• Please click on the ad below and support our sponsor!!

At The Cemetery Gates: Year One – Book review

cem

There’s something simple and evocative about the words cemetery gates, isn’t there? A pair of rusted, wrought iron doorways, ready to creak open and welcome you into a world of death. Or maybe you’re a Pantera fan like me and you’re thinking of Dimebag’s noodling giving way to that crushing riff.

At The Cemetery Gates Year One has that same kind of promise in its title, bringing to mind a person on the verge of some creepy discovery, and the cover is similarly creepy, with a Stephen Gammell kind of vibe to it. But a good cover & title isn’t everything, as I found once I stepped inside the world of John Brhel and Joe Sullivan.

The collection kicks off with A Dark and Desolate Recurrence, featuring a couple trapped in their car during a blizzard, saved by a mysterious figure. This turns into a bewildering “who owns this house?” story, culminating in a clumsily-delivered ghost encounter. This suffers from don’t go upstairs syndrome where all logic is thrown out and you end up yelling at the characters for making bad decisions. The couple hear murderous noises upstairs…so decide to look for something to eat. That kind of thing. It’s a weird choice of opener, seeing as there are far stronger stories in the collection.

Only problem is, those strong stories take a good long while to materialise. With 14 stories to pick through, I found myself nitpicking more than enjoying the variety of tales on offer. Many of the stories share a fascination with time loops which gets wearying after a while, and the more varied stories veer from a sub-par Psycho imitations to a subversion of teen slasher tropes which still feels like it’s been done before.

And so it continues, with characters sharing uninteresting, everyday conversations before anything happens, over-explaining of ideas or feelings, and a general lack of scares or chills. I was ready to give up entirely but I’m not a quitter. I don’t walk out of movies and I always finish a book no matter how much I don’t want to.

Good thing I did, because some of the later stories are actually pretty good. There’s a blast of dark comedy in New Year’s Eve, What A Gas!, some Evil Dead style schlock in the fun-but-flawed The Call is Coming From Inside the House, more pitch-black humour in An Epistle From the Dead. It’s just a shame that the final story falls back into the same ponderous over-explaining of the twist that the earlier stories were guilty of.

This is a shaggy haircut of a book, desperately in need of a good trim, a bit of pampering to make it shine. As is, it’s too flat and dull to recommend, with only a few decent stories in the bunch, but this is year one. Styles change, and maybe after a few seasons have passed, there’ll be something more vibrant coming from these two author’s heads.

Score: 3/10

Book links:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MFZXHJJ/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.comk/dp/B01MFZXHJJ/

I Have The Sight by Rick Wood – Book Review

Dead girl. Halloween theme.

Dead girl. Halloween theme.

I Have The Sight by Rick Wood – Book Review by Ben Walker

For many, the most chilling thing about a possession story is lack of control, whether it’s a malevolent demon taking over someone you love, or the idea that your own mind may be pushed out by forces unknown.

An important thing in a possession story then, is to touch on this theme of control. Not to harp on about it, but The Exorcist does this masterfully, as Chris’ life rapidly goes from happy to hellish, Regan becomes a vessel of hatred and chaos, and both Karras and Merrin realise their faith is no protection from fate.

In I Have The Sight, Rick Wood plays off this core concept of control, with titular sight-haver Edward (Eddie) King showing his confident demonologist side before walking us down the road he trod to get there. And as it turns out, it’s a long hard road out of…you know where.

I’ve realised recently that The Exorcist may have spoiled me in terms of expectations for this kind of story. Judging …Sight on its own merits, it’s a perfectly serviceable story. But compared to the grandparent of all exorcism tales, this is a less weighty take on the genre.

Reason being, the opening chapter sets up a demonic showdown, then weaves back & forth between past & present to reveal that Eddie is really the one in need of of help. So there’s your lack of control. Even though Eddie seems helpless for the majority of the story, he’s still introduced as a hero type. So when the demonic threat emerges, it never comes off as threatening as it could’ve, because by page thirteen, it’s already clear that Eddie has control. Taking us back through a shaky past doesn’t change that, so the tension never really builds enough to make you worry for him.

Along the way, there are some knockabout exorcism/demon battle scenes, which end up favouring physicality (hands beating back demonic flames, slashing claws, force powers etc) over mental games, which didn’t really do it for me. I can appreciate the visuals, but they felt like acrobatic fight scenes from a movie (which would make sense given the author’s background in screenwriting), rather than complelling narrative nightmares.

Taken as a standalone story, …Sight works fine as a one-off read. However, it’s the start of a series, and I’m not convinced that I want to follow Eddie’s journey any further. Most questions about his past are answered throughout, so there’s no itch in my brain for more, even with the final question the story lazily throws out. Check it out if you’d like a novel spin on the standard girl in peril exorcism trope, just don’t expect pea soup and terror.

Score: 5/10

Book links:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MFDCMYT/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFDCMYT/

And you can follow Rick Wood on twitter @rickwoodwriter

Dark Teardrops by Catherine Tramell – Book Review

rsz_546375522Dark Teardrops by Catherine Tramell – Book Review

Catherine Tramell takes a lofty stab at greatness with Dark Teardrops, comparing it to The Exorcist in her back cover blurb, taking a shot at the reams of poor imitations which followed William Peter Blatty’s (RIP) influential possession horror.

Dark Teardrops, the blurb claims, is aimed directly at fans of Blatty’s novel. Now, I’m a big Exorcist fan. It’s one of the horror stories I come back to yearly, whether it’s movie, screenplay or novel. I defend the film passionately to anyone who criticises it (rightly or wrongly). So okay, I thought, reading the author’s promise. Let’s see if you can live up to it.

Sadly, by page five, the promise was broken. Dark Teardrops has aspirations of greatness, but like tears themselves, those aspirations dry up quickly. Jim and his daughter Brisia are no Chris and Regan, and this story favours eventual gore over the slow build of dread.

Overloaded with huge paragraphs, some more than half a page long, there’s no drive to the drama. By page five of The Exorcist you’ve met three key players, and realise that ancient evil is lurking in the shadows. All Dark Teardrops can offer by then is an old woman looking at photos, talking to herself.

Still, horror does eventually come into play, and things become more graphic, but it’s too sudden a shift in tone. With no build-up, the gore and rote “little girl swearing” possession stuff feels a bit out of place. One day it’s family breakfasts and fond looks, the next day it’s dogs being beaten to death with baseball bats. And even though the viscera flies in some imaginative, shocking ways, there’s a slightly B-movie feel to the prose; more shock value than spine-tingling.

And then there’s the onomatopoeia. So much onomatopoeia. Ring ring! goes a phone, peep! goes a bird, beep beep! goes an ECG…and on it goes. These sound effects are mostly used as scene breaks, which completely ruined any tension or scares beforehand. I can’t take a brutal assault seriously if the next line afterwards is ding dong! – that’s like blowing a slide whistle at the end of Sleepaway Camp.

Despite all these faults, it’s clear that the author is in love with language, and with writing. There’s a great scene in which the possessed Brisia humiliates a teacher with a sharp literary analysis of Don Quixote. This really stood out for me, thanks to its clear & genuine passion. If the rest of the story were as well-written as that single outburst, there’d be a higher number at the end of this review.

The final chapter does go some way to redeeming the story, with a powerful confrontation between demon and family, but it’s a foghorn of a showdown, too blaring and noisy to really resonate emotionally.

Overall, Dark Teardrops was too much like a poorly edited half-novel to recommend as a good read. Though it did make me want to go back to The Exorcist, so it’s not all bad.

Score: 2/10

Book links:

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BE3EGO
Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/B017BE3EGO

The Last Testament of Thomas Griffith by Martin Adil-Smith – Book Review

tgThe Last Testament of Thomas Griffith – A Review

The Last Testament of Thomas Griffith (TLTOTG) is a short story set in the universe of The Spirals of Danu by Martin Adil-Smith.

Following the Small’s Lighthouse incident of 1801, as the title suggests this is the last testament of Thomas Griffith to his wife before his descent into madness. For those of you unfamiliar with this story, two lighthouse keepers on St David’s Peninsula, Wales , Thomas Griffith and Thomas Howell. Curiously however, Howell was a love rival for Griffith’s wife. During a terrible storm, when no relief could reach them, in a freak accident Thomas Howell managed to fall, hit his head and die (so the story goes). After Howell’s untimely death Griffith maintained it was an accident with no mal intent. Normal protocol was if someone had died in the lighthouse to throw the body overboard lest you wanted to cosy up to a bloated rotting corpse in the pale moonlight.

Griffith for whatever reason, be it out of guilt or the beginnings of his madness, tied Howell’s body up outside so that maybe he could be examined to determine he wasn’t murdered once the relief team could reach them. It was the worst storm in a number of years, supplies were plenty but morale was low.

Adil-Smith’s take on this tale takes us down a darker more sinister road altogether. He attempts to fill in the gaps between when Howell’s died and the days leading up to the relief crew’s arrival. They, finding Griffith as a bumbling wreck. Written as a diary entry; a last will and testament. Brief in its presentation, yet chilling all the same. If ever there was a piece to give you a taste of the wider universe of The Spirals of Danu it’s TLTOTG. The story teased me just enough to want more, to uncover the secrets of the world. That is a testament (pun intended) to Adil-Smith’s wordcraft. Luckily for me there is a series already out there for me to sink my teeth into. If you’re into dark fantasy, the strange and the occult you may enjoy this short story. I look forward to picking up the rest of The Spirals of Danu to see if the quality continues!
If you’d like to hear myself and Martin discuss this short (among other things) follow the link below to listen to my conversation with him.

Verdict: 8/10

Find Martin below:

To Buy “The Last Testament of Thomas Griffith” –
a-fwd.com/asin=B01M9C67PK
Website – spiralsofdanu.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/SpiralsOfDanu/
Twitter – twitter.com/SpiralsOfDanu

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 36 NES Godzilla

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA
PART 36: NES GODZILLA

There can be few subgenres of Creepypasta that have fallen so far in the eyes of fans as Videogame Pastas.

When the first few such stories appeared on the Creepypasta landscape, they had a huge impact. Genuine hits such as BEN Drowned (covered here: http://www.ukhorrorscene.com/dark-web-steven-hickeys-essential-guide-to-creepypasta-part-3-ben-drowned/) saw dozens, then hundreds of imitators, of varying degrees of quality. Seen as cutting edge at the time, the genre soon became stale, with a number of derivative and poorly crafted stories directly contributing to their decline in popularity. However, there can be no denying that those stories forged during the early days of the Videogame Pasta boom were ground-breaking, and in some cases, technical and creative triumphs. Perhaps the most impressive of these is digital artist CosbyDaf’s NES Godzilla Creepypasta.

Posted to one of the early breeding grounds of Creepypasta, the Bogleech forums back on 23 April 2011(http://z3.invisionfree.com/bogleech/index.php?showtopic=1896), you can read the first part of the full (and VERY lengthy) story at the Creepypasta Wiki where it appeared on 11 April 2012: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_1:_Earth_%26_Mars

rsz_godzilla_creepypasta_tribute_by_lucidstillnessIn it CosbyDaf tells the story of Zachary, a young boy who is a big fan of classic NES games and kaiju movies. Now a teen, he’s able to relive both of these childhood pleasures when his friend Billy locates a copy of the classic Nintendo beat ‘em up, Godzilla: Monster of Monsters.
Upon plugging the cartridge in, he soon starts to notice some odd glitches in the game — such as some different monster characters, ones that should not have been in the game. After defeating the boss character Titanosaurus, he then proceeds to the third level, however, rather than be named Jupiter as it was in the original game, it was renamed Pathos.

What makes the story truly astonishing is that CosbyDaf has created a series of convincing and exquisitely crafted ‘screenshots’ of the game.
Throughout the story we are presented with regular visual depictions of the game’s events that illustrate and clarify everything ‘Zach’ describes from the game. The sprites, the backgrounds, even some very basic animations, all of them are the creation of (or at least altered/doctored by) CosbyDaf. From a technical standpoint, it’s a tremendous achievement, and that’s before you even get into the later chapters where the work becomes more complex and intricate.

The story continues in Chapter 2: Pathos (which you can read here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_2:_Pathos).
Featuring yet another character that shouldn’t have been in the game, Biollante, this is even more unsettling when Zach realises that the first movie appearance of Biollante was actually a full year after the release of Monster of Monsters. However, if that was unsettling, the chase sequence at the end of the level during which we are first introduced to a nightmarish red creature is downright terrifying.
Following a narrow escape, Zach progresses to the next level — Trance (read the third chapter here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_3:_Trance).

whatthe-png-webpThis introduces a new element to the gameplay, a bizarre ‘quiz’ level in which a strange disembodied face asks a number of questions answerable with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. These vary from mind-numbingly mundane (‘Do you like dogs?’) to hugely inappropriate and upsetting (‘Have you been molested by a family member?’). The level continues to provide an assortment of bizarre enemies, strange locations and, ultimately, the return of the red demon.

This level is followed by Chapter 4: Dementia (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_4:_Dementia ), then Chapter 5: Entropy (Part 1) and then Entropy (Part 2). You can read both chapters here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_5:_Entropy_(Part_1) and here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_5:_Entropy_(Part_2)

It is during these chapters that we are given an insight in Zach’s life, a tragedy that befell him in the past and the frightening notion that the monster within the game, Red, might be sentient… and aware of whom it is tormenting.

From here follows Chapter 6: Extus (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_6:_Extus), Chapter 7: Zenith (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_7:_Zenith), and Chapter 8: Finale — a two part climax to the tale in which Zach is forced to play for his very life against the malevolent Red (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_8:_Finale_(Part_1) and (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_8:_Finale_(Part_2)

The epic story concludes with a final Epilogue (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Epilogue) in which Zach attempts to discover the origin of — and reveals the fate — of the titular game cartridge.

The story was subsequently posted to its own blog, which is sadly now defunct, and then to a mirror blog in March 2012 (http://nesgodzillacreepypasta.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/chapter-1-earth-mars.html).

Prior to this, CosbyDaf posted an image of all the sprites from his story to his DeviantArt page (http://cosbydaf.deviantart.com/art/The-Cast-272693251) back on 6 December 2011. This was very much welcomed by fans of the story, as it gave them all a chance to get a better look at the creatures/characters of NES Godzilla, not least of which the sinister (and immensely popular) Red.

rsz_thumbnail_solomon_matt_frankAs a design Red is especially effective, with his multiple forms encompassing several prime phobias (including a decidedly arachnid, ‘scuttling’ form). Reports claim CosbyDaf has admitted that the design of Red was heavily influenced by that of another Nintendo villain, Giygas, the primary antagonist of classic SNES titles EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings. In many ways, Red (or the Hellbeast as the character is regularly referred to throughout the story) can be seen as a kaiju embodiment of Earthbound’s lead villain. However, it can also be claimed that Red is based on a mythical movie that never was, the rumoured 1978 flick Godzilla vs The Devil.

This story sprang up following a report by Ed Godziszewski which appeared in Japanese Giants #5. The report claimed the film would be a joint venture between Toho and UPA Productions., based on an American script, with a whopping budget of $4 million and a runtime of 110 minutes. It was also stated that Godzilla was to face off against a number of terrifying monsters that included a giant spider, a giant fish and a giant bird, culminating in a climactic brawl between Godzilla and Satan himself.

However, the following year in Japanese Giants #6 ran a follow-up report about a trip to Toho studios, where producer Tomoyuki Tanaka denied the existence of the project. Nevertheless, the news of this non-film spread quickly and is still in circulation to this day. Of particular note to fans of NES Godzilla Creepypasta are the reported forms of Godzilla’s adversaries: a scuttling spider, a gigantic fish and a swooping bird. All of which represent forms that the monstrous Red assumes, a being whose very appearance and ‘home’ level make it very easy to assume that he is the devil himself.

In fact, so impressive was Red that when Sunstone Games announced their intention to create a videogame AND playing card game entitled Colossal Kaiju Combat, after the company asked fans to nominate and vote for monsters to appear in the game, Red and fellow NES Godzilla Creepypasta creation Solomon were both accepted to appear in the title. CosbyDaf was quite delighted by this development, as was evidenced in his blog post of 6 January 2013 (http://nesgodzillacreepypasta.blog.com/2013/01/06/red-enters-kaiju-combat/).
Sadly developments with Sunstone’s project seem to have stalled since then, but we can all wait in hope that the game will see the light of day.

Colossal Kaiju Combat isn’t the only gaming property to embrace CosbyDaf’s creations. YouTuber and programmer, Iuri Nery has announced that he is creating a playable version of the game, even posting a gameplay video on 4 April 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ6J_a1gDZo
Sadly, like Sunstones game, he has since announced that this project is also now on hiatus, leaving gamers to wonder about what could have been.

So why has there been such a strong reaction to the property? First, I think it cannot be stressed enough how much the excellent attention to detail appeals to fans of Godzilla, of which there are plenty. The character is iconic, and fans love to see stories with the big guy done right. There are multiple Toho characters included, giving fans of the franchise an opportunity to see what these kaiju could have looked like in a follow-up title to Monster of Monsters. Of course, the pasta gets by on more than just being good fan-fiction to Toho fans. It’s well-written, boasts those incredible graphics and SPOILER ALERT: even bucks the pasta trend by having a definite and very final climax in which good overcomes evil.

Or does it? For on 11 December 2013, CosbyDaf started to produce a sequel, Godzilla: Replay, in which another boy, Carl, tracks down the now legendary Monster of Monsters cartridge and proceeds to play through. However, this time the game is different, adapting to its new victim, and introducing a new, nightmarish adversary…

You can read the existing chapters here: http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/05/03/prologue/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/05/03/chapter-1-the-earth/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/05/03/chapter-2-gelid/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/08/26/chapter-2-5-passwords/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/06/16/chapter-3-corona/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/08/14/chapter-4-amorphis/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/08/14/chapter-5-tempest/.

rsz_thumbnail_the_cast_by_cosbydaf-d4icrgjHowever, there has been a very long delay since that fifth chapter, and it seems that, like the aforementioned titles, it may be on an indefinite hiatus for now. But never fear, CosbyDaf has said that he still knows what he’d like to do with the story, so here’s hoping that one day we will see the end of Carl’s playthrough.

Rather than badger CosbyDaf to finish this sequel, it might be better for fans to show him some gratitude for the iconic pasta he produced? And create an iconic pasta he has indeed, as it is one that is still read, spread and commented on time and time again throughout the web.

CosbyDaf was kind enough to agree to answer a few quick questions about NES Godzilla Creepypasta for the readers of UK Horror Scene. The interview follows below:

UK HORROR SCENE: First, please allow me to extend my compliments to you, I really am a fan of your work. The most obvious question first – what served as your inspiration for the series?

COSBYDAF: The Super Mario 64 creepypasta and The Poltergeist movies — particularly the idea of creatures from other dimensions interacting with humans through technology. Video game creepypastas are notorious for being low quality but I’ve always thought there was some intriguing potential with it. I think back to earlier days in gaming, when it was mostly sitting along in a room, mentally escaping to this different world for a few hours, it could be a hypnotic experience. I liked the idea of trying to escape reality only to encounter a different one that’s worse.

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so which authors/stories do you like?

CD: I used to spend a lot of time reading but not as often anymore. Although I’m always eager to view/read something that’s creepy. I don’t really keep track of specific authors. The best creepypasta I can recall reading was Willow Men (http://www.creepypasta.com/willow-men/).

UKHS: The sprites in your stories are really impressive. How did you create them? And what came first, the images or the story?

CD: The vast majority were drawn entirely in MS Paint XP. Over time I began to use Paint. XP for certain things, like making different color palettes and transparency for the water levels. The organic parts were made by pixelizing gory images with Irfanview and drawing body parts onto them.
The images were made first. and then the story chapters were written later, but there wasn’t a big time gap between them.

UKHS: The sequel story, Godzilla: Replay, has been placed on hold as of late. Will you return to the series in the future? What else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?

CD: I’ve been focused on many different things since then. But I never cancelled it because a lot of people are still interested, and I still remember what I was going to do with it. But it’s a lot of work to be done and I’m trying to earn money. Right now I’m doing the sprite work for a video game, it is kaiju related and there is a level which will definitely give NGC vibes. So hopefully that will turn out well.

UKHS: The fans have really embraced the story. Why do you think it has been so successful?

CD: It owes a lot to the Godzilla franchise, of course. There also wasn’t a creepypasta with accompanying images throughout the story before. The surrealism and variety in the creature design got a lot of people’s interest.

rsz_thumbnail_red-heroUKHS: Are there any examples of fan art that have impressed you?

CD: This is my favorite, it was made by a friend of mine: http://lucidstillness.deviantart.com/art/Godzilla-Creepypasta-Tribute-410704657 . I’ve added a lot of fan art to my DA favorites (which you can find here: )

UKHS: Both Red and Solomon were to be included in the Colossal Kaiju Combat game. How did that make you feel? Have you had much interaction with the game’s creators?

CD: It was very exciting at the time. I really appreciate the fan’s support in allowing that possibility to happen. I had talked with the game’s creator, regarding their redesigns, basically I just wanted them to look as close to the originals as possible. They turned out good.
But it doesn’t look like the game will ever see completion. You might see those two appear in something else though…maybe.

UKHS: And finally, something a bit more fun. From reading NES Godzilla Creepypasta it’s obvious that you’re a big kaiju fan, so… what’s your favourite kaiju movie?

CD: Godzilla vs Destoroyah.

CosbyDaf has created a legitimately iconic creepypasta, one which is quite rightly held in high esteem by connoisseurs of Creepypasta.

Join me next time when I’ll be doing something a little different with this feature, and taking the time to speak with not just a prolific and talented Creepypasta author, but one of the most respected voices over at the Creepypasta Wikia.

Cocks from Outer Space by Richard Little – Book Review

cfosCocks from Outer Space by Richard Little -a review

Buy it now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cocks-Outer-Space-Richard-Little-ebook/dp/B01IAA3CDI

A tale of courage, betrayal, pride and penises! (bizarro fiction)

On the surface, one might be quick to dismiss this book based solely on the title, never mind the cover (which is exactly as you’d expect ) but the story itself is not at all what I expected. Roughly speaking the story is split into three parts. Our main protagonist is One-Eyed Snake, an anthropomorphised two foot tall penis; joined by his regimental buddies Chode, Big Black and Japseye. Once you get over the initial absurdity of both the names of the characters and their physical form you begin to have fun. The Penii as they are known live in Cockland, the Penii are the warrior class and the Flaccids are the commoners. The Assholes are the sworn enemies of the Cocks and their leader is naturally: Shitler. There is an initial battle of the Hershey Highway where the team chase down Shitler. On the other side of the river of piss; The Uryne, is the Cuntry the home of the Pussies (yes please bare with this).

In the battle of the Hershey Highway which makes up the main part of what I will call Act 1. There are undertones of tribalism, xenophobia, racism, elitism, colonialism behind the absurd premise and plenty of puns and toilet humour. Because, I think at the end of the day it isn’t obviously supposed to be serious but whether it was intended or not, if you strip away the silliness there’s some real moral messages to be found here. Like Animal Farm only with giant cocks! (That’s a free one for the blurb Mr. Little) We get to laugh along at the ridiculous puns and imagery which the author gets to unleash upon us under the pseudonym Richard Little (not too hard to work out that play on words either). For the likes of me not writing this review under a pseudonym I have to stand tall and chalk it down, that yes, I’ve read a book named Cocks from Outer Space.

The next stage of the story involves humans landing on planet Genitalia and giving everyone STI’s, this leads to a trip to Earth to look for a cure, a forbidden romance, a giant cock; Cockzilla and a civil war. This story has it all, racing along puns blazing. I would say this book is best suited for teenagers, a demographic who find toilet humour hilarious (I know I did). I could honestly see this as a live action series or ending up on Adult Swim. It is a bit of a lengthy read but good fun in the end. As my first bizarro fiction, it has opened my eyes to this interesting subgenre.

Verdict: 6.9

You can find Richard Little on Twitter @fromouterspace3

Mr. Little has also very graciously offered 5 eBook copies of the book up for grabs.
The first 5 people to email me will get a copy of the book with a catch:
Subject Line: I want Cock
Body: You must tell me why you deserve a Cock From Outer Space
Email me at: [email protected]
Happy Hunting!

Ashley’s Tale by Mike Duke – Book Review

asht1Ashley’s Tale by Mike Duke – Book Review

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ashleys-Tale-Mike-Duke-ebook/dp/B017FOE77U/

Ashley’s Tale is an exhilarating novella, a tale of loss, endurance and the power of will.

We are introduced to Ashley, straight in the thick of an encounter with an as of yet unnamed assailant. She is threatened with both physical and sexual violence. We soon learn she is being held captive in a large workshop type area, belittled by her captor, made to feel worthless and weak. As the reader the escalation of the torment and violence has us at a state of unease. What is this man’s objective? What did Ashley do to deserve this?

This man knows everything about her yet she knows nothing about him, he even knows to bring up the dark depths of her past, the horrors of uncle Tim. With this revelation he straps her into a harness and leaves her with a choice; rape or a beating. Ashley chooses the latter, a harrowing scene but it doesn’t last long. This poor woman her fate in the hands of a mad man.

The man has his own motivations, he wants to train Ashley, to prepare her so she can challenge him; he loves a strong woman. This goes on for some time and we eventually learn his name; Jake. He teaches her to kill pigs, and to hunt and how to survive in the wild. With each day she learns and grows stronger, her burning desire to kill this man also grows by the hour. On a few occasions Ashley almost got her wish, but she is not quite there yet. Where will this journey of self discovery lead her?

Ashley’s Tale is a well rounded story, it mixes elements of psychological thriller, self help and spots of erotic fiction (confused boner naturally, I think that was the point). The intrigue is there and we are really behind Ashley is her endeavours to escape her captivity. Jake however, unveils his humanity over time, who really is the bad guy? Touches on themes of early childhood abuse, self empowerment andrevenge, it really is a whirlwind of a ride.

As it so happens, Mike Duke has since written a prequel story “Ashley’s Tale: Making Jake” (available here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GDHHOFM) and as of yet unreleased sequel “Ashley’s Tale: The Initiation”

If you’re into suspenseful thrillers you should really check out Ashley’s Tale, it’s a quick read that’s worth your time.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Bad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror – Book Review

bad3Bad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror – Book Review

Is there a better time of year for horror than October, and Hallowe’en? I say no! The nights are getting cold, bringing a shiver to your spine whether you want one there or not. So you draw yourself close to a loved one, layer up your clothes and try to stave off the chill. The trees begin to cycle through their whole death/rebirth thing. Kids murder their teeth with candy. It’s the time of year when anything can seem horrid, given enough imagination. And the contents of Bad Apples 3 certainly are imaginative.

Belle Souffrance is a superbly weird tale, involving an artistic mind gone mad and a bizarrely 1980’s style murder weapon. With shades of Nightmare on Elm Street meets Laserblast meets Broken Monsters along the way, the story wraps itself in the past a little too much, but sheds its pretence for a weird ending that more than makes up it.

Chocolate Covered Eyeball is like a body-horror version of Hansel & Gretel, with greed being punished in a deliciously gruesome manner. Superb visuals mix with sickening, bizarro gore to make this one that might just put you off trick-or-treating for good.

October’s End turns in on itself, a nightmarish ouroboros of a story. A true nightmare is one that never ends, and that feeling is perfectly captured here.

The Uncle Taffy’s Girl was the first miss in this collection for me. Despite some cool imagery thanks to the brilliantly-named bargain bin horror novels described within, there was too much dialogue in this one, and stilted sentences. I can see what the author was going for, but after the first three tight, dense stories, this was a bit too freewheeling to be enjoyable. Points for a creepy, protracted dismemberment scene though.

Last Stop takes the old never trust a stranger trope and turns it into a gleefully nasty B-movie headfuck. As much as I hate “gor blimey guv’nor” English dialogue, the trashy action pulled me through to the up yours, all hope is lost ending, which was effective if a little bit silly.

Body of Christ delves its hand back into the bucket marked body horror and comes out with a fresh, repulsive take on Communion wafers and their meaning. Finding terror in both zombie/cannibalism, and everyday loss, I loved how far this story pushed its concept, and the B-movie style stinger at the end.

Pulp took me a while to get through, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. The story started off well enough, despite a few Final Destination-style horror icon nods, but soon began to throw in way too many horror movie references. And as the story plods on, those references and nods start to overshadow the core concept,which was neat enough, but came into play way too late for me to care enough the characters wrapped in this weird resurrection fantasy. As a short or a movie, this would be a lot of fun. At its current length, not so much.

So overall, there are no truly rotten apples in this bushel. For sheer creativity alone, this is well worth a glance. If you can stand to prise your fingers from your face as you peer through them…

Score: 8/10

Book links:

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1537096524/
Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/1537096524/

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta Part 30: Psychosis

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA PART 30: PSYCHOSIS

Whenever I interview Creepypasta authors for this series of features, one question that I ask of all of them is ‘what is YOUR favourite pasta?’ The answers are fairly wide-ranging (as matters of taste often are), but there are some familiar titles that crop up time and time again. One of the most popular of these is the excellent Psychosis.

First published a few years ago on the now-defunct, original Creepypasta.com forum by user M59Gar, it was then featured on the front page of the site in 2008-2009. Sadly the site is no longer active, but the next oldest version of Psychosis was that posted to the new creepypasta.com on 3 November 2010 here: http://www.creepypasta.com/psychosis/

M59Gar’s Psychosis is one of the longer Creepypastas, but it is well worth the time it takes to read it. I thoroughly recommend you do so immediately! The story is actually rather simple, detailing a young programmer who slowly but surely succumbs to his own paranoia as he starts to believe that an insidious evil may have infiltrated his life. To discuss it in any more detail runs the risk of spoiling what is quite rightly regarded as one of the greatest creepypastas of all time.

Currently the fifth highest rated pasta over at creepypasta.com (with a score of 9.2 from a staggering 18,101 votes), and also the third most discussed, it has garnered a huge following.

psychosis2The reasons for this are all too apparent — it’s exceptionally well-written, cultivating a subtle sense of dread that unnerves far more than the tacky gore of less accomplished pastas. M59Gar tells his story in a fantastically compelling manner, using the more measured, patient pace of the tale to his favour. This means the protagonist never suddenly leaps to any wild conclusions, instead edging ever closer to the abyss of a psychological breakdown.
The story also deals with some weighty and decidedly modern themes, especially of the roles of technology, information and perception in establishing what is truly ‘real’. In an era in which whole lives are lived online, this is a truly contemporary horror story, and one that is utterly thought provoking. I’ve said in the past that horror is as fantastic a mirror of modern society as any other genre. The monsters of each generation speak volumes about the world in which they lived.

From the gigantic, science-made monsters of the Fifties, spawned by a world in which the nuclear bomb had ended World War II, to the faceless slashers of the Seventies and Eighties, themselves a reflection of the monsters among us, serial killers such as Dahmer, Manson and Bundy, horror cinema and literature has always encapsulated the fears of society. That technology, that tool that supposedly unifies the world, is ultimately leaving each of us more isolated than ever before comes as a timely warning from M59Gar.. Or should I say, Matt Dymerski.

For since the publication of Psychosis, M59Gar has started to write under his real name of Matt Dymerski, becoming a successful author in his own right. He has even published Psychosis, along with some of his other short stories, which you can pick up at Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2dZ0DG6. It’s a great book and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

However, even though he is now a published author, Dymerski hasn’t abandoned the internet and still posts regular stories to the internet, via his very own web site, http://mattdymerski.com, and at the r/nosleep subreddit, arguably the greatest source of online horror fiction on the web.

It was over at NoSleep that Dymerski published Eating Disorder on 26 November 2012 (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/13ty8f/eating_disorder/?st=iu5raxdx&sh=1c38d97d). A chilling story of a woman with a mental illness that affects the way she perceives her food as told by her doctor, this was the first in a series of six stories that would later come to be known as the Asylum series.

It was followed on 27 November 2012 by The Bonewalker (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/13w6xo/the_bonewalker/?st=iu5re84o&sh=dbe1b970), then on the following day by The Scholarship (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/13ydz7/the_scholarship/), then each day thereafter by The Friend Zone (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/140rgb/the_friend_zone/), The Escape (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/142ivo/the_escape/) and The Truth (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/144eqc/the_truth/).

The first couple of stories seem like simple, standalone horror stories (albeit very, very good ones). However, as the series progresses, the doctor comes to realise that there may be a larger plot at work… perhaps even that same plot that devastated the life of Psychosis’ protagonist.

More than just a thematic successor to Dymerski’s best-known pasta, with the added length afforded by writing his story as a series, The Asylum really feels like an expansion of the tale.

Featuring all the social commentary, insight and (of course) excellent, descriptive and imaginative story-telling of Psychosis, it’s every bit as rewarding a read. The whole story has since been collected in a free-to-read eBook available via Amazon’s Kindle store: http://amzn.to/294FQjc. That’s right, FREE! Go get it!

Epsychosis3ven as both Psychosis and the Asylum series hint at a single antagonist, The Opponent, the story is not yet finished.
On 3 August this year, Dymerski published the first chapter of a new series, Our Blind Spot, to r/NoSleep (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/4w11bc/our_blind_spot/). It has since been followed by two more chapters (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/4w7fp9/our_blind_spot_part_two/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/4y8gu5/our_blind_spot_part_three/) and has yet to conclude. It features themes and even characters from Dymerski’s previous techno-paranoiac stories and is every bit as good as his other hit tales.

With a burgeoning career and having garnered critical AND commercial acclaim, many could forgive Dymerski for leaving the internet Creepypasta community behind, yet he hasn’t. He’s still contributing, still writing for his fans for free, which is an admirable display of commitment to the Creepypasta scene. I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the very busy, but still very personable Dymerski recently about his work.

The interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: Thanks so much for agreeing to speak with me. For our first question, how would you describe Psychosis?

MATT DYMERSKI: Psychosis is a story about an intelligent young man who asks questions and follows available data to logical conclusions. It just so happens that fundamental flaws in our way of life have undermined many basic truths, rendering his conclusions terrifying…

UKHS: And, in your own words, tell us a little about the Asylum series?

MD: The Asylum series is a successor series to Psychosis; we follow the investigations of a doctor at an asylum who notices disturbing trends in his patients’ stories. The deeper he delves, the more horrifying questions he uncovers about the apparently malleable natures of reality and perception. Is it possible that an insane person is actually more aware of the Truth than we are?

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the stories?

MD: Psychosis and Asylum were both inspired by the many-layered existence we’ve built for ourselves as a society. At the root of any discussion is a fact, but between that fact and our belief about it there are numerous layers of distortion, accidental misinformation, and even agenda-driven lies. We have a wealth of information available to us, more than any humans before us, but that just makes us further divorced from the base facts.

How can we determine what is real when our entire lives are based on assumed beliefs? What if we’ve never seen a real fact at all? What if we begin diverging away from the beliefs of those around us?

Psychosis and Asylum both revolve around people who question our constructed reality — and in both cases they find that this construction may not have been innocent. These stories are my odes to the paranoia and confusion I felt when I first grew into adulthood and realized the world of television and the world around me were very, very different.

mattdymerskiUKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

MD: As many probably are, I am hugely influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. He blazed a trail and created an entire genre. I can only hope to approach any level of similar storytelling.

UKHS: Would you say you’re a fan of Creepypasta? If so, what is your favourite Creepypasta by a creator other than yourself?

MD: Hah, yes, I adore Creepypasta, mainly because I was actually on the original Creepypasta forums while it became a much bigger thing than anyone ever expected. Psychosis itself spread out with the herd when the Creepypasta community split into numerous websites and forums. My favorite Creepypasta of all time is THE DAY OF ALL THE BLOOD; its humor is just absolutely so very perfect and far more intricate than most realize (for example, I love that the protagonist continues about his day while blood is apparently erupting everywhere, mirroring many creepypastas where terrible things happen and the protagonist just continues his daily life or even falls asleep so that the story may continue). In terms of horror-focused creepypastas, though, it would have to be The Russian Sleep Experiment. It reminded me very strongly of Beyond The Wall of Sleep, and I love the places those kinds of stories take the reader.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta resonates so well with the fandom?

MD: I believe Creepypasta resonates well with the fandom because the community actually designed it that way. Without realizing it, the format we rapidly evolved on the original site was created to be short, sweet, and viral. In many ways, Creepypastas are the Vines or Tweets of horror. They grab you with a character or situation and hit you with a cool ending in a span of time suited for the internet era; it’s like fast forwarding a Twilight Zone to get to the twist at the end. Even though the Twilight Zone is awesome, we’ve all skipped to the end once or twice, because the much faster pace of our lives today and the way we consume content has made us all far savvier. We don’t need slow builds to establish a believable concept anymore. We want to believe.

UKHS: What do you think the appeal of Psychosis is to fans?

MD: I think Psychosis takes an interesting niche among the range of Creepypastas. I haven’t kept up on the whole continuum of stories, but for a long time Psychosis was definitely the longest Creepypasta out there. I believe the idea at the core of it is too complex to explain in a shorter tale, while the setup is very similar to many of the reader’s demographic (college aged male) and common experiences we’re increasingly having with media / the internet. So Creepypasta readers got into it, signed up for the ride so to speak, and rode the inevitable tailspin into seeming madness like a rollercoaster. In that way — being a Creepypasta, but being so unlike most of them at the same time — I believe Psychosis slotted itself into a permanent role in the roster.

UKHS: And what do you think is the appeal of the Asylum series?

MD: The feedback I got from the Asylum series as I wrote it definitely helped direct it. Here the protagonist questions not only our social reality, but also the realities of individuals, including himself. When we undermine faith in the system as we are told it is, we undermine our own position and everything we know about ourselves.
Are we really who we think we are? Or are we just fulfilling the role others expect of us? It was questions like these that many commenters and messagers spoke of, and I was happy to dive into that with each new chapter. Body image issues, caffeine addiction, pressures to perform in school and work, relationship pressures, and more were all tackled through a lens of Reality vs Expectations.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?

MD: Certain chapters of the multiverse series I am currently writing rank among my favorites. I relive these intense chapters in my memories as if I watched them in a movie theater, and I’m just so glad I was able to get there and make those moments real in writing. I especially identify with the non-heroes in my stories; the men and women who aren’t important, aren’t heroic, and are just trying to understand their place in an uncaring universe.

UKHS: I read the full Asylum series by downloading the eBook from Amazon (http://amzn.to/294FQjc). What inspired you to collect the chapters and release them in this way? What challenges did it present?

MD: I’ve been working for quite some time on self-publishing and publishing other authors as a profession. I’ve been doing that and writing for about seven years now, and my own books (such as the Asylum) result from my learning process. At the time, Amazon’s system was pretty bad, and I actually had to edit HTML directly to make the formatting work. They’ve come a long way since then, but I’ll always remember coding my book like a program just to make it readable. It’s surreal, absurd, and a little hilarious.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about these stories. Are there any examples of fan art for either story that really impresses you?

MD: I actually did have a couple links saved, but my computer died recently and I lost them. Mostly what I immediately thought of were the numerous videos and narrations that fans have done for Psychosis. I always recommend Chilling Tales for Dark Nights’ rendition of Psychosis, narrated by Jeff Clement (https://www.chillingtalesfordarknights.com/2014/01/17/psychosis-matt-dymerski-narrated-jeff-clement-feat-c-lake-otis-jiry/) . It’s awesome.

psychosis1UKHS: You’re a prolific writer, regularly releasing stories to your sub-reddit (r/M59Gar) and over at r/nosleep. How do you keep the creative juices flowing? Is writing a process that you enjoy or is it more about getting your stories out there to an audience?

MD: I’m glad you mentioned that, because I really hope to get this point out to prospective authors: if you write what you love writing, it’s easy and fulfilling. I have taken my work in numerous crazy directions because I was seeking a flow I completely enjoyed; feedback and engagement from readers helps, but the stories come to me because I’m actually interested in the characters, the adventure, and the format doesn’t hold me back. Nothing has ever been so difficult as trying to write for someone else’s format when I don’t really know what I’m doing — that’s when you’ll get the ‘writer’s block’ feeling of frustration and blankness.

So if you’re having trouble creating a story, I recommend you try to figure out what it is you really want to be writing. The answer might surprise you.

UKHS: Will you ever return to the story of Asylum or Psychosis in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?

MD: Absolutely. We are always closer to the stories of Psychosis and the Asylum than we know, and Our Blind Spot is a current series touching upon that world. I will be spiraling toward the truth of that reality over several future series.

UKHS: Finally, are there any links to which you’d like me to send my readers to see more of your work?

MD: Just the standard links are fine:

My blog (http://mattdymerski.com)
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MattDymerskiAuthor/)
My subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/m59gar)
Matt Dymerski on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Matt-Dymerski/e/B00A82LSW4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473293594&sr=8-1)

UKHS: Thank you again!

It’s so refreshing to see such talented individuals still committed to their fans and the reddit community that made their name. In the hands of writers like Dymerski, authors prepared to challenge the perception of Creepypasta and continue to raise the bar with weightier, compelling themes, the genre is sure to grow and grow.

Come back next week for another fascinating example of web horror, one that revisits one of the most infamous and chilling stories I’ve covered here before.

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 29: I Was Not A Bad Kid

wbkg1DARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA – PART 29: I WAS NOT A BAD KID

There are few things as legitimately horrifying as the mistreatment of children. As normal, well-adjusted people we are hard-wired to want to protect the most defenceless, vulnerable members of society. That there are monsters out there who might prey on youngsters is truly disturbing, so it’s probably no surprise to hear that a number of Creepypasta stories deal with precisely this subject matter.

Back in March I covered two of the most infamous of these — 1999 and Where Bad Kids Go. These not only address the abuse of children, but they also feature that always popular Pasta trope ‘the sinister TV show’.

1999 is the more well-known of the two and dates back to 2011 when author Giant Engineer posted the story to the Creepypasta Wikia (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/1999). It’s the story of a young man named Elliot who, through a series of blog posts, recounts his experiences with a strange TV station, Caledon Local 21, and the shows that it screened including the now infamous Mr Bear’s Cellar.

Where Bad Kids Go is a much shorter pasta about an old Lebanese children’s show that served as a serious warning against misbehaviour. The exact origin of this story remains unknown, but you can read it here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Where_Bad_Kids_Go

So why am I mentioning them both now?

Well, one of the greatest things about Creepypasta is that it is created for the fans, by the fans. Plagiarism is frowned upon, sure, but the fact is that, for the most part, these stories are given to the community to evolve and adapt as they see fit. ‘Unauthorised’ sequels and spin-offs are common place… but (aside from the obvious and often creatively bankrupt ‘versus’ stories) it’s quite rare to see a writer attempt to merge two separate pastas.

It was this that Redditor Nico Wonderdust recently achieved with the story I Was Not A Bad Kid.
Posted to that bastion of quality spooky stories, r/creepypasta on 4 August, (http://creepypastatoo.wikia.com/wiki/I_Was_Not_A_Bad_Kid) Nico’s story brings together 1999 and Where Bad Kids Go with haunting results.

I don’t want to spoil the plot here, but suffice it to say that the story opens in 1985 in Lebanon when our narrator was just a child and details a terrifying ordeal that he experiences at the hands of a family friend. Lucky to escape with his life, years later he moves to Canada… where his own young son makes a chilling discovery.

I Was Not A Bad Kid isn’t the greatest Creepypasta I’ve ever read, but it is very, very good. When you consider that this is the author’s very first pasta, it’s quite astonishing. The real thing that stands out for me with this story is the seamless manner in which Nico Wonderdust blends two separate, established mythos. It’s a perfect example of what I often call the fluid nature of creepypastas — always changing and evolving as they are adapted and spread by the same fans who consume them. Not only is he an author of Creepypasta, Nico Wonderdust is clearly a fan of web horror as well.

It takes a lot of care and attention, not to mention bravery, to adapt a well-loved property (something film-maker Adam Wingard recently discovered with his sequel Blair Witch), and it is very, very difficult to get it right. I Was Not A Bad Kid is a fine example of how good the result can be when it does. Nico Wonderdust was kind enough to take some time to speak with UK Horror Scene about his story and the creative process through which he created it.

UK HORROR SCENE: Hi Nico, thanks so much for talking to us. In your own words, tell us a little about I Was Not A Bad Kid?

NICO WONDERDUST: I Was Not A Bad Kid is a story joining two otherwise unrelated CreepyPasta that, in my opinion, work really well together if you use a little imagination and do a bit of research. The story revolves around a child (who I mistakenly didn’t give a name) who stays over at their friend’s house and is kidnapped by Mr Bear, then taken to the building from Where Bad Kids Go, in the end he manages to escape from the building, move to Canada, then start a family. Later his son sees Mr Bear on TV, which is where the story ends.

I get asked a lot of questions from readers regarding the story, about things that I thought were obvious, but maybe they’re only obvious to me as I wrote the story and fully understood the idea behind it and what’s really going on the whole time. I’d like to take this opportunity to clear a few things up based on questions I have been asked. Anthony’s father is Mr Bear, this is how the main character was kidnapped so easily, Anthony had also been subjected to the same kind of treatment as the rest of the “bad kids”, however, being Mr Bear’s only son, and the only child who was successfully brainwashed, Anthony was released, he does occasionally slip up, like at the dinner table, but soon “falls in line” with a slight push in the right direction from his father.

When the building was burnt down, this is when Anthony’s father moved to Canada and set up a TV station. Shortly after this is when the unknown person broke into the room when the main character was kept prisoner — this unknown person is actually the journalist from Where Bad Kids Go. The last line of my story is a direct quote from the original 1999 story.

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the story?

NW: The two original stories themselves were what inspired me to write this story, I’d always wanted to write CreepyPastas but I never knew where to start or what to write about, until I got the idea of somehow tying together two otherwise unrelated CreepyPasta. Believe it or not, this is actually the first CreepyPasta I’ve ever written.

wbkg2UKHS: Why did you choose to tackle not just one but two of the most popular Creepypastas?

NW: It wasn’t so much about taking on two popular CreepyPastas, but just joining together two CreepyPastas which I felt worked together. If I could find a way to make it work, I could have joined together two CreepyPastas such as Desmond’s Journal and I Met Robin Hood, but that wouldn’t have worked. I felt this did work though, because both of the stories revolve around TV shows aimed at children, from there I did a little research and found the timeline worked very well.

In Where Bad Kids Go the main character talks about “The Big War” ending, which I found to be The Lebanon War, which ended in June 1985, this is when my story starts, just before the end of the war. From then on, my story crosses over with this one, gave 14 years for my character to move to Canada, grow up, start a family and then I Was Not A Bad Kid crosses over with 1999.

UKHS: Were you at all nervous tackling two such beloved pastas?

NW: Sure I was nervous, partly because I was taking on two huge stories that are already well established within the community and I didn’t know how people would feel about me taking what they already know and changing it. I didn’t want them to think I was doing this just to use big named stories in my story. I wrote this purely for the idea behind it, the coming together of two stories that people wouldn’t usually associate with each other, aside from them both containing a TV show. But I was also really nervous because, as I said before, this is the first time I’d written a CreepyPasta, it would have been the first story I’d ever written had I not done the “Escape From Kraznir” assignment in my first year of high school.

I don’t remember much about the assignment other than having to write three parts, each part was set on one day. There was a three-headed dragon-type thing I believe was called a Margatroth, maybe, and the teacher pulled me up about my writing ability, which was literally something along the lines of: “They were stuck on top of a high pillar, a dragon flying around them, and at the bottom of a 100-foot drop was a lake of lava, but one of them had a magic ring and teleported them all to safety”

My teacher wasn’t impressed, and rightly so, I could have written out an epic battle, a near-death scene, I could have done a lot with that kind of situation but I opted for a magic ring? I was so unimaginative at 11 years old!

UKHS: You say you don’t mind talking about Creepypasta? Would you say you’re a fan? If so, what is your favourite Creepypasta by a creator other than yourself?

NW: No, I don’t mind talking about CreepyPasta at all, I could literally sit and talk all day, or night, given that it’s currently 2:14am right now! Yes definitely, I’m a huge fan of CreepyPasta! Now this is a really difficult question, I couldn’t really say which single CreepyPasta is my favourite as there are so many amazing ones out there, but I do have a couple that spring to mind right now.

Dear Abby is one of my favourites not for how well-written it is or anything like that, but this is the first CreepyPasta I ever read. I was streaming on YouNow and was asked to read a CreepyPasta for about the 100th time that week, so I gave in and the user suggested Dear Abby. I started reading and I was so freaked out by the way the letters develop I actually stopped reading mid-stream.

The Russian Sleep Experiment really got me too and I was one of the many people who thought it was a really experiment! I also love a lot of Slimebeast’s work, aside from the obvious, Abandoned by Disney, I really love Afterpeople”and Denialist, Slimebeast is a genius and his stories are so clever and so well-written.

When God Blinks is another new favourite, I thought that was a really clever idea and that got me really thinking.
I also love Waking Up, The Black Pill, Absolute Hell, anything about afterlife experiences gets my heart racing! The Fairdale Kids Stay Inside was great too. There’s far too many to name.

Then there’re less known CreepyPastas such as Desmond’s Journal, I Met Robin Hood and Johnny Really Goes Missing… I’m going to have to stop there, I could go on all night.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta resonates so well with the fandom?

NW: I believe it’s all about love. I believe that for readers, myself included, that love is for the feeling of being lost in a story that really plays with your mind, whether that’s to put the fear of God into you, trip you out or make you think “this could be real”. For writers, I believe it’s the love of writing and the love of causing those feelings for the readers or making them really think.

Because of how passionate the people who read or write CreepyPasta are it has a snowball effect and other people find themselves getting pulled in too, only to share stories, or become a writer themselves and before you know it their friends get pulled in too. At least, that’s what I believe.

UKHS: What do you think the appeal of 1999 is to fans?

NW: I personally think that the story is so well-written and is so realistic that many people have fallen in love with this story. I mean, it’s not very difficult at all to set up a home studio to broadcast on the old analog channels that are no longer used, all you need is the internet and to know what to look for. 1999 is a very simple story, written to the highest of standards and the fact that Giant Engineer took on the role of the character, frequently updating the original story, adding new parts such as messages from Mr Bear since his escape played a big part.

UKHS: And what do you think is the appeal of Where Bad Kids Go?

NW: See now this one is harder to answer, for me personally. I think it still contains some aspects of realism — a lot of messed up TV shows were made in the Seventies and Eighties — and a lot of these TV shows make it into CreepyPastas, such as Candle Cove, so why not this one? I think that any CreepyPasta about a messed up TV show, over time, will do well and appeal to the community.

UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

NW: Other than CreepyPasta, I don’t actually read various stories by individual authors very much. I love a lot of Stephen King and personally have a couple of his books, Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole stories (well, diaries) were absolutely amazing too. Other than that, I mainly read CreepyPasta. I absolutely love Slimebeast, C.K. Walker’s wrote many great stories, and CreepsMcPasta has written a number of really good stories too. I’m also a huge fan of writers who are not so well known, such as WanderingRiverdog, Pokerf1st and Huck Shuck.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?

NW: With this being my first CreepyPasta, and seemingly being well received by approximately 90+ percent of people who have read it, I’m very proud of this story. But there’s one other thing, that since starting writing (and relating to) CreepyPasta that I’m very proud of, and that’s a Wiki I set up about a month ago.

The idea behind it is that any writer, no matter how small or how well-known, can come along and post whatever stories they wish, without ridiculously high expectations and unrealistic requirements (at least for new writers). On a certain website, they don’t allow you to write spin-offs, your posts will be deleted because of errors, the staff put writers down — it’s just awful. How is a new writer supposed to flourish with that kind of treatment?

So I set up a Wiki where these writers can post whatever they like, and I have some great moderators who are there to help these writers develop their skills and potentially become amazing at something they love! We also have narrators in our team who are looking for original stories to read instead of the same stories as every other narrator, and because of this, the community just works so well.

We’re currently a very small community, but we’re a community of like-minded people with a passion for CreepyPasta, we’re there to help each other grow and to support each other, we work together as a team and welcome newcomers with open arms, and that is what I’m most proud of.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about these stories. Are than any examples of fan art for either story that really impresses you?

NW: To be totally honest, I haven’t really seen that much fan art of either story, a couple of cartoons of Mr Bear here and there, I believe I saw him with a gun once? I also saw a short movie of Where The Bad Kids Go, but personally preferred reading the story to seeing it acted out. If anybody’s made a genuinely good movie of 1999 I’d love to see that, however!

UKHS: Will you ever return to the story of I Was Not A Bad Kid in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?

NW: Until you asked that question I actually never intended to return to the story, but after thinking about it, I do believe there are a couple of things could do with it, so who knows? It’s too early to tell just yet, but you’ve certainly planted the seed.

I am actually working on another story right now toying with the idea of alternate dimensions and I’ve got another couple of ideas I’ve been playing around with and making notes, so more stories are definitely on the cards. Aside from that, I’m working on the Wiki daily, getting in touch with new authors to ask permission to post their stories (and for our narrators to read them if they wish), adding help pages here and there and bringing in new writers and narrators.

In the future, I also plan on narrating my own stories too, but I’m going to need a decent amount of stories before that idea takes off.

UKHS: Would you consider adapting any other popular pastas?

NW: One of the ideas I’ve been playing around with recently involved Slenderman, but it would be difficult to write a really good Slenderman CreepyPasta with it being so overdone. I may try my hand at joining two other CreepyPasta at some point in the future too, I had fun writing I Was Not A Bad Kid and would like to do something similar again. I did also want to write The Russian Sleep Experiment 3 (Following CreepsMcPasta’s number 2) but at this minute in time I believe taking on something like that is way out of my league, and if I ever got round to it, there’s a chance it may have already been done by then.

wbkg3UKHS: Finally, are there any links to which you’d like me to send my readers to see more of your work?

NW: Any stories I post in the future will all be posted on my Wiki which is http://CreepyPastaToo.wikia.com and I encourage everyone of all writing abilities to come along and share their stories too!

And for those who want to keep updated on when I post a story, I’ll put out a message on Facebook and a Tweet via http://facebook.com/NicoWonderdust and @NicoWonderdust . As I said earlier, in the future I do want to narrate, so if anybody wants to hear that just search for “Nico Wonderdust” on Youtube from time to time.

It’s always good to see talented young writers such as Nico emerging in the Creepypasta community, it suggest that the genre is in good hands for the future.

However, next week I’ll be speaking to somebody who can be considered a veteran author as we discuss one of the greatest Creepypastas of all time.

It’s one you won’t want to miss.