Lucy Taylor’s Horror and Dark Fantasy:
Readers of hardcore horror fiction were first introduced to Painfreak in a collection of short stories by author Gerard Houarner in 1996. Now Houarner is both a contributor to and editor of the new anthology INTO PAINFREAK, published by Necro Publications, Bedlam Press & Weird West Books.
INTO PAINFREAK features all new stories from some of horror’s top authors, including a new novelette by Edward Lee. Contributors include Monica O’Roarke, Wrath James White, K. Trap Jones, Linda Addison, Charlee Jacobs, and many others. I’m delighted that my own story “He Who Whispers the Dead Back to Life” is part of the line-up – in my version of this Land of Erotic Enchantment, the entrance to Painfreak is a casita near Gallup, New Mexcio, guarded by a hybrid dog who administers the coveted ‘mark’ with its teeth.
For those not already familiar with the terrible delights of Painfreak, this entry from the blog of David G. Barnett, publisher, will give you an idea: “Welcome to Painfreak, the traveling club that arises out of the dark and calls to those seeking the ultimate in pleasure and pain. Many come to experience the ultimate in decadence and debauchery. And many get lost in a labyrinth filled with depraved sex, beautiful death, and wonderfully horrible sights. You’ve been given the mark, now step into the heart of…PAINFREAK.”
INTO PAINFREAK will be available on 12÷12÷16. Look for it at http://necropublications.com/products/into-the-heart-of-painfreak-trade-paperback– and become lost in its seductive monstrosities.
The horror the human mind can invent for the purpose of inflicting suffering on our fellows is on full display at this macabre and disturbing museum in the Old City of Carcassonne, France. The focus isn’t on the Spanish Inquisition, which lasted longer and is more widely known, but an earlier one – the Medieval Inquisition that followed a crusade by the Catholic Church against the so-called heretic Cathars. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Carcassonne and other medieval towns like Bezier and Albi were strongholds of Cathar beliefs, and the Museum showcases some of the nastier ways the Cathars were forced to confess to devil worship before, more often than not, being burned at the stake.
Among the devices on display are the iron maiden, the stretcher, the head crusher and the pulley device in which a victim whose wrists were bound behind her was hoisted into the air and then dropped down, often with weights attached to maximize the damage. To add to the grotesquerie, before being used, these instruments were often blessed with holy water.
Women accused of witchcraft seem to have made up a large number of the victims, but even an ‘overly talkative’ wife could be silenced behind an iron mask crafted with demon-like animal ears. One ghastly device was a sharp-ponted cone the woman was forced to straddle while weights fastened to her arms inexorably pulled her lower, for a slow, excruciating impalement.
Even musicians were at risk for torture – one sinister-looking device was, according to the description, used to punish “bad musicians”.
Would I recommend the Museum to anyone visiting the south of France? Well, on the one hand, to see these monstrous but carefully crafted instruments and realize they were actually used for their vile purpose, is depressing in the extreme. The sense of relief, however, upon walking back into the cobbled streets lined with bistros, boutiques, and stores selling fake swords and daggers, feels infinitely sweet!
A new novelette from Omnium Gatherum Press.
When Zack, Kaitlin and their two children relocate to New Mexico, they plan to start a new life in the “Land of Enchantment,” but what they find is something far more foreboding and ominous. Kaitlin’s photography assignment takes them on “death jaunts” around the State, their neighbor is a man harboring a terrible secret, and three people who died near their house appear to have been fleeing for their lives. Before long, Zack is terrified of losing both his wife and his sanity, and the family discovers that death may be much closer to home than they thought.
Travels to the Lands of the Living, the Dead, and the Damned
FATAL JOURNEYS is a collection of stories about travelers who venture into regions both macabre and seductive, on the planet and within the psyche.
The Silence Between The Screams is a collection of original short fiction and a reprint of a previously released novella. Her novella “Spree” has not been available for many years after its initial printing sold out almost immediately upon publication. Now “Spree” and this collection of original short fiction is being published for the first time.