Take a Double Shot of Terror… Only at Hannigan’s

Take a Double Shot of Terror… Only at Hannigan’s

It started innocently enough, like so many things in horror do. One rainy afternoon, David was thinking about how nice it would be to spend some time at a pub. Then the twisted thoughts crept in. What if this pub had a mysterious call to the macabre and its victims? What if this was the place where survivors congregated? What kind of stories would the regulars tell then? He mentioned the idea on our group chat and our imaginations simply ran wild. We all had suggestions of murder, mayhem, and...

What Evil Lurks behind a Doll’s Painted Smile?

What Evil Lurks behind a Doll’s Painted Smile?

One of my favorite horror subgenres is killer dolls. Chucky is a great character, but films like Puppet Master, Dolls, and Annabelle have all really produced some fun scares and terrifying imagery as well. And, truth be told, the fear of dolls goes back for centuries in human history. Dolls are simply… creepy. They stare at you and smile at you in a disturbing way, though you know it’s all in your head. The Dollmaker’s Curse series will introduce you to a world where the sinister gleam on a...

Spirits Trapped in His Head Plague a Man with No Past…

Spirits Trapped in His Head Plague a Man with No Past…

I grew up on horror—reading novels and comics, watching TV shows and movies. Growing up, it had been an annual tradition to have friends sleep over on my birthday. We would rent three horror movies that were clearly never meant for children, then stay up all night eating junk food and watching them. Jigsaw of Souls is, in a way, a callback to those years. It is about discovering who you are and dealing with absolute horror of your world at the same time. Vincent Donnelly is an ordinary guy in...

Some Things Are Better Left Alone…

Some Things Are Better Left Alone…

I once found myself living out an urban legend. Picture this: A lone teenage girl is driving home late one winter night. The dark highway is empty. Suddenly, a car is inches from her bumper. The driver keeps flashing his high beams, blinding the teenager. Since he’s not overtaking her, she thinks he must want the upcoming turnoff. She’s just going too slow. So, she changes lanes. The driver follows, headlights still flashing. She realizes that they’ve passed the last turn off for a while....

Vincent Faces a Nightmare He Might Never Wake Up From

Vincent Faces a Nightmare He Might Never Wake Up From

Survival horror is one of my favorite genres. Those stories in which a powerful killer stalks his victims through the woods, and they have to rely on wits and luck to survive. I wanted to channel that—the feeling of being lost and pursued—with the terror of not even understanding what’s stalking you into this story. Vincent has survived everything that the ritual threw at him, and now wields ultimate power. Or so he thought. Because his final enemy is revealed, and it is more than Vincent...

Powerlessness Can Be a Terrifying Thing

Powerlessness Can Be a Terrifying Thing

The idea of losing your freedom and autonomy, that you can be trapped, and at the mercy of others who can literally do anything they want, is very scary. Mix in a haunted mental asylum and a demonic child, and it’s a perfect recipe for fear. Vincent has faced witches, and corpses, and evil djinn. But what he hasn’t experienced is being alone and helpless. Being forced to doubt what he thinks is real after all this time. And being at the mercy of a doctor who could be a tool of a demon, or just...

Science and the Supernatural Are Never a Good Mix…

Science and the Supernatural Are Never a Good Mix…

Body horror is one of the most terrifying subgenres out there and it holds a special place in my heart. Lots of classic horror is, at its core, body horror. What is a werewolf or a vampire but a monster made by warping the flesh of a normal human? And it’s terrifying to think that something will attack you not from the outside, but from within. Films like The Thing and Resident Evil inspired The Darkness Within. For this story, I wanted Dezzy and Vincent in a location where there’s much less...

Newfound Joy Never Lasts, and for Good Reason…

Newfound Joy Never Lasts, and for Good Reason…

There was a time when I didn’t fully appreciate all that horror had to offer. I never dared to venture too far from my favorite monsters and villains. Then my parents threw a fateful New Year’s Eve party. There was one guest my age and she had been told to bring a movie of her choice. It was a horror movie of a subgenre I had never looked at. Before the clock struck midnight, I was hooked. I went into the New Year determined to give all those stories I had been neglecting a chance. This volume...

There Is a Consequence for Everything We Do…

There Is a Consequence for Everything We Do…

…And not all of them are easy to live with—or survive. There’s a childhood event that always reminds me to think before I act. We had rented a houseboat for a short vacation and were anchored near a deserted island. I remember how the island was ringed with golden-sand beach and surrounded by the endless ocean. We had been swimming, and I was the last one in the water. My father had made me promise not to go far while he was busy helping my brothers. I decided that I was a far better swimmer...

The Simplest Things Can Spark the Deepest Fears

The Simplest Things Can Spark the Deepest Fears

I dog-sit at a house that’s surrounded by bushland. The first night I was there, I let the dogs out to relieve themselves before bed and was startled by how dark it was. Nothing seemed to exist beyond the reach of the porch lights. Then a branch snapped, and the dogs took off after it. As I stood there, helplessly listening to them chasing something through the underbrush, my mind went wild with thoughts of what, or who, could have been out there. The dogs returned a few minutes later,...