BIG SCREAMIERE ISSUE! FOREBODING TALES OF D READ AND D EATH FROM THE... No.
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firstname.lastname@example.org Midnight Mortuary c/o Bloodworth Studios 1206 Pinecrest, White Lake, MI 48386
MIDNIGHT MORTUARY ™ #1 First Embalming: Online Version, January 2008. All Content © 2008 Mark Bloodworth. Any similarities to persons living...or dead...are purely coincidental. With exception of artwork used for review purposes, none of the contents of this magazine may be reprinted without permission from the Bloodworth Studios.
hi there, sweeties! welcome to my home. I like to call it the midnight mortuary. my name is Faye celeste.
at least, that’s what I call myself, Jane Doe is rather.... banal. Don’t you think?
Anyway, I have a party to get ready for, so, why don’t you make yourself cozy and enjoy a few stories while I get myself presentable.
This first one is a shout out to all my righteous peeps in the ‘hood. something I like to call...
WELL, WELL. THAT WAS QUITE A TAIL, EH? SO NICE TO SEE A YOUNG WOMAN INVOLVED WITH CIVIC DUTY.
SO I’M TRYING TO DECIDE, OPEN TOE SHOE OR CLOSED? HMMM, MAYBE IF YOU SEE THE DRESS. CHECK BACK AFTER THIS NEXT LITTLE DIVERSION REGARDING THE LIVING DEAD. ENJOY.
oh, that was quaint, don’t you think?
I certainly hope ed get’s to make his movie.
as you can see I’ve picked out a dress. getting ready to put my face on.
this may take awhile so to keep you occupied here’s a tall tale about...
A R ev erie of T h e 1970’s: Horror Hosts, Creature Features and Monster Magazines
B Y M A R K B L O ODWORT H
Lawson Deming is dead. He died in the spring of
2007 and was 94 years of age at the time of his demise. Though he meant a great deal to me and affected my life at a very early age (and I cherish those memories) we never met face to face. I can say, with probable certainty, that he never even knew I existed.
But, I knew him. Well…I knew him by his nom de guerre: SIR
GRAVES GHASTLY. Perhaps now, you remember him, too. Most assuredly, if you grew up in southeastern Michigan, northern Ohio, or the southern most tip of Ontario, Canada during the late 1960’s to late ‘70’s, you knew this thespian vampire (or of him). Definitely so, if you loved to watch old horror movies on a Saturday afternoon (raining, snowing, or not).
My brother and I first met Sir Graves at a very young age.
things happen? Point was (and is) I fell in love with the horror genre, all of it, movies, novels, comics, toys….you get the idea. The main catalyst for this metamorphosis of my mindset was my undead friend, Sir Graves Ghastly. Yes, thanks to Sir Graves, I could be assured that no matter what banalities school or home-life could send my way during the week, my dependable Vampire Vaudevillian would invite me to lend eye and ear to his tales of gore, from days of yore. From the sublime: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, to the ridiculous: ROBOT MONSTER. There was always an exciting escape into another world every weekend. I ate this stuff up, feeding the hunger by collecting: Monster Model Kits, all with “Glow-in-the-Dark” parts; Fan Magazines like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES, then later, FANGORIA; and of course, COMICS! First the color monthlies like: TOMB OF DRACULA, MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, HOUSE OF MYSTERY, HOUSE OF SECRETS. But far and away the comics I loved the most were those black and white, magazine sized, periodicals. Paper coolness with titles such as: TALES OF THE ZOMBIE, DRACULA LIVES, PSYCHO, NIGHTMARE, SCREAM, EERIE, CREEPY, and, of course, the voluptuous VAMPIRELLA. If it was horror, I had to have it.
Our mother introduced us. You see, mom loved horror movies. Still does. Films like FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, THE WOLFMAN, THE FLY, you get the idea. Many of these she actually saw in the theater, not necessarily during their initial runs, but more than likely in re-release. For her, this was not only a trip down memory lane and a chance to view the films again (remember, I’m harkening back to the stone-age here, kids. There were no cable horror networks, video rentals, and DVD’s? HAH! That, my friend, was science After a couple years, I learned that other cities across fiction!), it was also a way of sharing these experiences our nation had their local Creatures of the Night just with her two sons. as I had the Ghastly One. I wondered if my peers in those towns felt as I did regarding our respective M.C.’s I can’t remember exactly which weekend it was or the of the Macabre. The feeling that no matter what they movie we watched that first time, though my money were: Grave Robbers, Mad Scientists, Vampires, or would be on either FRANKENSTEIN, or his BRIDE. Zombies, we could trust them. Well, maybe trust is too I can remember that I was hooked! Why? How? Who strong a word (they were, after all, Grave Robbers, Mad knows. Does anyone really know why or how these Scientists, Vampires, or Zombies), but we did know we
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wouldn’t be harmed when they invited us into their sanctums. They were our guides into the NetherRealms of the Supernatural. As long as it was the appointed day and time, we had nothing to fear…from them. The tales that were told, well, you watched at your own risk.
capabilities, a whole new generation found the thrill of feeling like you were running off the rails on a Crazy Train while sitting petrified on your sofa.
Thanks to cable programming the Mid-Eighties saw
the return of the Horror Host. ELVIRA, Mistress of the Dark, or Cassandra Peterson, as the daywalkers Adding to all this fun, was a man by the name of Ron knew her, was a comedienne in California that hosted Sweed. His alter ego, THE GHOUL, kept things a local (soon nationally syndicated) B-Movie show. shaking with a rebellious bent. Syndicated into lateSoon to be followed by John Bloom, better known night Detroit through the early ‘70’s until 1975, when as JOE BOB BRIGGS, the host of The Movie the television station that aired him in our town Channel’s Drive-In Cinema. While not a Horror Host buckled under the pressure of parents concerned with in the classic sense, Joe Bob was still performing The Ghoul’s antics. He was cancelled just at the time the function true to the spirit of those who came when my brother and I realized that we could sneak the before. The 1990’s saw these hosts and shows begin TV on late Friday and Saturday nights. He returned a to disappear. By the end of the decade I only saw the few years later (better for us, now in our mid-teens, we most popular ones around Halloween time. didn’t have to sneak) to make us howl as he denigrated the films he showed, his sidekick FROGGY, the local So, here we are, seven years into the new millennium. media, and just about everything else. Wouldn’t you think, that with hundreds of channels on the tube, and 24 hours open daily for programming, Of all the movies The Ghoul hosted one stands out there would be locally hosted horror movie programs strong in my memory. It was a groovy little picture in every major city? I mean, why has this great and called: PSYCHOMANIA. I swear, he must have noble civic duty been neglected by this generation? shown this thing at least once a month, if not more. Last I checked, horror films and similar genres are We loved it. Follow: Spoiled rich boy, leader of a biker doing quite well at the box office. Where are today’s gang in London, coerces his mother (a witch) into Curators of Celluloid Creatures? I despair. And revealing to him secrets of the Dark Arts. Getting the then…while surfing the Internet one day I noticed that lowdown that if you pledge yourself to the dark side there are plenty of websites dedicated to the histories and willingly sacrifice yourself you can return from of these entertainers. That some, like The Ghoul, have death. Your appearance is unaltered and you are pay-per-view webcasts. But, still, where are they on my indestructible. Needless to say, once he comes back, local TV station? the other gang members begin to off themselves in everyway imaginable. Soon, there rides an undead, Perhaps the answer lies buried here: I read online invincible gang of bikers loose on the streets. Good recently that Elvira hosted a reality show concerning God, people, CAN IT GET ANY BETTER THAN the search for the next great horror host. So, maybe THAT?! there’s a little hope. I mean, if the local TV station’s news department can hold auditions for a televised I think not. contest revolving around finding the next great Traffic Reporter, perhaps they’ll take a cue from Ms. Peterson The ritual of late-night television on the weekends led and go one better. Well, I can hope, anyway. to the discovery of other horror fest on other stations. Usually without a host, but, still showing twisted So, here’s to the continued success and memory of ‘70’s craziness like: LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO these men and women who helped shape our childhood DEATH, SHOCK WAVES, PATRICK, and SSSSsss psyches and soothe our adult anxieties: Ernie (don’t say it, hiss it). Soon, the 1970’s transformed Anderson (Ghoulardi), Jerry Bishop (Svengoolie), under neon moonlight into the 1980’s and the horror John Bloom (Joe Bob Briggs), Lawson J. Deming market slightly declined. Science-Fiction and Sword (Sir Graves Ghastly), Sid Noel (Morgus), Maila and Sorcery took center-stage for a few years, then, Nurmi (Vampira), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Ron gaining a foothold, a new horror culture emerge from Sweed (The Ghoul) and of course, John Zacherle the abyss, The Slasher Film. Replacing the standard (Zacherley). This is by no means a complete list, just Monster-on-the-Prowl with an unstoppable serial killer the ones I remember seeing and reading about through or mass-murdering maniac. Whether at a summer my malformative years. I’m sure those of you reading camp or in your dreams, this malevolent shape was this have names that you could add. slaughtering us, teens, ‘tweens, and twenty-somethings in ever increasingly imaginative ways. With the advent I hope that when you think of them, it brings a smile of cable television stations and affordable home video to your face.
just about ready. meet me out back when youâ€™ve finished this last little riff. itâ€™s a silent one based on an old song. so sing along if you remember the words. it starts like this...
some men are just too sentimental, hmmm?
well... as usual, I seem to be the first one here.
feel free to join the party, but, iâ€™ll understand if you have to go now. â€˜til next time, stay cool...and fresh.
Faye Celeste and The Midnight Mortuary
A REAL GONE GIRL WHO JUST WANTS TO HAVE FUN.
Article By D’Wood She calls herself Faye Celeste. An apparent play on words regarding her appearance. Her toe tag lists no name or cause of death. The first time she revealed her existence to me was a winter night many years ago. I was out with a couple of friends driving around on a snowy evening. As we drove down a local highway we saw a cemetery, with a large mausoleum, in the distance. The freshly fallen snow combined with the light from a full moon made the grounds and markers shine with an ethereal glow. I can’t remember what possessed us to do it, but, we felt the need to jump the gates and walk around the cemetery grounds. So, we pulled of the interstate, parked the car a little down the road (to not draw attention to our intention) and walked to the main entrance of the cemetery. We helped each other climb the twelve foot high, wrought iron fence. Once over, the three of us started to walk along together barely able to discern the roadways from the grounds proper. The snow was deep enough to erase all minor imperfections in the landscape. The white was hypnotizing. Were it not for the silhouettes of the larger monuments and the barren trees rising like grasping claws from the ground, we would surely have experienced a sense of vertigo or limbo, so intense was the obscuring whiteness of the snow. Looming in the distance, the mausoleum, provided a point of reference. No Picture of Faye Celeste in front of the Midnight Mortuary. Early 1990’s. sooner had I noticed a lonesome, lighted window near the top, than a shadowy figure moved laterally across the bright yellow rectangle. I mentioned what I saw to my friends and we agreed to be very quiet so as not to alert any security within. At this time I felt the urge to relieve myself of the night’s earlier drink, signalling this to my friends I left their company to find a spot to take care of this need, though not before deciding that we would all make our way back to the main entrance in about ten minutes, for it was very cold and we were not properly dressed for a long expedition. Walking away, I looked about to find a suitable tree or marker for my uriniferous purpose when suddenly -- I was falling! No sooner had the sensation of freefalling registered within my brain was it replaced with the painful arrival of the earth beneath me once more. A numbness spread along my right side and I realized that it was due, not only to the forceful reuniting of my body to terra firma, but, also to the fact that I was lying in snow. Rolling onto my spine, I peered upward to see the night sky, black with white flecks of crystallized moisture swirling to and fro, all framed in a fairly neat rectangular shape. Rather like a painting hung before me on a white, museum wall. This tunnel vision startled me and as I shot to my feet it dawned on me what had happened. I had fallen into a recently dug grave, hidden from me by the surreal, monochromatic, near formless white of the snow covered field. Laughing at my clumsiness, I called out to my friends. I heard no reply. I yelled their names yet again, paused to listen. Nothing. As I took a deep breath, in preparing a third and final call before attempting escape on my own, I heard a soft, yet firm, female voice ask, “Are you all right?” “Yes.”, I replied. “Do you need any help, sweetie?”, the voice questioned with a playful quality. Assuring my unseen rescuer that I did, an arm, petite yet firm of tone, reached down over the lip of the grave. “Grab hold, honey, I’ll help you up.”, the voice lilted. Clasping the hand, I bent my legs and jumped. The extended arm of my benefactor then contracted and lifted me, I dare say, with little help from my inertia, right out of the hole. Landing squarely on my feet, the hand released it’s grip. I looked up to greet the face of my saviour and was denied. Not that my new found friend was no longer there, she was, but by virtue of the fact that she did not have a face. What I mean is, she had the skeletal and muscular structure of a human face, but with the skin removed. Her large expressive eyes looked at me, somewhat sadly, yet with a mischievous twinkle. I stood mute, my mouth agape, to which she interjected, “You’re quite welcome.” “Thanks.”, I stammered, adding, “Who are you? What are you doing here, like this.” I motioned at her, having now noticed not only her lack of facial epidermis but that she was dressed in a flimsy, white chamois. Her nightgown, thin and wispy in the slight breeze, revealed the well proportioned body of a petite, young woman, perhaps in her late twenties. I, being 19 at the time, knew only that she was not a teenager. She presented herself and spoke with a confidence one does not attain while still in their salad days. “I live here.”, she replied to my nervous query, “This is my home.”, she motioned at the grounds, “I awoke in the mortuary, in the basement of the mausoleum, one night and I just keep an eye on things.” I asked, “Are you...dead?” “I thinks so,”, she opened her nightgown slightly at her breast revealing the huge scar and stitching of an autopsy incision, “yet, I don’t think wholly so.” “You’re the first person to ever hear or see me.”, she began, “I find that makes me happy.”, then turned to walk away, adding, “Your friends are waiting for you at the gate. If you ever feel like it again, please stop by. I would welcome the company.” I started to reply then heard my friends call out, turned to answer, when I looked back where she had stood, she’d vanished. Though I did notice her bare footprints in the snow leading back to the edifice she called home. I spoke not of these events to my friends, save for my clumsiness at finding a spot to relieve myself (which I did, at last, by the main gate while my friends climbed over) and went about the remainder of our evening without incident. A week passed before, either my courage or curiosity, had become strong enough to cause me to seek her out, if truly she existed. She did. We made formal introductions and I stayed for a couple of hours that first night as Detail of Faye Celeste. Early 1990’s. she related some eerie tales. Some of which are presented in this magazine. I hope you enjoy them.