Showing posts with the label Horror

Haunted Tunnels Under an Insane Asylum

In Traverse City, Michigan there is an old insane asylum called the Grand Traverse Commons. Under the Commons there are old tunnels that some people say are haunted. A friend of mine saw the pictures of me in these tunnels and asked if I could write something about them, because he runs a publishing firm in Russia called Horroscope Press, and he's launching a magazine in the near future. I've been trying to think of what exactly to write, and now I've decided.

I've been thinking about writing a poem about this for a few weeks. I think it's a cool idea. But, it's going to be translated into Russian, and sometimes poetry doesn't work great for that. Although, my favorite poet is Ovid, and he wrote in Latin.

Today I sat down with some earplugs in to shut out the world and wrote six stanzas. I like them. I'm going to use that, embedded in a little prose opener, followed by a little explanation. I think it will make a good piece for a magazine. Let's see…

My Interview for "Darker" Magazine

"Darker" is a leading horror magazine in Russia. The "Horror Without Borders" anthology that I've been working on with Oleg is out. In English it's available as an ebook. Since the anthology is out "Darker" asked for an interview.

It's an odd interview that works well. Since I don't know Russian it makes sense to do it this way. They sent Oleg a series of questions that he passed on to me. I read them, let them percolate in the back of my mind for a few weeks, and then wrote these answers and sent the document back to Oleg. He might even be the one translating it.

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Interview for DARKER Magazine – with Jeffrey Alexander Martin of

1 - During the work on stories from around the globe, have you had a chance to push the borders of horror, for yourself? Have you come across such exotic views on the genre that struck you? If so, could you give an example?

Stories are how we make sense of the world. Horror stories deal …

The Value of Horror Stories

Why do people like horror stories? What's the point? It may be different than you think.

The first thing you have to realize is that fiction is a highly advanced form of play. And, what's the purpose of play? Animals play to prepare themselves for the future. Lion cubs play hide and seek, chasing, wrestling, fighting, and killing. These are the skills that they will need for life.

When a lion becomes fully mature it no longer plays, it doesn't need to. There are some animals that never really grow up. Domesticated animals are usually neotenous, or child-like. Pigs are like baby boars, dogs are like baby wolves, cats are like baby panthers, etc.

Humans are neotenous our entire lives. This is why we play our entire lives, and why we can learn our entire lives. The type of play that you're involved with will depend on your environment. A child that has had a safe, happy, and protected life will probably play nice games. Most people don't have that experience of life t…

What's Up with Cannibalism?

Cannibalism seems very odd to me. But, for some reason, it is fairly pervasive in our narratives. Let's explore it and see if any insights jump out at us.

Little Red Riding Hood is about a girl that goes on a trip through the woods and encounters cannibalism. Now, everyone knows that it's a wolf that eats grandma, but it's a highly personified wolf. It's a wolf that talks like humans, and looks like humans, and acts like humans. Personification is an amazingly powerful mental ability, and we all have it naturally. In this case it means that the wolf is like a person, so when he eats grandma that's cannibalism.

The Three Little Pigs is about a wolf that's trying to eat these pigs, all of which are personified, so there's cannibalism right there. But, when he gets to the last house, the brick house, he can't blow it down and decides to climb down the chimney. The pigs have arranged a giant pot of boiling water at the bottom filled with vegetables and seas…

A Flash of Horror - Part 4 of 4

Today we shall finish both the bio and the story.

First, let's finish with the bio because it should be a bit easier. It might be cool to use this alligator wrestling picture for the bio, but I'm going to go with this Game of Thrones throne picture still.

I also need to take a look at the writing of the bio again. I want to incorporate alligator wrestling in there, but it was already at exactly 100 words, which is the limit. So, something will need to be cut.

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Jeffrey Alexander Martin: He has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, climbed a mountain, swam through a group of freshwater jellyfish while scuba diving, rafted whitewater, peddled a bike over a mountain range, ran with bulls, jumped horses, bruised his ribs doing winter ice luge, vomited blood in Africa, received a black eye and a bloody nose in a tomato fight, and has four major spinal deformities. He's just a simple guy with a simple life from Michigan, USA. No one has ever called him eccentric a…

A Flash of Horror - Part 3 of ?

I'm leaving for my alligator wrestling trip tomorrow and want to get some work done on this zombie story before I have the possibility of losing a finger.

Here's what I have so far.

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"Johanna! Don't you go in that room." Three-year-olds are full of innocence and mischief. Neither were good things in this situation.
"I told you, Matt is sick, you need to stay out of his room. Go play in your room." Susan put her left hand on her daughter's shoulder and steered her towards her bedroom. It was the seventh day, or the sixth, or the eighth. It was something like that. She was exhausted, the days were blending together. Johanna's long blonde hair swished back and forth as she disappeared into her room.

Susan looked down at her right hand and sighed; another wet cloth. Keeping Matt's fever under control had just about proved impossible. Since the quarantine a few days ago it had just been her and the kids; no help, no one had even come…

A Flash of Horror - Part 2 of ?

Yesterday I came up with a few ideas for my flash fiction horror story. I'm not going to pursue two of the ideas, I'm interested in two of the other ideas, and Oleg has one that he likes.

I'm not going to delve into the kidnapping and torturing a doctor thing, although I think that people might be enthusiastic about that one. I'm also not going to pursue the shrink that shrinks heads, although I do think that could be a humorous horror story in the future.

I'm interested in the forced inoculation story about a kid becoming a zombie and eating his sister in front of his mom. That's some pretty great sounding science fiction/fantasy horror. I'm also interested in the flashback false execution story. I think that that could cause some pondering in those who encounter the story.

And finally, I received this message from Oleg yesterday after he read my post:

Hi, Jeffrey!
Go for the succubus story idea. The anthology MUST have a succubus story!

So, I've been …

A Flash of Horror - Part 1 of ?

In 2019 my friend Oleg is publishing an international anthology of flash fiction horror stories called "Horror Without Borders". He has over 50 authors recruited for the project from 20 plus countries and all seven continents, that's right, all seven continents - including someone that works in Antarctica. Oleg is publishing the book in print and as an ebook in Russian, and I'm the editor for the print-on-demand and ebook that will be in English. I'm also contributing a story to the collection. That's what this article is about.

My original idea was to do a torture story where a patient that has gotten the normal medical treatment of being ignored, dismissed, and given painkillers gets so frustrated that he snaps, kidnaps the doctor, and tortures him in a creative way. He causes the doctor pain, for instance by pulling out a fingernail. Then he checks the doctor's blood pressure, notes that it's high and gives him some blood pressure medication. When …

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