Triple Six Horror Festival announce award winners 2017!!

rsz_triple_six_festival_sponsors_1The Triple Six Horror Film Festival had it’s debut this May 27th & 28th at the AMC Cinema in Manchester UK.

Showing  nine features and 13 shorts from across the globe it was a celebration of horror cinema and had many filmmakers, crew, actors and fans alike descending on Manchester which included the amazing Richard Stanley who was there for a special 35mm screening of Hardware and spent the entire weekend chilling with fans , signing autographs and who can forget his cracking live Q&A following Hardware, well I can as I was in A&E but that’s another story haha!!

So over 2 weeks have passed since Triple Six and it is time for the awards that were from the judges and also 2 special audience awards . So with great please the Triple Six crew can announce the following:

tonedeathposter_zpsjt6szourBest Film – Tone Death

Best Short – Pigskin

Best Director – José Pedro Lopes for The Forest of The Lost Souls

Audience Award Best Film – The Forest of The Lost Souls

Audience Awards Best Short – The Cleansing Hour


As a director of Triple Six I would like to thank all the filmmakers who submitted features and shorts for T6 2017 and all the people who made it possible with hard work. There are just too many to name but they know who they are , and finally all the people who paid hard-earned money to support a brand new horror festival and made Triple Six a huge success. Lastly thank you to Colin Ellis and everyone at the AMC cinema , who made this happen.

See you in 2018 , if not before 😉

World Exclusive UK Horror Film THE FERRYMAN Teaser Trailer & New Stills




After a failed suicide attempt, troubled and lonely teen MARA finds herself stalked by a malevolent entity.

From Elliott Maguire:

“As much a psychological drama as a horror film, The Ferryman explores important themes such as depression and alienation in the modern world, while also delivering a truly terrifying cinematic experience. In the writing process I took inspiration from classics such as Let The Right One In and Candyman, to create that deep sense of evil, while creating characters that the audience actually care about”.

“The Ferryman” began production in March 2017, with a fantastic cast that includes NICOLA HOLT as MARA; GARTH MAUNDERS as ROLAND; SHOBI RAE MCLEAN as JULIA; VELTON J. LISHKE as THE DETECTIVE; PAM ASHTON as THE NURSE; and PHILIP SCOTT-SHURETY as THE THERAPIST.

Shooting has been taking place in and around Manchester throughout March and April, with the production taking inspiration from Sundance hit “Tangerine” and shooting on the iPhone 7, allowing a level of intimacy rarely seen in the horror genre and pushing this advancing technology to its limits.

Below you can find the first official stills from the movie, as well as the new teaser trailer.

You can follow the production on Twitter @ferrymanmovie and Facebook @ferrymanmovie, for all other enquiries you can contact the team on

Nicola Holt as MARAfm1









fm2Garth Maunders as ROLAND









fm3Philip Scott-Shurety









fm4Nicola Holt as MARA









fm5Pam Ashton as THE NURSE









fm6Nicola Holt as MARA; Shobi Rae McLean as JULIA; and Frank Mathews as THE THERAPIST








fm7Nicola Holt as MARA; Azz Mohammed as THE DETECTIVE









fm8Nicola Holt as MARA



A Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #10 Shooting Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania

rsz_1bm1Shooting Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania in Calgary, Canada

Herschell Gordon Lewis may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Thankfully he left horror fans with a parting gift: Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania! Lewis is truly a horror legend and his films will be remembered. In fact, he was recently remembered on Turner Classic Network for those we lost in 2016.

When I came out to Calgary, Canada to shoot Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania I thought this was the beginning of Lewis return to film, but sadly this ended up being his final film. It was a realization of a dream to be in Bloodmania; I was a big fan of Lewis and it was amazing to be leaving New York City to shoot in Canada. I am truly honored to have a celebrity cameo in his final epic film.

rsz_bm2I want to say what an honor it is to be included in a film by such a legendary film director of the horror genre! Lewis’ has made huge contributions to film! My favorites include Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and Wizard of Gore so give them a watch next time your in the mood for some classic gore!

I arrived in December and was lucky enough to attend a special Meet and Great put together by James Saito, Vice-president of Development and Production at Diabolique Films and President at HGB Entertainment Ltd. I got to meet some of the brightest people in the Calgary independent film scene. It was wonderful to finally meet James Saito after speaking to him for such a long time about are mutual loves of horror, and filmmaking. I am very thankful for the opportunity to come out to Canada and get covered in blood!

rsz_bm3Then I had a very bloody photo shoot with the very talented photographer, Kenneth Locke. Angela White, Sara-Joy Goode, Donovan Cerminara, and I were part of an amazing promo photo shoot. I arrived, had my hair and makeup done by the skilled Ashley Godick, changed into something super sexy and then we were ready for some fun! It was a tantalizing blood orgy for the eyes! Horror fans can look forward to seeing Genoveva Rossi as you have never seen her before! It was a beautifully bloody mess of a shoot!

Next it was on to shoot my part for Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania! First I want to say what an honor it is to be included in a film by such a legendary film director of the horror genre! Lewis’ has made huge contributions to film! My favorites include Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and Wizard of Gore so give them a watch next time your in the mood for some classic gore!

rsz_bm4One of the many of the high points of working on Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania was working with the amazing special effects expert David Trainor. Look for his work in the hit television show Fargo! It was amazing watching David in action! So much blood and gore for horror fans! It was also a pleasure to work closely with the multitalented James Saito.

When I learned of Lewis’ passing I cried. Perhaps we just all thought he was immortal. Certainly Lewis never planned on dying; he was simply too busy living. I am inspired that this was a man that lived creatively and fully up to the end and to the age of 86. He was a gentleman and a visionary who will never be forgotten. This horror queen is truly honored to be in his final film.

rsz_bm5Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
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News from the official press release!

rsz_bm6Herschell Gordon Lewis’ final film to be distributed by Monarch Films Inc.

Diabolique Films, and HGB Entertainment Ltd, are pleased to announce the signing of an exclusive worldwide distribution deal with Monarch Films Inc. for their horror anthology, “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania.”

“Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania” is the final film by legendary horror director Lewis, affectionately known as the “Godfather of Gore”, who passed away in late 2016, after a career in film spanning over fifty years.

“I am very excited to add Mr. Lewis’ final film to the quality package of new films we will be premiering at MIP 2017. We have already heard from many of our key TV and DVD buyers worldwide expressing their interest in licensing “BloodMania” for their territories. We will be making “BloodMania” available to horror fans worldwide via Amazon Prime and dozens of additional streaming platforms later this spring”. Art Skopinsky President,  Monarch Films

Diabolique Films and HGB Entertainment Vice President and Producer James Saito says, “It is extremely gratifying to work with Monarch Films to bring Herschell’s final film to his loyal international fan base, and to introduce his work to a whole new generation of horror fans.”

rsz_bm7The horror anthology film consists of four tales – each representing a different genre of classic horror cinema. Lewis himself described the film as, “… a perfect combination of horror and comedy”.

Mr. Lewis wrote and directed two segments. The other two were directed by Melanie Reinboldt and Kevin Littlelight. The anthology stars Roger LeBlanc, Stuart Bentley, Sonia Deleo and Caroline Buzanko.

A release date for “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania” will be announced shortly.

“All of my movies can be traced back to the work of H.G. Lewis”. Eli Roth (Director of “Cabin Fever”, “Hostel”, “”)

“A new film from Herschell Gordon Lewis is a treat for all horror fans!” Tom Holland (Director of “Fright Night”, “Child’s Play”)

Relevant Links:

Official Website:




Monarch Films:

Diabolique Films:

HGB Entertainment Ltd:

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website:

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Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
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The Triple Six Horror Film Festival announces full line-up and weekend tickets on sale now!!

rsz_triple_six_festival_sponsors_1The Triple Six Horror Film Festival 2017 announces it’s full line-up for May 27th and 28th at AMC Manchester PLUS weekend tickets on sale now!!

Triple Six is a new international film festival that aims to celebrate everything that is great in new independent horror filmmaking . Showing 9 features and 12 shorts over two days at the AMC cinema complex in Manchester, Triple Six has films from around the world while also having a British backbone throughout.

Full Weekend tickets are on sale from April 3rd and are strictly limited . On sale for just four weeks they allow the holder to see all 9 films, 12 shorts and the live Q&A and are priced at just £30 each and are available here –

On Saturday May 27th Triple Six kicks off with the European Premiere of Quarries – Nils Taylor’s backwoods horror where a group of women on a wilderness expedition are stalked . A taut and intense feature that will start Triple Six at one hell of a pace.

The Forest of Lost Souls is a Portuguese slow burn horror from Director Jose Pedro Lopez. Filmed in black and white and with a stunning score , this is a story of suicide, love ,loss and much more. Maybe not a traditional festival film The Forest of Lost Souls is something very special and Triple Six has the UK Premiere.

The Unkindness of Ravens is director Lawrie Brewster’s third feature and follows from his stunning Lord of Tears (2013). Ravens follows the story of a homeless veteran who battles his demons in the Scottish Highlands. Visually stunning Brewster shows his vision and direction grows with each film and this is a must on the BIG SCREEN.

hardwareAnd to finish Saturday we have Hardware (1990) on 35mm which will be followed by a full Q&A with director Richard Stanley who will talk about his seminal directorial debut and much more. This is a very rare chance to catch Hardware on 35mm and will be a very special event indeed.

So for Sunday Triple Six starts with the UK Premiere of The Chair from director Chad Ferrin. The Chair is based on the graphic novel from Peter Simeti and tells the story of a man on death row fighting to survive even before the event itself. As dark as the original story The Chair is a claustrophobic, sadistic and harrowing watch starring genre stalwart Bill Oberst Jr, Gremlins Zach Galligan and was the last feature of the legendary Roddy Piper. A tough start for a Sunday but hell this is a horror festival!

Offensive is the latest offering from director Jon Ford (The Dead) . Set in rural France Offensive follows a retired American couple who inherit a house on the proviso they live there for a year first. In what seems a perfect and idyllic setting they soon find out the local youths might not be all they seem! Showing in it’s full uncut version (maybe for the last time) this is a wild ride. Previously only screened at Frightfest 2016 this is a must see!

Cruel Summer is not a new release , in fact it is out on UK DVD. However the Triple Six directors felt that Phil Escott and Craig Newman’s feature was something that NEEDED to be seen on the big screen. Starring Emmerdale’s Danny Miller, Cruel Summer shows how one decision can change lives and is a truly haunting tale based in a single day and you will not be able to shift this from deep in your soul!

tonedeathposter_zpsjt6szourWorld Premiere time as Triple Six welcome Tone Death. A techno producer is followed by a filmmaker as he attempts to invent a device that will send the consciousness of the listener to another level. When the experiments go horrifically wrong he goes to extreme levels to keep going and finding new volunteers. Directed by Roger Armstrong and John Hickman this is a real gem that is British through and through.

And to close Triple Six is the English Premiere of Ben Young’s stunning debut Hounds of Love . One of the most important genre releases this decade Hounds of Love is a masterclass in suspense. A young woman is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive. You will feel almost every emotion in the 110 minute run time and with acting performances to drool over then what a way to finish.

Running times are to be confirmed .

The full line-up is as follows

Hardware (1990) in 35mm followed by live Q&A with Richard Stanley.

Quarries (2016) European Premiere

rsz_hounds_love_redUnkindness of Ravens (2016)

The Chair (2016) UK Premiere

Cruel Summer (2016)

Tone Death (2017) World Premiere

Forest of Lost Souls (2016) UK Premiere

Offensive (2016) Northern Premiere

Hounds of Love (2016) English Premiere

As well as showing some amazing features Triple Six will also be showcasing some stunning short films from around the world and again with many UK films. Each feature will have at least one short before it to highlight the amazing talent in anything from 2 minutes to 18 minutes.

The full line-up for the short films are

rsz_cleansing_hour_poster_zpsobiwiherThe Cleansing Hour – Director Damien LeVeck

Starf*cker – Director Emilie Flory

Gene – Director Nick Padley

The Honeymoon – Director Ruth Pickett

The Night Circus – Director Eskild Krogh

Dissociative – Director Damon Rickard

Shortcut – Director Prano Bailey-Bond

Rats – Director Mark Logan

Your Date is Here – Directors Todd Spence & Zak White

Hada – Director Tony Morales

Pigskin – Director Jake Hammond

rsz_t6_announcementTriple Six are also very happy to welcome Richard Stanley as our special guest for the entire weekend which will include an amazing live Q&A following the very rare 35mm screening of his seminal directorial debut Hardware (1990) . This will be something very special indeed and the Q&A will not only focus on Hardware but also Richard’s colourful and at times unbelievable career in cinema.

Triple Six Co-Director Andy Deen said “ We are so thrilled that we can finally announce the full line-up for Triple Six. As genre fans myself and Chris have spent the last 9 months organising Triple Six and now can’t wait to get until the weekend of May 27th & 28th to sit with real horror fans and watch a weekend of stunning and diverse independent horror cinema”. “The highlight will of course be the 35mm screening of the seminal horror sci-fi classic Hardware (1990) and the live Q&A with Richard Stanley , but in reality there will be many highlights throughout the weekend as we have such sights to show you

Triple Six Co-Director Chris Barnes also added “ The reasons behind starting Triple Six were our love for horror (both Andy and I run UK horror websites) but also we wanted to shine a blood red spotlight on the amazing talent in genre filmmaking. I mean when you look at the range of feature and short films we are showing you can see just what passion, vision and skill everyone involved in these films have”. “ Also we are grateful to AMC Manchester as they have fully supported a new horror festival and have made us feel part of the family. Their knowledge and professionalism ensures we will have a smooth and stunning weekend of big screen horror – and I mean BIG SCREEN!!

Andy finally added “When we set up Triple Six one of the main reasons was to showcase the British talent that we know is out there. Often British horror can be overlooked but at Triple Six we have three British features and six shorts and it is our honour to get these on the Big Screen where they should be seen

The Triple Six Horror Film Festival takes place at AMC Deansgate Manchester on May 27th & 28th and tickets are available on the AMC booking site here –

Manchester’s Triple Six Horror Film Festival Announce A Very Special Guest PLUS MORE!!

hardware-t6-picManchester’s Triple Six Horror Film Festival announce their first special guest Richard Stanley plus a 35mm screening of Hardware with a Q&A and more.

The Triple Six Horror Film Festival is proud to announce that their first special guest will be the groundbreaking director Richard Stanley who will be with them for the entire weekend. PLUS they will be showing his debut feature Hardware (1990) on 35mm followed by a full Q&A with Richard .

Hardware is a totally unique, visually stunning feature that needs to be seen on the big screen. Aesthetically compared to Gilliam & Jodorowsky and with a real 1990’s man vs machine mentality that summed up the age when technology was becoming an essential part of life not a luxury, along with a stunning industrial score, Hardware is a mix of horror, sci-fi and much more. Rarely seen on the big screen ,especially in 35mm, this will be an amazing one-off experience !!

richard-stanleyRichard has kindly agreed to be at Triple Six throughout the entire weekend , and will be on hand to sign items , have pictures and indeed just chat with horror fans that attend. He will also be part of a Q&A after the Hardware screening where he talk about Hardware and his career in general, this is something that will be a one-off and not to be missed as Richard rarely leaves his isolated location in France .

Triple Six is a new UK horror film festival based at the AMC cinema in Manchester and will be over May 27th & May 28th 2017. AMC is a state-of-art cinema complex in the centre of Manchester and Triple Six will be based in their Screen 3 which has a wonderful fully functioning 35mm projector. On top of Hardware Triple Six will be showing seven more ‘new’ horror features and 8 ‘new’ horror shorts , for a weekend of horror on the BIG SCREEN.

Submissions are open until March 1st for Triple Six at Film Freeway here –

Plus you can keep updated at the following addresses –

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen – A Tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis

genrossibannerA Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen – A Tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis

A true legend of the horror genre has left us. I am saddened to hear of the passing of the “Godfather of Gore”, Herschell Gordon Lewis. I was assured that he left this world peacefully at the age of 87. This horror queen is honored to have acted in his upcoming final film, “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania”. Today we speak with the producer of his final film, James Saito. Saito isn’t simply a producer though; he is also the Vice President of Development/Production for Diabolique Films, the film division of Diabolique Magazine, a lifelong horror fan, and was a close friend of Lewis.

Interview with Producer James Saito


grhgl11. What was the first Herschell Gordon Lewis’ film you saw and how old were you?

My Uncle took me to a drive-in where I saw, “The Wizard of Gore”. I would have been ten years old, but the film opened my eyes to a new kind of horror – very bloody horror! It was an epiphany for me, and provided me with an affection for splatter which has stuck with me all these years later.

2. How did you come to meet and end up working with Lewis on “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania”?

I was volunteering as a guest booker and head of marketing and promotion for a horror convention, and I received an email wondering if we would be interested in having Herschell attend. I was stunned. I stood looking at my phone trying to digest what I was reading, my hand began shaking. I called and spoke to Herschell about arrangements, and we ended up chatting for quite some time. I told him of my lifelong love of his films (he could listen to that sort of thing all day)…

grhgl5He then proposed that we make a film together. We decided that we would produce a script he had written some years earlier entitled, “Mr. Bruce and the Gore Machine” A.K.A. “The Stainless Steel Butcher”. Things progressed, we had found investors but some interference from an outside source made these investors nervous. It was back to the drawing board. I thought I would let things settle for a few months, and approach it again.

One evening I was at a theatre for a Raven Banner one night screening of a film. They showed a short horror film before the feature, and it was not very good at all. “A guy has to be able to do better than that”, I remember thinking to myself – that was when the idea for an anthology film took hold.

3. How has knowing Lewis so closely affected your life? What wisdom has he given you?

Where does one start? From a business and marketing standpoint he was a wealth of knowledge. Herschell had a saying, “it’s called show BUSINESS, we are here to make money”. That may or may not be my own stance on the matter, but he is entirely correct.



During production I was guilty of watching his every move, trying to burn the experience into my memory. The man was being accurate when he stated in interviews, “Two words that you will never hear on my set – Take two”. He knew the shots he wanted, and he was usually satisfied with one take. By today’s standards this means no extra coverage which is an editor’s nightmare. You are left with very linear storytelling, but I wasn’t overly concerned, fans expect this, and indeed treasure this about his work.

I am writing this a day after his passing, so I am heartbroken and probably still in shock somewhat. There are so many wonderful memories for me to take to the grave with me:

Listening to Herschell recite a selection from, “A Shropshire Lad” by English poet Alfred Edward Housman:

“When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.
And I am two-and-twenty
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true”.

So moved was he that he wept during his recitation.



Herschell was a gentleman of the kind that this society rarely produces anymore. He was a kind and gentle soul. I always smiled when I was in his room late at night looking at dailies, before bed he would call his wife Margo and do that thing all of us guys do. At the end of the call he would lower his voice and say, “I love you” to her hoping that no one else would hear.

He told me about a time when he was around the age I am now. He was in a bad way, as men our age can be sometimes. He considered his film career over, there was no place to harness his creativity. He was working a job he didn’t particularly care for, and was admittedly at the lowest point in his life. Thoughts of suicide had even crossed his mind briefly, but he said he couldn’t do that to his children.

Then one day out of the blue a woman walked into the office where he worked and changed his life forever. He went on to marry this young woman Margo, and he said she was the best thing that ever happened to him. They shared everything together.

One day Herschell sat beside me, put his arm around me and said, “Jim, what I want most for you is to find a woman who can be your partner in life and in business just like Margo and I have”. He knew of a deep and abiding love that I had for a woman of our mutual acquaintance, and that we had recently gone our separate ways. He wanted so badly to play Cupid, but I kept telling him to leave it alone. Two days before his passing he was still inquiring about her and hoping for good news.

I recall a time that he asked me, “Do you know what made me want to work with you”? I told him I had no idea, but his reply was, “Because you have a command of the English language”. My response was, “Really, that’s all it took”?

Recording the opening theme to BloodMania which Herschell wrote entitled, “Gory Story” was an unbelievable thrill. I got to sing some backup vocals on the chorus. When we walked into the studio a band was waiting to record, we had lyrics and only an idea of the kind of arrangement we were looking for. 90 minutes later the song was in the can. The amazing part was watching Herschell sitting at a piano and basically writing the song on the spot.

grhgl2He was an exceptional piano player, and believed that a home wasn’t a home without a piano in it. He made me promise to buy one, even if I never learned to play. I will honor this promise when I move into the home where I will spend the rest of my days’

Sometimes a situation or scene would have to be reworked for any number of reasons. One day an entire scene had to be scrapped and a new one written. The two of us wrote four pages in half an hour. The creative flow that we shared that day is something I will always treasure.

The last time I saw him in person he was in a wheel chair at the airport because his knee was giving him grief. The last words he spoke to me were, “I love you Jim”. I told him I loved him too, bent down and kissed him on the forehead.

Herschell once said to me, “Occasionally a person comes into your life, and they are an “Architect of Destiny”. He went on to explain that some people have a direct impact on a person, shaping and altering the rest of their existence. He has certainly been such an architect with me.

There were still so many things left unsaid. I hope he knew how much gratitude I had for the privilege of spending so much time with him, the difference he made in my personal outlook on many levels, and that for too brief a time I was able to be that ten year old boy again watching one of my heroes in action.

4. What can you tell fans about Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania, the legend’s final film? Any idea when to look for it? Where can fans find updates?

Diabolique Films stance on this is that we were never in any rush to just get the film released ASAP. Behind the scenes there are a great many projects and planning that has been taking place. We are looking at becoming a horror film distributor ourselves. I think though that the decision about release has become moot with Mr. Lewis’ passing. I have been deluged by emails from interested parties all day, and we will make a formal announcement as soon as I sign the paperwork.

Updates on the film can be found at:

Official Website:




grhgl45. Any experiences on set you’d like to share with readers?

A great many, but they are going to have to wait until the release of the Special Edition Blu-Ray for those. We are getting ready to shoot new interviews, commentaries, and put together some behind the scenes footage that will blow fans minds. I promise every fan of Herschell’s work that this will be one bonus feature packed disc for the ages!

6. Any final thoughts on Herschell Gordon Lewis and the legacy he leaves behind?

As Herschell always said, “the crystal ball is murky”, it would be hard for me to predict how he will be remembered in generations to come. He did invent the “Splatter Film”, and is “The Godfather of Gore” no one can ever take that away from him. For those who knew him he will be remembered for his sagacity and his humanity. The world needs many more men like Herschell Gordon Lewis, not one less.

I want to say it was a huge honor to be an actress in “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania”. Thank you James for your time and words. May Lewis’ legacy and memory live on through us, the horror fans!

Also tune in next month for another chilling installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen and hear more about my life in horror!

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my new website: [2]
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Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
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Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 28 The Rake Re-Visited


creepypastaThere are some truly unspeakable monsters in the Creepypasta universe. As terrifying as the human faces of evil such as Jeff the Killer are, it is the otherworldly creatures that have always best captured my attention. From the monstrous wheezing thing in Michael Whitehouse’s Bedtime to the ubiquitous Slender Man, it seems to me that some of Creepypasta’s greatest creations are its supernatural entities.

This week I’m going to return to one of the most notorious of these beasties — The Rake.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Rake, it is a fascinating example of creation by committee. Back toward the tail-end of 2005, an anonymous user posted a message to 4chan’s /b/ board that simply read: hey /b/ lets make a new monster.

From here lots of users put forward their own ideas about the most vile creatures they could imagine and, over time, some ideas started to stick. This led another user to start a new thread based on what was the most popular idea, with a post that read: Alright, this is for the people who like the three-eyes, no apparent mouth, pale skin one. Here’s what we’ve got so far: Humanoid, about six feet tall when standing, but usually crouches and walks on all fours. It has very pale skin. The face is blank. As in, no nose, no mouth. However, it has three solid green eyes, one in the middle of its forehead, and the other two on either side of its head, towards the back. Usually seen in front yards in suburban areas. Usually just watches the observer, but will stand up and attack if approached. When it attacks, a mouth opens up, as if a hinged skull that opens at the chin. Reveals many tiny, but dull teeth. This eventually became Operation Crawler, although that name was later discarded in favour of The Rake.

The creature has its genesis from dozens, if not hundreds of contributors, but arguably one of the most important of those was a backstory written on the personal Something Awful blog by Bryan Somerville. Taking the form of a number of historical accounts of encounters with the pale-skinned monster, it gave us an insight into a being’s terrible, mysterious motives.

You can read it at the Creepypasta Wiki here:

It’s a VERY strong story, and unlike the multiple (and often conflicting) origins that I’ve covered here for the likes of Jeff the Killer or Jane the Killer, this one seems to have been widely accepted as canon for the mysterious being. It’s probably the fact that the story is so well-written that has caused the fan community to embrace it, but from Somerville’s tale The Rake has become one of THE iconic creepypasta characters, appearing in hundreds of examples of fanart and even spin-off tales. The Rake is even included in the first issue of the recently successfully crowd-funded Creepypasta comic book, as written by prolific Pasta author Vincent Vena Cava and arguably the most highly regarded Creepypasta YouTube reader, Mr Creepypasta.

rake01But never forget that it was Somerville who truly breathed malevolent life in the diabolical frame first created by the users of 4Chan. For that, the Creepypasta community owes the very humble Somerville a debt of gratitude.

I’m delighted to say that Bryan agreed to speak with UK Horror Scene about his role in the creation of one of the web’s most popular monsters.

The interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: Thank you for answering my questions. First, in your own words, tell us a little about the Rake?

BRYAN SOMERVILLE: The Rake is a human. He was born into a small exiled group forced from the community into the wilderness. As the small group rapidly collapsed, the remaining few were forced to eat the dead. During this period, he matured rapidly and eventually moved on as the only survivor. He is not immortal. I’d like to keep the mystery there, but there is a backstory that fills in the “why” and “how” of the character.

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the story?

BS: A simple question – what would a wild animal that was as smart as a human be like? One who was chased away by scared people with torches and guns for hundreds of years, with no hint of humanity remaining. This is the kind of thing I think of while lying in bed, so naturally it evolved into a bit of a recurring nightmare.

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

BS: Huge fan. One of the stories I’ll always remember was actually a photo essay about urban exploration. The author slipped small hints and silhouettes into the pictures and put together a story about a camera found in the woods while exploring an empty building. Another is the classic Ted the Caver story. So disturbing without ever explaining a single thing. I love the mystery up to and including the lack of an ending.

I don’t know who actually created these — and I’m sure I could find that out in a half second — but I don’t want to. I like that they just exist.

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

BS: Good Creepypasta is something you read and move on from, maybe even forget. Then one night when you’re alone, all the little bits in the back of your mind form some ridiculous, uncanny image and you can’t get it out. I suspect it’s the resonance that draws people in, and the little gaps you fill in with your own mind that connect it to things in your life.

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

BS: I honestly don’t know — I rarely show it to people directly, I prefer they just find it as-is somewhere so it comes with an air of legitimacy. But I do know that people remember the imagery of “something” sitting on the end of their bed, and coming toward them to whisper into their ear. It’s probably the lack of detail that allows people to make it their own. People scare themselves better than anyone else.

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

BS: My favorite author is Paul Auster, which I got into through the “New York Trilogy”. He has a sometimes weird way of describing the world, such that you don’t know if the narrator is joking, making fun of you, or just unreliable. It adds this feeling of being slightly lost, or slightly behind the story, which is the perfect atmosphere for a very strange crime drama.

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

BS: No answer. Most of my writing is short form horror or comedy, most of it absorbed by long-dead wordpress blogs or sites like MySpace. It’s really a stroke of luck The Rake survived, mainly because I posted it on one extra web site back in 2007, but then felt bad for self promoting, and never tried again.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the character. Are there any examples of fan art, such as images, films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?

BS: There’s a sketchy drawing that I have always liked. It’s not exactly what I imagined in my head, but it’s pretty close. I like that one a lot.
There are also the fake camera pictures from what looks like one of those deer cameras people put up in the woods. I have always been a fan of the found footage style.
As far as readings, Chilling Tales for Dark Nights has done a few readings, and they have been really good. The guy who runs that channel reached out to me for permission, which is extremely rare, so I might be a bit biased.

UKHS: By the same token, are there any unauthorised attempts to cash in on the popularity of the character that have upset you?

BS: Yes, that has happened a lot. I didn’t even realize the story was “out there” until I came across it myself. My dad actually commented on a YouTube video and tagged me in it, saying basically “isn’t this yours?”. I always find them after the fact, and have never asked anyone to take anything down. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been upset about it. I would always prefer people approach me for permission of course, but in fairness, it’s not usually easy for people to figure out where exactly the story came from.

rake02UKHS: The Rake is appearing in the upcoming Creepypasta comic book by Vincent Vena Cava and Mr Creepypasta. Have you discussed the project much with them? Have you had much creative input? How was it working/speaking with them?

BS: Vincent and I have spoken several times. I have provided some basic input, although I am anxious to see what he comes up with. We still have some open communications so I won’t go too much further here.

UKHS: And finally will you ever return to the story of the Rake in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?

BS: The Rake has a very long and detailed backstory that I’d like to explore. There is always the problem with revealing too much and ruining what makes it creepy, so I’m taking my time on it. I usually try to have an explanation that avoids supernatural explanations, which makes it creepier to me because it could exist in reality. However I don’t want to ruin what your mind added to the story, you know?

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

BS: Actually, I’m not super happy with this story, but I just found it “anonymously” submitted on a creepypasta site —
I don’t even remember where I posted this one, probably MySpace or something many years ago. There are a few more out there, but they’re never credited to me (almost always “anonymous”) so I just occasionally run across them. I have something I’m kind of excited about but it’s not quite ready yet. 😉

UKHS: Thanks again for agreeing to speak with us

BS: Thanks!

The Rake is one of the most recognisable Creepypasta creations for one major reason — it taps into some of our worst fears and it’s incredibly well told.

Come back next time when I will write about another fantastic tale that revisits not one but two pastas that feature the very worst kind of human monster.

Dark Web: An Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 26: Jane The Killer Revisited




Last week I returned to a Creepypasta story I’ve covered before here at UK Horror Scene, the tale of the infamous Jeff the Killer. I was able to look at the tale with fresh eyes after managing to secure an interview with the creator of Jeff, Sesseur AKA KillerJeff.

This week I return to another classic Creepypasta character — Jeff’s sworn arch-nemesis, the vengeful Jane the Killer.

Regular Dark Web readers may recall that I have mentioned Jane the Killer here before, and spoke up on what I felt was rather harsh criticism from the Creepypasta community. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the first appearance of Jane online came back in 2012 when DeviantArt user MrAngryDog posted an image and short story that has come to be known as Jane’s Letter ( In it MrAngryDog tells of a twisted character who is hunting the psychotic Jeff to gain revenge for an untold wrong, so driven in her desire to punish him that she is even prepared to kill his prospective victims before he can through sheer spite.

In time, MrAngryDog published further updates as to what made Jane the character she was. These included references to a covert Government experiment that utilised a mysterious drug known only as Liquid Hate, which gave Jane tremendous abilities.

However, shortly after the publishing of Jane’s Letter, another author, PastaStalker64 wrote a story entitled Jane the Killer: The Truth, piggybacking on the success of Mr AngryDog’s own tale. You can read it at the Jeff the Killer wikia here:

This caused some confusion among fans of the character as the story of this Jane directed contradicted that of MrAngryDog. This confusion then led to conflict among the fandom, as different groups pledged their support to either MAD’s Jane Richardson or PS64’s Jane Arkensaw A.K.A. Everlasting. The rivalry between each camp became somewhat heated, while Creepypasta readers who took exception to either story would regularly vent their frustrations on the wrong creator.

janetk1Furthermore, a particular hardcore group of Jeff fans also took exception to a character so opposed to their posterboy and proceeded to vent their own displeasure into an already pretty toxic situation. In time MrAngryDog had enough of PastaStalker64 using his original creation without his permission and contacted her over it. Unlike the vast majority of Internet communication, this was a conversation that was resolved in a surprisingly cordial manner — PS64 apologised to MAD and the pair agreed that both characters could exist separately in the loose Jeff ‘canon’. You can read the whole exchange at MrAngryDog’s Tumblr here:

However, even now Jane is a polarising character — drawing adoration from fans and pretty scathing scorn from opposition. As I’ve said before, I have tremendous respect for any artist who is brave enough to put their work out there, and while appreciation of art is certainly a subjective experience, all artists (especially those who blaze new trails) deserve to be commended for exposing themselves to the criticism of an audience.

Mr AngryDog created Jane, there can be no denial of this fact. Whether you love or loathe the character, Jane has inspired a strong emotional reaction among the Creepypasta community, and for that reason Jane and her creator deserve to be celebrated.

I wanted to give Mr AngryDog the opportunity to address his fans, his detractors and you, my readers, so I was delighted when he so generously agreed to discuss Jane with me.
Our interview follows:

UK HORROR SCENE: First, would you consider yourself a fan of Creepypasta?

MRANGRYDOG: Yes and no. As far as being a fan of creepypastas themselves, I am a fan of Lost Episode and Ritual creepypastas (i.e. Rugrats Lost Episode “Chuckie’s Mom”, Midnight Man, etc.) On top of that, Theory pastas have always piqued my interest. Those dealing with such things as true stories, crime, science, and space have always been my favorites. I am a fan of those such pastas. I consider Eyeless Jack, The Rake, Sonic.exe, The Red-Eyed Spirit, Mr Widermouth, and The Uninvited Stranger legendary favorites because they are the cornerstones of Pastas.
As far as me not being a die-hard fan is concerned, that was the result of some fans being either unhinged, downright obnoxious, not differentiating fantasy from reality, Bad [Insert name of fandom here] Groups, the need to psychoanalyze everything right down to the very little detail, starting Kill [Insert name of author here] Clubs online, and sending death threats and threats of suicide to other users and creators old and new, myself included.

I’ve been bombarded with so much hatred and death threats for over the last few years, it has just become laughable.
Back then, it would just take a toll on my mental and physical health, and that’s what caused me to go through alcohol abuse during that time. I may be an active voice in the community and know there are fans with big hearts out there, so there is a little glimmering light at the end of the tunnel.

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

MAD: I think the reason why Creepypasta resonates so much with the fandom is because of the fans that are absolutely passionate and cheerful about their favorite Pastas, that drawings and fanfics just started popping up over night. Those fans are having fun, enjoying themselves. While there are really passionate fans who have fun and enjoy their favorite pastas, there are some fans who fuck up the fandom, acting like they know everything, and treat a well-written story like it’s the biggest atrocity ever created by mankind, while some who look at a very badly-written Pasta — loaded with errors and anachronisms out the ass, and treat it like it’s a pulitzer prize winner. The passionate and cheerful fans are basically the life blood of the fandom. 🙂

UKHS: What is your favourite Creepypasta by an author other than yourself?

MAD: Well, I have no favorite in particular, but if I had a choice, I would say Laughing Jack by Snuff Bomb. I wasn’t reading a story, I was reading cinematic visuals, basically.

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

MAD: I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Crichton, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, R.L. Stine (yes, R.L. Stine), and Anne Rice. Michael Crichton, especially, since his books always have to come with a soda and hot buttered popcorn while you read. They’re THAT cinematic! 😀

janetk3UKHS: In your own words, can you explain the story of Jane, her relationship to Jeff, Liquid Hate etc?

MAD: Jane Richardson started as your typical girl, the talk of the town who’s got it all — a hot girlfriend, a job she enjoys, excellent friends, a loving family, and a great future. But in 2006, her world changed when both of her parents, Paula and Bruce Richardson were murdered by Jeffrey Woods Keaton (Jeff the Killer). Her relationship to Jeff — hate/hate. She wanted him dead and in the grave for what he did!

As for Liquid Hate, here’s how it came to be… The L.A.P.D were in pursuit of Jeff The Killer, but remained unsuccessful in their manhunt. They enlisted the aid of the FBI, who had Jeff on their most wanted list, they [the FBI] turned to the CIA. The CIA, searching for a way to create an anti-killer unit, needed a test subject. The Department of Justice became involved with the CIA in the creation of Liquid Hate, funded by the American Science Association.

The fundings for Liquid Hate were a total of $6.9 million dollars. Subjects will experience for the first minute and thirty seconds, violent episodes and homicidal tendencies, but will act and appear normal once the episodes cease.
Over twenty-five test subjects died because of the effects of the serum that was codenamed “Liquid Hate”. There is an increase in strength, stamina, health, speed, and agility. Other results included increased alcohol, drug, and tobacco tolerance, running faster than a track athlete on steroids, taking on human appearances, accelerated healing, limb regeneration, and increased metabolism. Jane Richardson is the one who survived.

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the story?

MAD: Jane really began as an idea and a CGI avatar made on the chat program IMVU (Instant Messaging Virtual Universe), as SaucyJaney (that was my avatar’s name). Saucy Janey was the female version of Saucy Jack, or the infamous Jack the Ripper. Saucy Janey began as Jane the Ripper, basically. After reading the story of Jeff the Killer, and the other stories in the Jeff mythos, Jeff needed someone to kick his ass. Who? Jane.

After finding out that Jeff the Killer’s picture may have actually been a touched up version of an overweight goth girl who took her life after being mercilessly bullied on 4Chan for her weight problem, I later made Jane the Killer — Jane Richardson, to eradicate Jeff, and to have people leave the memory of the deceased goth alone. So, in a way, Jane is the poor girl’s avenging angel. 🙂

UKHS: What do you think the appeal of Jane and her story is?

MAD: The appeal of Jane Richardson and her story is, for one — she is very popular among the guys and girls, and is the most talked-about character ever. Ranging from fanfics, to other works of art, and even fan-made movies, people see Jane as a woman with potential, plenty of sex appeal, and a frequent favorite of cosplayers everywhere.
As far as her story goes, many claim the “Born of Science” story was better than Jeff the Killer’s story. I also think this is mainly because of the cinematic style I put into creating it.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the story. Are there any examples of fan art, such as films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?

MAD: Yes, Jeff the Killer vs. Jane the Killer by YouTube user Movieunleashers is my favorite fan-made film ( As far as art works are concerned, there are some that have caught my eye and made me go: “OMFG, THAT IS AWESOME!”

Some of the art works I’ve seen were pretty shoddy, but I didn’t care. It was the uniqueness and style of the artist that I was captivated by. Every piece of art by the artist themselves, their own style is unique. That’s what makes them unique. 🙂

UKHS: I feel the character of Jane is wrongfully maligned by some segments of Creepypasta fandom. Have you read any of these negative comments? How do you feel about them? Have the fans been as vocal in their support as the dissenters?

MAD: Read them? Yes, I have. Some of the negative comments are sometimes playful banter, some are humorous, and others are just downright abhorrent, obnoxious, and pretty damn horrid. I’ve had a few ask me: “Are you the creator of Jane the Killer? If you are, go die in a hole.”

I’ve had others make idle threats, and spew death threats — some have even gone so far as threatening to slit my throat, hoping that I go kill myself, suffer anal rape, you name it. Do I lose sleep at night because someone in the fandom threatens to kill me or hopes that I go and off myself? Hell no, I sleep like a fucking baby. It’s all horseshit from those who fail to do research and suffer from severe jealousy that something I made has become quite popular and went viral, to be quite honest.

Those who have made false assumptions that I created Jane Arkensaw without failing to realize PastaStalker64 did, I usually have to correct them. Most of the time, I’m really nice about it. For some who prefer to not listen and get their facts straight, then that really pisses me off, you know? So, all the comments and death threats I receive, it’s a combination of comedy and tragedy. Why tragedy? Because those who waste their time typing out death threats are a tragedy, and the tears I cry from the tragedy are not tears of sadness, but tears of laughter because of how full of shit one is making said threats.

Yes, the fans have been vocal in their support as the dissenters and it is spreading like wildfire everyday! 😀 Their support for me is highly extolled and very much appreciated.

UKHS: You mention PastaStalker64, who famously created her own version of Jane the Killer after you created the original. It seems things were soon sorted out between you both and now you’re friendly. How did that come to happen? Have you had much interaction with PastaStalker64?

MAD: Well, at first, I wanted to confront PastaStalker64 for allegedly plagiarizing Jane the Killer in the first place because I got so sick and tired of the confusion. Many who speculate that I made Jane Arkensaw and made false assumptions. I made Jane Richardson, not Jane Arkensaw. When I went to talk to PastaStalker64, I had no response for quite some time. After telling her that I was the original creator of Jane the Killer, she didn’t expect me to be kind and pleasant in my greeting. But I was. :3

We both had a good talk, and she said she made Jane Arkensaw just for fun and because she was bored. She didn’t intend for her version to become popular and have poor reviews. PastaStalker removed her story from the CP Wiki and that was that. But somehow, on the JTK Wiki, her copy still exists, and I’m surprised that nobody removed it…?
She liked my version of Jane the Killer very much, and after things got sorted out between us, we became sort of like, acquaintances. I haven’t spoken to her much lately because of so much going on, but we’re still on good terms and there is no animosity between us.

UKHS: Do you have any other Creepypasta creations either in the pipeline or already out there that you’d like to share with our audience? And do you intend to return to/expand upon Jane’s story in the future?

MAD: Yes, I do, as a matter of fact: The Elysian Theater and The Doctor Is Out… TO GET YOU!
As for my intention to expand upon Jane’s story, yes. That’s already happening. Me and a friend of mine are working around the clock to expand upon the story even further, even including a backstory and stuff that was left out. Part one is already finished, but part two is now underway!

UKHS: Can you tell me a little more about your other projects?

MAD: The Elysian Theater focuses primarily on what happens when an aspiring celebrity never gets her dreams of being famous realized and takes her anger out on everyone by killing, and imprisoning herself in the theater where she is under the dellusion that she is still a star.

The Doctor Is Out… revolves around a woman who becomes too amorously infatuated with her doctor to the point of where she has to pay her medical bill with her life. Moral of that story is — stay out of doctors’ offices and hospitals if you are horny.

UKHS: And finally, where is the best place for my readers to check out your work, especially regarding the expanded Jane story?

MAD: Well, as far as the expanded Jane story is concerned, I will be more than happy to send it to their email boxes in PDF format. As far as other stories are concerned, they are in storage on my deviantART page. If they want to look at them, I will be honored to note it to them. 🙂

Mr AngryDog is clearly a passionate, creative man and it’s genuinely uplifting to see such an individual taking pride in his work and continuing to create new and exciting stories for the Creepypasta community.
Who knows, themaybe his next work will contain the next Jane the Killer?

UK Horror Scene & AMC Manchester Launch Classic Horror on the BIG SCREEN Season 2

UK Horror Scene & AMC Manchester Launch Classic Horror on the BIG SCREEN Season 2

amc season 2After the amazing success of the first classic horror double-bills on the BIG SCREEN back in spring 2016 , UK Horror Scene and AMC Manchester have decided it is time to immerse the people of Manchester into more classic horror for SEVEN Saturdays in a row through August & September 2016.

And to make things better each film will be just £4 to watch, yes for the price of a pint you can see some amazing films where they should be seen – on the BIG SCREEN!

Over seven Saturdays they will be showing 14 classic horror films, from over 5 decades, on the big screen with FOUR of the films being shown in their original 35mm !!

AMC is a 16 screen state-of-the-art cinema complex in the iconic Great Northern Warehouse right in the heart of Manchester and UK Horror Scene is one of the leading horror websites in the UK . Together they are aiming to bring the horror genre to the people of Manchester one classic film at a time!

Tickets are available to pre-order now at and will be available on the night also!!

Read below for the films and dates !

amcthingprinceSaturday August 13th
7PM – The Thing (1982)
John Carpenters classic adaptation of ‘Who Goes There?’ starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David and more. It’s the first week of winter in 1982. An American Research Base is greeted by an alien force, that can assimilate anything it touches. It’s up to the members to stay alive, and be sure of who is human, and who has become one of the Things…

9.10PM – Prince of Darkness (1987)
John Carpenter’s Lovecraftian classic of ancient evil, starring Dennis Dun, Donald Pleasance, Jameson Parker and more. A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world…

amcevilarmySaturday August 20th
7PM – Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Sam Raimi’s kinetic follow up to the horror classic, again starring Bruce Campbell as the forever tormented Ash Williams. The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

8.45PM – Army of Darkness in 35mm (1992)
35mm presentation! Final part of the Evil Dead trilogy, yet again starring Bruce Campbell as Ash, a man who is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home.

amcwerewolfreturnSaturday August 27th
7PM – An American Werewolf in London (1981)
John Landis’ comic horror classic which sees two American college students on a walking tour of Britain attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

9.05PM – Return of The Living Dead in 35mm (1985)
Presented in 35mm! Dan O’ Bannon (Alien, Dark Star) writes and directs this horror comedy. When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

amccrowlostSaturday September 3rd
7PM – The Crow in 35mm (1994)
Presented in 35mm! James O’ Barr’s classic tale of revenge from beyond the grave, starring Brandon Lee in his last role, Michael Wincott and Ernie Hudson. A musician comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder, guided by the mysterious crow.

9.05PM – The Lost Boys (1987)
Starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim and more, Joel Schumacher’s influential classic The Lost Boys. After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires…

amcpansdeepredSaturday September 10th
7PM – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Guillermo Del Toro’s award winning horror fantasy. In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. Spanish Language with English subtitles.

9.15PM – Deep Red aka Profondo Rosso (1975)
Dario Argento’s giallo classic is back on the big screen! After witnessing the murder of a famous psychic, a musician teams up with a feisty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen assailant bent on keeping a dark secret buried. Italian with English subtitles .

amcnightmaresnatchersSaturday September 17th
7PM – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Witness the birth of a horror icon with the Wes Craven original – A Nightmare On Elm Street. Heather Langenkamp, Jonny Depp John Saxon and Robert Englund star in the first of the ‘Freddy’ franchise. Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

8.50PM – Invasion of The Body Snatchers in 35mm (1978)
Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy star in Philip Kaufman’s terrifying remake of the 1956 sci-fi classic. In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion. 35mm Presentation .

amczombielandblockSaturday September 24th
7PM – Zombieland (2009)
Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson star in this modern comic-horror classic. A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.

8.50PM – Attack The Block (2011)
Joe Cornish directs the tale of a teen gang in South London defending their block from an alien invasion. Attack the Block is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing estate into a sci-fi playground. A tower block into a fortress under siege. And teenage street kids into heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space.

All these amazing films on the big screen for just £4 per film.

For more information and to pre-order tickets please visit

And to be kept up to date with the screenings follow them on twitter here
@ukhorrorscene & @amccinemas_UK

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 21: The Smiling Man


One of recurring features of the Creepypasta stories that I’ve covered in this series is that somebody, somewhere, inevitably believed that the events described are true. It’s not just naivety that fuels this belief, the stories are so well written that they touch on a part of our mind that is prepared to believe in their horrors — the part that imagines the monsters of the horror film we’ve just watched might really be the source of that strange noise in the dead of night.

Despite this, these stories are all just that — fanciful tales told to elicit chills and thrills straight from the imagination of their authors.

Except one.

There is one Creepypasta bogeyman who, the writer swears, comes from the real world that we all inhabit. He is among us, even now.

He is the Smiling Man.

The encounter with the Smiling Man first appeared on Creepypasta fans’ radar back on 24 April 2012, on Reddit’s r/nosleep subreddit ( ). The story details an encounter that Redditor Blue Tidal had late one evening in a North American city some five years prior to the time of writing.

Something of a night person, the author decides to go on a stroll through the empty streets sometime between One and Two A.M one Wednesday. It is while walking near a police patrolled park on this evening that Blue Tidal encountered the Smiling Man.

The author describes turning into a small side street and seeing an odd figure ‘dancing’ steadily closer. Upon closer inspection Blue Tidal noticed that the figure was clearly deranged, a lanky figure in an odd suit, with a painfully wide cartoonish grin and wild eyes cast up towards the sky. Understandably, Blue Tidal crossed the street to avoid the Smiling Man, but it soon emerges that the Smiling Man is not so easily shaken…

smilingmanAs Creepypasta stories go it is extremely well written, and genuinely unnerving. Ultimately it is a deceptively simple story — a lone protagonist encounters an individual with some form of mental illness and, despite being shaken by incident, emerges safe and unharmed. It’s the sort of story that will be alarming but familiar to most city dwellers (as somebody who works in the heart of London’s Camden Town I’ve come across more than my fair share of lunatics).

This makes it easy to believe (far more so than stories of haunted video games or attacks by pale-skinned humanoid monstrosities), a trait which works very much in its favour, allowing readers to place themselves in the author’s shoes with very little imagination or suspension of disbelief required.

The story cleverly gives us plenty of details with which to form a mental image, but leaves others out, so we are now able fill in the gaps with our imagination to create something all the more frightening to ourselves. Look at the description of the Smiling Man — age; race; hair and eye colour, all of these are left out, encouraging us to paint a picture of a lunatic ourselves.

It was touches like this that saw the story become a huge hit with Creepypasta fans. It went on to receive a staggeringly high approval score among the nosleep community and eventually spread to other Creepypasta sites, such as the Creepypasta wikia where it appeared in September 2013 ( or Scary For Kids in October of that year ( This just served to garner even more fans for the story, and in time fan art popped up on all the usual sites, including DeviantArt and Tumblr.

So big was the demand for the story that eventually filmmaker Michael Evans created a short adaptation of the story titled 2AM: The Smiling Man, which he posted to YouTube on 23 July 2013. Check it out at:

It’s a good short film and remains very faithful to the source material. Evans is clearly a talented director and he could well be a name worth keeping an eye on for horror fans in the year ahead.

If that wasn’t enough, a short while later another, longer student film was created by Benjamin Dizdarevic that expanded on the story. He posted the film to YouTube himself on 28 February 2014. It was filmed in Bosnia, with a Bosnian cast,  and added some nice spooky details, including a large sunflower and the always creepy Tiptoe Thru The Tulips by Tiny Tim, which perfectly matches the sinister Smiling Man. It is also a pretty strong short and well worth eight minutes of your time. You can watch the film here:

In fact, the impact on The Smiling Man on Reddit is so big that, after its tremendous success at r/nosleep, it actually received its own subreddit: r/TheSmilingMan/, which was first created on 18 November 2012 and aims to actually track down the real Smiling Man.

This is no idle task, as several individuals have claimed to have bumped into Blue Tidal’s assailant and some have even claimed to be him. One such case crops up halfway through this post asking Redditors if they’ve ever read a reddit story which turned out to be about them:
However, this — like all cases in which somebody has claimed to be The Smiling Man has since been discredited by Blue Tidal.

However, r/nosleep is not the Reddit in which the story of The Smiling Man originated. It was actually first published in r/letsnotmeet on 6 April 2012, more than a fortnight before the nosleep post ( ). For those unfamiliar with LetsNotMeet, it is a sub-reddit in which users recount real-life encounters with strangers that weren’t exactly pleasant. Allow me to emphasise that for you, REAL-LIFE ENCOUNTERS. That’s right, Blue Tidal says that this isn’t just one of those horror stories that claims to be based on a true story — it IS a true story.

Since achieving a level of celebrity on Reddit, Blue Tidal has since invited users of the r/SmilingMan board to ask questions about the encounter, in which further details about the story have been revealed. That the Smiling Man was middle-aged and Caucasian, and the city in which the incident occurred was Seattle, among them. You can read the post here:

smilingman2amBlue Tidal was also kind enough to speak with UK Horror Scene about the Smiling Man. However, as helpful as this redditor was, Blue Tidal is still very much a private person, even declining to confirm gender during our conversation, stating: ‘I’m not particular on the gender pronoun usage. I’ve been referred to as both, and I think the fact that no one knows anything about me is a good thing (for personal reasons, and for the good of the story). I like that men tend to think I’m a man, while women tend to think I’m a woman. Rather, they tend to insert themselves into the story. At least that’s what I think happens, and part of what helped the story reach its quasi-urban legend status (which is more or less what creepypasta is, I suppose).’

That such a private individual was prepared to speak with UKHS just makes the very rare interview that follows all the more exciting and insightful.

UK HORROR SCENE: Thanks so much for speaking with me. What convinced you to tell your story on Reddit? And what inspired you to submit it to Nosleep later?

BLUE TIDAL: I can’t remember exactly how I first came upon LetsNotMeet (the place I originally posted the story), but I loved the idea of a place for people to share true encounters that left them rattled or creeped out. The problem, I found, was that most writers simply recounted the events that happened, rather than attempt to make the reader experience what they felt. So I told my story with that in mind. I wanted people to put themselves in my shoes. Regarding NoSleep, several people on LetsNotMeet recommended that I cross post the story there. I hadn’t heard of it before that point, so I didn’t think much of it at the time.

UKHS: Have you returned to the scene of the incident since your encounter? And have you ever seen this particular individual again?

BT: I have returned, mostly during daylight hours, but I haven’t seen the smiling man since. Unless dreams count. I actually moved out of the city (and the country, in fact) for several years, but I moved back 5 or so years ago.

UKHS: Has anybody ever contacted you claiming to have also encountered the smiling man or to have any idea as to his identity? If so, have any of these accounts been convincing?

BT: Plenty of people have contacted me claiming to be the smiling man. I actually did something sneaky before posting the story, though. I changed a few minor, but important, details. So until the day comes when I’m accurately corrected, I will remain unconvinced. I can’t really imagine him sitting in front of a computer reading short stories, though. Beyond that, I get messages every now and then (much less frequently than a few years back) from people claiming to have seen someone who was behaving similarly, or their cousin had, or their friend’s friend. It has a very “Sasquatch” feel to it. There used to be small communities dedicated to trying to track sightings of the smiling man. It was very surreal.

UKHS: There’s a fair bit of online discussion over the validity of the story. It’s certainly the most convincing creepypasta story I’ve read. How do you feel about the debate surrounding your story?

BT: I’m in favor of skepticism, so I have no problem with the debate. If you remove the storytelling, the core of what happened is simple. Someone behaved in an bizarre, aggressive way, and it was frightening. I’m not a believer in the supernatural, so I don’t see it as anything much deeper than that. Honestly, it you’ve spent any amount of time in a city, particularly in the middle of the night, you’ll be aware that people are much more terrifying than monsters or apparitions. And they’re everywhere, all around you. At all times.

UKHS: Your writing is excellent and really brings the story to life. Have you considered writing and/or publishing horror fiction under your Reddit username?

BT: Thank you. I actually have posted one fictional short called Outside, but removed it after it raised some confusion. It was an odd story where I took elements of something strange that actually happened to me and layered it with fictional elements. I like the idea of doing that, as it allows me to keep my personal life personal while continuing to tell stories based on my experiences. I’ve been playing with the idea of a collection of horror short stories in that vein. At the same time, however, I don’t want to give the aforementioned skeptics any undue cause to doubt The Smiling Man. So who knows.

UKHS: I’ve seen plenty of examples of fan art, with two pretty polished short films and dozens of portraits of The Smiling Man. Have any of these impressed you? And do you feel any are especially good representations of your story?

BT: I can’t say that any of the videos I’ve seen have been particularly accurate, but they get pieces right here and there. I feel that this story is best suited for the imagination, where the reader can make the smiling man look exactly like whatever it is that frightens them the most. Hence my minimalist description. If I went into detail about the size of his shoes or the length of his hair, I think it would detract from the telling. Honestly, my favorite videos and stories related to The Smiling Man are reaction videos. They’re not very common these days, but at the height of its popularity there was an adorable video of two little girls reading the story on the bus on their way to school. And my personal favorite Reddit reply was from a kid who was so scared after reading the story that they woke their little sister up, made her read the story, and then watched cartoons with her when they were both too scared to go back to bed. Honestly, that’s the most ringing endorsement I could have ever hoped for.

smilingman2am2UKHS: Finally do you have any other stories like The Smiling Man that you might post one day? I’m sure I’m not the only fan who’d like to read more!

BT: I originally had three different personal experiences that I was considering sharing, but that was before The Smiling Man caught on. I’m definitely writing more stories, but I don’t know if I’ll do so under the name Blue Tidal. I’m in no hurry, either way.

The Smiling Man proves that the telling of a story is every bit as important as the tale itself in cultivating an atmosphere of dread and genuine fear. With writers as talented as some of those currently gracing the Creepypasta community, such as Blue Tidal, it’s easy to see why its popularity is going from strength to strength.
Next time I’ll be looking at the work of another skilled storyteller. Until then, keep smiling.