“Your beloved Daydreams isn’t here right now. She appears to be…all tied up. I just may get cozy here. Yes, yes…I could get used to this.”
“When I came to my head was throbbing. Didn’t quite know what to make of it all. I was frightened—and cold. She was no longer here. Maybe that protection spell I cast on the gates finally took. I’m sure it won’t ward her off for long, though.”
We were not so sure about doing this whole thing again this year. There is a whole fresh hell of a lot going on behind the scenes. These circumstances have made it difficult on this trip. I apologize for not keeping up our tradition of ending this thing with a video. Some personal matters kept that footage from ever being shot & uploaded.
Despite those somber notes, we hope you had fun through each of the 31 days and nights. Will we do this again next year? Well, you’ve managed to talk me into it each year again since we started back in 2015. We shall just have to wait and see.
On behalf of Snapping Turtle Arts, I would like to thank Dean Kealy, Michael Patrick, and Bill Friday for joining us and lending their magnificent talents.
To the horror lovers here and overseas
We are so appreciative of all of you. Thank you for stopping in on each day! None of this would have gone down this year without your loving support and encouragement!
To my mentors
I saw you here lurking about. 😉 It means the world to me and my little family that some of you still care. We’ll try to put on a bigger show if we go at this thing again next year.
To our friends and family
Thank you for holding our hands when times get rough.
The following image was first shared in 2013 as part of my Winter Gallery: Part II posting. What wasn’t shared was the interesting story behind it…
I used to live much further from where I currently reside. I’ve bounced around the state of New Jersey throughout my life. In 1995-1996 my grandmother was going through a very messy divorce and she started hinting that we were going to move. Right around that time I started having this recurring dream about this small patch of woods I had never seen before in my waking life or in my dreams. The dreams intrigued me due to their vivid nature.
What I couldn’t shake during this time was the sense that this place existed somewhere in real life. I don’t know how I knew it—I just did.
About a year later, my grandmother found a condo in a quiet little area and informed me this is where we’d be moving. The day we set out to plant our roots in this new home, I was instantly shocked as we neared the entrance. Just around the corner from where we were about to live was the little patch of woods I had seen in my dreams. The place had a foreboding energy about it. The best way I could describe it was “an otherworldly feel” in my eyes. The moment of realization sent chills right through me. I had strange instances of what some would refer to as psychic vision before, but nothing like this. I was rattled to the core.
We moved there anyway and I would up living in that home until 2012. Fun fact? The place was haunted too. Extremely. Like Poltergeist-level haunted.
This image was taken years after I moved in. The area is still untouched to this day. I edited the colors a bit because this was originally going to be used for a book cover of my own. That book later got scrapped after my laptop died and 8 chapters of the novel were not able to be recovered. Soon after, I gave up writing.
When we first started this madness in 2015, we did so in tribute to man whose life has touched so many in their respective fields. That man is Mr. Wes Craven, and you can read about how this series got its start here. Since then, it has grown into much more—a gathering of us horror heads, if you will.
For now, my Snapping Turtle family would simply like to welcome you here. Don’t forget! CardCastles Terms apply here during this event as well as across all social media accounts. We’ve got some guests coming up while we waltz through each day and night. Please be kind. We don’t want to have to feed you to our guards.
If you are into the world of special effects like we are here at home, there is someone I highly recommend following that we haven’t mentioned before.
I had already been familiar with Kevin’s work from hearing his name floated around horror circles. What I didn’t know was the sheer number of things Mr. Yagher has worked on. If you do a little digging, you’ll find out this man’s trail of past work is seriously impressive.
One of the highlights worth mentioning is recently Kevin started selling some of his work as well:
This week we’ll be grazing over all things “Behind the Scenes” within the horror genre.
Surely the blood and bones of this genre is the people whose names you rarely hear. The set people, the crews, the special effects teams, the concept artists (wink), the stunt departments, the writers, and sometimes even the people behind the camera, barely get recognition at all.
One of the reasons I love following Greg Nicotero on social media (aside from the fact that I’ve been a nerdy fan of his since forever, and he was a friend to the man behind the reason this 31Nightmares thing got started) is he posts a lot of really interesting behind the scenes treasures from the movies and TV he’s worked on.
One of the coolest bits of all that this year (for me) was this:
“Before you know it October is here. CardCastles has morphed and changed a lot in the last five years. What was once just my little wonderland come-to-life is now a team, a community, and a growing company’s merge. You will see some of those changes in the near future, but for now on this glorious fall first day of October, let’s kick off this celebratory tradition.
I am proud to say this is the third year of #31Nightmares. This is solely due to reader demand. We get messages year ‘round now looking forward to this event so we aim to dream up each year better than the last.
This year we will be talking about horror in video games, movies, television, and its influence on some music. We will also be exploring horror in sound, both in special effects, and soundtracks. There will be art, there will be writing. There will be tributes to many we lost in recent years that helped pave the way and even create new lanes for this genre.
We are glad to be doing it all with you for another year this 2017 and we hope you will stick around for all 31 days/nights.
Welcome to 31Nightmares 2017!“
For those of you new to the site or just plain new to this series,
This week during our opener, we will be diving into recent creations in the horror genre that have been stirring buzz in both video games and television.
One game this year that has stood out to us during my work with many different levels and mediums of the genre was The Evil Within 2.
We own the first installment in our collection here at home. My other half has beaten it to shreds. I’ve yet to go far in the campaign myself due to a busy schedule this year, but I certainly liked what I saw so far. This sequel looks promising and I have to admit I thought it was a genius marketing idea to drop the game on Friday the 13th this year in October. The bits of imagery in the story trailer featured below could remind you of something straight out of your nightmares.
My fusion with the horror genre began long ago. The start of it all was the first time taking in A Nightmare On Elm Street. After that, it fast became a passion; one I took with me through all of my schooling. I started writing short stories in grade school. This continued through middle school until I started onto longer compositions.
It was within these years of writing horror, I fell in love with another Master of Horror, Mr. Stephen King.
Aside from Wes, King is probably one of my largest influences.
I guess you could say, Wes inspired me to write and King kept me at it.
Doctor Sleep is one of King’s more recent novels—one I was most certainly gripped by. This novel certainly has a place here during 31 Nightmares for its unique approach to psychological horror.
This story is the follow-up for King’s other well-known masterpiece, The Shining. The stories flow together nicely, and yet this one takes on a direction all its own by touching on the occult. I highly recommend this novel to horror lovers. I am without a doubt surprised this has not been made into a full-length movie sequel as well.
Pick this up online or anywhere books are sold. You won’t regret it, unless you need sleep…
For the Love of Horror is a recurring series here on CardCastles where we dissect the horror genre and horror films. This year it’s making yet another brief comeback during 31Nightmares.
Obscure Horror Films
Many a horror gem can be found showing up in the wee hours of the morning. There is something about the beyond prime time slot that seems to draw indie horror and the likes of it. Some of my favorites have been found this way. This next little-known horror/thriller is no different.
Nightwatch (1997) focuses mainly on the lead character, Martin. One of the most charming aspects of this movie is its unique approach to a sort of serial killer murder mystery. All of the actors in this movie are magnificent. Perhaps the most notable though, is this film’s ability to paint such a complex story with such grace and style. This film’s plot builds tension masterfully straight from the first few frames. That tension only keeps building throughout until it unfolds and leaves you blindsided.
I’ve found many worthy horror films over the years simply by searching. My advice to any horror fans out there looking for something new and fresh is, give everything a chance. Some movies may be cheesy or simply not for you, but others may end up surprising you. We often go for something we’ve “heard of” or “had positive reviews” but we may be missing out on the more hidden, shows-up-at-4AM-indie-flick that just so happens to be marvelous.