Let’s Watch a Horror Movie…Pan’s Labyrinth

Happy July, horror movie watching friends! It’s time to announce the movie I will be live-tweeting this month. I hope everyone can join me and add your tweets to the mix. This one is a good one.

Poster for Guillermo del Toro's 2006 movie

Poster for Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 movie

YES! Guillermo del Toro’s dark fantasy!

Dark fantasy, Kathy? I thought we were going to watch a horror movie?!!?!?!

Don’t worry, there is plenty of creepiness in this show to qualify it as a horror flick.

First, meet Ofelia.

Ofelia played by Ivana Baquero in Pan's Labyrinth

Ofelia played by Ivana Baquero in Pan’s Labyrinth

She’s special. This is her story of how she must fight to save herself and her mother. Her imagination takes her on a journey of self-discovery, to become who she is meant to be. She’s strong and fabulous.

I love this movie so much. Dark and beautiful, the story will touch your heart and make it stop in terror as well. Check out a few of the characters…

The giant toad from the 2006 movie Pan's Labyrinth

The giant toad from the 2006 movie Pan’s Labyrinth

 

The Faun, played by Doug Jones, from the 2006 movie Pan's Labyrinth

The Faun, played by Doug Jones, from the 2006 movie Pan’s Labyrinth

 

The Pale Man, also played by Doug Jones, in the 2006 movie Pan's Labyrinth

The Pale Man, also played by Doug Jones, in the 2006 movie Pan’s Labyrinth

If that child-eating monster doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

The creatures are scary…creepy, but the real horror comes in human form in this movie. Ofelia’s Step-Father, Captain Vidal.

Captain Vidal, played by Sergi Lopez, in the 2006 movie Pan's Labyrinth

Captain Vidal, played by Sergi Lopez, in the 2006 movie Pan’s Labyrinth

Cunning and ruthless, the Captain wants everything and will do anything to get it. Ofelia learns the truth and must save her mother and new baby brother from him.

If you haven’t seen this movie, you are in for a treat…yes, there are subtitles, but the story will shine through having to read words, the images will remain in your head forever.

Join me on Twitter for the live-tweet!

When? Well, I’m shooting for Friday, July 15th at 9pm EST, but it might end up on Thursday the 14th.

I will keep you posted! On one of those nights press play at 9pm EST and add your tweets at #PansLabyrinth!

Let’s watch a horror movie!

 

 

Gothic Horror Month: A Summary

I can’t believe it’s July. I mean, almost July. I was over-the-moon when our fabulous members were voting on theme months and someone suggested Gothic Horror Month! I love how our members’ brains work. They’re dreamy.

Anywho, I’ve been loving these posts so much I wanted to do a little recap on our great articles for Gothic Horror month. Check it out below!

A Taste of Gothic Horror Month

Mr. King Does It Again!

by Amy Giuffidra

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Young Adult Gothic Literature Reading List

by Jolene Haley

Young-Adult-Gothic-Fiction

The King In Yellow: A Gothic Horror Masterpiece

by Brian LeTendre

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I was Eleven. He was Creepy…A Love Story.

by Kathy Palm

Edgar Allan Poe, writer

 

Edgar Allan Poe – The Master of Gothic Horror

by Amy Giuffrida

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Gothic Literature: A History

by Jolene Haley

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My Favorite Gothics 

by Jenna Lehne

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Both Things I Know About Gothic Horror I Learned from Jane Austen Who Learned from Ann Radcliffe

by Erica Davis

Ann Radcliffe

Review: Afterlife With Archie #9

by Brian LeTendre

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The Perfect Horror Movie Buddy…A Girl and Her Dream

by Kathy Palm

Scene from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix... from Google Images

 

Which blog post is your favorite? Have you written on the topic? Link your posts below!

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What is J Horror?

July is J Horror Month!

If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering what the heck J horror even is. Before we get into the whole fun of this particular brand of horror, how about a definition and a couple of examples to sink your teeth on?

Wikipedia Definition:

Japanese horror is Japanese horror fiction in popular culture, noted for its unique thematic and conventional treatment of the horror genre in light of western treatments.

Clear as mud? I thought so. J horror has been around since the 1940-50s. The first movies were stories that incorportated Japanese myth and ghost tales. In the later 1950s, Japanese horror took a turn toward the very dark, violent, and sexual–bordering on soft porn with horror elements thrown in. Now, J horror has gotten back to its roots.

Have you heard of The Ring or The Grudge? These are two Japanese horror films that were remade in America. Each of these moves combines the stringy haired character, which is said to take after one of the mythical Japanese Gods. Finding these trailers with English subtitles proved to be more difficult than I thought, but check out the visuals…SCARY!

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Announcing Our New Midnight Marauder: June 2016

It’s time to reveal our next Midnight Marauder! I’ve read the tarot cards and sipped the divination tea… The answers were identical. It’s clear that the spirits and the universe have come to an agreement. They’ve nominated one special soul for sacrifice.

I’m so excited and pleased to announce the first Midnight Marauder of 2016!

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What the heck is a Midnight Marauder?

The Midnight Society’s Midnight Marauder is a member of the Midnight Society team. He or she is someone that goes above and beyond to contribute to the Midnight Society, to our readers, and embraces the wonders of macabre like no other.

According to the dictionary, a marauder is one who roves and raids in search of plunder and we’re always roaming the world of shadows to bring pieces of it to you.

Past Winners

2015

Faith

Jennifer

Kira

2014

Amy

What does this mean?

The winner of the Midnight Marauder is awarded the following:

  • Bragging Right
  • The Glory of the Underworld
  • $20 Gift card to Amazon, Starbucks, or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice)

Who is This Mysterious Midnight Marauder?

This Midnight Society member has dazzled me from day one with their wit, intelligence, and enthusiasm. This person is always around, rooting for our successes and encouraging us to hope back in the game after our failures. She is clever, fun, and always has well thought out ideas and thoughts to share with you. She has such a unique point of view and truly thinks outside the box and that’s what I admire about her. She recently ran one of our Midnight Book Twitter chats (our book club, check out the details here) and she picked one of the coolest (read: creepiest) short story anthologies of all time! She is giving. She is kind. She also likes creepy, which is a must!

I am forever grateful to call her my friend and I sleep better knowing that she’s in all of our corners.

Here’s a little bit more about her:

She writes middle grade horror. Awesome!

She’s active in the writing community! Just check out her Twitter.

She hates basements. True story alert!

She is literally the QUEEN OF HALLOWEEN COSTUMES. Don’t believe me? Check it out!

She has adorable pets. Just check out her Twitter pics / videos.

I doesn’t judge me when she Facetimes me and I’m in my pajamas and look like swamp thing.

She wrote a fantastic post about how she started writing ghost stories. It’s a must-read!

She wrote one of the BEST poems of ALL TIME, inspired by Robert Frost.

She likes Gothic horror and Ann Radcliffe. Just check out these facts.

Announcing the Midnight Marauder

tarot-strength-erica-davis

The cards never lie. Ever.

******

CONGRATULATIONS ERICA!

EricaFace

Miss Erica Davis, aged 6 years, two months, and three weeks, vanished while lining up for a field trip to the planetarium.

Erica is predeceased by eighteen goldfish, Mother’s favorite lamp—for which she was “very sorry”, stubby bits of crayon, her left pigtail, and a gym bag full of Pop-Tarts (unfrosted strawberry).

Erica firmly believed that obituaries were read by people who had neither Mad Libs nor lives.

In lieu of flowers, condolences in the form of unmarked nine-dollar gift cards to Blockbuster, a tank of propane, or Lunchables (ham only) may be left at the hollowed out tree trunk at the edge of the woods.

As promised multiple times over the years, she haunts the internet at the following locations:

Blog

Twitter

******

Congratulations Erica! Thank you for everything you do for me, those around you, and for the Midnight Society. Have anything nice to add about Erica? Feel free to leave kind words and compliments below!

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Are we alone?

Hello kittens,

 

I’m bringing you a story straight from the truth vault. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine….just kidding. This guy is actually my friend, IRL and everything. He is a (gloriously) bearded farmer that lives in a tiny town in the prairies (since Bearded Farmer is probably a little too wordy, let’s call him…oh…Mulder). A couple weeks ago, Mulder called me up and told me this story and I just knew that I had to share it with ya’ll. I just got off the phone with him, so I’m going to tell it in first person, because I can’t write third to save my life.

“I got home from the farm around 10:30 last night. I was dusty and hot, but when I turned on the shower, no water came out. I figure the well was dry, so I just skipped the shower and hit the couch. I played video games for a while, but around midnight I decided to check the water hydrants around the property to make sure they weren’t running. I climbed in my truck and headed north. The first hydrant is on a hill, but it was off. The second is still on the hill, but it’s near the chicken coops, a little further north. It wasn’t until then that I realized how weirdly quiet it was. I couldn’t hear the usual peeper frogs, crickets, or even a mosquito. The only thing I heard was the slightest rustle of grass in the breeze. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with how creepy the silence was. I started walking toward the coop when something moved in the corner of my eye.

I looked up and saw two lights circling each other. I stood there, shocked, as they just slowly rotated around one another. I can honestly say that in that moment, I’ve never been more terrified in my entire life. I didn’t move, I just stared up, trying to make sense of what I was seeing. I couldn’t.

I snapped out of it and quickly checked the hose. I ran back to the truck, got in, turned off the headlights, and sped home. The lights have been circling for about 5-7 minutes now. I ran into the house and grabbed my phone. I launched my stargazing app to make sure there weren’t any satellites or aircraft in my area…there weren’t.

The lights suddenly separated. One dropped and vanished, the other traveled south, horizontal with the horizon. Only then did I start recording the light on my phone. After about fifteen seconds, the light disappeared. I sat out on the deck, searching the sky, but the lights were gone. I haven’t seen them since.”

 

Umn….how creepy is that? Here’s the actual video.

 

I’ll leave you with this quote that has stuck with me from the very first time I read it:

 

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke

 

X,

Jenna

Mr. King Does it Again!

It’s no secret who one of my favorite horror authors is…if you don’t know, here are just two posts I’ve written about him. Go on. Check them out, I’ll wait.

http://wp.me/p4n7GW-gq

http://wp.me/p4n7GW-D6

Meeting Stephen King is on my bucket list. Honestly, this is the only thing on my bucket list, so I’ve been completely jealous of those who are posting pics of seeing him speak. No matter, I still got a hold of a copy of his latest in the Bill Hodges Trilogy. With each new story he writes, I’m struck by the masterful way he weaves the lives of his characters into an intricate web and creates tension. This new book is no different. So, if you’re looking for a great new read for the beach or the pool…here’s one for you!

 

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End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3)

Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.

 

Young Adult Gothic Literature Reading List

Last week I wrote Gothic Literature – A History, and discussed what the genre is and where it came from. I also recommended a few fabulous books that helped to shape the genre itself.

One of the things I mentioned was that the cool thing about Gothic literature, is that it’s still around today, even after hundreds of years, still haunting and thrilling, delighting and scaring.

Today I wanted to highlight a few young adult Gothic novels for your reading pleasure!

Young-Adult-Gothic-Fiction

 

Above, from left to right, top to bottom. Click on the title to read a little more about the book.

 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Compulsion by Martina Boone

 

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday

Made For You by Melissa Marr

 

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

 

If you want even more book suggestions, check out these lists:

YA Gothic Goodreads List

Books That Go Bump in the Night: Creepy YA Gothic Reads

Gothic, Horror, and Mysteries: YA Fiction for Fans of Edgar Allan Poe

Gothic Revival: Gothic Literature Gets a Young Adult Makeover

YA Books Central Gothic List

Five Great Gothic YAs

 

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What are some of your favorite young adult Gothic novels?

Do you have a favorite Gothic author?

Tell me in the comments below!

 

Happy Gothic reading!

Jolene - Midnight Society Signatures

 

The King in Yellow: A Gothic Horror Masterpiece

king_aceRomance, mystery, dread and terror–Robert Chambers’ The King in Yellow has them all in spades. It’s a collection of stories that has influenced countless horror writers over the past century, including H.P. Lovecraft himself.

Four of the stories in the book reference a play called The King in Yellow, a play so infamous it was banned because simply reading it causes people to go insane. We as readers of the short stories never get to see more than a snippet or two from the actual play, lending to mystery of it. The titular character in the play is a terrifying, god-like being who wears tattered yellow robes. And if just reading a play about him can cause madness, what could meeting him actually do?

You might be thinking “The King in Yellow…didn’t that show True Detective mention something about him?” Why yes it did, and I am forever grateful for that, as it led many people to actually seek out Chambers’ masterpiece, which still does not get the love it deserves from horror fandom as a whole.

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A sculpt of the King in Yellow done for me by my friend and talented artist Amy Kukta.

Many people still have never read The King in Yellow, which is one of the reasons I wanted to post about it this week. The book is now in the public domain, so you can read it for free online, and there are several paperback versions currently in print as well.

As for Chambers’ influence on my own writing, it’s huge. My Parted Veil series of horror novels is heavily influenced by both Chambers and Lovecraft, and the first book–Courting the King in Yellow–features a very direct connection to the character himself.

CTKIY FRONT

 

 

I was Eleven, He was Creepy…A Love Story

It’s Gothic horror month.

*ahem* Let me try that again…

IT’S GOTHIC HORROR MONTH!!!!!!

The best type of horror. Dark and creepy and fabulous. Filled with sadness and longing, leaving disturbing images and emotions in your head.

When I heard this month’s theme, I knew I wanted to post about Edgar Allan Poe…of course my dear friend Amy had the same idea. Why wouldn’t she? I mean EDGAR ALLAN POE! Go read her post here. I’ll wait…

Edgar Allan Poe, writer

Edgar Allan Poe, writer

The child of two actors, Edgar Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts in January 1809. His father abandoned him and his mother in 1810, then his mother died in 1811. John and Frances Allan took him in, but never officially adopted him, and moved little Edgar to Richmond, Virginia. In his teen years, Edgar had a little trouble with finances, a bit of gambling, and he and John Allan had a falling out…and reunited for a while, but ultimately parted ways for good.

Edgar attended the University of Virginia for one year, but no money means no school, so he enlisted in the army in 1827. In the same year, he published a collections of poems anonymously…TAMERLANE AND OTHER POEMS, setting him on his fated path. Well, Edgar failed as an officer’s cadet at West Point and declared his dream of being a writer. The first well-known American writer to try and make a living with words alone.

YEA!

He died at the age of forty in October of 1849. The cause of death is unknown… and has been attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, and tuberculosis.

WHAT? Seriously…no one knows? Creepy.

Anyway, fast forward to my fifth grade year and a reading assignment…THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM.

11 year-old me: Hello, dark and creepy story. I like you.

Later we had to do an art project based on one of the stories we had read and, you guessed it…I drew a man collapsed on a stone floor near a large dark hole with a sliver blade swinging over his head. Yup. Dude. I got an ‘A’. And no, I don’t have the drawing. That was a long time ago. *cries*

Soon after, my dad bought me a leather bound book of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and poems. The pages are edged in gold! OMG IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND I FELT SO SPECIAL! AND LOOK AT ALL THE CREEPY STORIES! This was the best gift ever and is still the most beautiful book I own. My precious…*pets the book*

To my delight Poe’s words appeared through out my years of school, THE TELL TALE HEART and THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO. And memorizing and reciting his poem THE RAVEN was a highlight of my learning years.

When it came time in college to choose between American and English Lit… Duh.

His words are hauntingly gorgeous, sad and full of love. His scary images will lurk in my brain forever. Isn’t it wonderful?

Many people have fallen in love with his words and his life, which explains why pieces of him linger in our world, why we can visit where he once roamed, and fall in love just a bit more with this master of horror.

 

The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

 

Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...where Poe lived from 1843-1844

Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…where Poe lived from 1843-1844

 

Edgar Allan Poe cottage in the Bronx...his final home

Edgar Allan Poe cottage in the Bronx…his final home

 

Edgar Allan Poe grave in Westminster Hall in Baltimore, Maryland

Edgar Allan Poe grave in Westminster Hall in Baltimore, Maryland

Where ever you are now, Mr. Poe, I hope you smile when someone reads your stories and poems and a shiver of fear traces their spine. I hope the darkness that followed you in life has gone.

People will read your words forevermore.

 

 

 

 

 

Edgar Allan Poe- The Master of Gothic Horror

Hey everyone!

I’ve been gone for quite awhile, and I have missed you all! My life has taken a few twists and turns, so I needed to take some time away. Buuutttt, now I’m back! And what a time to blog…gothic horror month!

It’s not a secret that I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe. I mean, I do have a raven tattoo on my wrist! Every year, I’m lucky enough to have Poe as part of my curriculum. Teaching 8th graders about this fascinating and disturbed man; along with sharing his famous writings, is what I look forward to each year. And while I love all of his stories and poems, The Masque of the Red Death is my favorite. The best part? This story always freaks my teens out–drawing the biggest response from them.

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I mean, come on. Prospero invites a bunch of aristocrates to stay locked in his castle with him in hopes that they won’t contract the “Red Death”. During this time, the rich and powerful eat and drink while the townspeople are overcome by the plague. On the last night of the story, Prospero has the castle seperated into 7 distinct areas for a masquerade party; creating a colorful gothic wonderland. Unfortunately for his guests, death walks among them.

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And what would gothic horror be without a movie starring Vincent Price? While I’ve never seen this film, how can you go wrong? If you aren’t already a fan of Poe, take a few minutes and check out Masque of the Red Death.

Amy - Midnight Society Signatures