Face it: you’re not going to sleep tonight. If that’s because you’re too old to endure a stomach-cramping sugar-rush (and don’t have to deal with someone else who isn’t), then may I suggest you while away the lonely hours reading? Specifically, by reading these: three works of fiction (a triple-layer of artifice, an unsettling depression era, and a reminder of how some jobs can be dehumanising), plus two pieces of longform journalism (one professional, one for the love of it).
Trailer – ‘The Crawl’
the transcript of a non-existent trailer for a non-existent zombie movie
— by China Miéville
They do not crawl on their knees but on their toes, with their backs tilted, knuckles or fingertips or the palms of their hands on the ground. They move at odds with their own bodies, like humans raised by spiders.
They Came. They Sawed.
a comprehensive glimpse behind the scenes of one of horror’s ground-breakers
— by John Bloom
Forry Ackerman, a writer and film historian who has watched every horror film made since 1922, said even his jaded eyes believed the actors were real people. “It’s a watershed work,” he told Brad Shellady in the video documentary Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait. “It brought a new dimension of reality to horror films.”
And that reality, in 1974, was not entirely welcome.
The Skin Thing
a short story about making sacrifices
— by Adrian Van Young
Just one of us, McSorls, held ground. He was seeking, we think, to protect his allotments. It plucked him up inside its mouth, like the mouth of a puppet, and gobbled him down. Or gummed him down. It had no teeth. The leg of his pants dangled out, disappearing.
The Skin Thing ate his onions, too.
…The Five Nosferatus
or “As if the Stars Would Wink Out One by One to Hear it Spoken”
— by Bill Ryan
In 1921, director F. W. Murnau, Rosicrucian and screenwriter Henrik Galeen, and producer, artist, designer and occultist Albin Grau perpetrated an act of intellectual property theft on Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, a novel immensely influential on the 20th century both for its newness and in the specific ways it was itself derivative. As with so much, too much, that is of cultural interest from the late 19th and through the mid-20th centuries, Aleister Crowley, the Beast, had something to do with this. The impact of Crowley on Murnau, Galeen, and Grau’s Nosferatu was doubtlessly not very direct at all, but it feels important in some obscure way that he was there, even on the fringe.
a short, vaguely Lynchian horror
— by Benjamin Percy
Sometimes I walk into a room or drive to the store and can’t remember why. In this way I am like a ghost: someone who can travel through walls and find myself someplace else in the middle of a sentence or thought and not know what brought me there. The other night I woke up to discover I was walking down the driveway in my pajamas, my bare feet blue in the moonlight. I was carrying a shovel.
Enjoy your Halloween.