Self portrait taken as a digital snap in the reflection of my laptop desktop. I wanted to present a more traditional zombie image. Quite interested in the effects you can get just with shadows and reflected backgrounds, no Photoshop was used!


Die Booth


© 2011, Die Booth
Self Published

As tonight is a full moon it seems like a very good time to wrap up our werewolf themed round and let the zombies in, but first - thank you to everyone who voted in our Readers' Choice polls and now we bring you the final part of our Readers' Choice Adventure...

Part eight: The Final Showdown! )


Die Booth


© 2011, Die Booth
Self Published

Justin Owen

© 2011, Justin Owen
Self Published
Well, the ghosts have almost had their hour. We had so many fantastic contributions for 'Ghosts' that we extended the time a little for that theme. Now, to wrap up, The Mad Doctors are proud to announce the winner of our Fantastic Phantom Photo Contest.

We actually couldn't choose between the awesome entries we got, so we rolled a dice to let the fates decide! And the winner is...

The mystery face at the window of the New Orleans Absinthe House, by [ profile] mandybling. Thank you to the people who entered and congratulations to our winner!

Please accept your prize, a short story by Die Booth inspired by your winning photograph.

Coffee Break

A story by Die Booth

Coffee Break )

The next ReVamp! theme that will be prowling onto your screens very soon is Werewolves... don't have nightmares, now!
A bit of an unexpected post here, but something I think that is quite relevant to ReVamp!

I am lucky enough to live in the city of Chester, UK, a city brimming with history dating back to Roman times and before. Refusing to surrender in the Civil War, suffering through the plague and managing to survive the two World Wars unscathed, Chester has more than its fair share of ghost stories and is reputed to be (along with Derby) the most haunted city in England.

One of the most popular Chester ghost stories that is recounted with enthusiasm by every tour guide is the story attached to a little white building that now houses Thornton's Chocolate Shop. The story goes that, somewhere back in the mists of time, a girl called Sarah lived in the house. Very much in love with her sweetheart, she awaited her wedding day with anticipation, only to be left abandoned at the altar. She was so distraught that she returned home and hung herself in the top room of the house.
Ever since that day, poltergeist activities have been reported in the building. Some more notorious happenings include a disbelieving American tourist being pushed down the stairs by an unseen hand, and displays of Valentines chocolates being thrown around and broken in a locked store room whilst everything around them remained undisturbed.
Tour guides on the ghost walks I've frequently been on in Chester always recount these stories, with a varying degree of gravitas. The guide of the last tour I went on assured us that Sarah often put on shows for tours, swinging hanging display signs and knocking over parts of window displays, but whilst I always believed in Sarah's presence I never saw anything untoward in the shop, nor did I ever expect to.

Yesterday, a friend of mine visited from London and wanted to go on a ghost hunt. Me and my partner decided to take him on a tour of our own - considering we probably know more Chester ghost stories than most of the tour guides!
It was a fun evening. We took in all the usual 'haunts', taking it in turns to recount their associated tales. When we got to Thornton's, I started to tell the traditional story of Sarah and her activities, when my partner started peering quite intently into the shop window. Then he said,

"Am I seeing this?"

And the three of us stood and watched something melt a hole in a chocolate Easter egg in the middle of the window display.

It was one of the oddest experiences of my life. There was absolutely no 'maybe' about what we were witnessing; it was happening quite clearly in front of us all. We weren't scared or hysterical or imagining it. We were quite confused. The chocolate was melting quickly but without drips in a very focused way that looked like someone was holding a lighter to it: a small hole appearing and then spreading outwards like melting celluloid film. There was nobody behind us who could have been pointing a laser pointer or similar; our bodies were blocking the window. There were no lights on in the shop, we were viewing it by street lights. The window in front was cold. It was about 10.30pm at night, very cold and dark apart from the city centre street lighting. None of the other chocolates in the display were affected. None of us could explain how or why the egg was melting in this fashion.

Today myself and my partner went back to Thornton's. The egg was still in the window, the front half completely melted away, the edges re-solidified despite the fact that now sunshine was shining through the window. The egg above it in the display also had a precise hole melted into it but again, the rest around them were completely unaffected.

We went into the shop and told the assistants. They said that sometimes the sun through the window melted the chocolates. They said that sometimes the sun bounced off the windows on the opposite side of the street and could melt quite small focused patches in the display. We told them that this had happened late on a very cold night when there was no sunlight or direct light at all and that we'd watched it happen over the course of about ten minutes. They couldn't offer us any explanation but removed the eggs quickly from the display.

Any explanations as to what happened last night will be gratefully accepted!
Spooky applause to everyone who has so far entered our Phantom Photo Contest, deadline Wednesday, February 16th!

Here's some more examples to set the mood. It was a dark, dark night... Read more... )
To kick things off and to show you the sort of thing we're looking for, I'll be posting a few ghostly images of my own!

The first was taken in the (allegedly) most haunted house in York last July...Read more... )
I won't be dissecting (heh) every story I post here but I wanted to say a few words about my first story for the Re-Vamp! project, The Tangled Thread.

I'm not sure it's a scary tale exactly, but the reason I wrote it was to explore the changing vampire 'fashions' and cultural attitudes towards the myth. My idea was to take a modern vampire and place it in a historical setting, then take a traditional, folk-tale vampire and place it in the modern world and see what happened.

In part one (an obvious pastiche on late Victorian/early 20th century horror) our no-nonsense protagonist sees the world very much in black and white and as soon as he realises that the beautiful, sensitive, seemingly doomed creature in the house is indeed supernatural, he uses his knowledge of it to exterminate without compunction. I'm not sure what might have happened if he'd not been so businesslike - he may have spared a cursed yet essentially innocent creature's life, or he may have lived to regret his decision - much like the protagonist in part two.

In part two, I wanted to keep some kind of (tangled) thread running through the narrative, so I had the idea of the second protagonist as a descendent of the first - like history (and storybook monster) repeating itself. As soon as I started writing part two I knew that the family had moved to America - I think this suggested itself to me due to the fact that, much as 'old fashioned' horror conjures images of Transylvanian castles and misty English graveyards, modern horror puts me in mind of America - of Halloween and Psycho and shopping malls full of zombies. I set it in Astoria as a nod to The Goonies!

For me, part two was less fun to write than part one (I can never resist some old-fashioned language!) but much more interesting. Putting a traditional monster with no reason or humanity into a modern setting is terrifying - it's why the vampires of '30 Days of Night' will always captivate me more than any 'Interview with the Vampire' angst.
I drew on the earliest folk traditions of the vampire that I knew of: the blood-gorged, reanimated corpse with no human reason but the obsessive compulsion to count dropped items; traditionally grains of rice or salt, if I remember correctly. This compulsion is mistaken by the protagonist for intelligence, which stalls him from running away - a fatal mistake. This modern teenager only judges by modern standards, brought up in a society that teaches that there are no monsters under the bed and humans control everything. I left the story with him slowly becoming the monster himself, determined that he will overcome and be 'a better vampire' by sheer force of determination - will become, in fact, the creature that his ancestor gunned down in that London apartment.
I'd like to think that as soon as the vampirism took hold, he turned instead into another feral killer.

mad_docs_of_lit: (LC Hu)
( Oct. 31st, 2010 06:25 am)
Happy Halloween, everyone, and welcome to the start of a spine-tingling collection of stories, art, links, articles and more!

On this spookiest of days, we leap straight into the Re-Vamp project with Round One: Vampires. If you're looking for some creepy tales to get you in the spirit of the holiday, we've got two serial stories for you, The Tangled Thread, Part One by Die Booth and Lump, Part One by LC Hu.

Also, please do enjoy this gorgeous art by Die Booth!


mad_docs_of_lit: (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags