Monthly Archives: January 2011


My short story “Incident at Dark Acres”—about some pretty dark stuff going on at a very unusually-themed amusement park—is now available in The Smoking Poet’s Issue #17, Winter 2010-2011.

Click here to enjoy for free:

Review: The Amityville Horror

The Amityville HorrorThe Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read this book when it first came out back in the 1970s — I lifted it from my Dad’s den, which was crammed with all sorts of 1960s-1970s bestsellers like Ghost Boat, The Anthrax Mutation, and Jaws — and I was definitely way too young to be reading it, because it scared the hell out of me. At the time, though, it was sold as “a true story” — there’s much controversy now about whether it was or not, so that took a lot of the scare out of it. I will say that this book is not at all well-written (it’s awful, in fact, there are exclamation points in the narrative at least once on every page), but that’s not why anyone should read it. Read it because it’s a good old trip down 1970s lane in which people still have land-line phones, station wagons–and we were all a lot more gullible. This was a guilty pleasure.

View all my reviews


Adam Boneker and his daughter, Dakota, took Skeletons in the Swimmin' Hole to Walt Disney World

So, where are you headed in 2011? Right now, I’m sure some of you are saying nowhere because of all of these winter storms. But recently, Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World got to travel to Disney World thanks to the Boneker Family of New Jersey!

This is the coolest series of pix I’ve ever seen! The Bonekers took the book and visiting the various attractions featured in its short stories—but spent the most time at The Swiss Family Treehouse, where “Charlotte’s Family Tree” is set. Since that’s hands-down one of my favorite attractions of all time, it was quite awesome to see my book become part of its unique settings (come on, who DIDN’T want to live in a tree house as a kid? I sooo wanted to sleep on one of those hammocks in the tippy-top room!)

Here we go! The Bonekers give Skeletons a tour…

Dakota Boneker underneath the sign for Big Thunder Mountain. Disneyland’s version of this attraction is featured in the Skeletons story “Romancing the Goat.”

Adam Boneker and his daughter, Dakota, at the entrance to Splash Mountain, where the story “Miss Reyna Gets Her Comeuppance on Flash Mountain” is set.

Dakota in front of It’s a Small World, which figures into two stories—one in the book called “All This Furniture and Nowhere to Sit,” and one that isn’t in the book but is available online, called “It’s a Good Life.” (You can read “It’s a Good Life”—and download and share the PDF with your friends—here:

Dakota in one of the It’s a Small World boats. The boats play a huge role in the story “All This Furniture and Nowhere to Sit,”—Lainee purchases a boat, has it delivered to her house, and converts it into seating for her playroom…with disastrous consequences.

Dakota and Skeletons about to climb The Swiss Family Treehouse, the centerpiece for “Charlotte’s Family Tree.”

The sideboard in the Swiss Family Treehouse Living Room, which is where the wonderful organ that pipes out that polka is kept. In “Charlotte’s Family Tree,” something important happens in this room, and the organ music is featured prominently in the piece.

Skeletons on the sideboard in the Swiss Family Treehouse Living Room!

The Swiss Family Treehouse Library.

Skeletons in the Swiss Family Treehouse Library.

The Swiss Family Treehouse Kitchen.

Skeletons seems ready to be served in The Swiss Family Treehouse Kitchen.


The welcome sign on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005

My thoughts on this over at the Haunted Disney Tales Blog here:


Recently I had the pleasure of discussing Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Disney ghosts and legends, Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole and more on The Darkness on the Edge of Town paranormal radio show! The episode’s hosts were Tim Dennis and Mallie Fox. I had a really great time, and their questions were nothing like I expected. It was fun!

If you’d like to give a listen, you can do it two ways. If you’d like to check it out and, in addition, have access to their pretty awesome past episodes that feature every paranormal topic you can imagine and more, visit the Darkness Radio archives on KTLK radio and scroll down to the 12/16 Haunted Disneyland show; you can click on ‘listen’ or download the MP3:

If you just want to hear the show that I was on, you can listen right from this post by clicking here:




The Holidays are over, and for many of us that means heading back to work–even if it’s maybe not a job, but a routine. It’s taken me a little while to get things going again, but after having taken a break for awhile it’s also meant the ability to see things with fresh eyes.

This month at Read Short Fiction, we’ve got a great short story called The Limo Driver’s Diary by A.J. Profeta that reminds us a day at work might not always be routine. And it’s also a reminder that we often don’t think about the secret inner lives of Limo Drivers or cabbies, and yet they are the ones on the road every day, all day long, which leaves them with a great deal of time, I’m sure, to reflect on their lives, the lives of others, and the state of the world around them. That’s what appealed to me most about this story. This Limo Driver is very human, and a day on the job for him, on many occasions, means facing his own mortality, fragility, and age. I found this a very poignant reminder that this highway we’re on called life doesn’t always take us where we want to go, but where we’re supposed to go. I got chills reading this piece.

So, if you’ve got the back to work blues, I suggest you go check it out! You can read it here:

Enjoy, and hope your 2011 brings you safe travels!


My short story “Waterproof”—which Battered Suitcase editor Fawn Neun called “eerily touching”—is now available in the magazine’s Winter 2010 Issue! This story was part of my Bachelor’s thesis at Burlington College and was written in 2006. It stayed hidden in a drawer for many years, and after many people who had read early versions of it asked me when it would be available in print, I went in search of a home for it earlier this year. The Battered Suitcase was it!

The great thing about The Battered Suitcase is that there is a version of each issue for every taste and budget. From their website:

Collector’s Edition                                                            $42.99

The complete edition – full color art, prose and poetry, glossy,

coffee-table size quality paperback

Journal Print Edition                                                        $12.99

Prose and poetry of The Battered Suitcase

Art Print Edition                                                               $17.99

Full color art edition


All formats: pdf, mobi, epub, lrf, and pdb                        $2.99

To purchase any of these print/digital editions, click here:

Winter 2010

Volume 3, Issue Three

ONLINE                                                                           FREE

To read the online edition (free), click here:

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