Seminar #56!!!

Seminar #56!!!

People of Earth! The audio program “Seminar #56” is now available for download! And it’s got a story in it written by me! And another one written by Colin J. Kelly! And I think it’s got lemurs in it! (It probably doesn’t.) Go forth and acquire! And may the ice cream always be in your flavor! (I have no idea what that means.)



The Quiet Ones

"Thank you."

“Thank you.”


I just watched _The Quiet Ones_. Ooh! Good stuff. Like _Oculus_, this is just the sort of horror movie I like, where people attempt to approach the supernatural in a scientific and somewhat intelligent way, and then get in a bit over their heads.

This is the sort of movie that makes me want to look stuff up and see how much of what happened in the movie actually did happen. It’s one of those “based on actual events” movies, except they don’t tell you that at the beginning. (EDIT: It’s actually right there in the trailer. Somehow I just glossed over it.) But in the closing credits they show pictures of the actual people involved. Supposedly, anyway. I’m still looking it up.

The movie seems to be based loosely on something called “The Philip Experiment,” in which a group of people (Canadians. Go fig…) attempt to create a ghost with their collective imagination and then talk to it. They apparently succeeded, thus proving that ghosts are merely projections of our imagination, or that some extra-dimensional entity was having a laugh and pretending to be Philip the ghost. Of course, the experiment was later proven to be a hoax. But it is a cool story.

The movie is based very loosely on the experiment. It basically takes the idea and runs with it. But where did those pictures in the closing credits come from? Eh, it’s probably just another layer of fiction to enhance the story.

Anyway, I feel so inspired right now.

Born Free

Whew! It’s been an exciting afternoon so far, and not usually in the way I like it.

I came home today and was greeted happily by the dog and greeted indifferently by two cats. I decided to let the dog out in the backyard since this is usually when she goes. So, as I always do, I took her to the door, grabbed the end of the tether that keeps her in the yard, hooked it on to her collar, then went to clean litter boxes.

When I was done, I went to the back door and noticed that the end of the tether was on this side of the door. I thought for a second someone had snuck in and let the dog back in, but no…no one was there. Not even a dog.

It was at this point that I realized I must have not actually hooked the tether to the dog’s collar. I somehow slipped, didn’t notice, and let her out. I started getting a visual image of Winnie bouncing through yards, tongue lolling back and forth while¬† “Born Free” plays in the background.

Dammit. What could I do? I looked in the backyard to make sure she wasn’t there. But of course she wasn’t because the gate separating the backyard from the rest of the world was open. She probably ran out first thing. I sighed, grabbed a leash and walked to the terminal point of the cul-de-sac. I thought maybe she might have gone where we always walk, but no. No dog. I came back sad-hearted and fearful (“Oh, man. The roommate is going to kill me with her secret ninjitsu moves!”) and planned the next course of action.

I decided I would just get in the truck and drive around really slowly hoping to catch a glimpse of an extremely happy, bouncing, black dog. I got in my truck and got to the end of the driveway when I noticed a flash of something black in my peripheral vision. I turned and there was the dog! Head bowed in submission, tail wagging, saying, “Yeah, I knew I shouldn’t have run, but I couldn’t help it! Have you been out there? Wow!” I got out of the truck with my leash and she obediently came up to me to be leashed. Adventure over.

I was annoyed with the dog but I realized that it was my fault she ran, really. And she did come back without a problem. So I figured because I appeared with the leash in hand, which always means a walk is about to commence, I decided to go ahead and walk her. It seemed the right thing to do. So we both got two walks this afternoon.

I’m tired.

Upward-Facing Dog

Upward-Facing Dog

Oculus is Calling



Oculus is at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I keep going back and forth about this movie, because it looks great and has actors I adore, but the trailer kind of reminds me of The Ring. And that movie gave me PTSD.

I’m not kidding. For months afterward if I saw a hint of static on a television, a wooden chair in the middle of a room, or an oval mirror I’d get triggered. That movie tore me apart. No other horror movie has affected me like that since. (Silent Hill has come the closest, but I was able to shake that off pretty quickly.)

It took me a long time to figure out why the movie grabbed my inner child in its teeth, shook it, and left it a bloody mess. You see, it’s pretty. Its trailer made me believe it was some artistic, surreal film. So I was eager to see it. So eager that I went on opening night. I went into it with my mind completely open to whatever imagery it would show me. And then my mind ran into its knife. My mind ran into its knife ten times. It was gripping. It had a wonderful supernatural mystery that unfolded slowly and made me want to know more. And then, it ended in a standard ghost story kind of way. And then it didn’t. Because “You weren’t supposed to help her! She never sleeps!”

The movie does not end. There’s no resolution. No way to kill the monster. No way to even slow it down. All you can do is pass on the curse. So, in my mind, my incredibly tender and open susceptible-to-the-slightest-bit-of-imagery mind, the movie never stopped running. I couldn’t get away from it because it never ended.

And it didn’t help that after seven days of torture, after I tried to convince my mind it was over, on the morning of the eighth day I turned on my TV and saw static. And it wouldn’t go away.

Total. Freak out. Moment.

I eventually realized that the coaxial cable connecting it the TV to Time Warner had mysteriously disconnected itself from the wall. To this day I have no idea how it happened. I think one of my cats was a sadistic bastard.

In the months to come, I researched as much as I could about the story of the movie (except not too much because I kept getting flashbacks). I couldn’t stop because I had to find an ending. I eventually found one using “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” You put Samara in the Buffyverse, and she gets dispatched easily by the Scoobies in less than an hour. This one small thing, this little bit of crossover fanfic in my head actually put my mind at ease and allowed me to start watching videotapes again.

Based on this, I am so lucky that the Necronomicon is just fiction. Because I can’t stop looking into the abyss. Not only would I be obsessed in hunting down that infernal book, I would easily be driven mad by its contents and might actually summon an elder god or two.

So anyway, _Oculus_ looks great, and dark, and enticing, and I fear it’ll rip me to shreds. But I must see it. I can’t not. I need to be seduced into its darkness. I need to know what’s there.

It’s coming out next week. I’ll let you guys know what I think. Assuming I stay sane.