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COMING SOON: TWD 100th Episode on Oct 22, 2017

COMING SOON: TWD 100th Episode on Oct 22, 2017

In seven days (“Seven days…”), The Walking Dead Season 8 will start out with their 100th episode.
It did take a long time for us to get here, us DeadHeads have to suffer a longer break than normal shows, then there’s this mid-season break to go through. I mean SHIT.
In anticipation of the event, AMC released these videos:

Melissa McBride, Danai Gurira, and Lauren Cohan from the cast of The Walking Dead photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Art Streiber on June 24, 2017, in Senoia Georgia. / Styling: Elaine Montalvo / Prop Styling: John Sanders / Costumers: Mia Nunnally, Derrick Vener
Season 8 will also be the beginning of war between Rick and ‘the good guys’ and Negan and ‘The Saviors’. Season 7 ended with Shiva, a tiger (YEAH, a TIGER!) jumping in and saving the day and ripping Saviors apart! I have waited so long to hear Negan’s response to Shiva! I can’t wait how he puts that in words. There was also that moment when we saw in Rick’s eyes that he got his balls back, wasn’t submissive at all and calmly told Negan he would kill him! OMG that quickly became my favorite scene of all time!!  I am so ready for the war to begin. The show was already suspenseful, not it will be pretty damn close to unbearable! So much to take in! So many emotions to go through, I personally am creating new cuss words to shout at the screen during the first episode of season 8!
Through the years, Entertainment Weekly has put out some incredible photos of the cast before the newest season. This coming season is my absolute favorite!
Image: Entertainment WeeklyAndrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, from the cast of The Walking Dead photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Art Streiber on June 24, 2017 in Senoia Georgia. / Styling: Elaine Montalvo / Prop Styling: John Sanders / Costumers: Mia Nunnally, Derrick Vener
Image: Entertainment WeeklyMelissa McBride from the cast of The Walking Dead photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Art Streiber on June 24, 2017, in Senoia Georgia. / Styling: Elaine Montalvo / Prop Styling: John Sanders / Costumers: Mia Nunnally, Derrick Vener
Image: Entertainment WeeklyNorman Reedus, from the cast of The Walking Dead photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Art Streiber on June 24, 2017, in Senoia Georgia. / Styling: Elaine Montalvo / Prop Styling: John Sanders / Costumers: Mia Nunnally, Derrick Vener
Image: Entertainment WeeklyDanai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead / Image: Entertainment Weekly
Image: Entertainment WeeklyAndrew Lincoln from the cast of The Walking Dead photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Art Streiber on June 24, 2017, in Senoia Georgia. / Styling: Elaine Montalvo / Prop Styling: John Sanders / Costumers: Mia Nunnally, Derrick Vener
Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC / Entertainment WeeklyAustin Amelio as Dwight – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery – Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC
Image: Entertainment WeeklyAndrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, from the cast of The Walking Dead photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Art Streiber on June 24, 2017 in Senoia Georgia. / Styling: Elaine Montalvo / Prop Styling: John Sanders / Costumers: Mia Nunnally, Derrick Vener
Posted by Tammie Parker in COMING SOON, FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR NEWS, STAFF PICKS, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
House of Tortured Souls Gear at TeePublic

House of Tortured Souls Gear at TeePublic

Do you want stuff? Of course! We all do.
Well, look no further because we have stuff for you, and that stuff can be purchased from TeePublic with one of three exclusive House of Tortured Souls designs.
Check out what you can get emblazoned with one of these original killer images:
  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Crewneck Sweatshirts
  • Long Sleeve T-Shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Baseball T-Shirts
  • Kids T-Shirts
  • Kids Hoodie
  • Kids Long Sleeve T-Shirt
  • Onesie
  • Wall Art
  • Notebooks
  • Mugs
  • Phone Cases
  • Laptop Cases
  • Stickers
Fair use doctrine.

TWO DAY SALE PRICES!

For the next two days only, House of Tortured Souls tee shirts are on sale for $14.00 at TeePublic! You can’t beat that deal with a stick! (We know because we tried.) So get yours now – and pick up one for a friend. You’ll be glad you did.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, HoTS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (2 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (2 of ?)

RIP – The Godfather of Zombies
George A. Romero

georgeromero-zombielove / Fair use doctrine.George Romero meant so much to me personally. He created my love, my obsession with zombies. I cannot tell you my exact age when I first watched Night of the Living Dead, but it sparked the fire that is my love for horror and, more importantly, zombie stories. George A. Romero opened the door for many to follow, pushed the limits of horror further than anyone dreamed, awakened future directors and storytellers, and educated the world on the zombies (how they move, groan, react, and how people would react in a zombie apocalypse).
I’m not sure if Romero went for black and white to blend in with the classic horrors or because makeup and prosthetics aren’t what they are today. All I know that it was a genius move! Night of the Living Dead was meant to be b&w. When I first turned on the movie (in my foolish youth) I wanted to immediately change the channel, after all b&w movies are just boring (back in the 80s when everything was neon). I’m not even sure now what kept me watching, but I am ever so thankful! George Romero was such a creative intelligent fellow in his time.
Romero was one of my first articles for HoTS when a little over a year ago Mr. Romero finally received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It blew my mind that only just now was he receiving a star! After all his movies and work?!?!? Night of the Living Dead had several sequels (almost all 10 years apart), and he made several other type of horror movies, directed much of Creepshow, and participated in many documentaries, and specials. Romero is so loved by so many that The Walking Dead has had many tribute Easter eggs to Romero.
Fair use doctrine.
Romero even had a part in the zombie mode on Call of Duty: Black Ops.

George Romero left his mark and ‘infected’ so many of us. I, personally, will truly miss him.
Posted by Tammie Parker in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, Historic Horror, HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, OBITUARY, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
WiHM: Jamie Lee Curtis

WiHM: Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis was my first (and still my top go to) Scream Queen. She was 19 when she played the role of Laurie Strode in Halloween.
And boy did she play the hell out of the role!! The horrified faces she made, the shaky hand with the butcher knife, and that scream! She would later play that role three more times in Halloween II, Halloween H2O, and Halloween: Resurrection and had a voice role in Halloween III.
Jamie held on to the audience after Halloween with her banging body, which she took full advantage of in Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, and the infamous hotel scene from True Lies.
I mean isn’t the perfect damsel in distress look?
Her ability to play any type of role amazed watchers and added even more to her fans list!!Jamie is one of the incredibly talented actresses that can go from horror to family movie (Freaky Friday), back to horror, and onto your ‘typical housewife’ in a dramatic adventure.
The show Scream Queens was conceived based on her, and she, of course, has a role in it to freak the audience once more. 🙂
Posted by Tammie Parker in FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
WiHM: Kathy Bates

WiHM: Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates is the one and only Grand Dame of Horror.
Oh, if only Annie Wilkes (Misery) heard the cockadoodie filth coming out of Sunny Soke’s (Bad Santa 2) mouth, what a scene that would be. Kathy’s performance in Misery is talked about to this day! How did a normal looking, I dare say Plain Jane type, woman pull that off? I mean her performance was absolutely stunning! Then, she goes from dark horror to Fried Green Tomatoes and then back to another Stephen King adaption Dolores Claiborne. Holy Hell, woman!
Kathy has gone on to play roles in every genre andbalways stuns the crowd with her performance – usually as an evil bitch. 🙂 Have you seen her as the Queen of Hearts in Syfy’s Alice?
Alice — Pictured: Kathy Bates as The Queen of Hearts — Syfy Photo: James Dittiger
It is for that fact that I was floored a few months ago at the announcement that she had received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. WTF do you mean? Just now? Shouldn’t she have received that back in the early 90s?! Who is in charge of handing out these stars?
Now we can all enjoy hating her on American Horror Story, which she has been in many seasons. Of course, her performances are always spot on. She is equally amazing and comfortable in horror and/or dramatic roles. Each season of AHS she plays a completely different type of role than the last, and she nails it every time.
Kathy has turned evil stare downs into an art form. Her look alone could give a yeti sunburn, and, as I said before, looks like a completely normal person. This is why her performances so memorable.
Posted by Tammie Parker in FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR HEROES, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
WiHM: The Ladies of American Horror Story

WiHM: The Ladies of American Horror Story

Since it is Women in Horror Month, I saw it only fitting to do a piece on the women of American Horror Story. 🙂 There are several noteworthy, kickass women in the show that make it incredibly popular. I will not get to every single woman that has had a part in the show because that would be nearly impossible, but I will touch base on many of them.
Jessica Lange: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/11/american-horror-story-season-6-jessica-langeThe Queen of AHS. OOOH how I miss her! Jessica played a key role in the first four seasons, but now she says she’s done. She played Constance Langdon in the first season (Tate’s mother), The wicked Nun of the West – lol – Sister Jude Martin in the second season, The Head Witch Fiona Goode in the third, and Elsa Mars in the fourth. Her classy/sassy demeanor was highly entertaining, and her “better than you” attitude made it so satisfying when she was overthrown.
Lady Gaga: I’m not even a fan of Lady Gaga, but the commercials featuring her for season 5 “Hotel” had my eyes bulging, she looked sooooo right for the part! For that matter, I hadn’t even watched AHS until Gaga. I went back and binged 🙂 Back to “Hotel”, Gaga really was perfect for that role. She is comfortable covered in blood, as well as comfortable in the role of ‘Queen B’. “Hotel” caused me to start up a Facebook group for fans of AHS, and like in my TWD group, we have live chat while the show is on. (Click here to join) Lady Gaga returned for season 6, for a role you would not imagine a fan of fashion to be seen in. Yet again, she played it so well!
Emma Roberts: Well this girl certainly has ‘bitch’ down to a T. Emma played in two seasons back to back. She played in “Coven” as Madison Montgomery and in “Freak Show” as Maggie Esmerelda.
Kathy Bates: http://www.goldderby.com/article/2016/american-horror-story-6-roanoke-kathy-bates-emmy-awards/ I was SHOCKED when just a few months ago she received her star (and I will do an article on her next)!!! I mean, SHIT, have those fruit loops not seen Misery, Dolores Claiborne, Fried Green Tomatoes???? Those in Horror have a tough time getting the recognition they deserve. Kathy first came in the AHS world in “Coven” as Madame (yes indeed!) Delphine LaLaurie (she makes great leggings!!). Then she was the Bearded Lady in “Freak Show” (Ethel Darling), Iris in “Hotel”, and Agnes Mary Winstead in “Roanoke”. And I loved her in every single evil role. 🙂
Angela Basset: http://www.tvguide.com/news/american-horror-story-roanoke-chapter-2-recap/ Welp, Stella got her groove back…..again. Talk about spite-fire! Her picture is right next to the term ‘Aw, hell naw!’ I’m sure. She, too, did not join AHS until “Coven”, and every since has been going back and forth with Kathy’s character 😉 Next she played Desiree Depree in “Freak Show”, Romana Royale in “Hotel”, and Monet Tumusiime in “Roanoke”.
Taissa Farmiga: http://www.polyvore.com/taissa_farmiga/collection?id=3740022 She is so believable as the damsel in distress. It’s those big puppy dog eyes. Taissa came in one the first season and stole all of our hearts. She did not play in “Asylum”, “Freak Show”, or “Hotel” but returned for a small part in “Roanoke” as Sophie Green.
Connie Britton: http://screencrush.com/american-crime-story-oj-simpson-connie-britton-fay-resnick/ Connie is a MUST mention. She played the wife in “Murder House”. She was a recognizable face also that helped with getting people to tune in for the first time. She did not disappoint!
Sarah Paulson: http://blogqpot.com/images/ahs%20season%206%20theories%20tumblrSarah is one of the cast that has been on every season. She also is an awesome performer, and I love Syringe Sally. 🙂 In “Murder House” she was Billy Dean Howard, in “Asylum” she was Lana Winters, in “Coven” she was Cordelia Foxx, in “Freak Show” she was Bette and Dot Tattler, in “Hotel” she was Syringe Sally McKenna and Billie Dean Howard, and in “Roanoke” she was Audrey Tindell and Lana Winters.
Lily Rabe: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/30/lily-rabe-reprising-her-asylum-role-in-american-horror-story-freak-showAnother one that has been here through it all. In “Murder House” she was Nora Montgomery, in “Asylum” she was Sister Mary Eunice McKee, in “Coven” she was Misty Day, in “Freak Show” she was again Sister Mary Eunice, in “Hotel” she was Aileen Woumos, and in “Roanoke” she played Shelby Miller.
Frances Conroy: http://www.comingsoon.net/horror/news/732056-frances-conroy-on-american-horror-story-season-3-shell-have-a-larger-part-this-timeShe was born for Horror! She has the perfect look for it! Frances played in all but “Hotel” And boy did she nail it every time! She is such a convincing actress!
Jamie Brewer: http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/global-to-honor-actress-and-model-jamie-brewer/Jamie is such a Super Woman!!! She has Downs Syndrome, and here she is playing in a horror show. Jamie is fantastic motivator, just paying attention to her movements! Remember to let nothing be in the way of your dream!!! She played in “Murder House” as Adelaide Langdon, in “Coven” as Nan, and in “Freak Show” as Marjorie.
Gabourey Sidibe: Gabby editYes the one and only Precious. 🙂 She played the witch Queenie in “Coven” and in “Hotel”, and in between she was Regina Ross in “Freak Show”.
Mare Winningham: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/AmericanHorrorStoryHotel Mare joined us in “Coven” as Alicia Spencer (with some Bates Motel shit), in “Freak Show” as Rita Gayheart, and in “Hotel” as Hazel Evers. I soooo loved her in that part! talk to her if you need to get some blood out of the upholstery. No questions asked. 🙂
Naomi Campbell: http://www.etonline.com/news/173991_exclusive_naomi_campbell_dishes_on_her_american_horror_story_hotel_debut_i_m_quite_opinionated/Girl, WHAT!! How isn’t she in this show at some point? But boy what a role!! She played Claudia Bankson in “Hotel”. Do check it out. 🙂
Naomi Grossman: https://stylenoir.com/pepper-american-horror-story-interview/Yep another Naomi. This one could not be farther from the spectrum as the latter one! She played Pepper on “Asylum” and on “Freak Show”. I salute her for performance!!
Grace Gummer: https://biffbampop.com/2014/12/04/american-horror-story-freak-show-s04-e08-bloodbath/avance-american-horror-story_-freak-show-4x08-blood-bath-grace-gummer-penny-the-candy-striper/Well, when you are Meryl Streep’s daughter, you have one hell of set of shoes to fill!! And she is doing a mighty fine job at that. 🙂 She played Millie in “Coven” and Pennie in “Freak Show”.
These gals truly are Scream Queens!!
Posted by Tammie Parker in FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR HEROES, HORROR SERIES, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JAN 2017: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JAN 2017: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

We start 2017 with one of our own – Jonathan Patrick Hughes.
If the title was not a big enough hint, it is a Christmas horror. Which we certainly do not have enough of 🙂
Here is our interview:
House of Tortured Souls: How long have you been a horror fan?
Jonathan Patrick Hughes: I have been a fan since I was quite young. I guess you can say that my mother got me involved starting with Friday The 13th Part 2 and from then on, my love for horror just escalated as time moved forward.
HoTS: What led to you deciding to write and direct a scary movie?
JPH: When I was 4 years old, my mother brought home with her a VHS copy of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I watched that thing 1,000 times and after seeing how the short film was made, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. Back then, it was very rare that an audience got to see a making of something and at the age of 4 no one knows what they want to be when they grow up. I was different, bc I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.
HoTS: How long have you worked on (S)Aint Nick?
JPH: The idea popped in my head 3 years ago. We just got done shooting my very first horror short film, APARTMENT 1109 and when it was time to wrap up everything I just wanted to keep going. I was so excited to say that I made my first film and within a week later, the idea for (S)AINT NICK was born. I started writing the script while I was still in film school and once I graduated in January of 2015, I put all my focus on preparing what was going to be my first film after film school. Pre production ran about 7 months, we shot the film last December through the beginning of January and then spent about 7 months on post production.
HoTS: What inspired you to do this particular movie?
JPH: Being a fan of all types of Horror films, I was always a fan of holiday-themed horror films. Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Trick ‘r Treat just to name a few. Christmas horror seems to be my favorite type of holiday-themed horror films. It’s the time of giving and spending time with the family in front of a fully lit tree, dinners, and just smiles all around. Everyone is just so perky around that time of year. So, I wanted to crash that party with a very bleak, disturbing tale of sadness and discomfort, making an audience feel like they desperately need to rush home and take a shower after what they just witnessed. To make a long story short, my biggest influence upon making this film was ROB ZOMBIE. If anybody knows the kind of films he makes and loves them as well as his style of filmmaking and storytelling, then they should also find themselves loving (S)AINT NICK as well.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JPH: MICHAEL MYERS is my ultimate idol. John Carpenter’s Halloween is my all time favorite film and has been for over 25 years. I’ve seen the film way over 300 times and every time I view the film, I always get excited as if it’s the very first time I’m viewing it.
HoTS: Coke or Pepsi?
JPH: If I had to choose, I’d say Pepsi. I would much rather enjoy a half gallon of iced tea, though.
HoTS: Are you working on any more movies or have plans for others?
JPH: We are in the very early stages of writing my debut feature. I have asked Braden Bixler to come on board as my co-writer. Braden was responsible for the sound and score on (S)AINT NICK. The only thing that I will say at this giving time is imagine if John Hughes (Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, and Uncle Buck) was alive today and decided to make a slasher film, taking it back to the old school days. That is the current project we are working on. I have also developed an Easter horror short film, as well, but we will see if that takes off sometime in the future.
HoTS: Where can fans view/purchase (S)Aint Nick?
JPH: (S)AINT NICK has just been picked up by Body Bag Films. Tony Newton is the producer of an anthology titled The 12 Slays of Christmas and (S)AINT NICK will be one of the tales told in the anthology. No official release date as of yet, but I am told that the film will be available On Demand as well as DVD. As soon as I find out all the goodies, I will gladly inform everyone. Click here to check them out on IMDb.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page or twitter acct where we can keep up with the latest?
JPH: I just use Facebook. It’s user friendly and everybody seems to have one. I have a Twitter, I just don’t use it.
HoTS: What are some of your other hobbies?
JPH: Hobbies include spending time with my son, Liam, who is 5 years old, and trying to be a better father as well as a better coach. Other hobbies include writing, directing, creating, watching movies – old and new, listening to music, and setting up future goals for myself. You only live once, go big or go home, but always have fun!!!
We are looking forward to more of his work.
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, COMING SOON, FEATURED ARTIST, FEATURED CONTENT, INTERVIEWS, 4 comments
The History of Krampus

The History of Krampus

By Tammie Parker
Fans of horror like to think of another guy in a fur coat this time of the year: Krampus. He has been around for centuries now, and is growing more popular in these times. Krampus originated in the Alpines region. He is said to be part goat, part man, and all demon. krampus-red He walks upright on goat hind legs, is covered in fur, has goat horns, and sports a long curling pointed tongue. Krampus is Deutsch (German) and derives from the word krampen, meaning claw. Now doesn’t he sound like a rootie pacutie!
In some regions of Europe ,Krampus is one of the Companions of Saint Nick. Knecht Ruprecht, Belsnickel, and Zwarte Piet are the others. Krampus and St. Nicholas are often seen together in books, and on Christmas cards. Krampus has been featured on cards since the 1800s in Europe.
krampusstnick krampussaintnicholas
Krampus comes the night before The Feast of Saint Nicholas. This night is called Krampusnacht. He carries a sack full of switches and goes into every house to find the misbehaving children. With eyes rolling all directions, tongue lashing in and out, krampus-sledtotheunderworldstumping with one goat hoof and one man foot (I imagine that is from versions blending together), he would sniff out the bad ones. Krampus would whip them, throw the naughty child into his sack and take them back to the Underworld, where they would be lost forever.
Then, with all the rotten children gone, St. Nicholas could come. Saint Nick only deals with good children.
In other versions, Krampus would just leave lumps of coal instead of presents. But who wants to hear about that when we have claws, fur, and an underworld?
Nothing like the good ole days and demons to scar a child for life huh! Maybe if this snot-nosed heathens now had some demons to fear they wouldn’t be so disrespectful. Hell, maybe we could get some shirts tucked in!
In Germany, it used to be popular to pass around holiday cards with Krampus decorating the front. Just look how lovely these are.
krampus-childreninbasket2 krampus-childreninbasket
Until Krampus was outlawed in 1923. OUTLAWED! Craziness! Luckily, in the 60s, he started to appear again. Many cities in the Alpines have parades today, where they dress up as Krampus.
krampus-parade2 krampus-parade4
It’s called Krampuslauf (Krampus run) Where drunk men dressed as krampus run around the streets. It’s pretty much *St.Patty’s day meets Mardi Gras meets Christmas*, and it is certainly time for America to embrace Krampuslauf!!!!
Merry Krampuslauf!
Posted by Tammie Parker in FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, Historic Horror, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, THIS MONTH IN HORROR HISTORY, YULETIDE TERROR, 0 comments
SPOTLIGHT: Claus Holm

SPOTLIGHT: Claus Holm

By Woofer McWooferson

SPOTLIGHT: Claus Holm

I honestly can’t recall how I met Claus, it may’ve been on a Dark Tower website or on Facebook, but it was our mutual love of The Dark Tower that initially brought us together. When Claus mentioned that he needed proofreaders for his work, I volunteered. From the first story I read, I was hooked, and I’ve had the pleasure to continue to proofread for him. You can read my review of Tempus Investigations here, and my review of Dreams and Awakenings here. And now, without further ado, a few minutes with Claus Holm.
Claus Holm
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to write?
Claus Holm: I’ve been telling stories ever since I was a little kid, but because I had a very hard time writing (I suffered from extremely bad motor skills, and my handwriting was and is atrocious!), I started out by narrating them out loud and recording them on tape. I’ve still got a couple of those lying around somewhere. Mostly they were fanfiction-type stories – one of them was a sequel to Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. I wrote my first “real” story on paper when I was fifteen years old. It was five typed pages, single-spaced on an electric typewriter, and was called “The Mystery of Loch Ness”. It’s been lost (thank God!), but it concerned a private investigator uncovering a smuggling ring using a submarine to bring goods in and out of Loch Ness. Terrible thing, and best forgotten…

HoTS: Where did you learn to write? Did you take classes?
CH: No, not really, although when I was seventeen I attended a kind of creative boarding school where I did a lot of theater and had a single writing class. I remember it as being three weeks of us writing poems, and I learned absolutely nothing from it. Most of my “education” (if you can call it that) comes from two books. On Writing by Stephen King (the best book about writing, in my opinion) and How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. All in all, I’ve learned mostly from reading a lot and writing a lot.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with writing?
CH: I fell in love with writing and storytelling very early, as I said. Denmark has a lot of wonderful books for kids that I enjoyed throughout my childhood. I particularly loved a Danish writer called Knud Holten, who wrote a series of books about the 12 year old boy Alex Morningstar, who has all sorts of amazing adventures. They were the books that made me want to write my own books. But what really set me off was reading a book of short horror stories, and finding out that you could do something that wasn’t a long novel and still tell a good story.
HoTS: How do you compose your work? Do you write in longhand? Type it up? Or dictate to a recorder and then translate?
CH: I write on my laptop, and I start at chapter one. I rarely write down any kind of notes in longhand because my handwriting looks so terrible, and I usually don’t need it. I have experimented with writing various parts of a story and putting them together, but that doesn’t work for me. I have to do it chronologically.
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster or horror character?
CH: That’s a tough question because there are so many horror characters I love. I’ve always been terrified of the “body snatcher” type of monster that takes over your friends and family and turn them against you. One moment they are to be trusted, the next… BAM! They turn against you. That’s probably my biggest overall fear – not being able to trust the people I know all of a sudden. But the monster that scared me the most in my entire life was the creature from Dean Koontz’s book Phantoms. It’s this kind of big protoplasm blob that can split itself into smaller blobs – that can change shape into anything it wants. Humans, dogs, birds, bugs, whatever. And the creature can dissolve you with acid if you touch it. I had nightmares about that thing for weeks after reading the book. It was the first book of Koontz I ever read, and his best, I think.
An honorable mention should also go to Bob from Twin Peaks. He was one scary dude!
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows?
CH: Denmark is a very substandard country when it comes to comic cons (We had our FIRST comic con this fall!). But I’ve done the national book fair in Denmark (Bogforum) twice.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
CH: My English books are for sale on Amazon. My Danish ones are available at www.Saxo.com and www.forlagetegolibris.dk.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
CH: My official Facebook, Official: Claus Holm https://www.facebook.com/clausholmwriter/, is the best way of keeping up with me.
Clausholm.tumblr.com is my blog, both in Danish and English.
My website is www.clausholm.net where you can also drop me a line, if you’d like.
My YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXxRs16AM8gfl6cnr5YNmpg.
Checkout the freebies over at Claus’ website!
HoTS: Do you have a Patreon or PayPal account in case people want to donate?
CH: I don’t have a Patreon account, but I do have PayPal, mrwriter1701@gmail.com, and I do accept donations.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
CH: Currently, I’m writing two things. One is a collection of short stories, which I refer to as Tucson Time Travellers. It started out as a book with only time travelling stories, but I’m probably going to add some other stories as well. That should be out next year, hopefully.
I’m also writing Tempus Investigations – Season Two, the sequel to my book that came out this year. That one will be ready when it’s ready, I don’t have a date yet.

HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of writing?
CH: I’m a movie buff, and I love to watch them. I read a lot, and I’m very much into tabletop roleplaying games. I used to be quite active in community theater, but it’s been a long time since I was on stage.
HoTS: You’ve said that the primary influence on your writing is your dreams. I can’t help but notice Jim Corrigan, the protagonist in your latest work, Tempus Investigations, can’t or doesn’t sleep much. Does this speak to the general fear of many writers that they will lose inspiration at some point?
CH: That’s a very good question. I hadn’t actually considered that – to me, Jim doesn’t sleep because he doesn’t have the need for it. His body works differently than the rest of us. But when you lose your sleep, you lose your dreams, and that changes a person. If you don’t dream, your mind has a hard time processing what happens to you, and you will often get irritable and annoyed. In the new book, I’ve actually written that Jim has started sleeping more, because he’s less annoyed, so it’s a sort of a process that turns the other way. When his life becomes better, he can rest a little more.
But I think that any writer has that deep, nagging fear that there are only so many ideas out there for you and at some point the well will run dry. If that happened, I’m not sure what I would do.
On a side note, I’ve actually in the last two years tried a new treatment that has reduced my amount of nightmares substantially – without killing my creativity! So that’s good news.
HoTS: That is great news. May I say, speaking of Tempus Investigations… You’ve presented it as a television series, with each story being a single long episode, but you offer it as a single book. Was this planned as a television series or did you start writing a traditional story format?
CH: Tempus Investigations started life as a roleplaying game. My group all loved Joss Wheedon’s shows like Buffy and Angel, and we wanted to create a sort of a meta-gaming idea where we created this fictional TV show. We took all of our favorite things from the genre and dumped it into the story. So we had a Slayer, a wizard, a Highlander, a werewolf, a demon…it was crazy. Then, we started writing fan fiction about this fictional TV show, writing out episodes that we didn’t play. Those stories had a lot of good stuff in them, and I always thought it was pretty sad that they essentially had a readership of five (the members of our group.) So I began to re-do the concept, getting rid of all the stuff we had stolen from other shows, and making the story accessible to outside audiences. I suppose you could consider the original stuff a kind of TV pilot and the finished book the series itself.
But I really loved the format of the stand-alone episode stories, so that was always my plan. Originally, only the first chapter (“How Like a Fallen Angel”) was supposed to have been published, to sort of “test the waters” and see if people liked it. It would have been a part of the book Between Above and Below. But when the book was done, I found it didn’t fit the concept of the book. I wanted that book to be three “straight” stories and one supernatural one, just like Stephen King’s Different Seasons. So I cut the story, and decided to finish the season and give it a chance on its own.
It was always my hope that it would bloom into a continuing story.

HoTS: I’ve been editing professionally since 1990, so I’ve read many stories from natural born Americans whose American characters were awkward at best and painful at worst. That said, I’m genuinely impressed with your grasp of American culture and language, the nuances of dialogue and description. To what do you credit this?
CH: When I began taking English classes at the age of eleven, I took to it like a fish to water. If I believed in reincarnation, I would have speculated I had been an American in a past life. When I met my ex-wife, who was American, she told me she hardly believed I was Danish. I sounded American to her. And I credit living with her for nine years, speaking only American English for a lot of the way my dialogue “flows”. But I’ve always had a good ear for dialogue and I’ve always been an Anglophile, to the point where I sometimes feel more American than Danish.
HoTS: You say that you’ve spent a lot of time in the US and consider Tuscon, AZ, your spiritual home. Have you ever considered relocating here?
CH: Oh, God. Many, many times! Ever since my ex-wife took me there for the first time, I’ve felt like the city was the perfect fit for me, and I would be very happy moving there. Unfortunately, there are some things that prevent me from doing it.
First of all, I don’t drive. I don’t have a license, and since I flunked the exam eight times, I don’t think I will ever learn. And getting around Tucson without a car is very hard.
Second, my family is here in Denmark. I’ve got a niece and nephew I love very much, and since I can’t have children, they’re the closest to kids I’ll ever have. I would find it very hard to be away from them.
I’ve got a girlfriend who lives here, who I also love very much and wouldn’t want to move away from, and she’s told me in no uncertain terms that she would never move.
In a perfect world, I would have a vacation house in Tucson and go there whenever I felt the need for some desert air.
HoTS: Super Bonus Question: In “The Body” from Different Seasons, part of the tale has Gordy Lachance (the narrator) recalling how he would tell his stories to his friends Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio. To me, this is one of King’s most powerful portraits of the artist as… Do you have a similar piece that taps into your childhood to show us a glimpse of Claus Holm? Or is this even something you’ve considered?
CH: Super Trivia Fact: The character of Franklin in the story The Guardians (which is in Between Above and Below) is for all intents and purposes me. He talks like me, thinks like me and has some of the same experiences as I did. The scene where an entire school class gangs up on him to beat him up, just because that’s something you do when you’re in 10th grade actually happened to me when I was a boy. Obviously, there are some fiction elements in the story (I never met an angel. As far as I know…) but he’s probably the character closest to being a self-portrait.
This has actually had some readers who knew me as a boy tell me that the story was extremely hard for them to read, because they saw my face on the character in their mind. So I probably shouldn’t have told you that…
So there you have it – and straight from the author’s mouth. We’ve provided links to some sample chapters as well as to the Amazon pages to purchase Claus’ books below. I strongly encourage you to purchase the books if you like the sample chapters. You won’t be disappointed.
tempus-investigations_claus-holm
Jim Corrigan was killed back in 1933. Today, he’s a private investigator on supernatural cases. Immortality is a bitch…but it does help.
Read a sample here.
Purchase from Amazon here.
Four stories with elements of light and darkness, love and death, heroism and betrayal – and everything else between above and below…
between-above-and-below_claus-holm
Read a sample here.
Purchase from Amazon here.
dreams-and-awakenings_claus-holm
This book is a journey through 29 different dreams. Some dark and scary, some amusing, but all with a twist. You’ll never quite know if you’re dreaming or not.
Read a sample here.
Purchase from Amazon here.
Four short stories about isolation – in one way or another. Whether it be personal, geographical or physical – it all comes down to the same feeling.
Introduction-to-isolation_claus holm
Read a sample here.
Purchase from Amazon here.
Purchase a copy here.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
RECIPE: Halloween Soup

RECIPE: Halloween Soup

By Tammie Parker

This soup became a tradition when my twin sons were growing up. We called it Witch’s Brew, but it has many names (Biohazard Soup, Stuff and Thangs Soup, Clown Soup, etc). The trick is to add ingredients that you can say are something incredibly creepy or disgusting (tomato juice is now blood for example), but use names that will go with the title of the dish. Thus, for Witch’s Brew, chicken wings become bat wings and green beans become goblin fingers. For Clown Soup, cherry tomatoes are clown noses, spiral cut different colored vegs for a clown’s rainbow wig, and so on. The only thing you need to know to make all of this weirdness come out tasting great is simple seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper-easy!) and to slow cook the soup.

fearpremiere-food-biohazardstew2I’m having a TWD Premiere Party (if that wasn’t drilled into your head yet from previous articles 😉 ), so my soup will contain a lot of shredded or ripped body parts (hearts, guts, limbs – thangs Lori!) and blood.

Here’s a list of examples to help you out (I hope you make Clown Soup 😀 because this is the perfect year for it!)NOT ALL OF THESE GO IN ONE PARTICULAR THEMED SOUP (for instance if you are making for a TWD party, there wouldn’t be any Dragons’ Tongues. That’s InShane!! :

  • Tomato juice (1 large can – sufficient for the soup base) = Blood
  • Stewed tomatoes (1 can) – partially rip apart by hand = Hearts
  • Raw chicken wings (4) = Bat wings
  • Smoked oysters (1 can) = Ogre hearts
  • Hominy (1 can) = Teeth
  • Smoked sausage (1/2) (peeled) = Skinless fingers or Limbs of a goblin
  • Spiral cut vegetables (potatoes, zucchini, carrots) (1 each) = Guts
  • Spinach (to taste) = Ogre Skin
  • Pearl onions (to taste) = Eyeballs
  • Bacon (4 slices cut in half) = Skin
  • Red kidney beans (1 can) = Rat hearts
  • Baby Carrots (1 pkg) = Dragon’s tongue
  • Ribs (small package) = Guess
  • Hot dogs (1 pack cut in fours) and spaghetti noodles (2 per hot dog quarter) broken in half. Poke four noodle through each hot dog (THIS IS TO BE ADDED AT THE END) = Zombie virus
  • Angel hair pasta (1 serving) = Hair (If you want to use noodles, please remember they will go end at the end because they will get too soggy.)

1. Combine your choice of items 1 – 13 in large sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
3. Add items 14 and 15 if desired.
4. Cook 10 more minutes.
5. Serve.
6. Enjoy.

Servings: Plenty of leftovers.

fearpremiere-food-biohazardstewHave fun and be disgusting! 😀

Posted by Tammie Parker in FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, HALLOWEEN, STAFF PICKS, 2 comments
HALLOWEEN CONTEST: Submit Your Scary Story

HALLOWEEN CONTEST: Submit Your Scary Story

WE WANT YOUR SCARY STORIES!

By Tammie Parker

Image: Woofer McWoofersonWe know tons of you have your own scary stories. They be actually be real story or something you went through or even something you witnessed first hand. We want to hear about them, and we’re going to publish them EVERY day between October 24th and Halloween. You will, of course, be credited. Each story will start with the title. Don’t worry – if you can’t think of a title, we will. Then your name, where you’re from, and any other introductory information your story requires.

The deadline to submit your scary story is 15 October 2016 midnight all time zones. This allows us to process the entries and communicate with the authors.

Image: Woofer McWoofersonAll entrants will become automatic Friends of the House and will have their names and stories posted on our site. From the submissions, three winners will be chosen based on creepiness (of the story, not the entrant). Winners will receive horror mystery bags.

To enter, email your scary story to us at admins@houseoftorturedsouls.com, subject: Scary Story Contest.

We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to being creeped out by our fans! Winners to be announced on November 8, 2016.

Posted by Tammie Parker in EXCLUSIVE, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, PARANORMAL HAPPENINGS, 4 comments
House of Tortured Souls LIVE, S01E01

House of Tortured Souls LIVE, S01E01

House of Tortured Souls LIVE

Sunday, 17 July 2016
Season 01, Episode 01

It’s the very first episode of House of Tortured Souls LIVE! Join our hosts, John, Andrew, and Dixie as they talk horror. We are horror all the time. It’s the first show and we are still working out the kinks. Did someone say kink? Okay, back to horror. In this first episode we do introductions, then we move on to talk about the new Ghostbusters movie. Who are you gonna call?

After that, we talk about the upcoming Scares That Care Weekend 3, and the Scares That Care charity itself. If you are anywhere near historic Williamsburg, Virginia on July 22-24, 2016, get your ass to the Double Tree Hilton for Scares That Care Weekend 3.

Finally, we send a special salute out to a living legend of horror. THE master of horror who finally gets some just recognition. Who is it? Listen to find out! Most of all keep coming back. The gang has great chemistry born of friendship and a mutual love of horror. Tune in, and turn it up!

Special thanks to Rocky Gray for our opening music and our artwork. You the man, man!

Posted by Allen Alberson in FEATURED CONTENT, Podcast, 0 comments
Salute: 50 Years of Dark Shadows

Salute: 50 Years of Dark Shadows

Welcome to Collinsport


Woofer McWooferson

This tribute is dedicated to Jason “Egg” Brown who is no longer with us. Jason was a smart, funny, and kind person, and he had a way with words as anyone in The Vortexx chat will tell you. Rest in peace.

Egg with Mod Ghoul, who left us in July of 2015.

Dark Shadows - Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins

Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins

Despite Dark Shadows airing between 1966 and 1971 when I was three- to eight-years-old, I have fond memories of rushing to watch it when it came on. How much of this is from the original airing and how much is from its syndication run I do not know. Memory is a tricky thing. Either way, Dark Shadows was a big deal for me and many other young horror fans. With witches, vampires, werewolves, gothic architecture, flashbacks to period piece episodes, and storylines inspired by the likes of Shelley, Poe, and Lovecraft, Dark Shadows was nothing like anything we’d seen on TV before. And we couldn’t get enough of it.

Dark Shadows - Kathryn Leigh Scott as Magie Evans

Kathryn Leigh Scott as Magie Evans

Created by Dan Curtis after he dreamed of a mysterious young woman on a train, Dark Shadows began as a gothic soap opera following the lives of the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine (named for the family) and eventually morphed more into a supernatural soap opera. The show really took off in the second after the character of Barnabas Collins was introduced and Jonathan Frid joined the cast. Barnabas was eventually revealed to be a Collins ancestor who was cursed to be a vampire after he refused to return to the witch Angelique (Lara Parker), his former lover.

Dark Shadows - Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Stoddard Collins

Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Stoddard Collins

Barnabas was imprisoned by his own father in a chained coffin with a cross on the inside of the lid, but returns after his coffin is disturbed by contemporary Collins’ looking for the family’s alleged jewels. It doesn’t take long for Barnabas to assume the role of a ladies man while feeding off the citizens of Collinsport at night. He is most taken by Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) because she resembles his long lost love Josette.

Dark Shadows - David Selby as Quentin Collins

David Selby as Quentin Collins

Interestingly, Barnabas was not supposed to be a regular, but his enormous popularity persuaded the producers to bring him on board completely. It even took quite a while before any character used the word vampire to describe Barnabas. Until that time, characters merely referred to him as one who “walks at night but…ain’t alive” and “one of the undead”.

Dark Shadows - Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard

Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard

Other show regulars include Joan Bennett (who was on for the show’s entire run) as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, who had not ventured outside of her palatial home in over eighteen years, Alexandra Moltke Isles (for which producers received a great deal of criticism because of her age and lack of experience) as Victoria Winters, Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard (Elizabeth’s daughter), Louis Edmonds (who also stayed for the show’s full run) as Roger Collins (Elizabeth’s brother), and David Selby as Quentin Collins.

Dark Shadows - Alexandra Isles as Victoria Winters

Alexandra Moltke Isles as Victoria Winters

Bennett, Barrett, and Edmonds were acting veterans who brought an air of legitimacy to the show and offset the perceived problem with having an unknown in a key role.

 

It’s difficult to imagine now, but Dark Shadows was first and foremost a soap opera – a dark, gothic soap opera, but a soap opera nonetheless, and it originally aired on daytime television. With only a weekly budget of $70,000, they managed to create 1,125 episodes of one of the most beloved horror shows of the 20th century and spawn countless variations, including:

House of Dark Shadows (1970) – feature length movie
Night of Dark Shadows (1971) – feature length movie
-A television revival show in 1991 (featuring a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
-Two book series of Dark Shadows, one consisting of 32 books and a novelization of House of Dark Shadows and the other a trilogy by Lara Parker, the actress who played Angelique
-Countless magazine articles and features
-A comic strip
-Comic books
-Two board games
-Coloring books
-Two jigsaw puzzles
-A View-Master reel
-A series of audio dramas with many members of the original cast

Yes, Dark Shadows was a seminal production that paved the way for many other horror television shows, and television was the better for it.

Dark Shadows cast

The cast of Dark Shadows

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR HEROES, RETRO REVIEWS, TELEVISION REVIEWS, THIS DAY IN HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
SALUTE: 40 Years of The Omen (1976)

SALUTE: 40 Years of The Omen (1976)

Happy Birthday,
Damien Thorn!

House of Tortured Souls
Salutes the 1976 Classic The Omen

The Omen - Lee Remick, Harvey Spencer Stephens, and Gregory Peck

The Thorn Family: Katherine (Lee Remick), Damien (Harvey Spencer Stephens), and Robert (Gregory Peck)

By Woofer McWooferson

On June 25, 1976, The Omen premiered in theaters to critical and commercial acclaim. The Omen was one of the top grossing films in 1976, grossing over $60 million at the box office, and received two Academy Award nominations. It also became an instant classic and spawned two sequels: Damien: The Omen 2 and The Final conflict, neither of which lives up to its parent film. (Technically, there was a third sequel, but the less said, the better. And don’t even mention the remake… Please.) Starring Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Patrick Troughton, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, and Harvey Spencer Stephens, The Omen is supernatural horror about a child secretly adopted at birth by the Ambassador Robert Thorn (Peck) and his wife Katherine (Remick) when their child is allegedly stillborn.

The Omen-Billie Whitelaw

Billie Whitelaw as Mrs. Baylock

The film begins with Thorn agonizing over the death of their baby because his wife’s greatest desire was to have her own child. A priest at the hospital hovers nearby and offers a solution to Thorn’s problem, a solution that will spare his wife’s feelings and provide a home for a child born with no family of its own. The priest even points out that this child’s birth was God’s way of supplying Thorn with a baby in place of their own. Thinking he is sparing his wife heartache and helping an orphan baby to have a family and home, Thorn unknowingly brings the Antichrist into his family, causing far more heartache than a lost infant could ever have done. The Omen jumps from Damien’s birth to just prior to his fifth birthday when Thorn is transferred from Ambassador to Rome to become Ambassador to Great Britain where people around them begin to die mysteriously.

The Omen-Patrick Troughton

Patrick Troughton as Father Brennan

Expertly directed by Richard Donner, The Omen is an almost perfect horror movie and stands the test of time. Donner had been directing for over 15 years when he took on The Omen, and his credits include the television shows Perry Mason and The Twilight Zone. Although he went on to direct Superman, Ladyhawke, Scrooged, and more, The Omen is unquestionably his best work. Each scene is perfectly crafted for maximum impact without being obvious or overwhelming and much of this credit must also go to the script. David Seltzer, who penned the film, had previously worked on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (uncredited) and The Other Side of the Mountain, but his work on The Omen‘s script is, perhaps, his finest. Scenes which are clichéd in other horror movies do not feel so here – they feel real because the characters are rich and fully developed. Similarly, the dialogue is real and natural in spite of the topics of discussion often being supernatural. The casting is impeccable. All take their parts seriously, and there are no attempts to “steal” the movie from each other. Their character arcs compliment each other and the story itself, making for not just a great horror movie but a great film period. Finally, the film is accented by Jerry Goldsmith’s powerful original score, for which he won the Academy Award, and there is not one note off.

The Omen-David Warner

David Warner as Jennings

If you have not seen The Omen, I strongly encourage you to rectify that. It is simultaneously a psychological thriller and a supernatural horror story that, though made in 1976, it is not dated and can hold its own against almost every modern horror movie. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Omen by watching it again – or for the first time. You’ll not be disappointed.

The Omen - trike scene

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in FEATURED CONTENT, MOVIE REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, THIS DAY IN HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
The Walking Dead: Twice as Far

The Walking Dead: Twice as Far

Twice As Far

By Nicole Robinson

The end of last night’s episode of The Walking Dead saw Daryl reunited with his crossbow at the cost of Denise when a burned Dwight returned and shot her through the eye during her pep talk to Daryl and Rosita. Denise, being one of the valuable assets that Alexandria had, will be sorely missed as the only doctor in the community. Her training as a psychologist also could have been helpful in the war against a Negan that is undoubtedly coming – something that her death will escalate once Rick finds out it was Dwight and The Saviors that are responsible.

Olivia counts the pantry stock, Father Gabriel patrols the grounds, and Eugene and Sasha stand watch at the gates while Morgan practices with his ninja stick. Carol smokes her cigarette. These day to day activities of Alexandria give the illusion that Rick and friends are safe in their community, safe behind the walls and closed doors that provide protection.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Daryl checks out his bike, stolen with his crossbow earlier this season by one of those strangers he tried to help in the burnt woods.

“I should have killed him,” he tells Carol over a smoke. He is right. He should have, and this mistake will come back to haunt him later.

Eugene’s intelligence has always been his best weapon, and this episode proved exactly why. Eugene knows how to make bullets, and bullets are more valuable than the guns that shoot them. After all, guns are no good without bullets. Out with Abraham, the two find a metal shop that will allow Eugene to get to work. A very proud Abraham sings Eugene’s praises before being interrupted by a metal head walker. Eugene calls dibs, and Abe steps back.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

The walker has been coated in metal, so when Eugene tries to machete it, his knife just bounces off the walker’s chrome dome. Eugene gets pinned and is unable to reach a weapon causing Abe to step in and save him. An insulted Eugene chastises Abraham, who reminds him that thinking, not killing, is his best skill. Eugene responds by dismissing Abraham, stating “your services are no longer required”, and Abraham storms out while telling Eugene he can find his own way home.

Denise drags Daryl and Rosita outside the safety of the walls to search an apothecary for medicines that could be useful to the community. If it’s more apothecary than boutique, she reasons, it’ll have drugs. Having to abandon the truck after running into a fallen tree blocking the road, Denise tries to convince Daryl to take the tracks because it is the most direct route. He refuses.

The pharmacy is still locked when the three arrive, so all the meds are still safe and sound. While Daryl and Rosita clean out the place, Denise find a baby shoe in a sink full of blood in the back and reflects that perhaps she was not as ready as she thought. On the way back she tells Daryl the story of her twin brother, older by six minutes. She describes him as brave and angry, reminding Daryl of his own brother, Merle.

At this point, the episode seems more like filler. Aside from the realization that Eugene is able to make bullets, this episode was fairly sleepy.

After Denise risks her life for a can of soda and vomits on her glasses, Daryl yells at her in a very big brother sort of way for doing so. She stands up to him, yelling “I have training in this sh**!” She brought him because he reminds her of her brother and makes her feel safe. She should have gone with Tara and told her she loves her. She brought Rosita because she is inspired by her strength. In short, she is tired of being afraid to survive. She is sick of the fact she is not out in the world trying to live, and to live you have to take chances.

Suddenly an arrow pierces Denise through the eye. A group of Saviors come out of the woods and they have Eugene. Daryl looks at the man who stole his bike and crossbow. His face is burnt now, and he introduces himself as Dwight. Daryl was right; he should have killed him when he had the chance. The arrow came from Daryl’s crossbow, but Denise wasn’t the one he was aiming for. Dwight wants to be let into Daryl’s complex, and wants to be allowed to take whatever and whoever they want. If his demands are not met, they will kill Eugene, then Rosita, and then Daryl.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Eugene takes one for the team, grabbing a mouthful of Dwight’s manhood after spotting Abraham hiding behind some barrels, apparently having been following Eugene. He surprises the group and starts shooting. Rosita gets the guns, and Daryl slashes a neck before he starts shooting. Gunfire erupts and walkers descend causing Dwight to call for the Saviors to fall back. Eugene is shot in the crossfire. The three carry him back to Alexandria. Luckily he was only grazed, and the antibiotics will likely save his life. Abraham apologizes for doubting his abilities and says, “You know how to bite a d*ck – and I mean that in the nicest way possible.”

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Daryl retrieves Denise’s body, and buries her in their graveyard while holding a vanity keychain she took from the store. It reads “Dennis”, which was her twin brother’s name. Carol joins him and they dig mostly in silence. She sees what the audience sees as well. This one is going to have a lasting effect.

“You were right,” Carol says. “I knew it when you said it.”

The Walking Dead, S06E14

In a last tragic twist, Carol leaves Alexandria, leaving behind only a letter for Tobin to find that says she can’t face another threat and she cannot kill anymore. This letter is addressed to the community as a whole:

I love you all, and I would have to kill for you. I can’t; I won’t. I can’t love anyone because I can’t kill for anyone anymore. I am going like I always should have. Don’t come after me, please.

This is not the last of Carol no doubt. Someone will go after her despite her request not too, likely Daryl. The death of Denise will have a resounding effect of Alexandria now that the only doctor is dead. When Tara returns from her supply run with Heath to find her having been killed, her reaction is going to reopen this wound for Daryl. She came to him for protection and she died as result of mistakes. Not killing Dwight has come back on him in the worst way possible, and that kind of guilt is hard to live with. It clouds judgment and leads to careless mistakes. Daryl may actually end up getting himself killed despite his good intentions.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Posted by Nicole Robinson in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, HOME, HORROR NEWS, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
The Walking Dead: “We Are All Negan”

The Walking Dead: “We Are All Negan”

By Nicole Robinson

The aftermath of the premature attack on the Saviors Compound resulted in the kidnapping of Carol and mom-to-be Maggie at the end of last week’s episode of The Walking Dead. This week found the two women with guns to their heads by a small group of Negan’s followers – a chain-smoking woman named Molly, a dark haired woman called Chelle, a man named Donnie, and a fiery redhead leader, Paula – while Rick and friends held hostage a member of their group named Primo. Guest star Alicia Witt (Urban Legend, Vanilla Sky) played Paula and went toe to toe with Carol this week in “The Same Boat”, revealing her to be the voice on the walkie at the end of last week’s high energy episode.

The Walking Dead, S06E13_01

Carol and Maggie are held hostage after Carol shoots Donnie, a member of the Saviors, in the arm. The Saviors group tie-up and gag Carol and Maggie and hold them hostage in an old slaughter house while trying to decide if they will accept Rick’s offer to trade. Donnie claims that Primo could patch up his worsening gunshot wound courtesy of Carol. The Saviors split up to dispatch some walkers and one drops a of set rosary beads while being dragged out which Carol quickly grabs.

The Walking Dead, S06E13_02

With the Saviors distracted, Maggie tries to free herself, not getting far before the captors return. In the past, Carol has been a master at being someone she is not in order to disguise herself, and this time was no different. She pretends to hyperventilate. Maggie gets their captors’ attention and persuades them to take off the gags. Carol feels for the rosaries, and chain-smoking Molly helps her. “Oh, you’re one of THOSE,” she quips.

“How did you make it so far? Paula asks Carol with a clear disapproval of her “weakness”.

Carol weakly says, “Just don’t hurt Maggie. Don’t hurt the baby.”

The Walking Dead, S06E13_03

Donnie demands revenge against Carol as Paula insists no medical assistance is coming to help him.  He suggests shooting her in the arm as she did him, and Paula disagrees citing “insurance”. He hits her and starts kicking Carol. Maggie kicks Donald; he knocks her back, then returns to kicking Carol. Paula pistol whips him and sends Chelle and Maggie to another room, to “see if she knows anything”. The two do some bonding over pregnancy and Chelle’s severed finger which she got as result of stealing gas to look for her blown up boyfriend (thanks to Daryl).

The Walking Dead, S06E13_04

Meanwhile on the kill floor, Carol thanks Molly and Paula for helping Maggie only to be shut up very quickly by Paula when she starts to talk about Ed. She knows that Carol is a pathetic, weak little bird and isn’t surprised that her husband abused her, but her relationship with Donald isn’t some domestic violence thing. He is just a “warm body for her bed” and she could kill him in his sleep without a second thought. Attempting some more sympathy points, Carol tells them that her faith got her through the death of her daughter. Paula and Molly are unaffected by her faith, instead showing annoyance at Carol’s weakness.

Rick’s voice comes over the walkie offering supplies to make the trade fairer. Paula rejects the offer despite Carol’s attempts to convince her that Rick can be trusted. Molly steps in and points out that Carol’s people have already blown up all of their people. Carol counters with the argument that they were ambushed. Paula says that it is fair because they were defending themselves but wonders why they did not just stop there. Carol claims that they said they were working for Negan, and he sounded like a maniac that had to be stopped. “We are all Negan,” says Molly.

The Walking Dead, S06E13_05

This famous comic line makes very little sense to Carol but clearly this group has a strong loyalty to the yet-to-be-seen leader of The Saviors. Up until this point in the episode, it appeared Carol was faking her meek, little bird ways. Half expecting Carol to break out of her bonds and rain fire down on her captors, the viewers were left scratching their heads wondering what is going on inside Carol’s head. Why isn’t she fighting back?

She does eventually break free, using the metal crucifix to cut through the tape. Instead of going commando like she has in the past with Terminus and The Wolves, she sneaks around. She finds Maggie and tries to convince her just leave instead of killing them all, which is hormonal Maggie’s preference and probably the smarter choice. This season has been laced with humanity being a greater threat than the dead. Leaving others alive has come back to haunt Rick and friends since the beginning of the series, a lesson Carol should have learned by now.

The Walking Dead, S06E13_06

Carol and Maggie return to the kill floor and quietly tie up Donnie who has died (kill count: 19) and is turning. The Zombie on the leash bites Molly when she returns and Maggie takes her down, bashing her head in with Donnie’s gun. They try to escape and hit a dead end of walkers on spikes set up to stop others both in and out of the slaughter house.  Paula shows up shooting and runs out of ammo. Carol points her gun and tells her to run. Maggie tells her to shoot her and while she hesitates, a walker gets loose of the spike and lunges for Carol. Carol shoots Paula and Chelle shows up. Maggie ambushes her and the two fight until Chelle swipes a knife at Maggie’s belly. Carol shoots her point blank (kill count: 21) and Paula gets up. Finally answering Paula’s “what are you afraid of” question, Carol says, “I was afraid of this”.

In one last attempt to fight, Paula lunges and knocks the gun out of a shaky Carol’s hand. In the altercation, Carol impales her on a spike and her face becomes a walker snack. A special round of applause to Greg Nicotero’s special effects team for this scene. Among the noise of Paula gurgling death, Carol picks up the walkie and tells the other Saviors to meet them on the kill floor. There she uses a cigarette set the two ablaze Karen and David style bringing her kill count to 24 this week.

Maggie and Carol walk out to be met by Rick and the group. A visibly shaken Carol is comforted by Daryl while Rick questions Primo about Negan. He states that he is Negan, and Rick apologizes while shooting him. Roll credits. Clearly Primo is not Negan, and this is only the start of the war with the Saviors.

The Walking Dead, S06E13_07

Carol appears to be breaking down in this new world. Spending a few months behind the safety of Alexandria’s walls have allowed for her to reflect on the time she spent on the road as a ruthless killer willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive. It seems that her kill count is getting to her and as it rises, she withdraws into her old defenseless and weak self we saw in the beginning of the series. Viewers are left to wonder if Carol is going to be able to handle the new world and its new rules of survival. Everyone has a breaking point and Carol has finally reached hers.

Posted by Nicole Robinson in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments

INTERVIEW: Jonathan Patrick Hughes Chats About His Upcoming Film (S)AINT NICK and Starting Out in Today’s Horror Industry

Interview: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

By Nicole Robinson

There is always a new crop of filmmakers, writers, actors, directors, and more working hard to become the next big thing in horror. As films like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween start to be termed classic horror, a new generation of horror movies is emerging from Generation X.

Jonathan Patrick Hughes

Jonathan Patrick Hughes

It is not often we are given the unique opportunity to explore the mind of one these up and coming directors, but we have been given this chance to meet Jonathan Patrick Hughes. Upcoming screamfest (S)aint Nick is the fifth film from Hughes, and we sat down with him to discuss his new flick and why he stands out.

 

House of Tortured Souls: John, tell us about yourself…

Jonathan Patrick Hughes: Hello Horror Fiends.

My name is Jonathan Patrick Hughes and I just finished shooting my fifth short film entitled (S)aint Nick. I was born in Philadelphia, PA, on Aug. 7, 1979. My mother, Patricia Cullen, was a registered nurse and my father was a Philadelphia police officer. I got my first taste of horror when I was roughly 3-years-old and noticed my dad was watching Friday The 13th Part 2. I remember being highly afraid of the man in the potato sack stalking a woman with a pitchfork. When I was 4-years-old, my mother brought home a VHS copy of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The tape not only had the short film / music video but also the making of it. I found myself mesmerized by how it was made and realized (at the tender age of four!) that I wanted to do the very same thing.

When I was five, I started using my mother’s video camera and recording everything in sight. As time went on, I became obsessed with the idea of making movies and hoped that one day that would happen. My two best childhood friends, Rob Montgomery and Alexis Polce, and I always had ideas for films. They were never captured on camera, but at least our minds were boiling with ideas. When I was 15, I started working at local video stores. Even if I wasn’t making movies, I still found ways to be involved with them somehow. After many years of working at video stores and cinemas, I realized I wasn’t getting any younger and began to think that I would never make movies, and that it was just a broken dream like most of us have. That all changed when I found out I was going to be a father.

In 2010 my fiancé at the time became pregnant with my son, and we moved our life to Pittsburgh. It took almost three years to adapt to a new area and new responsibilities. When I found out that Pittsburgh had a film school program, I researched for days and called many times before I decided to enroll. The scary part was thinking, ‘I’m going to go to school. I’m going graduate, and I’m still not going be making movies‘. I was accepted into the program with open arms in May of 2013. However, I was unable to start until October. That’s when it hit me that I should make my first movie before school just to see what I can do before school as well as after. I wanted to test out my own progression, to see if this is something I truly can do. I was fortunate enough to raise close to $1,400 to make my first movie by using Kickstarter. That is how Apartment 1109 came about. The film was released on DVD on New Year’s Eve of 2013.

At school I learned how to write, produce, edit, and (of course) direct films. I paid more attention to the writing/directing parts since that’s what I wanted to do the most. The Factory Digital Film Program at Douglas Education Center, which is located in Monessen, PA, was one the most memorable experiences I have ever had. I was taught by filmmakers, not teachers. These professionals take their students through a boot camp crash course on how to make a movie and how hard it is to make a movie. My film father, Robert Tinnell, with whom I still keep in contact, is the director of the program, and I’ll never forget him. I drove him nuts, but I never missed a single class. The program is something I recommend to anyone who wants to make movies, but I will say this: if you’re gonna go to film school, you better have a passion and you better breathe this shit because you won’t make it otherwise. One thing I noticed while attending the school is that the instructors care way too much about their students and will do whatever they have to to break them. Like I said, it’s boot camp for film because we make movies and were taught how to survive the struggle and the stress as well as problem solving. At the end, a film is made and the victory is celebrated. I have been out of film school for almost a year and have worked on a few short films and music videos. I also directed a trailer for Alyssa and Rebecca Johnson and just recently finished shooting my newest horror film (S)aint Nick.

 

HoTS: Why do you want to work in the film industry and as a director?

JPH: There is nothing else for me to do. I feel that making movies is fun, creative, and a way to communicate with an audience. Writing and directing is the passion. I have a vision, and I want to express it through motion pictures.

 

HoTS: Why horror? And what do you feel is special about your work that you would like your audience to see?

JPH: Horror films have a special language, like French or Spanish. Only a few people in crowded room will understand what they are experiencing. Horror films have always spoken to me differently than any other genre. I do admire all genres but, for me, horror is where the heart is.

 

HoTS: Can you name two people who inspire you and tell us why?

JPH: John Carpenter and Marilyn Manson.

Two genius artists who have very dark yet colorful visions. John Carpenter can make any genre of film while Manson can entertain anyone with his over the top stage performances. When I listen to a Marilyn Manson record, it’s almost as if I’m listening to a film he directed.

 

HoTS: What is your favorite horror movie and why?

JPH: John Carpenter’s Halloween.

It is genius – a 90 minute film that captures every kind of feeling and emotion and that isn’t afraid to be what it is. A classic film with a classic story, a classic theme, and a classic icon.

 

HoTS: What upcoming projects can we expect from you?

JPH: I’m in talks to direct three music videos for bands Kill the Stigmatic, White Trash Stars, and Post Mortal Possession. I’m also in talks to write and direct two sixty second horror films for 60 Seconds to Die 2. I’m currently writing my feature film that will be dedicated to my son Liam. It’s a kids movie entitled Bedbugs. It’s a nod to some of my childhood favorites like The Goonies meets Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and Little Monsters. I want to show my son how awesome it was growing up in the 80s. I hope he has the same experience that I had when I viewed these films that were so much fun and filled with both adventure and excitement.

 

HoTS: What was it like filming the soon-to-be-released (S)aint Nick?

JPH: Being on the set of (S)aint Nick was a bag of mixed treats. Some days were smooth, while others felt like a bumpy road leading to Hell. Everyone was under stress, and everyone was at each other’s throats just trying to make this film. Some people even left set and dropped off because of the content as well as the vision I was trying to get across to an audience. In the end we were able to finish shooting the film, and now we’re waiting on a locked edit so we can go forward with music and sound. I’d also like to add it was my first time directing a 9-year-old, and that was a little rough, but in the end he did a great job and I’m happy with his performance as Bill.

 

HoTS: What is one thing that got you through the rough times?

The disgusting man known as Horace Jones, played by the ever so funny and loveable John Seese, made the rough days better with his clever one liners and over the top acting skills. I salute you, John Seese, not just because you’re a friend or an actor, but because your presence can light up the darkest hour. And I’m proud of you as well as your magnificent performance. Last, but not least, to my number one cinematic sister: I absolutely adore you as well as your acting skills. Just know that I could never make a movie without you and will never. We been in this together since day one in August of 2013. Since then we both have grown, and we will continue to grow. You’re my number one scream queen, and I love you!

 

HoTS: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

JPH: Death metal and hardcore sexxx. Hahahaha.

The idea first entered my mind right after we finished shooting Apartment 1109. I knew I wanted to attack the Christmas holiday and turn it into a disturbing tale that is sure to leave a foul taste in your mouth.

Christmas has always been a holiday I never really agreed with. After I learned the truth about Santa Claus, the magic went out of the window. Many years after, I started believing that this certain holiday is an uneven one. They feed us the same Christmas carol year after year, talking about how great the time of year is and how everyone is happy. Just because you drive down a street with 30 houses covered in 500 chasing lights does not mean the people behind those closed doors are happy. I thought it would be a good idea to take an audience inside a house where it’s not about candy canes, smiles, and mistletoe. It’s about two siblings who are now living with their stepfather who is a verbally abusive alcoholic and all around disgusting human being who will make you want to shower every time he appears on screen. Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year at this house. I’m hoping that when people see this they will understand where I’m coming from.

 

HoTS: When is it going to be released?

JPH: Release date TBA. We’re working out a deal with a production company as we speak. However, I will self-distribute a DVD with all 5 of my films including Apartment 1109, A Gamble With Death, Empty, All Hallows’ Eve: Chapter 1 – The 11th Hour (which is still in post-production after a full year) and, of course, (S)aint Nick.

 

HoTS: What was your favorite experience while filming the movie?

JPH: My favorite experience would have to be either when I actually vomited on set during a very disgusting moment – I didn’t expect that to happen. It’s gross and I was thinking about cutting it out but everyone begged for it to stay in. It’s in the film. The other experience would have to be directing the bloody goodness. This is the most disgusting film I have ever written and directed. It was kind of cool to see body parts being detached from the human body.

 

HoTS: Anything else you would like to share with us?

JPH: Everyone has a dream. Stop dreaming and start living. You have one life, so fucking live it. Making movies is like having sex: when you’re done, you feel great, stress free, and relieved, and within minutes you’re ready to go back and do it all over again.

I like to add that I’m really thankful for my cast and crew. They really helped so much making this nightmare a reality and I couldn’t be happier with the job well done.

Jonathan Patrick Hughes taking a break.

Jonathan Patrick Hughes taking a break.

Posted by Nicole Robinson in COMING SOON, EDITORIALS, FEATURED ARTIST, FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, 1 comment
Pain Dead Three: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead Three: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

Pain Dead Three

So here I am writing again. It’s not because I’m not worried about someone reading this. No, it’s more along the lines that I’m scared right now. Very scared. I’m just glad that I managed to have the foresight to actually stock up on food and water. Just wish I would have been smart enough to get some books in the home. But no, I never thought that one through.

So. Writing. Again. By hand. I imagine this is what it was like all those hundreds of years ago when everything was written with quill and ink. Ugh. How the hell did people survive back then? I’m hating it right now without the electricity. I can’t have a generator because it makes too much noise. I am in a basement with a lantern. I can’t write upstairs because it’s dark outside and the last thing I need is light going through the cracks between the boarded up windows and drawing the attention of unwanted neighbors.

I have learned a few things about these zombies. First of all, there is no book or movie that ever gets what these things are exactly right. The most significant thing I’ve learned is that they attack by smell. I’m pretty sure of it. I’ve been scared once or twice while foraging and when the adrenaline hits they pick up on me very quick. The trick is getting my heart rate to go down before I became someone’s snack.

One strange thing I’ve noticed is that during the night the zombies stop wherever they are. They don’t wander around like in the movies. If someone is running around making a bunch of noise or waving around a flashlight they will investigate. Other than that, they pretty much stop when it’s dark.

Another thing that I noticed from books and movies that they got wrong is the fact that if someone gets bitten they are usually done. C’mon, when some dumb motherfucker gets bit their adrenaline must be kicking into overdrive. Most of the bites that I’ve seen happen are usually pretty deep. So whatever in in their mouth that turns people into zombies is pretty much tossed around their blood system in a matter of seconds. Each one is different depending on how deep they were bit, how much they were bleeding, or how many zombies were snacking on them when they were bit. You have to excuse me, now. All of these talking about zombies eating has made me work up an appetite.

One last thought before I go is about something that has always bothered me since the beginning of this whole mess. Why the fuck in the movies did they always think that shooting a zombie in the head will kill it a second time? Hello, they are already dead. There is nothing going on upstairs. Chopping off the head will allow you to escape, but shooting them in the head? Waste of a fucking bullet. Save those for the living dumbasses.

Well, that sucked. I almost managed to get my ass killed today. Another thing I learned about zombies is they can track by our bodily functions. I ate the rest of my food up a couple of days ago and I was going out to forage. I don’t know where the scary Krysta went off to, but since she was gone, I figured it was my chance to go for a food run. I got about twenty steps away from my door when my stomach growled. Well, long story short, there were about three zombies around the side of the house and when they heard my stomach growl they realized that dinner was served. Luckily I wasn’t that far away from the door and I made it back inside before they could see me. Heard them walk right on by the door and keep walking. If you’ll excuse me now I’m going to try to eat some paper so my stomach will have something in it so I can try this shit again.

Only made it about five feet away from the door this time when I heard the now familiar click, click, click of familiar teeth. As soon as I heard that I turned around and went back into the house, locking the door after me. I heard Krysta walk up to the door, drop something heavy, and I heard the clicks fade away. I waited a couple of minutes before I opened up the door. There was a box of various canned goods sitting on the doorstep. I picked it up and looked for her. She wasn’t within earshot, so I took my canned goods, said a quiet thank you, and stepped back into the house and locked the door behind me.

Two hours later the clicks came back. Same story as before. Krista came up to the door, dropped something, hit the door once, and walked away. I took off to the door to see what she had left me. Two gallons of water and a half gallon of vodka. Not sure if it was by choice or by accident. I’d marry that zombie now if I wasn’t afraid she would bite off my finger while putting a ring on it. I’m also pretty sure that I couldn’t find someone to marry us. God forbid should I have to consummate the marriage. Gah, I need a drink.

Holy shit, what a night. Drank way more that I probably should’ve . Don’t really remember what happened last night. All I know is I woke up next to an open back door with familiar clicks going on that sounded like gunshots going off in my head. I sobered up really quick and opened my eyes. Krysta was standing over my head with a machete in her hand. She was looking down at me with a look that said ‘stupid’. I looked down at my feet and there were three mangled bodies of zombies that were there. Apparently in drunken stupidity I opened the door and passed out. Krysta must have come in and protected me in my drunken slumber. She sliced all the arms and knees with it and chopped off their heads for good measure. She took care of my dumb ass.

Well, fuck it. When I sober up I’m going to look for wedding rings. Just need to make sure that they have pulses attached to them. I need to take care of my girl since she took care of me. Feel stupid for ever thinking she would hurt me.

Two days later I found the ring for my girl. It just happened to be attached to one of the most hated people from my former life. I don’t really want to go into very many details on who it was. I will be a little happy to let you know what I did. It was not a pretty picture.

First of all I drugged the son of a bitch. Found a tranq gun a few days ago. Shot him right in the balls. Then I dragged him back to where I had my little party with Steve Sticks. Then the fun began.

There were no drugs used to help me with this motherfucker. I sound proofed the room where the party began. So yeah, I sound proofed it a second time.

The first thing I did was removed the boobs nails in his fingers and toes. He started screaming and whining and crying about how much pain he was in and how he wanted his nails back. So I obliged him. I gave him his nails back. Ground them up in a drink and let him drink them. It was a hundred and ten in the room so he gulped the water with his nails down really quick. I don’t think he even tasted the finely ground glass in his tasty beverage. He then swore at me that if he ever got out of the chair he was going to kill me for taking his nails off. But hey, I’m a nice guy so I made sure that he couldn’t get out of his chair. I gave him his nails back. All ten of them. Inch and three quarters, galvanized. Then I covered them up with bandages. Did I forget to mention that I soaked them with salt and lemons? He shit himself and I needed to cover up the smell.

That’s as far as the torture went. I just wanted to make sure that he couldn’t get out of his chair. I just kept feeding him three times a day. Chicken broth, water, and finely ground glass. Took a week for the motherfucker to die from internal bleeding.

I didn’t feed him to Krysta. He was so stupid in life I was pretty sure it was contagious. But she was insistent, so I removed his stomach and intestines. Don’t need my girl getting indigestion. It was weird when I was removing his insides. Thought he was dead. Apparently I was wrong. It was quite weird. Krysta was looking at me like I was the scary one.

Posted by Machete Von Kill in FEATURED CONTENT, 0 comments
Back to Pain Dead: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Back to Pain Dead: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Back to Pain Dead

PainDead

The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

So here I am writing about this shit again. Still can’t figure out why. Still don’t give a flying fuck. Been a busy day. Walking slowly, not breathing, and looking for specific people to get back at them.# It’s painful to try to get back at somebody and then stumbling into them shambling around being an undead dumbfuck. Ugh. Such is life.

I did manage to get myself a new toy. Only had to take it off the hands of one of the high school jerks. Wait, let me phrase it differently. Actually, I had to take his hands off him. I had just finished sighting in a sniper rifle and I went out to test my newfound sniping skills. Didn’t take long to find my target. It just happened to be Fuck Face Mikey and his little harem.

Let me tell you a little bit about Fuck Face Mikey. He was one of those genetically perfect jocks. Played for all the varsity teams. Pretty much got a free ride through high school because he was the one who could score the points to win the games. Lord, how I hated this motherfucker.

So there I was looking out my scope trying to when I heard this loud mouth yelling, waving around a katana, and having the audacity to be not wearing a shirt. What made it even worse was the fact was he was with two of the super skanks from school and they were running with him in their underwear. Fuck, this zombie apocalypse makes people do some weird shit.

So Fuck Face Mikey had a katana that probably made him feel like Billy Badass. He was screaming at the zombies trying to draw their attention to him. When they got close enough he would slice at their knees, making the zombies fall over. He would then cut their arms off at the elbows so that they couldn’t crawl after them. Not a very nice thing to do. I figured I’d give the zombies coming at him a little bit of a fighting chance. Seriously, if Krysta came around here all that work I put into that girl would have been a waste of time.

It seemed that the longer the apocalypse went on the easier it seemed that the living were getting smarter at getting away from the dead. Not cool. They were squirming out of grips and avoiding bites like it was no big deal. It was to me.

So I figured I would give chica a little bit of an edge. I went to a hardware store and found some nails. I put them through the back of the hands so they were just sticking out the other side of her hands. She could grab, and hopefully be able to hold her victim. If they pulled away from her, they would lose a chunk of their flesh and hopefully bleed out quick. I covered her hands with some fingerless gloves.

I toyed around with the idea of making a set of metal teeth for Krysta and decided against it. Not only would it change her snap, snap teeth into clang, clang and draw unnecessary attention to her, it would involve a little risk that I was not going to take. I would have to put my fingers into the snapping mouth. Fuck that.

The final thing I had to do to make Krysta my perfect little undead weapon was trying to get the undead stink off of her. I’m not even going to tell you what kind of hell I went through while I was getting her cleaned up in the shower. Uhg, nasty. It still makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth when I think about it. Then it was just a matter of dressing her, putting her hair in her face so no one could see her, and giving her marching orders.

Usually I just let her roam around. She always came back to the hideout sometime during the night, always alone, and if I didn’t give her any orders the next morning she would go wandering around by herself around noon.

I was hoping that she wasn’t in the neighborhood. It would suck if I lost my only friend during all this. I also had a sneaking suspicion that there probably wasn’t another female zombie who responded to me calling them chica, or anything else I’d say. I’d probably get the same reaction if I went up to one of these zombies and introduced myself as dinner. God forbid if I had to clean up another zombie. Fuck that.

So there I was lying on my stomach, watching Fuck Face Mikey lift his katana up in the air looking to slice another zombies arm off at the elbow. His arm came down, but the only thing that came down on the zombie was blood coming out of the stump where his hand and forearm used to be.

Chaos ensued. One of the super skanks actually had the brains to actually take off her bra and use it as a tourniquet. I blew her kneecap to shit. The last one turned and ran. She got about thirty yards before I shot her in the back and paralyzed her. Now all I had to do was wait until the dead got their dinner eaten and dispersed. Then I was going to get my new toy and head home.

On the way back home it was just another walk of not breathing and not drawing attention to myself. I was about to turn the corner when I heard a woman screaming. I also heard the breaking of glass. I almost forgot where I was and what I was doing. I quit going home and starting following the screaming and broken glass. Thankfully there were no zombies in the area. I still did the walk because you never know.

I turned the corner to see Krysta screaming and taking a bike and just beat the shit out of another window. I stopped in my tracks totally confused. She kept screaming and the last swing of the bike slipped out of her hands as it destroyed the window. Krysta went through the window still screaming.

I walked up to the broken window and I was just in time to hear another scream. I looked in through the window and realized that Krysta had broken into the local paper. There was a man in there hiding under his desk. There was a name plate that said Dan on the desk.

Krysta kept screaming at him and kept trying to grab him. I think she was doing some serious damage to her throat because she was bleeding some blackish sludge out of her mouth. She finally got a hold of Dan around the throat. I was expecting her to take a bit of him. Instead she lifted him up and slammed his head over and over again into the desk. Brains, teeth, and broken ceramic from coffee cups went sliding everywhere. A couple of zombies had shown up and were trying to get through the window. I was assuming Dan was dead at this point.

Krysta saw the two zombies trying to get in. She screamed and yanked Dan’s arm off at the shoulder. She walked up to the two zombies and took Dan’s arm, swung it like a baseball bat, and broke both of their jaws. She then walked up to the window, dropped the arm, and pulled herself out.

I walked up to her, “Chica,” I said, “are you alright?”

I did not expect an answer. Instead she turned around and looked at me. It scared the hell out of me when she gurgled, “He….. no… get… to…… live…… like……. you. He….. no…. deserve….. to……. be……. like……. me.”

“Ok,” I said, “let’s get you home and get you cleaned up.”

I don’t know what the fuck happened today, but for the first time since the dead came back I was actually scared.

Posted by Machete Von Kill in FEATURED CONTENT, ORIGINAL FICTION, 0 comments