The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft Analysis

“The Picture In The House” is a short story of about 3,300 words by American writer H.P. Lovecraft. You don’t have to have read Lovecraft to have been influenced by the work of Lovecraft. The author was a terrible person and if you don’t want to go back to the source, that’s absolutely fine. Guaranteed,……

Bathroom As Horror: Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King

Toilets are inherently scary. This holds true across cultures, even though different cultures (and even genders) experience public toilets differently. Below I take a look at a short horror story by Stephen King with a few examples of toilet horror by other authors, in which the public bathroom is utilised for storytelling purposes as a……

The Signalman by Charles Dickens Short Story Analysis

“The Signalman” (1866) is a ghost story by iconic English author Charles Dickens. If you’ve ever fantasised about leaving your open office or customer service job to work alone in a tiny box in the middle of nowhere, unbothered and free to get on with your straight-forward but very necessary job, this might be the……

The Bus by Shirley Jackson

The Bus by Shirley Jackson 1965 short story

I once read an article about why so few commuters were inclined to take the bus. This would have eased congestion in my home city. New Zealanders are notoriously wedded to their cars (which have only gotten bigger and bigger since the aggressive marketing of double-cab utes). Sure, we like our cars. But there’s this……

Donnie Darko Film Study

Donnie Darko is a 2001 film set in 1988, in a fictional Virginia town called Middlesex. This genre blend of drama, mystery and science fiction is precisely ambiguous enough to generate much discussion about what is meant to have happened. This is ideal ‘cult-following’ material. Note that Donnie Darko didn’t make much of a splash when……

Stephen King’s The Mist Story Analysis

When you encounter mist in real life, what do you recall? Stephen King’s novella? Frank Darabont’s 2007 adaptation of Stephen King’s novella? The 2017 TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s novella? You may have even studied “The Mist” in literature class — the tertiary level equivalent of Lord of the Flies. This popular science fiction……

Coming Soon Short Story by Steven Millhauser Analysis

“Coming Soon” is a short story by American novelist and short story writer Steven Millhauser, first published at The New Yorker in 2013. (About 3,900 words.) Chang-rae Lee discussed this story with Deborah Treisman at the New Yorker Fiction podcast. The following are my thoughts after reading the story and listening to their discussion. “You……

Creepy Blue and Black Illustrations

Haunted Houseful is an Alfred Hitchcock collection of stories published in 1961. Fred Banbery (1913-1999) created these very nice illustrations. From what I can gather, the illustrations don’t match the stories especially well, but they would work very well as creative writing inspo. (For instance: Write Your Own Urban Legend.) Fred Banbery (1913- 1999) 1961……

The Art Of Nightmares

Some dreams, some poems, some musical phrases, some pictures, wake feelings such as one never had before, new in colour and form—spiritual sensations, as it were, hitherto unproved… Lilith | George MacDonald Remedios Varo – Insomnio (1947) Adolf Born, Czechoslovakian illustrator (1930 – 2016) Baffling Mysteries magazine Jan 1953 20 Scary Stories illustrated by Iku……