Bizarre Book Club – Spooky Halloween All Hallows Read Horror Special


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Today’s pretentious book club pictures were brought to you from The Sherlock Holmes pub in London, near Trafalgar Square. sherlock-holmes-pub-1sherlock-holmes-pub-2It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The night when the whole world as one raises the dead and eats so many sweeties (candy) that we glow iridescent with e numbers.

I’m sorry that I can’t send these out to you personally as you’re supposed to do for All Hallows Read. However maybe you can pass them on to someone else next year after purchasing them this year. Let’s begin!

The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson.

As well as being a member of The League of Gentlemen and a playwright and author, Jeremy Dyson is a big fan of Robert Aickman (as am I). This is definitely noticeable in this themed collection of ghostly weird tales, which is a fictional account of a journey across the UK to collect local scary stories. Like Robert his stories are often not spelled out, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions about what happened and why. It’s very clever, atmospheric and genuinely creepy.

Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi helen-oyeyemi

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a nice children’s book about a married couple who are foxes, but it’s not. There are barely any real foxes.

I found Helen Oyeyemi‘s book very exciting simply for the way it bent my mind. Was it a collection of short stories? Not really. A novel with a single, flowing narrative? Well, no…

Mr Fox is an author who kills off all his female leads, and Mary Foxe is a character of his whose head he chopped off (there are many references to the Bluebeard fairy tale). Or perhaps she was his real wife whose head he chopped off? The pair of them imagine various scenarios in which she’s a romance novelist, a florist, a model and many more, the stories getting darker and stranger but always beautiful.

Helen Oyeyemi manages to take an idea that was cliche by the time it appeared on The Twilight Zone, a character speaking to it’s creator, and turn it into something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. My brain crackled like popping candy and I think yours will too.

100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories by Michael A Arnzen

These flash horror stories are deviously good fun. Split into sections covering the different aspects of horror (gory, supernatural etc) they often don’t become clear until you’ve thought about it for a few moments, and then you’ll be pondering them for quite a while afterwards.

If you have a spare few minutes you can dip into any section and read a tiny story, or sit down for hours and read lots in one go.

Ecstatic Inferno by Autumn Christian ecstatic_inferno_cover

These short stories are very beautifully written and there were so many sentences that made me green with envy. They span science fiction, fantasy and horror, but each tale has a dark Gothic magic behind it.

You’ll find Siamese (conjoined) twins navigating their sexuality, something happening to the children of an earth colony on a cold, barely inhabitable planet, Gods running the government and much more. Nicely creepy and very intelligent.

Ta dah! Have a wonderful Halloween and try not to eat too many sweets (who am I kidding, stuff yourselves silly).

New Absurdist Short Story In Anthology ‘Tall Tales With Short Cocks 5’


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Hello my little lonely partnerless socks found on the floor which I pair with another tall-tales-short-cockspartnerless one! I have a new short story in the absurdist/bizarro anthology Tall Tales With Short Cocks 5 (Rooster Republic Press) and hopefully you will find it very funny. Here’s what the publisher has to say about it:

“In the fifth installment of Rooster Republic’s flagship anthology series, we have some really tremendous fiction. It’s great. You can’t beat fiction like this. A lot of kids come up to me and they tell me how great they think this fiction is. I believe them. Believe me, it’s a great collection with some fantastic authors giving us their best work. I believe me.

Why don’t you? You too good for all this fun, freaky, and far-out fiction? Maybe go read a book about bird watching, you voyeuristic pervert. This anthology is for connoisseurs who are sick of watching birds. They want to look at words—not at our fine feathered friends. Though, if I’m being honest, I’ve never met a bird I would call my friend. Sure, those doves helped me move. BUT I GAVE THEM BIRDSEED. Real friends don’t demand food from you. They just help you move, wish you luck, and then leave forever until you need them again. The stories in this anthology will be great friends. You can read them, put them back on the shelf, and pull them out whenever you feel like it. Or if you don’t feel like it, they aren’t going to call you up and be all like, “Hey, wanna get something to eat at that new taco cart I saw on the corner of Johnson and Johnson?” That would be the end of American fiction, I can tell you. Not that all the authors in this collection are Americans. Some are UKish, and some, I assume, are also good people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Chickens Are Birds. Rooster Republic 2016!!!!!”

So there we are, clearly you need this in your life, and here it is!


Scary Days Out: London Ghost Bus Tours


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The fear countdown continues! Commence terrified screaming and running about in 5…4…3…

Or…do something fun for Halloween like go on a horror bus tour of London, mwa ha haaa



OK, I don’t personally believe in ghosts, but I do suspend disbelief for entertainment purposes, especially around this time of year. Also the tour focused on gruesome events more than haunting ones, so you’re fine either way.

Instead of pointing out pretty buildings (although there was some of that too) we were shown the spot where the largest gallows stood and the place where people were boiled in oil. I won’t give away too many stories else there’ll be no reason to go but I must share one in particular.

We stopped at an unassuming side street called Cock Lane. In 1762 one of the houses was the site of a reported haunting. Apparently the ‘ghost,’ named Fanny, was given to odd scratching sounds in the night, thus a number of newspapers gleefully reported on Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane. Bear in mind that in the UK fanny means a lady’s front parts and not someone’s bottom.

Incidentally the group who exposed the case as a fraud (sorry) included Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English Dictionary. cock-lane-ghost

The bus looks great, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was black: madeleine-swann-london-ghost-bus-tours

And inside there are spooky lamps dotted about and curtains awfully reminiscent of a hearse. I was certainly nervous:


The video below gives you a good idea of what it looks like inside, plus the tour guide from our particular trip:

The guide had to fight against a number of things including slow traffic and rain obscuring the windows, but he was very good at incorporating things around us and making everyone laugh. The tour itself included some spooky theatrics which were enjoyable, campy, Gothic fun. All in all we had a very good evening and I think you should go.

#Horror Comedy Flash Fiction Possession Anonymous For #OctoberFrights


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Hello all! This is the last day of the October Frights blog hop, though the other authors will be adding content tomorrow so be sure to click the button below.

Here’s a little story about a support group with a difference. Ta ta!

Visit here for more horror/weird short stories

If paranormal/horror/gothic erotica is your thing visit here

And there’s my youtube channel for more free story videos

Visit other Blog Hop authors

Local Essex History: True Weird Stories of the Witchfinder General – #OctoberFrights


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Essex (my home town) was notorious for witch trials. They happened everywhere, of course, but a man named Matthew Hopkins saw money to be made in keeping the hysteria at high levels as he received payment to rid towns of their troublesome folk.

In such feverish times weird stories were bound to do the rounds, and here are some of them:

Visit here for more horror/weird short stories

If paranormal/horror/gothic erotica is your thing visit here

And there’s my youtube channel for more free story videos

Visit other Halloween Blog Hop authors

#Horror Flash Fiction Reading For #OctoberFrights – #HalloweenCountdown


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Merry October and a happy birthday to me! That’s right, my birthday is during the best month of the year. I’m…21 today (shhh).

For The October Frights Halloween Blog Hop I’m going to share some free fiction with you, thoughtfully using tea party props. Oh, how I suffered eating all that cake and drinking all that tea, but I got through it.

Please check out what the other authors are doing by clicking the button at the bottom of the post, there’ll be more free fiction, giveaways, and plenty more.

The story is called How To Host A Dinner Party Without Awakening The Dark Ones.

Visit here for more horror/weird short stories

If paranormal/horror/gothic erotica is your thing visit here

And there’s my youtube channel for more free story videos

Visit other Blog Hop authors

Believe It Or Not! 6 Scary, Creepy Or Weird Full Online Documentaries For Halloween


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Doesn’t the air smell of faded leaves and over excitement?! I for one can barely wait to start digging up bodies and spoon feeding them cake and chocolate. That’s what you do, right?

The evenings are drawing in and what better way to relax than with a few informative, yet suitably weird, documentaries?

The Addams Family

These first three really count as one. I’m not sure what TV channel broadcast them first or if they were DVD extras, but it’s a 2007 look at the TV series and original cartoons of the Addams Family.

The Aswang Phenomenon

If you’ve seen bizarre cult classic Mystics of Bali you may have heard of the witch who separates her head from her body and floats through the air…her lungs and spine dangling beneath. Well, apparently they have a similar creature in the Philippines, the Aswang, who oddly seems to take many other forms according to whoever tells the story.

Ripley Believe it or Not!

Ripley’s Museum of Oddities will always hold a special place in my heart as Bill and I visited for our second date (my choice of course).

This documentary charts Ripley’s beginnings from cartoonist to global weirdo phenomenon, celebrating those who always felt a bit different on the way.

Frankenstein and the Vampyre, a Dark and Stormy Night

Two legendary horror monsters were created during the same holiday in Geneva, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and the modern, aristocratic vampire by John Polidori. Also with them were poets Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary’s stepsister Claire Clairmont.

Their trip isn’t just famous for their creative output, however, there were also drugs, sexual confusion and scandal. Exciting!

If you’d like to see more documentaries on romantic gothic literature, including the Brontes and Edgar Allen Poe, toddle off to this link here.

Urban Legends

An atmospheric wander through urban legends that turned out to have some basis in fact, whether before or after the telling. Remember, Halloween wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t all think nice old ladies were trying to kill us with sweets (candy).

Sacred Weeds: Henbane the Witch’s Brew

This was one of the oddest documentaries I remember from the 90s. It seemed to me that during that period everything went very sun and moon and incense, and to be honest I still secretly love it. There were four episodes in the series; Blue Lily, Henbane, Salvia Divinorum and Fly Agaric, but Henbane deals with Gothic folklore and witch trials.

The premise is what makes it so strange, two people turn up to a castle in the middle of nowhere so scientists in suits can watch them trip out of their tiny minds. The scientists argue before the trial and after, not a single one agreeing or changing their mind in the least. To be honest, though, fair enough if you’ve done the research and others clearly haven’t.

Watch out for the man who seems to have wandered in from some fetish dream, declaring with little to no evidence that witches definitely rubbed ointment on their vaginas and held naked sabbats.

Camp Court TV: Joan Collins V Round House Publishing


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Merry new day to you all! I was much amused by this unexpectedly fascinating documentary, essentially the most entertaining bits of the trial of Joan Collins (she of the shoulder pads, 80s soap operas and 70s British horror movies) vs her publisher Round House.

As the info for the doc says on YouTube, watch out for the grey haired lady who seems confused over whether she’s in a courtroom or doing stand up. See also Joan Collins prepare for battle in her best early 90s war garb.

It’s an aspect of publishing we don’t often think about, the possibility of being sued for doing a terrible job. Is it even fair? The court must decide…

Cannibalism, Starvation And OJ Simpson – Bizarre Book Club True Crime Special


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Hello my little packets of single use HP Sauce! Welcome to another round of stuff I’ve read.

I love true crime books, the weirder the better. An honorary mention goes to Amelia Dyer and the Baby Farm Murders by Angela Buckley. Although the murder of infants is abhorrent it’s not quite odd enough to make the list. Fascinating book though and meticulously researched. starvation-heights

Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen. The Victorian era was obsessed with fad diets and peculiar cures, and none were odder or more sinister than Starvation Heights.

Claire and Dora Williamson were two misguided upper class sisters, believing a trip to Linda Burfield Hazzard’s isolated ‘health farm’ in the Pacific Northwest will do them the world of good. It didn’t and that’s an understatement. We follow them from hopeful, rather naive beginnings to madness, starvation and desperation, as they blindly follow Linda’s prescribed diet of a few peas and sips of broth while signing away all their worldly goods.

Written in a novelesque manner (is that a word? It is now), I occasionally wished Gregg would hold back his tendency for poetry and just state the facts. However it’s absorbing, bizarre and deeply sinister, and you can’t help being fearful for the two women.

The Law’s Strangest Cases by Peter Seddon. I love this book so much. OK, the laws-strangest-casesauthor’s sense of humour is occasionally annoying, but only very occasionally – most of the time it works or he keeps it to himself.

The cases are mind boggling (I never thought I’d use that term, yet here we are) stretching from the beginning of law to the late nineties, including the shipmates of cabin boy Richard Parker who was feasted on while adrift at sea. Bizarrely it doesn’t mention the novel of Edgar Allen Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket: a cabin boy named Richard Parker was eaten by his shipmates while adrift at sea – and it was written forty-five years previously. Life of Pi author Yann Martel was no doubt aware of this fact when he named his Bengal tiger Richard Parker.

Other fascinating moments include the gruesome origin of the phrase ‘Sweet Fanny Adams,’ a parrot whose screeches proved a mitigating factor and a man whose solution to annoying visiting relatives was to SET THE HOUSE ON FIRE.

If I Did It by OJ Simpson. OK, I want to make a couple of things clear: I didn’t pay for this book, I downloaded it. I’m sure that will infuriate some people but I didn’t want to give out any money for it, I would have felt dirty. I also couldn’t finish it – if you could throw a kindle book across the room I would have done.

He’s really not a very nice man. The entire thing is a litany of excuses and misdirection – I’m a great guy, I was married to a crazy person, I never called her fat when she had a baby she was the one making my life hell about it, I was understandably angry when she made friends I didn’t approve of and she was embarrassed after calling the cops on me because she realised it was over nothing, on and on and on.

Part of the reason I wanted to read it was morbid curiosity – I was in an abusive relationship for a few months and in order to stop me pressing charges he turned the whole thing on me, something OJ seems very adept at. In fact, even writing about this makes me feel a bit sick, so I think we should stop it there. Don’t buy this book.

The Girl In Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower by Robert Graysmith. Who was the girl wegirl-in-alfred-hitchcocks-shower saw nude in the shower scene? It wasn’t Janet Leigh. What happened to her afterwards? It turns out she was murdered by a man in 1988 bearing an uncanny resemblance to Norman Bates…or was she?

You’d be right to be confused. The answers lie in this book which I mostly found fascinating, and yet I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I skipped sections. Most people’s complaints with this book, by the author of Zodiac, was that it took so long to get to the actual murder. However I love films and read it more as a biography of a fascinating lady who not only secretly starred in Hitchcock’s movie but posed for art, became a playboy bunny and danced as a showgirl. Despite this there are still moments when it takes too long to get to a point, maybe lingers on a particular scene too long. I did like it though and I do recommend it.

The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton and Other Singular Tales From the Victorian Press by Jeremy Clay. This is a fun read. The stories are short and odd, a bit like me. Admittedly not all are crime, but as they’re all from the papers a large amount are.

Example headlines: Wife Driven Mad by Husband Tickling Feet, Liberals Eat Dog, Killed by a Drunken Bear and Bound In His Own Skin.

Come on now, you know you want to read that.

Farewell my little houseplants of an unidentified variety, see you next week!