On Possessions, Intentions, and Hidden Selves

One, two, swimmer’s coming for you…

What does it truly mean to be haunted? To be possessed? When pain and love are inextricably linked, how do you tell the difference? And can you break the cycle, or pass it on?

When I set out on Andy Marino’s debut horror novel The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, I expected a more or less run of the mill possession narrative. Woman is attacked during a home invasion, home invader is secretly supernatural, woman is marked and haunted by the newly-arrived entity in her home and either defeats or is defeated by it…


Ashes, ashes, we all fall down…

Break the wheel, remake the wheel…

There’s something so sinister about cycles. They can feel like an infinite loop you can’t claw your way out of, or like an echo of something you swear you’ve felt before but can’t explain or remember just right. There’s an air of predestination about them that can either comfort you or really mash that rebellion button. Sprinkle in a serial killer, maybe some ghosts, and weird perceptions of reality and you’ve got Chuck Wendig’s latest, The Book of Accidents.

Told from the alternating perspectives of serial killer Edmund Reese and each member of the…


Where horror and compassion intertwine

I don’t think I have the words to describe how speechless it left me.

I have been reviewing books intermittently between writing about film and balancing my day job for about a year, maybe a bit longer. Lately, though, with some shifting conditions in my circumstances I have found time to focus more on them than any other medium. Books have always been my first love and, while I have favorite little pockets to occupy, the most important thing to me — beyond genre conventions or expectations, beyond type of book — is the story itself. Can it make you feel something unexpected? Can it absorb you completely without…


The South is a ghost and so am I…

Southern Gothic that sticks to you

I grew up in the South. Not necessarily the backwoods country, dirt roads, and dead ends side of the South, but the South nonetheless. Even the most built up areas, one of which I was raised in, have rundown buildings with ivy roots running through them on the sides of the roads and secrets in the whispering sects of the community. No town here is big enough to miss the gossip and the rumors. I do have a bit of roots in the backends of the South, however, whether I want…


The making of truth is belief…

First of all, look at this flawless cover.

Rare is the book that can thwart your expectations at every turn. To do so requires a deft hand and knowledge of conventions that feels almost…magical. Getting to encounter a book like that, that sees the walls and boxes you have built for it and slowly tears them down brick by firmly placed brick, is nothing short of enchanting. …


Violent delights and violent ends…

Daddy’s little blasphemy

My introduction to the seedy grindhouse works of Preston Fassel was, of all things, through a podcast I was listening to in the middle of my workday. There I sat in my little cube, crunching numbers and minding my business when, suddenly in my ears unfolds the story of two women facing off against each other in life-or-death stakes that rang through with the mythology of the Minotaur in its maze and on the hunt. It caught my attention with such force that I paused the episode to go order the book (Our Lady of…


Fairy tales like you’ve never seen them before

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for fairy tales. For as long as I can remember I’ve been reading and adapting them into my own work, and they have served as my gateway introduction into many of my now most beloved creative interests. So, when I discovered the anthology Upon A Twice Time, which asks its diverse array of authors to choose two fairy tales and a genre to meld into a new story of their own creation, I knew I was in for a treat.

The anthology, edited by Todd Sanders and out now from Air…


I have been wondering lately on the tendency of teenage girls to interrogate the meanings of death. Slumber parties dipped in explorations of the supernatural by way of daring such superstitions as Bloody Mary in bathroom mirrors. Paper folded into predictions for the future. Emulations of media’s greatest tragic heroines in games of make believe that teeter on the edge of reality. All of these are fairly commonplace occurrences at some stage of a girl’s life no matter how hard the narrative of “sugar, spice, and everything nice” gets pushed. …


To call Charlotte Perkins Gilman a complex woman would be an understatement…

…An amalgam of progressive and incredibly regressive beliefs, she’s a difficult artist to make peace with. And yet, at least when it comes to her best-known short story, flying in the face of society’s comfortably held ideas is the point. While her most regressive beliefs are impossible to reconcile today, The Yellow Wallpaper did unquestionable good for shifting the way women’s mental health and the common practice of sending them out to the country to “rest” were understood. Fun fact: sending someone with a mental illness away to…


There’s nothing like a girl’s weekend among friends to help truly unwind from a busy or stressful experience. A little peace, a little quiet, a little dancing in a pagan ritual on the solstice…you know, girl stuff…

…Writer-director David Creed’s newest offering, Sacrilege, is a tense, strange tale of a group of friends who escape to a secluded house deep in the woods of Mabon Village for a weekend of bonding and relaxation. Kayla ( Tamaryn Payne) has just found out-from her ex-girlfriend Trish ( Emily Wyatt)-that the man who assaulted her is free from prison. In a moment of…

Katelyn Nelson

Katelyn Nelson’s writing interests lean mostly toward pop culture analysis and representation. She tweets @24th_Doctor, mostly about horror.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store