October Overflow

Despite months of anticipation, Halloween always seems to spring up abruptly (much like the Gourd-Burster above). No matter how much I plan, there still seems to be so much more to read, watch, listen to, and post about. But just because the calendar has flipped to November, it doesn’t mean I am ready to bid farewell to this Halloween season. So, some more October-centric posts can be expected over the course of the next week.

As readers of this blog might have guessed, Halloween is my favorite day of the year. And I can’t think of any way to make the holiday even more special than to have a new piece of fiction published. Yesterday the vampire anthology And the Dead Shall Sleep No More: Vol. II  was released; it contains my story “Blood Born,” a tale of stealthy predation set in the New Jersey meadowlands. In all, the volume features 20 original works of short fiction. You can preview/purchase the book over at Amazon. Hope you enjoy!

Peter Straub (1943-2022)

Sadly, the horror genre has lost one of its giants. Peter Straub passed away today at the age of 79.

A consummate prose stylist, Straub authored such classic novels as Ghost Story, Shadowland, Floating Dragon, and Koko. He also co-wrote (with Stephen King) the dark fantasy epics The Talisman and Black House.

I had the opportunity to meet Straub a few times over the years, at different conferences and book readings. His imposing (physical and literary) stature could be intimidating at first, but he proved very approachable and personable. Erudite yet never arrogant. A class act all the way.

Rest in peace, Peter. Our Macabre Republic mourns your loss.



Anne Rice (1941-2021)

The Macabre Republic mourns today: literary great Anne Rice has passed away at the age of 80, following complications from a stroke. It’s very sad that Ms. Rice won’t get to see the forthcoming television series adaptation of her Vampire Chronicles brought to the screen. But she leaves behind a rich legacy of Gothic novels, a body of work that has secured her immortality within horror-genre history.


Terrifying Ghosts Release

I am thrilled to announce my latest publication (in the Flame Tree Press Anthology Terrifying Ghosts), and truly honored to join such a terrific lineup of (contemporary and classic) writers.


Foreword by Clare Frances Elliot

“A Dead Finger” by S. Baring-Gould

“Out of the Sea” by A.C. Benson

“The Face” by E.F. Benson

“The Step” by E.F. Benson

“The Secret of Macarger’s Gulch” by Ambrose Bierce

“Of Water” by Die Booth

“Eveline’s Visitant” by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

“The Rebus” by Nancy Brewka-Clark

“Passing Through Peacehaven” by Ramsey Campbell

“William Tyrwhitt’s ‘Copy'” by Bernard Capes

“Ones and Zeroes” by Dan Coxon

“In Kropfsberg Keep” by Ralph Adams Cram

“The Corpse Light” by Dick Donovan

“The Captain of the Polestar” by Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Phantom Coach” by Amelia B. Edwards

“Flannery House” by Felix Flynn

“Georgie” by Robert Ford

“A Ghost’s Revenge” by Lettice Galbraith

“I Exist” by Lyndsay E. Gilbert

“Consorting with Filth” by Lisa L. Hannett

“The Cold Earth” by Sarah Hans

“The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi” by Lafcadio Hearn

“Yuki-Onna” by Lafcadio Hearn

“My True Love Gave to Me” by Sean Hogan

“Jerry Bundler” by W.W. Jacobs

“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James

“Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” by M.R. James

“The Ash Tree” by M.R. James

“A Soap Opera for One” by O.R. Kennett

“”An Inverted Haunting”  by John Kiste

“On Bricks and Bronze” by Spencer Koelle

“Floating Ghosts” by Jessica Landry

“Schalken the Painter” by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

“Green Branches” by Fiona Macleod

“We Were Supposed to Be Happy” by J.A.W. McCarthy

“Fudakeishi” by Marshall J. Moore

“Theater Crowd” by Joe Nazare

“The Portent of the Shadow” by Edith Nesbit

“They Walk and Weep” by Michael Nethercott

“Enlivened” by Adam L.G. Nevill

“What Was It? A Mystery” by Fitz-James O’Brien

“Metzengerstein: A Tale in Imitation of the German” by Edgar Allan Poe

“The Victim” by May Sinclair

“The Sounds of a Bamboo Forest” by Michelle Tang

“Praying That You Feel Better Soon” by Jeffrey Thomas

“Mrs. Lunt” by Hugh Walpole

“The Moth” by H.G. Wells

“Pomegranate Seed” by Edith Wharton

Biographies & Sources


Terrifying Ghosts is now available in the U.S. Keep cool this summer with some chilling reads!


Just Added: Macabre Follows

I’ve just added a new page to the header menu: Macabre Follows. It is an annotated, hyperlinked list of online places (websites, blogs, podcasts, etc.) that lovers of horror and the Gothic will be thrilled to visit on a continuing basis.

Such cataloging is an ongoing project, and I am sure I will be adding to the page over time. I also welcome recommendations from readers of this blog (feel free to make your suggestions in the Comments section below, or to communicate them to me through the Contact form.

I hope this new page helps lead you down some delightfully dark pathways…

Come Climb Up into the Treehouse of Trivia

The baseball playoffs have pushed this year’s Treehouse of Horror episode until November 1st, but that doesn’t mean that The Simpsons has been bumped from the Halloween season. In honor of the upcoming Treehouse of Horror XXXI, I will be posting a Treehouse of Trivia quiz here to this blog on Saturday, October 31st. The quiz will contain 31 questions, and cover material from the first 30 Halloween specials. I hope to challenge even the most devoted of Treehouse fans. Here are the types of question you can expect:

*True or False? Kang, Kodos, and the Leprechaun have made cameo appearances on every single Treehouse of Horror episode to date.

*Complete the quote (from the ToH III segment “Clown Without Pity”): When Homer runs naked through the kitchen (after being chased from the bathtub by the evil Krusty doll), Patty announces to her sisters, “There goes the last __________________.”

*For the Halloween specials, the Gracie Films logo at the end of Simpsons episodes is changed to feature ominous organ music and a shrill scream. Name at least one other change made to the logo presentation over the course of the Treehouse series.

*Which of the following is NOT one of the alterations to the future caused by Homer’s time traveling in the ToH V segment “Time and Punishment”?
A) Ned Flanders becomes unquestioned lord and master of the world
B) Bart and Lisa appear giant-sized and try to crush Homer
C) Marge is married to Artie Ziff instead of Homer
D) No one knows what donuts are
E) The Simpsons have reptilian tongues


Stumped by these? A perfect reason to do some Treehouse of Horror bingeing on Disney+ this week. Have fun boning up, and good luck with the Treehouse of Trivia quiz this Halloween!

New Book Release for the Halloween Season

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my new book, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Ultimate Annotated Edition (available now as a Kindle eBook). This one has been years in the making, and I did massive amounts of reading and research for it, so it is a great feeling to see the project finally completed.

Amazon is still in the process of activating the “Look Inside” feature for my book, but in the meantime you can read the book’s description on the product page. You can also check out the Preface and an excerpt from the Bonus Essay (“Eerie Rider: The Headless Horseman’s Forays into Pop Culture”) on the dedicated page here on my website.

Hope you all enjoy the new book. Happy Halloween Season!


[Haunted Overload in Lee, New Hampshire]

Hi folks. I just wanted to highlight a new feature I’ve added to the sidebar of this website’s home page. It’s called “Dark-Tripping Through the Macabre Republic,” and provides a series of links for actual places to visit all across Gothic America (many of them I have yet to experience, so this also serves as my own Macabre Republic bucket list). I won’t pretend that this listing is exhaustive; if there are any prime spots that you would recommend adding to it, please let me know.


Seize the Season

At long last, the calendar has flipped to the most important time of year in the Macabre Republic: the High Holiday season, in the merry month of mayhem. These thirty-one days always seem to fly by faster than a witch late to a sabbath, so I encourage you to start celebrating early. Here’s hoping that your October is stocked with autumnal treats and attractive haunts, and that your Halloween proves a harvest of horror.

Speaking for myself, I am to be in the spirit all month long here on this blog. There will be plenty of Halloween-related posts to follow. Thanks to the recent release of the second cinematic chapter, this isn’t just the season of the witch but also the season of IT. I accordingly have a lot of items planned relating to Stephen King’s epic novel that should float the boat of Constant Readers.

First, for all those who can’t get their fill of fall, here’s a poem to kick off the season. It is from my collection Autumn Lauds (for a closer look inside this book, click the designated heading in the menu above).



By Joe Nazare


Apple cider
Perfectly perfumery bottle, eau de orchard

Candy corn
Fairy horde of sweet tricolor bicuspids

Yankee Candle
Flaming aromatic–earthy wood, sere leaves

Pumpkin pancakes
Limited time: we all bound to IHOP

Decorative hay bales
Squarely redolent of rural remotes

Cinnamon-sugared doughnuts
Dessert worthy of the Van Tassel banquet table

Not just of mists and mellow fruitfulness
(as Keats asserted)
But a season of scents and tastes to savor


American Gothic/Gothic American

I’m excited to report that I have received my contributor copies for Flame Tree Press’s new anthology American Gothic Short Stories, which contains my story “Gothic American.” The anthology features fourteen original tales and a slew of classic reprints. These latter are what make this writing credit my proudest one to date. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see my name listed on the same Table of Contents page with so many of my literary idols–preeminent American Gothic authors such as Charles Brockden Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Flannery O’Connor, and Shirley Jackson.

“Gothic American” is one of my favorite pieces that I have written, largely because it deals with my favorite work of art: Grant Wood’s American Gothic. The house that inspired Wood and formed the backdrop for the now-iconic couple in the 1930 painting still stands in Eldon, Iowa, and has become an offbeat sort of tourist attraction (with visitors inevitably recreating the scene from the painting as they pose for photos). My story casts a darker shadow over such lighthearted mimicry. It also speculates: what if the American Gothic House (as this historic landmark is now called) actually was an American Gothic house?

The story went through countless drafts (and accumulated its fair share of rejections) over the years before I felt I finally got it right. I wanted “Gothic American” to allow multiple interpretations by readers, and believe the version published in American Gothic Short Stories has achieved the correct level of ambiguity (apropos of Wood’s vaguely-unsettling painting, whose meaning is so hard to pin down). I also believe the story has found the perfect home in Flame Tree Press’s anthology, and am thrilled to see it published there.