Guest Post: Christine Verstraete

Real is scarier than fiction


Why write about zombies, some ask?

I’d say overall there is something fascinating about monsters, the kind that you see in the movies and read about. They’re the embodiment of evil, but they’re a “safe” scare, the fictional boogeyman who won’t reach you.

What’s fascinating about “monsters” is that usually they can be vanquished. But in real life… there, the monsters are much scarier.

Throughout history, real life “monsters” have acted on their own dark impulses long before the input of television, or movies, or modern fiction, which makes them even scarier than anything a writer can put on a page.

So, in keeping with Halloween and things that make you leave the lights on, here’s a list of a few real life monsters that are scarier than anything you’ll find in fiction. I was going to put 10 but that’s too much sickness in one post. So we’ll settle with five:


Five Monsters in History:

1 Vlad the Impaler – the Romanian Prince of Wallachia named for his penchant of surrounding his castle with thousands impaled heads of real and imagined enemies. The prince and Crusader died in 1476 and was inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


2 How does one go from fighting with Joan of Arc to becoming a serial killer? Breton knight Gille de Rais was hanged on October 26, 1440 for the supposed killing of hundreds of local children, though the actual numbers may have ranged from 10 to 30. Of course he is not the first person in history to have gone off the deep end and succumbed to depravity after dabbling in the occult. He supposedly inspired the tale of Bluebeard published in Paris in 1697 about a nobleman who murdered his wives.


3 A missing neighbor is what led police to the home of the oddball in the area. The remains of 11 people, some killed by Wisconsinite Ed Gein and others obtained by old-fashioned grave-robbing, were used as gruesome decorations all over the killer’s house. He served as inspiration for Hitchcock’s Norman Bates in Psycho.


4 Jeffrey Dahmer was another Wisconsin resident who killed 17 men from 1978 to 1991 and liked to keep his conquests around in more ways than one. What is it that makes many killers delve into the sordid trio of murder, necrophilia and cannibalism? Silence of the Lambs anyone?


5 The title of scariest and still living serial killer goes to Charles Manson, the madman behind the killings of the LaBiancas and actress Sharon Tate in the 1960’s. He also had links to Satan worship, according to accounts in the book Helter Skelter by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry.

Sweet dreams, everyone!



Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets a good-looking part-Z like her and fears falling for him. After all, how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her?

But time is running out… Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs.

Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late…

Christine Verstraete
Blogs: –
In Miniature Style II, print & ebook
Coming AUG 1: GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

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