Author: Horror Tree

Baby Reindeer: Horror and Trauma

Baby Reindeer: Horror and Trauma

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

 

This article contains spoilers for the 2024 series, Baby Reindeer, streaming on Netflix.

With the title, Baby Reindeer, we weren’t sure what we were getting into when we started the seven-episode series last month. Intrigued by the seemingly innocuous name, it became clear that horror can exist in even the most innocent settings. What begins as a tale of a man offering kindness to a woman in need, the story turns out to be one of stalking, assault, trauma, and healing. Based on the true story of what happened to writer, actor, and creator, Richard Gadd, the series takes on a whole new level of horror as the audience realizes they are watching the man, himself, relive the terrible things that he went through earlier in his life.

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Spirits of the Keystone State: Exploring Haunted Pennsylvania

Spirits of the Keystone State: Exploring Haunted Pennsylvania

Journey with us through the echoing corridors of Pennsylvania’s most haunted locations. From the unsettling confines of Eastern State Penitentiary to the somber fields of Gettysburg, this expedition uncovers the spectral heart of the Keystone State. 

 

Amidst these tales of the past, the allure of Pennsylvania’s online casinos offers a contrasting diversion, weaving together the thrill of exploration with the excitement of gaming.

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Horror Musicals By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Horror Musicals

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Ever since we were little, we’ve both been obsessed with the horror genre and musicals. How could the two possibly go together? Surprisingly well, to our delight. We’ve had the privilege of seeing several horror musicals in-person in the theatre over the years and need to tell you our favorites, in no particular order.

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They’re Heeeeeeeere: Aliens in the Horror Genre

They’re Heeeeeeeere: Aliens in the Horror Genre

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

From the purported sketches of aliens on cave walls created in India ten thousand years ago to the 1947 Roswell incident in New Mexico, humans have always had a fascination with tales from beyond. As fans of The X-Files (1993-2018), it’s probably not surprising to learn that we both love an otherworldly plot. Likely, our love for this subgenre began with reading copies of Weird Tales, watching numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone on television, and rewatching both of our favorite George A. Romero movies, Night of the Living Dead (1968) or Dawn of the Dead (1978). These plots speculated that something in space caused the dead to arise and become what we now refer to as zombies. We thought that was So. Cool.  

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REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An Interview with Kiwi author Marty Young

REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An Interview with Kiwi author Marty Young 

 

In this unique interview series, we chat with the contributors of Kiwi horror anthology Remains to Be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa, edited by five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner Lee Murray (Clan Destine Press, 1 October). 

 

Today, we welcome author Marty Young, whose haunting short story “Redwoods on Te Mata Peak” appears in the anthology. 

 

Tell us about your story in the anthology.  

 

This story, “Redwoods on Te Mata Peak”, is loosely based on a regular weekend for me as a kid – albeit without the terrible ending! But a bunch of us used to cycle up Te Mata Peak on our BMX’s on the weekends – although I’ve no bloody idea how!! I’ve driven up that peak as an adult and I can’t fathom cycling up it on a bike, let alone a bike without gears! But yeah, that’s what we used to do, and one day, we did discover a wrecked car at the base of a gully, and we found a cave next to it, too. We didn’t have any torches with us that day, so we came back the following day, armed with torches and rope, and we went exploring. I remember crawling through spaces only just wide enough to crawl through with one arm held out front, then entering giant hourglass-shaped caverns. The cave system went on for several hours with no end in sight before we decided we had better return before we got lost. And for some reason, we never went back again. I don’t know why. So my story is based around that, only I didn’t want to write a standard cave story. I always felt there was something far more horrific waiting to be told with that set-up.  

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REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An interview with Kiwi author Del Gibson

REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An interview with Kiwi author Del Gibson 

 

In this unique interview series, we chat with the contributors of Kiwi horror anthology Remains to Be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa, edited by five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner Lee Murray (Clan Destine Press, 1 October). 

 

Today, we welcome author Del Gibson, whose classic haunted house story “Buried Secrets” appears in the anthology. 

 

Tell us about your story in the anthology.  

 

A house has four walls, and within those walls, sometimes ghosts and ghouls lurk. Those ghosts live with us, mess with our minds, they can turn our entire lives upside down and inside out. You can feel their presence, see their shadows, sense them all around you. But you can’t see them. That is what makes ghosts so interesting, somewhat dangerous, and insidious.  

 

I chose the setting for this story in a 120-year-old homestead that my dad purchased for his retirement, in Rawene, in the Far North of New Zealand. It was a house where things would go bump in the night. The crawling, creeping feeling of being watched. Having to leave a light on when going to bed, for fear of being in the dark. Running down the long hallway, always sensing something chasing behind. The bathroom felt the heaviest, for some reason or another. Note, my dad passed away in there a few years after he’d brought the homestead.  

 

The hotel mentioned in the story, I worked at for a year, while I was living in Russell in the Bay of Islands. The hotel had a resident ghost, his name was Jack. He’d haunt the upstairs area, where the rooms are located. From downstairs while working, we’d hear him walking along the hallways, sometimes he’d stomp, run, move things about. The story goes, that he was an elderly man who died in one of the suites, from a heart attack.  

 

I wanted to weave a little of my own history into the fabric of this ghostly tale. I endeavoured to mash my love of horror, with a bit of history and a whole lot of freaky occurrences. My love for the macabre came from growing up in a haunted house. I’ve been able to see ghosts, apparitions, since I was 5 years old. I am an avid watcher of true paranormal investigations. So, I thought it would be a great idea to add an investigation of the hotel into the story. The cult aspect, comes from mountains of research into this phenomenon and I thought it would add to the plot. 

 

My main focus was to create a horror with a Kiwi flavour. Adding an old Māori man to push the story along was a great idea. It also helped to leave a massive cliffhanger at the end, for the reader to ponder on for a while. I hope I have pulled this off. I had heaps of fun writing this story and I hope that shows in the writing.  

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REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An interview with Kiwi author Bryce Stevens

REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An interview with Kiwi author Bryce Stevens 

 

In this unique interview series, we chat with the contributors of Kiwi horror anthology Remains to Be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa, edited by five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner Lee Murray (Clan Destine Press, 1 October). 

 

Today, we welcome author and editor Bryce Stevens, whose short story “The Spaces Between” appears in the anthology. 

 

Tell us about your story in the anthology.  

 

Finding I was of Māori Heritage later in life and my growing up in Auckland and Hamilton, attending predominantly Māori/Pacific Island schools was the main inspiration for the tale. I’d always had Māori friends at schools and in the workplace. During my twenties I had Māori friends teaching me the language. Of course, being a young man, I had been most interested in the naughty words. 

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REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An interview with Kiwi author Tracie McBride

REMAINS TO BE TOLD – An interview with Kiwi author Tracie McBride 

 

In this unique interview series, we chat with the contributors of Kiwi horror anthology Remains to Be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa, edited by five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner Lee Murray (Clan Destine Press, 1 October). 

 

Today, we welcome author Tracie McBride, whose shocking short story “Her Ghosts” appears in the anthology. 

 

Tell us about your story in the anthology.  

 

My short story writing process usually takes one of two paths – either I have the entire plot and concept in mind from the beginning, or I start with a seed and have to write my way through to something approaching coherency. “Her Ghosts” fell into the latter category. It took a few months for all the ideas to coalesce, and they came to me in dribs and drabs. 

The idea for my protagonist Callie, a reluctant psychic, came first. My mother and stepfather have been doing a lot of genealogy research in recent years and uncovered some interesting legends about Māori priestesses in my whakapapa. I got to thinking about how their reputed power might have been suppressed over generations of colonialism, and how that might affect someone trying to reconcile such abilities with twenty-first century life and ideas. 

The seismic activity came next. In my early brainstorming, playing around with the premise for the anthology, the phrase “uncanny disturbances” stood out, and earthquakes were the first thing I thought of. I wasn’t sure what role they would play at first, only that there had to be some. There is a theory that the low frequency, inaudible to the human ear, at which earthquake waves travel can cause unusual reactions in living creatures, from feelings of dread and fear to optical illusions. I had forgotten about this until my daughter reminded me after the story was finished; perhaps that knowledge had been working in my subconscious throughout the writing process.  

Finding a suitable antagonist was trickier. Just having a garden variety lunatic running around kidnapping kids felt inadequate. Like Callie, anger does not come to me easily, so I put some thought into the kind of person who really pisses me off – and then I had him.  

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