Drinking with Skeletons
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
In 1892, three cabarets/theme restaurants opened in fin-de-siecle Paris, each one based around a different depiction of death and the afterlife. These morbid, macabre, and often titillating escapes had antecedents as well as contemporary parallels and modern successors, but there was nothing else quite like them before or since. All three have taken on a sort of mimetic second life on the internet in recent years, as postcards of the distinctive architecture of especially the Cabaret de l’Enfer have made the rounds online, often with little context. Indeed, for context on any of the three “ca ..read more
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To Keep It Unholy
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
The first of November can be a particularly sad time for people like us. Halloween is “spooky Christmas,” after all, and for horror nerds and, most especially, those of us for whom Halloween, in particular, holds a special place, the long year that stretches out ahead of us, bereft of the comforts of pumpkins and bats, can seem barren indeed. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to remember that Halloween is not the culmination of the spooky season – it is the doorway to it. We can talk all we like about Halloween being the one night of the year when the veil between worlds grows thin ..read more
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“There ain’t no stop signs on the black road.” – Dark Harvest (2023)
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
Over the years, there have been lots of books that changed my life and influenced the path that I would take as a writer, that led me from there to here – wherever here is. One of those is Norman Partridge’s The Man with the Barbed Wire Fists from 2001. I don’t know how I got turned on to Partridge in the first place, but The Man with the Barbed Wire Fists almost literally saved my life, helping to pull me out of a particularly dark place and reminding me of what writing was capable of, when you were willing to give it full throttle. From there, I tracked down a lot (though probably not all) o ..read more
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How to See Ghosts (or Surely Bring Them To You)
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
“This part of the book is for children who were born in the morning or around lunchtime. If you were born at midnight – some say just at twilight – you were probably born with the gift of being able to see ghosts and other spirits and don’t have to be told how.” Back at the tail end of September, I posted a bit about what my October was going to be like. As part of that post, I linked to some of the stories I have available to read online that are set on or around Halloween, but I somehow forgot the most recent one. How to See Ghosts & Other Figments is my latest single-author collection ..read more
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“Forget all these old bugaboos…” – Flesh and Fantasy (1943)
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
I don’t know where it was that I first saw stills from Flesh and Fantasy, but I’m going to guess that it was courtesy of Richard Sala, who turned me on to plenty of these old movies. The stills you see are always from the first segment, which takes place during Mardi Gras. It makes sense, because the first segment, and especially the beginning of it, is as visually striking as the film ever becomes – and more so than most films ever get. In the opening sequence, in a moment like a pantomime of hell, masked figures dressed as specters and demons drag a drowned body from the river. Originally ..read more
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Teaching an Old Skeleton New Tricks
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
I am an old hand when it comes to Halloween haunts. I have been going to them for as long as I can rememember, and they have always been comfort food to me. When I was a kid, I would spend all day at the Joyland amusement park in Wichita, riding the Wacky Shack dark ride over and over and over again. I love haunts, and I’ve traveled far to attend them, which makes it ironic that I had never been to the Halloween Haunt event at Worlds of Fun, despite having lived here in Kansas City for going on twenty years. In fact, I’m not positive that I had ever been to Worlds of Fun, full stop, before I ..read more
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10/31/22
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
In some ways, this Halloween marks the end of an era. As I already mentioned, some things are going on that I can’t talk about just yet, but they’re leading to changes that won’t impact you, dear reader, too much, but will have a big impact on me. So, this Halloween has been unusual, in that I haven’t celebrated in some of the ways that I have in the past, even while other traditions have held firm. It’s a stretch to say that it wouldn’t be Halloween without a new book with my name on it coming out, but that’s closer to true than not, over the last decade. This time around, as it happens, ther ..read more
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Days and Nights
The Incredibly Strange Creature » Halloween
by Orrin Grey
7M ago
October is an important month to me. I’ve talked a lot about this before. As a horror writer and person who predominantly consumes horror media, it’s a big time of year for me. Most years for the past decade or so, I’ve had a new book coming out in October, and this year will (hopefully) be no different, assuming supply chain issues don’t kick How to See Ghosts & Other Figments a little later into the season. None of that is really why I love October so much, though. I love Halloween. It’s my favorite time of year. I love the grinning pumpkins, the autumn leaves, the fake cobwebs, and all ..read more
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