Posts Tagged ‘Haunting’

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PseudoPod 671: Only Unity Saves the Damned

Show Notes

Click the link to pick up the collection She Said Destroy released by the excellent Word Horde.


Only Unity Saves the Damned

by Nadia Bulkin


“Dude, are you getting this?”

Rosslyn Taro, 25, and Clark Dunkin, 25, are standing in the woods. It’s evening—the bald-cypresses behind them are shadowed and the light between the needles is the somber blue that follows sunsets—and they are wearing sweatshirts and holding stones.

“It’s on,” says the voice behind the camera. “To the winner go the spoils!”

They whip their arms back and start throwing stones. The camera pans to the right as the stones skip into the heart of Goose Lake. After a dozen rounds the camera pans back to Rosslyn Taro and Clark Dunkin arguing over whose stone made the most skips, and then slowly returns to the right. Its focus settles on a large bur oak looming around the bend of the lake, forty yards away.

“Hey, isn’t that the Witching Tree?”

Off-camera, Clark Dunkin says, “What?” and Rosslyn Taro says,

“Come on, seriously?”

“You know, Raggedy Annie’s Witching Tree.”

The girl sounds too shaky to be truly skeptical. “How do you know?”

“Remember the song? ‘We hung her over water, from the mighty oak tree.’ Well, there aren’t any other lakes around here.

And First Plymouth is on the other side of the lake.” The camera zooms, searches for a white steeple across the still water, but the light is bad. “‘We hung her looking over at the cemetery.’”

The camera swings to Rosslyn Taro, because she is suddenly upset. She is walking to the camera, and when she reaches it, shoves the cameraman. “Bay, shut up! I hate that stupid song. Let’s just go, I’m getting cold. Come on, please.” But Clark Dunkin is still staring at the tree. His hands are shaking. Rosslyn Taro calls his name: “Lark!”

The camera follows Clark Dunkin’s gaze to the tree. There is a figure standing in front of it, dressed in a soiled white shift and a black execution hood. The figure reaches two pale, thin hands to the edge of the hood as if to reveal its face. And then the camera enters a topspin, all dirt and branches and violet sky, as the cameraman begins to run. Rosslyn Taro is heard screaming. Someone—the cameraman, or possibly Clark Dunkin—is whimpering, as if from very far away, “oh, shit, oh, shit.”

And then the video abruptly cuts to black. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 514: The Show

Show Notes

This story was also reprinted this month as part of Nightmare’s special issue People of Colo(u)r DESTROY Horror! Read along with the story over at their site. Listen to two more stories from this issue over on the Nightmare podcast feed, and add it to your podcatcher while you’re at it!


The Show

by Priya Sharma

 


The camera crew struggled with the twisting, narrow stairs. Their kit was portable, Steadicams being all the rage. They were lucky that the nature of their work did not require more light. Shadows added atmosphere. Dark corners added depth. It was cold down in the cellar. It turned their breath to mist, which gathered in the stark white pools shed by the bare bulbs overhead.
Martha smiled. It was sublime. Television gold.

PseudoPod 496: Nothing is Truly Yours

Show Notes

“This story is an homage to the work of Julio Cortazar, a brilliant amazing writer who wrote horror, fantasy, science fiction that a lot of genre readers miss because people think of “magical realism” as lit-fic with ghosts, instead of a unique Latin American evolution of all that is wonderful about SF/F/H. He also translated the complete stories of Edgar Allan Poe into Spanish, and those translations are magnificent. So if folks like this story they should seek him out – “House Taken Over” is the spiritual antecedent to this story, but “Axolotl” & “We Love Glenda So Much” and “Blow Up” and “The Southern Highway” and tons of his other stories, and his novel “Hopscotch” are all genius. And if you DON’T like this story, you should still seek him out, because it just means I horribly botched my homage.”


This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review


Nothing is Truly Yours

by Sam J. Miller


It started in the room you call your studio, the spare bedroom at the end of the hall, where you keep the tools of your creative trade, the room you swear you’ll start making better use of—just as soon as this work project or upcoming event is over, or your brother’s current life crisis settles down. It started late at night, in the long dark dead hours of the morning when the call of the toilet summons you from sleep, and you stagger to the bathroom in a haze of fury and fear, terrified you’ll never fall back to sleep, convinced that here, now, is the beginning of the end, of your brain and your body conspiring to finally kill you. It started in the instant after you flushed, in the space of white noise where the ear is especially sensitive to possibly-imagined sounds. What was this one: a breath sucked in? A cough stifled? No. Nothing so concrete. But a house feels different when you are not alone. Sound echoes distinctly in an empty apartment. You had felt this before. Vague blurry feelings, indistinct impressions when drunk or depressed, knowledge that came from somewhere other than reason or the senses. Adrenaline unspooled in your abdomen. Tiny hairs along your neck and arms quivered, then stood up straight.

And in that moment you knew: someone was in there. Someone was in your home, sitting at the cluttered desk of your studio, silently, perfectly still but not asleep, in darkness, eyes open, looking in your direction. And you stood at the door—put your fingers against the cold firm real non-nightmare wood—and turned and hurried back to bed.

PseudoPod 450: The Horse Lord


The Horse Lord

by Lisa Tuttle


The double barn doors were secured by a length of stout, rust-encrusted chain, fastened with an old padlock.

Marilyn hefted the lock with one hand and tugged at the chain, which did not give. She looked up at the splintering grey wood of the doors and wondered how the children had got in.

Dusting red powder from her hands, Marilyn strolled around the side of the old barn. Dead leaves and dying grasses crunched beneath her sneakered feet, and she hunched her shoulders against the chill in the wind.

‘There’s plenty of room for horses,’ Kelly had said the night before at dinner. ‘There’s a perfect barn. You can’t say it would be impractical to keep a horse here.’ Kelly was Derek’s daughter, eleven years old and mad about horses.

This barn had been used as a stable, Marilyn thought, and could be again. Why not get Kelly a horse? And why not one for herself as well? As a girl, Marilyn had ridden in Central Park. She stared down the length of the barn: for some reason, the door to each stall had been tightly boarded shut.

PseudoPod 389: The House, the Garden, and the Occupants

Show Notes

“I like the concept of ghosts as personalities locked in a never-ending ‘now’. Also, when it comes to haunted houses, one ghost is never enough.”


Links for Jason Arnopp and Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer can be found… well, at the links right under their names!

 


The House, the Garden, and the Occupants

by Amanda C. Davis


This is Anne, with shreds of her gown wisping away like the edges of clouds, at the elbow of the grand staircase where the iron-framed window overlooks a patch of garden entombed in briars. She casts a glow onto the wall that reflects faintly but bestows her no shadow. She is riveted to the window; her face is watery, difficult to make out, but her posture reveals her inner workings. A clock chimes midnight. Slowly, she lowers her head. Slowly, she turns from the window. She takes a single step upstairs before she dissipates like fog under the sun.

The first time she took this path she followed it to her bedroom, to a letter-opener strewn on her writing desk, to her bath, to her grave. Now she exists only in a narrow series of moments. She only completed this path once.

Anne comes with the first stroke of midnight and leaves with the last; she knows nothing but midnight, and the word that falls from her ghostly lips, unheard, and those things have composed the full of her existence for over one hundred years. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 387: Nightside Eye

Show Notes

THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT Live 2005 Remake Part 1 can be found at DailyMotion


Nightside Eye

by Terry Dowling


‘My camera and sound people will be here soon, Sophie and Craig, my volunteer assistants and official witnesses. It’s six o’clock now. Once we’re set up, we’ll begin at 7pm, the same time Dr Rathcar did fifteen months ago. We’ll do the whole thing twice if we can, put several objects here on the mantel – a plastic bottle, a child’s wooden block, a toy train – and simply record what happens. Second time through, if we are lucky tonight and the phenomenon occurs, the moment they’re moved, disturbed in any way at all, I shift the patch from one eye to the other and see what I get. It shouldn’t take long.’

‘You do that once it happens.’

‘As soon as it happens. As close to. The first time is a control to establish parameters: event frequency and duration, lighting levels, things like that. But the second time round I stand over here by the fireplace and shift the patch, just as Rathcar did.’

‘But the camcorders will only catch your reactions. Not what you see.’

‘Right. But whatever we get may match reactions in the CCTV footage from the Rathcar attempt. Rathcar’s own footage hasn’t been made available yet, but may be released once we do this. Rathcar called out a single word – “Kathy!” – his assistant’s name. We don’t know why now, and of course he can’t tell us.’

‘Or won’t.’

‘Or won’t. But there may be some key detail or other that emerges. Later spectrographic analysis may show even more, who knows?’

‘It’s all very uncertain,’ Susan said, looking at him intently, or possibly at the eye-patch that was to play such a key role in what was about to happen.

PseudoPod 378: The Haunted Spinney


The Haunted Spinney

by Elliott O’Donnell


I

It was a cold night. Rain had been falling steadily not only for hours but days, the ground was saturated. As I walked along the country lane the slush splashed over’ my boots and trousers. To my left was a huge stone wall, behind which I could see the nodding heads of firs, and through them the wind was rushing, making a curious whistling sound, now loud, now soft, roaring and gently murmuring. The sound fascinated me. I fancied it might be the angry voice of a man and the plaintive pleading of a woman, and then a weird chorus of unearthly beings, of grotesque things that stalked along the moors, and crept from behind huge boulders. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 358: Apathetic Flesh


Apathetic Flesh

by Darren O. Godfrey


If you were to stop and think about it, you wouldn’t really be able to say why it is you watch these films; though, as a child, you enjoyed being frightened, and some of the movies did that; and as a teenager you enjoyed being shocked (and perhaps a little revolted) and the “splatter” films fit that bill nicely. But now, at an ancient and creaking twenty-seven years of age, the movies – horror, splatter, or otherwise – no longer seem to have any effect on you. Nil.

But still you watch them.

And think about it is something you never do anyway, so, tonight, you merely chew stale popcorn and gawk at the silver screen where the lead zombie (nicknamed Harley) effortlessly tears a young woman’s head from her quivering white shoulders, delicately tongues one of her eyeballs, sucks it from its socket. Harley chews it, apparently savoring the taste, and the only discomfort you feel is the rock-hard lump against the small of your back, a special feature of all the seats in the Chief Theater. No point in moving. So you don’t.

Until it’s over (completely over; every last credit read and recorded in your junkshop mind), at which time you stand and brush salt and popcorn bits from your jeans.

‘Well, that was fun,’ you say to no one as you step into the aisle and make for the glowing green EXIT.