Friday, April 30, 2010

Ask Baphomet - The Horror Writers' Advice Column!

Posted by LD Keach on Friday, April 30, 2010

In case you missed it the first time, Beth writes in:

I’m a cattle and sheep farmer and live in a remote and lonely outpost in rural New Zealand. My husband, who I love dearly,    works in Economic Development. He is currently working overseas for a twelve month period, and what I have to say here cannot be written in a letter to him. You’ll see why not as you read on…

Anyway, about a month ago I decided to sit down and see what I could write. I’d had dinner, drawn a bath with candles round it (even farmers have to spoil themselves from time to time) and decided to set the scene for my writing by burning some incense, and having candles all around the lounge…That week I was looking after the cross for the local Catholic church. My gaze fell upon the cross, and may God forgive me, I took it into the lounge and hung it upside down on the wall. All this was to give some ‘atmosphere’ to my writing…

Before long the candles began to flicker, and as there are many drafty areas in this old farmhouse, I put on some lights and resumed my writing, which was going really well…Suddenly the power went off. That was no big deal in itself, as we often have power cuts out here. The candles flickered some more, and a terrible whistling roar filled the room.

I imagined it must be a tornado blowing in from the Tasman Sea, so I started for the cellar to get the Civil Defense supplies from the box we keep for just this purpose…

But before I could reach the cellar steps I felt an immense surge of malevolent power around me. I was lifted roughly off my feet and carried into the bedroom, where this force threw me roughly onto the bed. I tried to get up at first, but found I was unable to move. The next thing I knew my negligee was rucked up around my neck and well, it’s hard to I describe what came next. I am so ashamed. I was thumped, I was beaten, my breasts were bitten so badly one nipple seeped blood. And my private parts were penetrated and pounded by an organ so huge it cannot have belonged to anything human.

I would have put the whole episode down to a nightmare caused by too much wine, or even some kind of a fit. But I examined my nipple. It was hanging from the rest of my breast. And my private parts were bruised and bloodied. Even more sinister, the air smelled of sulfur…And that was four weeks ago.

But the story isn’t ended. Already there is a swelling in my belly, and movement inside. My breasts are full and heavy and occasionally leak milk. I’m a farmer. I know very well what that means.

The scary thing is that I’m 60 years old, way past child-bearing age. My husband will be home in three months, and will find me great with child. And every time I try to abort myself I vomit copiously and lose consciousness for days at a time. I’m too ashamed to go to the doctor. I haven’t told the priest about it either, but I have asked if I could keep the cross for ‘personal reasons’ for a while. I hang it the right way up in the bedroom. And every morning when I wake up, it is hanging upside down.

I can only guess at what the future will hold. But I am afraid. Very, very afraid. Any advice anyone can give would be gratefully appreciated…


Beth: Wow.

If I had a nickel for every time that happened to me…okay, I wouldn’t have any nickels. Setting the stage for your writing can be an awesome experience, in most cases—the right lighting, the right music can help many a writer come up with the right atmosphere. And, the thing that makes horror Horror is the atmosphere worked into the fiction. Atmosphere is so important to us, so it’s fantastic that you’ve been so dedicated in creating a spooky, diabolical environment to help enhance your work. Good job, on that account! But, as to your question (based on my understanding of inter-dimensional demonic breeding practices) I can offer you the following advice:

First, buy two quarts of white vinegar, a box of chalk, one wire Finch cage, and a 1972 Chevy Nova.

Take the two quarts of white vinegar and pour them over the cellar stairs while holding the empty Finch cage in your left hand. Turn around three times and then chant “Prenatal vitamins” over the stairs for fifteen minutes.

Then, with the box of chalk, draw an Isosceles triangle over the door and write a short poem to the fuzzy-softness of sheep’s wool, after which, walk backwards through your house to your front door and get into the driver’s seat of your nova.

Then, in the nova, drive to Demonic-Toys-R-Us, 66 Waterloo Quay, Auckland, 1041. (I’d suggest purchasing a stuffed goat. Demon offspring aren’t too keen on teddy bears, from what I hear.)

Good luck,


Need some writing advice? Have your characters come alive to eat your brain, or are you having trouble with a necromantic lit agent? Want to stretch your writing chops and show off in front of your friends?

Send in your personal horror stories, between 200-500 words, to Baphomet at [email protected] (I’ll get the message to him. He speaks to me through my toaster, y’know.)