This podcast was created by TCC students as part of coursework for ENGL 2328. The following episodes explore authors, themes, and topics in American horror fiction and film from 1865 to the present.
My podcast is titled “Thriller of the Night” because as a child one of the biggest psychological horrors that I always experienced was being alone at night. In this podcast I will go over my top four psychological horror films and why they haunt me the most!
• Funny Games
• The Sixth Sense
• The Silence of the Lambs
• The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
First, let’s define psychological horror and what it means to me. This type of horror is something that could actually occur in reality. Psychological horror attacks the very being of who you are and how your mind operates. This horror can take past experiences and turn them into nightmares as well as take fiction stories and make them seem like non-fiction realities. Monsters and zombies are things that do not bother me one bit, but being a husband and a father of two children, things like home break-ins, demonic spirits, cannibals and psychotic individuals are unbearably horrific!
Above: Psychological horror author, William G. Roll.
William G. Roll was never fully accepted into mainstream science since he believed in supernatural events and beings. Although many science professionals did believe in his experiences, there were many who did not.
Background: After his death, William T. Joines wrote an article over William G. Roll, this will be included in the podcast as well. “When Bill Roll passed away on January 9, 2012, at age 85, the field of parapsychology lost a very great man of vision and integrity. William G. Roll II was born on July 3, 1926, in Bremen, Germany, and he grew up in Denmark, where, as part of the Danish resistance to die Nazis, he helped Jews escape to Sweden. Bill earned a BA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. degree from Lund University. In 1957, Bill and his wife Muriel moved back to the US, where he accepted a position in J. B. Rhine’s Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, Durham, NC. In 1961, he became head of the Durham-based Psychical Research Foundation (PRF), with the mission to explore the possibility of life after the death of the body.”
The background of William G. Roll and the experiences he had will be a part of the introduction of introduction phase of my podcast. The questions, what impacted his childhood? What made him believe in the supernatural, will be explained in further detail, as well as his childhood and any related traumas.
In the body of my podcast, I will be talking about William’s professional accomplishments and published work. Although Roll had many big accomplishments, the main piece of work I will be speaking about is his book “The Poltergeist.” The poltergeist was published in 1972, at that time the horror genre was a little bit taboo, so I will also be including the initial reaction from critics to his book in this section of the podcast.
In the conclusion section of my podcast, I will briefly speak on Roll’s impact to the horror literature gene, and how his work still impacts us today.
This podcast will discuss how both the comic series and the television series argue for a reform of the United States government. Both explore different types of government and how they work within society. Rick tries several types of leadership/government throughout the series. Both the comic and television series explores the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of leadership/government. The main argument is that the government that the United States currently has is not working.
The Walking Dead television and comic series by Robert Kirkman.
Wadsworth, Nancy Dawn. “Awakening the “Walking Dead”: Zombie Pedagogy for Millennials”. Radical Teacher, vol. 107, no.1, Feb 2017, pp. 4-13.
Williams, Andrew P. “Apocalyptic Absurdity: Dale Horvath, Raisonneur of The Walking Dead”. The Midwest Quarterly, pp. 51-68.
Let’s Play White, by Chesya Burke, is a novel filled with short stories all infused with different sub-genres of horror and dark fantasy. In this podcast, I will discuss one of the short stories, Purse, that feeds on deceiving the reader until the end of the story when the tables are turned.
Sometimes the things you read appear to be convincing enough that you believe every last bit of it. The way the author sets up the story leads the reader to believe a complete opposite of the actual reality. The sub-genre of horror in this story is closely related to psychological horror because it plays on the mental and emotional states of the reader to convey frightening and disturbing thoughts. In this discussion, I will describe my experience as a first-time reader of the novel including the emotions I felt and the thoughts that circulated my head as I read the short story “Purse”.
I will also discuss the unexpected realization that dawned on me after reading the story. The horror of this story is rooted from the dark hidden truth of losing a loved one. Such a traumatic event can create some level of impairment in the mind. This mental impairment that is experienced by the griever can sometimes be so large, it results in some level of psychosis. Under some level of psychosis, the mother in “Purse” experiences a reality that the reader believes to be true until the very end when a horrifying twist is revealed.
 “Let’s Play White.” Apex Publications, http://www.apexbookcompany.com/products/lets-play-white-by-chesya-burke?variant=106507332.
 “REVIEW: Let’s Play White by Chesya Burke.” The King of Elfland’s Second Cousin, 2 Aug. 2011, elflands2ndcousin.com/2011/08/02/review-lets-play-white-by-chesya-burke/.
 “Psychological Horror.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_horror.
 “NAMI.” NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, http://www.nami.org/earlypsychosis.
It, the movie version of Stephen King’s novel, was a huge success in the box office as well as for horror movie fanatics everywhere. However, not all details remained the same from the novel, which is normal for a movie adaptation. So I will discuss some of the biggest differences between the book and the 2017 movie.
For this podcast, we will also look at the use of children in specifically the 2017 movie version of Stephen King’s It. The children of the movie are all very well cast which, I believe, has a direct correlation to the success of It altogether. The ideas of clowns, puppets, and dolls in horror movies really interest me because all are seen as symbols of childhood, but, put in a horror movie, are all seen as sources of fear. This is the reason why I wanted to dissect Stephen King’s reasoning behind “It”.
The end of the podcast will consist of my personal experience with the movie. I love horror movies and am a big fan of this work in particular. I would love to share my thoughts on the movie.
“It [Author of Fear].” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Dec. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUyMC1jN0xs.
“It – interview with Stephen King & complete cast.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 Aug. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZWxm7MXlAQ.
Reyes, Mike. “15 biggest differences between the ‘It’ movie and the book.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 19 Sept. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/biggest-differences-between-the-it-movie-and-the-book-2017-9.
The Shining by Stephen King is perhaps one of the most celebrated modern horror novels of today. Much of the book’s success comes from the fact that King takes a fresh approach to horror and gives the reader a different look at how horror can infiltrate our everyday lives. The plot follows Jack Torrance, his wife, and their psychic son as they spend the winter as caretakers of an isolated hotel in Colorado. Aspects of psychological horror are abundant in the text, and that is what makes the novel truly frightening. Since King’s novel was such a major success, it was actually developed by Stanley Kubrick into a highly successful film that remains a favorite among horror fanatics almost 38 years later.
Psychological horror is not like paranormal or monster horror, where the author attempts to frighten the reader through the use of outside forces and gory scenes. Instead, successful authors of psychological horror write in a style that leaves the reader curious about the thoughts occurring within each character’s mind. Well-written psychological horror leaves us wondering about not only the mental stability of the characters but also makes us question our own sanity. King’s writing style most certainly accomplishes this, as the true mystery lies in what exactly drove Jack Torrance to insanity.
The longer that Jack and his family are in the hotel, the more the reader notices the mental instability within him. He is driven mad to the point where he desires to murder his own wife and son, and that is one of the most horrific parts of the novel. As readers we think, “could that happen to me without my knowledge?” It is in this way that King paints a perfect picture of what it looks like for a normal, yet slightly troubled, man to transform into a psychotic monster.
Bell, Vaughan. “Madness and Hallucination in The Shining.” MindHacks, www.mindhacks.com/2013/09/28/madness-and-hallucination-in-the-shining/, 28 Sept 2013. Accessed 27 Dec 2017.
Gabler, Jay. “Why ‘The Shining’ is the Best Psychological Horror Film Ever.” The Tangential, www.thetangential.com/2014/10/27/why-the-shining-is-the-best-psychological-horror- film-ever/, 27 Oct 2014. Accessed 26 Dec 2017.
“The Shining: Psychological Horror?” World Literature and Film, www.worldliteratureandfilmstudies.blogspot.com/2012/04/shining-psychological-horror.html, 19 Apr 2012. Accessed 26 Dec 2017.
You’ve probably heard of American writer Ray Bradbury. In fact, you were probably even forced to read Fahrenheit 451 at some point in your education. But what you might not know is that Bradbury has loads more terrifying, apocalyptic science fiction where that came from… or is it really fiction?
What Did He Write?
Perhaps the most chilling part of Bradbury’s work is that many of his predictions have come true today concerning censorship, technology, and its influence on the human race thus far.
This podcast reviews Fahrenheit 451, “There Will Come Soft Rains,” Something Wicked This Way Comes, and excerpts from The Martian Chronicles for common themes of Bradbury, such as censorship (aforementioned), the ripple effect, and the source of evil in the world.
Did He Go Too Far?
Later in his life, Bradbury was known for being “anti-technology”. Several interviews he gave revealed his disdain for e-books, the internet, and cell phones. But overall, there is evidence for Bradbury’s faith in big, technological innovation.
Bradbury, Ray. “There Will Come Soft Rains.” There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury, www.gs.cidsnet.de/englisch-online/originals/soft_rains.htm.
@kwagstaff, Keith Wagstaff. “Ray Bradbury Didn’t Love All Tech, but He Loved What Mattered Most.” Time, Time, 6 June 2012, techland.time.com/2012/06/06/ray-bradbury-didnt-love-all-tech-but-he-loved-what-mattered-most/.
Indvik, Lauren. “Ray Bradbury: A Visionary Who Couldn’t Embrace the Digital Age.” Mashable, Mashable, 6 June 2012, mashable.com/2012/06/06/ray-bradbury-technology-ebooks/.
Who is He?
Edgar Allan Poe is an American writer best known for stories of mystery and horror. Despite enjoying his work, many readers may not know the great personal losses that motivated his dark works of Literature.
What Inspired His Work?
Poe was 26 when he married his thirteen, year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm in September of 1835. While Poe had and lost many jobs due primarily to his abuse of alcohol and opium, he stayed married to Virginia until she became ill and died from tuberculosis on January 30, 1847.
Wife Versus Mother
Many of Poe’s stories explored a central theme of beautiful, dark-haired women dying young in his poetry and prose. After his wife’s death, the story Annabelle Lee, was most likely inspired by his late wife “That the wind came out of the cloud by night, chilling and killing my Annabel Lee”. Poe goes deeply descriptive drawing many analogies that could have stemmed from his wife’s illness and demise.
Likewise, Ligeia, written in 1838, conveys the narrator’s grieving over his terminally ill dark, beauty. Again, this sounds like work inspired by his late wife, Virginia. However, this may not be completely true for all of his works about dead beauties. This podcast discusses some evidence that his work involving dead women was not always inspired by his late wife.
Andriano, Joseph. 2012. “The Archetypal Projection in ‘Ligeia’: A post Jungian Reading.” University of Southwestern Louisiana. Eapoe.org. http://www.eapoe.org/pstudies/ps1986/p1986201.htm. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.
“Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe.” Poetry Foundation, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44885/annabel-lee. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.
“Edgar Allen Poe” Academy of American Poets. Poets. Org. http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/edgar-allan-poe. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.
“Ligeia: Edgar Allan Poe.” University of Adelaide. 2014, https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/poe/edgar_allan/p74li/. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018
Martens, Elien. 2013.“The Representation of Women and The Works of Edgar Allan Poe.” Universitiet Gent. lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/002/060/296/RUG01-002060296_2013_0001_AC.pdf. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.
“Shadowlands 7- Codex.” Royalty-free Music. incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1700040&Search=Search. Accessed 2 Jan.2018.
“The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Berenice.” University of South Florida. 2006, etc.usf.edu/lit2go/147/the-works-of-edgar-allan-poe/5230/berenice/. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.
Haunted houses are inhabited by spirits and create a tense atmosphere of fear and horror. Over the years haunted houses have been linked to a number of tragic occurrences which include, but are not limited to: fire outbreaks, suicide, insanity, and miscarriages.
But, what makes a house look haunted? Could it be something about its location, age, or architectural design? Did previous occupants indulge in any form of diabolical activities or were they victims of an unfortunate incident? Or could it be that the evil spirit is only seeking a place of abode as much as everyone else, and the poor building is just as much a victim as the occupants?.
Several factors could contribute to why a house is haunted. This could range from the interior decorations to ancestral curses placed on a house. For example, in Charlotte’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper”, the narrator was persuaded that the woman in the yellow wallpaper hung in her room is trying to get out to hurt her. Similarly, “The House of the Seven Gables” revealed that a house could be haunted due to ancient curses placed on the house.
Often times we think a haunted house is that old scary abandoned building with cobwebs, but sometimes it could be more. Perhaps, a good neighborhood is not exempt from the misery of haunted houses, and mind-blowing architectural layouts are not a guarantee that a house is free from haunting spirits, and sometimes a possessed person could carry evil spirits that haunt a house.
This podcast will be analyzing Walter Hubbell’s “The Haunted House” which is a true ghost story to explore why certain houses are haunted.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, and Shawn St. Jean. “The Yellow Wall-paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Dual-text Critical Edition. Athens: Ohio UP, 2006. Print.
“Haunted House.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Dec. 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haunted_house. Accessed 03 Jan. 2018.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999. Print.
Hubbell, Walter. “The Haunted House.” Gutenberg. Gutenberg EBook, 31 Oct. 2005. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16975/16975-h/16975-h.htm. Accessed 03 Jan. 2018.