The Empties – you are who you eat

Categories
Indie Horror

We love independent horror and we are pretty sure you do too. So we are happy to share a new graphic novel to be released on Tuesday, Feb 18th, 2020. There is a link at the bottom of the article to read the first comic book from the novel for free. Maybe something to “wet your appetite” before diving fully into The Empties. See what we did there?

The Empties: You are who you eat.  

A chef has a simple desire – he wants to be happy and he wants his wife to be happy too. But just because his wife has a roof over her head, it doesn’t mean that she’s happy or fulfilled. There’s something missing in her life, and even she can’t put a finger on what it is. That is, until she develops an insatiable desire for flesh!

Story by: Kristen Renee Gorlitz
Art: Eli Powell
Cover Art: Jeanne Vadeboncoeur
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Executive Producers: Alexander A. Garcia and Kristen Renee Gorlitz  

Puzzle Box Horror fans get the first comic book in the series for free (requires an email address) at http://www.freehorrorcomic.com/empties

The House Built Atop The Bones By Doug Klein

Categories
Featured Indie Horror Short Horror Stories
Haunted house with title

It was not the right place to build. Yet build they did. The family’s name was Thompson, and
they had found a place to call their own. A plot of land that would become their home, a serene
nook to raise their children. Hard work had led them to purchase the land at a fair price, and so
they built the two-story structure that would house their family for years to come. And that was
how I was created. Initially.


I was nothing more than wood and nails. The Thompsons lived within and they were pleased.
For a time. But those below, the bones, they were not elated. I was nothing more than an altar
of desecration placed upon their sacred grounds, and those who lived inside defiled their place
of rest every moment of every day by their sheer presence. So, the bones, they reached to me,
and I was awoken. I knew then what I was. A violation of ancient rites. A molestation of holy
place. The bones, they gave me a way to fix all of this. These people must be gone, and so must
I. The bones must rest in the peace they so deserved. So began the torment of the Thompson
family.

Accidents were easy enough. The father fell down the stairs. A creak in the boards behind him
caused him to look back, and misstep. His neck broke from the fall, and the family mourned for
years. The pain that emanated from them only helped to make me stronger. Their youngest
daughter, now at the age of seventeen, found herself in the attic. I left her the rope, and
showed her the beam that would support her. She hung there for three days, before the family
found her. I had kept the door locked, for she looked so peaceful in her morbid sway that I did
not wish for it to end. It should have been enough death to convince the Thompsons of what
must be done. However, they remained..


Two more generations stubbornly persisted through what death and torment I could bring. I
tried a longer torture, of smaller cuts. Broken bones, burns from the stove, and windows that
shattered for no reason. Their children screamed in their beds as I played with the shadows
that fell upon their walls. I left what scars I could. Eventually, the last Thompson found himself
alone, and could not manage the courage to keep the family home. A “For Sale” sign was placed
in the front yard, and the Thompsons had left this place. I still remained, and that still
besmirched the land of the bones below.


Years passed. I sat, quietly brooding. Seasons changed and before decay could grip my
foundations, the Renaults arrived. They had made a purchase that would forever change them.
The bones were not pleased, so again they reached out to me and gave me something in their
benevolence. I was given the knowledge of the spirits that would haunt them when they
walked this land, and now those things would reside within me. I did not hold them back. I let
themselves be known. The Renaults were a family of four. A mother, a father, and two sons.
The sons were the first to see them. They appeared as large shadow men, with ungodly long
arms, dirty matted hair, and glowing red eyes. Brandishing their vile talons, they clawed at the
boys. Slashes and scratches marked their bodies, and their terror echoed through my halls. The
mother cried every night, and the father drank and shouted his profanities at me. If I could, I
would have laughed. The boys were driven mad, fear taking what they had been and turning
them into husks. Empty from the constant drain of the terror, one gave in and died in his sleep.
I shook, and rattled as hard as I could, and let loose the spirits upon the parents at last. Their
torment was short lived, as they fled my body in the middle of one raucous night and never
returned. The Renaults had left, yet I was still here, and the bones were dismayed.


It was a rather short time until the Halperns moved in. Was it ignorance or arrogance that
brought them here? I never thought to ask. I was tired, and so were the bones. This had gone
on too long. They had been residing here for no longer than a month before I decided to strike.
I took the initiative, and reached with whatever it was that I had, and I found in the distance an
evil lurking. Three of them, seeking blood. Seeking death. I called to them, and they came.
There had been five in the family of the Halperns before those men arrived. The slaughter
lasted only forty-five minutes. Blood splatters stained my walls, and I could taste what had been
wrought. The men did not leave after their crimes. I made them stay. Authorities arrived with
the cacophony of sirens and engines. A rude kick of my door aside, the police entered.
Gunshots rang out. The flashes from the muzzles seemed to paint my rooms with more gore
than ever before. One officer and the three men died. I now had nine fresh corpses decorating
my interior. Crimson hues of sorrow were now the focal point of every room. That was the last
time a family found this a fitting place to live.


I stand empty. Decaying. My windows are broken. Old police tape still covers my doorframe. On
occasion, some younglings come to fornicate and take their illicit substances. They come to face
their fears, or to show off for a brief courtship. No matter, once they enter, I leave them with
something to remind them of what I am. Bloody visions of the past, or their own hidden
phobias brought into reality. I can do so much now; all the death has fed me with a macabre
imagination. Their faces turn from courage to fear, and I revel in that. They leave in a panic,
some never speaking of the things they have seen. Still the bones are disappointed, and I am
disheartened. No one has heard the call to do what is right, to do what is necessary. I will strive
to bring about the justice those below have yearned for. I am the house built atop the bones,
and I must be destroyed.

Written by Doug Klein for Horror Bound
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The Indie Horror Creation Process: Scare Me (2020) & Make Cool Sh!t

Categories
Featured Indie Horror Indie Horror Creation Indie horror film makers

While some of us were wondering when we’d be able to get our next haircut, Josh Ruben (indie horror creator/director/actor of Scare Me) and Aaron Kheifets (host of Make Cool Sh!t) were immersed in getting new eyes on indie horror-comedy Scare Me (2020). When considering the classic horror comedies, such as The Evil Dead (1981), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Gremlins (1984), or even newer films like Jennifer’s Body (2009), Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010), and The Babysitter (2017) we see that there are consistent themes present—demons, aliens, or in the case of Tucker and Dale, stupid teenagers. These movies tend to take serious horror topics and spoof them, but in a legitimate way that eases us into scary themes through a variety of comedy tropes.

Scare Me (2020), a movie that defies the genre in every other way fits into this trend as well. Josh Ruben took a simple concept and created a film that is not only hilarious and over-the-top (in the best way possible), but is also chilling in its commentary on an issue that remains a hot-button issue in our culture.

This movie is a perfect mix of comedy actors who just so happen to capture horror with ease; Josh Ruben (of CollegeHumor), Aya Cash (of You’re the Worst), Chris Redd (of SNL), and Rebecca Drysdale (of Becks) are all the movie needs. The small cast created a somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere that allowed us to suspend judgment as we waited to see what happened next. What we got, was a literary adventure with a dark realistic twist.

The Horror of the #MeToo Movement

As a woman in an industry that portrays women as victims or sexual objects, this movie was refreshing. The lead female character is not only intelligent and hilarious but also successful without needing to be hypersexualized. Josh wrote this movie at the height of the #MeToo movement; he pulled his inspiration from women in his life who had experienced trauma at the hands of men.

What emerged from that trauma and feminine nightmare was a horror-comedy that (perhaps) unwittingly showcases what it’s like to be made into a victim, where a woman might otherwise have been an independent and strong character. The movie cut my safety net and plopped me into a dark alley with a creepy guy with bad intentions.

While some men might not be able to appreciate this movie for the horrific scenario that it is, it’s likely that any woman who watches this will be able to relate in some way. I can honestly say that this movie hit all of its promised marks—it made me laugh (hard), but it also terrified and left me with anxiety that lingered far longer than anything else I’ve seen recently. If you’re still wondering whether or not you should watch this movie (you can find it on Shudder or YouTube), just watch it. It’s a perfect representative of horror-comedy.

Make Cool Sh!t – A Journey Through Indie Horror Creation

While Josh Ruben was busy at work directing and acting in his first feature film, the producers of Make Cool Sh!t were busy bursting in on actors at comically inopportune moments to try to capture the grit of creating an indie horror film. If you’re an indie creator thinking of making a movie, I highly recommend this podcast—you’ll find it to be an invaluable resource of information on what to do next.

Aaron Kheifets wasn’t on the set during filming, but he became the voice of the process; his insights on it are invaluable even if he balks at the idea. After all, he earned a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology then broke the news to his mother that he was going to be a comedian. I would say he has more insight into human psychology than he gives himself credit for.

Using Kheifets, a longtime associate of Ruben, as the voice of the podcast was an excellent choice. He brought personal touches and academic cognizance of issues that an audience might not otherwise understand. For those of us who foresee our futures in the horror industry, we look at an undertaking like Scare Me and hope that one day it will be within our grasp as well. Josh Ruben showed us that hoping for our big break is unproductive and counterintuitive. You might as well be sitting in the dark and trying to read Homer’s Odyssey.

If you want to be successful, you have to put in the work; being discovered happens so rarely and as we see in Scare Me, entitlement doesn’t pay off. Ruben showed us that it’s difficult but unavoidable (and worth it!) if we truly want to make it happen.

Behind the Minds of Indie Horror – Let’s Talk Indie Horror

I interviewed both Josh Ruben and Aaron Kheifets in regards to their work on Scare Me and Make Cool Sh!t. It was an eye-opening experience where I was given an opportunity to pick the brains of some really talented individuals. They gave me some really honest answers to some really difficult questions. It showed me that they were more than just actors, or characters. They were human.

So, if you have a chance to watch the interview I conducted with them, check it out! It’s some pretty insightful stuff and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed talking to them. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

If you’ve already seen Scare Me, then let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!

Also, check out this article on How to Write and Promote Your Indie Horror!

The Nightmare Sketchbook – A New Graphic Novel from Felipe Kroll and Vincent Cava

Categories
Featured Horror Books Indie Horror

Supernatural encounters, occultism, and dark magic become sketches in the diary of a strange entity. Known only as “The Illustrator”, some believe him to be an observer, others a harbinger of death and suffering. What is known is that wherever The Illustrator seemed to go, bizarre and oftentimes deadly occurrences followed close behind.

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Tell me about yourself?
I’m Felipe Kroll, I’m a Brazilian artist. I don’t know why but dark and emotional art always caught my attention, I remember as a kid I spent hours looking Caravaggio paintings in my school book, I was fascinated with his art, still am to this day. I was always making excuses for not going to parties just to stay home drawing, writing, reading Spawn comics or something from Stephen King… But despite all the love for painting, books, and comics it took me some time to start actually working in this field. The turning point for me happened one day when I was walking in a bookstore and I saw a novel called Criminal Macabre, by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, I knew at that moment that was exactly what I want to do in my life. Some years later, after much study, the art I made for friends, indie books, magazines, and rock bands, I started doing a project with a friend called Fossa de Almas, I think the translation would go something like “Pit of souls”, we’ve done just the prologue of this comic, it didn’t look so good in terms of art, there are some panels I did there that I look at today and feel embarrassed, but that’s ok, it’s what I could do at the moment. The comic didn’t go much further but it was an opening for me, after that, I got called to make 6 pages of a graphic novel called Egum with some big artists, one thing lead to another and after this point, I’ve started to work more “professionally” in this field.
The Nightmare Sketchbook is the first project that I’ve idealized and brought to reality,  I’m very happy with the result of the novel, it certainly came out better than what I expected. I can’t thank enough everyone who got involved, writer Vincent V. Cava who believed in my initial idea and became a co-creator of the project, writing “The Summoning” script, and Linearts studios and Moacir Muniz that teamed up with me on the artwork.

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What inspired the novel and the art?
What inspired me to start this project was definitely the creepypastas. It was a time I spent about 8 hours a day with my headphones hearing the stories on youtube, I wanted to do a story in that style, short stories, sort with a real background. Creepypastas was also why I got to know Vincent V. Cava’s work, who is now the writer and co-creator of the novel.
The artwork style I went for came from my early influences, it follows grunge, visceral and even impressionistic aesthetic. I wanted the comic to have loose lines, full of textures and personality. Besides being a cool style for the horror genre, it also fits perfectly with the book’s premise of being a sketchbook.

What were some of the challenges in creating this novel?
Time was the worst factor that worked against us, against me especially, it just took me an eternity to have the novel finished. I probably did the entire artwork for the comic 3 times before finding the style I wanted.

What are some of your recommended horror movies and novels?
There are some horror movies I probably watch once every month like The Hills Have Eyes,  The Silence of the Lambs, The Mist, The Descent, and The Witch. I’m also a huge fan of horror fiction like Alien, Interview with the Vampire, The Wolfman, Pan’s Labyrinth, etc.
The graphic novels that most inspired me probably are 30 days of Night from Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, Changing Ways by Justin Randall, Cages by Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Welcome to Hoxford by Ben Templesmith and Monster and Madman by Steve Niles and Damien Worm.

Where can I get the graphic novel and when?
The Novel is out now, it has 72 colored pages, and you can buy it only for $9.89. You can find the link for buying it at the project official page:
https://felipekroll.com/thenightmaresketchbook It’s only available online for now.

Anything else you want to say to your readers? (it’s ok if not, just leaving it open)
The Nightmare Sketchbook will return with new stories soon. Stay tuned to the project Instagram or Facebook profiles to know the news about the project:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenightmatesketchbook
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thenightmarenovel/

Where can I follow you and the writer(social media links, websites)
Artist- Felipe Kroll:
Site: https://felipekroll.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/felipekroll/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felipekrollart

Writer – Vincent V. Cava:
Site:https://www.vincentvenacava.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vincentvenacava/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vincentvenacava

The Paranormal Journal of Ezekiel Kincaid – Entry One Theodosia

Categories
Indie Horror Short Horror Stories

Entry One: Theodosia by Ezekiel Kincaid

I leave these words and experiences behind so those who come after me might not feel so alone. Stephen King called this gift “The Shining”. Others have called it the Third Eye of the Sixth Sense.

I call it The Reach. It is the rare, yet powerful ability to walk in the realm of the dead while living in the realm of the living. It makes the dead visible, their voices audible, and their thoughts understandable. It is the gift which many fake, but few have.

And those who have it?

You would never know, for the things they see are beyond belief. They never talk about it. They never write about it either because the world is full of so many fictitious diatribes.

But I am going to write about it.

I don’t care if you believe me or not. I am not writing to convince you. I am writing to share Theodosia’s story, and to tell how though the darkness howls, the light roars.

I am Ezekiel Kincaid, the one many have dubbed the Paranormal Pastor, and this is the story about my experiences with Theodosia.

There was one glaring lesson I learned from her…

When the darkness howls, the light roars.

I discovered this a long time ago, but it never became a reality until I met Theodosia.

Theodosia started off as a story idea. A tale about a young, innocent girl who had the ability to see and walk in the realm of the supernatural. This realm I called The Ethereal Plane, playing off the ideas of H.P. Lovecraft and others.

It was meant to be a horror fantasy. Theodosia was supposed to be a young girl with psychic ability who encountered creatures from the Plane that wanted to use her talent to cross over. Yet as I wrote, Theodosia took on a life of her own.

Many of horror fans and horror authors would roll their eyes and say, “Oh sure, I get it. As a writer, your characters ‘come to life’ and take over the story.”

I have been writing long enough to know that. My characters have taken over my books and stories many times. Johnny Walker Ranger, the main character of my recently released book, is a perfect example. I created him, and then as I wrote, let him run with the story in my mind.

But Johnny never visited me in my dreams.

Johnny never showed up on my couch scolding me because the story wasn’t written well enough.

Johnny never appeared in my back yard catching fireflies with his sister.

Theodosia did.

I started writing Theodosia’s story three years ago, but things didn’t get weird until this last five year.

The first time I heard her speak unsettled me. I was sitting at my desk one night writing her story. I felt someone walk up behind me. I turned to see who it was, but no one was there. It was late and I had been writing for a while, so I figured I was just tired. I faced my computer again and went to finish up a scene before I headed to bed.

“That’s not how it happened.”

A child’s voice spoke from behind me. The hairs on my neck stood on end. I felt a chill all the way in the marrow of my bones. I eased my head around in a slow, almost lifeless motion.  My body followed, spinning the chair I sat in. When my eyes fell to the scenery behind me, nothing was there– just the clothes I had tossed on the floor and my sleeping dog.

“Did you hear that,” I asked my dog.

She moaned and opened one eye then ignored me.

“Guess not.” I shook my head then arose from my seat. I shut my computer and went to bed.

I didn’t sleep at all that night. I knew it was her. I knew it was Theodosia. It was then I began to wonder if this wasn’t just more than a story.

Since her audible voice broke through, every time I sat down to write her story she showed up. She screamed and scolded every time I sat down to write.

“No, change this.”

“This isn’t dark enough.”

“This isn’t how it happened.”

On and on Theodosia went, telling her story and taking it to a place I never imagined.

I reached the end of the book and had it outlined. The odd thing was Theodosia never showed up when I worked on the ending, so I just came up with something on my own. 

This is when Theodosia took the story to a new level.

Theodosia came to me one night in a dream. Her red hair was disheveled and matted to her face. Her eyes were black, and her pupils changed colors from red to green to yellow. Her lips were dry and cracked and the skin on her face hung in shreds.

We were standing in the hallway on the second story of her farmhouse. When I saw her, I knew I was not dealing with a sweet, helpless little girl. Theodosia was evil. Pure darkness devoid of any light.

“What do you want,” I asked her.

She smiled an insidious grin, revealing teeth covered in human flesh. “I want to show you how the end happened. How I died. How my sister died. How the children died. And you need to know about the demon. It didn’t happen the way you outlined it.”

Theodosia’s voice was not sweet anymore. It was deep and grating.

She continued. “And from this point on, no more sweet Theodosia in your story. She is dead. The darkness took her and corrupted her. Now, follow me.”

I followed Theodosia around the upstairs and she showed me awful things. Those images are burned in my mind and I will never forget them. They were vivid. They were raw. They were brutal.  And I started to think they just might be true.

When Emile was done showing me these things, she said. “Now, go and write what I showed you.”

Then, I woke up.

I began to pray and ask God if I should continue to write this story. I asked Him to show me what was going on, who this girl was, and why this was happening. I didn’t want to finish the story. I didn’t want to write Theodosia anymore. Not after seeing her true form.

But God had different plans.

A few weeks after the dream Theodosia showed up on my couch. I was sitting in a recliner working on her story.

“What you wrote today was terrible. I didn’t like it. You didn’t write it as good as you could,” she scolded.

I glared at her. “Yeah, well. I’ve been distracted today. Lot’s going on. I will fix it.” I glanced down at my computer screen then back at her. “And for the record, pop off at me again and see what happens to your story. Now, go away.”

Theodosia snarled at me. “You wreak of the Lamb’s blood, pastor.”

I smiled up at her. “Good. Now, in the name of Jesus go away and leave me alone.”

Theodosia disappeared, but came back the next night.

I was in my yard, catching fireflies with my kids. As they were off chasing some with their nets, another light appeared on the opposite side of the yard. The light was a lantern. It was being held by the oldest of the two girls, and they were running and jumping, trying to catch fireflies. One of the girls looked over her shoulder at me.

It was Theodosia, but she wasn’t corrupted like in my dream. She had the look of sweet, childlike innocence. Then, the lantern filled with blood and the apparition of the two girls vanished.

The very next day, Theodosia visited me again. I was sitting in my bed writing, and she materialized in the chair at my desk. Her appearance was like from the dream. She radiated darkness and evil.

“What do you want? Why did you show me you and your sister last night? Why do you want me to write this story,” I asked.

Theodosia changed form before my eyes. The sweet, innocent girl was back.

“Because,” she began to weep. “Because the darkness. It came and it corrupted me. It destroyed me. It destroyed my family. It ravaged my soul. You have to tell my story. People have to know. They have to know how dangerous the dark is and how powerful it can become.”

She wiped her eyes and went on. “Then you have to show them the light. They have to know the light. But they can’t see it until they come face to face with the dark. I can’t change what I did, but you can give me justice and redemption by using my story to help others.”

Then the little girl disappeared.

I had my answer from God.

So yes, Theodosia, I will finish your story so your life will not be wasted.

She came to me many more times while I wrote her work. I cannot go into anymore detail unless I ruin certain points of the book for the reader. I have finished the book and have not seen her since. I am currently seeking a publisher for it. I have a feeling when she finds a home, I will see her again. I also have a feeling this book might end up being haunted. 

About Author Ezekiel Kincaid

Twitter: @EzekielKincaid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ezekethefreak/
Website: https://ezekielkincaid.wordpress.com/
Books and other anthologies
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ezekiel+kinciad&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
Free reading can be found on Stitched Smile’s WordPress site
https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/
And Horror Bound
https://www.horrorbound.net/?author=5de80c37c09a8973f9c333cf