Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Episode 2: The History of Halloween and 2 Urban Legends featuring Women


I just want to take a moment to thank everyone that has listened to the LOHF podcast!!! The support that we have received from the horror community has been staggering and we really appreciate it.

Episode 2 delves into Halloween – from its beginnings to present day. And if that’s not enough, join Toni as she discusses intriguing urban legends including weeping widows (like La llorona) and Resurrection Mary ( and other vanishing hitchhikers). Finally, a recap of her current reads and recent LOHF releases round out an episode you won’t want to miss. If you are interested in purchasing any of the books listed in the show notes please click on the cover and you will be transported to either the publishers site, Better World Books or Amazon.

History of Halloween

Halloween as we know it has a long history. From it’s origins in pre-christian Ireland and England to the holiday we know today. Join me as I talk about my favorite holiday.

Vanishing Hitchhikers

There are many different variations of the vanishing hitchhiker story. But the gist of the story is a woman is picked up and asks to be taken to a specific place. After arriving at that place the woman vanishes.

Horror Books by Woman that feature a Vanishing HitchHiker

Pretty Marys all in a Row By Gwendolyn Kiste

Pretty MarysYou’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.

In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.

They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.

But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.

That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.

But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.

Click here to read the LOHF review of Pretty Marys all in a Row

Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Roads Series Book 1) By Seanan McGuire

Sparrow Hill RoadRose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Road Series Book 2) By Seanan McGuire

The Girl in the Green Silk GownOnce and twice and thrice around,
Put your heart into the ground.
Four and five and six tears shed,
Give your love unto the dead.
Seven shadows on the wall,
Eight have come to watch your fall:
One’s for the gargoyle, one’s for the grave,
And the last is for the one you’ll never save.
For Rose Marshall, death has long since become the only life she really knows.  She’s been sweet sixteen for more than sixty years, hitchhiking her way along the highways and byways of America, sometimes seen as an avenging angel, sometimes seen as a killer in her own right, but always Rose, the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

The man who killed her is still out there, thanks to a crossroads bargain that won’t let him die, and he’s looking for the one who got away.  When Bobby Cross comes back into the picture, there’s going to be hell to pay—possibly literally.

Rose has worked for decades to make a place for herself in the twilight.  Can she defend it, when Bobby Cross comes to take her down?  Can she find a way to navigate the worlds of the living and the dead, and make it home before her hitchhiker’s luck runs out?

There’s only one way to know for sure.

Nine will let you count the cost:
All you had and all you lost.
Ten is more than time can tell,
Cut the cord and ring the bell.
Count eleven, twelve, and then,
Thirteen takes you home again.
One’s for the shadow, one’s for the tree,
And the last is for the blessing of Persephone.

Astonishing legends series about resurrection Mary

(correction The Astonishing Legends series is four parts not three as originally stated)

Weeping Widows

There are many different variations of the weeping widow or white lady legend. The one thing that each legend has in common are: a female ghost which is dressed in white who is seen rural areas associated with some sort of tragedy. The lady in white can also appear during the day in a house in which a family member is soon to die.

Horror Books by Woman that feature a Weeping Widow

There was a Woman: La Lorona from Folklore to Popular Culture by Domino Renee Perez. – Non-fiction book

There was a woman“How is it that there are so many lloronas?” A haunting figure of Mexican oral and literary traditions, La Llorona permeates the consciousness of her folk community. From a ghost who haunts the riverbank to a murderous mother condemned to wander the earth after killing her own children in an act of revenge or grief, the Weeping Woman has evolved within Chican@ imaginations across centuries, yet no truly comprehensive examination of her impact existed until now. Tracing La Llorona from ancient oral tradition to her appearance in contemporary material culture, There Was a Woman delves into the intriguing transformations of this provocative icon.

From La Llorona’s roots in legend to the revisions of her story and her exaltation as a symbol of resistance, Domino Renee Perez illuminates her many permutations as seductress, hag, demon, or pitiful woman. Perez draws on more than two hundred artifacts to provide vivid representations of the ways in which these perceived identities are woven from abstract notions–such as morality or nationalism–and from concrete, often misunderstood concepts from advertising to television and literature. The result is a rich and intricate survey of a powerful figure who continues to be reconfigured.

The Women in Black By Susan Hill

The Women in BlackWhat real reader does not yearn, somewhere in the recesses of his or her heart, for a really literate, first-class thriller–one that chills the body, but warms the soul with plot, perception, and language at once astute and vivid? In other words, a ghost story written by Jane Austen?

Alas, we cannot give you Austen, but Susan Hill’s remarkable Woman In Black comes as close as our era can provide. Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north from London to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. The routine formalities he anticipates give way to a tumble of events and secrets more sinister and terrifying than any nightmare: the rocking chair in the deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and most dreadfully–and for Kipps most tragically–The Woman In Black.

The Woman In Black is both a brilliant exercise in atmosphere and controlled horror and a delicious spine-tingler–proof positive that this neglected genre, the ghost story, isn’t dead after all.

La Llorona The Movie

I found the trailer for the movie and it looks amazing. It is being released April 19th, 2019.

Currently Reading

Love for Slaughter by Sara Tantlinger

Love for slaughterThis debut collection of poetry from Sara Tantlinger takes a dark look at all the horrors of love, the pleasures of flesh, and the lust for blood. For discerning fans of romance and the macabre, look no further than Love For Slaughter.




(link to LOHF review will be added once it is published)

The Maiden Voyages and Other Departures By Jessica McHugh

The Maiden VoyagesCrank up your respirator, strap on your goggles, and hide your antennae from the humans, because it’s dangerous being a hybrid in 1912. Starting with the launch of a pollen-powered ship called the RMS Titanic, The Maiden Voyage & Other Departures explores six tales of a historic alternate world poisoned by warring industries and populated by spectacular beings. Take jellyglass elevators to secret labs and bondage parlors where assassins and aviators, debutantes and corpse-snatching spiders wait to reap the honey of a dying planet.

From the dark and wild mind behind The Green Kangaroos and Home Birth, Jessica McHugh’s debut collection invites you to embark on journey into a spectacular world where the future lies in the minds of freaks and the forgotten.

(link to the LOHF review will be added once it is published)

Recently Finished

The Rust Maidens By Gwendolyn Kiste

rustmaidensSomething’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh.

As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of “the Rust Maidens” in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what’s happening or why—except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they’re telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart.

Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.

(link to the LOHF review will be included once it is published)

The Twin Lakes: Autumn Fire By Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

Twin Lakes- The Autumn FiresA campfire in the distance should be a relief to a victim on the run, but instead, it signals darkness and the doorway to evil….

When Liz accepts a ride from a stranger, she ultimately becomes the victim of a heinous crime. After fighting off her attacker, she stumbles towards a campfire in the distance and onto the scene of a violent murder. The terror of discovering a decapitated young woman is only the beginning, as when the shadows begin to move, she finds that this new killer has set his sights on her. He wants her to share in an autumn fire.

Meanwhile local law enforcement, along with a secret group of town founders, are working to solve the murders and end to the autumn fires. Can they stop the perpetrator in time before he gets to Liz? The ancestors have centuries of wisdom on their side, and yet, will it be enough to stop a murderer calling upon the power of demons to guide him? After generations of hiding, will their identity be revealed to the unsuspecting citizens of Twin Lakes?

From the Bram Stoker nominated authors of Mayan Blue comes a new tale woven to introduce you to the creepiest of towns. For fans of Twin Peaks, Wayward Pines, or the new Castle Rock, this one is sure to draw you in.

Click here to read the full review on The Misadventures of a Reader

New Releases for Oct 16th through Oct 31st

They Come from the Shadows | Kira McKinney | Oct. 15 |

Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein| Ed. David Thomas Moore | Oct. 16|

Riddance: Or the Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children | Shelley Jackson | Oct. 16 |

Stranded | Renee Miller | Oct. 16 |

Garden of Eldritch Delights | Lucy A. Snyder | Oct. 18 |

The Meadows | London Clarke | Oct. 19 |

The House of Frozen Screams | Thana Niveau | Oct. 20

The 13: Tales of the Macabre | Stephanie Ayers | Oct. 26 |

Pluck | Emilia S. Morrow | Oct. 28 |

Deadlands: Boneyard | Seanan McGuire | Oct. 30 |

Death O’ Death | Ellie Douglas | Oct. 31 |

Double (The Urban Legends Series) | R.S. Broadhead | Oct. 31st |

New release I am looking forward to:

Garden of Eldritch Delights by Lucy A. Synder

Garden of Eldritch delightsMaster short story author Lucy A. Snyder is back with a dozen chilling, thought-provoking tales of Lovecraftian horror, dark science fiction, and weird fantasy. Her previous two collections received Bram Stoker Awards and this one offers the same high-caliber, trope-twisting prose. Snyder effortlessly creates memorable monsters, richly imagined worlds and diverse, unforgettable characters.

Open this book and you’ll find a garden of stories as dark and heady as black roses that will delight fans of complex, intelligent speculative fiction.


Nicole May was the winner of the 1000 follower giveaway on Instagram. She won a Penguin Horror Classic edition of The Haunting of Hill House and a copy of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

Rebecca Read Along: Just a reminder the LOHF are going to be kicking off their read along of Rebecca starting Nov 4th.

Nov 4th through the 10th we are going to be reading chapters 1-8th on the 11th we are going to be posting some discussion questions along with our personal answers.

Nov 11th – 17th we are going to be reading chapters 9-15th with another discussion day on the 18th.

Make sure to use the #LOHFRebecca on your social media posts. We want to read and see your thoughts about the book.

Banshee Reads: You’ve probably heard some of the LOHF members talk about the weekly book club that we participate in. It’s been going on for a few months now, and we love doing it. We decided to open it up twice a month to help promote women horror writers by creating buzz for their soon-to-be-released books. Please email us at ladiesofhorrorfiction@gmail.com if you want more information.

Horror Community News

Journalstone Bi-Monthly Box: Journalstone is taking a negative and making it a positive after the dumpster fire of the Nocturnal Readers Box. They are going to be offering a Bi-Monthly subscription box called Twitter Stone. https://twitterstone.com. The cost is 38.95 every two months.

If you would like to reach out to the LOHFpodcast, our email address is LOHFPod@gmail.com. We would love to hear about new releases, news in the community, and suggestions for the podcast. You can find out more about the members of the Ladies of Horror Fiction via our website at www.ladiesofhorrorfiction.com.

The music for this episode is by Nicolas Gasparini at thedarkpiano.com

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