Guest Post: Jacob and Jenny Floyd


HOW THE BOOKS BEGAN

by Jacob Floyd

Jenny and I are ghost hunters who own and operate two historic ghost walks in the Louisville, Kentucky area, and we are the authors of two paranormal nonfiction books—Louisville’s Strange and Unusual Haunts and Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions. How does someone get into such a hobby, you might ask? It’s something you have to have been interested in for a while, either just out of pure curiosity or because you’ve had unexplainable incidents of your own, both of which ring true for us.

Jenny and I both have had our share of paranormal experiences since we’ve been together and before we knew each other. But, to go into all of that would certainly take some time. It will suffice here for us to talk about how exactly our foray into writing the paranormal evolved.

In late 2015, Jenny and I started getting into ghost hunting. At first, we referred to ourselves as paranormal investigators, but later determined the term “ghost hunter” better suited us. While we certainly agree that scientific approaches are excellent ways to get involved with the field, we do not claim to be scientists. There is no denying science can explain many things, and that one day the paranormal may be a true branch of science if certain discoveries are made. We also believe that parapsychology has many answers, too. A lot of the theories involving residual energy and human energy producing certain phenomena that people have attributed to ghosts are certainly plausible explanations. But, also, we believe there are metaphysical explanations that need to be taken into account. As vast as the universe is, there are a lot of things we have yet to understand, and there are numerous theories about separate realities, planes of existences, parallel universes, and other space and spirit related ideas. So, why not the possibility of human energy surviving after the body has ceased functioning? You have to keep an open mind when dealing with the paranormal, whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, if you want to be credible. But, we like “ghost hunters” because that’s actually what we we’re doing: looking for ghosts or ghost stories.

So, in the beginning, Jenny and I were taking our cameras, meters, recorders, and spirit box out to various locations said to be haunted. We visited a few spots with a veteran ghost hunter, including the old poor farm in Scottsburg, Indiana, but our first real investigation came at the Old Stone Jail in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. We had some interesting experiences, which will be discussed later in another project we are currently working on. Since then, we have had many interesting experiences, including an intelligent spirit box response at the statue of Harry Collins in Cave Hill, a possible picture of the Lady in Blue at Louisville’s Seelbach Hotel, a strange white apparition moving through Eastern Cemetery, just to name a few.

But, investigating the history of the Old Stone Jail led us on a path to finding out that there is a lot of interesting history and alleged haunts and legends in the historic area of Downtown Shepherdsville. After finding out so many captivating stories, we decided to start our first ghost walk—Jacob Floyd’s Shepherdsville History and Haunts Tour. It got a lot of great feedback, and we ended up with people coming to us with more information. Eventually, we decided it was time to write a book about Kentucky haunts.

When we embarked upon this new project, we decided to start with Louisville. We had heard tales of a few haunted places, but as we called around we began getting a lot of information about East Market Street, in the neighborhood that is now called NuLu (stretching along East Market from Hancock Street to Baxter Avenue). As we spoke to people down there, we kept getting more stories and we kept getting directed to other individuals who had ghost tales to tell. One of the locations down there is where Jenny did her famous, “Go in there and talk to them. That place feels haunted,” which always—as it did this instance—turns up fascinating and detailed ghost tales from the people who either work, occupy, or own the buildings.

Before we knew it, we had enough information about NuLu haunts that we had developed another tour—one that has, much like Shepherdsville, been met with a lot of positive feedback—called Jacob Floyd’s NuLu History and Haunts Tour. This one is not quite as scenic or historic as Shepherdsville, but has more ghost stories and legends, which gives an excellent balance to our tours.

Now, with the NuLu tour, the investigations, and other various interviewing, we had enough for our first book—Louisville’s Strange and Unusual Haunts—which we pitched at Imaginarium in 2016 and got accepted. The book was met with a lot of praise from those who read it, and then we decided it was time for our next project, Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions.

This book involved less ghost hunting but a lot more thorough research and some interviewing. There is a personal touch as the first home, the Brooks Plantation, was a family home for Jenny. In contrast to the first book, this one contains a lot of significant Kentucky history on top of the paranormal reports, which is vital to a lot of ghost tales as the history is usually where the haunts come from. Part of ghost hunting is learning about the buildings, the history, the people, the area, and the architecture. You find out a lot of fascinating things and meet a lot of interesting people when digging up ghost stories, which is at least half the fun.

That’s a brief summary of how these two projects came to be for us, and we intend for this to only be the beginning. Currently, we have a few other projects in the works and we hope to be bringing our readers a lot more entertaining ghost stories in the near future.

About the authors: Jacob and Jenny Floyd (also known as The Frightening Floyds) are paranormal authors, ghost hunters, and tour operators from Louisville, Kentucky. Jenny is a sensitive and an empath that has been around the paranormal for years. Jacob Floyd has been a writer and paranormal enthusiast for years and enjoys all things creepy and macabre. They recently began two tours in Kentucky—the Shepherdsville History and Haunts Tour and the NuLu History and Haunts Tour—and have been a part of numerous ghost hunts in graveyards, hotels, and other various buildings. They live in a home surrounded by pets and one possible ghost.

Book Synopsis for Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions:   Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions, from paranormal authors Jacob and Jenny Floyd, will take you into the homes of the dignitaries and luminaries that made Kentucky industrious through business, bureaucracy, and bloodshed. Beyond the rich, sweeping history that these men wrote, there lies the spiritual energy their lives left behind.

Some of these mansions are alleged to be haunted, and many ghostly reports have come out of them. Read about phantoms such as the angry young girl at Griffin Gate to the vanishing cat of the Loudon House. Explore the accounts of the Aging Lady on the stairs at Elmwood and the Creature of the Cross Breeze at Wickland Estate Discover several of the most elegant and haunted homes across the commonwealth.

But rest assured, foolish mortals, there are no hitchhiking ghosts here—that we know of!

Author Links:

https://www.facebook.com/jacobfloydauthor/

Twitter: @AuthorJAFloyd

 

Amazon.com Links for Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions:

Kindle Version

Print Version

 

Barnes and Noble Link for Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions

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Guest Post: Carl R. Moore


On THE RITUAL, “The Reveal”, and When to Show the Blood

I’ve recently seen some buzz on Netflix’s THE RITUAL that is quite disparate in nature—some are praising it as amazing neo-Lovecraftian horror with a dash of Norse mythology. Others are decrying the wimpy behavior of the group of adult male characters, who clearly could be beat up by kids younger than the gang in STAND BY ME. The movie attempts to combine the inner conflict of a main character trying to deal with his inner-demon of cowardice, with the outward attack of a monster stalking his group of friends in a Scandinavian forest.

This is where the story begins to intrigue me, as I find the setting, the woods itself, the abandoned cabins, and the physical appearance of the monster to be pretty original and interesting. And as the monster’s attacks increase in their frequency, it places the film’s narrative structure in an unusual place on what I’ll call “the reveal spectrum”. Where a story lands on this spectrum can make or break it with a given audience. For example, if we described the reveal scale in terms of “low” meaning we never see the monster or the blood, and “high” meaning there is frequent graphic imagery and action, I’d put THE RITUAL somewhere in the middle, as we don’t see much during the first half, but get to see the entire monster attacking the characters by the end. I’d put something like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT as being extremely low reveal. On the other end of the spectrum, you have a movie like THE THING. In this story, the monster attacks early. What some would call “splatter” violence, I would instead call ‘high reveal’, and then any ensuing subtlety does not revolve around glimpses of a menace to come, but intricacies in how the characters interact with each other and their situation.

As an author, while my stories tend to be high on the reveal scale. And yet I like to play a lot with the how and when. What might look like a big reveal when a corpse rises from a coffin, might instead be concealing something the alchemist doesn’t want you to see in another part of the root cellar. In my novella SLASH OF CRIMSON, the reveal is as much about who someone really is as the blood that gets spilled in the discovery.

Carl R. Moore is the author of Slash of Crimson and Other Tales, published by Seventh Star Press and available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Book Synopsis for Slash of Crimson and Other Tales:  SLASH OF CRIMSON AND OTHER TALES offers two novellas and six short stories that combine an intoxicating mix of horror, crime noir, and alt-mythology. Its title story spins a dark maritime yarn about Drew Aldrin, a young guitarist and street rough, who takes a harrowing journey with a red-eyed beauty who claims she’s from Atlantis. The half-dozen brutal and sardonic short stories that follow tell of lost souls tortured by demons and far worse. The final novella, Torn from the Devil’s Chest, serves unsuspecting Sociology student Lyla Banes a deliciously disturbing feast of deception and trust-destroying lust. Indulge yourself in a collection that guarantees to thrill the senses while it shocks the nerves

Author Links:

website: www.carlrmoore.com

twitter: @carlrmoore

Amazon.com Links for Slash of Crimson and Other Tales:

Kindle Version

Print Version

 

Barnes and Noble Link for Slash of Crimson and Other Tales

Guest Post: D.W. Gillespie


Horror for the Kiddos

D.W. Gillespie

For some of us, horror is just in our DNA. With the release of my first novel, Still Dark, I can see how the progression of my life has all led to this point. It’s Universal Monster books in the grade school library. It’s scanning the Scholastic order form for anything remotely scary and perking up when you see a new Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It’s Monstervision with Joe Bob Briggs, Tales from the Darkside on Saturday nights, and EC Comics in the dark with a flashlight.

It’s not exactly something you learn, though being exposed to it can certainly help it bloom. I was always drawn to the spooky side of things, and it’s no big surprise that my son is as well. Now that I’m a dad, I’ve seen the question pop up on message boards, in internet think pieces, and even occasionally in person.

How young is too young to start enjoying horror?

There’s no set answer of course. For starters, the world I grew up in is so amazingly different from the one my son is growing up in. If you’re interested in it, now is a remarkable time to be a fan of horror. You can walk into a Toys R Us and walk out with a Freddy Krueger plush toy and a RJ MacCready action figure. The most popular show on plain old TV is gorier than most of the hardest R rated movies I grew up with. There are cutesy, family friendly Pop figures of cinema’s greatest monsters, and kids born decades after the fact just eat them up.

In other words, it’s a good time to be a kid who loves this stuff. I can only imagine with our endless stream of content that this era will spawn the perfect storm of horror writer, somebody a lot like my son who is as well-versed in the history of horror as any seven-year-old has ever been. He’s already starting to write his own stories, and they’re pretty damn good.

My guess is, there’s always been kids like us, drawn to the slightly darker side of things. I can imagine cavemen huddled around a fire, taking turns telling stories to the children about all the awful things hiding out there in the dark, waiting just out of sight to get them. Those stories were warnings and promises, a window into how dangerous the world could really be, and most of the kids responded accordingly, leaning away in terror.

But I’d guess, there was one in every group, leaning forward with a smile.

Still Dark

D.W. Gillespie

When a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…

Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.

Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!

Amazon Digital and Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico| Brazil | India | The Netherlands

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR — D.W. Gillespie has been writing dark fiction in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He’s been featured in multiple horror anthologies, both in print and online. Still Dark is his debut novel, and his second book, a short collection titled Handmade Monsters, arrives in 2017. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children.

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Guest Post: Sam Mortimer


 

Amplifying Screams

Sam Mortimer

 

Some stories require us to create our own ‘Big Bang’, so to speak. In fiction, it’s your world and your rules, but it’s always interesting to make these rules viable. A book can be potent and meaningful if it displays a believable reality, or resembles one. Resonation is an important word. If my novella Screams The Machine connects with a single person and speaks to her or him, it would be a great honor.

Screams The Machine probably started brewing whilst reading about some mind-expanding quantum physics, socioeconomic concerns, technological advancements, existentialism, and the figurative blender of the human condition. I began wondering about the ebb and flow of progress. There’s plenty of material there to pull from, which made me feel all sorts of strange ways about the ‘powers that be,’ and some organizations that have sway over humanity’s future.  I came to understand a certain mindset for what it was, ‘Own the resources, own the people.’

Various books kept me busy to the point of cerebral overload. House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski blew my mind. The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot, was intensely interesting.  The Hellbound Heart, by Clive Barker. The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers.  Will Storr Vs. The Supernatural, by Will Storr. Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. The list could obnoxiously go on during that time period.

Playing an older video game called FEAR helped influence Screams The Machine. The game is a great mixture of horror and science fiction. It’s a first-person shooter, and the world is dark, ominous, and you feel the direness of its plot. The game engine might be outdated now, but playing and beating FEAR amplified some internal noise to accomplish some writing goals.

There were also some raw, basic facts I began realizing about existing. I wanted Screams The Machine to display these facts either directly or symbolically. For example, some realizations were as simple as eating. Whether anyone is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, omnivorous, or whatever they choose to be, we destroy things and consume them—table manners and silverware are very nice, but they don’t change the fact we’re eating the death of something. Then again, I just might be unconsciously repeating what I learned in Humanities class, years ago. For the record, I love a good medium-rare steak—I’m not attempting to take any moral high-ground.

A psychological sense should haunt Screams The Machine as well, an aspect pertaining to incorporeal matters. It’s important to figure out who we are as individuals. What if an advanced organization figures you out first? They know everything, even your thought process. What if they monitored your darkest secrets, dreams, and fetishes? What if we live in a self-aware universe?

I’d completed a few tales before, but Screams The Machine was the first one that felt imperative to write. It seemed like the story was actually happening, and I was a reporter telling you about a perilous reality. I felt visited by a muse, if you will, in all of her badass glory, and she cranked up the mental tunes like a rock ‘n roll champ. A primal fire sparked, and it became impossible to prevent Screams The Machine from happening, for better or worse.

 

Synopsis

 

Cash carries a disease; one that’s already killed a large majority of the population and something needs to be done. To stop the crisis from escalating, The Solution (a worldwide organization) is formed and rises to great power. They monitor people’s dreams and shape reality to fit their own wants and needs. In an effort to control existence itself, The Solution is searching for what they believe to be the ultimate tool; a person with the ability to master a deep connection with the mysterious, pervasive energy known only as The Ultimate Reality.

 

Watching her neighborhood decay, her friends and family perish, Elizabeth Reznik needs to find meaning in her life. She discovers her existence is more meaningful than she could ever have imagined. Operatives of The Solution seek her out, take her from her home and perform brutal experiments on her. Their conclusion? Elizabeth is the one they have been searching for; she is the key to gaining complete power.

 

The stratagem of The Solution is single minded – own the resources and you own the people. And the last resource available is free will. They will own your thoughts, they will orchestrate your dreams; they will dine on your fears. But there is always a cog in the machine… or in this case, a scream.

 

Available on:

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Sam Mortimer has worked the graveyard shift in law enforcement, attended film school, and has been writing strange stories since age eleven. He loves reading, music, and strives to meet the demands of his five cats.