he’s hanging off a corner.
I look at my cell phone to check the time; the faint glow lights up my face. What the hell…?
“Mommy!” Lizzie bursts through our bedroom door with her two little brothers in tow. “Mommy, there was a man at our window! Now he’s at the door downstairs.”
Are they playing one of their games again? Their bedroom window is on the friggin’ second story.
“Why is it still dark at 9 a.m.?” I elbow my husband again. “Wake up, something’s wrong.”
The kids run downstairs. “Let’s go open the door! He’s at the door!”
“Stop!” I jump out of bed and chase them downstairs. They knew good and well not to open the door, especially for strangers. I stop them right before their little hands can turn the knob.
The sun still didn’t come up, and all I can hear are strange voices in the air…non-human ones. I don’t want to freak out the kids, so I try to distract them and order them to park their butts on the couch pronto.
“Where are my pants?” My husband lumbers downstairs in his t-shirt and boxers.
The front door jolts like someone hit it with a battering ram, and my heart nearly stops. The kids start screaming and crying. What was going on?
“Mom,” Lizzie whispers.
“Yeah?” I gather her and her brothers into my arms. A hard, cold lump sits in my stomach and I almost double over in pain.
“The man that was at the door…”
She shakes her head. “He says he’s upstairs in your bedroom. He says it’s our time to go.”
Nobody knows whether we will ever see light again…
On my run…
I found another survivor…
His name is Keith Weaver…this is what he saw
The Day the Sun stopped Shining
“I get out of bed and creep out the bedroom to look through the bay window. There is nothing, complete darkness; I can’t even see my yard. There is no moon, it’s supposed to be daytime now yet the world is dark like an abyss. The only thing I’m sure of are the noises coming from outside again.
I grab the poker by the fireplace, and decide to head outside. The only comfort I have is the thought that certainly my neighbors are out there wondering what has happened as well. Once outside, the noises seem to just stop; now I am fixated by the complete darkness and silence of a dead world. I have to keep patting my own chest to make sure I am truly still there.
Then I see it, a strange glow across the street. I’m not sure at first what to do, but standing in complete darkness is too terrifying, so I decide to go investigate. The closer I get to the glow, the more distorted it seems to become. It’s almost as if my presence is irritating it in some way.
As I approach, the glow seems to take the shape of a woman. I’m not sure who she is, but she appears to be sad. The glowing woman turns to me and extends one hand, as if asking me to take it. I’m in shock, what is this, a ghost? Her eyes almost seem to plead with me for several moments, as if begging me to take her hand. After thinking about it, I decide against this and take a step back. The woman appears to let out a cry for help, then disappears and I’m back in total darkness…
…”It didn’t work, did it Doc?”
“No Mrs. Cooper, not this time either. I promise you though, with our technology, your husband will come out of this coma eventually, we just need to keep trying.”
The Doc turned off the machine and slid his clawed hand back into his pocket and left the room. Mrs. Cooper looked over her husband, he was still alive after over a year but dead to the world. He slipped away when the alien invasion came, but she soon found out not all aliens were here to harm us. Her only hope was that the price she had to pay for their help getting her husband back wasn’t too much?”
If the world really were ending, what three things would you do…
…if the world were ending without a doubt, here are the three things I would probably do.
I would take a quick trip, probably somewhere unexpected like Paris (although flying out of the country in a time of chaos might not be possible). If not, a road trip to Vegas.
I would make amends and visit all my friends and family, see them one last time and let them know how I feel.
I would ask my boys what they wanted more than anything in the world, and try to make that happen before.
When Keith is not on the run, he finds a safe haven here…