Archive for the ‘Hour of the Beast’ Tag

12 Horror Movies Hollywood SHOULD remake.   1 comment

By C. Michael Forsyth

I find the unending stream of movie remakes depressing. It’s a kind of self-cannibalization that generally signals a culture is entering its death throes.

Typically, Hollywood remakes movies that were perfectly executed the first time, like “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and the remakes tend to be inferior. The most unnecessary was the shot-for-shot remake of “Psycho” with Vince Vaughan standing in for Anthony Perkins (who was far better suited for the role).

A remake of “Carrie”  (1976) came out in 2020 – despite the movie already having been remade in 2002 and 2013. And although director Sam Raimi remade “The Evil Dead” (1981) with a better script and higher budget as “The Evil Dead 2″ a remake came out in 2013.

The trend will continue as long as producers feel the public doesn’t care much about originality and that they can cash in on name recognition. But what if remakes were chosen for artistic reasons? Why not pick movies that perhaps had a good premise but didn’t turn out as well as they might have due to low-budgets, poor scripting or primitive special effects?

Attack of the Killer Shrews

For example,  “The Killer Shrews” (1959) is ranked among the silliest ever made, but the premise is pretty good. A scientist experimenting on shrews on a remote island causes the voracious creatures – which consume three times their body weight each day – to become huge. That plunges a band of humans stranded on the island into a desperate fight for survival. There’s plenty of conflict between the besieged protagonists and the way they finally escape their predicament is nifty. The movie’s main flaw is that due to budget constraints the shrews were portrayed by collies in masks! In 2016, it was remade as a comedy horror flick, “Attack of the Killer Shrews.”

Here are a dozen other movies that SHOULD be remade.

Due to budget limitations, collies in masks portrayed the giant shrews.

Due to budget limitations, collies in masks portrayed the giant shrews.


Giant ants threatened mankind in "Them."

Giant ants threaten mankind in “Them.”

“Them” (1954) — In this flick, radiation spawns ants bigger than elephants in the New Mexico desert, courtesy of A-bomb testing. A strong performance by James Whitmore as a small town cop pitted against the enormous insects helps make this one of the best giant monster movies ever made. The special effects were impressive at the time, but imagine what could be done today.


Giant monster wreaks havoc in London in “Gorgo.”

“Gorgo” (1961) – A Nessie-type monster is captured off the coast of Ireland and put on display by circus owners in London. The surprise ending, as well as the relationship between Gorgo and a young Irish lad, are quite touching. However, as in “Godzilla,” a man in a lizard suit portrays the monster – the best that could be done at the time.

Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula

GIT OUT OF TOWN BY SUNRISE: “Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula”

“Billy the Kid Versus Dracula” (1966) – One of the most laughable movie titles of all time. But the premise has potential. We’ve seen how well the cowboy and sci-fi genres blended in “Cowboys & Aliens.” Why NOT have this iconic outlaw, who still fascinates historians – go mano-a-mano against the king of the vampires? (A better title might be in order, though).

Temptation in "Gargoyles."

Winged menace hits on Jennifer Salt in in “Gargoyles.”

“Gargoyles” (1972) – In this made-for-TV movie, it turns out that those statues that adorn cathedrals depict creatures that really exist — mankind’s most ancient enemy. An anthropologist and his daughter must defeat the winged humanoids before their brood of eggs hatch and they plague the world again. Cornel Wilde as the aging but still virile professor makes a splendid hero. And a young, hunky Scott Glenn as a long-haired biker made my big sister’s heart flutter when the TV movie aired. Although the makeup that transformed Bernie Casey into a gargoyle was convincing, the flight sequences were not. Now 21st century special effects could create a terrifying squadron of the gargoyles.

BAD VERSUS WORSE: Gabriel Byrne as a Nazi soldier battles an ancient entity.

BAD VERSUS WORSE: Gabriel Byrne as a Nazi soldier battles an ancient entity in “The Keep.”

“The Keep” (1983) – When I read the book by F. Paul Wilson long ago, I found the premise mind-blowing. During World War II a troop of Nazi soldiers takes refuge in a crumbling fortress – unaware that imprisoned in its bowels is an ancient being far more dangerous than they are. Despite a stellar cast including Ian McKellen and Gabriel Byrne, the movie was a critical flop. Hollywood ought to take another crack at the evil vs. eviler story.

Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter

Swashbuckling hero takes a break from vampire-slaying in “Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter.”

“Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter” (1974) – The title character is a master swordsman and former soldier who travels the countryside slaying bloodsuckers with the aide of his sidekick, a hunchbacked professor. I love the premise that there are different species of vampires, each with its own powers and vulnerabilities. The vampire Captain Kronos encounters this time can’t be killed with wooden stakes. There is an element of mystery in addition to horror and action, since Kronos and the professor must figure out both who the vampire is and how to destroy him. My only complaint is that Horst Janson as Kronos is a bit wooden. A better actor could make for a rousing remake.

Van Helsing bore little resemblence to the old doctor in "Dracula."

“Van Helsing” hero bore little resemblence to the old doctor in Dracula.

“Van Helsing” (2004) – Normally, I hate remakes of recent movies, as in the case of the 2008 remake of the 2003 “The Incredible Hulk.” And I enjoyed this supernatural adventure, especially the scene where vampire harpies buzz terrified villagers. But the Clint Eastwood-type hero played by Hugh Jackman bears virtually no resemblance to the cerebral Dutch professor Abraham Van Helsing as we know him from Dracula. The steampunk, gadget-using cowboy actually is more like the hero of “The Wild, Wild West.” In fact, if you changed the name of the protagonist, you could just as easily have titled the movie “James West.” Why not a version featuring a young medical student Dr. Van Helsing based on Bram Stoker’s character, encountering the supernatural for the first time?

Too close for comfort. Rosey Grier and Ray Milland reluctantly share a body in the Thing with Two Heads.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: Rosey Grier and Ray Milland reluctantly share a body in the “Thing with Two Heads.”

“The Thing with Two Heads” (1972) – A dying racist millionaire arranges for his head to be surgically implanted on the body of a black man, in this misbegotten attempt to cross the blaxploitation and mad scientist genres. Oscar-winning screen legend Ray Milland humiliates himself spectacularly as the old bigot hitching a ride on Rosey Greer’s bulky body. But what if you remade this turkey as an all-out comedy? I’d love to see Kelsey Grammer as a snooty one-percenter forced to share shoulders with wisecracking Chris Rock.

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers haunt New York Sewers in "C.H.U.D."

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers haunt New York sewers in “C.H.U.D.”

“C.H.U.D.” (1984) — Beneath the streets of New York City lurk Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers — homeless people living in the sewers who’ve been mutated by toxic waste into hideous, flesh-eating creatures. Having exhausted the supply of sewer workers, they’re now surfacing through manholes to feed on ordinary New Yorkers. The movie suffers because more screen time is spent on authorities covering up the crisis than on the monsters themselves. And when the C.H.U.D. do show up the makeup is cheesy. But it’s a great idea, given all the urban legends involving the labyrinthine tunnels, and with good monsters, a remake could be really frightening.

The Brain that Wouldn't Die

Heroine finds herself in over her head in “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.”

“The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” (1962) — A scientist develops a means of keeping body parts alive. He finds a practical application for the breakthrough when his fiancée is decapitated in a car wreck. The lovesick scientist rushes her head to his laboratory, where he manages to keep it alive — and quite talkative — in a liquid-filled tray. Now all he needs is an attractive new body to attach to his sweetheart’s head. As the unhinged doc cruises bars for a suitable specimen, his fiancée goes a bit batty herself, communicating telepathically with a hideous experiment-gone-wrong locked in the laboratory cell. It’s all pretty crazy. So crazy it just might work, as a gory black comedy along the lines of “Re-animator.” (Imagine acid-tongued comedian Sarah Silverman as the nagging head).

"The Vulture"

Terror swoops from above in “The Vulture.”

“The Vulture” (1967) — I remember being scared out of my wits by this film about a half-man, half-vulture creature terrorizing people in a Cornish village. The townsfolk fear it is the vengeful incarnation of a sailor their ancestors buried alive with his pet vulture. However, I was 8 years old at the time. In retrospect, the special effects were awful and the “scientific” explanation revealed at the end is absurd. Still, vulture claws are among God’s scariest creations and, with a decent script and effects, you could scare the bejesus out of an audience.

MATHILDA MAY is a psychic vampire from outerspace in "Lifeforce."

MATHILDA MAY is a psychic vampire from outerspace in “Lifeforce.”

“LIFEFORCE” (1985) — While scouting Haley’s Comet, astronauts find a spaceship that contains the bodies of three human-like aliens in suspended animation. They bring the specimens aboard their ship for scientific study, but the specimens turn out to be vampires that drain psychic energy rather than blood from their victims. They overcome the spacemen and escape to Earth, where they unleash a vampire plague in London. Unfortunately, the movie is slow-paced and unexciting. And Steve Railsback — straight off a riveting performance as Charles Manson in “Helter Skelter” — is surprisingly bland as the surviving astronaut racing to stop the epidemic. I’d like to see a version of the space-vampire flick that doesn’t suck.



Vampires run amok in a women’s prison in the gorgeously illustrated, 80-page graphic novel Night Cage. When a newly made vampire is sentenced to an escape-proof, underground slammer, she quickly begins to spread the contagion.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

Of course, sometimes creative folks get it right the first time. The author of this article wrote the sexy and scary novel Hour of the Beast.

Check out HOUR OF THE BEAST by clicking HERE.

Church Ladies Possessed By Ghost of Town Floozy!   Leave a comment

POSSESSED? Four of the seven church ladies in this photo claim to have been forced to perform unnatural acts by a vengeful ghost. Their faces have been blurred to protect their privacy.

By C. Michael Forsyth

FAIRFIELD, Conn — Four devout church-going women say they are being hounded by the ghost of the neighborhood tramp they drove her death — claiming that she commandeers their bodies and forces them to engage in humiliating sex acts!

When possessed by the spirit of Brigett Hathwerd, the barmaid they ran out of town in 2008, the normally prim and proper church ladies squeeze into tight clothing, apply garish makeup and seek out reckless escapades with strangers. Halloween night is always the worst, and this October 31 was no exception.

“The next morning I woke up in the alley behind a biker bar draped over an overturned garbage can – completely naked,” confided one victim who wished to be identified by her initials C.L. “Every intimate area of my body was sore and my mouth had a disgusting taste in it. I have no recollection of what happened. But now when I walk on the street or shop for groceries, random men with tattoos will grin and wave as if they know me.

“I feel so ashamed. This is a nightmare.”

The odd supernatural saga began in the summer of 2008 when Brigett started to attend the women’s church.

“You could see what she was as soon as you laid eyes on her,” says a second victim, 36-year-old K.R. “The shameless way she dressed, with her bosom all out, the way she walked and the way men looked at her – including the married ones. They flirted with her and it was quite obvious she loved the attention.”

SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK: Sexy barmaid Brigett Hathwerd perished in a 2008 car wreck.

Within a few months, rumors began to circulate that the pretty 23-year-old brunette was having affairs with two married men in the church. Incensed, their spouses went to the preacher’s wife – who also suspected the vixen had her claws in her mate.

“We formed a little ‘committee’ and the four of us met over tea,” recalls C.L., 31. “We agreed that we needed to perform an ‘intervention.’ Late one evening, we confronted Brigett at her little trailer home. We said that we knew the kind of person she was and told her in no uncertain terms that we wanted her to leave town. I said that we had evidence that she had received cash gifts from one of the men and she could easily be brought up on prostitution charges.

“My exact words were, ‘You know, we can make things very unpleasant for you. Everything would be in the newspapers. The editor of the local paper is a dear friend.’

“She started to cry and was red in the face, which surprised me because you’d never think that little tart could feel shame. She started stuffing clothes in a suitcase, much to our delight.”

On Halloween night 2008, Brigett sped away from town – and blinded by rain, collided with another vehicle. She succumbed to her injuries in a hospital less than an hour after the wreck.

TOTALLED: Horrific aftermath of collision that killed Brigett Hathwerd.

The troubled young woman’s life had come to a tragic end, but her tormentors’ woes were just beginning.

Reverend James Sedbrook says that three years later to the day on October 31, 2011, his wife Carol – the only victim who agreed that her name appear in print — began to display strange behavior.

“We don’t believe in Halloween, so I was quite surprised to see my wife come into the living room in a very inappropriate maid costume. It showed a shocking amount of cleavage and most of her backside was exposed. She was wearing bright red lipstick and popping bubblegum like a streetwalker in a B movie. But it was her expression that troubled me the most – it just didn’t look like my Carol. Her eyes twinkled in this mischievous way and the smile on those lips was so wicked.

“Well, at first I thought she was just pulling a joke in the spirit of Halloween and I asked what was going on. Then she spoke and her voice wasn’t Carol’s. It was very sultry and familiar somehow, though at first I couldn’t place it. She said, ‘I’m going trick or treating. Maybe I’ll treat some tricks.’ And she giggled.

“Concerned, I told her, ‘I command you as your husband not to go out that door.’ She just smirked, turned around and left the house. As she strutted off, I saw how her bottom was wiggling and I recognized who this being was. My blood ran cold.”

At the very same moment, the husband of the fourth woman, 42-year-old D.W., was experiencing something eerily similar.

“My wife, who has always been very conservative, suddenly began asking for some very unnatural things from me in the bedroom, things no Christian woman would frankly even think of,” he reveals. “I reluctantly complied. The whole night, filth came spewing out of her mouth, I mean cusses that would make a sailor blush. The next morning she apologized with tears in her eyes, saying she didn’t know what came over her. This kept happening about once a week, no matter how hard she prayed or tried to resist. After three months, I knew we needed help and I contacted Rev. Sedbrook.”

THE HOUSE OF THE LORD has become the setting for troubling events, according to a preacher in the peaceful New England town of Fairfield, Conn.

Given what was happening under his own roof, and similar pleas for help from the other couples, it didn’t take the preacher long to put two and two together. He contacted a fellow clergyman experienced in exorcism, hoping to dispel the spirit of the town tramp. But the exorcist’s efforts fell flat.

“When I ordered the evil spirit to leave Carol’s body in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, she just laughed in my face,” says the Reverend Toby Lasbender. “To my horror, she dropped to her knees with a lascivious leer and tried to pull down my pants.”

The ministers are so desperate that last month, they called in a paranormal investigator for assistance.

Surprisingly, Dr. Dan Greavesby of the prestigious New Jersey Institute for Paranormal Research is not yet convinced the supernatural is at work.

“A disembodied human spirit does not have the power of bilocation – in layman’s terms, a ghost can’t be in two places at once, as the late Brigett Hathwerd supposedly has been,” the expert explained.

“This leads me to suspect that we are dealing with a rather typical case of mass hysteria. These victims undoubtedly blame themselves for Brigett’s death. Their subconscious minds may have created this vengeful ‘ghost’ to punish them.”

“Could it be….?” The beloved church lady portrayed by Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live might have an idea who’s responsible for the possessions.

If you enjoyed this mind-bending story by C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

Bizarre News Cover 5.

A TRIFLE INSECURE? Daniel Craig as 007 walks softly and carries a big gun.

In honor of the opening of “Skyfall,” I’ve put together this little Bond quiz. Test your knowledge about 007 and the actors who’ve portrayed him. The first person to answer all 10 questions correctly in the comments section will win 2 free Hour of the Beast T-shirts:

1) In what movie does Bond sing?

2) Bond cries in the movie _____________?

3) In which movie does Bond dress as a clown?

4) Match the 007 actors to the legendary actresses they wooed in non-Bond movies: Lana Turner, Mae West, Merle Oberon.

5) In “You Only Live Twice,” Sean Connery adopts what unlikely disguise?

6) Name three actors from the TV spy series “The Avengers” and the Bond films in which they appear.

7) The title of “Licence to Kill” is unique among Bond flicks because…

8) In what film does 007 first bed a black Bond girl?

9) What is the Bond family motto?

10) In which movie does Bond die?

PS: Leave your email address in your comment so we can get those T-shirts to you.

The author of this article also penned the highly acclaimed horror novel “Hour of the Beast.” Hour of the Beast is available in hardcover and softcover at But you can save $4 by clicking HERE! The Kindle version is just $7 and the Ebook is a measly $5. Be the first on your block to read this bone-chilling tale — before the movie comes out.


Halloween is almost upon us and you STILL haven’t picked up a gift for that special someone? Don’t panic. There’s still time to purchase the critically acclaimed novel Hour of the Beast for four bucks off the price AND receive the awesome poster of the cover art free! What better way to spend Halloween night than snuggled under the covers with a good book? Hurry! Special offer is good only through October 31.


Read Chapter 1 and 2 below for FREE!



The treacherous full moon darted through the clouds, sometimes fully illuminating the onrushing road and sometimes casting it into blackness.

Jeff was putting the pedal to the metal, trying to make up for lost time. So their lime-green Taurus barreled ahead, fearlessly plunging over hills, around bends, and into one pool of darkness after another.  As they swerved around one particularly hair-raising bend, Elaine braced herself and let out an involuntary yelp of terror.

“Slow down! You can’t see what’s up ahead,” she pleaded.

“One driver to a car. I believe that’s one of our family rules, isn’t it?”

Jeff didn’t exactly snap at her, but he adopted that stern, I’m-the-man tone he employed on occasion to inform her that a conversation was over.

She knew well enough that being told how to drive was one of his pet peeves, and so she’d held her tongue for the past 20 minutes. But he was really scaring her now, twisting and turning through this unfamiliar, serpentine road hemmed in by dense pines.

On top of that, she really, REALLY had to pee — and no way was she going to ask her new husband to pull over for a rush into these murky, uninviting woods.

In a sense, of course, she was to blame, because she had been the one who was late for the ceremony. This was the bride’s prerogative, her maid of honor had assured her. But delays had piled on, one on top of another. The band showed up late, and then her Uncle Jack (AKA Mr. Amateur Shutterbug), insisted on taking his own “artsy” shots of every single pose the wedding photographer set up. As a result, they said their goodbyes and left the reception two hours late. So instead of taking a leisurely ride up to the lodge in New Hampshire in broad daylight, they enjoyed only a brief spell of gold sky at sunset. The rest of the trip had been under this fickle moon.

The honeymoon spot would be idyllic, swore her maid of honor, who had indulged in carnal delights of epic proportions in its valentine-shaped Jacuzzi with her boyfriend a couple of years back. A remote clutch of cozy log cabins by a lake, each with its own fireplace, Elaine’s friend had described it.

The romantic drive north through the New England countryside as the leaves turned was supposed to have been a prelude to an unforgettable wedding night. Instead, it was this wild ride through the dark, at once monotonous and unnerving.
Elaine didn’t know why, but an ineffable sense of melancholy came over her and she began to cry. Jeff reached over, stroking her hair with the back of his hand.

“I’m sorry,” he said and flashed his signature Tom Cruise grin. Somehow he always knew how to make things right again. When Jeff was around, you always knew that things would be okay.

It sprang in front of the car — and before Elaine could get a syllable of warning out of her mouth, they hit it dead on.

“Oh God!!” she shrieked, bouncing up and down like an excited child.

There was the awful bumping sound of the body tumbling over the roof of the car. Jeff hit the brakes hard and the car skidded, did a 180 and spun off onto the shoulder.

It had been the biggest dog she’d ever seen, nearly the size of a colt. It must have been a… a… what was that breed that looked like an oversized German shepherd? A mastiff?

“Are you all right?” Jeff was saying. He’d been repeating the question for a few seconds, shaking her. His words only now registered.

Her heart pounded like the proverbial jackhammer, and she felt a burning pain in her chest. Had she suffered a heart attack? No, she realized, it was where the shoulder harness had bitten into her. Elaine nodded. Her swimming head ached faintly, too. She wondered if she had thumped it on the dashboard, although she had no recollection of having done so.

“I better see if he’s all right,” her husband said gravely.

“Are you sure? It might panic and bite you.”


“The dog, if it’s alive.”

Jeff’s brow furrowed, and he looked puzzled.

“Must be the shock. No, hon, it’s a man. A stark-naked old man. He practically jumped right out in front of the car.”

“No, no, no. It was dog, a big one, like a Saint Bernard but taller.”

Jeff looked at her as if she was crazy, then released his shoulder harness.

“Either way, I’ll take a look. Even if it’s someone’s dog, we can’t leave it lying in the road.”

“The hell we can’t,” Elaine replied. “You’re not getting out of this car!”

Jeff flicked on the dome light.

“Look in the glove compartment. I think there’s a flashlight,” he commanded. Elaine hesitated.

“Come on, come on,” he persisted.

She popped open the glove compartment and, frowning dubiously, passed him the heavy-duty black flashlight. He flicked the light on and off and back on, testing it as if trying to buy a moment’s time. Then he swung open the door, and Elaine shivered at the rush of frost.

“Wait,” she said. Everything was happening so fast; she needed time to think. Jeff turned back to her.

“What, honey?”

“This is so strange. Maybe we ought drive to a gas station and call for help.”

“Now come on, be reasonable. You know we can’t do that. The poor bastard could be bleeding to death.”

He climbed out and hunched down, pointing the light ahead, and squinted into the distance. Jeff looked handsome and heroic in his tux, with his jet-black hair and square jaw line. The moon was creeping out from the clouds now, but seeing ahead was no easier. Jeff’s flashlight couldn’t penetrate the dense fog enshrouding the road.

The car’s headlights were still on, but did little to add to the illumination. In fact they generated a blinding haze. Jeff hesitated and in that instant, Elaine knew that he, too, was afraid.

“Kind of like something out of Chiller Theater, right?” he said with a weak chuckle.

Elaine realized that the absolute last thing her new husband wanted to do at that moment was walk down that road, and he was forcing himself to do it by sheer will power.

“Lock the doors,” he told her. “Just my luck the guy is some kind of escaped nut, not an old-timer who wandered off from a nursing home. Running around naked in 30-degree weather! Yeesh!”

He slammed the door shut and she hit the power locks.

Jeff started walking gingerly toward the approximate spot of the collision, probing the gloom with his pinpoint of light.

“Hello! Hello! Are you all right?” He vanished into the glare and the fog.

The former Elaine Morgan, now Elaine Stern, turned off the dome light and used her fist to wipe away frost to see through the windshield. She could make out the beam of her husband’s flashlight dancing in the fog an extraordinary distance away.

Moments passed and instead of her heart settling down, it began to pump furiously. The radio was still on, tuned to an oldies station and playing Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.”

Right. As if the situation isn’t eerie enough already. She was getting seriously antsy now.
Well, I’m not just going to sit here like some bimbo, Elaine decided. She scooted over into the driver’s seat, wrestling with her white taffeta wedding dress. Her six-inch heel found the brake and she threw the car into drive, figuring to creep forward and maybe cast the headlights onto the road so Jeff could see what he was doing.

Then came a scream. No, to call it a scream was to dignify it. It was a shriek, a shriek of sheer terror as high-pitched as a she-goat’s at the moment of slaughter. But it wasn’t a goat — it was her husband’s voice, still recognizable though contorted with agony and fear.

“No! Noooooo! Oh, please! Oh God! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”

Elaine began to scream, too, in helpless panic. “Jeff, Jeff!”

A slash of crimson splashed across the windshield, as if a bucket of blood had been hurled at it haphazardly. She recoiled, burying the back of her head against the headrest.

Something the size of a soccer ball bounced on the hood of the car and spun around. Suddenly Jeff’s face was staring at her through the windshield, drenched in blood and eyes wide open. His open mouth puckered up against the glass.

It was his face and nothing else. His head had been swiped cleanly off his body. No, not cleanly. There were jagged ribbons of bloody flesh dangling like strips of confetti from his throat.

Elaine’s screams hit the high octaves now, raw screams of disbelieving horror. An ax hadn’t taken off Jeff’s head. It had been savagely ripped off like a slice of bologna torn by hand. And suddenly, the hand that had taken off her husband’s head was there.

A hand, covered with coarse brown fur and ending in cruel, curving talons, swiped the head away so it rolled off the hood of the car. The head landed with a sickening thump like a spoiled pumpkin. Then the hand — the paw – twice the breadth of a man’s, flattened against the glass.

It balled into a fist and Elaine knew that in half a second it was going to come crashing through the windshield for her.
Go! Go! GO! a tiny voice screeched deep inside her head.

Her hands and feet took over, slamming the car into reverse while stomping the accelerator. The thing on the hood tumbled off as she hurtled backward.

A bear! Not a dog, a bear, she thought as she pictured that huge paw against the glass.

Staring straight ahead through the windshield, she could see it rise up, seemingly unhurt. But, of course, it wouldn’t be hurt by the spill. The Thing had already taken the full brunt of the car ramming it at 70 M.P.H., hadn’t it?

Silhouetted in the glare of the headlights, it stood upright in the general shape of a man but with shoulders as broad as a bull’s and a colossal head, much too big to be human. It bounded toward her with preternatural speed, jerkily, like an actor in a silent movie.

No, not a bear — not any animal of this world. Elaine was flying in reverse at better than 80 M.P.H. but The Thing was keeping up, effortlessly, like a fit jogger on a morning run, coming after her to do exactly what it had just done to Jeff. Jeff, who a scant three hours ago had been holding her in his arms as they danced to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable.”

Have to, have to turn around, Elaine said to herself. Her thoughts were now pared down to such staccato bursts. Between the tears cascading from her eyes and the oppressive fog, she was half-blind.

She wrenched the steering wheel clockwise, hand over hand, trying to make a U-turn. The car spun, screeching, and pitched up onto two wheels.

Black. Black. Black.

When Elaine opened her eyes, all was tranquil and she was leaning against the car door. There was no sound but the serenade of cicadas. She groaned.

The car was in a ditch at a 45-degree angle, lying on the driver’s side, the smoking hood crumpled against a tree. The back window had shattered and even the radio was dead. For a moment everything was still and Elaine sensed that she was waking up from a nightmare.

I must have fallen asleep at the wheel, she reasoned. Of course, yes, the wedding is tomorrow. I fell asleep on the drive to Mom’s. Her groggy brain sought to reassemble reality.

But, like Humpty Dumpty, her world could not be put back together. No. She was in her wedding dress, and looking at her hand, she could see she was wearing a wedding ring. And on the windshield was that awful slash of crimson.
Oh, Jeff! My Jeff!

Their two years together came rushing back: Eating pizza together on his living room couch; the passionate quarrels; going to her first hockey game and yelling her head off even though she was clueless about the rules; making love into the wee hours.

A hand — THE HEAD-RIPPING HAND — smashed through the passenger window, sending shards of glass flying everywhere as it reached greedily for her.

Elaine squealed and launched herself into the back seat as the massive, shaggy form crowded through the window, a long and ape-like arm clutching for her. As the huge, stinking beast poured into the car, she clambered over the back seat and squirmed out of the shattered rear window.

“Eeeh-aaaaw!” It bellowed like a mule. It wasn’t a howling sound at all, she noted. Surprised — because by now she had a pretty good idea what it was.

She crawled out on the trunk on her hands and knees, bloodying her hands on broken glass. Then she felt something stop her.
The Thing had snatched her wedding gown and was reeling her back in like a fisherman drawing in his net. She felt herself being sucked back toward death.

This was one of those dresses with a detachable train — another suggestion from her maid of honor. But Elaine, tipsy on champagne, had danced in her full dress all afternoon. Her trembling hands clawed behind her, found the snaps, and detached the train.

The bottom of the dress flew off, flapping like a ship’s sail in the wind. She was free!

A moment later, Elaine was blindly running along the ditch, freezing in the icy air, her stiletto heels stumbling over stones. The moon was hiding again, making it too dark to see in the gully. So she scrambled out by grabbing fistfuls of grass and dirt. She kicked off her shoes, then bolted headlong along the road, screaming at the top of her lungs. She and

Jeff had passed a few cars on the road earlier, hadn’t they?

“Help! Help! Someone help me!”

But there wasn’t a car in sight. Not another soul for miles. No human soul. She heard sounds close behind her, terrifyingly close –- The Thing’s rasping breath and its padded feet scuffing the asphalt. In desperation, she took refuge in the woods. It was a safe bet that was The Thing’s home, she knew, but there was no other option. Elaine ran through the forest, hopping over fallen trees, and crashing headlong through bushes that scraped at her face and shredded her gown.

In the blackness, she could hear The Thing barreling through the bushes behind her like an elephant. You can’t outrun something like that, she thought. You can’t even outrun a dog or a bear, can you? Even something natural.

She ran smack into a tree, bloodying her nose. She grabbed the trunk, slid around it and crouched down. Yes, hide, hide, she told herself. You have to hide, like as a hare pursued by a fox.

For a moment, everything was still again. She sank very low, shivering from both cold and terror. Then she could hear it again, making its way stealthily now through the branches, telltale snapping of twigs beneath its hind feet.

Now the moon was coming out again and a shaft of blue light penetrated the canopy of the forest. In that strange faerie light, she could make out its head — almost the size of a stallion’s — about 12 feet away.

She could see its black snout twitching as it tried to sniff her out. An odd bit of trivia jumped out at her, read in a children’s book a lifetime ago: that a dog’s nose is 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s. But how keen was the smell of this Thing, that was not a dog and not a man?
Not a wolf and not a man. A wolf and a man.For now she had little doubt what was stalking her.

She squatted behind the tree unable to move, trembling, her body practically seizing. It took a step toward her, then pointed its twitching, sniffling snout slightly away.

It hesitated. It might move away — granting Elaine a few more moments of life, or it might stride toward her, meaning instant death, torn limb from limb, butchered and beheaded, like Jeff.

That’s when she finally lost control of her bladder. A stream of urine poured out, puddling beneath her. Elaine experienced a peculiar flash of shame at this loss of control over her own body — and then raw panic as she realized the acrid smell or the tinkling might alert The Thing.

The immense head suddenly snapped in her direction.

The moon eased out from behind the clouds. As The Thing came leaping toward her, for one microsecond as it flew through the air she could see it clearly, in all its glory.

Like something out of a comic book, she thought.

It tackled her and she fell back on a muddy hill of leaves, finally free to let out a full-volume scream. It lay crushing her down and she could smell its foul breath — the stench of rotting food mixed with its ghastly body odor, the worst combination of animal and human. She pushed against its chest, burying her fingers in a thick mat of hair, but it was like trying to hold back a tumbling brick wall.

She finally stopped screaming. It would be over in a second she knew. The jaws yawned impossibly wide and came down within an inch of her face.

Elaine muttered feverishly a prayer she hadn’t uttered since the age of 14: “Lord, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”

The moon vanished behind the clouds, casting them again into total darkness.

“I will fear no evil. I will… fear… no… no…”

Silence. Her tongue was finally paralyzed by terror.

The Thing stopped, just lying on top of her like a Saint Bernard shielding an avalanche survivor. It was as if it were waiting for a cue.

As she lay there, panting, reason started to come back, knowing that it could not be what it seemed. A man, a man in a costume, a madman yes, a lunatic who had killed her husband. A nut, just as Jeff had said, a nut in a mask. A hoary, horrible wolf mask and some kind of rubber suit, like that backwoods prankster who impersonated Bigfoot. She lay trembling under the man or monster, whichever it was, waiting for death to come.

Then, sickeningly, she became aware of its male member, nuzzled against her abdomen. Nauseated by this intimacy with her husband’s slayer, her own killer-to-be, she tried to wriggle away but she was pinned down firmly.

And now she could feel its shaft stiffening.

The Thing purred — a soft, almost human moan — and to her supreme horror, she realized what was coming next. The phrase “a fate worse than death” came to her mind, and now, for the first time in her life, she understood it clearly. For she would rather die and be sent to be with Jeff right now than THAT.

“Oh, God no!” Elaine screamed and struck the massive chest with a fist. It was like punching a suit of armor. She crossed her ankles and locked her legs together. No way was that going to happen. Better to be, to be ripped apart, yes, shredded by those sickle-like claws, than that!

“No, you fucking DON’T!” Elaine shouted.

But with one swift swipe of its shaggy arm, The Thing flipped the bride onto her belly and she felt sharp leaves raking her face.

Powerful hands grabbed her hips and hoisted them up, forcing her buttocks to jut obscenely in the air. In a split second, her wedding dress and slip were bunched up at her waist.

R…I…PPPPP! Cruel talons raked away her lacy white Victoria’s Secret thong, leaving her naked below the waist.

Elaine scurried away on her hands and knees, but The Thing yanked her back, slamming her upraised, fully exposed backside against its groin.

Her face buried in the leaves, she screamed into the earth as the creature from the woods ferociously plowed into her.
Its hairy haunches slammed into her rump again and again as it frantically pumped her.


The sound filled her with disgust. And with every thrust she bucked forward, letting out a gasp of pain that sounded lewd and shameful to her own ears.

The worst part of it was not the indescribable physical agony, nor was it the degradation of being taken by something part animal. It was the certain knowledge that she would never, ever, be able to tell anyone about this no matter how long she lived — and the loneliness that she inherited at that moment.

She cried again, for the last time in her life.

It went on for an eternity, the noises sometimes more bestial, sometimes more human. Finally, it let out an unearthly howl, half the cry of an animal and half the bellow of a debased man who had long since lost his soul, releasing a geyser of seed into her. But by then Elaine heard nothing — mercifully, she had long since sunk into unconsciousness.


Elaine Stern bore two sons, twins, but not identical — indeed, different as night and day. Jason, the elder by five minutes, was small and frail and needed glasses by the time he was four. He was fearful of animals, especially big, black dogs. He would literally cling to his mother’s skirt tails and weep if he were separated from her for more than a few moments.

Joshua, on the other hand, was long-haired and wild, always scampering over furniture like a little ape — or, as one neighbor put it more generously, “like baby Tarzan.” His grip was so strong that if he got your index finger in his grasp, you simply could not extricate it, try as you might. No playpen could hold him; toddler gates made him giggle; bookshelves were his ladders.

He didn’t utter a word until the age of three, and the speech therapist who helped to haul him, kicking and screaming every step of the way, into the world of speaking society, marveled that he “had many of the attributes of a feral child.”

Elaine raised her sons with love and devotion, equally, and they never saw the grief in her eyes or understood her strange, interminable bouts of silence.

When the boys were five, Elaine awoke one winter night with a certainty that something was amiss. She tiptoed into their nursery where the two slept in twin beds, surrounded by Disney-themed wallpaper.

Joshua was missing from his bed.

Breaking into a cold sweat, she rushed out and searched the house, running from room to room crying out his name with ever-increasing urgency. Finally, she threw on her parka, grabbed a flashlight, and headed out the back door. It was February and below freezing, less than 23 degrees.

A hundred yards into the woods she ran, dreading what she would find, but all the time knowing what she would find.
There he was, sitting in a clearing, staring up at the moon. She gazed at her son, there in the snow dressed only in footed Spider-Man pajamas.

You would think the mottled gray crescent was speaking to him, he was so transfixed by it. And what secret message was it transmitting?

Oh yes, for a moment, she thought of it: leaving the boy in the snow to freeze to death.
Let the night take you. Perhaps that would be kinder, she thought. They say freezing is an easy death; that you drift off into a gentle sleep abundant in pleasant dreams from which you never awake.

But then a mother’s heart took command. Elaine took off her parka and swept him up in it, then trudged back through the 18-inches of snow to the house.

As she tucked the tot back into the bed, Jason sat up in bed, wide-eyed and curious.

“What’s going on, Mom?” he piped up.

That’s when she told him for the first time, the words she was to drum into him on an almost daily basis for the next 13 years:

“You are the older one; you have to watch out for your brother. You have to protect him because no one else can.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Click HERE to find out!

If you found this story by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his novels…

The creator of Sherlock Holmes and the world's greatest magician probe a paranormal  mystery in new thriller.

The creator of Sherlock Holmes and the world’s greatest magician probe a paranormal mystery in new thriller.

More about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in the Adventure of the Spook House.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.

In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.

Read Hour of the Beast.
The Blood of Titans is a story of love and adventure set in the golden age of Africa.

The Blood of Titans is a story of love and adventure set in the golden age of Africa.

Check out The Blood of Titans.


This beautifully rendered, sexy poster by artist Martin McKenna normally sells for $29.

With Halloween around the corner, you’re racking your brains for the perfect gift for that special someone. Why not get them a copy of the acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast? And we’ll throw in a sumptuous full-color poster featuring the dazzling cover by Martin McKenna FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE. That’s a $29 value!

Just click HERE and order only the book. We’ll mail you the free poster with your purchase. Hurry, this offer is good only for the month of October.

While you’re at the site, you can find a synopsis and hear the entire first chapter read by the author – plus check out the Author page to read the 50 best Weekly World News stories ever written, all without paying a dime. That’s right. Zero, zip, nada.

Horror Fiction Review calls Hour of the Beast a “fast-paced, rip-roaring, action-packed, sexy college romp.” PS: at the site you’ll be snagging your signed copy for $4 OFF the Amazon price. This is like stealing, but legal!


A young bride suffers a fate worse than death at the hands of a werewolf in the explosive opening chapter of the novel Hour of The Beast. The scene of indescribable horror – terrifying, yet powerfully erotic — has been branded shocking, controversial and disturbing. Here, read by the author, is Chapter One of Hour of the Beast.

Click HERE to hear Chapter One read aloud by the author FREE!

Hour of the Beast is available in print, eBook and Kindle formats. To buy the book or learn more, click HERE.

What critics say about Hour of the Beast:

“A fast-paced, rip-roaring, action-packed sexy college romp…A good, meaty read. I give it two thumbs up and a lusty howl at the moon.” – The Horror Fiction Review.

“Very easy to read, very difficult to put down.” — Readers Favorite.

“A new master of the horror genre is upon us! Hour of the Beast is a skillfully woven, gripping story filled with great characters and some stunning plot twists. A fresh, sexy new take on the classic werewolf story.” — John J. Stevens, author of Fire Island.

“Move over, Stephen King!” — The Morning News.


Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time for a fun trivia contest — and the winner will receive a whopping $100!

To collect the prize, all you have to do is correctly answer all 12 questions below about the bone-chilling werewolf book Hour of the Beast. Here we go:

1. What oldies song is playing on the radio while Elaine waits in the car?

2. Peying perches on the potty reading a book by the philosopher________________.

3. The colorful nickname for the mysterious Delta Kappa Delta sorority is _______________________.

4. A replica of what famous statue sits on the campus of Hallerton College?

5. A Latin inscription reading ____________________________is engraved on a building at Hallerton.

6. When Joshua sits in chains, he watches a 1961 gladiator movie about Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Who was the star?

7. The blood of this small mammal is an ingredient in the werewolf-transformation ointment.

8. What is the name of the cafe located in the tunnels beneath the campus?

9. Joshua plays a big football game against a team from which college?

10. Professor Cairo Oldewood lived among the Shuar tribe, AKA the Jivaro, who were once known for what unusual custom?

11. The confessed 16th century werewolf Peter Stubbe was executed on what ordinarily fun holiday?

12. Among the many ghosts said to haunt Hallerton College are a pair of twins, one of whom perished in which well-known tragedy?

Email your answers to using the subject line “Hour of the Beast Contest.” Be sure to include your name in the body of the message. The names of contestants who answer all 12 questions right will be placed in a hat and the winner will be chosen at random.

Employees of Freedom’s Hammer Productions, LLC and its subsidiaries cannot participate in the contest, nor can their relatives.

You can find Hour of the Beast at or, at $4 cheaper by clicking The link at the top of the blogroll at left.

The Horror Fiction Review gives Hour of the Beast "two thumbs up and a lusty howl at the moon."

To order a copy of Hour of the Beast, visit, or to get it at a reduced price, click the link at the top of the blogroll at left. The eBook is a mere $5!


PHOTO purportedly of bizarre catfight appeared in a Romanian newspaper.

PHOTO purportedly of bizarre catfight appeared in a Romanian newspaper.

By C. Michael Forsyth

CRAIOVA, Romania — A crowded biker bar erupted into pandemonium when a vicious catfight broke out between a female werewolf and a lady vampire!

The knock-down, drag-out brawl raged for at least 15 minutes, leaving the Red Boar Tavern in shambles, according to a bizarre news item in the May 31 edition of the People’s Daily Journal.

“There was all the kicking, hair-pulling and clothes-ripping you’d see in an ordinary girl fight,” bartender Claudiu Balescu, 45, was quoted as saying in the Romanian newspaper. “But when these two scratched each other, huge chunks of flesh went flying.

“At one point, the werewolf kicked the vampiress in the belly and she sailed 14 feet through the air and into a rack of wine bottles. The feisty little bloodsucker got up like it was nothing, picked up an old oak table that must have weighed 350 pounds and smashed it right over the werewolf’s head.”

The trouble began a little after 1:30 a.m. at the 70-year old Red Boar, a notorious watering hole for biker gangs, drug-dealers, hired killers and other unsavory characters. About 40 patrons were quietly throwing darts and shooting pool.

“This pretty girl with long black hair was chatting up a young hunk,” Balescu said. “She had an odd, old-fashioned way of talking that I hadn’t heard since my lubit bunica (beloved grandmama) was alive. She was close to talking him into going home with her when this taller girl with the tattoo of a full moon on her arm swaggered over and gave the guy a playful little pat on the rear end.

“The first girl took exception to this. She snarls, ‘Back off, b____, this one’s mine.’ ”

“The tall girl gives a not-so-friendly grin and says, ‘Better watch your tone, girlie. You don’t know who you’re messing with.’ And she gives the other girl a shove.”

“The pretty girl opens her mouth and you see she’s got these gigantic white fangs. Quick as a flash, she takes a bite out of the tall girl’s throat and steps back spitting out a mouthful of gristle.”

“We all thought the tall girl was toast. But the next thing you know, thick black hair started sprouting all over her face and arms.”

As the two women flew at each other, the saloon’s tough-guy patrons all dove for cover.

“Big, burly bruisers who toss cops through windows for fun on a regular basis hid under tables and crowded into the ladies room for safety,” Balescu revealed. “Me and all four bouncers took refuge behind the bar.”

The battling babes resorted to every dirty trick in the book to hurt and humiliate each other. At one point the vampiress ripped the werewolf’s skirt off, according to a three-page, blow-by-blow account in the newspaper.

“When the skirt came off you saw that her legs were covered in coarse black fur like a gorilla,” barmaid Narcisa Dalakis, 28, recalled. “I shouted to her, ‘Honey, you’re in serious need of a bikini wax.’ Well, actually I wished I’d said that, but I was afraid I’d get my arm chewed off.”

The fierce females had both been in their share of bar fights before, if the sophisticated techniques they employed are any indication.

“The wolf girl used a pile-driver to knock the wind out of the vampiress, and got her in a Hungarian leg lock,” revealed another eyewitness, loan shark Stephan Ibanescu. “I bet 150 leus [about $50 U.S.] that the blood-drinker would never escape, but I lost. A couple minutes later the vampire executed a roundhouse kick that would have made Chuck Norris green with envy.”

Police arrived on the scene within eight minutes of the first frantic emergency call, but made no attempt to break up the fight for at least another seven, according to eyewitnesses. The officers have come under fire for failing to intervene more swiftly.

“The cops stood around gawking as the she-creatures wrestled on the floor ripping each other’s underwear off and shrieking curses at each other,” claimed Balescu. “I swear to you, one cop pulled up a stool and actually started popping peanuts in his mouth.”

Police Sergeant Wadim Murgu bristled at the suggestion that he and the six officers under his command behaved in anything less than a professional manner.

“If you’ve ever tried to separate two fighting women, you know the risk of injury to oneself,” he told the paper. “Obviously, in this case the danger was even greater. My first duty is to ensure the safety of my men. I wasn’t about to order them to take action until we fully assessed the situation.”

When Sgt. Murgu finally blew his police whistle and ordered the combatants to surrender, both women crashed through the bar’s plate glass window and escaped.

Sturdy oak furniture had been reduced to kindling and scores of bottles of imported alcohol lay shattered. The owner estimates that he suffered 120,000 leus (the equivalent of $40,000 U.S.) in damages. The two-fisted lady monsters left behind few clues as to their identity or whereabouts.

“We recovered an antique ruby bracelet, remnants of a yellow thong panty with a floral pattern, and tuffs of animal hair which have been taken to the police lab for examination,” said Sgt. Murgu.

“The public can rest assured that we are leaving no stone unturned in our effort to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth


PRISON life becomes even more hellish when a vampire epidemic erupts in a women's prison.

PRISON life becomes even more hellish when a vampire epidemic erupts in a women’s prison.


I’m excited to announce the launch of my first graphic novel, Night Cage! The premise of the horror story is simple: Vampires take over a women’s prison. Just imagine Orange is the New Black meets Salem’s Lot.

The project is being funded through Kickstarter. Folks who jump on the bandwagon will get a boatload of goodies and rewards, ranging from advance copies of the book and exclusive art, posters and T-shirts to a chance to be drawn into the graphic novel as a character!

Please check out the video out HERE, and share the news with all your social media friends!

PRISONERS fight for survival against a bloodthirsty army of the undead in the graphic novel Night Cage.

PRISONERS fight for survival against a bloodthirsty army of the undead in the graphic novel Night Cage.

Give the gift of scary fun this Halloween! This author’s new horror novel Hour of the Beast has been hailed by critics as “gripping,” “unique” and “very difficult to put down.” And the eBook is a measly $5. To order Hour of the Beast or hear Chapter One free, click HERE.

NO LAUGHING MATTER: Convention goers like this giant, sinister clown took their dressing up very seriously.

On the Hour of the Beast front…

My three days at Horrorfind Weekend in Gettysburg, PA Sept. 2 thru 4 were fantastic. Sold more books in a single day than at any other event. Got to hang out with fans and belt out “scaryoke” at the local bar. The celebrity guests included Julian Sands from “Warlock,” “True Blood” bar owner Sam Trammell, Dee Wallace of “The Howling” fame and former wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, who starred in John Carpenter’s paranoid cult classic “They Live.”

One highlight came during the costume contest when a guy decked out as Shaun from “Shaun of the Dead” brandished a cricket bat like the one used to bash zombies in the movie (and autographed by director John Waters, a convention speaker). He used it to whack the booty of obliging MC Dee Wallace.

A COUPLE OF MANLY MEN 2: I was surprised to find I have a couple of inches on legendary tough guy Rowdy Roddy Piper.

DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS:Turns out that many female horror fans -- like this Hour of the Beast reader -- are incredibly hot!


In horror movies, when women are being chased they ALWAYS fall down, as actress Stacie Burmeister ably demonstrates.

By Michael Forsyth

When the Marketing Director of Freedom’s Hammer Books suggested that it would be a terrific idea for me to create a YouTube video to promote my new horror novel Hour of the Beast I was thrilled — until of course he told me I’d be given a budget of just $500 to do it! But, after all, back in my days as a film student  in NYU’s prestigious graduate program in the ’80s (alongside Spike Lee) I routinely shot short movies for peanuts, so I said, “No problem.”

The goal was simple: A 2-to-5-minute video showing a girl running for her life through the woods, screaming her head off, clad in a blood-stained wedding dress as in the opening scene of the book. I’d set the scene in daylight, rather than under moonlight, though, because there was no way I could adequately light a night shoot on my budget. (Hey, my werewolf buffs who haunt the Werewolf Cafe website assure me that the whole moon thing is malarky anyway). Simple, huh? What could possibly go wrong?

First step was to hire a camerman. The videographer I’d used for a quickie project for the Greenville Family Partnership was unavailable, so I figured the easiest thing would be to recruit an up and comer from the local film school. The head honcho smugly assured me that  none of his of students would work for the measly $200 I was willing to pay. When I explained that it was an under-five- minute movie that would require about a half a day’s time, he sternly lectured me that NO five-minute movie was simple. True, but the guy’s tone irked me — since I was directing and editing films  when he was still in diapers. That night I happened to attend a street fair and ran into a camerman with a professional video camera, recording a band’s performance. We chatted, he was available, and he was hired.

Next step: Hire an actress. With no budget for a newspaper ad, I posted an ad on Craig’slist for an attractive blonde (like on the book cover) with a Playboy playmate figure who could scream like a banshee. Bad move. Not only did I not get a SINGLE response, I was bombarded by spam for months! So I turned to the many wonderful theater companies here in Greenville, SC and asked the directors to recommend actresses that fit the bill. One lady denied her actresses a shot at the gig, warning me that heading into the woods with strange men is something she would warn them to be very leery of.  Other directors promised to  brainstorm and get back to me, but never did. Luckily, one director suggested two great actresses and ONE of them got in touch with me.

Amazingly, the  single girl I “auditioned” looked perfect for the role — blonde, curvy with loads of experience — and the good-natured gal was game for the project. Best of all, her mom was seamstress, who could make any alterations needed for the wedding dress I had to buy.  She got the job.

At my wife’s suggestion, I went online to shop for a wedding dress and found one that looked sensational — for under $150.  Other props like fake blood, muddy-face makeup and werewolf gear were easy to get at a local costume shop. Halloween was around the corner and it was vital to shoot soon because  even the toasty South Carolina weather would be cooling soon and my star was going to have to run around in skimpy lingerie.  Paris Mountain State Park was the ideal location and the head ranger okayed the shoot.

Well, the wedding dress didn’t arrive in time. It turned out it was made in China and when I tracked it down it was in the back of a truck somewhere in Qinghai Province! The shoot had to be postponed and the actress  was unavailable on the days the park allowed. I needed a new star immediately. The camerman, Hunter Moss, told me his girlfriend was an actress and totally gorgeous. I was a bit skeptical, since (sorry Hunter) the guy is — ahem — no Brad Pitt. “Love is blind,” I recalled, holding my breath as I waited to meet  her. But miraculously she really was a knockout — actually prettier than the original actress, with the kind of chest that makes teenage boys drool. The wedding dress sized for the other girl finally arrived and, again, in a stroke of luck, it fit her with a few alterations. She was a brunette, but with a wig she was a convincing blonde.

On the scheduled shooting day it rained cats and dogs. When I tried to reschedule, the ranger wouldn’t let us. All the postponements apparently pissed him off. I scouted some smaller parks and found a remote one, Timmons Park. It wasn’t exactly untamed wilderness, but had virtually no visitors, featured plenty of wooded places and even a bubbling brook for the actress to hop over, a sequence I hadn’t envisioned. Fantastic!

The day of the shoot, Hunter and the stunning actress, Stacie Burmeister, had only only four hours available, but I figured that was just enough time.

It had been warm all week, but that morning the temperature dropped precipitously — the coldest on that date in decades, I later learned. I knew that even spunky Stacie wouldn’t be able to hang too long, particulary after the dress gets torn off and she has to run barefoot in a barely-there slip. (Good thing I didn’t go with my original idea, which was to have the leading lady strip to a THONG to better elude the werewolf!)

My cast and crew of two got delayed enroute, cutting the shoot time to just 3 hours. Then when we got to the location, I saw that the parking lot was so packed there were cars parked on the grass. To my horror, little-known Timmons Park was teeming with people. There were even vendors selling hotdogs and T-shirts.  I snagged the nearest passerby, who informed me “Today is the Annual Frisbee Tournament.” Once a freaking year — what were the odds?!!

But there were a few pockets of unpopulated woods. And while I had carefully handpicked the spots for each sequence, Hunter and I were quickly able to find substitutes that were fine — as long as you kept the nearby homes up on the hills out of frame. So we went for it.

What saved us were three things: One, I was totally prepared, something I’d learned from film school. An amateur cartoonist, I’d drawn a storyboard detailing each shot, so I knew EXACTLY what I wanted. Two, Hunter turned out to be an able, rough and ready camerman who could compose shots matching that storyboard quickly. And three, Stacie was a pro who could hit her mark and get action right on the first take (even making stuff like falling down believable). And what a trouper! By the last shot, she was freezing her buns off, covered in dirt and fake blood, scratched up and exhausted, but she didn’t once complain. We pulled it off, with ten minutes to spare.

There were some technical  hitches. Converting the footage from mini-DV to DVD to a file format editable on a computer proved to be a herculean task. Coming to the rescue was my old NYU pal Bill Pace — now a film professor at the New School — who guided me through the tricky steps.  I had to teach myself linear editing. When I edited in the dinosaur era we cut apart film  frames, rearranged them by hand and taped them back together. But the program I used on my PC, Adobe Premiere 9, turned out to be very user-friendly, so easy a caveman could do it you might say.

After all that, when I initially posted the video on YouTube, it streamed terribly — pausing every few seconds. I almost wept. But again an old buddy saved the day. My friend John J. Stevens of Bullfrog Communications up in Long Island, who I labored alongside doing industrials years ago and last saw at my bachelor party in 1997 — told me what to do and now it plays just fine.

The result is below. If you like it, please share it. I’ve been telling friends I want this YouTube video to become the most viral thing since herpes. (See, if I’d said ‘the most viral thing since AIDS,’ that would have been in poor taste). After viewing it, YOU get to be the critic for a change. Offer your honest opinon in the poll.


I created another version that included an alternate ending. Which do you prefer?




In the graphic novel Night Cage, vampires overrun a women’s prison–and to escape, four surviving inmates must fight their way through an army of the undead. Picture ‘Salem’s Lot meets Orange is the New Black.

Vampires take over a women’s prison in the spooky, steamy graphic novel Night Cage, Volume 2


Copyright C. Michael Forsyth



I have a terrific new book to recommend: Hour of the Beast. Of course, I’m a wee bit prejudiced, since I wrote it!

That’s right, folks. My much-anticipated first novel has been published at last. You can order it at any bookstore, and it’s available on Amazon. But the easiest, fasted and cheapest way to get it is at

It’s a pretty cool website. Among other things, you’ll find my 50 best Weekly World News stories, plus Chapter One read by yours truly. (Sorry, Morgan Freeman was booked up).  And yes, for you cheapos they’ve got it in eBook format too.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

The nightmare begins on a lonely country road when young bride Elaine Stern suffers “a fate worse than death” at the hands of a werewolf. Nine months later, the traumatized woman gives birth to a pair of fraternal twins.

One, Jason, is frail, bespectacled and timid. The other, Joshua, is aggressive and hairy, with uncanny strength. When the boys are in their teens, they arrive at HallertonCollege, a mysterious place where weird things tend to happen even before they get there. The horror goes into overdrive when a string of grisly murders paralyzes the campus. As the body count mounts, Jason begins to suspect that his brother has inherited the curse of lycanthropy. He races to find a cure, enlisting the help of the wise, adventurous and beautiful Professor Cairo Oldewood.

Also along for the ride are Cameron, a gorgeous blonde coed, and Jason’s roommate Dylan, a fearless extreme-sports junkie who will do anything for a thrill — even face the full fury of a rampaging monster. Together, to save Joshua’s soul, they must solve a centuries-old mystery before the full moon rises again, and before the hour of the beast is upon them!

I’ve got some enthusiastic feedback pouring in from the fellow writers who’ve read it so far:

 “A new master of the horror genre is upon us! Hour of the Beast is a gripping story, filled with great characters and some stunning plot twists. A fresh, sexy new take on the classic werewolf story.  From the opening chapter, the tension increases as the action accelerates toward a precarious pinnacle.  Plot lines introduced early return in a frenetic bundle at the climax of this fast-moving tale.”

                                                                                                                                       – John J. Stevens, author ofFire Island.

Hour of the Beast is written in fire and blood. This gripping, fast-paced mystery/thriller features anIndiana Jones-type heroine, Cairo Oldewood. It will keep you turning the page to the very last horror.” –

                                                                                                                                     – J.e. Franklin, winner of New York Drama Desk Award.

And you can bet your sweet bippy Stephen King will feel exactly the same way as soon as he’s done reading it.

So, visit the website and order your copy – plus the dynamite poster of the cover art by the great British artist Martin McKenna, and a t-shirt while you’re at it. (Key chains, caps, mugs and of course Hour of the Beast thongs are on the way).

Or run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore to order your copy of Hour of the Beast.

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