Posts Tagged ‘Psychological Horror’

The question came up, can SCARY SNIPPETS, the book of short horror for Halloween of stories of no more than 500 words apiece (see October 30, et al), now be obtained in hard copy as well?  Or, to quote Amazon’s blurb:  Trick or treat.  Bloody feet  A hundred souls for ghosts to eat.  Nothing screams Halloween more than horror.  And nothing can be more horrific than scary stories.  Here in this collection, we’ve gathered together over a hundred micro sized pieces of terror.  From all around the world we’ve put together an anthology that will make you hungry for more.

So I gave it a check and the answer is yes, at least according to Amazon’s site, as well as Kindle which we knew before.  My tale in this is one is called “Silent Scream,” of why one must make as little noise as possible RIGHT NOW.  And as a bonus, we now have a picture of the cover as well as, with an extra click at the site, a table of contents and a few sample stories, all of which may be found by pressing here.

The title was SCARY SNIPPETS:  HALLOWEEN EDITION and the contents to be stories — lots of stories — horror of 500 words or less (cf. September 27, 21), to be out for Halloween.  “Ghosts, goblins, any and all horror is accepted.”  So Tuesday night the word came from Editors Kyle Harrison and Natalie Brown, and with it authors’ electronic copies:  Thank you so much for submitting!  We are so honored to have you be a part of this!

So there it is, a very short post for some very short tales, mine titled “Silent Scream” on the golden aura of quietness.  To see, or order for oneself press here.

The story was titled “Silent Scream,” and the anthology SCARY SNIPPETS (cf. September 21).  This was to be a “Micro-Horror” collection, seeking horrific short stories that feature the theme of anything creepy for the Halloween season.  Ghosts, goblins, any and all horror is accepted.  The major constraint, the word count must be 500 words or less.

And so things progress, the contract arriving today from Suicide House Publishing, now signed and sent back.  The story in question was just under 500 words itself and is about silence.  The virtue of silence.  Its desirability.  An absolute need for silence . . . or else.  Hopefully, if all continues on schedule, to be out by or before Halloween.

A Saturday snark, too, a weird computer glitch preventing the previous post from going up late Friday.  That fixed though, there is one more thing to report re. an email coming late Friday night too.  A short post, let’s say, for a very short story.

It is an odd story at only about 500 words, very atmospheric.  Very much in the head of its narrator, claustrophobic, almost, in his mind.  A story of warning, of a need for quietness, but not perhaps for a “normal” reason — the story’s title:  “Silent Scream.”  So, that time of year coming, off it went to SCARY SNIPPETS:  HALLOWEEN, a Micro Horror collection  . . .  seeking horrific short stories that feature the theme of anything creepy for the Halloween season. Ghosts, goblins, any and all horror is accepted.  And also, exclusive stories only.

The word came just about 24 hours ago as I write this, from SCARY SNIPPETS Editor Kyle Harrison:  CONGRATULATIONS!  Your story, “Silent Scream” has been accepted into the Halloween edition of SCARY SNIPPETS!  Be on the lookout for contracts within the next two weeks.  In the meantime, promotional graphics are being made up to share your success!

And there we have it.

Psychological horror films are not only designed to terrify audiences, but also play with their minds.  Unlike other horror films, these scares don’t rely on jumps and gore alone.  Instead, they take audiences on a mind-trip that can be much scarier.  So if you’re looking to have your brain messed with, here are the best psychological horror films.  Thus Colin McCormick begins “The 10 Best Psychological Movies That Will Mess With Your Brain” on SCREENRANT.COM.  And not are all without monsters either as noted right off with IT FOLLOWS and, later, the 2014 Stoker(R) best screenplay winner THE BABADOOK (cf. for my review of the latter, January 23 2015).

So I’ve picked my favorite of these already, but other contenders include 2017’s GET OUT, as perhaps the most recent, as well as by-now-classics ROSEMARY’S BABY and THE SHINING.  And five more, yes, which to see for yourself you must press here.  The thing is that while there may be visceral horror as well, once in a while it’s nice to see something that’s aimed at one’s brain (and not just by zombies attempting to eat it!).

PONTYPOOL anyone?  REPULSION?  THE VANISHING (the original 1988 Dutch-French version, not the remake)?  THE BROOD?  These are but four of “10 Bizarre but Great Horror Movies You Need to See,” by The Lineup Staff on THE-LINE-UP.COM.  Subtitled “[t]hese weird horror movies flew under the radar, but they’re worth finding,” the feature adds:  Horror movies are inherently at least a little bit weird.  These picks lean into it, resulting in some twisted, hilarious, haunting, and horrifying films.  Next time you’re in the mood for something a bit off-beat, one of these bizarre but great horror movies should do the trick.  I will say I’ve enjoyed the titles here that I’ve seen myself, or, as days grow shorter, here perhaps are some films to shake up your late night viewing, for more on which check here.

Let’s give the piece its exact title, “The 100 best horror films,” subtitled “The best horror films and movies of all time, voted for by over 100 experts including Simon Pegg, Stephen King and Alice Cooper, and Time Out writers.”  The byline (that is to say, the TIME OUT writers themselves) is to Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Nigel Floyd, Alim Kheraj, and Phil de Semlyen and it was posted Friday April 13 2018 on the British site TIMEOUT.COM.  So how can you go wrong?  And, credit due, it comes to us courtesy of C.M. Saunders as mentioned in an interesting review on his blog of the Spanish film [REC] — one of the relatively few “found footage” films that really works — for which one can press here.

But to the main event, quoting the “Time Out writers” (as well, credit due, appropriating their title illustration):  For years, horror, unlike romance, action and science fiction, has been mistreated and subjected to vicious critical attacks.  For some, horror films are focused purely on provoking a reaction with little thought for ‘higher’ aspirations.  For others, they’re just a bit of fun.

Thankfully, it looks like the horror genre is finally getting the recognition it deserves, with recent releases getting Oscar buzz and proving to be box office hits.  To celebrate this often overlooked and thrilling genre, we approached horror experts, writers, directors and actors to help us chose the 100 best horror films.

Yes, I disagree with some, although if it is an endorsement of sorts I’ve seen or own well over half of these.  And everyone reading this will no doubt have their doubts about others, and possibly even criteria used to decide which is best.  And of course some favorites will fail to be there — we all have our tastes, yes?  But for me, also, part of the value of lists like these is finding the films I haven’t seen, but from the descriptions I might well want to.

So, giving a press here, shall we explore together?

So four days following MURDER MAYHEM, just below, its companion volume CRIME & MYSTERY SHORT STORIES (cf. September 6, et al.) has made a Wednesday arrival from Flame Tree Publishing.  My tale in this is “Paperboxing Art,” a 1998 Anthony short story finalist originally published in the Summer 1997 NEW MYSTERY, a science fiction associational tale of a sculptor with 13626995_919973128130969_4821930082339875374_novertones of insanity and horror.  Or at least an attempted murder — and lethal defense.  With MURDER MAYHEM, this will actually be my third appearance in Flame Tree’s “Gothic Fantasy” series, the first being “Victorians,” originally published in GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor, 1997), in November 2015’s CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (cf. November 4 2015, et. al).

In this one my close companions are, once again, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and, preceding my story, a first-time publication by contemporary writer Jennifer Dornan-Fish.

Is the cusp of autumn on us already?  Tuesday, ending music practice, we noticed that it was already twilight — how many more weeks until twilight comes at the beginning of practice?  Then today at the market, after the first Writers Guild meeting following its annual summer hiatus, I saw — and bought — a half gallon of “Pumpkin Pie” ice cream, a specialty flavor not usually available until close to Thanksgiving.  And this, on Facebook this afternoon via Robert Dunbar and LITERARY DARKNESS, in turn via HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS, a link to THEWEEK.COM and “9 Classic Horror Stories You Can Read Right Now” by Scott Meslow, “[f]rom Washington Irving to H.P. Lovecraft, a collection of terrifying tales to get you into the Halloween spirit.”  This, yes, another list, but with each description and opening sample a separate link to read the whole story there on the spot.  Long ones such as “Carmilla” and “The Turn of the Screw,” and shorter ones by Lovecaft as well, and Blackwood and Poe, and maybe even a surprise or two.

To see — and read — for yourself, press here.

That’s International Short Story Month, this month, the month of May, and Gerald So of the Short Mystery Fiction Society has put out the call for a reprint story to be presented each day as a way to celebrate.  Cool, yes?  And so the days filled as we, the Society members responded, the first days naturally filled in first until today (well, actually yesterday), not even a week in, the month has been filled.  This doesn’t preclude yet more tales being added — already some dates have been doubled up — but it does mean it’s high time the list be published.  Thus (courtesy of Gerald So, as of 10:45 A.M. EDT Wednesday):

1. John M. Floyd, “Saving Grace”
2. Jeff Esterholm, “Closing Time at Mom’s”
3. Jacqueline Seewald, “The Heir Hunt”
4. Michael Bracken, “Let Dead Dogs Lie”
4. Sarah M. Chen, “The High Road”
5. Mary Reed, “Of Equivalent Experience”
5. Susan Oleksiw, “A Short Walk to Stardom”SMFS-LeagueSpartan-150x147
6. Paul Lees-Haley, “Flash Bang”
6. Jan Christensen, “Who’ s Who”
7. Gail Farrelly, “Revenge of the Cellphone”
7. Jennifer Soosar, “The Psychic’ s Parlor”
8. Erik Arneson, “Not My Gun”
8. Benjamin L. Clark, “A Drover’s Birthday”
9. Anita Page, “Revelations of the Night”
10. B.J. Bourg, “Severed Relationship”
11. J.R. Lindermuth, “A Man in a Hurry”
12. Kevin R. Tipple, “The Tell”
13. Cynthia St-Pierre, “Hide and Seek for Grown-ups”
14. Karen L. Abrahamson, “Neutrality&qu ot;
15. B.V. Lawson, “Gun Love”
16. Josh Pachter, “Jemaa el Fna”
17. Edith Maxwell, “A Questionable Death”
18. Alan Orloff, “Seeing the Light”
19. Barb Goffman, “A Year Without Santa Claus”
20. Su Kopil, “The Surprise”
21. James S. Dorr, “The Winning”
22. Terrie Farley Moran, “A Killing at the Beausoleil”
23. Stephen Buehler, “John&# 39;s Spot”
24. Nikki Dolson, “George Ann”
25. Michael Bracken, “To Live and Die in Texas”
26. Kevin R. Tipple, “Burning Questions”
27. Paul Lees-Haley, “The Good Wife”
28. Debra H. Goldstein, “Violet Eyes”
29. B.V. Lawson, “Wrong Side of the Bed”
30. Craig Faustus Buck, “Heavy Debt”
31. Warren Bull, “Company Policy”

My part in this comes up May 21 with a tale called “The Winning,” originally published in the print-only OVER MY DEAD BODY for Spring 1994, but presented here as reprinted in ezine A TWIST OF NOIR, December 9 2008 (see also below, June 11, May 6 2014; February 18 2012), a psychological horror flash piece of sorts of how a winner may yet become a loser.  For this and others, the earliest in descending order by date, the later ones in the course of time, one can find the SMFS blog by pressing here (whereupon click on “Int’l Short Story Month” on the left, then scroll down the middle to the date/story of choice).

Also Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing has announced a 50 cent sale for stand-alone short story chapbooks for May, including my titles PEDS, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., and VANITAS, as well as a discounted price on the New Years Eve Horror anthology YEARS END, all four of which can be reached by pressing any of the first three books’ pictures in the center column.  Some of these discounts are also available from DriveThruFiction for which (along with a few other publishers’ titles/stories by me — and even two or three that are not!), one may press here.




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