East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Ghosts for Christmas

Today I’ve finished the first round of translation on the mystery novella Murder on the Giava, and took the afternoon off to read the new issue of Phantasmagoria, Special Edition, that is all about M.R. James – and as it usually happens when I go back to classic ghost stories, I felt like writing some new ghost stories myself – because that’s where I started with horror, as a reader, with classic ghost stories.

In fact, right now I’ve three ghost stories being considered for publication, but while I am waiting for the publishers to make up their minds, there’s always room for more.

The magazine features an article by James himself about “proper” ghost stories, and that’s certainly an inspiration.

And so, while I wait to start the second round of translation – to catch all the stupid stuff I wrote on the first – I thought I’ll devote December to ghost stories, and then either sell them, or share them with my Patrons or, who knows, put together a collection and self-publish it.

Watch this space for updates.

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Night of the Demon (1957)

It has been written since the beginning of time, even unto these ancient stones, that evil supernatural creatures exist in a world of darkness. And it is also said man using the magic power of the ancient runic symbols can call forth these powers of darkness, the demons of Hell.


The real problem with Night of the Demon (aka Curse of the Demon, originally supposed to be called The Haunted) is, of course, the demon. Director Jacques Tourneur of Cat People fame was all against it, but the producer apparently ignored the director’s choice, and had the scenes with the demon that bookend the movie shot by a second unit.

The demon looks cheap and fake and borders on laugh-out-loud ridiculous, and it’s a pity, because without it Night of the Demon would be an otherwise impeccable horror movie.
As things stand, it’s still one of the best horror thrillers ever produced.
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