Category Archives: Monsters

Book Review: Monsterland by James Crowley

Monsterland by James Crowley

Every autumn I pick out a few books related to the season and challenge myself to finish reading them before Halloween. This year I’ve read Bram Stoker’s Dracula (which I absolutely LOVED) and am halfway through Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In between these bigger more famous novels I decided to take a break and read a kid’s Halloween story. Let me tell you what a absolute joy and surprise it was to stumble upon James Crowley’s Monsterland! What I had expected to be a cute simple story turned out to be a wonderful epic adventure I won’t soon forget.

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A Tale of The Ghouls

Tale of the Ghouls

If you’re in the mood for a creepy story then keep reading. This is the Tale of the Ghouls! I transcribed the following story from the third tale in the horror anthology movie “The Monster Club” (1981) staring Vincent Price. The third tale by far was my favorite. I’ll set it up for you. The main character arrives in a mysterious village and after almost being attacked by the weird villagers runs to find refuge in an old abandoned church. Inside he finds an old journal that tells this frightening Tale of the Ghouls. Continue reading

Learn about Monster Genealogy at The Monster Club

The Monster Club (1981)
Look just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean we still can’t have some spooky fun right? Cool! So let’s talk a little about monster genealogy. You didn’t know this was a thing? Well neither did I until I saw the movie The Monster Club (1981). It stars the great Vincent Price as a pleasant elderly vampire named Eramus. John Carradine (the patriarch of the famous Carradine family) plays Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes a successful horror writer. Continue reading

Frankenstein 200: a bicentennial celebration of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Frankenstein 200

In every city and town in America there are scores of unique Halloween events during the month of October. As I was throwing out some of my never-ending junk mail I saw an upcoming event that looks really cool. This year El Camino Community College in Torrance California will be celebrating the bicentennial celebration of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein in an event called Frankenstein 200. There will be music, panel discussions, an art exhibit, a screening of the 1931 classic film and even a ghost story writing contest! Sounds like a blast! Keep reading to get all the juicy details for this one of a kind event. Continue reading

Putting Gothic Back In Fairy Tales

Gothic Fairy Tales

If you grew up on Disney cartoons like I did, you are probably blissfully unaware of the more sinister original versions of fairy tales. A true old fashioned fairy tale is gothically dark. Rape, incest, mutilation, monsters…that was the stuff of real fairy tales. These stories were not meant to entertain 5-year-old little girls (like the Disney movies do), but instead to stir the thoughts and emotions of older readers who are just becoming aware of the existence of evil in the world around them. In an early version of Cinderella, the story begins with a king whose dying wife has a baby girl. After 15 years, the king is lonely and can’t find anyone to marry. So he decides to alter the law and marry his own daughter. (Ewww!) The 15 year-old girl decides to run away from home and find’s refuge in a merchants home were the Cinderella story as we know it begins. Not exactly something you would want to share with your young child right? So I guess I can applaud Disney for cleaning up these stories for younger audiences, but as an adult it’s fun to explore the darker grittier stories of the originals. Continue reading