Let the Fun Begin…Sleeping Beauties

I have dipped my toe into the new book Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King.

 

Cover of the 2017 book Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King

If you didn’t know, some of our Midnighters are reading the newest Stephen King release for our celebration of #FrighteningFall. Go read the initial post here.

Stephen King…It’s easier to list the books I haven’t read than have. I have shelves in my bookcase dedicated to his work. I belong to the Stephen King library and get all his new books shipped to my house. I mean…why wouldn’t you? He is one of the people I would love to meet, though I’m sure I would freak out and forget how to speak.

I love his stories and his characters. So I opened this book with hope…hope of weird, of creepy, of watching characters struggle and crack before rising up. I guess I’ll find out!

So, it doesn’t seem like much, but I am on page 54 out of the 700 page monster. Yes, 700. I just started chapter 3. What can I say…I need more reading time.

But I’m far enough in to have initial thoughts about Sleeping Beauties. I have met Jeanette, Clint, Lila, Tiffany, Frank, Terry, Magda, Essie…and let’s not forget Evie. So many characters, there’s a list of who’s who at the front of the book, just in case you need help keeping everyone straight. *cough*ME*cough* All different. Each having their own special viewpoint to the story. Each having their own struggles and goals. All real people.

The main driving voices so far have been Clint and Lila. I already like them.

Then there’s Evie…now she’s interesting. I love when her POV shows up. I can’t wait to see what this girl is up to. SOMETHING WEIRD.

The big problem/question/conflict has reared its head…bared its fangs. I am intrigued. Like I said. I NEED MORE READING TIME.

I’m at the very beginning. I can see the darkness ahead, where the path disappears into the unknown. I can sense the creepy to come. I am teetering at the edge, soon I will wade in until the muck is up around my knees and I am pulled down into the depths of questions and choices and emotion. What a great place to be.

Reading Sleeping Beauties with us? YEA YEA YEA! Share your thoughts and comments on Twitter with #MidnightBookClub and #FrighteningFall. I will be tweeting as I read. No spoilers! Just teasers.

Join us this #FrighteningFall for all sorts of fun.

Stay tuned to the hashtag for announcements! Live-tweets of the Halloween movies will be scheduled, the perfect movies for this time of year.

Read a book with us. Watch a movie with us.

It’s October. Eat, drink, and be scary.

An Interview Without a Vampire

As our newest member of The Midnight Society could not be located for an interview on this, the day of her birth, I took the liberty of conducting it without her.

Victoria Nations' awesome face

Victoria Nations’ awesome face

The Davis Girl (TDG): Are you ready to be interviewed, Victoria Nations?

Victoria Nations (VN): Yes! This is very exciting! Such an honor to be interviewed by THE The Davis Girl! Rumors of your interviewing prowess are not exaggerated!

TDG: Very true. Hello Midnight Society Readers. I am joined today via imagicaffeine by Victoria Nations. Victoria, welcome. 

VN: Thank you The Davis Girl!

TDG: I understand today is your birthday.

VN: Yes! That is correct!

TDG: Are you really a biologist?

VN: Yes, I am. I also eat oranges and live in a swamp or something and I’ve recently discovered a cure for–

TDG: Do you get to wear a coat?

VN: Excuse me?

TDG: Do you get to wear one of those long white coats with all the pockets?

VN: I mean–

TDG: What snacks do you have in them? Gummy worms? Dire patch grub? Chocolate biscuits?

VN: I don’t usually have food in m–

TDG: Ha! Half a pop-tart! I wondered where that wen–

VN: Did you have a question for me?

TDG: Yes. What’s with the leaves and cobwebs thing?

VN: Well, I really like cobwebs and I guess I like leaving things. Just learn more about me here https://leavesandcobwebs.com/ and follow me on twitter @Leaves_Cobwebs .

TDG: Well, now I’m hungry.

VN: Here, take this year supply of pop-tarts that change flavor depending on your particular tastes. And here’s a bajillion dollars. Just because. And a unicorn name Frederick.

TDG: Delightful. Don’t mind if I do. We’re done here.

Dear Victoria Nations,

You put the creep in creeptastic and I am so glad you’ve allowed us slither our way into your life. You’ve been a champion of TMS since before I can remember and that thaws my heart. So, here, from my brains to your plate, is The Thing That Reminds Me of You.

Love,

The Davis Girl

Welcome to our newest member! And…

 

This calls for cake.

 

I have arranged for a fuzzy friend to visit you later.

 

Have the creepiest day ever. Everyone is screaming about your special day.

Best horror wishes,

Kathy

Happy Birthday, Victoria!

In honor of this wonderful day, I bring you a couple of gifts to share with the whole family:

A nice game of D&D

And a story you can all read around the campfire!

Have a great birthday!

Brian

 

VICTORIA!

We became fast friends in the Camp NaNo cabin over our love of all things goth…

Now that you’re a Midnighter, we totally need to have a dance-off!

Here’s hoping your birthday is filled with witchy tunes, stripey socks and ALL THE COOL, DARK THINGS!

Love & stardust…

~Mary~

Vicki!!!

Happy birthday lovely lady. You are so kind and wonderful, creative and hilarious, thoughtful and brilliant. I’m so thankful you were born and even happier to call you friend!

We can’t wait to sacrifice you…I mean, celebrate you. Don’t forget to come to the Midnight Society mansion tonight and don’t tell anyone where you’re going…

Happy birthday! You know I love my spirits so here’s one for you!


The Roast and Toast – A Bourbon and Coffee Cocktail

Found here.

Ingredients

· 2 oz cold coffee

· 1.5 oz Bourbon

· .25 oz orange juice

· 1.25 oz Amaro

· 0.5 oz Brulee Liqueur

· 1 Marshmallow (Boozy Peppermint Mocha preferred)

Instructions

1. Brew a pot of dark roast coffee and allow to cool.

2. Add bourbon, coffee, orange juice, amaro and brulee to a shaker.

3. Add ice to the shaker.

4. Shake and strain into a large rocks glass.

5. Skewer the marshmallow on a bamboo spear or a cocktail pick.

6. When ready to serve, light the marshmallow on fire with a culinary torch.

7. Before drinking, blow the fire out, and take a bite of the marshmallow along with a sip of your cocktail.

8. Cheers!


Hopefully we can also snack on these Cobweb Nacho Bites I found on Pinterest. Cheers!

Love Jolene

 

Happy birthday Victoria!!!!

So glad you’ve joined us–Pennywise is too!

xoxo,

Amy

Save

Save

The Midnight Book Club Takes on SLEEPING BEAUTIES for #FrighteningFall

Put your reading glasses on, kids. This week, Stephen and Owen King’s new epic Sleeping Beauties was releases, and The Midnight Society is making it our book club selection for our Frightening Fall event.

For the months of October and November, we’ll be reading and discussing Sleeping Beauties as part of our Midnight Book Club. We’ll be holding two chat events–one in October and one in November (dates/times TBA)–and we’ll be using the hashtag #MidnightBookClub. We’ll also be talking about the book throughout the next two months using the hashtags #FrighteningFall and #SleepingBeauties.

We want you to read, discuss and enjoy Sleeping Beauties with us, so grab yourself a copy and dive in. And stay tuned for more ghoulish fun, as Frightening Fall is just getting started!

Decorating for Halloween

A few weeks ago I posted a few Pinterest boards dedicated to decorating for our favorite holiday. Today, I thought I’d share some of my own decorations. I am having a blast slowly adding skeletons and fun trinkets to the nooks and crannies of my house.

 

This is the first thing you see when you walk in my front door. During the summer, sea shells and blue candles adorn the small table. I found the small skulls at Target–one of my go to places.

 

I love the look of book spines, so of course I stacked two copies of Dracula and topped them off with a skull. And ohhhhh! The goodies you can find in strange places. This cute little tin is from Cracker Barrel!

 

 

This guy is my favorite! He is supposed to hang on the outside door, but I can’t help posing him around the house, so inside he will stay. Again, I found the skeleton at Target. Poor puppy doesn’t know what to make of him though..

 

I’ve purchased a bunch of raven decorations for my classroom. I teach a unit on Edgar Allan Poe in October, so I have a blast decorating my room too. I’ll post pics of this soon. As always, we’d love to see your decorations, so share in the comments or on Facebook!

xoxo,

A

Ghostly Protection & Superstitions

Superstitions are like candy to me. They are sometimes strange, often odd and really get my story writing gears turning.

I was perusing one of my superstition books the other day looking for story ideas (yes, I peruse) and came upon the entry for ghosts.

It talked about the usual – how ghosts manifest themselves as apparitions; how spirits return to earth for a variety of reasons, including vengeance, warning others of danger and other unfinished business.

But it also talked about an old Scottish tradition of wearing a cross of Rowan wood fastened with red thread concealed in one’s coat.

Photo from https://artesandcraft.com

IT BEGAN WITH WITCHCRAFT

Apparently rowan trees are believed to protect one from the “interference” of witchcraft. They have been planted in graveyards because they prevent the slumber of the dead from being preserved. So why would one need to wear a rowan wood cross to ward off ghosts?

The Druids supposedly believed rowan wood to have protective qualities and they often nailed rowan branches over doorways to stop evil spirits from entering. The branches were often gathered on May 3rd (Holy Rood Day or Rowantree Day) and left there until the following May 3rd when they were replaced.

So powerful was the rowan tree thought to be for these protective powers that it has been said that to touch a witch with a rowan stick would immediately allow the witch to be dragged to hell by the Devil himself.

PROTECTION FROM EVIL

Whether ghosts, witches or other kindred evils, it is believed that so long as the rowan cross lasted, no ghost or witch would have the power to interfere with the wearer.

DO YOU BELIEVE?

So, what do you think about this superstition? Have you heard of it before? Do you think rowan crosses can protect one from ghosts, witches or other purported evils? Share your thoughts below!

Save

Ghosts & EVP: Can The Dead Talk To The Living?

Even though I didn’t love the ending of White Noise, I admit that I got caught up in the plot about ghosts and possibly making contact.

White Noise

We all miss those who pass on to the other side. And I’d venture to say that we all harbor that tiny seed of hope that we could, one day, speak to those beloved friends and family members who have passed on.

But does electric voice phenomena really occur?

EVP – IS IT REAL?

I’m sure we’ve all watched those ghost hunting shows at least once in our lives. Electronic recordings are one of the staples of those shows. But amidst the static, is it possible those scratchy sounds equate to words from the beyond?

Haunted History Trail of New York StateI was looking at the Haunted History Trail of New York State recently for fun fall road trips and came upon a tour offered to learn about spiritualists The Fox Sisters.

The Fox Sisters

http://www.hydesvillefoxsisters.com/

Made famous for their purported communications with the dead, the sisters didn’t use recordings to contact the ghosts of those who have passed on to the other side. Rather, they became famous for their seances where mysterious ‘rappings’ could be heard.

Edison's Spirit Machine

http://www.atlasobscura.com

Then there’s Edison’s spirit machine, which he is said to have described thus:

“I have been at work for some time, building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us.”

Even though no prototype was ever found, rumors and speculation over the years seems to point to Edison’s desire to use science to explain (or perhaps verify) the ability to talk to ghosts.

EXPLAINING THE VOICES

So, taking away the romanticism of being able to speak to those dearly departed loved ones one last time, is there a logical explanation for those voices?

There’s actually a scientific term for the phenomena called pareidolia, but it isn’t reserved only for auditory hallucinations. Shapes or images, sounds and even the Rorschach inkblot test are versions of experience.

In terms of auditory pareidolia, one of the most well-known cases involves a Swedish film producer named Frederick Jurgenson. After recording birds singing, he purportedly heard voices of deceased spirits in the recordings. One of his students, wanting to recreate the phenomena, ran blank tapes through a tape recorder in a quiet setting. He also recorded a radio tuned between stations, and claims to have heard voices in the static, including that of his deceased mother.

Critics tend to brush off any reports as wishful thinking of the recently bereaved, or as one inadvertently picking up voices from faraway radio broadcasts.

Similar to other pareidolia, most people believe that in looking for messages in random places, or listening for voices, that the mind places meaning where it might not otherwise exist.

WOULDN’T IT BE NICE?

I for one would love to be able to talk to my dad or my grandparents or friends who have passed. Yeah, it makes a cool horror movie, but it would also be kind of comforting just to have that one last chat, even if it’s just a word or two.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS?

So, what do you think? Do you believe in ghosts? And do you think they can contact the living?

Can the dead really talk to us from beyond the grave? If so, is it like White Noise or maybe like the ghosts in The Others?

Have you ever tried to record voices of those who have passed?

Check out this page at The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, where they have a number of recordings for your perusal

 

SOURCES:

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Today Was a Really Good Day at CT HorrorFest

I tried to think of a clever title for this post, but I’m exhausted, and honestly, that title pretty much sums it up. See, i spent the day at CT HorrorFest, which is my favorite show of the year. Not only is it a fantastic celebration of horror, but the show is put together by my friends at the Horror News Network, who are some of the nicest and most genuine people I am lucky enough to know. Each year I go to their show and hang out all day talking about horror and music with anyone that passes my table. Occasionally I will sell some books as well, but I’ve never been really good at promoting my own stuff, and I usually forget to mention my books as I’m excitedly talking about favorite movies and albums. Anyway, the show is a blast and I look forward to it every year.

This year, I was even more exited than usual, as two of my all-time favorite actors were going to be there–Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins. I adore Adrienne Barbeau, as she was in two of my favorite movies of all time, The Fog and Escape From New York, as well as Creepshow, Swamp Thing and the awesome TV show Maude. My favorite role of hers was Stevie Wayne, the local radio DJ in The Fog, though I’ve loved her in everything she’s been in.

Tom Atkins is a horror legend to me. He’s a Carpenter veteran, having done Escape From New York, The Fog and Halloween III for my favorite director. He was also in Creepshow, Maniac Cop, Two Evil Eyes, My Bloody Valentine 3D, and the amazing Night of the Creeps. In fact, the character Tom played in Night of the Creeps–Detective Ray Cameron–is the inspiration for one of the main characters in the book Jolene and I wrote–Harrowed. Our Detective Ray Atkins is a love letter to Tom’s character.

And today I got to tell him that.

My morning began with meeting Tom and giving him my print proof of Harrowed after explaining how he inspired one of the main characters. He was amazingly gracious and said he couldn’t wait to read it, even asking me when we were going to make a movie out of it. I was so happy I almost cried.

But it gets better.

I went back later in the day and bought a Night of the Creeps poster from Tom, which he signed to Jolene and I. And then he took a picture with me as he held our book:

I don’t even have words for how happy this made me. When I stumbled away in a daze, he called me back to his table to make sure he had my email address so he could tell me what he thought of the book. And he also asked me to say hi to Jolene for him. I was almost in tears. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined any of that. He was amazing and I am an even bigger fan of his than I was before. What an awesome guy.

I then has the good fortune to meet Adrienne Barbeau and get a picture with her as well. Just being able to tell her how much I’ve loved her work and how I’ve grown up with her was so great. And she was absolutely lovely. Here’s us with the Crate Beast from Creepshow:

All in all, it was one of the best days ever. And now I’m going to bed.

Let’s Talk #Horror Movies… IT

We, here at The Midnight Society, are big Stephen King fans. When we heard IT was being made into a movie…we freaked out a little.

Okay, a lot.

The book is a monster, published in 1986 it stands at 1138 pages. The story flips between the late 1950s and the mid 1980s…27 years in-between. A great look at life as a kid versus life as an adult, how our fears change, but never leave us. I’ve read the book twice. Scared the crud out of me, infected my brain with ideas that creatures in the drains were going to kill me.

1986 Stephen King’s IT book cover

Then the mini-series aired in the fall of 1990…I own the DVD, so I’ve seen it a few times. They tweaked this a bit the past taking place in 1960 and the present being 1990. But we still have the kids, we still have the fight, we still have the fear.

Poster for the 1990 mini-series IT

Now we have another version to add. Another version. A movie inspired by/ based on the book. Different than the book. Different than the mini-series.

Poster for 2017 movie IT

My fellow Midnighter Amy posted her thoughts on the new movie. You can go read…or reread…here.

I decided to add my own thoughts to hers. Cause what she said was fabulous! I also loved this movie! The images are creepy, I will never forget the end fight in the sewer…down that damn well…*shudders*. They do all float.

Dude.

I actually measure how much I like a horror movie by the number of times I sit up straighter and whisper “dude”. I muttered that magic word quite a few times.

Then I listen to people say…

It wasn’t scary.

And I ponder this because it has many meanings. Maybe they are trying to sound cool, like nothing can scare them. Maybe the type of scare they want wasn’t there…too many predictable jump scares and not enough creepy, or not enough gore, or not enough action. Maybe we have expectations that just weren’t met.

Whichever it is, we go to horror movies to be scared.

Maybe we want to scream, cover our eyes, jump, and throw popcorn. Maybe we want to feel the tingles up our spine. Maybe we want our minds to twist from disturbing images that change the way we think, change who we are. Maybe we want our emotions knotted into a giant mess.

Horror is different for everyone. And we need to take each horror movie for what it is.

IT.

Did I run up the stairs that night? No. For me it wasn’t that type of scary.

But it was scary.

There’s a monster, one that can take different forms, be anywhere. One not everyone can see. A creature back from a sleep, back to feed from the fear…and the fear of kids tastes best. A fear that never leaves when you grow-up.

A fear we have to face. Not once, but throughout our lives.

Because that is what IT is about. Fear. A terrifying encounter, but not just with a creepy crawlie in the sewer.

With a bully who has no problems carving his name in a kid’s skin.

With an over-protective mom, who will lie to keep control.

With guilt over a little brother’s disappearance, and the fading hope that he will return.

With an abusive dad, who is certain his teen daughter is a whore.

With adults who ignore terrible events, who choose to turn their backs on the pain of others, especially kids.

Real life can be horrifying, disturbing, life-changing.

I loved this movie because the stories, the kids were real.

I had a little trouble with the time period. The kids’ live in the late 80s…a decade I grew up in. Through the whole movie, I still had it set in the late 50s. I couldn’t place it in the 80s. Did that ruin it for me…obviously not.

I have a different opinion of Bev being taken. This, to me, was NOT a damsel in distress, must save the girl move. Never as she faced the monster in the sewer did she portray someone waiting to be saved. She fought. Why did IT take the only girl? Because she was the strongest, because without her the boys might fall apart, but in reality she was the glue that held the Losers together and the one person they would unite to save. That’s how that worked for me.

Plenty of great images in this movie. The creepy old house. The crumbling well. Pennywise the dancing clown…his eyes, the curl of his lip, his home where everyone floats…forever.

Plenty of humor. These kids have some great lines.

I love these kids. I love their stories. I can’t wait to see them as adults. IT will return.

And I will be there to watch.

IT- My Review

I FINALLY SAW THE MOVIE I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

Whew. *wipes brow from all of the excitement*

I know that there are some mixed reviews out there on Facebook and Twitter, but you won’t get that here. I LOVED IT!

Yes, there are parts that could have been closer to the book.

Yes, Beverly is treated like a damsel in distress.

Yes, the character development could have been stronger.

But…a book that is over 1,100 pages long is quite difficult to reproduce–for goodness sakes, the 1990 TV miniseries couldn’t even do it in over 3 hours of time! So instead of focusing on what’s NOT there, I want to tell you what’s good.

  1. Beverly is a kick ass chick in this movie. She doesn’t apologize for herself or her actions. My favorite scene with her is the one in the bathroom. The. Best.
  2. Bill Skarsgård was a scary freaking clown. Seriously. Just the drool dripping from his pointy teeth was gross and creepy. I don’t think anyone could have done this better.
  3. The friendship between the kids. The Losers made the movie. The question now is, will there be a part II?
  4. IT was scary. Not as scary for me as it would have been had I been younger, but still got me a little. Only one of the jump scares got me though. Truly. I knew they were coming. I did enjoy watching my boyfriend jump though! Lol.

So, if you’re looking for an entertaining movie that’s scary…go see IT. You’ll float too.