Image: Poster for The Blair Witch Project (1999): A negative of white trees on a black background.

Although I still haven’t seen the new Blair Witch, I did rewatch the original recently!

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Although I’ve been focusing a lot on film this Halloween season, let’s shift gears today to horror audio fiction. Alice Isn’t Dead is a serial horror/suspense podcast by Joseph Fink, co-creator of Welcome to Night Vale. Deliciously creepy, Alice Isn’t Dead is the story of a truck driver searching for her not-dead wife, the titular Alice, on a surreal road trip through the U.S.


Image: Logo for Alice Isn’t Dead: a design of a truck with the mirror image of a stylized skull driving on a black road with an orange sky and yellow sun behind the truck”

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One of my favorite Autostraddle features is Saturday Morning Cartoons, a series of comics by queer women and non-binary artists. Anna Bongiovanni’s “Halloween” from their series Grease Bats is an excellent and succinct discussion of the transformative–and problematic–elements of Halloween from a queer lens. Continue Reading »


Image from The Witch website: a dark image with a goat; text is overlaid on the image: “GOAT: The He-Goat’s two horn’d crown doth reign / Through blackest Nature, His domain.”

The genre of horror doesn’t exist in a vacuum: what is scary isn’t the same throughout time or space. For example, my idea of a great scary story*:

On a hot and sunny day, your intrepid blogger was blindfolded and forced to attend a gender-reveal party for a baby.** Watch as they encounter…

Misgendering! [cut to “Well, hello, there, miss!”]

Cissplaining! [cut to “They/them aren’t real pronouns!”]

The very concept of binary genders assigned based on in-utero pics of baby’s genitals! [cut to BLOGGER, confused: “hamburger?! turtle?! are we speaking English rn does the ultrasound now tell you folks’ pronouns now?”]

Ruining cake with the arbitrary and artificial gender binary! [cut to CAKE oozing pink or blue]

Regrettably, being marginalized usually means folks are afraid of people like me: queer and genderqueer/gender non-conforming (though the brunt of that falls on trans women). Cultural fears, particularly about the marginalized gaining power and influence (or, self determination even), drive horror films. The vampire as a queer woman or a (somehow also queer) Eastern European; the serial killer as bisexual or trans; zombies as a metaphor for racial Others; and, among many others, witches. Witches are conflated with everything from the fear of ethnic Others (Roma, Creole, Latinx, African) to the generalized fear of women, including but not limited to women having rights to their own bodies, property, money, sexuality, and self determination.

Which brings me to The Witch, a horror film for Puritans by Puritans. Continue Reading »

Season 3 of Carmilla just came out and I am attempting to watch in between work, writing, and travel, so I’m only halfway through. (It is magical and lovely so far, even if Season 0 was a bit over the top.) But buckle in, creampuffs and Silas alums, because next year we’re getting a MOVIE.


Image: Screenshot of Carmilla Season 3 trailer, featuring Natasha Negovanlis as Carmilla Karnstein and Elise Bauman as Laura Hollis.

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IMDB has one of the most accurate but unintentionally hilarious descriptions for The Hunger (1983): “A love triangle develops between a beautiful yet dangerous vampire, her cellist companion, and a gerontologist.” Some spoilers (major one marked below).


Screenshot: Miriam, who has wavy blonde hair and is wearing an understated black skirt suit, plays “Lakme” on the piano for Sarah, who is in a white t-shirt and trousers. Sarah asks, “What’s that piece you’re playing?” screenshot from here (NSFW)

Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) and John (actual bisexual vampire of my heart David Bowie) are a vampire couple getting along fairly well until John starts aging rapidly. Apparently eternal life and eternal youth aren’t the same thing. Oops.

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One of my very favorite vines/tumblr posts of all times is an unintentionally hilarious clip of Ghost Adventures with a ghost who refuses to play by the gender binary.


Image: a small green light with the caption “beeping”

Investigator: [loudly & clearly] –you a male or a female spirit? Once for a male, twice for a female.

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