The Ceremony

Jerome Teelucksingh is a lecturer from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. His poems have been published in anthologies such as Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse. Also, my poems have appeared in the Trinidad and Tobago ReviewTaj Mahal ReviewIn Search of FatherhoodCaribbean VoiceThe Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine Monthly and Diálogos. Also, he has published two collections of poetry- A Stroll Through History and Memories and Musings.

 

The Ceremony

Macabre, mysterious men of sinister secret societies,
plot to pierce a puerile worshipper.
A ceramic bowl collects blood from a dying chicken.
A recent recruit reluctantly drinks the blood and
awaits entrance into the dark side.

Hooded followers chant satanic prayers amidst photos of the undead.
A goat’s head with curved horns and bloody eyes stares at the fearsome and feared.
The cult leader sharpens a knife, the excited recruit does not realize his life to soon end.
He feels weak, collapses in pain,
as blood spurts from his jugular vein.
Another victory for voodoo.


Dibs

Dibs Parking

Winter seems so long ago but its wicked ways are not forgotten. Read “Dibs” by Kurt C. Schuett

 

Upon graduating from high school, Kurt Schuett won the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for Poetry in 1993; this honor, coupled with professional publication in The American Goat literary anthology in 1993 with “The First Time” and Harmony literary magazine, where he won the esteemed Guy Cooper Poetry award for “Tree House Blues,” all fueled the realization that Kurt could and should write, dabbling in everything from poetry and short works of fiction to professional essays and lengthier works of fiction during and after his college years.  He completed his undergraduate in English at Culver-Stockton College before tackling a Masters of Education at Graceland University.  Currently, he is entering his eighteenth year as an educator, formerly as a German instructor and presently as a high school English teacher, working in the suburbs of Chicago.  He lives in the northern suburb of Libertyville, Illinois.

 

Kurt recently published a Southern Gothic ghost story titled “Calamity James” in the Belle Reve Literary Journal, a work that was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  In addition, two of his poems, “A Response to Charles Bukowski: Yes I’m Drinking Today” and “The Bohemian Waitress” were featured in the 69th edition of the Burningword Literary Journal.  Kurt’s short story “The Last Supper Redux” will be the top-slot in an upcoming anthology launching this fall, highlighting local Chicago horror writers.

 

Insurgency is Kurt Schuett’s debut novel, a speculative work of fiction that encompasses elements of urban suspense, thriller, and horror.  This novel will be released by Bad Day Books, an imprint of Assent Publishing, August 2nd in print and all e-book platforms.

 

For more on Kurt visit:

http://www.kurtschuettauthor.com – I write
http://www.kurtschuett.com – I blog
https://twitter.com/kurtschuett – I tweet
https://www.facebook.com/kurt.schuett.7 – I facebook
Continue reading “Dibs” »


Folklore, Legends, and Myth

Scary_Stories_to_Tell_in_the_Dark_cover

Now that the media stories behind the brutal stabbings in Wisconsin have somewhat quieted, I wanted to spend some time discussing legend, urban legend, folklore and myth since we have heard these words very often these past few weeks. http://time.com/2817725/slender-man-killing/

 

However, first and foremost, as a publisher of horror we want to say that we do not condone any real-world violence. Horror fiction is just that, it is fiction. Our goal with Burial Day Books has always been to highlight new and emerging horror authors, and ultimately to celebrate good writing. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.

In the news stories, many of you read mention of myth, folklore, urban legends, and creepypasta. We wanted to go through and discuss some of those terms.

Myth
A myth is a story based on a tradition. Some do have factual origins, but some are completely fictional. These stories tend to explain experiences of man and nature. Their endings are not always optimistic. Gods, fantastic creatures and super humans are often featured in mythology. Popular myths include stories of the gods and goddesses of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.

Folklore
Folklore, or folk tales consist of legends, stories, and tales that are written, spoken, or communicated through music that are tied to a specific culture or group of people. Artifacts can also be connected to folklore.

Legend
A legend is a popular story often thought to be based on historic events. The Brother’s Grimm defined legend as a story that has historical origins. Examples of legends include the story of the Fountain of Youth, the story of Atlantis, Robin Hood, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Urban Legend
Urban legends are modern legends. Despite its name, an urban legend does not necessarily mean it originated in an urban setting. The name ‘Urban’ associates it with taking place in contemporary settings and for this many folklorists prefer the term “contemporary legend.” Examples of urban legends include Bloody Mary, The Hook, the Vanishing Hitchhiker, or even the story of cryptid Chupacabra.

Internet Urban Legends
A phenomena on the rise is that of urban legends circulating on the internet. Internet urban legends spread through posts on various blogs, chat rooms and other social media settings. Creepypasta is part of this grouping. The word creepypasta is a mutation of the words “copy paste.” “Copy pasta” is an internet term for a block of text that is copy and pasted from website to website. Creepypasta are horror stories that are posted on multiple sites. Creepypasta can include images, audio and video. Creepypasta, is a literary sub-genre of horror that originated on the internet.

Many of us are familiar with the stock of characters that appear in myth, folklore, legend, and urban legend. However, we are not all clear on the emerging cast popular in internet legends and creepypasta tales. In our next post, we will explore some of these individuals and their origin story.

 

-Gravedigger


Happy birthday to the fantastic, Mr. Vincent Price!

Vincent Price

When many of us think of Vincent Price our memories turn to the brilliant, and often, diabolical characters he played in film, on the stage and on television.

 

Below is a list compiled on Wikipedia of Price’s films. Which ones have you seen? Which ones are your favorites? If it’s been a while since you have seen one of his movies then it’s time to spend some time with him, alone, in the dark.

Year Film
1938 Service de Luxe
1939 The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Tower of London
1940 The Invisible Man Returns
Green Hell
The House of the Seven Gables
Brigham Young
1941 Hudson’s Bay
1943 The Song of Bernadette
1944 The Eve of St. Mark
Wilson
Laura
The Keys of the Kingdom
1945 A Royal Scandal
Leave Her to Heaven
1946 Shock
Dragonwyck
1947 The Web
The Long Night
Moss Rose
1948 Up in Central Park
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Rogues’ Regiment
The Three Musketeers
1949 The Bribe
Bagdad
1950 The Baron of Arizona
Champagne for Caesar
Curtain Call at Cactus Creek
1951 Adventures of Captain Fabian
His Kind of Woman
Pictura: An Adventure in Art
Notes on the Port of St. Francis
1952 The Las Vegas Story
1953 House of Wax
1954 Dangerous Mission
Born in Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake
Casanova’s Big Night
The Mad Magician
1955 Son of Sinbad
1956 Serenade
While the City Sleeps
The Vagabond King
The Ten Commandments
1957 The Story of Mankind
1958 The Fly
1959 House on Haunted Hill
The Big Circus
The Tingler
Return of the Fly
The Bat
1960 House of Usher
1961 Master of the World
Pit and the Pendulum
Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile
Rage of the Buccaneers

Ghost Ships

Mary_Celeste_engraving

I’m scared of large bodies of water. What terribly scares me about large bodies of water is being near them, at night. There’s something quite frightening about being around a lake or beach in the late hours. The sounds of the lapping waves almost gives the hint of something approaching from somewhere beyond. You never know what’s going to sail in from the sea.

About two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. There are five major interconnected oceans; the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic. Beneath the ocean there’s a world still very much undiscovered by scientists. The ocean is a massive watery world, and many ships have fallen victim to those waves. I have read too many tales of ghostly ships moving along those great bodies of water, and resting beneath the surface awaiting the right time to reappear.

I prefer to stay on land in order to avoid ever having to encounter a ghost ship’s crew.  Following is a list of several ghost ships in folklore, legend, and myth.

 

The Flying Dutchman

Perhaps one of the most famous ghost ships, The Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that is thought to never make port as it’s cursed. In 1795, writer George Barrington made the first reference of a ship lost off the Cape of Good Hope. Sailor reports surfaced of a ship aggressively approaching them in the sea, and many believed it to be The Flying Dutchman. In 1803, another reference to the infamous ship appeared stating that those on board had been guilty of some horrific crime, and were thus cursed to sail the seas forever.

Mary Celeste
On December 5th, 1872 the Mary Celeste was discovered in the Atlantic. A single life boat was missing as well as the crew of seven men. At the time of the discovery of the empty ship, the weather in the area was pleasant, there was enough food on board to last the crew months, and all personal belongings, valuables, and the cargo were intact and in place. The crew were never seen or heard from again.

Ourang Medan

There are no official records for this supposed ghost ship. Its story first appeared in a Dutch-Indonesian newspaper in 1948. Legend says that the Ourang Medan was a shipwreck and its entire crew were killed. American vessel Silver Star near the Strait of Malacca said they picked up a signal from the Ourang Medan. Morse code messages received included “S.O.S. Ourang Medan,” followed by “Probably whole of crew dead.” The Silver Star claimed to have located the Ourang Medan, but when they went on board they found the ship full of corpses. A fire is said to have broken out in the cargo hold. The rescuers fled and the ship continued to burn, eventually sinking.

Caleuche

People claim to see the Caleuche sail around Chiloe, a small island off the coast of Chile. People claiming to have seen the ship describe it as a massive bright white structure covered in brilliant light. People have also claimed to have seen the ship navigating under water. Chilean mythology believes that the ship carries the souls of the drowned. The crew are dead fishermen and sailors who were kidnapped and killed at sea.

 

We hope you all never have to encounter a ghostly ship. If you do, just decline any invitation to board.

 

-Gravedigger