Tag Archives: Halloween

Reads For A Scary (Post) Halloween Part 3: The Chills Continue

Halloween is upon us and soon shall pass like a fine mist rolling across a pale cemetery. An army of jack o lanterns flicker dimly in the silent autumn night as whispers of the haunting season linger on well into our unsettled dreams. We may grieve the parting of our favorite holiday but there’s no need for woe. With any of these marvelously malignant reads, the spooky season need not vanish entirely.  

The Living Dead – by George Romero and Daniel Kraus

That’s right, my oozing Nasties. We’re starting this list right off right with a George Romero gem. Papal Romero planned this book to be a pay-per-chapter online read and had already completed chapters to upload. Unfortunately, we lost Papal Romero (way too soon) before the web series was finished and many projects he was working on were lost with him. 

This book, thankfully, is not one of them. Luckily his notes and chapters were picked up by Daniel Kraus and what could be considered the very last of Romero’s Dead projects was brought to life. That’s right, this book comes to us from beyond the grave which in of itself gives it Halloween credit. 

As with all of his Dead projects this book covers some of the political tension and cultural paranoia of its time, which was honestly just a few years back. The book is rich with relatable characters and glows with some very nicely detailed gory moments. 

This book is a treat to horror fans. I remember reading about this book a year – or maybe two years – before its publication. Then there was nothing more said of it. I kept it in mind however but began wondering if it would ever get published or be another lost project. That mystery made me want to read the thing so much more. 

I finally found it at a Barnes and Nobles last October (2020) and kinda fucked out right there. I was shocked to finally see it. And to be frank I want more (really good) zombie novels. In a world of World War Z and The Walking Dead graphic novels, it’s great to have a fresh new vision by the man who made zombies what they are today. This is one horror fans will want to own. 

The Fog – James Herbert

This book has nothing in common with the John Carpenter movie save name alone. It’s much, much better. Before any assumptions are made let me assure you I do like Carpenter’s The Fog. Very cool atmospheric ghost story. But this book has nothing to do with specters out for revenge.

The Fog begins with a street caving in causing lots of stress and injuries to those caught on the road. But rest assured this is only the beginning of their woes as a yellow mist rises out from the cavernous expenditure. Anyone caught in the sickly fog start indulging in their most violent fantasies. Anyone familiar with the Crossed comics will have an idea of what I mean. Honestly, after reading this book I wondered if Garth Ennis might have been inspired by it when writing up Crossed. 

Oh yes, there is blood and beatings, and brains splattered about on walls a plenty. This is a meaty good one for the gore fiends among us. There are some incredible (and quite graphic) death scenes in this book. You could call this a sticky book for all the slaughter found in it. My personal favorite is when the Fog hits a cow pasture and the herd proceeds to eat the farmer alive. Absolute genius. Another scene that caused readers some genuine anxiety was the slow torture of a gym teacher at the hands of his Fog-poisoned students. 

But like his grotesque The Rats don’t think this is all splatter without substance. Herbert weaves a believable group of unfortunate survivors trapped in a world where the Fog causes carnage wherever it’s seen. The book manages some epic tense moments and plenty of chills as you follow the heroes in their apocalyptic search to defeat this bizarre intelligent veil of death.  

Said it before that it’s a shame, not more people know who James Herbert is today. So I want to change that. 

Zombie, Gates of Hell, House By the Cemetery – Eibon Press. 

Our long-time readers will be very familiar with these guys. I can’t shut up about them, but that’s only because they are so fucking good! This is where you’ll find the perfect blend of cult-horror and comic books stitched together with some of the best visual art you’ll see this side of Hell. 

Building upon the cult cinematic imagination seen in Lucio Fulci’s most beloved films, Eibon Press takes readers back to the dark side where pain is god and there is no escaping the approaching maul of doom. Any title these guys released is a great read, but for first-timers curious to try out the material of Eibon Press would be doing themselves a favor by starting out with Zombie, Gates of Hell, or House by the Cemetery

Faithfully adapting Fulci’s movies EP adds their own incredible talents of striking art and narrative to flesh out a broader lore found out of the source material. Luckily these guys are current and, unlike plenty of other horror comic publishers I could mention, are not out of print. You can log on to their website (click here I dare you) and find all these titles plus way more. They do not pay me to plug their stuff either. I pay them in fact. I’ve ordered comics, T-shirts, movies, and just everything from these guys. Honestly, they are the best horror comics out there. 

Tomie – Junji Ito

I’ve been wanting to talk about this guy for a while now. When I’ve re-read everything from Eibon Press I turn to Ito’s macabre manga. Again, this is someone I cannot get enough of. Every time I see a new Junji Ito title I can’t help myself and pick it up. His library is growing and it may feel daunting to know which title to start with though. 

I recommend Tomie, a weird story about a woman so damningly beautiful that men cannot stop themselves from falling in love with her. And the men who do fall in love with this enigmatic beauty are soon given over to an inexplicable need to murder her. And Tomie comes back again, and again, and again to ruin more lives and shatter more souls. 

I suppose one could call it a succubus story for how her beauty lures in lover’s hearts but it’s herself who lies in sawn-off pieces by the men whose hearts she’s captivated. The manga is phantasmal, eerie, and shocking. Considering how Tomie constantly is slain in many different ways you’ll find yourself sympathizing more with her killers who oddly seem to be the true victims of her wiles.

Now knowing this will not ruin the story for you though. There’s plenty of suspense and anxiety awaiting readers daring enough to pick this title up. I personally found myself dreading to turn the page because I knew something really, really unpleasant was waiting for me on the other side.

 If you find this your cup of tea you’ll want to try out even more of Junji Ito’s works. Not a one of them is bad and each broadens the writer/artist’s influence over modern horror. 

Junji Ito’s been a rising star for a while now.

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

Books To Read For Halloween Part II Stephen King Edition

Welcome back, my Nasties! It’s time to dim the lights, cozy up with the corpse of your dreams, and spice the cider as we discuss more terrifying tales to titillate your tinglers this Halloween!

In my previous post, there was a definite lack of Stephen King’s wide variety of grizzly works. Nearly every book he’s written has gone on to become a certain masterpiece in the field of horror and his career has given nightmares to generations since his first published work.

Dedicating time to discuss each of his books would be a miniseries of reviews in of itself, and, admittedly, almost all of his books in their own way can be enjoyed for Halloween, I’ve selected those paranormal powerhouses that I tend to re-read this time of year.

‘Salem’s Lot


This was the book that introduced me to King’s work and I’ve been hooked ever since. Upon a first read – back in my teens – I would have told you the book is primarily about vampires, and, to be fair, it is teeming with legions of undead fiends of the night. The vampires here are ruthless, uncaring, and bestial with blood-lust. King envelops the reader with a phantasmagorical atmosphere much like how the quiet town of ‘Salem’s Lot is slowly engulfed by creeping vampires. It sets a malignant mood for eerie spooks and chills that’s required for Halloween.

Upon re-reading the book last year though I was struck by a new revelation. Something I somehow missed in my youth. This is an exceptional haunted house story. It all has to do with that old corpse of a house looming gravely atop the hill.

Yes, there are the vampires, but the center of the story, the rotted and tacky black core all has to do with that old accursed house where bad things happen and worse things are drawn towards. It’s the demonic heart of the story. In one book King does something very difficult and he does it very, very well. He reinvents gothic horror by utilizing universally established vampire lore set within the shadows of the old haunted (dark) house legend. Bravo, sir. This is a must-read for horror fans.

IT


The book opens upon a dark and rainy day when innocents is taken by the reawakening of an eldritch evil lingering deep in the roots of Derry, Maine. Given the movie’s (both of them now) global success everyone knows who Pennywise the Dancing Clown is. IT’s become a household name now. I picked this one not just because it’s my favorite Stephen King book but because if you like monsters for your Halloween – especially the classic ones – you’ll not want to miss out on reading this book!

Stephen King wrote IT because he wanted a book where he could include all those wonderful Universal guys like Mummy, Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s monster. Plus Rodan just for the Hell of it. Pennywise was his chance to use these monsters he grew up loving. Pennywise takes on the face and image of what people fear, and if children fear monsters they’ve seen in movies that’s precisely what he, IT, will become. This is a macabre terror train monster extravaganza and boasts some truly chilling moments.

You grow to love the main cast of characters and come to fear for their safety. Something that marks the work of a great writer. And King was in his element with this book. The story also allows us to step back in time for a glimpse back to the happier days of childhood. Along the way are monsters, Lovecraftian sized terror, and a Killer Clown. No wonder this is my favorite one!

Needful Things


Often overlooked by its big brothers, this book is an underrated horror gem for fans! For one thing it just screams Autumn to me. Fallen leaves, crisp air, long nights and a haunting presence lurking in unnatural shadows.

As is his favored way of approaching stories, a sleepy little town in Maine finds itself in the center of a hellacious onslaught once a humble emporium opens up. Needful Things, it reads in the window and inside the kindly Mr. Gaunt awaits you with a warm smile and cheerful eyes.

His shop also just happens to have exactly what you’ve wanted your whole life. Can you believe your luck? Your holy grail here in your hometown! The coveted treasure of your heart’s desire. And Gaunt offers you one Hell of a deal. You just have to do him a little favor and it’s all yours. You just have to pull a little prank for him. A trick for your treat.

What starts out as seemingly innocent pranks pulled on local neighbors quickly escalate to harsh offenses. Those deeply buried little irritations that have piled up over the years are like dried corn husks in the mind. Gaunt simply hands every customer a match. He doesn’t make them set the flame. But he does encourage it.

Once again proving how dangerous everyday people are Needful Things establishes the worst kind of monsters are those who wear human faces. And if you want a bit of Devil for Halloween you won’t want to miss out on this one.

Night Shift

Sometimes devoting so much time to a larger book like IT can feel a bit overwhelming. So there’s Night Shift for those of us who want to read a microwave version of King’s horrific imagination. Night Shift is a collection of King’s earlier short stories and includes classics like Children of the Corn, Sometimes They Come Back, and Graveyard Shift among the gruesome tales.

Pet Sematary

Another of his books that just screams Halloween to me. What’s considered to be his very best work by many fans, Pet Sematary is a ghoulish tale of loss, of the sanctity of the grave, and those who would defy the natural course of life. At least on the surface, and that already is a great stuff! But Stephen King always has something wicked underneath it all. And in this case it’s the Wendigo.

Rising out of the dark of night is the demon of starvation, of famine, and of unrelenting desire. The Natives of the land knew of it, became wise to its evil presence once it settled down in those parts, and wisely feared the thing of evil. The ground – the one far beyond the solemn little child-built cemetery – went sour ages ago by the substance of that thing’s evil and the very woods themselves try to keep curious men from ever discovering the accursed grounds dedicated to the Wendigo. It’s a place where things refuse to stay buried.

Who doesn’t love seeing the dead rising from their restless graves? It fits in with Halloween tradition! And this book has plenty of it, but, the book’s primary concern is the evil spirit, Wendigo, who has soured the land and – much like how Pennywise works Derry – pulls the strings to feed its vile needs.

If you’ve only watched the movies you’ve missed half the story. I was hoping with the remake they might feature the Wendigo in a more prominent role but the filmmakers wussed out and left the monster out of the movie. That’s real smart ain’t it? Make a monster movie without the monster. Yes, those buried in the old forsaken Micmac Burial Ground are cursed with unwholesome existence and rise with the stink of the unholy earth on them. But what both films missed is what the power behind the Micmac Burial Ground is.

In the remake we see those creepy kids acting out the ritual to bury their dead pets while they play drums and wear creepy masks. Like some pagan tradition. A tradition revolving around some ancient spirit…like, oh fuck I don’t know, the Wendigo? The movie teased at the presence of the Wendigo and mention it but that’s where it stopped. The evil spirit is active in the book and gives the story a more sinister vibe. Like you know the poor Creed family was doomed the moment they moved into that new house. The Wendigo already stretched out its hand to claim them.

Knowing that the reader can only sit back and read about the doom that befell them.

Nightmare Nostalgia’s Huge Halloween Giveaway!

When I began this blog almost four years ago, I never would have imagined it to grow like it did. I’ve written and blogged for all the major horror websites and magazines over the past 8 years, and in late 2017, I felt it was time to give myself my own space without any restrictions, and to welcome others who just ooze passion for both nostalgia and horror. So here we are. Now, sitting at 25,000 fans on Facebook I’m kind of beside myself and humbly want to thank each and every one of you. The fact that people enjoy and read my ramblings never ceases to amaze me. So if you’re a loyal reader or a newcomer, I want to thank you the best way I know how- by giving you free shit!

The contest will be held on Facebook and Twitter: To enter on Facebook, merely like, comment “shared”, and share this post in particularYOU MUST BE FOLLOWING ME TO QUALIFY ON BOTH PLATFORMS. For Twitter entries, retweet this post with the hashtag, #NNHalloweenGiveaway. That’s it! Super simple- however, make sure when you share, your post is public otherwise it wont be counted. If you share on both platforms, that’s TWO entries for you! The giveaway will run from Friday, September 24th and close Friday, October 1st at 12 (noon) PST.

The winner chosen at random will be notified by being tagged in the original post.

Here’s all the cool retro goodies included in the prize package!

  • One original 1986 McDonald’s McBoo Halloween Pail
  • One MAD Collector’s Anniversary Horror Book
  • VHS Copy Of Carrie
  • Season 1 of Beetlejuice: The Animated Series DVD
  • Two DVDS Of Goosebumps: The Series (Notice the Hollywood Video sticker on one!)
  • Camp Horror Candle Exclusively From The Mystic Museum Camp
  • Fuzzy Gremlins Gizmo Keychain
  • Horror Mystery Mini Keychains- Annabelle and Nightmare Jack (An American Werewolf In London)
  • 1991 Universal Monsters Dracula Bendem Action Figure
  • Garbage Pail Kids Action Figure
  • BOO Enamel Pin
  • One Of A Kind Nightmare Nostalgia Custom Woman’s Tee in Large
  • BONUS: Surprise Trick or Treat Bag Handcrafted By ME! Not Pictured- While spoil the surprise, eh?

Some close up shots:

Good luck to all who enter, and thank you all for supporting a girl that just loves to spread nostalgic cheer with a little bit of horror and gore in the mix. Cheers Nostalgic Nuggets!