Ever wanted to choose your own profound and horrifying sci-fi adventure? This article is for you.
“With Those We Love Alive” is a strange, deeply atmospheric short story, told a few pieces at a time. You are an artificer, drawn into the service of the Skull Queen. The magic is strange and tangible, and though you don’t see much of the world, you get an impression of its vastness. Live the luminous sense of listless terror made ambiance through the simple but powerful backgrounds, the eerie soundtrack, and the world’s uneasy details. Wander the palace and the city. Look on the outer world. You will be prompted to hold your breath. Look. Look away. Draw all over yourself (cue weird looks from the rest of the editorial team).
Please don’t judge my lack of art skills
You make many choices, shape the world, or does it shape you? The pull of the plot is inexorable, subtle. This is a land of monsters, of gruesome beauty, and unlike any fantasy world you’ve ever seen. You will come to feel trapped. You will come to realize you are terribly in love. With a sense of both choice and inevitability, walk through this place, the palace of the Skull Queen, her city, and see what it makes you. Find an ending as sudden and vibrant as the rest of the story, and etch each choice into your skin.
Eerie, gorgeous, and coolly violent, this story will stay with you long after the sigils you’re instructed to draw have faded.
Sink your teeth into this, vampire fans. A new Draculatv series, based on the original novel by Bram Stoker, is coming to Netflix and the BBC. While not airing for quite a while (the supernatural drama is expected to air in late 2019 or early 2020), what details have been revealed are quite salivating. According to The Radio Times the series will be a collaboration between the BBC and Netflix, with the two corporations working together to air the series. Dracula will be helmed by the creators of Sherlock, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Dracula himself will be played by Claes Bang, a Danish actor who said he would be ‘thrilled’ by the opportunity. He was further quoted as saying:
“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock.”
Bang will be joined by a wide ensemble of actors to help bring the bloody world of Dracula to life. Actors Joanna Scanlan, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Lujza Richter and Morfydd Clark, Paul Brennen, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong will be joining the drama in as-yet unknown roles. Mark Gatiss himself will also be in the cast, having expressed an interest in playing Dracula’s mad henchman Renfield. But nothing is set in stone yet.
Image via The Radio Times
The show will last approximately three episodes, each of undisclosed length but since this is from the creators of Sherlock, we’re guessing each episode will be movie length in runtime, an hour or more to get their money’s worth of the material. The show’s plot will be, naturally, an adaptation of the Dracula novel but offering a new spin to make it relevant to modern audiences. Moffat said the show will re-centre Dracula as the hero of his own story, as opposed to the antagonist he was in the book and most other adaptations. He will be at the center of the action, as opposed to a more shadowy figure who makes fleeting appearances to menace the heroes. Moffat and Gatiss described the process as difficult, keen to give Dracula center stage but also not take away from his evil at all. They hope their hard work pays off and say they ‘handled’ making Dracula both the main character and truly evil. But we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out onscreen.
Image via The Radio Times
The series is currently in production, having recently completed its second episode. The show is currently filming at Bray Studios, Maidenhead, which was also the location of many classic vampire films starring Christopher Lee as the titular Count, made by Hammer Film Productions. Not much else is known about the show at this time, how closely it will adapt the book or even what the plot will be but the BBC released a short synopsis as a little teaser:
‘Three feature length episodes will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.’
We can’t wait to see this adaptation of a classic horror novel coming to television. We’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled for further developments. Until then, watch the shadows and keep your garlic close!
Joe Hill, son of esteemed writer Stephen King, is best known as a novelist and is known for works such as NOS4A2. But he is also known as a deep lover of comic books, having written a dark fantasy comic called Locke & Key. The comic tells of a haunted house filled with numerous doors that transform all those who walk through them, with a restless creature waiting within to be unleashed upon the world! Its certainly what we’d expect from a horror novelist like Joe Hill. Bouncing off of these, it appears that Joe Hill will be launching a line of comics, all horror themed!
Image via Graphic Policy
Joe Hill confessed he always felt like a comic book writer ‘first’ and he felt he had discovered his element when writing comics. He felt Locke & Key was the most satisfying writing experience of his career and finds it incredibly satisfying to write scripts, working with artists, and working with other writers to bring comic books to fruition. The comic book line will be called Hill House, which will offer numerous limited series such as Basketful of Heads, The Dollhouse Family, The Low, Low Woods, and Sea Dogs. Hill will be writing the first series, along with numerous others for the future!
Image via Deadline
Hill’s comic, Basketful of Heads, will be about a young couple defending their home from a group of supernatural invaders, although not is all is at it seems with the seemingly mundane premises, nor the family itself. The artist for the series, Leomacs, says Hill perfectly captures the humanity of the characters, allowing the audience to feel for them amidst the chaos of the situation, allowing the scares to land even better than just a bunch of generics being killed off. The other premises of the line include American werewolves fighting during the American Revolution and a supernatural monster menacing researchers in the frozen Arctic.
The first issue of Basketful of Heads launches the line on October 30th, just in time for Halloween. Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!
In the wake of Darwinism, the world was left with one loaded question: what does this discovery say about God and the afterlife?This search for meaning helped to spawn the Victorian Era obsession with the supernatural, a movement that sought the answers to life’s big questions- by any means necessary. Seances, astral projection, and psychic readings caught the interest of the era’s intellectuals, including some of your favorite authors.
1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
As it turns out, the author and creator of famous detective Sherlock Holmes was supernaturally gifted. Doyle was a devotee of the Spiritualist movement, a widespread pursuit of the mystical originating with three dubiously psychic sisters. In 1848, the Fox Sisters of Hydesville, NY used a pattern of taps to communicate with the spirits in their supposedly haunted house. In the United States, rampant industrialization (hello disease and poverty) led to a nationwideobsession with death. In a world where one-third of infants born in cities did not live over 1 year, the sisters thrived. Though they recanted their story in 1888, they later stated that they had beenpaid a bribe of $1,500 to… well, lie about lying. By that point, however, Spiritualism had its own supernatural power as a sweeping movement. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Spiritualist and mystery writer, was desperate to solve the greatest mystery of all: the secret of life beyond death.
Image Via denofgeek.com
Conan Doyle’s fascination with the Fox Sisters led him to attempt a seance during his time as a physician. Known to fervently believe in telepathy, Conan Doyle publicized his beliefs during his notorious and brief friendship with magician Harry Houdini. Conan Doyle believed that Houdini had actual supernatural abilities, and, with his wife, convinced skeptic Houdini to participate in a seance. Conan Doyle’s wife claimed to receive a telepathic message from Houdini’s late mother; unfortunately, Houdini’s mother didn’t speak English. Yikes. Friendship over. Undeterred, Conan Doyle continued performing seances with his wife to contact his relatives who died in World War One. He would abandon his fiction writing at the height of his fame, focusing exclusively on his Spiritualist beliefs. After a lifelong obsession with ghosts, he eventually became one. Medium Estelle Roberts famously claimed to summon Doyle’s spiritin front of a large audience at his funeral in 1930.
The Mesmerist movement represented the crossover between proven science and faith in the unknown. A major part of Mesmerism was its focus on medical miracles and many (scientific?) attempts tocure disease with psychic energy. According to those who believed, a practitioner could put his patient into a trance and transfer his stronger energy into the weaker patient. This became (alarmingly!) a popular medical treatment in the 1830s and 1840s… not a time period known for its long lifespans. So much for your reason and skepticism, Dickens!
3. Henry James
Widely regarded as the bridge between American literary realism and modernism, The Turn of the Screwauthor Henry James had an occult connection through his brother. William James was a core member of the Society for Psychical Research, an organization of intelligentsia in pursuit of the secrets behind death. The Society sought to apply scientific principles to the unexplored territory of the supernatural. William himself was no crackpot, a Harvard man many call “the father of American psychology.” Although Henry James himself was not a member, the two brothers often stayed together, and Henry had frequent exposure to his brother’s ideas. One major area of William’s research was haunted houses, which he and the Society believed to be telepathic hotspots.
Image Via yourtownmonthly.com
The Society for Psychical Research had a documented impact on the rising Gothic literary moment. Elements of Gothic literatureinclude elements of horror, death, and gloom, along with the Romantic emphasis on intense emotions. William’s psychical investigations directly influenced Henry’s later ghost stories; it’s likely Henry also drew upon William’s paranormal research for his Gothic novel The Turn of the Screw.
As it turns out, anyone can believe in the supernatural, even the literary greats. So now the question is… do you?
We love Halloween- it’s scary, campy, and you can be whatever you want to be (which you can mostly do all the time, unless what you want to be is a ghoul or a sexier version of something decidedly unsexy). Unfortunately, getting down to the last episode of your favorite show is not the fun kind of scary. But if your show is on this list, here are some spooky, whacky, and genuinely frightening reads to tide you over.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Those of us with Buffy nostalgia face a challenge that can be scarier than the show itself- the fact that the show’s been finished since 2003. But if you can’t live without the misadventures of the teens quietly (and sometimes NOT so quietly) defending Sunnydale from monsters, why not explore an untold part of that story?
Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Hereexplores the lives of background characters in a nondescript town like Sunnydale for those of us who have never fought a vampire with our bare hands (or, you know, with anything else). Teenagers beset with their own slew of issues try to exist as the Chosen Ones deal with their zombie cops and spooky blue lights from outer space. This genre-bending book merges fantasy with reality as Ness explores how ordinary human lives fit in with the high stakes of genre fiction.
Unlike with Buffy, anyone who watches Supernatural knows there’s no shortage of content. Now entering its fourteenth season, the cult classic has thrilled viewers since 2005 with its story of two inseparable brothers who save lives, hunt monsters, make questionable choices, and fight with each other nonstop.
V.E. Schwab’s Viciousis a twist on the typical superhero story, following two former classmates who were once as close as brothers. When a string of bad decisions puts the friends in uncomfortably close contact with the world of the supernatural, some lives are saved- and others are lost. The mercurial relationship between Schwab’s protagonists may remind you of Supernatural‘s infamous brothers, and the hunting definitely will.
This hit TV show taps into 80s nostalgia in a serious way, and so modern books just won’t always sate your craving. You can take the edge off this with a book with the story that inspired last fall’s pop culture phenomenon: Stephen King’s IT.
Written in 1990 and set in the mid 80s, the story also focuses on a gang of kids taking on a threat that adults in town don’t understand. Featuring a familiar camaraderie, the Losers try to stop the entity that they have discovered, attempting to save both their town and themselves. And is there collateral damage? Well, isn’t there always?
The Walking Dead
Zombies might seem to be the territory of genre fiction and pop culture, but that isn’t always the case. Literary superstar Colson Whitehead’sZone Oneblends genre and literary fiction as it explores not the zombie apocalypse exactly, but what happens after.
With the mixture of tenderness and violence that viewers expect from The Walking Dead, Whitehead explicitly wanders into the thematic landscape of zombies, discussing at length the kind of moral and existential questions that many zombie stories only hint at.
American Horror Story
It might be hard to decide what will get you your AHS fix, given the wide range of premises the show offers. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circusshares a similar versatility, blending elements of magic and witchcraft (like AHS season 3) with the creepy aesthetic of a sinister traveling circus (season 4). With a flair for the strange, cruel, and dramatic, The Night Circus’ range of amoral characters and tragically doomed human connections are reminiscent of all seasons of AHS.
While not explicitly a horror show, Black Mirror’s one-off dystopian plot lines terrify audiences with their creativity… and plausibility. Often focusing on motifs of alienation and technology, the show provides us with a horrifying reality that we both can and cannot imagine. A YA classic, Scott Westerfeld’s Ugliesdepicts a dystopian world in which, on their sixteenth birthday, teenagers undergo surgery to become Pretties- artificially enhanced beautiful people with equally beautiful lives (sounds exactly like being sixteen, right?). Unfortunately, life is not quite as beautiful as it appears. And unfortunately, that’s not all the surgery does.
Featured Image Via 2glory.de. All in-text images via Amazon.