180K+ Reads on Vocal.
Film and Writing (M.A)
Book Review: "Minor Hauntings" ed. by Jen Baker
Full Title: Minor Hauntings: Chilling Tales of Spectral Youth edited by Jen Baker When I first read this title I did not mind that it probably was not going to be as haunting as it claimed as it was a compilation by the British Library Tales of the Weird. With these, I am more interested in whether the stories have managed to capture my imagination and stay true to their theme whilst also being compiled as to not be overly similar so that I cannot tell them apart. Yes, it is a strange set of criteria but I think that this book really did the trick. I was also shocked at how haunting spectral youth can actually be. I never knew that ghostly children could scare anyone - it was more or less hauntings happening to children like The Turn of the Screw that I found terrifying. This book really opened my eyes to more possibilities for ghost stories.
Book Review: "Looking Glass Sound" by Catriona Ward
"The leaves of the sugar maple whisper—under it, there’s a high-pitched whine, a long shrill note like bad singing…it sounds like all the things you’re not supposed to believe in—mermaids, selkies, sirens…’What’s that sound?’ It seems like it’s coming from inside of me, somehow. Dad pauses in the act of unlocking the door. ‘It’s the stones on the beach. High tide has eaten away at them, making little holes—kind of like finger stops on a flute—and when the wind is in the east, coming over the ocean, it whistles through."
Book Review: "Sheep's Clothing" by Celia Dale
I read a Celia Dale book before and I have to admit I did not quite like it as much as I thought I would. It was on a recommended list after I had finished reading Mrs March. The book was called A Helping Hand and it was sub-par in comparison to Mrs March. I had therefore put Celia Dale off for a while until I ran into Sheep's Clothing which sounded quite interesting from the storyline but failed to impress when it came to writing style.
Book Review: "The Dark Half" by Stephen King
I have read an awful lot of Stephen King over the years and to this day, I have never gotten over the reading experience of Salem's Lot when I was a teenager. It was basically being viscerally frightened by something I knew could not be true - but I was scared anyway. It set me up for life when it came to my horror addiction, it also made me wonder about what actually made people scared. It got me interested in othering and that is what I find The Dark Half is mostly about in some weird way. Othering and pain. I ended up basing a lot of the work I did on my degrees on these ideas and in a way, it was mostly thanks to the experience of reading Salem's Lot. As I read The Dark Half recently, I am reminded of those times in my life where I came to those conclusions about myself.
Book Review: "The Burnings" by Naomi Kelsey
"If a rich man said so, she was a witch." The concept for this book is brilliant: the witch trials and the quintessential era of uncertainty for women. The storyline is just this: it's the 1570s and there are two settings, one is Denmark and one is Scotland. We have two separate narrators who seem at first to have very little in common with each other until their political worlds start to intertwine. From graphic depictions of horrendous violence against women to the political atmosphere of the day that keeps everyone in their told place, this book has some brilliantly explored themes and ideas.
3 Great Horror Podcasts
I think everyone and their pet dog probably knows how obsessed I am with the horror genre by now and though it is no secret, I have not yet shared (though I do not remember sharing) my favourite horror podcasts. There are many that I listen to but there are also obvious ones that are better than others. Sooner or later I will do the same thing but for my favourite horror YouTube channels (though I have to admit I do not actually watch enough YouTube to have more than three horror channels that I like. It's more like a once a month proceedure). So, without futher discussion, let us go through my top three favourite horror podcasts.
I am trapped in a tunnel. I have no idea how the hell I got here, and, at this moment, I have no idea how the hell I'm going to get out. I've been down here for about four, maybe five days. My sense of self, and my sense of time have both seemingly vanished. The ceiling above me is a stone grey arch that's mounted down on both sides of the floor–the arch stretching about five metres in width. There's not much light, but the cracks in the walls let some of the sunlight in every now and again, so at least I can tell when night-time comes. Whether that light is from the sinking sun, or the rising moon, I'll never know. I have to keep moving, maybe five miles per day just to keep away from that rising shadow that keeps following me. I've travelled far enough now that I know there's probably no end to this tunnel in sight–there's still an endless run of that stone grey arch in front of me, it fades out near the end, where my eyes can't make out anymore. Then, behind me is all the length I've travelled, again it fades to black. I normally drop my now-empty water bottle with the nozzle pointing in the direction I am supposed to be walking the next day, just to remember where I'm going. The stone floors don't offer soil to make footprints in, only the beating sound of the steps or movements of whatever's after me, gaining on my trail.
Book Review: "The Library of Greek Mythology" by Apollodorus
It is not every day that I decide to change my usual path of reading modern horror but I was recently realising that I miss the old days where I read mainly the classics, or classical stuff. My horror addiction is not recently but is far more pronounced than it used to be and for a while now, I have missed the lingering flavour of something more academic. I decided to give The Library of Greek Mythology by Apollodorus a go since it had been sitting on my academic TBR for quite a long time (I am actually embarrassed to say how long). Not quite the depth I would usually choose but enough to get me restarted and recharged again. So I apologise if you do not want me exploring my passions of academic literature like I once did a while back, but here we are. You're going to get it anyway. That doesn't mean the other books will go anywhere, but I think I need to tone down the amount of horror I'm reading and make sure I'm balancing my mind correctly.
- Top Story - October 2023
3 Great Places of Folk Horror Top Story - October 2023
It is safe to say that there are many different places that implore us to investigate further. For example, places such as Salem in the U.S.A which has a history concerning witch hunts and the Tower of London which is probably haunted by everyone and their second cousin. But, when we investigate folk horror, we look at the urban legends that surround places, however particular and the stories that have inspired and changed them over the years.
10 Great Horror Movies of the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic era of cinema has always been of interest to me and has also been one of my main eras of study whilst on my M.A and undergraduate degrees. I have been fascinated by the blends of light and dark, the chosen tinting colour schemes, the change from orchestral scores to talking pictures, the flatlands, the societal impact, the metaphors and the atmospheres. It is true that for the Weimar Republic, horror films had been born out of societal change, panic and guilt. If you would like to know more about the society that bore the first horror era of cinema then read this article I wrote about it.
5 Great Horror Stories Not by Poe
When we talk about horror short stories and how much they scare us, we cannot do that without talking about Edgar Allan Poe. Though the stories like the terrifying twins in The Fall of the House of Usher scare us as much as Montressor's scheme in The Cask of Amontillado. Though the beating Tell Tale Heart terrifies its readers as much as the elusive Premature Burial and The Raven has definitely scared more than one soul upon a midnight dreary. There are scary stories that are just as frightening not written by Edgar Allan Poe too. So let us explore 5 horror stories not by Edgar Allan Poe for a truly spooky Halloween.