Archive for the ‘Suspense and Horror’ Category
Ladies and Gentlemen, the witching season is upon us again. The dead shall walk the earth and witches shall fly through the sky. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.
But don’t let reality interrupt a night of fun and frolics. There are lots of things you can do, go see a scary movie, take the kids trick or treating, or go to a fancy dress party with your work collegues.
Nah, just go see a scary movie.
In fact this year we have quite a batch for you to choose from. Circuses of freaks, zombies, sadistic killers and bermuda triangles to name but a few.
So let’s start with Cirque du Freak, the story of two young lads who go to a freak show that is new to town. The see lots of weird things, bearded ladies, tattooed men. They see this one man do tricks with a poisonous spider. After the show the man names one of the boys a deal, he will make him a vampire if he agrees to become his apprentice. What follows is the accomplishment of evil.
My favourite so far is Zombieland, set in the aftermath of a nationwide Zombie attack. Unlike other Zombie movies this one has a sense of humour. It also has all the rules of how to survive a Zombie attack in detail, demonstrated in graphic detail. How jolly useful. It stars Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray, so you know you are getting your money’s worth.
The third choice is a good old fashioned haunted house movie. Paranormal Activity is, theoretically, the new Blair Witch, handicam horror movie. Filmed on a shoestring budget and lots of bumpy photography, it is none the less supposed to be extremely scary. I guess you just have to go see it and judge it for yourself.
The Saw franchise seems to roll and roll. We are now on number six of the series, and it somehow manages to retain the ability to scare the hell out of us. What keeps the Saw series going is it’s imagination and intelligence that it channels into what it knows are our deepest fears. Jigsaw is long dead but he sowed the seeds of sadism and dark pleasure into the souls of those who survived him. Finally they are bearing their dark, nasty fruit.
Last but by no means least we have Triangle, a horror based on the mysteries of the Bermuda triangle. During a yachting race a crew are forced to abandon ship in heavy weather. A sinister cruise ship offers the only refuge, but on board all is not as it seems.
So enjoy your halloween, go to your nearest Vue and scare yourselves shitless!
The Isle of Wight. England’s pretty little front garden with it’s Cowes Festival and Osborne House, home of Queen Victoria. And Zombies.
Hang on… ZOMBIES??!
Thats right, a whole tribe of them live alongside the seaside donkeys and daytrippers. Led by Darren Winter, artist, film-maker and zombie-in-chief, they have expanded to club nights, movies and even advertising beer.
So how does this fit into the teashop and candy-floss image of the Isle of Wight? Well, it doesn’t to be honest. In fact the whole burgeoning horror scene is the island’s counter-culture.
For the last two years they have held the Zombie march through Ryde and other towns, stumbling, swaying, peering in windows and generally scaring the living shit out of people. I so want to join in one year.
Most recently Darren and his team have been working on their feature film, Bad Place. The Isle of Wight’s own Blair Witch? We wait with bated breath as it is now in post-production.
When he is not scaring the bejeysus out of the tourists Darren works on his art project, inked in the blood of his victims, presumably.
Actually no, some of them are cut from Vinyl. He also does comissioned portraits.
So I had a few questions for the King of the Undead:
I bet Halloween is fun in your house?
We do dress up with our daughter and have Halloween dinner but this year we hope to go trick or treating now she’s older.
We usually do the Wightzombie march in the evening around
Halloween time which is always good fun but my dream would be to have a big house and lots of money to turn it into a haunted house for a week or longer, have people come in and scaring the hell out of them, maybe a competition where someone get money if they spend a whole night there……..
How big is the horror scene in the Isle of Wight?
We have a large alternative scene on the Island (Dark Wight) so horror films go down well here. Most islanders are still quite naive and sceptical to new things, that’s why the alternative island is so strong.
You either conform to the island way or you don’t, its very black and white (pardon the pun) and as a horror film maker who has a deferent point of view I’m up against some resistance when it comes to ideas and the business side.
What fiendish plans have you made for 2009?
2009 is going to be a busy year with another baby on the way in May and a planned house move in with parents who are moving down from London.
I also want to get started on a new, scary as hell, horror film this year plus some music vids, 2 film festivals, finding a distributor for my first horror film Bad Place, hopefully a EWF Wrestling horror film with another film producer Joe Jenkins and various other scripts and film project in pre-production, Ahhhhhhh.
Tell us something about your art?
I mainly do it as a sideline; I do two types of art, abstract art (the graffiti artist in me) and a new style of art using Vinyl and Enamel.
The abstract art is all about flow and colour and the vinyl at is a technique I started in 1990 when i started work in a sign shop, basically i take a photo and I separate the photo in to a maximum of 4 colours, I then blow it up and hand cut each separation out of the coloured vinyl. Then i get a glass coated metal panel made by A.J.Wells that gets put in a furnace at around 500 degrees creating a tough as hell Enamel panel. Finally I lay the hand cut vinyls on the panel colour by colour and hey presto. its kind-a like posturizing a photo on the computer but without the pixelisation you get from those cheap looking, pop art style canvases you can get.
I’m hoping Sharon and Ozzy will buy me portrait of them so if anyone reading this knows them please let me know, he he.
If you want to see my stuff please go to www. darrenwinter. com
I noticed something rather sinister when I was channel flicking this afternoon..
Emu is back!
I never liked this bird, it always had a nasty streak and an evil look in it’s eyes. It was perminantly planted under Rod Hulls ’arm’ and glared at his guests.
Then came the shock that Rod Hull had died in a freak accident.
Their act had started back in 1971 when Rod was working in for Australian television. He had to find an act for a new children’s variety programme and he found this old moth eaten Emu puppet in a back cupboard. They soon grew into a cult following and when Rod was offered a chance for the BBC he flew home, Emu in tow.
For the next twenty years their act grew and grew, making such dizzy heights as the Children’s Royal Variety Performance, where he was introduced to the Queen. He wasn’t always that well behaved though, later that year Emu went bezerk on the Michael Parkinson show, knocking the host off his chair and scattering papers and water everywhere. Co-guest, Billy Connelly, warned Rod Hull “If that thing comes near me I will break it’s neck and your arm.” There is nothing like a Glaswegian threat to pacify an Emu.
But by the mid nineties their fortunes had all but dried up, the BBC was looking for fresh ideas and they seemed rather old and tired. What was not so well known was that Rod Hull had a million pound life insurance policy. Emu hatched his evil plan…
He knew Rod liked the football so the day of the Manchester UTD – AC Milan match he pulled a wire out of the back of the telly. When Rod checked the telly Emu suggested it might be the dish outside that was faulty. There was no turning back now.
Rod got his ladder out of the shed and began climbing while Emu held it steady.. and when he saw that the coast was clear he gave the ladder an almighty shove.
Poor Rod didn’t stand a chance.
Over the next few days Emu wept crocodile tears and gave a touching speech at Rod’s funeral, and waited for the cheque.
Eventually it came and it funded Emu’s new lavish lifestyle and financed a new TV deal. It also paid for Emu’s botox and re-stitching.
This terrible animal must be stopped before he goes any further, between him and Barrymore you can get away with murder these days if you are on telly.
Anyway calm down lad, drink your tea…
A few years ago me and my mate Dave were driving back from Manchester to Wakefield one cold foggy Sunday night in January. We had been watching Leeds get beat as usual that day and we were on our way back in Dave’s big white transit van. It had been freezing and foggy all day and as we rose over the foothills of the Pennines the wraith-like mist swallowed the road ahead. Out of nowhere came an endless trail of red lights indicating what is known to the Great British motorist as a sodding great tail back. We joined the queue and inched our way along in the darkness, listening to the charts on the radio to keep our spirits up, and taking the mickey out of the latest X factor acts, as always.
After five minutes of that we came to a slip road which took us across the Pennines on an old road known as Snake path. We could sit in this tail back and go numb or we could take our chances on a bit of adventurous navigation that might just get us to our beds an hour earlier. Oh and Dave had his new sat nav that he wanted to try out. This bit of kit had cost him £300, and he reckoned it was worth every penny. I was too knackered to argue so off the road we went. Several cars ahead of us had taken the same option, so maybe it wasn’t a bad idea.
Snake path is a trecherous road on it’s best days so we took it really steady, minding the snake like twists and turns that gave the road it’s name. The fog got thicker and thicker, even with the lights on high beam we could see barely twenty years ahead. The cars ahead of us became strung out further and further until we were left alone on this cold dark path, trying to squint through the fog.
We were brought to a screeching halt by something three feet high standing in the road. For a second it was stock still in the distance, then it moved it’s head and went ‘baaa’. Bloody sheep. A parp of the horn and off it went, unaware of how close it came to making us a collision statistic, and itself into a tasty kebab.
As you pass over the Pennines your radio tends to jump from station to station and go mental, and this occasion was no different. Chris bloody Moyles… some girl laughing.. classic fm.. some little girl laughing again.. I changed the channel.. and there was this little laugh again. Not a nice one, a really mean haha showed you kind of laugh. I turned the radio off, it wasn’t improving my mood.
We passed a car parked up for the night. Why they parked it in the middle of the moors, I thought little of. I just wanted to get home. The fog lifted a little as we mounted a hump-backed bridge over a brook. Just as we did we came across a car in the middle of the road, parked diagnally. It’s hazzard warning lights were blinking away into darkness and the passenger door was ajar.
Dave was a trained paramedic so he instinctively grabbed the green bag he kept in the space between the seats and got out to investigate. I was straight after him, grabbing a dirty blanket out of the back and my mobile out of my pocket. He poked the door open with his foot, and peered inside. It was empty, and cold. Frost had gathered on the inside of the windshield. We looked around and shouted at the tops of our voices. A ground frost had turned the ground white, and should have illuminated any foot prints away from the car, but there were none.
With a start I realised that I recognised the car, it had been two in front of us in the tail back. Dave thought I was mistaken but I recognised the stickers on the rear window. Neither of us could get phone reception on our mobile, which was no surprise. We decided to phone the police from the next phone box we came to. In the meantime we just wanted to get down off the moors. We followed the path, metre by metre, eyes on stalks. The sat nav indicated we were only twelve miles from the motorway, and a cup of granada services tea suddenly sounded very inviting. Then the bloody thing started to die, much to my annoyance. Dave was so angry that he tore it from it’s cradle and threw it out the window. I cracked up laughing and it broke the tense atmosphere. We spent the next half hour howling and doing Brian Glover imitations. ‘Beware’t moon, lads!” I was still laughing when THUMP
My side, high up on the metal side panel THUMPTHUMPTHUMP, further back each time, as though we were driving past the source. Dave slammed on the brakes, and I looked back through the door mirror. Some figure was standing there, and this time it was way too tall to be a sheep. It was man sized.
Somebody was definately standing just off the road, about ten yards back from where we were now stopped. We didn’t discuss anything, we just got out. I took the tire handle and slid it up my sleeve. I was taking no chances.
This guy had to be about forty but looked older, most of him was hidden under a donkey jacket, like the miners used to have. A huge hood hid most of his face, the lower half was illuminated by the red brake lights, which gave his unshaven visage a demonic appearance. He had dirty jeans and dirty boots, he had obviously been hiking across the fields. But that wasn’t the strangest thing about him. At his feet was a long black bag, about five feet long in total with six handles on the edges. “Alright mate, where’s tha going?” said Dave. The guy shook his head, and I wondered if he was deaf. “You need a lift?”
I shot a look at Dave to say ‘are you mad?’, he just looked back to say ‘it’s ok’. I was far from convinced. “Just gizza lift to’t next town.” The man had spoke. Mancunian accent, gravelly and deep. “Right, gerrin”. Dave was already opening the rear doors to his van. Inside it was full of wood he was collecting for some stupid building project. It would have been a bonfire if I had any say in it. I got the other end of this guy’s bag and lifted it. Christ, it was bloody heavy. “You moving house then?” I tried to make light of the situation. “What you got in here, the mother-in-law?”
He turned to face me square on in the red brake light. “None of your business.” He hissed..
Christ, alright. I dumped my end of the bag in with him pushed up the far end of the van, never taking my eyes off him. I really had a bad feeling about this, and I gripped the tyre handle. I got back into the passenger side and off we went into the night.
I resumed my job of peering into the thick mist, trying to call out the turns, which came thick and fast. I checked back in the rear view mirror once and the guy was still there, though all I could see was his shadow.
I don’t know what made me do it but I felt the hairs on the back of my neck flutter, and I started to turn my head. As I did so I heard the splintering of wood, loud and close then the rear doors flew open, filling the cabin with freezing air. Dave turned his head as he slammed on the brakes, and brought the van to it’s third emergency stop in an hour. I reached up and switched on the internal light. The rear doors were definately open, and some of the wood was scattered about the back, and splintered. The guy was gone, he had bolted. We jumped out of the cabin and walked down each side, losing sight of each other for a second. I went round the back, my tire handle now gripped in my white knuckles. Dave appeared out of the gloom a long second later. He picked up a piece of wood as a weapon and stood back to back with me, peering into the darkness. We could see sod all, absolutely nothing. Nor could we hear anything, except each other’s quickening breath. I have never been so terrified in my life.
“Should have bloody listened to you, cocker” said Dave with a nervous laugh, then he froze on the spot. I followed his gaze. In the back of the van, barely visable in the dark, and part buried under splintered wood was the man’s bag.
Adrenaline pumped through me as I advanced towards it, my tire handle held high. Was the bag moving or was it my tired eyes in the dark? “Nick..” Dave sounded nervious, which was unheard of. He had seen it all in his day as a paramedic, all the horrors a saturday night in Leeds can throw at you. And yet now, I knew he was scared.
I put my hand on the zip and felt it loose in my hand. I opened it scarely an inch. My heart was beating in my chest fit to burst. I opened it further and further and reached in.
“What’s in it?” Dave’s voice was trembling.
I rounded on him, my face rough,my body stinking and my eyes glowing red, full of undue fury, the tyre handle held high as I advanced and in this gravelly mancunian accent I growled “NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS”
Anyway sleep well.
I read this true story in a trashy tabloid paperback years ago, so I may not be translating it right but here goes.
On Thanksgiving eve 1971 a flight to San Fransciso was boarding on a bright autumn morning. One by one the passengers made their way to their seats, anxious to get to where they were going to do what they do. But one man had a different agenda, for him today was most definately not business as usual. His passport named him as Mr D B Cooper.
In 1971 airport security in America was not too tight on internal flights. Palastinian terrorists were a middle eastern issue and nobody had even heard of Black September.
The first three hours of the flight went without hitch. Captain Mike Richards made his final approach into Denver, Colarado to refuel. Just as the plane was beginning nose down Cooper, or whoever he was, started to cough and retch. He got out of his seat, part doubled over and made his way down the aisle to the front of the plane where the bathrooms were located. He passed the hostess, who he nearly retched on, and she quickly dove out of his way. However instead of going into the toilets he opened the door to the flight deck, drawing a weapon as he went.
“Everybody stay calm. The aircraft has been highjacked. Nobody may leave.” Words that send a shiver down any spine. But now the passengers of this flight were hearing them for real, not in a nightmare. The plane was under the control of a mysterious madman.
The announcement had been made shortly after the plane had taxied to a halt at Denver international. The usual airport vehicles, refueling trucks, baggage trucks and so on were well away from the plane. Instead patrol cars of the Denver sheriff’s department screeched to a halt in a loose cordon around the plane. Bullets were checked, and shotguns were cocked and aimed. In those days counter-terrorism techniques left a lot to be desired. If anybody had actually shot the plane they could have blown them all sky high.
D B Cooper made his demands over the aircraft radio. He did not claim membership of any known groups, he seemed remarkably calm, and his accent was American. He said he wanted two million dollars in used notes and two parachutes delivered to the plane before he would let the hostages go.
After consulting with the District Attourney the Sheriff ordered the release of the money and had it delivered to the airport within the hour, along with the parachutes (but why two?).
The money arrived shortly after two a.m. Cooper then allowed the passengers and the hostesses to leave the plane. The flight crew had to stay on board. It was time for phase two.
Cooper then reached into his jacket and pulled out a very professional looking map with exact co-ordinates and flight time to a set destination. Furthermore, curiously, he insisted that the plane take off with the rear pressure door open. This lack of cabin pressure meant that the plane would be very heavy, would have to fly very low to avoid the crew blacking out through lack of oxygen in the air, and it would definately use more fuel.
A fuel truck arrived shortly and refuelled the plane. On the underside of the truck was a deputy sheriff who managed to get under the aircraft fuselage.
Cooper had left the pilots alone in the cockpit while he returned to the freezing cold cabin. They had debated various options. They could not call out as Cooper had now smashed their radio. They could use their oxygen masks and fly higher than he had instructed. This would cause his to pass out through lack of oxygen (known as hypoxia). They could try and tackle him, but he was armed with what appeared to be a pistol, so that wasn’t a good idea. They could circle back to the airport but he probably had a compass on him so they would soon be found out. The high altitude idea seemed the best option.
The next thirty minutes of flight seemed like a lifetime. They flew over the rocky mountains at hair-raisingly low altitude, seeing white mountains appear out of the darkness time and again. They flew higher and higher till the mountains dissappeared from view. The flying time Cooper had instructed came and went. He had left no further instructions as to what they did next. The Captain, first officer and navigator drew lots and the navigator lost. He left his wallet with the pilot and went aft to deal or deal with the mysterious Mr Cooper. He opened the door, feeling a blast of freezing cold air hit him, and peered into the dimly lit cabin.
It was empty except for one ripped parachute and an empty sports bag.
His heart skipped a beat and he checked all the seats, nothing. He grabbed a window-smash hammer as a weapon and checked the small bathroom. Again, empty. The Galley too was empty. D B Cooper, the crazy bastard, must have jumped out of the plane with his ransom money.
“He’s gone, Mike, he – he jumped I think.” The navigators lungs heaved with the cold air. Captain Richards circled around, his co-pilot searching the dark air for a parachute. Nothing to see but blackness.
They altered course back towards the airport. The radio was unrepairable so Captain Richards flashed morse from his running lights C-L-E-A-R-1. Clear runway one.
The gathered police, national guard, who had turned up late looking for action, ground crew, police negotiators,T.V. crew and anybody else pulled back to a safe distance. The aircraft touched down without a hitch, and police cars raced to catch it as it taxied to a halt. Not that it did them any good as it took a further minute for a stair truck to arrive, by which time the navigator was standing in the doorway with his hands up.
In the privacy of the airport police station the sheriff took their statements. The map suggested that he had jumped in a heavily forested area of the colarado river. The hunt for the highjacker D B Cooper had swung in motion.
Over the next week the area was scoured. Sheriff’s department, airport police, national guard, local mountain guides, volounteers, media, everybody was on the hunt. The possible drop zone consisted of over a hundred square miles of inaccessable woodland, craggy hills, unpassable creeks, and inhabited by wild animals.
The search turned up absolutely nothing. Then one day about a fortnight later an announcement was placed in the Denver Herald, supposedly from D.B. Cooper. It read ‘I was forced into this action by an uncaring government, I needed the money to cure my illness, I wish no harm to anybody’. Very odd, and possibly a hoax or a red herring. A million dollars was placed on Cooper’s head.
The F.B.I. was called in to deal with the case. Who was this man? Possibly a nutcase, but they never knew for sure. They simply had no leads. Whoever he was before this action he would have been a very law abiding and very clever man.
So who could have possibly have the skills to pull this off? Only the fire department’s smoke jumpers had that kind of ability, and furthermore that kind of brass balls. Several were brought in for questioning but none were charged.
In the media opinion was divided by Cooper, some wanted him on death row, others had a grudging admiration for this audacious man. After all he had got away scot free with millions without harming a soul.
Or had he? Nearly a year later a woodland tracker was out hunting with his hounds when he noticed some tell-tale yellow tarpaulin in a tree. The straps had been cut and there was no body. Any foot prints would have long since washed away. And in those days D.N.A. profiling was two decades away.
On the other side of the mountain the following summer a family camping came across some used $20 bills on the bank of a stream. Further up they found ten more. The notes were examined by the F.B.I and found to be part of the ransom money. They were covered in silt and red clay mud which indicated that they had washed downstream from one of the Colarado tributaries.
The media intrested was renewed. D.B. Cooper – Where Are You? T-shirts were sold in Denver and the man was becoming a local folk hero. Local D.J.s dedicated songs to him. But in the end it all came to naught and the case on D.B. Cooper has remained open since 1970.
MURDER IN NORMANTON!
A True Story
Well guys and girls, cos it is just after the witching season I thought I would share with you the true story of the Cross Keys murder. This is a tale passed on from my grandmother to my father, and now I pass it on to you.
In 1954 a bus driver was making his usual route from Normanton to Featherstone through a small hamlet called Old Snydale. It was a dark miserable night when somebody standing in the middle of the road caught his headlights. It was a young man in strange period dress covered in dirt and blood, clearly bleeding from the neck and mouth. His eyes were full of horror. The driver slammed on his breaks, almost making his bus jackknife, and shut his eyes, waiting for the crunch of metal on bone. It didn’t come. He got out and checked the front of the bus. Nothing. He took a deep breath and checked under it. Still nothing, and nobody was around, save for a dog howling in the distance.
The year was 1805 and two men were walking from a labouring job in Aberford to another in Wakefield. One was William Longthorne, a young man who lived clean and worked hard. His travelling companion was one William Mosey, a man of darker character who had laboured with Longthorne on the previous job. Now they had agreed to travel on to the next job together. In those days nobody had bank accounts so they had no option but to carry their wages about their person while they drifted from job to job.
Their route took them through the hamlet of Snydale on their way to Castleford. Longthorne’s large purse jangled temptingly on his belt, and it never left Mosey’s sight. He would bide his time and then strike. As night fell their route took them through a small wood, hidden from the sight of the people of Snydale. Mosey let Longthorne lead the way and pulled out his razor. This is the weapon of choice he had been sharpening all the previous day in preperation for the act he was about to carry out. He took two deep breaths, steeled himself, and struck.
The first Longthorne knew was a dirty hand cupping his mouth. The a cut on his neck, then a deep gouge on his windpipe. His mouth and throat filled with hot sticky liquid he knew could only be his own blood. He panicked and kicked out, trying to fight for his life. Mosey’s foot hooked behind his knee making the victim fall backwards. In a second Mosey was on his, his eyes demonic, his face distorted with murderous rage. He slashed again and again with the razor and Longthorne’s neck till the young man lie still.
He grabbed Longthorne’s purse, and cut the cord with his bloody razor. He dragged Longthorne into a small stream and left him to drown. Then he vanished into the night.
Did the story end there? No, for Longthorne slowly regained a most painful conciousness. It is said that the cold water of the stream lowered his blood pressure and slowed the bleeding. Inch by inch, slowly and painfully he dragged himself out of the stream. In the distance he saw a glimmer of light coming from a house.
The house was Alsop’s public house and here it’s name enters murderous infamy. Longthorne dragged himself to the back door where a dog came to investigate the smell of sweat and blood, and started barking the alarm.
Guests of Alsop put aside their drinking vessels and dice and went to see what the fuss was about. The sight that met them haunted them to their deaths. Two men lifted Longthorne onto the kitchen table while one went to the house of the local doctor .
Longthorne could not talk, merely gurgle blood, so a chalk and slate was found for him to write. He managed only one word. Mosey. Seconds later he stiffened, his breathing increased, making horrible gurgling and sucking noises, before he breathed his last.
The constable of Normanton arrived on horseback within the hour and organised every man and dog he could find into a search party. But night had fallen and the trail had gone cold. The next day the search resumed at dawn and the early frost showed a set of footprints leading away from the murder site. A glimmer of sun reflected off something metal in the deep grass. It was a bloody razor. Nearby they found an empty purse and finally a set of crossed keys.
Mosey had vanished, he was not seen from that day to this. Rumour has it he hid far to the south of Yorkshire, to escape the hand of justice.
Longthorne was buried the morning after the murder in Normanton graveyard. His weathered tombstone I have seen with my own eyes, the only bit still clearly legible says ‘murdered most foul’.
The bus driver was not the last person to see the ghost of William Longthorne. Alsop’s house, now know as the Cross Keys of Old Snydale, has had it’s share of thumps, bumps and noises in the night. Cries of pain have been heard in the woods near the murder sight and on the anniversary of the murder the people of old snydale have a wake in the ghosts honour.
Anyway sleep well.