Normally, I do my darndest to avoid topics that aren’t entertaining, at least on some level. I mean, anyone who has ever dropped by the Black Gate headquarters knows we’re nothing around here if not fun. In fact, I’ve heard tell that somewhere in the fine print of the Black Gate bylaws, our leader John O has expressly forbade the broaching of subjects such as politics, religion, or the addictive properties of Robotech.
Then again, you need only be a regular reader here to know anything with the faintest odor of a “rule” amounts to an open invitation to take copious liberties – just ask serial violator Scott “Art” Taylor.
Which is why when I got wind of this little gem, I literally had no choice but to share.
You may have already seen it elsewhere – since it was posted on Youtube November 9th, it has received over 5 million hits. It was clearly filmed at some sort of convention (not the sort Goth Chick News would be invited to cover) and the presenter was an exhibitor who was offering a “show special” for $10. What that special actually was is kind of haunting me in light of the presenters’ subject matter.
There really isn’t anything more to say in way of introduction, mainly because I still remain a bit speechless. So go ahead and watch…
Read More »
Let’s go ahead and admit it – fairy tales are creepy.
I’m not talking about the rosy-cheeked Disney versions that ultimately end in royal weddings. I’m referring to the Brothers Grimm versions which were gathered from fireside tales dating back to Middle Ages, where the children sometimes get eaten and happily-ever-afters are a rare thing indeed.
Back in August, I had the pleasure of reviewing a revisiting of the Grimms’ work with Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome from Quercus Publishing. In it, modern writers were invited to take up the “voice” of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to pen new tales mimicking their style, which were then mixed with a selection of the original works. The result was a must-have edition for fairy tale lovers and fans of the macabre in equal measure.
So where is all this leading?
Straight to Quercus’s latest US publication, Path of Needles.
This is the third novel by British author Alison Littlewood, and her second since I introduced you to her with her first book, A Cold Season. All indications are that Littlewood has outgrown some of her “freshman-itis” and transformed into a definitive female voice in the horror genre.
Yay for us girls!
And where does the fairy tale stuff come in? Read on…
Read More »
When a publicist contacts me in October to see if I’d like to review a new novel with demons and zombies, written by an exorcist, I think two things. First – monsters? Perfect timing; it is October after all. And second – do exorcists actually have publicists?
The answer apparently is yes, and good ones at that.
The publicists are none other than our friends over at Wunderkind PR, who have always been excellent sources of Goth Chick News material. The novel in question is The Sword of Michael, book one in a new contemporary fantasy saga. And the author is Marcus Wynne, a trained depossessionist.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure where to look first. The book certainly caught my attention, as the Wunderkind team knew it would. But as a devotee of such things, it was the word depossessionist which drew my attention immediately, as I had never heard the term before. What I learned was this:
Depossession is the act of exorcising attached discarnate human spirits and nonhuman spirits, allegedly attached to living people, causing a host of physical, mental, and emotional ills. Various types of depossession are practiced throughout the world and are different from exorcisms which refer to demonic possession.
Okay, click “add to dictionary” on the word depossession — now I’m extremely interested. But before we explore Marcus Wynne and his fascinating vocation, let’s start with a look at his book, The Sword of Michael.
Read More »
Waiting for a sequel for nearly two decades could be considered one of Satan’s personal jokes, were it not for the fact that in this case the irony would be too blatant even for the Prince of Darkness himself.
Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels has been teased for so long, and in so many incarnations, that it was beginning to look like one of the worst publicity stunts in publishing history. As far back as 1993, Barker talked about a new book of short stories that would include a sequel to The Hellbound Heart, the novella that introduced the world to the Cenobites.
Those rumors soon morphed into scuttle about a potential short novel pitting the most famous Cenobite, Pinhead, against another iconic Barker character, the occult detective Harry D’Amour.
However, as the story developed over the course of several years, Barker decided to expand the concept into a novel and the unrelated short stories were put aside.
Rumors of a release date were bantered about, sending Barker fans into repeated frenzies of speculation. But delays came in the form of Barker’s several throat surgeries, and in 2012 his lapse into a coma for eleven days following a trip to the dentist that led to blood poisoning. Barker recovered, but his near-death experience left him with “many strange visions” (which may or may not have found their way into his work).
Finally on Sept 9, 2013, Barker announced via social media that although no date has been set for release, “The Scarlet Gospels are finished.”
Read More »
When we first told you about it, the seriously creepy novel The Woman in Black by Susan Hill had already been a long-running play in London’s West End, a made-for-TV movie in the UK, and barely a rumor from Hammer Films about a theatrical remake starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter); which turned out to be true after all. The WiB with Radcliffe in the lead role hit theaters in February, 2012.
Almost immediately, Hammer Films made the announcement of its intent to pursue a sequel – which was kind of a no-brainer considering they grossed $112 million globally on a $17 million investment.
Love it or not, the old girl made bank.
The first film saw Radcliffe as lawyer Arthur Kipps, who travels to Eel Marsh House on an assignment, only to discover the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost.
The film was Hammer all the way, intending to shock and in many scenes being quite successful. The atmosphere is moody and brings to mind the old Roger Corman movies based on Edgar Allan Poe stories. The movie version won’t go down as a personal favorite, mainly because the play was just so darn awesome. Still, it’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it.
Read More »
As if in response to the modern day bastardization of the vampire image (flannel shirts, shunning blood-drinking, etc., etc.), Dracula himself has started popping up everywhere.
Pardon the phraseology.
First, in June come the report from the University of Tallin that Vlad Dracula’s final resting place was likely not in the ruins of a Romanian monastery, but was instead in a Neapolitan chapel.
And now, just in time for Halloween, the UK’s Daily Mail reports more archaeological history about the real man Vlad Dracula.
A winding maze of secret dungeons and tunnels has been discovered beneath Tokat Castle in Turkey during restoration work on the site. The ruins of the castle are located in the northern town of Tokat and these hidden cells may have been where Vlad Tepes himself was held hostage during the 15th century.
“The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” says restoration archaeologist İbrahim Çetin, who is working at the site. He went on to tell the Daily News that one tunnel found is believed to have been used to reach nearby Roman baths. The dungeons, Çetin told the paper, were “built like a prison.”
“It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept,” he said, “But he was around here.”
Read More »
What seems like a million years ago, while digging through stacks of used books at my local library sale, I discovered a tattered copy of Zenna Henderson’s collection of creepy tales, The Anything Box (1977). Within those pages, I found what is today one of my top 10 favorite short stories of all time, “Hush.”
It is the classic literary scare relying on the terror of lurking things that cannot be seen, rather than the in-your-face-violence of things that can. “Hush” tells the story of an ill little boy whose fevered brain gives life to the horrors in his imagination, which in turn, stalk his unwitting babysitter… naturally.
Eerie little kids with large, soulful eyes staring at you from someplace they shouldn’t be – frankly there is almost nothing more frightening, if you ask me.
Flash forward to October, 2014 and a new offering from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stolen Child, Keith Donohue — where once again we have a creepy little kid trapped in his own world, and whose solitary imagination blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.
Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter (“Kip”) Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. When Kip takes up drawing, his parents, Holly and Tim, hope this new creative outlet will help Jip to combat his introversion, agoraphobia and occasionally violent tendencies.
Read More »
Just in time for the start of the Halloween season, we hear that Pride And Prejudice And Zombies has truly risen from the grave.
Based on the 2009 novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austin of course) P&P&Z tells the tale of “manners, morals and brain-eating mayhem” and has been sitting in movie development hell ever since before the book hit store shelves.
Back then, the British Sunday Times reported that Hollywood was all over Grahame-Smith, which he confirmed at a book-signing just after P&P&Z’s release, saying the novel had officially been purchased by an undisclosed major film company to be produced as a feature film.
Lionsgate turned out to be the film company and Natalie Portman was in to star as Elizabeth, but she later reconsidered and decided instead to serve as a producer. Shortly thereafter, director O. Russell left production due to scheduling conflicts (or Portman’s involvement if you believe gossip, which of course we never do…) and Mike White stepped in to direct the adaptation.
But nearly a year later, in January 2011, White also left the project due to “scheduling conflicts” as did his successor Craig Gillespie who signed on in April, 2011 but bailed in October.
What the heck?
Read More »
We met author Chad Bednar at this year’s Chicago Comic Con when he lured us into his booth with his stories promising vampires, evil artifacts, and the Vatican.
What can I say? Not all girls like chocolates and flowers.
After reading the first installment in his Keeper of the Sins series, it was obvious that you all needed to meet Chad as well. With Black Gate being an oasis for emerging authors, where they can always be assured of a cushy chair, an adult beverage, and a warm welcome – everyone, meet Chad Bednar.
Chad, meet everyone.
GC: How did you first get into writing? Was it to meet girls?
CB: No, nothing that weird. Besides, I met the girl of my dreams in a cadaver lab (GC: Really? You’re always welcome in the Goth Chick News office in that case). I started writing because I had more to say, but only thought of the perfect way to say it later. My brain is irritating that way.
What was your inspiration for Keeper of Sins?
It’s a dovetailing of a number of my interests. I am constantly distracted by all things fantastical. If the SyFy channel had been around when I was younger, I would have starved to death in front of it. The question of faith is a journey I’ve wrestled with, and this is my lifelong research.
Read More »
When exploring the back roads on the far outskirts of my beloved New Orleans, it is not unusual to spot the occasional decrepit plantation home. It will be there, nearly out of sight behind the dense, mossy trees, but you can just spot the vine-covered columns barely supporting what was once a magnificent monument to the splendor of the “Old South.”
The sight of such a house, nearly consumed by the wildness lurking just beyond the paved road, always ignites sadness and dread in equal measure; sadness at the idea that this once, much-loved structure has been abandoned to the swamp, and dread at the idea that those who once loved her might still be doing so while peering back at you from behind those rotted lace curtains.
An isolated, deteriorating mansion sitting at the end of an overgrown road triggers something in all of us. You hear “I dare you” in the back of your mind. You wonder if there’s a flashlight in the trunk and you start thinking there would be no harm at all in going up one or two of the porch steps, just to see…
Author Scott Kenemore knows exactly how we feel.
He welcomes you to The Grand Hotel, where nobody checks out.
Where the desk clerk invites you into his mysterious and crumbling hotel, then takes you on a little tour to introduce you to the hotel’s “long term” residents who only look like they never call for room service.
As the very proper and solicitous clerk takes you deeper and deeper into the heart of the hotel, secrets that have been hiding for eons begin to show themselves. Although your guide seems quite prepared for this experience, there is some question as to whether or not the rest of the world shares his readiness.
Read More »