Monthly Archives: December 2011


I had fun with new friends and old last month when Paranormal, Eh? radio out of Canada announced the winners of its coveted Zombie Beaver End of the Year Awards for 2011.

I was invited to call in, have a few laughs, hear about the great things coming up for friends like Frank Todaro of The Invisible World and Nicole and Angel of CT Soul Seekers…and make a very special announcement about what’s on my horizon for next year!

You can listen to the show, hear the winners (and a few jokes about the October snowstorm and blackout), and my special announcement—right here!



I was forced into some downtime this season, and I spent a lot of it on the couch. The good news about that? I got to actually enjoy links and things my friends sent or put up on Facebook. Long story short, I spent lots of time laughing. And they say laughter is the best medicine.

Here are the five funniest ones. Enjoy them, and Merry Christmas!


This 16-minute film about Christmas trees rising up and taking revenge won all kinds of awards at some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, and rightly so. It’s creepy, it’s tongue-in-cheek…and it’s hilarious (fair warning, it’s a little gory toward the end). If you’re a fan of “killer” anything films, then don’t miss this.

Treevenge from jasoneisener on Vimeo.

Talking Kitty Cat – What’s Christmas?

Steve Cash tries to explain the concept of Christmas to his talking cats—Sylvester who’s rude, and Gibson, who’s afraid of everything. I think the funniest thing in this is Sylvester the cat attacking the tree and screaming “die.” But you decide!

Scared of Santa!

The Orlando Sentinel asked readers to send in photos of their children crying, screaming, begging, and pleading with their parents to save them from their first encounter with Santa Claus. They get funnier as they go. Have a glass of wine with this one. I’d love to put a sample photo here, but I’d be violating copyright. Just head over there. Whether you have children or not, you’ll find this hilarious. I promise.,0,6258638.ugcphotogallery?track=orl-mark-admail-dec11-sos

Tell Us How You Really Feel!

Talk about spreading Christmas cheer! If you like dark humor, has the most side-splitting Christmas e-cards ever, including, “If I wanted to wait in line for some bastard to make me promises he can’t keep I will just start dating again” and “Good luck explaining to your kids why it’s okay for Santa to be morbidly obese.” I DIED reading these. I mean, people at work thought I was crying I was laughing so hard—they kept asking me what was wrong because I could barely breathe, let alone talk. They change daily according to most sent, but they’re ALL good.

The Very First South Park Episode: “The Spirit of Christmas”

This 1992 short is the film Matt Stone and Trey Parker circulated to networks to try to get them to pick up what we know now as South Park. The funniest moments for me are in the beginning when they’re putting together the snowman, but the whole thing is pretty funny. Fair warning—strong language.


Canada’s Paranormal Eh? radio’s gifts to fans: a reading of my brand-new as-yet unreleased apocalyptic horror story—perfect for heading into 2012; Nathan talked about the Krampus, and Nicole and Angel of CT Soul Seekers shared some holiday humor. Want these treats stuffing your stocking? You can listen for free here: OR click to listen right from this post: AVeryParanormalEhXmas2011


I was a guest on ParaRock TV’s P.M. Lites with Dawn Short on Monday, and we had a great time covering a wide range of topics—plans for my upcoming horror novel, Bad Apple, due out in 2012 and the New England Horror Writers Association; on a paranormal note, the joys of being a sensitive, Tarot card trials and much, much more! You can listen/watch it here:


I’m honored to announce I’ll be on Sci-Fi Saturday Night on Thursday, December 15 (live streaming) at 8 p.m. and Saturday, 12/17/11, to talk about Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World and some sci-fi with the whole gang: The Dome, Kriana, Illustrator X, AwakebyJava, The Dead Redhead, Zombrarian and Dru Silla!

Sci-Fi Saturday Night—the Official Podcast of the Boston Comic Con—is a lively, popular podcast that covers all things Sci-Fi—from films and features to books and art, you won’t want to miss it. Past guests include authors Harlan Ellison, Ben Bova, Spider Robinson, Tracy Hickman and Christopher Golden; Wizard World founder/CEO Gareb Shamus; actors Amber Benson, Mark Metcalf, Adam West and Doug Jones; physicist Stanton Friedman; plus editors, musicians, game designers and more (in fact, Lance Henriksen was just on last week! Cool!)

Check out the show here: – visit Thursday, 12/15 at 8 p.m. to listen live!


After just having finished a rockin’ Very Paranormal, Eh? Christmas Special, I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be talking with Dawn Short on ParaRock TV’s P.M. Lites tonight at 9 p.m. ET! We’ll be discussing my new novel Bad Apple, my new podcast, Scary Scribes, which debuts on the Paranormal, Eh? Radio Network in January 2012, sensitives, and a whole lot more!

You can tune in and listen live at If you miss it, the show’ll be archived, so stay tuned for links!


With so many families facing financial horror for Holidays, Toys for Tots needs more donations than ever—and Toys for Tots Horror Style is offering an incentive.

Participate in Toys for Tots Horror Style, and your name will be entered into a drawing to win an entire library of horror novels, short story collections, magazine, music and other goodies donated by horror writers and publishers (you can see a list of what’s in the package below—I’ve donated a copy of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World to the kitty).

Entering the contest is easy! Just follow these steps:

1        purchase a toy that’s $5 or more

2        take a picture of you holding the toy

3        take a picture of your toy in ANY Toys for Tots donation box

4        Head over to the Toys for Tots Horror Style Facebook page here:

5        Post both photos.

Please, please enter!

As of November 25, 2011, the winner’s spoils are as follows:

Novels and Short Story Collections

* Jesse Bullington The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart (

* David Conyers The Eye of Infinity (donated by Nick Gucker) (

* Ray Garton Night Life (

* C.W. LaSart Dark Moon Presents: Ghosts! (

* William Meikle The Amulet (

* Bruce Memblatt The Dark Jar (

* Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. SIN & ashes


* Kristi Petersen Schoonover Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole: Tales from Haunted Disney World (

* John Claude Smith The Dark is Light Enough for Me(

* Simon Strantzas Nightingale Songs (

* G. Edwin Taylor (illustrations for The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers) (

* Jeff VanderMeer FINCH (

* Kaaron Warren Mistification (

* David T. Wilbanks Dead Earth: The Green Dawn (

* Roger Zelazny A Night in the Lonesome October (donted by Trent Zelazny) (

Trent Zelazny The Day the Leash gave way and other stories and Fractal Despondency(

Yet Unnamed Gifts / Donations

* Richard Gavin (

* Lois Gresh (

* Jordan Krall (

* Nick Mamatas (

* Gary McMahon (

* Daniel Mills (

* Paul Tremblay (


*A Career Guide to Your Job in Hell  Scott S Phillips & Robert E Vardeman (ed.), (donated by Axel Howton)


* A means to Freedom: The letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard: 1930 – 1932 S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, Rusty Burke (ed.), (donated by Derrick Hussey at Hippocampus Press) (

* The Book of Cthulhu – Ross E. Lockhart (ed.), (donated by Ross E. Lockhart at Night Shade Books)


*Dead But Dreaming  Kevin Ross & Keith Herber (ed.), (donated by Tom Lynch at Miskatonic River Press)


* Dead But Dreaming 2  Kevin Ross (ed.), (donated by Tom Lynch at Miskatonic River Press)


* Future Lovecraft  Paula R. Stiles & Silvia Moreno-Garcia (ed.), (donated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia at Innsmouth Free Press) (

* Made in Goatswood – New Tales of Horror in the Severn Valley – Scott David Aniolowski (ed.).  (donated by Scott David Aniolowski) (

*THE WEIRD  Anne VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer (ed.), (donated by Jeff VanderMeer)



* Lore – Rod Heather and Sean O’Leary (ed.), (donated by Sean O’Leary) (

* Phantasmagorium – Laird Barron (ed.), (donated by JD Busch) (

* Shadows and Tall Trees, No. 2 – Michael Kelly (ed.), (donated by Michael Kelly)

* STRANGE AEONS (donated K.L. Young) (


Tara Vanflower This Womb Like Liquid Honey (


Asking what to gift the Edgar Allan Poe fan who has everything is like asking what to gift the Disney Parks collector who has everything (hint: Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World): How do you know what he has? What he doesn’t? What would be absolutely perfect and is so unique he’d never think it even existed?

This year, Poe seems to be haunting more Christmas lists than in the past—probably since the Baltimore Poe House has lost its funding and the attention has brought him back to the forefront of everyone’s awareness. Since I’ve quite an extensive Poe collection, I thought I’d help out a few friends who have no clue what to get the Poe fans—or novices—on their lists. I’m confident this year’s picks are bound to boost any Poe lover’s bounty.

Bust of Edgar Allan Poe after George Julian Zolnay

I’m sure any Poe fan would agree this is better than a “pallid bust of Pallas.” This replica of Zolnay’s 1898 bust stands eight inches tall and proceeds benefit thePoeMuseuminRichmond,Virginia.

Poe Museum Store, Richmond, Virginia, $49.95

The Death of Poe DVD

Directed by and starring Mark Redfield—a really great guy (I’ve met him) with an enormous amount of passion for Poe—this 2006 film was shot on location in Baltimore, Maryland, and examines Poe’s last days through a blend of reenactments and imagery alluding to Poe’s scariest pieces. This is a movie—not a documentary—and while I thought it could have been tad more frightening, I still think any Poe fan should own it. Disc 1 contains the movie and Disc 2 contains a couple of documentaries and silent films. The Bonus CD contains Mark Redfield reading several of Poe’s works. For a preview, check out the trailer on YouTube:, $13.49

Funko Edgar Allan Poe Wacky Wobbler

There are many Poe “Bobble Heads” out there, but this one, in my opinion, is the highest quality for the money—even the artwork on the box is cool. I discovered mine at Rock and Shock in Worcester, Mass., earlier this year, as it seems to be the most popular model sold at horror and writing cons., $13.99

What Would Poe Do? Toiletry Bag

This unisex bag is guaranteed to attract a few comments—especially if using it the morning after a night on the town. While not as large as I’d like, I find it’s perfect for a one-nighter, and the quality’s pretty good, too. My only objection is the price—I think it should probably be half the cost—but hey, sometimes you’ve just got to have what you’ve got to have. And I can almost guarantee that Poe fan you know doesn’t have it…yet.

Café Press, $48.50,577721387

TellTale Heart Wall Clock

There’s nothing more clever—or creepy—than a “Tell-Tale Heart”-themed clock.

If I don’t have my copy of the story on hand, it’s easy enough for me to turn out the lights, fire up a candle…and listen to the damn thing tick. Shivers!

Café Press, $15.00,348769407

Poe for Moderns

Any Poe lover shouldn’t be without this rare, out-of-print CD/Vinyl album. (Wanna laugh? In our house we have two copies—on VINYL). Buddy Morrow’s odd, interesting blend of 1960s jazz and Poe’s works should have that fan of yours sipping martinis in no time. The Beatnik-esque version of “Ulalume” happens to be my favorite, although I can never resist “The Raven”—it sounds like a 1960’s “let’s go to the concession stand” drive-in ad. Priceless., used in vinyl and 2004-CD, several copies ranging from $9.89-$79.95

The Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection

These unabridged tales and poems read by Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price are available in CD and MP3; the sound quality is wonderful on the CDs we own (I can’t speak for the MP3), but either format will give you the privilege of hearing these masters lend their talents to the likes of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” and more. What I especially love about this set? It contains the less-common pieces—like “Morella,” “Eldorado,” “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” and “The City by the Sea.” A fine accompaniment to a glass of Amontillado., ranging in price from $11.25-$19.77

The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback)

While this isn’t the much-touted multi-volume Mabbot text that scholars consider “the one to own,” this Doubleday 1984 edition was its 39th printing and is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a complete works. I have at least four or five different printings of this edition (I think the earliest version of this that I have dates to the 1960s–it seems they update only the covers, not the text), and it’s always been my top choice for gifting: it’s a reasonable size and the pieces are grouped by such headings as The Poems, Humor and Satire or Tales of Mystery and Horror, so it’s easy to match mood. It’s available in Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback., ranging in price from $.99(Kindle) to $26.99 (Collector). Brand new Hardcovers run $16.49.

Poe Signature Coffee Mug

Poe’s Signature Coffee Mug looks great on any breakfast table or desk, and if your fan’s a writer—especially of horror—who’s to say chugging some coffee out of it while at work won’t bring a little extra boost?

Poe Museum Store, Richmond, Virginia, $7.00

Edgar Allan Poe “The Raven” T-shirt

I own several Poe T-shirts, and while I don’t have this one yet, it’s definitely on my list. If your fan’s on “Team Poe,” then he should certainly be in uniform., $24.95


Amy Miles, who runs the site Self-Published Authors, recently posted an interview in which I share advice for juggling writing time, how much or little investment should be made, and some other odds and ends that might be useful if you’re considering self publishing.

Following the interview is an excerpt from Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—the title story from my most recent ghost story collection.

You can read it all here:


For an early-winter chill, read Matt Hoffman’s “Bro,” now up at Read Short Fiction:

If I make any comments about this story, it will spoil it. What I will say is that if you enjoyed Poe’s “William Wilson,” and the last scene in Drag Me to Hell terrified you, then you’ll get chills reading this. If you’d care to know why I loved this story so much, my comments appear at the end of the story.


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