Australian Gothic Stories, 1867 a 1939, ed. James Doig, TOC

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Table of Contents

Introduction (Australian Ghost Stories) • (2010) • essay by James Doig
The White Maniac: A Doctor’s Tale • (1867) • short story by Mary Fortune
Spirit-Led • (1890) • short story by Ernest Favenc
A Haunt of the Jinkarras • (1890) • short story by Ernest Favenc
The Mystery of Major Molineux • (2010) • short fiction Australian by Marcus Clarke
The Bunyip • (1891) • short story by Mrs. Campbell Praed [as by Rosa Campbell Praed]
Lupton’s Guest: A Memory of the Eastern Pacific • (2010) • short fiction by Louis Becke
The Haunted Pool: A Tale Of The Blue Mountains • (2010) • short fiction by Edward Wheatley
A Colonial Banshee • (1906) • short fiction by Fergus Hume
The Devil of the Marsh • (1893) • short story by H. B. Marriott Watson [as by H. B. Marriott-Watson]
The Accursed Thing • (2010) • short fiction by Edward Dyson
The Third Murder: A New South Wales Tale • (2010) • short fiction by Henry Lawson
The Death Child • (1905) • short fiction by Guy Boothby
A Strange Goldfield • (1904) • short story by Guy Boothby
Sea Voices • (2010) • short fiction by Roderick Quinn
The Cave • (1932) • short story by Beatrice Grimshaw
The Cave of the Invisible • (1939) • short story by James Francis Dwyer
Hallowe’en • (2010) • short fiction by Dulcie Dreamer

Rue Morgue #176! Are You Reading It?

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INSIDE ISSUE #176

FEATURES

TWILIGHT OF THE GODS Series creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green bring Neil Gaiman’s American Gods to network television. Plus: Vincenzo Natali on directing Crispin Glover, Dark Horse’s American Gods comic and a look back at Gaiman’s novel. By Andrea Subissati, Pedro Cabezuelo and Jess Peacock

THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOWMAN The life and legacy of cultural boogeyman Anton Szandor LaVey on the 20th anniversary of his death. Plus: the occult in fashion and a few words with 3teeth frontman Lex. By Sean Plummer, Benoit Black and Andrea Subissati

THE WONDER FEARS The Watcher in the Woods director John Hough takes us back to the Disney movie that traumatized a generation of tots. Plus: a look at Disney’s dark side. By Amy Seidman and Paul Corup

CHAINSAW AND DAVE’S CLASS REUNION Summer School’s lovable gorehounds celebrate 30 years of the characters who made being a horror fan cool. Plus: a dossier of horror devotees. By Jeff Szpirglas and Tal Zimerman

DEPARTMENTS

NOTE FROM UNDERGROUND Andrea says hello.

POST-MORTEM Letters from fans, readers and weirdos

DREADLINES News highlights, horror happenings

THE CORONER’S REPORT Weird stats, morbid facts and more

NEEDFUL THINGS Strange trinkets from our bazaar of the bizarre

CINEMACABRE The latest films, the newest DVDs and reissues feat. The Void

THE LATE-NITE ARCHIVE I Bury the Living

BOWEN’S BASEMENT The Horror of Party Beach

BLOOD IN FOUR COLOURS Comics feat. Not Drunk Enough

THE NINTH CIRCLE Book reviews feat. John Cornell’s Chalk

THE FRIGHT GALLERY The spooky works of Eric Millen

THE GORE-MET Human Pork Chop and Dr. Lamb

AUDIO DROME Music reviews feat. new album from Ghoultown

PLAY DEAD Game reviews feat. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

CLASSIC CUT The Cat and the Canary

Source and Buying Info:

http://www.rue-morgue.com/online-store/Rue-Morgue-176-May-Jun-2017-p83323287

Is There Really a Portal to Hell?

the-path-towards-a-portal-to-hellEditor: Woody Dexter. Photo credit: flickr/steviesteves. Text source: TheLineUp.

“What I am about to share is more real than any of the haunted stories you might hear – it’s much worse! Some might say that it was a hallucination, others might say that I’m insane. Maybe it’s both, but it did happen. I nearly didn’t share this story as I’m concerned about the effects it may have on those who may ever find themselves in the same position I was. But, I know it will serve to help them, should that be the case.

So, here goes…

Having isolated myself from friends and family after losing a job many years ago, I morphed into an angry woman. Slowly and surely, I descended into a mental state where fury and hatred colored all my interactions with other people.

It started when I had another argument with my neighbor, during which I ‘blew my stack’ and swore I’d ‘deal’ with him. I had become very threatening without a hint of remorse. I felt like I’d been possessed by a demon. I’m usually quite mild mannered. So I left the house after the argument to take a ‘cooling off’ walk.

There’s a greenway close to where we live; and soon I was trodding along its path, fuming and storming, swearing all sorts of negativity into the air. I was angry and self-focused, that I failed to notice that the path, which gradually curved at a point that I was coming to, in fact didn’t curve there as it should have. I just get going straight following what must have been some kind of hallucination—ater all I was asking for it, the way I was carrying on so preoccupied with venomous hate.

Every step filled my mind with obsessive, murderous thoughts—like I was forming a mental ‘hit-list’ about who I wanted to destroy. That’s some powerful juju. And I wish now that I had known better that day.

I went walking along in my own little cyclone, watching my feet stomp on the dirt path, when I suddenly looked up. Straight ahead of me, something seemed to be burning. Out of curiousity, I assume, I slowed, but kept walking, squinting my eyes in disbelief.

I know there will be skeptics, but what I saw was a round burning opening at the ‘end’ of the path (where no end should be). I stopped. I could feel the devastating heat spewing out of this fiery portal, and I shielded my eyes from it with my arm. It was like a hole in the air, and it was on fire—no doubt about that. It was a perfect hellish circle!

I should have stopped, turned, and run the other way. Or stay still out of shock if nothing else. Wasn’t it just the sun setting through the treeline at the end of the path? I wasn’t myself though, as I ave already mentioned, and my anger and hate felt more and more like apathy and I remember feeling as though I was slipping out of reality and into some horrifying trance. My dark mind propelled me forward. It was like being drawn into the pit of Hell; it was so hot that I felt the sweat beading on and dripping own my forehead and back. Just then, images of torture, horror and murder began to fill my head in ways I do not think I was capable of imaging. And that scared me. I tried to block them out, but I felt drugged.

As I got closer, I could see actual balls of fire being flung from out of the portal, one of them landing only a couple yards in front of me. When it landed, it moved, like it was standing up, and growing, a flame at first that quickly formed into a hideous shape! I have heard of demons before, since I had been a child, since we had been avid church-goers. Whatever this was, it seemed to be waving me TOWARD it, encouraging me to keep going, moving its way closer and closer to the burning portal. I could even see it leaping from the ground and twisting its flaming face into a look of sheer glee, when I noticed I was moving toward it! And I couldn’t stop this time!

Getting closer to the fiery circle, I began seeing the detailed, horrific images in my mind of all the people on which I had wanted to inflict serious pain and suffering. I saw one neighbor scream in terror as flames consumed him. And my boss crying and writhing on the office floor in torturous agony. Laughing like a madwoman, I watched as all the people that had done me wrong in my life were picked off one by one – and destroyed in flames.

I could feel my slathering mouth hanging agape at all the hellish imagery and my hands rubbing together excitedly. I looked into the portal and felt the blistering heat on my face as millions of screaming souls echoed within what sounded like a giant cavern. Then, I saw a face there in the fire. It was the face of my mother. She was crying, calling out for me by name; she was pleading with me to turn the other way, to get away before I, too, was dragged into the infernal void.

Everything became crystal clear to me. I tried to pull away, but I felt burning hands pushing me forward from behind, and pulling me from inside the portal. A voice that sounded monstrous, warbled, like more than one voice being played simultaneously, but each on a different tapeplayer: ‘YOU WILL ENTER.’ it said. And it repeated those three words multiple times. Just before everything went dark I swear I saw the most horrifying face I’d ever seen. In my gut, I knew whose face it had been. I will never forget the sound of the laughter surrounding those last couple moments. And that face, charred dark as ash.

I must have lost consciousness. I didn’t know how long I had been laying there on the dirt path, when a fellow walker, found me. I screamed to the heavens, pleading for help and forgiveness! I promised to change my ways! The walker looked at me win disbelief. Thirty minutes later, I was back home, resting thanks to that kindhearted neighbor. I knew that I had to make amends and forgive those who trespassed and hurt me. And so I started with her.

Later that night, I had a dream. I saw everyone that I had seen burning in those horrid day-nightmares before the burning hole (which, ironically was never seen by another, and never appeared to me again) now covered in light. I saw light lift them up and out of my murderous thoughts, as out of deep, dark wells in the earth. And when they were gone, I felt a coolness spread through me.

You can, of course, believe what you choose to believe. When I came to, I, however, realized that I had just barely escaped a living hell—of my own making perhaps; but a hell nonetheless; and instead of succumbing, I was granted grace…a Heavenly reprieve; and realizing the sheer terror and mercy involved in the experience, I lay there in the darkness of my bedroom, weeping tears of joy.”

– Anonymous

Return of the Swallows, a Creepy Short Story by Norman Prentiss—Part of His “Apocolypse a Day” Blog Series…

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Return of the Swallows

Every year, at the end of a week of festivities, a flock of migratory swallows used to arrive at the Great Stone Church in San Juan Capistrano, greeted with cheers from sightseers. The sky was black with the shapes of birds returning from winter in Goya, Argentina. The swallows built nests beneath the arches and eaves of the ruined church.

In recent years, few swallows came to the Mission San Juan Capistrano. Restoration of parts of the ruined church destroyed many nests and nesting places. Man-made nests were placed beneath a prominent archway, hoping to tempt annual visitors, but the effort failed.

The celebrations continue, however. Tourists from all over gather to celebrate the week-long Fiesta de las Golondrinas, and on March 19 (the feast of St. Joseph), mariachi bands and Spanish and Native American dancers entertain the vast crowd. At noon, a bell-ringing ceremony commences, calling the birds. Perhaps a few will come, but never in the tremendous numbers of the past.

“We are always looking for them,” a resident says this year, her face brimming with unfounded hope.

Tourists turn to the bank of bell towers, raising their phones to record the clamor. They photograph the swinging ropes, the clappers striking metal bells, the scenic sun-dappled stone of the ruined church, but few of them bother to look to the sky.

A shadow falls over the Mission, darkening the images on camera and cell phone screens. A distant, overhead squawking begins to soar over the clamor of the bells.

“They’re back,” someone yells, and cameras and phones swivel, necks crane upward.

Like in years past, like in the famous song, the swallows come back to Capistrano.

The sky is almost entirely black, but it is a black that ripples like an ocean. Wings flap, and the cry of multiple birds is so loud that many tourists cover their ears. The bellringers stop pulling the ropes, so the birds make the only sound.

It is not a birdsong or mating call. The birds sound angry.

“This is more than I remember,” an old gentleman remarks. “Many, many more.”

It’s as if there is not enough room in the sky. The birds fight for space, and the dark ocean of feathers seethes with violent waves.

A group of tourists scream and jump away from where they’ve been standing. On the ground, a dying bird flaps its wings. Its eyes have been pecked out. The feather pattern, usually a mix of grays with white patches, is entirely dark with grime, as if the bird has been rolled in tar or oil. The bird has four legs that struggle in the air as it dies.

Other birds begin to fall from the sky, their grime-soaked bodies pecked and bleeding, some with two eyes pecked out, but another pair above, blinking; most with extra legs, a few with an extra head.

Tourists and locals alike seek shelter amid the ruined stones of the Mission, unaware what disaster struck in the southern hemisphere…only to migrate here in a dark, bilious cloud, then continue to spread as dead and dying birds rain onto the church courtyard.

– Norman Prentiss, March 19, 2017

Read More of Norman Prentiss’ Horror Fiction here…

We Are Still Here — A Serious Indie Fright Fest! I Loved it.

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SPOILER ALERT!

Wow. What a great film. Very scary. Odd in places, but I recommend it!

In 1979, after the tragic death of their son Bobby in a car accident, Anne (Barbara Crampton) and Paul Sacchetti (Andrew Sensenig) have decided to move to a new home in rural New England in the hopes that it will bring them some closure. Paul especially hopes that it will be therapeutic for Anne, as the death has hit her particularly hard and caused her to spiral into a deep depression. However, as soon as they arrive Anne starts claiming that Bobby is present in the house and a neighbor named Cat (Connie Neer) covertly warns them to leave the house. The house itself is also the focus of some controversy in the area, as it was built in the 1800s by the Dagmar family as a funeral home. The Dagmars were reportedly run out of the village after the townspeople discovered that they were swindling their customers by selling the corpses and burying empty caskets.

Undeterred, Anne invites her friends May and Jacob Lewis (Lisa Marie and Larry Fessenden), as they are both spiritualists and could help contact Bobby, as well as explain the strange supernatural occurrences happening in the house. Upon their arrival the two couples go out to eat, during which time the Lewises’ son Harry (Michael Patrick) arrives with his girlfriend Daniella (Kelsea Dakota) – Soon after arriving Harry is killed by an apparition on the basement stairs while Daniella watches. She flees the house in horror and drives away, only to be killed a short distance away. The Lewises and the Sacchettis head home, after which Cat’s husband Dave (Monte Markham) arrives at the restaurant, murders a waitress, and then angrily discusses the Dagmar house with the restaurant’s bartender, revealing that the house needs to feed every 30 years or the evil beneath it will search out fresh souls, potentially destroying the town.

Jacob eventually manages to convince a reluctant Paul to hold a seance with him while their wives are out. This ends with Jacob becoming possessed by the spirit of Lassander Dagmar (Guy Gane III), who reveals that they were never run out of town, rather the villagers used him and his family as a sacrifice to the evil under their home. Lassander, overcome with rage, then causes Jacob to kill himself. His wife May tries to flee, only to be killed by Dave, who has come to the house with the other townspeople, determined to give the darkness under the home what it wants. The Sacchettis then hear the voice of their son Bobby urging them to leave the house, and flee upstairs as Dave and the townspeople begin breaking into and entering the house. The spirits of the Dagmar family then proceed to violently murder every one of the townspeople in the house until only Dave, Paul, and Anne remain. Still intending to sacrifice them, Dave tries to kill Anne and Paul, but before he can do so, he is killed by Lassander’s spirit. As Paul and Anne stare at the carnage around them, the spirits of the family depart from the house, finally satisfied with their revenge. Still believing her son is in the home, Anne dazedly walks into the house’s cellar, followed moments later by her husband. As he peers down the stairs, Paul smiles slightly, then says “Hey Bobby”.

The Horsingdon Transmissions, No.71: “The Warehouse” (#reblog @Whispers from the Ghooric Zone)

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The Horsingdon Transmissions No.71: The Warehouse

‘This bunker-like structure—which has been repurposed as the freight depot which services the local Northwich rail lines—was at one time utilised by the Ministry during their period of involvement (which some maintain continues to this day) with the mysteries of the Horsingdon Triangle.

The original purpose of the building remains unclear, although local residents refer to it as “the Warehouse”; in relation to which, what might appear to the casual observer as traditional mason’s marks (etched throughout the brickwork across the circumference of the building) in fact constitute elements of a complex system of obscure occult symbology—a system delineating a set of geometrically—obscure non-Euclidean and hyperdimensional relations, which are typically used for binding and containing praeternatural intrusions into this world.

The building certainly has acquired something of an uncanny reputation over the years, primarily as as a result of the strange sounds that would sometimes issue from its interior; indeed, one can still hear tales—occasionally whispered by the rail workers who frequent the numerous nearby hostelries—concerning encounters with a “nameless mist” or “formless thing” which continues to haunt the edifice to this day.’

Posted by Justin Woodman at http://ghooriczone.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-horsingdon-transmissions-no71.html

Earth’s Gifts Shelter Us

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(Photo: LoggersandWoodsmen.tumblr)