Volume 2 in the Outbreak Series, Outbreak: The Mutation, is Now Available!!!

It is that time again, folks. Time for me to engage in a little self-less self-promotion. My new novel, OUTBREAK: THE MUTATION–the second in the OUTBREAK series–is now available in both paperback and in Ebook formats from Severed Press. My new novel, as well as all my other writings, can be found on my Amazon Author Page. Read on for the press release, followed by a teaser from OUTBREAK: THE MUTATION.


Outbreak: The Mutation, Volume Two in theTrend-Bucking Zombie Trilogy, Releases a Deadly, Unstoppable Zombie Horde on the World—Hailed as “A Frightening, Violent, and Gory Un-Dead Story”

Masterfully crafted by Scott Shoyer, The Mutation, the powerful second volume in the Outbreak trilogy, continues to break the stagnant mold of zombie fiction as it ensnare and brings readers along in a deadly last chance attempt to save the world from complete annihilation. The Mutation takes place two years after a deadly virus swept across the world. Not only does Shoyer have his readers follow two groups of people as they fight for survival, but he again takes readers where they have never been before—this time on a horrifying trip inside the minds of the deadly zombies themselves. The Mutation is intense, violent, and brings the genre back from the dead.

For Immediate Release

Austin, Texas – While nobody will deny zombie fiction’s huge surge in popularity, both readers and critics alike are currently crying out for wholly unique, mould-breaking narratives that don’t succumb to the recycling of the same old ideas. Thankfully, Scott Shoyer has stepped up to the plate with gusto.

Volume one of Shoyer’s Outbreak trilogy has already injected literally new blood into the market. In The Hunger, readers were captivated as a seemingly innocent day at the zoo led to a violent and world-threatening zombie apocalypse. In volume two, The Mutation, Shoyer further explores the world that he created in volume one and details how two groups of survivors are coping with their fight for survival. In true Shoyer style, he now explores new territory by taking the reader on a horrifying trip inside the minds of the deadly zombies themselves.


Zombies have overrun the world making human beings an endangered species. The zombies are getting stronger, smarter, and deadlier. The remaining human survivors are finding it more and more difficult to fight them off. Amidst this apocalyptic war, two separate groups of survivors are drawn to the small, seemingly dead town of Spicewood, Texas—but for very different reasons. There is Walt and his group of ex-addicts, and Wilder and Butsko, two of the only characters who made it out of The Hunger alive. Each group believes that what lies in Spicewood, Texas could alter the course of the war with the dead. But what they couldn’t know is that what also lies in Spicewood, Texas might be the source of the outbreak itself and the very end to all life on earth.

“The Mutation continues to explore the world I created in The Hunger,” explains the author, founder of the popular AnythingHorror.com website and community. “In the first volume I traced the origin of the outbreak back to those lovable creatures that live all around us—animals. Readers loved the source of the outbreak. But now the virus has mutated, and The Mutation will take readers into the same world, but with seemingly unstoppable zombies who have gotten stronger, smarter, and deadlier.”

Continuing, “The Outbreak trilogy was designed from the ground up to give the zombie genre something new. As strange as it sounds, zombie fiction can often have a distinct lack of zombies, with the human drama taking center stage and dragging readers away from what they really want—zombie action. I promise my readers that the violence, gore, and horror will keep coming at them hard and fast, while also having interesting, strong characters that drive the narrative forward.”

It is a creative cocktail that appears to be working; readers have come out in force with rave reviews for volume one, Outbreak: The Hunger. For example, one Amazon customer comments, “This was an exhilarating read. The author brings a new and terrifying twist to the zombie horror genre. I read this book in one nail-biting sitting. The unimaginable horrors of this story will keep me up for many nights and will have me looking at my beloved pets with a wary eye. Great read.”

Early praise for Outbreak: The Mutation suggests Shoyer has successfully continued what he started in The Hunger. David Bernstein, author of Toxic Behemoth, writes, “Shoyer raises the stakes with his second book in the Outbreak series, giving us an even smarter, deadlier and harder to kill enemy. Loaded with brutal violence and military action and an ending that took me by total surprise, Outbreak: The Mutation is a must read!”

Joe McKinney, award-winning author of Dead City and The Dead Won’t Die writes, “Scott Shoyer steps into the ring swinging as he continues with the next harrowing volume in the Outbreak series. As I’ve come to expect from him, he handles his action with a sure hand, both violent and furious, and his characters with unrelenting viciousness.”

Outbreak: The Hunger and Outbreak: The Mutation are both published by Severed Press. Outbreak: The Mutation is available on amazon.com in both eBook and paperback.

For more information about the author and his other published works, visit his Author Page on Amazon.

About the author, in his own words:

I’m a horror writer who is also a life long fan. I draw inspiration from everyday situations and then put them through my twisted filter to hopefully shock, disgust, and entertain you.

I find my heaviest influences from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker. With my Outbreak trilogy I get to write about the sub-genre I grew up on—zombies—and while doing so I get to add my unique twist to it. In addition to zombies, I also love writing about more human monsters and I have many more ideas for novels, short stories, novellas, and scripts. I recently wrote a short script for a brutal, violent Joker-Batman confrontation, and I am currently writing a series of novellas that are heavily influenced by Lovecraft. I’ve created my own Lovecraftian world full of nightmarish creatures and madness—including horrible things that live in the darkness.

In addition to my two Outbreak novels, I currently have four short stories published in four different horror anthologies. You can check out all my writings on my Amazon Author Page.

Contact: Scott Shoyer / scott@anythinghorror.com

And here is a teaser from OUTBREAK: THE MUTATION:


Arboretum Area, Austin, TX

Two Years Ago

Her lifeless corpse lay splayed on the bed. The coppery smell of dried blood filled the air, and the buzz of flies on and around the corpse was deafening. Her intestines cascaded down the side of the bed like some macabre waterfall. There were bite marks and deep gashes littered all over her tiny body, but these weren’t the marks of scavenger animals. Her body was ravaged by human teeth that had been altered as a result of the virus—a virus which affected, and altered, many aspects of whomever it infected. The virus was alive, and wanted only one thing: to survive. It created an insatiable need in its host to infect other people. It may have started in lesser life forms like animals and insects, but it now craved to occupy the top of the food chain. 

That was what compelled John to do this to his little girl. The virus didn’t care about age, didn’t recognize family, and didn’t discriminate. Survival was its only goal.

John was now in the kitchen huddled over the corpse of his wife, Sarah. When Sarah had seen John attack their little girl, she’d been at first frozen in fear, but the screams coming from their daughter Fi had slapped her back to reality. Sarah had tried jumping on John, hitting him on the back and head, anything to get him to stop clawing and biting their daughter. Her strength, though, had been no match for his, and he’d effortlessly thrown her across the room with one arm.

The blood from Sarah’s head wound had flowed into her eyes, and she’d only heard the wet sounds coming from John’s mouth as he’d chewed on their young daughter. As dizzy as she’d been, Sarah cursed John as he’d pulled out Fi’s intestines and tore off bits in his mouth. She’d been glad that Fi no longer screamed. Her nightmare was over.

Sarah lay broken against the wall and had gently wept. Once John was through with their daughter, he’d turned his rabid, feral gaze toward Sarah.

No, John! Sarah had uselessly pleaded. What the hell are you doing? she’d screamed. Look what you did to your daughter… our little girl.

John had stopped and turned to look at the lifeless, desecrated body of his daughter. Something inside had recognized the tiny body on the bed. His tongue had danced across his bloody lips as he’d tried to remember. Images of animals and a zoo and a pretty girl with a knife sticking out of her belly had flashed through his mind, but they’d drifted away like steam from a boiling kettle.

My baby! Sarah cried out. Look what you did to my baby!

This had brought John back, and he’d turned violently toward the person on the floor. He’d been so hungry that it hurt. There’d been a searing pain in his stomach that had emanated out to the rest of his body. He’d felt he was on fire, and it had all been because of the hunger. He’d known the only thing that would satiate the pain was to feed.

His eyes had narrowed as he’d leapt onto the screaming woman. Sarah had no longer been his wife, no longer the woman he loved. The virus had no need for love. Sarah had been nothing but a pile of meat on the ground, and with an animalistic scream, he’d jumped on top of her and heard her thighbone snap at the force of his landing. He’d grabbed her hair and pulled backward. The last thing Sarah had felt or saw was his bloodstained teeth closing around her throat. John had thrashed his head and tore her throat out. 

He’d spit the bloody mass out and started ripping into her chest. He’d snapped her sternum in half as he went for her heart. The blood had made it impossible to tell where his body ended and hers began.

Sarah’s body had slid to the ground. John had then straddled her corpse and began to feed the hunger inside. It’d felt good to eat, and the pain went away for a while, but in the back of his mind he’d known the hunger would return. It always returned, and he always obeyed it.


Fi’s eyes opened, and she was confused. She looked around and vaguely recognized where she was, but wasn’t concerned about that so much as what she felt. She felt nothing. It was as though there was nothing below her neck. She tried to lean forward, but her arms wouldn’t obey her.

From across the room she heard strange, wet noises with the occasional grunt. Her curiosity got the best of her and she willed her arms to move. Her left arm flopped onto her chest and she felt the large hole in her abdomen. Her hand followed the trail out of the hole and realized what she felt were her own insides. Fi thought it was weird that she wasn’t panicking, but a warm sense of serenity washed over her body.

Finding her balance, she tried to focus on the noise across the room. She could see someone huddled down on the floor doing something, but details escaped her unfocused eyes. She gently grabbed the longest piece of her intestines hanging out of her and tucked it back in the hole. After it popped out twice, she tucked it under one of the bones she felt inside the hole.

She again focused her attention to the thing on the floor. Her feet shuffled as she made her way across the room, as she didn’t trust her balance to pick her feet off the floor and walk. As she got closer, she could see a man covered in blood eating something. In the back of her mind she thought she recognized him, but couldn’t form a concrete enough memory to finish the thought. 

A dull pain started to grow in what was left of her belly. Fi could feel the pain as it urged her on to fulfill some kind of task. Instinct took over, and she began to walk normally as she got closer to the person on the ground. The man was focused on his meal and didn’t hear or even notice the person standing behind him.

Then she remembered. “Daddy?” the question hissed out of her mouth. “What are you doing, Daddy?”

The thing in front of her didn’t acknowledge her, and anger began to rise from where the pain in her belly was. She didn’t know why she was angry, but she clenched her fists and asked once more: “Daddy?”

The anger welled up in her and her arm shot out and landed on her father’s head, pulling it back in a deadly angle. She heard the snap as the head went limp in her hand. When she looked past the dad-thing on the floor, she could see that he’d been eating her mom.

Fi’s head tilted to the side and she tried to understand what was going on. Before she realized what she was doing, she bent down and tore into her father. She loved the sensation of the flesh ripping underneath her fingers as blood poured from the wounds she created. She brought a crimson finger up to her lips and sucked on it. It was tepid and salty, but she didn’t really like the flavor. Fi wiped the bloody finger on her already-blood-splattered shirt and returned to tearing up the body. To an onlooker, Fi would’ve looked like a child who just discovered the fun of playing with Legos or Play-Doh. There was innocence in her play as she shredded her father to pieces.

As she sifted through the remains of her father’s body, she played with the organs and bones. She drew patterns in the blood as it pooled on the ground beside her. Tearing the body apart lessened her anger. It felt like water slowly running down a drain. Fi couldn’t even remember what had made her so angry just a few moments ago as she played in the gore.

Nothing seemed to matter as she played. Fi didn’t like that feeling of anger. She didn’t like the pain it caused her. One thing was for sure: she’d do anything to alleviate the pain.

Fi stood up and brushed the unrecognizable remains of her father aside with her toes and smiled gruesomely at the squeaky noise her foot made in the blood. From the corner of her eye, she saw her mother’s body begin to stir.

I must keep the anger away, Fi thought. Anger brings the pain.

Just before her mother rose, Fi jumped on her and began tearing at the newly reanimated body.

Her giggles became laughs as she played with her mommy.

So if you are looking for a zombie novel that more than dishes up the gore and violence and actually has zombies in it, then I think you are going to love my second novel. Here is the link once again.

Stay Bloody!!!


Anything Horror Scott’s 5 Favorite Horror Comics

There’s nothing I love more than the horror genre and comic books. I grew up collecting comics and still do to this day. It’s not often that a genuinely scary comic comes along, but when it does it is pure heaven. The Vault of Horror, Weird Tales, and Tales from the Crypt are all classic horror comics, but they really weren’t scary. Below is my list of my five favorite scary comic books that will have you turning on the lights before bedtime.

Comic Neonomicon

Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Jacen Burrows
Four Issue Run

No writer influenced and changed the world of comic books like Alan Moore. The man essentially created the graphic novel, redefined what a superhero was, and wrote some of DC’s best comics (his work on The Saga of Swamp Thing was nothing short of genius). Neonomicon, in short, is a terrifying read. It’s full of genuine scares and is accompanied by some fantastic artwork. Neonomicon is only a four issue-run, but is brutal, scary, and so goddamn effective. Every horror fan needs to read this Lovecraft-inspired madness!!

Comic Severed2

Writer: Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft
Artist: Attila Futaki
Seven Issue Run

Severed is a seven-issue horror mini-series that is set in the U.S. during 1916. It’s about a cannibal boogeyman who assumes various identities to hunt down, kill, and eat children. I tore through the pages of this one and read all seven issues in one sitting. The story beautifully builds until the utterly terrifying and suspenseful climax. Don’t miss this one.

Comic Echoes

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Rahsan Ekedal
Five issue Run

Here I switch gears from creatures to a wholly human monster. Writer Fialkov describes his Echoes as a horror/noir graphic novel and I think that’s a pretty damn accurate description. Echoes is a murder mystery from the viewpoint of Brian Cohn, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. This makes him a very unreliable source, and he may or may not be continuing his father’s legacy as a serial-killer. Echoes is marked with strong story-telling and has dark and moody artwork that beautifully sets the atmosphere. Echoes is an intense ride into the depths of insanity with a schizophrenic acting as our tour guide.

Comic Nailbiter


Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson
Ongoing (currently at twelve issues)

Welcome to Buckaroo, Oregon. It’s a pretty plain town where not a lot of exciting things happen. This town, though, is known for one peculiar fact: Buckaroo, Oregon is the birthplace to sixteen of the worst serial killers the world has ever known. Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase, “There’s something in the water!!” An NSA Agent teams up with notorious serial killer Edward “Nailbiter” Warren to track down an FBI agent who went missing while investigating the town of Buckaroo. We get creative kills, lots of gore, and the lines between the hunter and the hunted become blurred. Nailbiter will have you turning the pages at a frantic rate while at the same time being afraid of what might be on the next page.

Comics Crossed2

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Jacen Burrows
Currently 209 Issues

This is one twisted, sick, depraved, and disturbing comic book, and I love every blood-drenched page!! Crossed is about a zombie-like virus that turns it’s victims (called “the Crossed”) into something other than brain-eating, mindless creatures. The Crossed are driven by the over-whelming desire to torture, rape, dismember, and mutilate any and all uninfected human beings. The infected’s desire to kill and destroy even goes beyond people. They see animals and buildings as fair game and unleash their rage on those things as well. Crossed is published by Avatar books and I applaud them for giving writer Ennis free rein with his twisted vision. Crossed is the most extreme, horrifying, and disturbing titles out today.

What’s your favorite scary comic book? What makes it so scary?

Stay Bloody!!!

Comics Crossed

And They All Died Screaming (2015)

And They All Died Screaming posterAuthor-filmmaker Dan West is back with his second novel, AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING, and he brought with him most of the crew that made his first novel, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED GORE, so much goddamn fun. AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING is a direct sequel to his debut novel, and once again has a group of misfit ghost hunters and parapsychologist researchers getting involved in the Hull family mansion and the evils and horrors that lie within.

I first became introduced to Dan West through the two films he wrote and directed along with Rick Popko–MONSTURD and RETARDEAD. Yes, these two films are as gonzo crazy-sick as they sound … and they are a whole lot of fun. If you were to say that MONSTURD was a shitty movie, Dan West would take that as a huge compliment. After these films, West turned his attention to other artistic endeavors, including writing. West’s books are home to the same kinds of disgusting gore, over-the-top dialogue, and horrible monsters found in his films, and he takes everything even further (well, it is the written word).

And They All Died Screaming1

AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING follows everyone’s favorite bumbling, inept parapsychologist Stanley Matheson, this time investigating the continued horrible goings-on at the Hull house–where all the action of the first novel took place. This time Matheson is joined by detective Coleman, from part one; Dr. Graham Whitlock, professor of metaphysics and arcane mysticism at Leon Spinks University; Professor Edwin Heller; and Dr. Cynthia Quinlan. This time Matheson and his crew find themselves fighting off the demons of the Seven Legions of Darkness who are trying to enter our realm and spread madness and insanity across the globe. Matheson, though, has more than just his brains and brawn (a-hem) to fight off the alien invaders from another dimension. All Matheson needs to do is locate the ancient Lovejoy Codex and everything will be fine. Easy.

Yeah, right!!

And They All Died Screaming3

AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING is chocked full of all the same elements and maintains the same spirit as his first novel. West’s writing style is quick-paced and quick-witted. One minute you’ll be laughing out loud at all the jokes coming at you at a thousand miles an hour, and then the next moment you’ll be gagging at the overly-realistic gory descriptions of people being horribly killed and monsters that are plucked right out of your worst nightmares. There’s lots of potty humor, Lovecraftian-inspired horrors, and big titties. There’s something for everyone!! How could you not like passages such as:

“It looked like an eight-foot long tapeworm with scorpion’s claws having anal sex with an inside out Komodo dragon that had a baboon’s ass lined with shark teeth for a face and king cobras for hair. Out of its side was growing a giant housefly-type of insect that looked like it was shitting a retarded abominable snowman’s head out of its asshole.”


“I hastily retreated into the nearby woods to carpet bomb the native flora with malodorous bursts of brown buckshot.”

And They All Died Screaming2

West’s imagination knows no bounds and creates some incredibly disturbing and hilarious worlds and situations the main characters get into. With such characters as Angus McFishfucker, and weapons like a “demonic extermination ray gun” made from the bones of dead babies, puppies, kittens, and baby arctic seals, and one of the most messed-up and clever spoofs of Willie Wonka, AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING is one helluva fun read from cover to cover. I could barely put the book down. When I went away on vacation this past summer, I accidentally left this book at home. I found myself at times wishing my vacation would end sooner so I could get back to this novel!!

filmmaker & author, Dan West
filmmaker & author, Dan West

Yes, I am highly recommending AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING. And be sure to read West’s debut book, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED GORE, first. The second is a standalone novel, but some of the references will be funnier and have better payoffs if you read his debut novel first. Either way, don’t miss this one!! And because so many readers asked me after I posted my review of West’s THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED GORE, yes–the black and white illustrations in this review are illustrations from the novel that West himself drew. He’s a talented bastard!!

My Summary:

Author: Dan West

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars

Gore: 9 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 2 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

30 Very Short & Effective Horror Tales To Keep You Awake at Night

The following post is a re-posting of an article I found on ScoopWhoop.com. As you know, I don’t generally re-blog articles, but this one is just too damn good to pass over. As it says in the original article:

“In our quest for the bizarre and the twisted, we stumbled upon a scary short stories subreddit on Reddit and we knew that we had to share it with our readers.”

So below is the exact posting from the article I found on ScoopWhoop.com. These are some really great very short scary stories. Enjoy!!


1. ‘This new old house’ by BatoutofHell821


We bought an old house, my boyfriend and I. He’s in charge of the “new” construction – converting the kitchen in to the master bedroom for instance, while I’m on wallpaper removal duty. The previous owner papered EVERY wall and CEILING! Removing it is brutal, but oddly satisfying. The best feeling is getting a long peel, similar to your skin when you’re peeling from a sunburn. I don’t know about you but I kinda make a game of peeling, on the hunt for the longest piece before it rips.

Under a corner section of paper in every room is a person’s name and a date. Curiosity got the best of me one night when I Googled one of the names and discovered the person was actually a missing person, the missing date matching the date under the wallpaper! The next day, I made a list of all the names and dates. Sure enough each name was for a missing person with dates to match. We notified the police who naturally sent out the crime scene team.

I overhead one tech say “yup, it’s human.” Human? What’s human?
“Ma’am, where is the material you removed from the walls already? This isn’t wallpaper you were removing.”

2. ‘I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away’ by horrorinpureform


I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away.

My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.

I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighbourhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets. My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.
I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.

3. ‘Guardians’ by DarkAlliGator


He awoke to the huge, insect like creatures looming over his bed and screamed his lungs out. They hastily left the room and he stayed up all night, shaking and wondering if it had been a dream.

The next morning, there was a tap on the door. Gathering his courage, he opened it to see one of them gently place a plate filled with fried breakfast on the floor, then retreat to a safe distance. Bewildered, he accepted the gift. The creatures chittered excitedly.

This happened every day for weeks. At first he was worried they were fattening him up, but after a particularly greasy breakfast left him clutching his chest from heartburn, they were replaced with fresh fruit. As well as cooking, they poured hot steamy baths for him and even tucked him in when he went to bed. It was bizarre.

One night, he awoke to gunshots and screaming. He raced downstairs to find a decapitated burglar being devoured by the insects. He was sickened, but disposed of the remains as best he could. He knew they had just been protecting him.
One morning the creatures wouldn’t let him leave his room. He lay down, confused but trusting as they ushered him back into bed. Whatever their motives, they weren’t going to hurt him.

Hours later a burning pain spread throughout his body. It felt like his stomach was filled with razor wire. The insects chittered as he spasmed and moaned. It was only when he felt a terrible squirming feeling beneath his skin that he realised the insects hadn’t been protecting him. They had been protecting their young.

4. ‘Seeing Red (The First Day of School)’ by Zenryhao



Everyone loves the first day of school, right? New year, new classes, new friends. It’s a day full of potential and hope, before all the dreary depressions of reality show up to ruin all the fun.

I like the first day of school for a different reason, though. You see, I have a sort of power. When I look at people, I can…sense a sort of aura around them. A colored outline based on how long that person has to live. Most everyone I meet around my age is surrounded by a solid green hue, which means they have plenty of time left.

A fair amount of them have a yellow-orangish tinge to their auras, which tends to mean a car crash or some other tragedy. Anything that takes people “before their time” as they say.

The real fun is when the auras venture into the red end of the spectrum, though. Every now and again I’ll see someone who’s basically a walking stoplight. Those are the ones who get murdered or kill themselves. It’s such a rush to see them and know their time is numbered.
With that in mind, I always get to class very early so I can scout out my classmates’ fates. The first kid who walked in was basically radiating red. I chuckled to myself. Too damn bad, bro. But as people kept walking in, they all had the same intense glow. I finally caught a glimpse of my rose-tinted reflection in the window, but I was too stunned to move. Our professor stepped in and locked the door, his aura a sickening shade of green.

5. ‘They got the definition wrong’ by Lloiu



It has been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. I understand the sentiment behind the saying, but it’s wrong.
I entered the building on a bet. I was strapped for cash and didn’t buy into the old legends of the hotel to begin with, so fifty bucks was more than enough to get me do it. It was simple. Just reach the top floor, the 45th floor, shine my flashlight from a window.
The hotel was old and broken, including the elevator, so that meant hiking up the stairs. So up the stairs I went. As I reached each platform, I noted the old brass plaques displaying the floor numbers. 15, 16, 17, 18. I felt a little tired as I crept higher, but so far, no ghosts, no cannibals, no demons. Piece of cake.

I can’t tell you how happy I was as I entered that last stretch of numbers. I joyfully counted them aloud at each platform. 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 44. I stopped and looked back down the stairs. I must have miscounted, so I continued up. 44. One more flight. 44. And then down ten flights. 44. Fifteen flights. 44.

And so it’s been for as long as I can remember. So really, insanity isn’t doing something repeatedly and expecting different results. It’s knowing that the results will never ever change; that each door leads to the same staircase, to the same number. It’s realizing you no longer fall asleep. It’s not knowing whether you’ve been running for days or weeks or years. It’s when the sobbing slowly turns into laughter.

6. ‘My Daughter Learned to Count’ by RealScience87



My daughter woke me around 11:50 last night. My wife and I had picked her up from her friend Sally’s birthday party, brought her home, and put her to bed. My wife went into the bedroom to read while I fell asleep watching the Braves game.

“Daddy,” she whispered, tugging my shirt sleeve. “Guess how old I’m going to be next month.”

“I don’t know, beauty,” I said as I slipped on my glasses. “How old?”
She smiled and held up four fingers.

It is 7:30 now. My wife and I have been up with her for almost 8 hours. She still refuses to tell us where she got them.

7. ‘Timekeeper’ by gridster2



He had been given the watch on his tenth birthday. It was an ordinary grey plastic wristwatch in every respect except for the fact that it was counting down. “That is all of the time you have left in the world, son. Use it wisely.” And indeed he did. As the watch ticked away, the boy, now a man, lived life to the fullest. He climbed mountains and swam oceans. He talked and laughed and lived and loved. The man was never afraid, for he knew exactly how much time he had left.

Eventually, the watch began its final countdown. The old man stood looking over everything he had done, everything he had built. 5. He shook hands with his old business partner, the man who had long been his friend and confidant. 4. His dog came and licked his hand, earning a pat on the head for its companionship. 3. He hugged his son, knowing that he had been a good father. 2. He kissed his wife on the forehead one last time. 1. The old man smiled and closed his eyes.

Then, nothing happened. The watch beeped once and turned off. The man stood standing there, very much alive. You would think that in that moment he would have been overjoyed. Instead, for the first time in his life, the man was scared.

8. ‘There’s no Reason to be Afraid’ by  whoeverfightsmonster



When my sister Betsy and I were kids, our family lived for awhile in a charming old farmhouse. We loved exploring its dusty corners and climbing the apple tree in the backyard. But our favorite thing was the ghost.

We called her Mother, because she seemed so kind and nurturing. Some mornings Betsy and I would wake up, and on each of our nightstands, we’d find a cup that hadn’t been there the night before. Mother had left them there, worried that we’d get thirsty during the night. She just wanted to take care of us.

Among the house’s original furnishings was an antique wooden chair, which we kept against the back wall of the living room. Whenever we were preoccupied, watching TV or playing a game, Mother would inch that chair forward, across the room, toward us.
Sometimes she’d manage to move it all the way to the center of the room. We always felt sad putting it back against the wall. Mother just wanted to be near us.

Years later, long after we’d moved out, I found an old newspaper article about the farmhouse’s original occupant, a widow. She’d murdered her two children by giving them each a cup of poisoned milk before bed. Then she’d hanged herself.

The article included a photo of the farmhouse’s living room, with a woman’s body hanging from a beam. Beneath her, knocked over, was that old wooden chair, placed exactly in the center of the room.

9. ‘The Perfect Plan’ by Huntfrog



On Monday, I came up with the perfect plan. No one even knew we were friends.
On Tuesday, he stole the gun from his dad.

On Wednesday, we decided to make our move during the following day’s pep rally.
On Thursday, while the entire school was in the gym, we waited just outside the doors. I was to use the gun on whoever walked out first. Then he would take the gun and go into the gym blasting.

I walked up to Mr. Quinn the guidance counselor and shot him in the face three times. He fell back into the gym, dead. The shots were deafening. We heard screams in the auditorium.

No one could see us yet. I handed him the gun and whispered, “your turn.” He ran into the gym and started firing. I followed a moment after.

He hadn’t hit anyone yet. Kids were scrambling and hiding. It was mayhem.
I ran up behind him and tackled him. We struggled. I wrenched the gun out of his hands, turned it on him, and killed him. I closed his mouth forever.

On Friday, I was anointed a hero.
It was indeed the perfect plan.

10. ‘Warrior of god’ by KMApok



“If God exists, why is there so much evil in the world?” It’s a common question, but it is misplaced.
All things must have balance. Light and dark. Good and evil. Sound and silence. Without one, the other cannot exist.
“So if that’s true, then God does NOTHING to fight evil?” That might be your follow up question.
Of course he fights evil. Relentlessly. I am Dartalian, one of His most Holy and Righteous angels.

I roam the Earth, disposing of evil wherever I find it. I kill the monsters you don’t ever want to know about. I crush them completely so you can sleep at night. You humans have no idea how many of you live because of the work I do.
“But what about Stalin? Hitler? Ted Bundy? Jack the Ripper?”

Well, those are the minor ones I had to let live. For balance. The ones I destroy are ….too horrible and vile to survive.
What’s funny, is while I would wager you never have heard the name Dartalian in any relegious texts, I bet you have heard of me.
Americans, for example, have their own name for me.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

11. ‘Hell’ by MeanPete



There was no pearly gate.
The only reason I knew I was in a cave was because I had just passed the entrance. The rock wall rose behind me with no ceiling in sight.
I knew this was it, this was what religion talked about, what man feared .. I had just entered the gate to hell.
I felt the presence of the cave as if it was a living, breathing creature. The stench of rotten flesh overwhelmed me.
Then there was the voice, it came from inside and all around.
“Who are you?”, I asked, trying to keep my composure.
“You know”, the thing answered.
I did know.
“You are the devil”, I stuttered, quickly losing my composure. “Why me? I’ve lived as good as I could”.
The silence took over the space as my words died out. It seemed like an hour went by before the response came.
“What did you expect?”
The voice was penetrating but patient.
“I don’t know .. I never believed any of this”, I uttered “Is that why I am here?”
I continued: “They say the greatest trick you ever pulled was convincing the world you don’t exist”
“No, the greatest trick I ever pulled was convincing the world that there is an alternative”
“There is no God?” I shivered.
The cave trembled with the words: “I am God.”

12. ‘The Accident’ by minnboy



It was one a.m. and Guy Halverson sat in his dark living room. He hadn’t moved for over an hour. The accident earlier that evening kept playing over and over in his mind. The light turned red, but he was in a hurry and accelerated. An orange blur came from his right, and in a split second there was a violent jolt, then the bicyclist rolled across his hood and fell out of sight on the pavement. Horns blared angrily and he panicked, stepping on the gas and screeching away from the chaos into the darkness, shaken and keeping an eye on his rearview mirror until he got home.

Why did you run, you idiot? He’d never committed a crime before this and punished himself by imagining years in jail, his career gone, his family gone, his future gone.
Why not just go to the police right now? You can afford a lawyer.

Then someone tapped on the front door and his world suddenly crumbled away beneath him. They found me. There was nothing he could do but answer it. Running would only make matters worse. His body trembling, he got up, went to the door and opened it. A police officer stood under the porch light.
“Mr. Halverson?” asked the grim officer.
He let out a defeated sigh. “Yes. Let me —

“I am terribly sorry, but I’m afraid I have some bad news. Your son’s bike was struck by a hit and run driver this evening. He died at the scene. I’m very sorry for your loss.”

13. ‘Next Time You’ll Know Better’ by  IPostAtMidnight



Have you ever walked into a room and found a vampire?

No, not the sexy kind, but a foul creature with bony limbs and ashen skin? The kind that snarls as you enter, like a beast about to pounce? The kind that roots you to the spot with its sunken, hypnotic eyes, rendering you unable to flee as you watch the hideous thing uncoil from the shadows? Has your heart started racing though your legs refuse to? Have you felt time slow as the creature crosses the room in the darkness of a blink?
Have you shuddered with fear when it places one clawed hand atop your head and another under your chin so it can tilt you, exposing your neck? Have you squirmed as its rough, dry tongue slides down your cheek, over your jaw, to your throat, in a slithering search that’s seeking your artery? Have you felt its hot breath release in a hiss against your skin when it probes your pulse—the flow that leads to your brain? Has its tongue rested there, throbbing slightly as if savoring the moment? Have you then experienced a sinking, sucking blackness as you discover that not all vampires feed on blood—some feed on memories?

Well, have you?
Maybe not.

But let me rephrase the question:
Have you ever walked into a room and suddenly forgotten why you came in?

14. ‘Hands’ by minnboy



The doctor pulled the stethoscope ear tips out and hung the device around his neck.
“Mr. Weatherby, all of your tests have come back negative and my examination shows nothing abnormal.”

Adam knew what was coming next. “I’m not crazy, Doctor.”
“I’m sorry, but there is no physical reason for why you occasionally lose control of your hands. A psychologist can help…”

“I don’t need therapy. I need answers. They seem to have a life all their own. I can’t hold a job. I’m under investigation for assault. I almost killed my neighbor. This can’t go on. I’ll try anything at this point.”

After two weeks on a new medication, Adam saw no progress and grew increasingly depressed.

He was convinced that despite what the doctors said, it was not a psychological problem. That night, a frustrated and angry Adam sat in a chair and drank bourbon. Drunk and hopeless, he stumbled to the garage and started the table saw, then slowly lowered his wrists toward the screaming blade.

Detective Armstrong entered the garage where several uniformed officers stood over the blood-soaked body.
“So what do we got?” he asked, taking in the blood-splattered scene.
“This is a weird one, Detective.”
“How so?”
“Take a look at the body. He apparently chopped off his hands with the table saw and bled to death.”
Armstrong knelt down. “And?”
“And we can’t find his hands anywhere.”

15. ‘He Stood Against My Window’ by sabethook



I don’t know why I looked up, but when I did I saw him there. He stood against my window. His forehead rested against the glass, and his eyes were still and light and he smiled a lipstick-red, cartoonish grin. And he just stood there in the window. My wife was upstairs sleeping, my son was in his crib and I couldn’t move I froze and watched him looking past me through the glass.

Oh, please no. His smile never moved but he put a hand up and slid it down the glass, watching me. With matted hair and yellow skin and face through the window.
I couldn’t do anything. I just stayed there, frozen, feet still in the bushes I was pruning, looking into my home. He stood against my window.

16. ‘Fallers’ by dastard82



People started falling from the sky by the close of the decade. They were never clothed, always naked, always a petrifying grin on their faces.
It had been just a few at first, but then hundreds and thousands would fall at a time, destroying cars, homes, blocking off highways.

Strange discoveries were made upon research; they were human, but lacked any blood, intestines, even a heart. No one could explain the hideous grins they had, or even where they came from.

It was a woman in Costa Rica who made the latest and most disturbing discovery. She recognized one of the fallen bodies as a long dead relative, one who died back when she had been a teenager. Then more and more identifications were made.
Soon people were picking out their long dead loved ones amongst the video feeds, cadaver piles, and crematoriums. No one could explain why they were coming back, falling from the sky.

Even more distressing, after disposing of the bodies, it wouldn’t be long until that same body came plummeting from the sky again. You could not get rid of them, no matter what. People were getting killed by the higher volume of falling bodies, and soon after burial, they too, began to fall.

My mother was killed when a body landed on her car, crushing her. The next week, the news reported on a body that had gotten lodged in an airplane windshield. I saw my mother’s grinning face, the happiest I had ever seen her.

They say when hell is full; the dead shall walk the earth. What about heaven?

17. ‘The Happiest Day of My Life’ by recludus



I watched as my soon to be father-in-law held his daughter’s hand as he walked down the aisle. Tears streamed down his face as the wedding march that played in the background reminded him that, in a few minutes, he would be watching me hold his daughter’s hand and slipping on her ring.

He walked up to the altar and I took hold of her hand, grinning from ear to ear. It was the happiest day of my life.

My bride’s father got down on his knees and started begging. “Please, I did what you asked. Just please give my daughter back.”

I glared at him. “Shut up and stop ruining the moment. If you sit back down and enjoy the ceremony, maybe I’ll tell you where I’ve hidden the rest of her body.”

18. ‘Hidden’ by KMApok



“Where are you?!” I scream.
Panicked, I run through the abandoned farm. I can’t find her. Not in the old house. Not in the barn.
I run into the empty field, heart racing. As I scan the area, I run into a mound of dirt and trip, sprawling to the ground.
Getting up, it hits me. Abandoned farm. I tripped over freshly tilled earth.
Crouching down, I start frantically clawing with my hands. Scooping handfuls of dirt, I hit something hard. Wood.

“Are you in there?!” I cry, pressing my ear to the wood. I hear muffled cries.
I start digging again, but realize it’s taking too long. Looking around, I see a garden shed. I sprint to it, ripping the door open. I see a shovel, still caked in dirt. Probably the same one that bastard buried her with. I grab it.
Running back, I started digging with purpose. Soon the wooden box is exposed. I toss the shovel, and rip open the crate.
She stares back at me, eyes wide. Bound. Gagged. But alive. I sigh with relief. Thank God.
I reach into my bag, pulling out my rag and chloroform. I crouch down, placing it over her face. She struggles, faints. I toss her over my shoulder.

“Ah, hell!” My brother says as I walk back to the truck with a smirk. “You found her!”
“Yup. You almost had me though!” I laugh.
“All right. My turn. Where did you put her?”
I gesture to the creek area. “Somewhere over there. Drowning’s an issue though.”
“Jerk!” he says, running off. I smile, watching him go. I love adult Hide and Seek.

19. ‘My Favorite Support Group’ by IPostAtMidnight



Look, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a complete bastard. I’m also lazy. I’m only here to find the idiot, because there’s almost always an idiot.

This support group is pretty typical. We connected online, decided on a quiet place, and now we’re all sitting cross-legged in a circle. Real Kumbaya crap. Jerome takes the lead, pouring everyone a cup of tea as he starts talking.
“I’m Jerome. You can drink your tea, but only after explaining why you’re here. I’ll start.”
Jerome tells us he’s never been loved. I can see why—the guy’s ugly as sin. He sips his tea while the mousy chick speaks next.

“Miyu,” she says. “My parents.”
Short and sweet, no blubbering. Gotta admire Miyu. She’s probably not the idiot. Next to talk are a legless veteran, a broke businessman, a needle-tracked junkie, and a diseased old crone. Then it’s my turn.
“I’m an ass. Everyone hates me.”
I take a loud, annoying slurp of oolong as the fat kid with a black eye goes next, telling his boring fat-kid sob story.

Afterwards, we’re all sitting quietly when Jerome keels over. Then Miyu’s eyes roll back and she slumps forward. Only the fat kid reacts.
“What’s happening?” he whines. “I thought this was a suicide support group!”
Found the idiot.
“It is,” I say, spitting out my mouthful of tea. “They support it. No one wants to die alone, kid.”

Oh, how ghost-white he turns, looking into his cup! I love it! These suicide meetups are a sadist’s dream, and I never have to lift a finger.
Told you I’m a lazy bastard.

20. ‘ylim3’ by  IPostAtMidnight



Little Emily vanished last year. Now they’re pouring new sidewalks in my neighborhood, and I’ve found her name in the wet cement, written in remembrance. But it was written in reverse. And from below.

21. ‘The Eyes are Watching Me’ by recludus



I bought a new house in the small town of Winthrop. The house was cheap, but the most important part was that I needed to get away from the city. A few months ago, I had a run-in with a stalker. While I had managed to get him arrested, I couldn’t shake the feeling of eyes just constantly watching me. I felt like there were eyes everywhere, at home and on the street, so I decided to move out into the country to somewhere with less people, just for peace of mind.

The house itself was big and somewhat old, but otherwise very welcoming. The agent who introduced me to the house had been required to mention that a serial killer had lived here in the past, which was why the house was so cheap. However, he, and later, my next door neighbor Sarah, both told me to pay the thought no mind. Four other owners had lived in the house since then, and all of them were very happy with it.

I loved the house. Its interior furnishings were beautiful and very comfortable. The people of Winthrop were friendly, often bringing over freshly baked pastries or inviting me over for dinner. “Get-togethers,” they said, “were the key to making sure everyone who lived in Winthrop loved it there.”
Yet after a week, I stopped “loving it.” The feeling of someone watching returned, worse than before. I tried to ignore it, but soon I started losing sleep. Giant bags grew under my eyes and I began yawning almost as much as I breathed. Sarah was kind enough to let me stay in her house for a few nights.

It was during this time that I heard the legend of Forrest Carter, the serial killer who had lived in my house. While no one knows his exact kill count, Carter, also known as the Winthrop Peacock, was a man with extremely severe case of narcissism. Legends say that he couldn’t fall asleep if he didn’t feel like he was being watched. He was finally arrested for putting up a scarecrow to watch him during the night. Only it wasn’t a scarecrow. Carter had murdered a 17 year old girl, just so her corpse could stare at him.
The story gave me shivers, and after I went home, I felt like there were hundreds of pairs of eyes just watching me no matter how I turned.

Today, however, was the first day that I acted out. I was cooking breakfast, when I felt the eyes. Instinctively, out of fear, I threw my kitchen knife, which lodged itself into the wall. As I pulled it out, I found myself staring at a pair of eyes, pickling in formaldehyde.
I’ve been watching the police peel away the drywall of my house for hours now. So far, they’ve found 142 pairs of eyes in little glass jars. The scariest thing is, each and every one was staring at me.

22. ‘The twist at the end’ – ai1267



Cradling my four-year-old daughter in my arms, all I could do was listen as the screaming outside the house got louder and louder, interspersed with sounds of violence and horrible, horrible wet thuds and the unmistakable echo of muscle and sinew resisting the force that was slowly tearing them apart.

It started just three days ago. Something happened, out there in the world, and before we even get news of what’s going on, seemingly half of the world is gone. Police and military were unable to stop it, providing such a short frame of resistance it’s hard to know whether it was real or just a fluke. There was no centralised target, no way to use our most powerful weapons, not without incinerating ourselves in the process. They poured forth across the world, from wherever it was that it started.

I hear banging on the door downstairs, and the screams of people being slaughtered, unable to mount a proper resistance against such a force. It doesn’t take long before the pounding gives way to splintering and the sound of shattering wood.
They’re in the house.

No more than a moment or two passes before the door to the bedroom starts shuddering. The things I piled against it are holding, for now, but I know, realistically, that they’re going to manage to come through.

I keep rocking my little girl, humming a lullaby in her ear to calm her as she cries. The pounding grows in force and volume, the frame starting to crack.
I put my little girl on my lap, her back to my chest, and I stroke her head with both hands, from the top of her scalp, down across her ears, just as I’ve done ever since she was a baby. Just the way she loves it.

The effect is instantaneous. Her desperate crying calms to a series of sobs and hiccoughs, her small body shuddering against mine in fear. I keep humming to her, soothing her hair, acting for all the world as if nothing is out of place, not a single thing amiss. Agonisingly slowly, in a reverse cadence of the sound of splintering wood, she calms down. I can feel it when she stops tensing, as I keep stroking her down the sides of her head. A final hiccough of a sob, and she falls quiet, her body relaxed.

She doesn’t even have time to realise what’s happening as I twist her neck with a violent jerk, accompanied by a dry snap of a sound. She’s dead before she can even slump down into my lap.

The door is giving way, the furniture pushed back. I may be torn limb from limb while I scream, but at least my baby angel’s safe from harm.

23. ‘Crying isn’t going to help’ by HonestRage



I pointed the gun at the sick bastard who killed my wife. He sobbed as he feared for what was to come. I pulled the trigger.

If only he spoke and tried to reason with me then maybe he could’ve lived. But that was obviously not going to happen. After all, he was born just a few minutes ago.

24. ‘Return of the Messiah’ by Huntfrog



In the year 2026 the Messiah came back down to Earth. She performed miracles and cured the sick. There was no doubt as to her authenticity. She appeared to all nations at once. All believed. All worshipped her.

Some time later, after this period of our history known as the Age of Peace, She dropped a bombshell on us. She warned us that Heaven was almost full. Nobody had gone to Hell during this Age. There were a fixed amount of spots left. Paradise would be closed to all who died after the Gates close.

That is when the Mass Suicides began. Taking your own life, She had told us, was not a sin if you died a pious man. The race was on!

She looked on and was pleased. She returned to her home, to her throne of fire and flames, and greeted all with a nod of her wicked horns.

25. ‘The Enemy’ by AG_plus



I flung myself through the door and vaulted the toppled, long-dead refrigerator that served as an ineffective barricade in front of me. My legs propelled me through the room and into the small hallway on the other side. I couldn’t stop to eat the expired contents of the fridge, appealing to me despite their stench after several days without food. The shrieks of pain and cries for mercy around me spurred my body onward and filled me with unexpected energy in spite of my hunger.
We were at war.

I came to a halt in front of a small bathroom.
A noise. Something behind the shower curtain.
My fear heightened and images of the enemy flooded my mind. Merciless beasts wearing human skin, devouring indiscriminately, accepting no pleas and respecting no argument. Zombies.

It had begun as we expected, with a virus. The original infected were almost a cliché. There was no humanity left in them. Just mindless rage, twisted bodies, and some primal urge to consume others. Our generation had prepared, with almost obsessive focus, for this monster. The first wave was eradicated with almost laughable ease.
We were not prepared for adaptation. We were not prepared for the creature we bred by destroying the instantly recognizable zombie. A creature with more tact.
Most of the first zombies were killed at close range, you understand, since longer range attacks were less likely to be fatal. We had trained ourselves, even before the outbreak, to equate “infection” with “death” when it came to zombies. A person “died” when their eyes clouded over and they started biting, not when you put a bullet in their head.
The new strain of the virus still controlled the body, yes, but it left other faculties to the host.

Maybe you could pull the trigger on a hopelessly crazed caricature of your best friend, your spouse, your child. But what if there was still a soul behind those eyes? If even as they attacked, they sobbed and screamed in their own voice? All the virus needed was a moment’s hesitation.
I bet you’d hesitate.
I did.

Which is why now I could only watch as my arm wrenched back the shower curtain and my hands reached for the cowering child. Why I could only beg for forgiveness before the virus used my mouth to tear ragged, bloody hunks from his body. Why I couldn’t even vomit as my hunger dissipated with the now sickeningly familiar taste of human flesh.
We were at war. And I am the enemy.

26. ‘So I lost my phone…’ by Lynxx



Last night a friend rushed me out of the house to catch the opening act at a local bar’s music night. After a few drinks I realized my phone wasn’t in my pocket. I checked the table we were sitting at, the bar, the bathrooms, and after no luck I used my friend’s phone to call mine.

After two rings someone answered, gave out a low raspy giggle, and hung up. They didn’t answer again. I eventually gave it up as a lost cause and headed home.
I found my phone laying on my night stand, right where I left it.

27. ‘The Brave Ones’ by scarymaxx



Here they come again, the brave ones. Another Halloween night, and the kids are back, here to prove their fearlessness. The old house’s floorboards creak beneath their sneakers.
Only half an hour until midnight, so I have to work fast. I start with their flashlight, blowing lightly against it, so that it flickers, but this inspires little more than a nervous giggle.
Fifteen minutes until midnight. Time to take things up a notch. I hover up to the ceiling, and will my body into flesh. My every nerve is on fire, but they’ve given me no choice. I force drops of blood to trickle out my nose, but the boys below don’t notice. I knock against the ceiling, but they won’t even look up.

“I thought this place was supposed to be haunted,” says the leader. “What a joke.”
Five minutes until midnight. I’m running out of time. With the last of my strength, I scream— so loud that they finally turn to look up at me. I like to think I put on a good show: I sway on an invisible noose, and the blood flows freely from my nostrils now. A couple of drops hit a skinny one with a crew cut. The boys scream and run into the night, just in time.
Below me, I hear the Thing turn, its disappointment palpable. For now, it sleeps. But one day, I will fail. The boys will be too brave, and I won’t scare them out in time. One day they will wake it.

28. ‘Nap in the car’ by _b_o_o_



Mommy always leaves me and daddy home on Saturday nights, and me and daddy always go get ice cream in the car after dinner. I have to sit in the back seat until I’m a big boy. I go in the kitchen to see what daddy is cooking for dinner after my Barney movie is over, but he’s not in there this time. I saw a note on the counter that said mommy and uncle James were going somewhere together. I’m not sure, I don’t read that good.

I go find daddy in the garage. I shut the door behind me like I’m supposed to. Daddy is in the car and he already has the car turned on. We must not be eating dinner tonight, only ice cream. I get in the backseat behind daddy since I’m not a big boy yet. Daddy doesn’t say anything when I said hello to him. Maybe he can’t hear me over the loud car. I think I’ll take a nap on the way to ice cream. I feel kinda sleepy.

29. ‘What they don’t tell you about the dead’ by Crimsai



I don’t want to sound mean, but the dead are pretty clueless. I’ve always seen them. When I was younger everyone thought I was just talking to imaginary friends. After a couple years, when I overheard my parents talk about calling a psychologist, I realised what I was talking to. See, ghosts don’t tend to realise they’re dead, and they don’t look like in the movies, they look just like us.

I’m pretty smart for a 13 year old, so I started noticing certain patterns to tell them apart from the living. They could be a bit distant from living people, or you’d see them try to talk to people who wouldn’t even notice them. Some of them could tell I was different, that I noticed them. Like this guy I saw after school yesterday. I’m a big boy now, see, I don’t need my parents to pick me up, home is just a short walk away. He was standing away from the other parents, didn’t talk to them, just stared at me, that’s how I knew he was one of the ghosts. I went over, told him I knew what he was and asked how I could help him. I don’t remember much after that, I think because of what happened this morning.

Downstairs, my parents were crying. I tried talking to them but they ignored me. They must have died last night somehow, sometimes the new ghosts wouldn’t talk to me. Some police officers and reporters just arrived, they won’t talk to me either, just my parents. It’s weird, I’ve never seen so many ghosts together before. Why won’t anyone talk to me?

30. ‘A Message from your Personal Demons’ by MrGarm



Hello, my dear. You do not know who I am, but I know you. I am one of the three demons that were assigned to you at birth. You see, some people in this world are destined for greatness, destined to live happy, fulfilling lives. You, I am afraid, are not one of those people, and it is our job to make sure of that.

Who are we? Oh yes, of course, how rude of me. Allow me to introduce us:
Shame is my younger brother, the demon on your left shoulder. Shame tells you that you’re a freak; that those thought you have are not normal; that you will never fit in. Shame whispered into your ear when your mother found you playing with yourself as a child. Shame is the one who makes you hate yourself.

Fear sits on your right shoulder. He is my older brother, as old as life itself. Fear fills every dark corner with monsters, turns every stranger on a dark street into a murderer. Fear stops you from telling your crush how you feel. He tells you it is better not to try than let people see you fail. Fear makes you build your own prison.

Who am I, then? I am the worst of your demons, but you see me as a friend. You turn to me when you have nothing else, because I live in your heart. I am the one who forces you to endure. The one who prolongs your torment.

Sleep well.


Pretty great little stories, aren’t they. Remember these around Halloween time. They are sure to scare!!

Stay Bloody!!!

Rise & Walk (2011)

Rise & Walk coverRISE & WALK is a re-release of author Gregory Solis’ debut novel originally released in 2007. I never read the original release and even if I did I would never write a review comparing an author’s re-release to his original. I think it is safe to assume that Solis cleaned up, re-edited, and maybe even did some re-writing for the re-release, which also contains a forward by author Remy Porter (the author of DEAD BEAT). When the prospect of publishing one’s first novel is dangled in your face, most prospective writers get overly excited and cut corners on the final edit in order to get the novel out there. This is a forgivable sin in my book.

The cover of RISE & WALK caught my eye and after reading the back cover, decided to give it a shot. The story, in a nutshell, is that zombies descend on a sleepy little town in the mountains during a very competitive paintball competition. Nikki and Veronica live and work in the town while Jack and Tony are two of the paintball competitors who take their hobby very seriously. RISE & WALK is fast-paced, has well-defined characters, and provides some nice, gory descriptions of zombie mayhem. Whereas we get some good background on the four main characters, there isn’t much by way of character development, with the exception of Veronica. Solis spent the most time on both her backstory and how her past shaped her into the woman she is today.

As mentioned above, RISE & WALK is fast-paced, and we get some good zombie mayhem right from the first page. The cause of the zombie outbreak was interesting if not a little common (the cause was due to a meteor shower). The ending felt a little rushed and even felt as though it ended rather abruptly, but it was pretty obvious that Solis intended this novel to be open-ended. In 2013 he published a sequel, RISE & WALK: PATHOGEN.

I read this one while sitting out in the sun by the pool and it is the perfect summer book. Fun, interesting characters, fast-paced action, and lots of violence and gore. RISE & WALK is a great first effort and I look forward to reading more from Gregory Solis.

author Gregory Solis
author Gregory Solis

My Summary:

Author: Gregory Solis

Plot: 3 out of 4 stars

Gore: 8 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 4 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

The Scarlet Gospels (2015)

The_Scarlet_Gospels_coverI’m gonna be honest right from the start and tell you all that I absolutely love Clive Barker. The man’s mind is limitless and he has a way of taking a common, standard setup and making something horrible out of it. I, like many other horror fans my age, was introduced to Barker back in the 1980s through his BOOKS OF BLOOD. These were a series of books (six volumes in total) that contained short stories on various topics. Not only were Barker’s stories bloody and gory, they were also scary, disturbing, and downright horrifying. “Pig Blood Blues,” “Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament,” “The Skins of the Fathers,” and “The Inhuman Condition” are just a few of the stories that still send shivers down my spine. Add to these collections of short stories Barker’s sixteen novels, and you’ve got one helluva career!!

Barker’s latest novel THE SCARLET GOSPELS is special for a few reasons. Not only is this novel the final one for one of his most well-known characters, Pinhead, but this novel also stars the recurring character, Harry D’Amour, an occult detective and private investigator who specializes in cases involving the occult. Harry’s entire body is covered in tattoos that offer him protection against various forms of evil. Harry’s first appearance was in the short story, “The Last Illusion,” and briefly appeared in the novel, THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW. Harry then pops up in another short story, “The Lost Souls,” and was a major character in the novel EVERVILLE. In THE SCARLET GOSPELS, Harry once again takes a central role as an occult investigator looking into some very bizarre occurrences that suck him down to the depths of Hell itself.

This novel is full of wonderfully bizarre and interesting characters that are all somehow connected to Harry D’Amour. There’s the blind psychic, Norma Paine who is perhaps Harry’s oldest and dearest friend; Carston Goode, a spirit who enlists Norma’s assistance in taking care of some of his business since he died; Caz, Harry’s friend who has a detailed knowledge of the occult and is the tattoo artist who put all the protection tats on Harry’s body; and Dale, a midget who saves Harry’s life in New Orleans but rejoins Harry and the others on their very important mission.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 09:  Clive Barker signs copies of his new book "Abarat: Absolute Midnight" at Book Soup on November 9, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 09: Clive Barker signs copies of his new book “Abarat: Absolute Midnight” at Book Soup on November 9, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

And of course, there’s Pinhead, who hates to be called Pinhead and prefers the name, the Hell Priest. Early in the novel, Pinhead (I’m not afraid of Him… much) sets a trap for Harry in order to eliminate him as a possible hurdle in His grand plan. When Pinhead fails, he devises another plan, but this one involves Harry being the witness and the documenter of His plan and execution. Norma warns Harry that something monumental is going to soon happen in the spirit world, but none of them were prepared for what Pinhead has planned!!

Barker always fills his novels and short stories with colorful, quirky characters, and THE SCARLET GOSPELS is no exception. There’s characters you love, ones you hate, and yes, ones you love to hate. The reader also gets more background details on Harry D’Amour. Harry is a complex and interesting character and Barker fleshes him out in this novel. I also enjoyed the time Barker took to get inside one of the horror genre’s greatest characters, Pinhead. We get some detailed background info on Pinhead as well, and learn more about what makes the Hell Priest tick. The characters alone is worth the price of the novel!!


What I thoroughly enjoyed, though, was Barker’s lengthy descriptions of Hell. The majority of the novel takes place in Satan’s domain and Barker gives us tons of details and describes it so well that I thought I visited that realm myself. Hell, though, isn’t the fire and brimstone of tradition. Barker’s Hell is a thriving civilization that resembles Ancient Rome more than the pictures of Bosch. Satan, in fact, disappeared from Hell shortly after he arrived. Pinhead kidnaps Norma and takes her to Hell, forcing Harry and the others to chase after them. Harry soon learns that Pinhead has been using His knowledge of human magic to eliminate the various ruling classes of Hell. Pinhead needed to eliminate these people so they wouldn’t stand in his way of completing his journey to the rumored Cathedral of Lucifer, where Pinhead hopes to meet the Devil Himself.

Along the way we meet the various creatures that inhabit Hell and each one we meet is more strange and bizarre than the previous. Barker’s descriptions of Hell are remarkable and the creatures that inhabit that domain will visit and haunt your dreams. Everything culminates in Pinhead and Satan’s meeting, but it doesn’t go down the way you think it will!! If nothing else, Barker is still full of surprises.



I really enjoyed this novel and appreciated how far Barker has come in his writing. In his early works I sometimes felt Barker’s imagination was more than his writing could handle. But Barker really hit his stride in 1991s IMAJICA, and he has only gotten better since. The Hell in THE SCARLET GOSPELS is a chilling vision of what might have evolved in the absence of its ruler. But even more, is that Barker made it clear in promoting this novel that this will be the final installment in Pinhead’s journey’s. The climax is action-packed and awe-inspiring and had me reading it over and over again to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

THE SCARLET GOSPELS is a fitting end to the character of Pinhead and is a nice send off for Harry D’Amour as well. If you haven’t already, you need to check this novel out. You won’t be disappointed.

My Summary:

Author: Clive Barker

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars

Gore: 8 out of 10 skulls

Pinheadedness Mayhem: 5 out of 5 nails

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

The World on Fire (2014)

The World on Fire coverLouis Sedah.

Remember this name. I know I will. After reading Sheldon Woodbury’s THE WORLD ON FIRE, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the name Louis Sedah. THE WORLD ON FIRE is Woodbury’s debut novel and he hits this one out of the park. Way out of the park. I read this in two sittings and it was extremely difficult to put down. Woodbury gives us some fantastic characters that are well fleshed out with great character arcs and development, and the story will hook you from the opening words.

Louis Sedah, also known as The Angel of Death, is a serial killer who criss-crosses his way across America slaughtering people at will. He has no motive, no pattern, and kills people in various, gory ways. When we meet Sedah, he’s already one of the most wanted men in America. Dressed in a cheap black suit, cowboy boots, and rotten teeth from eating only candy bars, Woodbury paints a frightening image of Sedah. In a move that baffles the authorities, Sedah turns himself into the authorities one day without resistance. He’s sentenced to death and sent to The Spookhouse, a maximum security prison in Colorado that houses some of the worst killers the world has ever seen.

Sedah, with help, stages a daring escape and brings with him six of the worst of the worst killers from death row to help him in his grand plan. Along for the ride are Death.com, The Hangman, Captain America, The Bombshell, Dr. Doom, and Scarface. Think THE DEVIL’S REJECTS meets CON AIR meets Charles Manson!! Sedah has no morals, no limits, and there’s nothing he won’t do to carry out his grand plan. His plan is pretty simple. He wants to change the world by setting it on fire (both literally and figuratively) and then watch it burn, and he has the means to make it happen.

THE WORLD ON FIRE is a different kind of apocalyptic book and Woodbury nails it. His writing style is quick-paced, descriptive and detailed, and he creates some fantastic characters that will haunt your nightmares. Woodbury takes us on a road trip covered in blood, smoke, fire, and death that you won’t soon forget. Woodbury also exposes an America that exists just below the surface as Sedah uses his contacts in the underground to help him in his mission to change the world. We’re introduced to some hard-partying skinheads; an aging hippie who is the leader of a commune that manufactures drugs and hides a dark secret in a pit; a sheriff who has a darker side than most of the criminals he’s hunting; a black train that’s a safe haven for the criminal underground; and a gated Disneyland-like community for gangsters, assassins, and drug kingpins. You never know what’s coming on the next page, and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out!!

author Sheldon Woodbury
author Sheldon Woodbury

Tasked with bringing down Sedah is Special Agent Locke Wright. He’s one of the best profilers the FBI has, and finding Sedah was going to be his last case before he retires. Wright is paired up with rookie Agent Akare Himura and her desire to be the best and learn from the best wins him over and he takes her under his wing. He figures that since he’s retiring, he may as well pass on his knowledge to the next generation, and Himura is more than willing. She’s a sponge who absorbs everything Wright teaches. Also in the mix is David Milton, a reporter for the tabloid, the National Enquirer, who is granted an interview with Sedah and winds up as a hostage during the prison break.

One of the main things I really enjoyed about THE WORLD ON FIRE is the way Woodbury blurs the lines of good and evil. The main characters in the novel, Sedah, Wright, Himura, and David, have complex psyche’s and aren’t you’re simple “good” or “evil” characters. Everyone has demons and its the way you handle those demons that makes you the person you are. But there’s nothing Sedah hates more than individuals who wear masks in everyday life. As Sedah says repeatedly:

Just be who the fuck you are.

Sedan wants to change the world. He wants to free people from themselves and let them be “who the fuck they are.”

You’ll love Woodbury’s writing style as he effortlessly keeps the plot moving at bullet speed and even throws in a few twists that I did not see coming and which are completely effective and work.

THE WORLD ON FIRE is a debut novel that is not to be missed. Woodbury takes us on a journey that criss-crosses across America as Sedah taps into his underground sources and puts his plan to change the world in motion. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, well-written novel full of great characters that you won’t be able to put down, then THE WORLD ON FIRE is for you. Don’t miss it!!

My Summary:

Author: Sheldon Woodbury

Plot: 5 out of 5 stars

Gore: 6.5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

George Romero Bringing Zombies to TV!!

Empire1The Daddy of the Dead, George Romero, will be bringing his epic comic book story, EMPIRE OF THE DEAD, to television. We haven’t seen the Uncle of the Undead since he wrote-directed 2009s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, to mixed reviews, but since then has created and written the Marvel comic book, EMPIRE OF THE DEAD. This is a fifteen-issue miniseries that began in 2014. In May 2015, it was announced at Cannes that the production company Demarest, the company that backed Kevin Smith’s TUSK, was developing the comic book in to a TV series. The series will be written by Romero and long time collaborator, Peter Grunwald, and Romero will also executive produce.

EMPIRE OF THE DEAD is set in New York City years after a zombie plague has nearly wiped out the human population. Now the vampires are poised to claim what’s left of Earth. I’m liking that Romero branched out and left his comfort zone by including vampires. This one should be interesting.

Stay Bloody!!!

Empire george

Afterlife With Archie Now on Sale

Archie cover1If you don’t keep up with the ever-changing world of comic books, you may not realize that the ARCHIE comic has gone through a major overhaul. The biggest difference is that it is now a horror title. I already covered the upcoming ARCHIE VS. SHARKNADO title being released on July 22, 2015, but there are other really fun horror-themed ARCHIE comics as well. In May we saw the first issue of ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR, and just recently issue #8 of AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE went on sale. Award-winning writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Eisner-winning artist Francesco Francavilla collaborate to bring the apocalypse to the world of ARCHIE that is both gruesome and heartbreaking. Seriously, this is a great comic!! Check out the plot crunch:

“A Ghost Story.” Contrary to popular belief, the current zombie outbreak is not the first time a shadow fell across Riverdale and its citizens. As the survivors hunker down in a hotel to wait out a snowstorm, Hiram Lodge and Mary Andrews relive the darkest chapter of their town’s history. Ten years ago, the adults of Riverdale struck a terrible bargain with the witches of Greendale, setting the stage for the present-day apocalypse.

You can check out the cover artwork above and the variant artwork, as well as some pages from the comic, below. I bought my copy today and I can’t recommend this book enough!!

Stay Bloody!!!

Variant cover artwork
Variant cover artwork







Lutzke’s New Book, Night As A Catalyst, Is Now Available

Chad book coverChad Lutzke, the author of A MERRY SCARY CHRISTMAS and ONE FOR THE ROAD, is back with another offering from his warped mind. NIGHT AS A CATALYST is an anthology collecting eighteen short stories:

As beautiful as the night can be, it often plays a role in something more foreboding, supplying the catalyst for things both terrifying and imaginative.  Utilizing this hallowed time of the day, author Chad Lutzke has written and compiled 18 stories, with creature features, sleep deprivation, hiding the undead, revenge, cannibalism, morbid habits, and executions of karma being just a handful of the themes covered in this book.  Read on and discover what the mind produces when using the night as a catalyst.


His NIGHT AS A CATALYST is now available and for this weekend (May 2-3, 2015) you can buy the eBook version for $0.99. After this weekend you’ll have to dish out $2.99 for it. But even at $2.99, anything by Lutzke is well worth it. A MERRY SCARY CHRISTMAS is one helluva fun read. Below you can check out a sample from NIGHT AS A CATALYST, from the story “Birthday Suit”:

As the evening matured, the moon guarded the neighborhood in a blanket of blue; while in the tree house, gossip was slung, pages were flipped, and appetites were gained.  Mrs. Tessal headed out back with the quart of milk and a Tupperware container full of cookies.  She pulled a rope below the fort, and the other end tipped a small, rusty bell that struggled to make an audible ring.

“Send down the bucket, boys.  I’ve got goodies for you.  Chocolate-free, Shawn.”

“Okay, thanks Mrs. Tessal.”

Both boys hurried to the bucket.  Kyler got to it first and slowly lowered it down to his mother.  She placed the goods in the bucket and tugged on the bell again.  Humoring the boys.

“Thanks Mom!”

Kyler pulled the care package up through the hole in the floor of the tree house and pulled out the contents.  The milk was freezing cold.  It would feel good going down on such a warm night.

“Oh, and Kyler.  No whizzing out the windows up there.  If you guys need to use the restroom then you come inside.  I’m leaving the slider unlocked for you.”

“Yes Ma’am.”  They both chuckled, knowing full well they’d be watering the lawn at some point.

The cookies were still warm and chewy.  While the boys carelessly ate, the open pages of Fangoria collected the small crumbs that dropped, while the bigger chunks acted as edible bookmarks.  By the end of the feast, only drops of milk remained at the bottom of the quart, bellies were full, and veins rushed with sugar.


“I’ll be right back,” said Kyler.

“Where you going?”

“I’ll be right back.”  Kyler insisted.

Shawn watched as Kyler hurried down the ladder and sprinted for the garage—the glow of the moon lighting the way.  Moments later, Kyler returned holding something in his hands.  He climbed the ladder and fed a pair of binoculars through the hole in the floor and pulled himself up.

“Yes!”  Shawn shouted.

“No.  We’re not watching Suzie.  This is for spying on every other house but hers.”

Shawn gave a disappointed look.  He grabbed the binoculars and brought them to his eyes.  At first everything was a blur.  He lowered them and looked for a line of perspective, then brought them to his eyes once more.  One street over he could see someone’s living room illuminated by nothing but the glow of 100 yards of green football field being cast from a large flat screen.  A man sat reclined in his chair, intermittently sipping on a beverage.  A quick sweep around with the binoculars led to an open, well-lit garage on the other side of the street.

“Woah!  Who’s that?  She’s so hot!”  said Shawn.

“Nuh uh.  Let me see.  Where?”  Kyler snatched the binoculars from Shawn and searched intently for the hot female.

“Over a little.  In the garage.  No shirt.”

Kyler searched frantically until he spotted the garage.  A shirtless, overweight man sat at the end of his weight bench covered in sweat from lifting.

“Awww..you jerk!”  Kyler punched Shawn in the leg, who was too busy laughing to feel it.

“Good night, boys!”

They hadn’t even heard Mrs. Tessal open the slider.  Kyler dropped his dad’s binoculars out of his mother’s view.

“Good night!”  The boys said in unison.

The house went dark, save for a dim kitchen light showing the way for any midnight trip to the bathroom.  After recovering from the startle, they both wiped their brow symbolizing a close call.

“Ya know, Kyler.  Does Suzie even like you back?”  Shawn asked.

“Sure she does.  Just the other day in school she asked me to stand by her in the lunch line.”

“She made you stand there to keep her place in line while she went and talked to Bill Weston.”

“You make it sound so…”


“No!  You make it sound like I’ve got no chance at all.  You don’t see the way she looks at me.”

“Why don’t you ask her out to a movie?  Make it a scary one.  She’ll be all over you.”

Kyler lit up.  “Good idea!  They have that special showing of The Shining next week.  She’ll be all kinds of freaked out.”

“There ya go!  Hey, maybe we could double date.”

Kyler laughed at the thought.  “Who are you going to take?  Your little sister?”

Shawn’s fist made contact with Kyler’s shoulder.  “Lame.  I’ll get somebody to go.  Maybe that new girl.”

Kyler rubbed his arm.  “Samantha?”

“Yeah.  Samantha.  I’ll ask her and we’ll make it a double.”

“Good luck with that.  She’ll get freaked out by your horror fanboy self.”

“Nah.  I’ll tone it down.”

“No you won’t.  You’ll be chanting ‘red rum’ an hour before we even get to the theater.”

“You challenging me, bro?”

Kyler puffed his chest out.  “I challenge thee.  If you get her to say yes, you can’t say ‘red rum’ one time all night.

“Here’s Johnny!”  Shawn gave his best Nicholson.

“That either.  You can’t do any line from the movie.”

“All work and no play makes Shawn a dull boy.”

Kyler laughed.  “You’ll never make it.”

“Hey, technically that’s not even a line in the movie.”

A light flicked on in the house next door, catching their attention.  Kyler quickly raised the binoculars and watched his neighbor, Mrs. Wilson, open her fridge and search it.

“What do old people do all day?  Kyler asked.  “I mean, Mrs. Wilson just shuffles around, feeds her cat, waters her flowers, and fills the birdfeeder.  That can only take up so much of your time. What do they do the rest of the time?”

Shawn lied down and got comfortable in his sleeping bag.  “They nap.  Nap and watch game shows, I think.”

Kyler turned around to see Shawn tucking himself in.  “You going to sleep?”

“Yeah.  Sugar rush is gone, and I’m coming down.”

“Same.  Those were some good cookies though.”  Kyler followed Shawn’s lead and situated himself for sleep.

“Yeah they were.  Your mom is like the Stephen King of baked goods.”

“What does that even mean?”

“I don’t know.”  Shawn chuckled at himself.  “I’m tired.  G’night, Kyler.”


The boys lay silent for a full minute before Shawn threw in the last joke of the evening.  “Red rum!”  An explosion of laughter traveled halfway down the block.

As the crickets sang their lullaby, the boys drifted off into a satisfying sleep; safe within the four walls of their favorite place on earth.


Initially their slumber was not disturbed by the beam of light that shot down from the sky and into the backyard.  The beam of light that left behind a perfectly black, round scar in the grass and two slender humanoids with skin that resembled that of a dolphin.  The figures stood silent in the dark while a gelatinous layer of liquid formed around their feet and eventually up over their heads, as though sinking into an invisible pool of mucus.

It was the smell of the burnt grass that stirred Kyler.  Still half asleep and dreaming, his imagination got the best of him as he envisioned flames from below, threatening to lick his precious fort to death with him in it.

Kyler pushed himself up and peeked out the makeshift window facing the back of the house.  Both figures stood on the burnt ground; a blue ghostly aura around each one.  Kyler rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and squinted, fighting through the blur.  He squinted harder.  The sight of two figures glowing blue in the backyard made little sense, even for one who was still half asleep.  Once the blur had gone and he was fully alert, fear dried Kyler’s mouth and gripped his throat.  He reached down behind himself without looking and struggled to make contact with some part of Shawn.

Be sure to check out Lutzke’s website, his Facebook page, his Amazon Author Page, and his reader group (where he holds giveaways). You can also read his reviews of other horror novels on the website Horror Novel Reviews.

Stay Bloody!!!