Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ZOMBIES Book Halloween Contest!

We're giving away a copy of IDW / Yoe Books ZOMBIES (co-edited by myself and Craig Yoe) and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post about your scariest Halloween experience, past, present --or future! (that's right, you can make up something too if you want, we're pretty easy here at THE HORRORS OF IT ALL!) Yes, Halloween is coming up quick, and so is the deadline-- you have until this Saturday, October 25th to write in (that's 3 days), the winner will be announced on Monday, October 27th after careful review of the submissions. Runner-ups displaying some decent chops could be eligible for Haunted Horror back issues too! So come on fiends, have fun and for gosh sakes BE SCARY! The ebola plague that is ravishing our planet at the moment could spell our doom! Will this be the last Halloween??!!

Good luck to all. And anyone who doesn't wish to participate in the contest but wants the book anyway, can find it still available at Amazon by clicking HERE!


18 comments:

Jose Cruz said...

This story may be true. I hope it isn't.

There was a girl who lived on the house at the end of the street, the big one that wasn't far from the cemetery. Her mother had died a few years previously. The girl never did quite get over it. She always told the other children at school that she would see her mother peeking out at her from cupboards and closets, whispering and laughing.

No one ever really believed her. That is, not until that Halloween night. All the kids in town were in the streets, going door to door for candy. The wind was high, but even over its shrill keening they could still make out the screams coming from the old house.

It took the town elders till the following dawn to investigate. There appeared to be signs of a struggle but not of forced entry. They could not find the girl anywhere in the house. Someone remembered what the girl had said about the cupboards and closets. It didn't take long for them to see that all of the floors in these crawlspaces had been torn up, burrowing into the earth in the form of tunnels.

They all led to the cemetery.

A team was assembled to quickly dig up the mother's grave. Upon completion they found the casket in shatters and the body of the little girl. The tunnel that went to the burial plot had been caved in. She had been buried alive. She was still in her Halloween costume.

No one ever found the mother's corpse.

JMR777 said...

Since I had won a horror book some time ago I request that I not be considered eligible for the prize, let another follower of THOIA get the thrill of winning a great horror book.
Also, these horror tales are from the book “Bloody Mary” with some changes here and there so I can’t take credit for these stories

Story One:
The Trick or Treater

Frank had moved to the block only recently and didn’t know all of the ins and outs of the neighborhood yet, nor did he know about the history of the area. Frank didn’t know nor care about local history, it wasn’t the type of thing that interested him. When Halloween rolled around, Frank put up some cheap Halloween items around his house and gave out candy to the children who came by. As time went on, Frank noticed what appeared to be a kid in a bed sheet standing near a lamp post. As the night dragged on, the kid would wander from the lamp post and towards the middle of the empty lot across from Frank’s house. “Strange kid” Frank thought. Around ten at night the last of the little goblins and ghosties were done for the night, except for the one kid still standing by the lamp post. What’s with that kid? Frank wondered. Maybe he was a simple minded kid or he was lost. Curious, Frank decided to walk over to the kid and see if he needed any help. Maybe he got lost, thought Frank. As Frank approached he saw that the kid was still standing by the lamp post holding an old fashioned jack o lantern candy bucket the kind they used to sell years ago.
“Is anything the matter?” asked Frank as he approached the kid. The child said nothing but pointed toward the empty lot and wandered toward the middle of it. Frank followed, curious as to what the kid wanted. The kid made an X on the ground with his heel and took something out of the jack o lantern and placed it on the X.

Frank’s blood curdling scream could be heard a mile away.

When the police arrived all Frank could do was point towards the X on the ground and scream.

Frank spent a month in the hospital before he regained his sanity. The police, wanting to know what had made Frank go mad, dug where the x was marked and solved a cold case mystery that had been unresolved since 1953; they had at long last found the skull of the Williams boy, who on Halloween had been murdered and decapitated by his own father before the father took his own life.

JMR777 said...

Story two:
Bloody Mary (This is JUST a story, don't get freaked out)

We had read the stupid tales from the supposedly scary stories from the horror book "Bloody Mary" and we were beginning to get board when one of us recommended we play the Bloody Mary game.

The object of the game was to go in a darkened bathroom with a lit black candle, call out the name ‘Bloody Mary’ three times and then call out “show me the face of the Devil!” and then see ol scratch’s face looking back from the mirror.

We rolled three dice to decide who would be the one to call out Bloody Mary. I rolled three sixes, the Devil’s favorite number, so I got picked.

One minute to midnight I lit the black candle and entered the bathroom and looked into the mirror. As midnight began I called out “Bloody Mary” three times and then shouted “Show me the face of the Devil!”
All was quiet for a minute, then I left the bathroom and told everyone what a waste of time that game was and we should all turn in for the night. Everyone went to sleep except for me.

I went outside and cut the telephone wire and then went back inside.

I carefully locked the deadbolt doors in the front and the back and took out the keys so no one could leave.

I found their cell phones charging and carefully unplugged them and hid them away where only I could find them.

The windows of the house have a wedge type keyed lock so no one can get in or out without the key, which I carefully pocketed.

Its 3 A M now, I have taken the lives of most of my sleepover guests, there are a few left, hiding and praying I won’t find them, but I know where they are, I have time to take their lives, there is no hurry.

It is a pity that they never knew-

That you don’t need a black candle-

You don’t need a bathroom mirror-

You don’t even need to call out Bloody Mary-

To see the face of The Devil…

(Don’t call the police or the Feds, this is just the last story from the book Bloody Mary. Pretty darn scary, ain’t it? Rest assured I wouldn't harm a fly, and I Don't want to see the face of the Devil, after all, we haven't been properly introduced yet.)

Trevor Markwart said...

True story. Years ago I was working late nights. Daytime student, weekend big city night security guard.

I was dead tired at three in the morning, stumbling around the sub-basement of a high rise office building, the only soul there. I felt and heard a wind blowing, whistling through the maze-like corridors. How could that be? I had rattled all the doors to outside and they were locked!

I rounded a corner and saw a bright light coming from a reinforced door that read: DO NOT ENTER, BUILDING MAINTENANCE ONLY. The door was open and the wind was blowing from it. It was the only door that security didn't have a key to. And I remembered that it wasn't open when I did the first patrol!

As I approached I recalled stories about how it was supposed to be the "dead space" between two buildings built side by side. A non-existent space that shouldn't be there on any planning map or blueprint. But it was. I started to get tense and a slowed my stumble to a creep.

A crawled up to the door and peered inside, my eyes squinting in the wind and bright light. It was a large, empty space, lit by an intense light from a single bare bulb. The four corners could just barely be defined -- but above, the ceiling was swallowed in impenetrable blackness.

Swinging from that black hole ceiling on a long rope, a frayed singular rope, was an old little wooden chair. Like a child's chair. The rope was tied around the top of it and it swung there like a hanged man in the wind.

I slammed the door and twisted the knob to make sure it was locked and bolted out of the basement. Heavy breathing, heart pounding.

Up at the security desk I reviewed the video files -- the whole building was covered extensively by cameras. I watched me on my first patrol, then the second one. Nobody had entered the area between the two patrols!

I continued to work that job but from then on faked my patrols of the sub-basement.

Brother Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanette J said...

When I was a teenager we took the bus to high school. Along the route was an abandoned house set back from the road and half overgrown with bushes and weeds. Well my friend and I decided to explore it one afternoon. We entered through the back door, which, of course, creaked when we pushed it. It was an older, brick 2 storey house. With the windows covered in dirt and the bushes outside, very little light came in. We wandered around checking out the broken chairs and piano left behind.
While on the 2nd floor I heard a few notes played on the piano. We went downstairs and no one else was there so we figured it was either our imaginations or maybe a mouse. We were thinking we should leave when from upstairs we heard a door creaking open (or creaking closed).
I thought I saw a shadow at the top of the stairs (my friend says she didn't see this). The shadow seemed to be coming down the stairs. We ran out of there really fast and ran home.
We later found out a former owner had been murdered in his sleep by his brother.

Mr. Cavin said...

Brilliant! These are great!

TOUJOURS AU REBOURS said...

I shall never forget that dreadful Halloween when I was in kindergarten. Trick-or-treat had just ended when Dad noticed a strange glow out front. He ran onto the porch and I watched through the bay window as he strove to stomp out a flaming bag of poo. His pants caught on fire and he was quickly engulfed in flames. He reeled screaming into the street and I could only watch helplessly as he burned until the flames went out and he was still and black, and his flesh dropped away like he was a rotisserie chicken. The neighborhood dogs came and ate up pieces of Dad until the cops and firemen came and shooed them away. That Halloween is why I have this thing about dogs to this very day.

DrSpecter said...

When I was 8 or 9, in the mid-seventies, I was obsessed with the wolf man. I mean unhealthy preoccupation. And it was mostly with the pain of transformation. I used to writhe around in bed, pretending.

Eventually, I saved up enough allowance money to buy a rubber mask with fake hair glued to it. It was way to big for me, as were the demon gloves-- which didn't really match. But I got an old plaid shirt, tore it up, and sewed fake fur inside.

I wore this costume in our Unitarian church's haunted house, and remember it distinctly. Crouching in the dark, the sweat dripping in my eyes. Hearing another group approaching, giddy with anticipation.

Conor McHale said...

From Ireland, this didn’t happen at Halloween but I’ve always liked it - as far as I’m aware its a true story, told to me by my Mother, it happened in the 1960s (I never met my Grandfather):

My Grandfather was a very healthy man, never knew a day of sickness - so at the age of 83 when he told my Grandmother at breakfast he was feeling a bit poorly she just narrowed her eyes and told him he was getting old - and maybe he should spend the day in bed. His chest felt strange, coldish and heavy, so he climbed back into the bed and pulled the covers up to try and warm himself.

He had been lying there for a short while when he noticed there was a barn owl sitting on the sill outside the bedroom window. Barn owls are nocturnal so he was surprised to see it. Over the course of a few hours it didn’t move, it just sat there staring in at him making him feel very uncomfortable. Eventually he picked up one of his boots and flung it at the window, it hit the frame and made the bird jump but that was it. It resumed its staring. Grandfather called to my Grandmother and asked her to shoo the bird away. She went to the window and pulled up the sash - that did the job, the bird fluttered off. Unfortunately when she next came back into the room with some tea for my Grandfather, he just pointed at the window - the bird had returned, its dark eyes fixed on the bed and its occupant.

Their house was a traditional Irish cottage, three rooms and a kitchen with an enormous fireplace burning a turf fire that was never allowed to go out. It sat on one side go a very quiet small valley on the west coast of Ireland where nothing much ever happened unless you count constant rain as a sort of event. My Grandmother went outside into this rain with a broom and swung it at the bird, the owl flew off, but by mid-day it had returned, staring as if my Grandfather was some sort of prey. This shooing away and returning continued all day until dusk when, to my Grandfather’s relief, the bird flew away of its own accord.

He woke up the next morning feeling worse, the cold in his chest was turning icy, so after breakfast he was back in bed. After a moment or two he lifted his head off the pillow and there was the owl again. Staring.

This lasted a week, the bird vanishing at dusk and returning at dawn, visitors came and offered their opinions about the bird’s behaviour, the parish priest said it was nothing to be alarmed about but he didn’t tarry long in the house. The owl had become the talk of the parish.

Then, at the end of the week, there was a turnaround - my Grandfather woke up feeling great. He looked towards the window - the owl was gone - that made him feel even better. He asked my Grandmother to get a big breakfast ready, there was much to do on the farm after a week of him slacking and he needed to make a start.

Grandmother made porridge, sliced soda bread and fried up some eggs and bacon on the skillet. She set it out on the table and called to Grandfather. There was no reply. She called again - again no reply. She went into their bedroom.

Grandfather was lying dead on the floor with one bootlace tied, he had perished before he had time to tie the other . . . The only other thing of note was the sash window had been opened.
There was no owl seen on the windowsill ever again.

Karswell said...

Keep 'em coming! You're all rockin hard :)

Daniel Young said...

Comment by Dan Young.
(This was meant to be the first part of my other story)

This story might not be a Halloween tale. My Father's funeral was in mid October, so the black cloud falling - everything that happened must have been near the day.

What I can swear to is the fact that it’s true.

My Father had never been in what you’d call ‘good’ shape. Two years prior, he had suffered a massive attack of cellulites; a staff infection that almost cost him his legs. Walking was torture for him. I had moved back in to help. Part of my chores was to unwrap him at night and wrap him in the mornings.

Overweight by at least 150 pounds and smoking like a chimney most his life, he was a candidate for a heart attack or stroke. None of us expected a burst ulcer.

I had half slept through CPR classes in school the year before. I suddenly remembered everything.

I’ll always remember everything that happened that night; Dad shake once and then piss himself and the chair. Yelling to Mom to dial 911 while pounding on the floor for my brother.

Close the nose, cover the mouth. Breath 1,2,3. Chest chest chest.

I brought him back twice. He left three times. We had a moment; me on my knees, Dad on his back. Both our faces covered in blood. I had a chance to tell him how I felt and he took my hand.

It was decided that my Brother would drive Mom to the hospital and I’d drive behind in case we needed something from the house later.I took a last look in the house to make sure it was locked. I looked down at the cooling blood and picked up my Dad’s glasses.

Dad’s glasses represented him perfectly. Like him they were damaged. They were so scratched that looking through them brought headaches. But Dad would never think of buying a new pair. He’d always make do.

I thought I’d better bring them along.

Mom and my brother were at the counter, answering questions. I offered to get coffee from the cafeteria upstairs. My Mom worked on the switchboard so I had a good idea of where things. I knew it would be empty at that hour. I needed that.

The room is like any cafeteria. Rows of tables and plastic chairs. The awful coffee in the machines was the only fare but it didn't matter. I wasn't really there for coffee.

I sat at the table nearest the vending machine. Maybe it was because it was the only source of light. I don’t know. But after a moment I closed my hands together and did what I couldn't in front of anyone. I prayed for my Father to die.

“Okay. Here we are. We knew it might happen like this. There’s only one thing I'm going to ask. If he can come back, even as damaged as he is, then let him. Let him stay. But if he’s going to be worse – if he’s going to be brain damaged or left in a coma or anything -then, dear God take him. For my sake, for his sake, for pity’s sake, take him.’

I didn't ask for a sign. I didn't ask for acknowledgement. But as I sat there, head in my hands looking down at the table, I started to smell coffee. Not the vending machine’s tar but the real thing. It smelled like the special roast I made for Dad. His favourite.

Then I heard a chair groan behind me, as if forced to take a terrible weight.

There was no fear. I had no desire or need to turn around. I simply knew that in that empty room I wasn't alone. I would not have been surprised to feel his hand on my shoulder to comfort. But I wasn't surprised when I didn’t.

After awhile the coffee smell dissipated and the chair groaned in relief. I sat for a few moments. Then I stood up and went downstairs to the E.R. I knew what had happened when I saw that My brother and Mom weren't at the counter anymore. Being a staff brat I knew that no one finishes the paperwork that quickly. I was ushered into the hallway connecting the back entrance and the E.R. surgery. Mom was sitting in a little cubicle. She was crying while she told me that Dad was gone.

193I knew it already, of course.

Trevor Markwart said...

This is kind of like the short text pieces in EC comics that appeared right around the middle. Or in the early Warren magazines they'd publish reader stories in the Fan Mail section. It really fits in with the premier internet horror comics blog to run a contest like this.

Karswell said...

I used to run contests all the time here back in the day... I guess Halloween is as good a time as any to get one goIng again (plus your recent submitted stories gave me the idea for the contest, Trev!)

Mestiere said...

Since this contest accepts fiction, I've decide to save my stories about the incidents that have happened to me and my family for another time, so as not to plant doubts about their veracity. Instead, I wrote this brief essay:

THE ZONES OF FEAR

Most apparitional phenomena, whether ghosts, fairies, djinns, aliens, cryptids (Bigfoot, the chupacabras, etc.) and even religious apparitions, share a large number of similarities:

• The figures often show distortions, especially when seen in the daytime. They can be elongated, shortened, too big, too small, sometimes with distorted body parts. They might be blurrier than other objects close to them, the way a tuning fork's vibrations make it look blurry and translucent after being hit . They are often incomplete, sometimes with their feet or hands missing, perhaps even the head!

• They seem to function under different physical rules from us. They might levitate, move in slow motion, almost as if underwater, or accelerate at impossible speeds (this includes cryptids), sometime they can appear or disappear at will and pass through solid objects (even UFOs have done this, for example, by flying through a forest without breaking the trees). A monk-like figure seen clearly in the streets by multiple witnesses in the daytime might be wearing a robe that ondulates wildly as if under a fierce wind, and yet there is absolutely no wind.

• The objects can sometimes be seen clearly only from a specific angle. Multiple witnesses can see an apparition clearly in the middle of the street, very closely, even inches away, but other people present can't see them from where they are.

• There are electromagnetic disturbances. Electric appliances might turn themselves on even when unplugged, both in haunted houses and when a flying saucer flies over the house. Sightings of Bigfoot have coincided with cars turning themselves off and even ending up with their electronics fried.

• In many cases, whether a monster apparition, a flying saucer, a religious apparition or a supposedly dead person's manifestation, there is a "clearing of the area" happening immediately before the encounter, which reduces the number of witnesses. If it happens in a doctor's waiting room there are no patients waiting at that moment; if in the middle of the street, there are fewer people than normal, etc.

• There is an area—actually a volume of space—surrounding the witnesses where sounds like traffic, birds, crickets and even the conversation of the neighbors and other environmental noises can temporarily diminish and even cease.

• Within this volume of space the witness might behave in uncharacteristic ways. He might react with strangely unemotional detachment to an otherwise frightening apparition. Or the opposite might happen. He might react with far more fear than normal, his heart pounding like an animal trying to escape his chest. He might hear full-throated screaming and only later realize they were his own screams.

I believe that these phenomena have something to do with an electromagnetic field that modifies the conditions of the area around the witness, synchronizing him with the frequencies of another realm. The field modifies the behavior of sound waves explaining the strange silences that are reported. Infrasounds can produce powerful emotional effects on people. In his book The Mothman Prophecies author John Keel describes a "zone of fear", about fifteen feet wide, next to the area of a sighting. If you were inside it the fear was intolerable. A few feet away and you were fine.

Electromagnetic lensing can explain the distortions of the images. I had the opportunity to examine an apparition in the middle of the day from four feet away. From one angle it looked like an imposible animal doing imposible things. From another it looked distorted, with violations of the laws of perspective.

Are these phenomena natural? Maybe. That might explain why they recur in the same places. But I don't think that's the whole answer.

Daniel Young said...

Technically, this is the second part of my other story.

A few days after the funeral I was still waiting for it to all hit me. Everyone commented on what a ‘lovely’ eulogy I’d written and read for Dad. (So lovely, that I’m now the ‘designated eulogist for anyone else in my family who dies. The list so far includes my Mother, an Aunt, a cousin and a brother in law).

I was even afraid that the few tears I choked down during the reading was going to be all that I would show. Looking back, I can tell I was in a form of shock. And it didn’t help that I was alone a lot after the funeral. But one night, (maybe Halloween, I don’t know), the black cloud descended.

I was sitting in my easy chair, Television filled the emptiness and I looked up and saw it. It was a tangible, undulating cloud of black vapour. I saw it as clear as anything I saw in that room. And as it approached I knew that it was my pain. I knew it was going to come not in moments but in one ghastly blow.

The tears poured from me then. Oh yes, More than enough to prove my love for my father. The dry eyed guilt I’d lived through was over.

But how could I stand this? I couldn’t. It was too much.

I had to STOP it. I had to ESCAPE it.

Escape! Leave! Run!

The car keys on the table. Grab them. Go! Car! Now!

Find a tree. Find a wall. Find SOMETHING to stop this pain!

I reached for my glasses and slammed them onto my face.

I can best describe the sensation I felt as that surprise you get when you put something in your mouth and get a different flavour than you’d expected. Like biting into a fresh peach but tasting vanilla.

I suddenly couldn’t see. All white mist. I was wondering about my tears when I felt something rough on my nose. The tension over my ears was wrong, too.

Now came the fear. I snatched my father’s broken and scratched glasses from my face and stared at them. Still in fear I hurtled them away from me.

Gone was any desire to go anywhere. There was no longer any need for escape, as I chose to see suicide a moment before. The pain was still there but I knew I would be able to handle it. I still do. You see, my Father had finally put his hand on my shoulder in comfort, and to give me pause.

I looked for the glasses I had thrown across the wall but I quickly gave up the search. I know where his glasses are. They are on my Father’s nose, just where I put them on the day of my Father’s funeral.

Daniel Young said...

(This is actually the 2nd part of my other story - and yes, it's true.)

A few days after the funeral I was still waiting for it to all hit me. Everyone commented on what a ‘lovely’ eulogy I’d written and read for Dad. (So lovely, that I’m now the ‘designated eulogist for anyone else in my family who dies. The list so far includes my Mother, an Aunt, a cousin and a brother in law).

I was even afraid that the few tears I choked down during the reading was going to be all that I would show. Looking back, I can tell I was in a form of shock. And it didn’t help that I was alone a lot after the funeral. But one night, (maybe Halloween, I don’t know), the black cloud descended.

I was sitting in my easy chair, Television filled the emptiness and I looked up and saw it. It was a tangible, undulating cloud of black vapour. I saw it as clear as anything I saw in that room. And as it approached I knew that it was my pain. I knew it was going to come not in moments but in one ghastly blow.

The tears poured from me then. Oh yes, More than enough to prove my love for my father. The dry eyed guilt I’d lived through was over.

But how could I stand this? I couldn’t. It was too much.

I had to STOP it. I had to ESCAPE it.

Escape! Leave! Run!

The car keys on the table. Grab them. Go! Car! Now!

Find a tree. Find a wall. Find SOMETHING to stop this pain!

I reached for my glasses and slammed them onto my face.

I can best describe the sensation I felt as that surprise you get when you put something in your mouth and get a different flavour than you’d expected. Like biting into a fresh peach but tasting vanilla.

I suddenly couldn’t see. All white mist. I was wondering about my tears when I felt something rough on my nose. The tension over my ears was wrong, too.

Now came the fear. I snatched my father’s broken and scratched glasses from my face and stared at them. Still in fear I hurtled them away from me.

Gone was any desire to go anywhere. There was no longer any need for escape, as I chose to see suicide a moment before. The pain was still there but I knew I would be able to handle it. I still do. You see, my Father had finally put his hand on my shoulder in comfort, and to give me pause.

I looked for the glasses I had thrown across the wall but I quickly gave up the search. I know where his glasses are. They are on my Father’s nose, just where I put them on the day of my Father’s funeral.

Karswell said...

Submissions for the Zombies book contest have ended-- thanks again to everyone that entered. I'll be announcing the winner later this morning!