Archive for the ‘zombies’ Tag

Troops Deployed at Graves of GOP Presidents — in Case They Rise from Dead!   Leave a comment

grants-tomb

President Grant’s body lies in this tomb — for now.

By C. Michael Forsyth

SPRINGFIELD, Il. — In what officials say is “just a precaution,” National Guard troops have been stationed at the burial sites of dead Republican presidents – in case they claw their way out of their graves!

Eyewitnesses report seeing armed soldiers guarding the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant in New York City’s Riverside Park, Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL., and Teddy Roosevelt’s final resting place in Youngs Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay, N.Y. A watchful eye is also being kept on the graves of presidents Eisenhower and Reagan.

While officials won’t publically comment on the reason for the startling move, a Department of Homeland Security insider acknowledged that it was prompted by a “recent event in national politics.”

“Some things could make a former president turn over in his grave,” he said. “But this development might stir up a much stronger reaction.”

Despite the fact that many of the historical figures are beloved, soldiers have received strict orders to shoot to kill if they rise as zombies.

“Honest Abe was my boyhood hero, but if he comes shambling toward me in rotting clothes and a stovepipe hat, I won’t hesitate to take him down with a headshot,” a National Guard officer said.

lincoln-zombie

Artist Wilfred Aldrich’s  depiction of Honest Abe as a zombie.

As extraordinary as it sounds, there is historical precedent for dead commanders in chief rising to walk the earth when they’re upset by political events. Legend has it that Andrew Jackson, a staunch supporter of slavery, rose from the dead when the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery was ratified in 1865.

“It’s said that Jackson roamed the roads outside Nashville, Tenn. for 11 days, sometimes lunging at freed slaves,” revealed presidential historian Lillian Bellwither. “A ritual conducted by a Lutheran minister was used to coax him back to his grave.”

Lincoln’s body has been put under armed guard before, when in 1876, authorities got wind of a gang’s plot to steal the remains and hold them for ransom until the government paid $200,000 in gold.

President Reagan’s remains are sealed in a reinforced underground crypt at his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.

“Reagan’s tomb is virtually escape-proof,” said the DHS insider. “There’s no way the Gipper is getting out of there.”

Officials insist there is no reason for the public to panic and that the threat level from the dead GOP presidents is “below yellow.”

“This is just erring on the side of caution,” the DHS insider explained. “We’d rather be safe than sorry. We can’t wait until someone sees Lincoln or Ike biting some lobbyist on the steps of the Capitol. If these presidents were alive, they’d be the first to insist we do everything possible to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens.”

teddy-roosvelts-grave

Could Teddy Roosevelt’s grave be Ground Zero for the zombie apocalypse?

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this srticle, check out C. Michael Forsyth’s collection of news satire, available on Kindle and in other eBook formatsBizarre News Cover 5.

ZOMBIES COME BACK HORNY, NOT HUNGRY.   Leave a comment

 

By C. Michael Forsyth

WASHINGTON — Zombies rise from the grave craving sex, not hungering for human flesh, according to startling eyewitness reports. In dozens of cases coast to coast, the lust-crazed walking dead have made awkward advances at living people — and have sometimes even bedded them.

“Remember, when zombies return to life, their brains retain only the most primitive instincts,” explains a CDC researcher who helped compile the mountain of evidence. “The primary drive is sexual desire. Hunger is a distant second, particularly since in many cases, their digestive systems have rotted away.

“If you see a zombie shambling toward you, the odds are he or she is more interested in hooking up than eating your brain.”

In one shocking incident that took place in Bishopville, SC., a terrified homemaker watched a “walker” approach as she planted gardenias in her backyard.

“He was drooling, and as he got closer, I got a better look at his ragged pants,” she told investigators. “Suddenly the phrase ‘the dead shall rise’ took on a whole new meaning. From the look in his eyes, I could tell just what he had in mind.”

Fortunately, the quick-thinking housewife managed to ward off the amorous creature with a weedwacker.

Walking Dead Hardcore

LIFE IMITATES ART: In this “The Walking Dead” porn parody, zombies crave flesh in a very different way. And experts now say that this time, Hollywood got it right!

 

In another case outside Philadelphia, an eyewitness identified only as Ken B. heard a knock on his front door, opened it and was stunned to see a former high school acquaintance who’d been buried weeks earlier.

“The right side of Kimberly’s face had mostly rotted away, but she’d kept her figure. I was surprised when she suddenly ripped open her shirt and those double D hooters that made her so popular back in school came spilling out,” Ken B. told a researcher. “The weird part was that back when Kim was a cheerleader and I was in the band, she would never give me the time of day.

“She reached for me – or I should say, a particular part of me. I’ve got to admit, I was tempted to go through with it, because I’d always had a crush on her. But I just couldn’t get past that eye dangling from the socket, and plus my wife was in the kitchen. I slammed the door in her face. Later I heard that she made stops at three of our other classmates.”

But not everyone has the willpower to resist the charms of undead hotties and hunks. A Texas man confessed to having a close encounter with a winsome walker as he was out hunting in a remote area.

“This girl came shambling toward me out of the bushes — buck naked and with a morgue tag still attached to her toe,” the hunter told investigators. “Her skin was gray and there were chunks of flesh missing in places, but I guess I’d still rate her about an 8.

“I unslung my Winchester Model 700 and was just about to take the zombie out with a headshot, when she got down on all fours and gave me this ‘come hither’ look over her shoulder. I’m ashamed to say I took advantage of the situation.”

Zombie sexy

DON’T be tempted by curvaceous zombie vixens, medical experts warn men.

Authorities warn that such behavior is high risk, because it often results in transmission of the virus responsible for zombieism, known scientifically as Ambulatory Lazarus Syndrome. Just how many victims have been infected by sexual contact with the raunchy roamers is unclear. But the CDC insider involved in the agency’s hush-hush research into the widening epidemic says it could be “in the hundreds,” with the numbers growing each year.

“The old narrative was that the zombie contagion was principally spread through bites,” explains the researcher, who requested anonymity. “The new narrative is that it is a sexually transmitted disease. Even a hickey from a zombie can cause you to turn.”

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

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ZOMBIE PLAGUE IS GOD’S PUNISHMENT FOR POT, SAYS TOP CLERGYMAN.   Leave a comment

ALARMING rise in zombie cases has medical experts scratching their heads.

ALARMING rise in zombie cases has medical experts scratching their heads.

By C. Michael Forsyth

ATLANTA — The swiftly widening zombie epidemic does not owe its origin simply to a rogue germ – it’s God’s way of punishing Americans for smoking marijuana, a respected preacher claims.

“Every major plague of the past 2,000 years has been a form a divine retribution,” declared the Reverend Harvey Stintland, a leading theologian and author. “Leprosy, for example, was sent to punish the Roman Empire for its decadence and debauchery.

“AIDS was, of course, His punishment for homosexuality, just as herpes was His wrathful response to the Sexual Revolution. What we’re seeing now across the country is, once again, the Lord using his tiniest creatures — viruses — to teach sinful humans a lesson.”

The earliest known zombie outbreak in the United States was reported in June 1964, just as pot use was emerging among hippies, the Baptist minister points out.

“This was literally days after Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to ‘grass,’” Rev. Stintland notes. “Now, just as states like Alaska, Colorado and Oregon legalize marijuana, we’re seeing a record number of zombism sufferers. Can that be merely a coincidence? Logic tells us otherwise.”

LIGHT 'EM UP! Weed is now legal in many states.

LIGHT ‘EM UP! Weed is now legal in many states.

Statistics show a troubling rise in the bizarre ailment, called Sarcophagic Lazarus Syndrome by medical professionals. At least 675 cases nationwide were reported in 2014, three times the figure from the previous year. Yet government scientists dismiss Rev. Stintland’s claims.

“You don’t have to bring God or the supernatural into it to explain zombies,” observed a CDC insider. “It’s a matter of cold, hard science.”

According to the clergyman, the Almighty smacks the human race with epidemics from time to time for our own good.

“Our Lord is a loving God, but he is also a stern disciplinarian, not unlike a father who must sometimes take his children to the woodshed. He’s not above using biological warfare to whup some sense into mankind when we disobey His law,” explained Rev. Stintland, author of the upcoming book Germs From God.

SPANISH FLU was God's punishment for the senseless slaughter of  World War 1, according to expert.

SPANISH FLU was God’s punishment for the senseless slaughter of World War 1, according to expert.

Here, from the theologian, are other major epidemics and what God was punishing people for:

Plague of Athens (426-429 B.C., death toll 100,000) — Punishment for paganism
Black Death (1346 -1353 A.D., death toll 50 million) — Punishment for false piety, i.e. being “too” religious
Yellow Fever Epidemic (1793-1798, death toll 5,000 ) — Punishment for secular humanism
Cholera Pandemic (1816 -1828, death toll, 30,000) — Punishment for slave trade
Smallpox epidemic (1827-38, death toll 1800) — Punishment of Indians for resisting Manifest Destiny
Spanish Flu (1918-1920, death toll 75 million) — Punishment for World War I

“Contagious diseases don’t just happen,” the clergyman says. “They are God’s holy will.”

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? In the 14th century, when the Black Death struck, belief in God was at an all time high.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? In the 14th century, when the Black Death struck, belief in God was at an all time high.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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.

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SPEAKING OF ZOMBIES…

ZOMBIE master Robert Kirkman's graphic novel  "Thief of Thieves" is even better than his "The Walking Dead."

ZOMBIE master Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel “Thief of Thieves” is even better than his “The Walking Dead.”

As I prepare to launch my first graphic novel, I’ve been boning up on the format, and one of the best I’ve come across was written by Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame. Thief of Thieves is even more cinematic than the zombie comic that spawned the hit TV series. It’s essentially a movie on paper. What makes it unusual is that it doesn’t look like a movie storyboard. The layout is almost entirely narrow rectangular panels that stretch across the page, stacked horizontally. As you get used to the steadfastly unchanging aspect ratio, it becomes like watching images flickering on the screen. The caper story, akin to a movie like The Italian Job, is twisty and adult. The charismatic, broad-shouldered, hairy chested hero is presented so vividly, you think, “They’ve really got to cast the same actor in the movie” — until you remember he’s not a real person!

CINEMATIC panel shape, realistic facial expressions and Kirkman's trademark  timing make "Thief of Thieves" feel like a movie.

CINEMATIC panel shape, realistic facial expressions and Kirkman’s trademark timing make “Thief of Thieves” feel like a movie.

In the purely horror vein, I’ve also become hip to Crossed. It’s a zombie apocalypse saga, but makes The Walking Dead seem optimistic and wholesome as milk by comparison. In this version of hell on earth, the infected legions don’t just cannibalize victims, they gleefully rape, sodomize and mutilate them in an orgy of violence. Then eat them — although in some cases, the atrocities are simultaneous.

PLAY BALL! Mayhem ensues when the contagion hits a football stadium.

PLAY BALL! Mayhem ensues when the contagion hits a football stadium.

The disease, which brands those who’ve been bitten (or otherwise taken in bodily fluids) with a distinctive cross-shaped rash on the face, erases all inhibitions, turning them into rage-fueled, sex-crazed killing machines who love to disfigure both hapless victims and themselves. Worse still, unlike your standard shambling walker, their minds still function — albeit far from rationally — allowing them to use weapons, drive cars and operate motorboats. Imagine 28 Days Later meets Road Warrior meets Hellraiser. Crossed is definitely adults only, due to the unrelenting sexual violence, and not for the faint of heart.

Speaking of crime dramas like Thief of Thieves, if you enjoyed the writing in this article by C. Michael Forsyth, you might enjoy his novel The Identity Thief.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth.

Most Real Zombies Subsist on Berries, Nuts, Study Shows   Leave a comment

Zombie herds typically forage for berries, nuts and low-hanging fruit.

Zombie herds typically forage for berries, nuts and low-hanging fruit.

By C. Michael Forsyth

Surprise! Most real-life zombies subsist on a diet of berries and nuts, researchers now say – a far cry from Hollywood’s depiction of them as fierce cannibals.

“Zombies are what anthropologists call gatherers,” explains Dr. Henry Coblinsaw, chief author of a recently published study. “Their digestive system has atrophied, making it very difficult to digest meat. And because of their familiar shambling gait, chasing game such as deer or stray dogs is not an option, likewise humans, of course.”

Climbing trees is also impossible, so only low-hanging fruit is on the menu. Wild berries and nuts that have fallen to the ground are a zombie’s most commonly consumed food source.

“An Arizona zombie that was dissected in 2012 was found to have six walnuts in its stomach,” the expert reveals.

"No thanks. Have any walnuts?" Real zombies do not eat rats, contrary to this scene in The Walking Dead.

“No thanks. Have any walnuts?” Real zombies do not eat rats, contrary to this scene in The Walking Dead.

In movies like Night of the Living Dead and the hit TV series The Walking Dead, zombies are shown ripping ordinary people apart and feeding on their body parts. But with slowly decaying muscles and low levels of adrenaline, real zombies simply don’t have the strength or energy to do that. According to the researcher, there have been only eight cases of zombies eating human flesh since 1905.

Brain damage due to the loss of oxygen between death and revival is another factor that explains their dietary restrictions.

“Zombies are quite docile, which is what made them such easily controlled fieldworkers in Haiti from the 1700s up until the 1930s,” notes Dr. Coblinsaw. “They rely on the most primitive instincts residing in the surviving areas of the brain. That means eating fruit, nuts and berries like our tree-dwelling ape-like ancestors.”

The only real hazard zombies present to normal people is when a herd ambles through a strawberry patch, field of corn or other crops.

“They are a real pest to farmers,” says the researcher. “They pass through a cornfield, stripping the stalks bare like locusts. The only solution farmers have found is to post ‘scarecrows,’ cardboard cutouts of figures with chainsaws or cricket bats.”

CARDBOARD cutouts like this one in an Iowa cornfield are used to ward off zombies and protect crops.

CARDBOARD cutouts like this one in an Iowa cornfield are used to ward off zombies and protect crops.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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.

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This story was written by the author of the acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast. Check it out along with his other books 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.

WORLD’S FASTEST ZOMBIE SHATTERS 100-METER RECORD!   1 comment

QUCK AND THE UNDEAD: Zombie known only as Jacques is the fastest ever recorded.

QUCK AND THE UNDEAD: Zombie known only as Jacques is the fastest ever recorded.

By C. Michael Forsyth

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — There are slow zombies. There are fast zombies. And then there is a blindingly fast zombie named Jacques who recently shattered the world record for his kind by running the 100 meters in 10:06 seconds!

The lean, French-born athlete pulled off the dazzling feat at the annual Undead Track and Field Tournament held in the Toussaint L’Ouverture Racetrack in Haiti, finishing many strides ahead of his eight competitors.

“Jacques’ astounding performance at this event demolishes the image of zombies as shambling and unfocused,” declared sportswriter Kevin J. Bracksley. “His speed was just a fraction of a second behind the ‘normal human’ record set by Usain Bolt in 2009.”

The remarkable “running dead” sports star is equally impressive in longer distances, recently clocked at 4.12 minutes in the mile.

Zombie racing is a tradition that dates back to the 18th century, when plantation owners would wager on their most fleet-footed undead field hands. Mark Twain, who saw one of the bizarre races on his many travels, wrote in 1896 that it was “sort of like a tortoise race, but less exciting.”

In the 20th century, the international tournament was expanded to include events such as the shot put and broad jump. Organizers hope that in future years, other athletic events such as beach volleyball will be added.

Zombies arrived from far away as Turkey to compete in the races held on November 14, brought by family members or handlers who’d purchased them. Jacques’ owner is a wealthy, unidentified British sports enthusiast whose team spent months training and conditioning the 6 foot 2, 160-pound athlete.

“Muscle break down and decay is very common among zombies and the lack of oxygen to the brain they suffer before revival usually means their motor control is shot,” explained Bracksley. “That’s a huge hurdle to overcome in competitive sports.”

Although Jacques’ full name has not been revealed, he reportedly was an avid marathon runner who took home several trophies in Europe before falling victim to a zombie outbreak in 2011. That background has doubtless aided the rotting runner, the sportswriter said.

“There’s such a thing as ‘muscle memory’ you don’t lose even when the higher centers of the brain are kaput,” he observed. “And I’d like to think that the competitive spirit that Jacques had before he crossed over is still flickering in that decaying skull of his, and that helped him across the finish line first.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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.

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If you found this story by C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, check out his novel Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in the Adventure of The Spook House HERE.

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.

Zombies to Replace Migrant Farm Workers   Leave a comment

ZOMBIE farm labor is expected to outpace migrant labor by 2019.

ZOMBIE farm labor is expected to outpace migrant labor by 2019.


By C. Michael Forsyth

SAN MATEO, Calif. — Most ordinary folks see the widening zombie epidemic with fear — but corporate America sees big profits! Agribusiness giants are gradually replacing migrant workers with zombie farm workers who can pick fruit, lettuce and other crops at a fraction of the cost.

“There are many jobs that living Americans won’t do, and undocumented aliens will do but only if compensated financially,” explained an industry insider. “Zombies don’t demand pay, don’t require rest breaks, don’t need healthcare or other benefits and don’t burden an employer when injured on the job. If they lose a hand on a piece of farm equipment they just keep going.”

Legislation now wending its way through Congress will help smooth the transition from illegal alien to zombie labor. If signed into law, House of Representatives Bill 8263, The American Protection of Personhood Act, would define a person as “a human being not capable of sustaining life when shot through the heart or other vital organs apart from the brain.”

“The language excludes zombies from labor laws,” the insider explained. “That means that zombie laborers are exempt from the minimum wage, workplace safety rules, limitations on hours, the Family Leave Act and other cumbersome Federal regulations.”

Not having to worry about government red tape will help the farm industry compete with foreign food producers, analysts say.

“This is just the kind of boost the U.S. economy could use right now,” says economist Gerard N. Lunkster.

OLD SCHOOL: Zombies have worked the fields of Haiti since the early 1800s.

OLD SCHOOL: Zombies have worked the fields of Haiti since the early 1800s.

The first known use of zombie labor in the western hemisphere was in Haiti in the early 1800s when they were commonly seen harvesting sugarcane. The Haitian government imposed a ban on their use in the 1960s.

“Contrary to what you may have seen in the cinema and on TV, real zombies are quite docile when fed and cared for properly,” said an expert. “They are well suited to farm work. Attempts to train them to do jobs requiring more manual dexterity, such as assembly line work, have by and large been unsuccessful.”

Labor leaders are fighting the bill tooth and nail, warning that employing zombies will displace living workers. But farm industry lobbyists dismiss those concerns.

“Don’t worry about jobless people — zombies need to eat don’t they?” joked the insider. “Just kidding. But seriously, if some unemployed vagrant does trespass on a farm trying to steal food or looking for a handout, and winds up a meal, that’s not the farmer’s concern. You can’t prosecute zombies for homicide because they’re not legally people.”

UNLIKE the vicious creatures in TV shows like "The Walking Dead," most real zombies are docile, compliant and unlikely to strike.

UNLIKE the vicious creatures in TV shows like “The Walking Dead,” most real zombies are docile, compliant and unlikely to strike.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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.

If you found this story by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his thriller The Identity Thief.

WAS BIBLE’S LAZARUS “PATIENT ZERO” IN ZOMBIE PLAGUE?   Leave a comment

MIXED BLESSING: Bringing Lazarus back to life unleashed the zombie epidemic, research suggests.

MIXED BLESSING: Bringing Lazarus back to life unleashed the zombie epidemic, research suggests.

By C. Michael Forsyth

Lazarus, the man Jesus Christ brought back from the dead, may have been Patient Zero in the zombie apocalypse. That is the shocking claim of an infectious disease specialist who contends that in performing His most astounding miracle, the Messiah inadvertently sparked the epidemic.

Dr. Godfrey P. Stockworthy and his team used computer analysis to chart every recorded zombie outbreak of the past 2,000 years and created a digital map.

“The map shows waves of outbreaks in concentric circles with the epicenter in the ancient town of Bethany, where Lazarus was resurrected, and spreading first across the Holy Land, then throughout the Roman Empire, then Asia and Africa,” revealed the British researcher. “The first documented zombie incidents took place in 34 A.D. just a few miles from the West Bank town of al-Eizariyat, as Bethany is now known.”

Chapter 11 of the Gospel According to St. John states that Jesus brought Lazarus back to life after the villager lay rotting in a tomb for four days. Little is known of what became of Lazarus after that, other than that the Bible says fearful chief priests considered putting him down. According to Eastern Orthodox tradition, he was driven from Judea and ended up in Cyprus—incidentally the site of one of the earliest mentions of “the walking death,” as ancient historians called the zombie plague. Another account says that terrified townsfolk set him out to sea in a boat without oars and that years later he was cornered in a cave in Marseilles, France, and beheaded. Contradicting that, a 16th century folktale relates how Rabbi Loew, the intrepid holy man who also took down the Golem of Prague, smote him in the forehead with a silver spike engraved with Hebrew lettering.

“Whichever account you believe, it’s noteworthy that in all of them, Lazarus could only be killed permanently by going for the head, just as with modern-day zombies,” Dr. Stockworthy observes.

Medieval zombies were often mistaken for lepers.

Medieval zombies were often mistaken for lepers.

Researchers know now that many cases of what were mistakenly called “lepers” in the Dark Ages and Medieval times were in fact zombies, whose decaying body parts and shambling gait struck fear into the hearts of peasants all over Europe. And historians are in almost unanimous agreement that the Holy Land was ground zero for what has become a widening epidemic. But Dr. Stockworthy is the first expert to pinpoint Lazarus of Bethany as the world’s first zombie.

The study, released April 15 on the eve of Easter, was greeted with skepticism by Bible scholars.

“To suggest that Jesus accidentally created zombies is ludicrous,” declared televangelist Reverend Alvin Becrest. “If Our Lord is responsible for the zombie apocalypse, and I’m not conceding that He is, it must be part of the divine plan.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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.

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IN OTHER NEWS…

Houdini and Conan Doyle investigate a bizarre disappearance  in new book.

Houdini and Conan Doyle investigate a bizarre disappearance in new book.

My novel Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in the Adventure of the Spook House is continuing to get rave reviews from fans of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.

From the Sherlock Holmes Society of London: “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in The Adventure of the Spook House is an adventure story with depth, full of atmosphere, suspense, ingenuity and a real feeling for place, period and personality. Intensive research, a good ear for rhythms of speech and a literate style make for a cracking good read.”

The spanking new book trailer is now up on YouTube.

New York City dwellers, support independent bookstores by purchasing your autographed copy at The Mysterious Bookshop at 58 Warren Street in the Tribeca area. A neat book store specializing in mysteries, it’s a fun place to browse.It’s open Monday-Saturday from 11am-7pm. (212) 587-1011

Independent bookstores need our support!

Independent bookstores need our support!

The Mysterious Bookshop has been a fixture in New York for over 30 years.

The Mysterious Bookshop has been a fixture in New York for over 30 years.

PLUS, TO SEE EXCITING NEW VERSION OF THE BOOK TRAILER FOR HOUR OF THE BEAST, CLICK HERE!

Book trailer for Hour of the Beast.

Book trailer for Hour of the Beast.

To check out the critically acclaimed horror novel, click HERE.

A Brain-eating Bonanza! “The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics.”   Leave a comment

Zombies of every shape and size shamble through this anthology.

By C. Michael Forsyth

In my scariest childhood nightmare ever, a man hears a weird whistle that draws him like a siren into a ruined mansion — where he’s cut into mincemeat by an unseen, supernatural entity. In the scariest play I’ve ever seen, “The Woman in Black,” a vengeful undead wraith preys on whoever sets foot in her decaying home. In the last movie to genuinely frighten me, “The Grudge”, a hideous harpy with wild, ragged hair hides out in a haunted house and murders every unlucky visitor (even tracking down and dispatching folks who heed the obvious warnings to get out).

So it was quite an unusual, sum-of-all-fears reading experience to find those elements combined in a single bone-chilling, atmospheric comic titled “Pigeons from Hell.”

The ultra-creepy comic is based on a 1932 short story by Robert E. Howard. (Yep, Conan’s creator did more than just churn out yarns about pumped up he-men with Viking hats. A buddy of H.P. Lovecraft, he too was a master of the horror genre and the pair engaged in a robust correspondence about the supernatural.)

The chiller is just one of 30 great zombie tales in The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics, edited by David Kendall.

An eerie whistle lures a victim to the lair of this zombie she-devil in "Pigeons from Hell."

You might expect that a 453-page anthology packed with nothing but zombie stories would get old in a hurry. But nothing could be further from the truth. What I love about this book is the astonishing variety of plots, themes, and visual styles.

In the blackly humorous “Dead Eyes Open,” the theme of discrimination is explored when millions of people return from the dead with their minds fully intact. The first celebrity “returner” is Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. The undead former child actor pleads for acceptance of the new minority group and an end to the “re-murder” of his kind by trigger-happy vigilantes.

Based on an old folktale, “The Zombie“ takes place in Africa, where voodoo has its roots and zombies are the tragic victims of sorcerers.

In “Necrotic: Dead Flesh on a Living Body,” an Egyptologist discovers that mummification provides the key to immortality — with a terrible price.

An Egyptologist's bid to cheat death has a few glitches in "Necrotic: Dead Flesh on a Living Body."

The book offers a visual buffet, featuring styles ranging from the three-dimensional realism of the space-zombie story “Flight from Earth,” illustrated by Roman Surzhenko, to the minimalist avante guarde approach taken by artist Iain Laurie in “Pariah.”

Previously, I’d never found zombies either interesting or all that scary (after the shock of my first viewing of “Night of the Living Dead” as a kid). Unlike vampires and werewolves, who have an inner life and are often tortured by guilt, zombies are almost always presented on film as mindless, flesh-eating killing machines. And usually pretty easy to kill, once you figure out to shoot ’em in the head. (Often they can be taken out of commission by a baseball bat or solid uppercut).

But the stories in this collection pose some deep philosophical questions. “Zombies,” for example, explores that old trick of mimicking the infected to slip by them — dating back at least as far as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and parodied to hilarious effect in “Shaun of the Dead.” The shocking ending raises the question, “How far would you be willing to go to survive?”

This interview with a zombified Star Trek C-list celeb Wil Wheaton would have been the perfect finale for Oprah's TV show.

Varying rules and explanations for zombism abound; the creators are not restricted by the mythology established in Hollywood by Romero. Some zombies are created the old fashioned way by wicked voodoo practitioners, while in “Amy,” disembodied alien invaders travel light-years to animate the corpses of earthlings.

You know, when “28 Days Later” came out, many reviewers praised director Danny Boyle for “reinventing the zombie genre.” Bull. While deserving of kudos for its grim, digital-video look, artistic flourishes and thought-provoking climax, the zombies themselves were the same brainless, cannibalistic monsters of “Night of the Living Dead” and its sequels — just a whole lot quicker.

And while the character-driven “Walking Dead” graphic novel and the TV series based on it boast some intriguing situations and relationships, these truly ARE your father’s zombies. Comic book writer Robert Kirkman makes no claim to have re-invented the genre. He doesn’t believe it needs re-invention. In his intro to Volume One, he extols the virtues of well-scripted zombie flicks like the “Dawn of the Dead” remake, acknowledging his debt to them. Really, the mess hero Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors find themselves in could have been ANY end-of-the world scenario; those shambling, “classic” zombies are just a plot device.

But in “The Mammoth book of Zombie Comics,” you WILL find the genre re-invented again and again in delightful, deliciously scary ways.

MEANWHILE ON THE HOUR OF THE BEAST FRONT…

A COUPLE OF MANLY MEN: I pose with Tarrin Lupo, author of Pirates of Savannah, toting his Swedish boarding ax pistol.

In promoting my new horror novel Hour of the Beast (http://freedomshammer.com) I attended the S.C. Book Festival. One of the many fascinating characters I encountered was fellow author Tarrin Lupo, who was hawking books in the booth next to me. Tarrin’s latest work is a historical adventure novel entitled Pirates of Savannah. And to draw visitors to the booth he actually dressed as a pirate. What’s more, he displayed an intriguing prop: a Swedish boarding ax pistol, a gun with a lethal-looking ax attached like a bayonet. Needless to say, in South Carolina where every guy with an ounce of testosterone is a card-carrying member of the NRA, quite a few male visitors couldn’t resist picking up the weapon.

Tarrin’s approach has inspired me to come up with a prop of my own. My idea: a mummified werewolf hand floating in a jar of formaldehyde. I’ll tell visitors I ain’t sure it’s the genuine article…then again, I ain’t sure that it’s NOT. I bought it from a curiosity shop that was going out of business and the owner thinks it had traveled with a carnival in the 20s and 30s. Scrawled in black marker on the rusty-lidded old jar are the words “Do not open jar. NEVER rub hand against open wound.” And here’s the kicker: a card in front of the jar will bear the price tag: $35,000! A special effects artist and fellow lycanthrope enthusiast from the Werewolf Café forum has promised to create the hand — let’s see what she comes up with.

I’m keeping a video diary of my book touring adventures. Click below to hear the pirate guy.

And here’s a bit including a lady who writes mysteries in which the crimes are solved by dogs!

A ZOMBIE BY ANY OTHER NAME? “The Crazies” is Back from the Dead.   2 comments

 

WE'RE THE GOVERNMENT AND WE'RE HERE TO HELP: Judy (Radha Mitchell) is taken under wing by Uncle Sam

By C. Michael Forsyth

 

Generally, I’m not enthusiastic about remakes. Unlike many horror and sci-fi fans, I don’t thrill to news that a “re-imagining” is in the works of gems that were perfectly executed the first go-around, like “Nightmare on Elm Street” or “Total Recall.” Self-cannibalization is sickening to behold, so when I observe my own culture indulging in the act, I take a dim view of it. Did we really need “Halloween 2,” the sequel to the remake of a film that inspired nine sequels and spawned 147 knock-offs. (Okay, I confess I made that last number up, but you get the idea.) Did we really need to revisit “Friday the 13th,” a franchise that had already generated TWELVE films? Even that term “franchise,” when applied to an art form, betrays a grotesquely cynical and philistine attitude. But what really gets my goat is that this is an industry which prizes youth — a 40-year-old trying to launch a career as a TV writer is considered over the hill. No, executives are looking for “fresh” talent and ideas. Ha! I read that one of these young lions pitched the fresh idea of “ ‘Die Hard’ in an office building” — being so young and fresh that he’d never seen the original! You just know that somewhere a Hollywood bigwig is asking, “Is it too soon to remake the 1993 ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ movie?”  

That having been said, I loved “The Crazies“!

There are cases where there has been an amazing leap forward in technology (as with “King Kong“) or where the original was deeply flawed, or where society has changed so much that a remake can be justified. “The Crazies,” a remake of George Romero’s low-budget, Nixon-versus-hippie-era picture of 1973, falls into the last two categories. That little-known film featured stilted dialogue, poor pacing, and was made at a time when the thought that the federal government might not always be a force for good was a relatively new and alarming idea.

The updated “Crazies,” now on DVD, is a scary, crisply directed, action-packed thriller, that — divorced from the now-antiquated political discussion — consistently delivers the goods.

The plot in a nutshell: A military plane carrying a genetically engineered virus crashes in a swamp near a small Iowa town. Designed to throw enemy cities into chaos, the “Trixie virus” slowly drives the townsfolk mad, transforming them one by one into crazed killing machines. To contain the epidemic, the government cordons off the town and sends in droves of gas-masked storm troopers to round up both the sick and uninfected citizens, whisking them away to an unknown fate. The intrepid Sheriff David Dutten (ably played by Timothy Olyphant) leads a small band of survivors, including his pregnant wife Judy, as they try against all odds to escape the town without falling victim to the zombie-like plague victims or the marauding army goons.

Director Breck Eisner creates a creepy atmosphere, starting with an early scene in which the town drunk interrupts a friendly community baseball game by marching onto the field toting a rifle. The film boasts some thrilling set-pieces, such as the Sheriff’s encounter with a runaway bone-cutting saw. In one of most nail-biting scenes in  my recent memory, a character lies helpless, strapped to a gurney, while a madman lurches toward her, plunging a pitchfork into the chest of one fellow patient after another.

I like that, unlike many such flicks where the law enforcement officials are fatally slow on the uptake, the Sheriff quickly figures out what’s up. He makes all the right moves, beginning with shutting off the water that’s the source of the contamination (to no avail, needless to say).

I’ve always favored horror films that feature multiple menaces, as is the case here. The heroes must contend with not only the crazies and the trigger-happy soldiers, but also the threat from within. They must constantly ask whether their fellow survivors are becoming unglued due to the extreme situation — or because the disease has made its way into their brains. In some instances, all three threats are operating simultaneously, most memorably when a car wash is transformed into a hellhole of panic and mayhem.

Some will argue that “28 Days Later” trod the same ground, because those monsters, too, were not technically zombies but victims of a “rage virus.” But, apart from their accelerated speed, they behaved exactly like the shambling revenants of “Night of the Living Dead.” Here, interestingly, the infected talk and retain a good deal of their personalities, albeit dangerously altered — such as a trio of good ol’ boy hunters who take to hunting humans with guns after they lose their minds. The director’s choice in opting for makeup inspired by real diseases like rabies as opposed to the traditional rotting-corpse look also sets “The Crazies” apart from an ordinary zombie movie and lends the film realism.

Sure, we’ve been down this road before. So often, indeed, that it’s now a given that in the event of a plague, the government will round people up and put them in concentration camps. (Hey, some in the Sarah Palin crowd think Uncle Sam won’t even wait for a plague!) The 2008 movie “Quarantine,” in which the quasi-zombie outbreak takes place in an tenement, amped up the terror-level by introducing a more claustrophobic setting.

But “The Crazies” is a genuinely frightening, well-made movie any horror fan would be out of their mind to miss.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth. All rights reserved

GROOVY, MAN: Original 1973 version of "The Crazies" might really have been in need of an update.

George Romero would definitely approve of C. Michael Forsyth's novel.

Click HERE to learn all about Hour of the Beast and hear Chapter One.

I WAS A ZOMBIE LOVE SLAVE! Missing Coed’s Shocking Account   1 comment

Unlike this creepy dude from 1943's "I Walked With a Zombie," real zombies rarely attack humans unless provoked.

By C. Michael Forsyth

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Police have rescued an American college coed who was held prisoner by an alleged voodoo priest for four harrowing years!

Authorities say that Kaitlan Orangeby, 24, was abducted by Henri Duclaire and “turned into a zombie by means of a powder.”

“The powerful potion put her in a deep trance and she became one of the ‘walking dead,’ ” police spokeswoman Marie Pressant said at a press conference. “She was unable to resist Mr. Duclaire’s commands.

“From what we’ve been able to piece together from the victim’s account, her body was used in every way imaginable — and in some ways you could not even begin to imagine.”

Kaitlan, who was pulled out of a squalid hut on her captor’s lavish estate on October 29, is now recovering from her nightmarish ordeal in her parents’ home in Darien, Conn.

Mercifully, her memories of her years as a zombie are dim. But in a phone interview, she said, “Henri told me I was dead and that he was my master. I totally believed him – I felt like I WAS dead. It was like I was sleepwalking and couldn’t wake up.

“Way in the back of my mind, part of me wanted to resist him, but I couldn’t. I was totally at his mercy. He’d snap his fingers and say something like, ‘Give me a foot massage,’ and I’d find myself doing it.”

The attractive blonde coed’s journey into Hell began on July 16, 2006, when she was vacationing on the island with her wealthy parents. The trip was great fun, with plenty of sunbathing, souvenir-shopping and touring, until their fateful visit to the rural town of L’Estere.

“The voodoo master was giving a lecture under a tent and we stopped to listen,” recalled Kaitlan’s mother Stephanie.

“When he got to the part about zombies, Kaitlan – who was wearing white ‘short shorts’ and a tank top that showed off her midriff — started to giggle. The voodoo man asked her what was so funny and Kaitlan said, ‘You are.’ ”

“Everyone in the small crowd laughed and Kaitlan laughed louder than anyone. He gave her this angry look and I remember a chill going up my spine.”

The family returned to their hotel in the capital. While the student’s parents slept that night, Kaitlan went partying at a popular nightclub – and never returned. Her frantic mom and dad hired a private detective to track her down, to no avail.

“It was as if she’d vanished into thin air,” her mother said.

Revealed Kaitlan, “I remember being force-fed this strange powdery stuff and the next thing I knew I was lying in a cold pit and someone was shoveling dirt on top of me. I realized I was being buried but I couldn’t get up or move.”

After what seemed like hours underground, she was unearthed and hauled from the grave.

“I felt really funny and when I climbed out of the grave I moved slowly and stiffly,” Kaitlan said. “I saw the voodoo priest standing there with this gleeful little smile on his face. He told me, ‘You are one of the walking dead now and I am your master.’

“I wanted to say, ‘Screw you, numb nuts,’ or something like that, but my mouth wouldn’t work. I found myself nodding.”

The young beauty remained totally mute for the duration of her captivity. Kaitlan, who was accustomed to designer clothes, was forced to wear a plain, raggedy white skirt and sleep in the tiny wooden shack near the successful voodoo practioner’s sprawling 20,000-square-foot mansion.

“I slept on a wooden bench and had to do my business in a slop bucket,” she recalled.

“Whenever Henri summoned me with his gong, I would rise and shuffle over to the big house with my arms raised. When I got there I would do whatever Henri commanded.”

To add insult to injury, Kaitlan was also forced to do light housekeeping in the mansion. To the once-pampered New England rich girl, this was more degrading than anything else.

“I had to sweep, scrub toilets, make beds,” Kaitlan said tearfully. “I had never cleaned a toilet in my life before then. We always had maids to do that. It was humiliating, but I couldn’t stop myself. I was like a mind-controlled robot.”

The nightmare finally ended when a heavily armed police task force conducted a raid on the estate, looking for a suspected drug den. No illegal drugs were found in the search – but the cops did find the bedraggled blonde zoned out in her hut.

“I saw her glassy-eyed stare and I knew immediately what the score was,” said Police Corporal Marcel Celestine. “I’ve seen the look before in other pitiful wretches we’ve rescued from zombism.”

Kaitlan was taken to a hospital in Port-au-Prince, where an antidote to the zombie potion was administered.

Until the 1980s, zombies were generally believed to be the stuff of Hollywood myth. But that misconception was put to rest when Harvard ethnopharmacologist Wade Davis traveled to Haiti to investigate the zombie mystery. He discovered that potent chemicals from plants and animals – including the puffer fish – are used to create a secret zombie powder.  The drug paralyzes the victim, who is buried alive. When revived, the hapless victim is in a deep trance, with their free will evaporated, Davis revealed in his groundbreaking 1985 book “The Serpent and the Rainbow.”

“Zombies really do exist,” confirmed Haitian researcher Dr. Claude Bosquet. “But they are not the flesh-eating monsters you see in movies. They are actually quite docile creatures who are often exploited for farm work and menial chores.

“They are more to be pitied than feared.”

Outrageously, although Duclaire was caught red-handed, the evil sex fiend will probably never serve a day in jail for his heinous acts. Haitian law does not acknowledge the existence of voodoo, and the substance used to make zombies has not been banned.

“My client has done nothing illegal,” insisted attorney Yves Rimbaud. “Any love acts were completely consensual. The police report clearly states than no ropes, chains, or restraining devices of any type were found on the premises. The so-called ‘victim’ was free to go at any time.

“The notion that ‘voodoo’ can be used to control someone’s mind is superstitious nonsense.”

Brave survivor Kaitlan is expected to make a full recovery. She plans to return to college in the spring and to resume her studies.

 “I guess it goes without saying I don’t plan to spend spring break in Haiti any time soon,” she said.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth.  All rights reserved.

Has Duclaire struck before? A story I wrote under a pseudonym in Weekly World News a decade ago about still-missing Baltimore woman Alison Bundwith suggests the twisted fiend may have preyed on other vacationers.  http://books.google.com/books?id=CvADAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA33&ots=CrZlijt4Mg&dq=weekly%20world%20news%20zombie%20kidnapped%20sister&pg=PA33#v=onepage&q&f=false. And, yes, I did do that illustration!

C. Michael Forsyth's novel begins with a scene of unimaginable horror.

To hear what’s being called “the most shocking opening scene in the history of horror,” CLICK HERE, then Audio Clip.

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